Manchester United are said to be “furious” at the lack of game-time Timothy Fosu-Mensah is getting during his loan at Crystal Palace, forcing them to consider recalling him early to find a more suitable club.
Having been brought to SE25 by Dutchman Frank de Boer over the summer, Tim was thrown in from the start of our opening Premier League game against Huddersfield and was continually used for weeks after. Despite his relative inexperience, the Manchester United man impressed supporters with his pace and general defensive work but since Roy Hodgson arrived in the Selhurst Park dugout, it’s been a different story entirely.
Tasked with altering a run of form which had seen us lose all seven of our opening fixtures, Roy decided to use the experienced Joel Ward on the right-hand side of defence, dropping Fosu-Mensah out of the Eagles’ starting XI. He did give the former Ajax man a start in the League Cup tie away at Bristol City but following a woeful, team-wide collapse, the ex-England gaffer made it clear that those who had been given an opportunity to show their worth had not taken it.
Over the last month or so, the team’s general play has improved dramatically and with back-to-back clean sheets on the road in our two most recent outings, it should probably come as little surprise to see Roy sticking with Ward in the right-back slot. In truth, the 28-year-old had what was almost certainly his best game of the season to date up at The Hawthorns yesterday, comfortably winning Man of the Match in my view.
Whilst I and I’m sure many others can understand Manchester United’s frustrations, Hodgson’s sole concern at this point in time is getting the results necessary to take us away from the relegation zone, which as an unhappy byproduct, has left the Reds’ precocious young defender out in the cold over the last month.
It would be a shame were United to recall him, given his obvious quality and the need for us to source a replacement during the January window but these things happen when football clubs don’t feel as though the terms of a prior agreement are being met. I don’t blame the player or manager for the raised tension, it’s just an inevitable circumstance given the way things have gone in recent weeks.
Would you drop Ward to accommodate Fosu-Mesah or do you feel as though Roy is doing the right thing?