1. United clinched an important point against West Ham in the race for a Champions League spot next season, which edges them ahead of Leicester and also Chelsea, prior to the latter’s match against Liverpool. Once more however, the performance was poor in an attacking sense by United and the eye-catching attacking football that was on show in the month after resumption of the League post=Covid was sporadic. The Hammers stole nothing in winning a draw, as United continue to make silly mistakes that is cutting back their progress. Today it was Pogba’s turn to instinctively parry a Declan Rice shot in the penalty area and hand West Ham the possibility to move in front from the penalty spot. These silly mistakes, lack of precision in the passes all over the pitch and lack of ideas coupled with walking football in many patches of the match point towards one explanation. The team is mentally tired. The United players have been playing ‘finals’ for the last two months, needing to win every single match they played every three days and this mental pressure has finally taken its toll.
2. I was very disappointed and somewhat surprised on how bad Rashford was these last two matches. I had expected him to be the carrying force for United as the team was showing signs of tiredness, for the simple reason that he missed a couple of months with injury before the League was stopped in March and I had expected that Marcus would be the fresher player from the lot during this period. There is no doubt about the skill that Marcus is adorned with, neither with the commitment to the badge and nor with his temperament. Hence why I cannot explain his lack of continuity in performances. Ole is playing him in his favored position but he is letting the Manager down in my opinion. I was expecting him to be substituted earlier against the Hammers and Ole should have been quicker in pulling him off. I am really hoping that he delivers on Sunday against Leicester and shuts my mouth. Marcus has always been a player for the big occasions.
3. But I am a bit anxious ahead of the direct encounter against Leicester at the weekend. Even though we have lost four points in the last three matches, one could also turn it on its head and feel that we have won two points, given the subdued performances against Southampton and today. Leicester will come at us with their full force on Sunday because only one result is good for them. On the other hand, United can even clinch Champions League spot with just a point. I am sure that Ole will urge his players to use their heads and play a controlled game but I can see us having to defend deep in patches during the match. If we were on top of our game, I would have commented that Leicester will play in our hands if we are clinical in our counters, but I am not sure what United to expect. Let’s keep them crossed. GGMU forever.
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Article contributed by Contributor Roderick. Comments are appreciated on our Facebook page.
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