The Welsh winger scored the crucial second goal against a persistent Newcastle side as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side pushed for the top four

It was about as open as a player will ever be about his own form. “I think I’m a little lost,” admitted Daniel James, pondering over a year and a half at Old Trafford that wasn’t exactly one smooth uptrend followed

The goal that broke Manchester United’s back in Sunday’s 3-1 win against Newcastle was James’ third in as many games and sixth in nine games for club and country

This is the best streak he has enjoyed in three hits in his first three games after moving from Swansea City

James played the next 32 games without finding the net and eventually ended his drought with a 5-0 Europa League win over LASK Linz last March in United’s last game before the coronavirus shut down football became

READ MORE: Five Things We Learned When Marcus Rashford and Dan James Fired Man United to Win Newcastle

And with that game played behind closed doors, it’s been 18 months since James’ last United goal was scored in front of the fans

That may seem trivial, but during that early goal run, James looked like a young player who was driven simply by playing for a United-stature club, playing in front of a crowd at Old Trafford and living a dream / p>
He was so busy celebrating a late equalizer against Crystal Palace at the start of last season that he had to be dragged back into the center circle by Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, who wanted to get in quick Find a Winner / p>

There was a bewitching innocence at that moment. A year earlier, James had been on the verge of joining Yeovil Town on loan. Even if a point wasn’t enough, he couldn’t help but enjoy the admiration that came with a late goal in Old Trafford

That admiration is something few prospective borrowers in Yeovil Town have ever experienced, but also the scrutiny that comes when things are not going well at United

James’ form fell off the quick start isolated him from criticism for a while, but it soon came.The lowest ebb, perhaps, came right at the end of the season with the Europa League semi-final defeat by Sevilla in Cologne

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer urgently needed to change something to avoid a crash, but he waited until 87 Minute to introduce James, then admitted that United didn’t have the required squad depth in their post-game press conference

It was a grim assessment of all the off-grid players that evening, including James

“I didn’t play the way I did last season,” admitted the United winger after the final whistle on Sunday

“I would say it was a turnaround,” he added, “There was a moment last season when I wasn’t performing as well as I wanted. This season I’ve been thinking as much as possible about thought about the games and worked as hard as possible on the training ground

“I had to look at the analysis. I had the right people around me to help me see this I worked with the coaches to bring myself back to myself and I would love to believe I got there ”

Speed ​​may be James’ greatest attribute, but the most common criticism of him last season was that he would fight if opponents dropped out and kept him behind

On Sunday he went up against a Newcastle team that took a similar approach. The key – as he demonstrated against Steve Bruce – is providing breadth and pace

James often looked uncomfortable last season as a right winger with a right foot.It’s not a role that he takes for granted.He always preferred to cut left in

Few other players in United’s squad can offer natural breadth of the right When James is deployed there, he can expand deep, compact defenses to the side, creating the gaps that United’s attack needs to break down low blocks

And if opposition defenses keep a narrow shape and fill those loopholes, he’ll be the one to stay in space.This was the case against Newcastle in the lead up to United’s crucial second goal

James stayed far right, clear of left-back Jamal Lewis, and this gave him the time and space to use Bruno Fernandes’ flick to get past goalkeeper Karl Darlow, whom Nemanja Matic had once found

It was a smart game, and Solskjaer, in his post-game assessment, referred to how those aspects of James’ all-round game are improving

“He can leave the threat behind, he gives us the breadth and energy defensively,” said the United manager. “We are very happy that he scores and is ready to leave”

James is just happy to play like in front of a crowded Old Trafford, to score and still celebrate

“I was on the fringes a lot, but did everything to get back on the team,” he said. After getting lost, he is gradually finding him again

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Daniel James

World News – GB – Daniel James revels in the turnaround to give Manchester United a new dimension