EPL

He’s a goalscorer – Wes Brown impressed by Scott McTominay’s attacking qualities

By Sports Desk March 20, 2024

Wes Brown is delighted to see Scott McTominay proving himself as a regular goalscorer after initially pigeon-holing the in-form Scotland and Manchester United player as a defensive midfielder.

The 27-year-old notched seven times in the Scots’ successful Euro 2024 qualification campaign last year and has also chipped in with nine for the Red Devils this term despite not being a regular starter.

McTominay is enjoying a purple patch for United after starting their last four matches and netting in narrow victories over Wolves, Aston Villa and Liverpool since the start of February.

Brown has watched McTominay’s progress closely since he made his debut almost eight years ago, and the former England and United defender is thrilled to see his current resurgence under Erik ten Hag ahead of this summer’s Euros.

“It’s absolutely brilliant,” the 44-year-old told the PA news agency as he helped launch a July 20 pre-season friendly between United and Rangers at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium.

“I love the fact he plays higher up the pitch now, I think you’re seeing a really talented player. I used to look at Scott when he first started playing and, just because of his size and athleticism, you’d say he was a defensive midfield player.

“But he’s a goalscorer, he’s got the timing to get in the box when the balls are coming in and not only that, he puts it in the back of the net.

“He makes the runs defenders don’t like, and he’s saved United a few times this season. It always helps when you have a good run of games whereas Scott’s been in and out quite a bit at United. You can see he’s a player the manager really likes this season.”

Brown endorsed McTominay as a future United captain back in 2019 and he still believes that could come to fruition if he asserts himself as a regular over a longer period.

“He loves the club and he puts everything into it,” said Brown.

“Captain doesn’t always have to be the best player, it’s the player that gives everything and commands everything as well, and Scott’s always done that.

“Yes, you do need to be a regular to be a captain but Scott has definitely got the fundamentals to go on and do that. If you see some of the performances he’s put in this year, that’s exactly what a good captain is made of.

“The fans have noticed it, the manager has noticed it, and he’s done it in a tough period as well.

“When the team’s not playing well or the fans are sometimes upset and getting on the players’ backs, Scott’s always the one that will give that determination and the correct attitude. He just needs to play more regularly now.”

While McTominay has not always been in favour at United, he is firmly established as one of the first names on the Scotland teamsheet.

“He really thrives on playing for Scotland,” said Brown.

“Every time I see Scotland are playing, the first thing I think of is ‘has Scott scored?’ and most of the time he has. He’s a passionate player for Scotland.”

Related items

  • Paqueta to remain in Brazil's Copa America squad despite FA charges Paqueta to remain in Brazil's Copa America squad despite FA charges

    The Brazilian Football Association (CBF) confirmed Lucas Paqueta will remain in Brazil’s Copa America squad despite being charged over alleged breaches of betting rules by the English Football Association (FA).

    Last August, it was reported the FA had opened an investigation into suspicious betting activity surrounding Paqueta, who said he was cooperating with the FA’s probe in March.

    The West Ham midfielder is accused of intentionally seeking to receive a card in four different Premier League fixtures, three in the 2022-23 season and one on the opening matchday of 2023-24, with the charges brought against him last Thursday.

    Paqueta, who has until June 3 to respond to the charges, addressed the situation on social media saying, "I deny the charges in their entirety and will fight with every breath to clear my name."

    Now, the CBF has confirmed that Paqueta will be staying in the national squad for the upcoming tournament following discussions between the two football associations.

    "Given the facts reported by the English Federation, the CBF, supported by the joint opinion from the Legal and Governance and Compliance Directorates and the Integrity Unit, has decided to maintain the player's call-up," the CBF said in a statement signed by president Ednaldo Rodrigues.

    "Based on the information provided by the FA, it is categorically concluded that the player, Lucas Paqueta, despite the behaviour for which he was accused authorising preventive removal [from the squad] ... has not been penalised to date by the prosecuting body authorised to sanction him.

    "It is right to say that the player is free to perform his professional job until the present moment, the source of his livelihood and that of his family, in a full and unrestricted manner, whether for his club or his country's national team."

    Selecao are nine-time winners of the Copa America and will kick off their campaign against Costa Rica in Group D on June 24.

