1. When you are against a side like Wolves which have played with the same system for two and a half years, have the players to play that system and have been so successful at it, you cannot be as disorganised and disjointed as United were in that first half of this match. Looking at the formation I feared the worse and saw it in front of my eyes in those first 45 minutes. Wolves are very strong on the flanks where they typically attack with two or more players. Their wing-back system has to be countered, otherwise it can be deadly. Ole planned to use our full backs to face the Wolves wing backs in the first half which I thought that it was a diabolical plan. We needed runners against that system and a proper back four. At half time, Ole shifted Pereira on the flank from central midfield and United were much better in the second half and could have won it, as they put pressure on Wolves and had a few decent half-chances. This team is very young, is growing and has to grow more as they gain experience. And when I say team, I also refer to the Manager and his staff.
2. I will resist the temptation of analysing Fernandes in his first match with United, barely 72 hours since he laid foot in Manchester. He will give us an extra dimension though, I’m sure of it. Instead, I would like to comment on the impending arrival of Ighalo, even though he has not even kicked a ball. Based on the performances of Martial these last two months, he is so much needed. It’s probably unfair to comment about this performance from Martial – although it was hopeless – given that most of the time, he had to fight it out on his own with three centre backs. It was only when Greenwood came in and he shifted to the left side of the attack that he had some freedom to play and the first time I saw him receiving the ball facing the Wolves goal was in the 73rd This is an area where we have been lacking. We have fast strikers in the team but we don’t have one old-fashioned centre forward who can hold the ball upfront and release his team mates. Ighalo can do that and I expect him to be used efficiently in specific situations. I can’t wait for him to be available in fact.
3. I think that I have already commented on Wan Bissaka and how impressed I am with his defending. I have also said that he needs to improve markedly going forward and this is for all to see. He He is still young and can achieve that with time. However, for some reason that I cannot understand, the lad is being asked to play out of position a number of times, when he is used as wing-back or else when the manager plays Mata in front of him and he gets dragged out of defence. The lad is disciplined and will try to do the best in every situation. He is every manager’s dream. But Ole is not utilising him properly and certainly not playing to his strengths.
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