- If there was any need for proof that Ole is likely to pick Scott and Fred as his sitting midfielders when playing top 10 teams, it was provided today. I am not disapproving of this tactic but I would have chosen differently today. The way Pogba played in the last three or four games for United, he was very unfortunate to be left out of the starting eleven against Leicester. Particularly against Everton away in midweek, Pogba was arguably the best player on the pitch. Moreover, when the opposing team has a player like Tielemans who likes to stay deep and control the match from there with his wide ranging of accurate passing, I thought that Ole would have played Pogba slightly up the pitch to be in Tielemans’s face and cut out much of Leicester’s threat at inception. The Manager elected otherwise and I felt that Scott was more often than not too far away on the pitch from the Leicester schemer to close him down in time.
- In the last couple of months, it became more and more apparent to United fans who watch them game in game out that we seem to have turned the corner in terms of our general play, when compared to the start of the season. We are becoming fitter, more aggressive and are creating a number of chances during matches, more than our opponents certainly. The area which we need to improve is finishing. Naturally, you cannot finish all the chances that you create. Not even half. Our finishing has however been dreadful at times. This was apparent also against Leicester, where we had a number of clear chances which we did not convert, excluding the chance with Martial where he was through on goal and managed to score, only to have the goal overruled by VAR for a close offside decision. Speaking about Martial, he is also improving from the slump in the beginning of the season and his link-up play is fantastic at times. You need however to convert the chances created and I think Ole made his life more difficult by leaving his best two finishers – Cavani and Greenwood – on the bench. Cavani came in and managed to assist Fernandes for United’s second goal but it was not possible for Greenwood to get some part in the game and possibly influence matters. It’s a tricky situation for the Manager but certainly, he has to use his best scorers more frequently.
- Against Leeds last week, Ole game up with a game plan and a starting formation which exposed Leeds and led to an easy win for United. Daniel James started that match and received a great deal of plaudits for his performance, including from the Manager, who deservedly also received praise for the way James was used and could leverage on his speed on the right flank. Frankly, I was not impressed. James has pace, something no one can deny. He also has a good right foot and his direct running at defenders can be terrifying. But, his decision-making in attacking positions is terrible, his passing usually erratic and his positional play in relation to different phases of the game almost criminal. He will not play for United in the next match for sure and maybe the Manager should give him the opportunity to continue the season with another team where he could play regularly and learn through minutes on the pitch.
Looking forward to receiving your thoughts on the Facebook page. GGMU!
Article contributed by Contributor Roderick. Comments are appreciated on our Facebook page.