  • New York City FC v San Jose Earthquakes: Cushing urges home fans to 'make a noise' New York City FC v San Jose Earthquakes: Cushing urges home fans to 'make a noise'

    Nick Cushing is looking forward to New York City FC's next home game against San Jose Earthquakes on Friday and asks the fans to "build an atmosphere".

    NYCFC are on a four-match winning run and beat derby rivals New York Red Bulls 2-1 in their most recent outing at Citi Field.

    That run means they sit in third in the Eastern Conference and are eight points behind leaders Inter Miami.

    NYCFC have the opportunity to close the gap to second place with Cincinnati not in action this weekend, and Cushing is hopeful the fans can give the team an added boost as they try to maintain their recent winning streak.

    "I love playing in front of our fans," Cushing said.

    "I love playing at home. It is the last game before we get a bye week and an international break, and it's Friday night under the lights.

    "The Red Bull game was amazing because of the atmosphere, the crowd, the amount of fans we got in, and the way that we played.

    "We just want to make sure that we deliver a performance every game that makes people want to come to the stadium. A performance that makes people excited and makes them want to make a noise and build an atmosphere.

    "We encourage fans to be super noisy for us because it helps us. We want to keep adding wins. I'm excited, and I want to make sure that we start the game in a way that makes us really work together – ourselves and the fans – and then go and get another win."

    San Jose, meanwhile, sit second from bottom of the Western Conference, eight points off a playoff spot.

    They have not won any of their last three outings, though their last win did come on the road when they beat Colorado Rapids 3-2 on May 12.

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    NYCFC – Tayvon Gray

    Gray has recorded the assist on the winning goal in each of NYCFC's last two matches.

    It is the first time in his career that he has recorded an assist in consecutive MLS matches as he had recorded just one assist in his previous 33 games dating back to September 2022.

    San Jose Earthquakes – Cristian Espinoza

    Espinoza recorded his eighth assist of the season in San Jose's draw with Austin on Saturday, setting up a goal for Jeremy Ebobisse.

    Ebobisse is the seventh different player Espinoza has recorded an assist for this season – the only player he has set up twice is Amahl Pellegrino.

    MATCH PREDICTION: NEW YORK CITY FC WIN

    New York City have won five of their six all-time meetings with the Earthquakes (D1), including the last four in a row. NYCFC has scored multiple goals in all five wins, including scoring 10 times in their home matches against the 'Quakes (all wins).

    Indeed, NYCFC have won seven of their last eight matches (L1), including the last four in a row, and could equal the longest regular-season winning streak in club history (five straight in 2019).

    Meanwhile, San Jose have won only two of their last 48 regular-season road matches against Eastern Conference opposition (D11 L35) dating back to May 2012. The Earthquakes have managed to draw each of their last three road matches against Eastern teams, including a 1-1 draw at Nashville in April.

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    NYCFC – 59.5%

    Draw – 21.2%

    San Jose Earthquakes – 19.3%

  • Cavani retires from international football ahead of Copa America Cavani retires from international football ahead of Copa America

    Edinson Cavani has announced his retirement from international football, meaning he will not represent Uruguay at the Copa America.

    The 37-year-old is Uruguay’s second-most capped player with 136 appearances, and their second-highest scorer (58) behind only Luis Suarez.

    Cavani made his debut in a friendly draw with Colombia in February 2008 and was part of the team that won the 2011 Copa America title.

    However, the striker has not made an appearance for his national team since the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, when they were knocked out in the group stages.

    In a post on social media, Cavani said: "My beloved Celeste, I just want to thank you for every lesson you gave me under your process.

    "I won't take long. Today my words are few but profound. Thanks to every single person who was a part of this road over the years. I was and always will be blessed to have worn this jersey representing what I love most in this world, my country.

    "They were without doubt so many wonderful years. I have a thousand things to say, tell and remember, but I want to dedicate today to this new stage of my career and give everything I've got to where I'm supposed to be now.

    "I have decided to step aside but with my heart still beating, as it was when it was my turn to take to the pitch wearing this beautiful jersey. Sending a strong embrace to all of my fans."

    Uruguay will begin their Copa America campaign against Panama on June 23.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.