1. I have rarely criticised Ole and have supported his decisions against all odds but today I have to point out one decision that he took during the match. We are drawing a match which we needed to win and rightly so, Ole decided to bring in Cavani to try to get that goal which would have seen us going top again. All good. The one I cannot digest is how he decides to take off Mason Greenwood to make way for Cavani. Mason is arguably the best finisher we have at the club alongside Cavani and the team needs to score a goal. It is counter productive. Why not Martial who has been abysmal all season and looks ever so unlikely to score? Is Martial an untouchable in this United team? Certainly not in my book. In order to win these tight matches, when teams are defending for their lives with eleven players, you need players in the opposing box who can sniff a goal out of nothing and not players like Martial who when in this form, he just huffs and puffs. Ole should know this from personal experience. When he used to play, Sir Alex often turned to him to get him a goal in the last 20 minutes of matches because he used to need half a chance to find the back of the net. Ole needs to be ruthless with his decision making. The easy thing to do is to take off the youngest player on the pitch. Sometimes though, he needs to take the difficult and courageous decision. He did not do that today and it could have contributed to the loss.
2. I had predicted and commented on Facebook before the match that Pogba and Cavani needed a rest today and that this match had Van De Beek and Mata written all over it. Van de Beek for his movement without the ball, the energy he brings to the team and his late runs in the box, which are effective against teams defending with numbers. Mata for his ability to find spaces in between the lines and also for his creativity and the ability to find the final pass in the box. I am not the biggest fan of Mata and thinks that he can only be used in matches where the opponents are going to defend whole match. Today was one of them. Unfortunately, Pogba was ineffective today and this must have been the 10th match in a row for him in a bit over a month. Now having said all this, Ole is possibly the one individual that wants to win most from all of us. He has got us to the top of the table when very few expected that we would put together such a positive run. This is a kick in the teeth, we take stock and move to the next one.
3. I’m going to mention this point because I cannot not to. I would have preferred that we won and would have started with it but even if I could be accused of finding excuses, it is an episode that needs to be highlighted. I’m referring to the Blades’ first goal. Clear shove by Sharpe on De Gea who goes under the ball, mainly because of the shove. If Sharpe had went for the ball and in the attempt to head the ball he shoves De Gea, I would have not mentioned it here but the Sheffield captain is not interested in the flight of the ball and his only intention is to commit the infringement. Now I can accept that the referee misses the incident, it happens. But I can never accept that the VAR does not deem the shove as a foul and overturns the goal. Obscene.
Looking forward to receiving your thoughts on the Facebook page. GGMU
Article contributed by Contributor Roderick. Comments are appreciated on our Facebook page.