'Everything he does as a centre-forward is right'

Monday 15 March 2021 12:39

Mason Greenwood suffered a frustrating evening against West Ham United on Sunday evening, after hitting the post twice, but our no.11 has drawn widespread praise for a mature display at centre-forward.

With Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial ruled out of the game through injury, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deployed the Academy-reared Greenwood as the spearhead of our attack, through the middle of the pitch.
It was a challenging assignment for the 19-year-old, who typically features on the right flank. Across the Premier League this weekend, the average age of those leading the line was 26.8, with Greenwood by far the youngest player, ahead of Chelsea's Kai Havertz and Southampton's Nathan Tella (both 21).

And the multi-footed, Bradforn-born wonderkid delivered, with a performance full of poise, technique and intelligence.
What a goal this would have been! Video

What a goal this would have been!

It took an outstanding stop from Lukasz Fabianski to deny Mason Greenwood netting a beauty...

Greenwood came close to opening the scoring in the first half, when his low shot was diverted onto the post by Hammers keeper Lukasz Fabianski, and also hit the woodwork in the second period as the Reds chased a second to bolster the advantage given to us by Craig Dawson's own goal.
But it was his all-round performance and maturity which impressed fans and pundits alike, with Match of the Day 2's Jermaine Jenas among them.
“Everything he does as a centre-forward is the right way to play the role,” the former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder told BBC viewers.
“I loved today the way he just drops deep and he's never fighting defenders; he's never having to fight people to hold up the ball. He's smart enough to drop off, take it in, keep the ball going, spread it wide.
“Fabianski made a great save off him, he whipped in a great ball for Rashford that Marcus should have done better with. 
“The goals are not there yet, but they’re going to come, and today's display at the top end of the pitch I just thought was a real solid centre-forward's display.”
Greenwood hits the post Video

Greenwood hits the post

Mason was just inches away from scoring against the Hammers, when his shot nearly broke the woodwork...

Solskjaer revealed afterwards that he expected Cavani and Martial could be available for Thursday's Europa League second leg with AC Milan, so Greenwood might revert back to a wide role once more in the coming weeks. 
But Mason's growing confidence in a central position will surely please the Norwegian and his coaches.
Michael Carrick could be seen enthusiastically congratulating Greenwood on the Old Trafford pitch after the final whistle – a clear sign that the backroom staff were delighted with his evening's work against West Ham's physically imposing centre-halves Craig Dawson and Issa Diop.
There is clearly work to do to gain further experience when it comes to the more unglamorous aspects of the central role, like positioning and movement – Solskjaer could be heard shouting “Mason, higher!” at one point in the game – but time is very much on Greenwood's side.