Home defeat ends positive start to the year

Man Utd 1

Fulham 2

Realistically, United had not been playing well enough to make any supporter confident of an unbeaten run extending beyond a few matches. I missed the opening 20 minutes or so, but the radio commentator was already giving me enough information to understand that we were simply not at the races yesterday.

In my opinion United missed Hojlund up front yesterday as apart from him finding his scoring boots in recent matches, he had also started holding the ball well up front. Something which Rashford is not able to do as a striker. Well, I would dare say that Rashford is not able to hold the ball well anywhere on the pitch this season! But the real problem with this United team is not the striker position. This season our midfield has been unable to dominate matches, especially at home against the so called smaller teams. Casemiro is nowhere near his form last season, Eriksen is out of steam as well, Bruno has been abysmal, McTominay scores goals but lets matches pass him by when he starts, and the only shining light out there is the teenager Mainoo who is unable to carry the team.

Fulham deserved their win and United got what they deserved after that performance – zilch! I did not believe that we had it in us to draw level after Fulham went ahead, but when Maguire did equalise with 89 minutes on the clock, I dared to believe that we would be able to pull off another snatch and grab (yes, at home vs Fulham!). And with 9 minutes of injury time it was doable, right? Only drawback is that when you are forced to go for it at the death, you can get caught by the proverbial sucker punch. When Traore set on his run with Maguire huffing and puffing behind him, it was clear we were in trouble – and in fact conceded the second goal.

ETH must carry some responsibility. Not starting Amad on the left and Garnacho on the right was a mistake, insisting with Lindelof at left back is another one – at least swap him with Dalot! Injuries are of course a problem, but all teams have injuries, and good managers will make do and believe that their team can still play the style they impose. The problem here is, what style is ETH trying to impose? My gut feeling is that ETH can only save his job by winning the FA Cup, so Wednesday’s 5th round tie with Forest is a must win for him, and perhaps for all of us supporters as well, as it will give us something to look forward to…Numquam Moribimur!

Robert Mizzi Blog Numquam Moribimur