Costly mistakes, shambolic defending, disjointed midfield, a slow and laborious attack, ineffective substitutions. This was Manchester United’s afternoon. Leicester outplayed them, outfoxed them and outran them. Ole Gunner Solskjaer is gambling away the little faith Man Utd fans has bestowed in him. He is rewarding mediocrity and his game plan is as mystifying as they are short-sighted. He is becoming a manager who hides behind excuse after excuse, and who doesn’t believe in some of his players (Van De Beek).
Van De Beek is a Barcenola type player. He is suited to a tika-taka style of football, and here he is, playing with Fred and Mctominey, no disrespect to either of them. They either pass the ball sideways or lump it up to an attacker. The reason Bruno Fernandes is doing so well for the team is that, he always passes the ball forward. This takes the pressure away from the team and puts the opposition on the back foot from the start. That’s why the team scores more goals with Bruno in the team that when he is out. It’s also why Van De Beek and the our midfield struggle against pressing teams. They pass the ball around, this create pressure for the defense and all the opposition needs is a mistake. Cue the first two goals scored by Leicester today.
Solskjaer needs to sort out these problems, he needs to improve the team as a unit. He needs to have a plan B, D and C. He needs to show he doesn’t tolerate mediocrity and players will be in the team for their form. Although he knows his first eleven, the team doesn’t have a style of play to them. They seem to wing it. We all know how Man City plays, we also know how Liverpool will respond if they are a goal down. A Mourinho team is compact, Arsenal capitulate, A Wolves team will compete. You know where I’m going. Solskjaer needs to create an identity for the team and especially for his coaching style. The fans need to know what to expect every game. We don’t need platitudes like “Manchester way”.
A blip here and there is tolerable, even is a requisite for the development of the team. We however can’t take these highs and lows, The San Siro nights for a miserable day like today. A Liverpool win for a Sheffield United loss, A Leipzig win for Istanbul blah blah loss. I can’t even bother to look for their name. This team needs consistency and a killer instinct for the bottom half teams. They need to have an atmosphere of invincibility and a siege mentality for the top teams. This can only come from the top and I hope Solskjaer realizes this.
I know it takes time to build a team, and an awful lot of patience. It also requires some risk taking and a bit of luck, which we needed today. It was a disappointing afternoon and Thank God for the international break. It couldn’t have come at a better time, the team needs it. Here is to a more successful season.