Team GB made up for the disappointment of drawing against Senegal at Old Trafford by defeating the UAE at Wembley on Sunday in their second pool game at the London Olympics.
Whilst scorers Ryan Giggs, Scott Sinclair and Danny Sturridge all rightfully took the plaudits along with goalkeeper Jack Butland, it was fair to say that quietly Tom Cleverley impressed showing his undoubted potential once again.
It would be fair to say that Tom never recovered from suffering an ankle ligament injury at the hands of a dreadful challenge from Bolton’s Kevin Davies way back in September when United romped to a 5-0 win over Owen Coyle’s side at the Reebok Stadium.
When he came back he struggled and looked short on confidence and was seemingly 10-15% less of the player that he was at the start of the season when he was starring alongside Anderson in centre-midfield where the two shone especially against Arsenal and Chelsea.
After a quiet performance against Senegal Tom looked sharp on the ball and but for the help of the woodwork in the first half would have put Team GB 2-0 up after Giggs had opened the scoring early on. It was a chance that 9/10 would have gone in as the shot came back of both posts before being cleared.
In the second-half after Sinclair had put Team GB back in the lead, Tom produced a fantastic through-ball that sent Sturridge clear to chip in the third. It was a gem of a pass which cut right through the UAE’s centre-backs presenting Sturridge with the time and space to lift the ball over the helpless keeper.
A game against the UAE in the Olympics might not mean much in Cleverley’s career but it again showed his potential. Of course it’s harder to shine in the Premier League and in Europe but more good showings by Tom could give him the confidence to hit the ground running early in the season, which can only be a good thing for United.
By Adam Dennehey @ADennehey87