Manchester United was coming off the back of a dynamic, exciting and powerful win over Leeds, but the same old issues arose in their game against Southampton, no tempo, poor midfield and struggled to create chances for their striker. Why does this happen?
The first issue is the midfield. The same issue they had last season. A rotation of Matic, Fred and McTominay are not good enough, for me, it is the worst midfield in the entire league, Fred is abysmal, can not pass, slows the team down and lacks ability overall. Matic was once the best in his position but he is entering the last few years of his career and for a team looking to challenge for titles it is simply not good enough. McTominay is used in the wrong way, he is a box-to-box midfielder and this was clear in the Leeds game last season but as a holding midfielder, he is not good enough. What is hard to understand is that United had no issues going forward last season, they outscored most teams in Europe, yet they spent £73 Million on Jadon Sancho before buying a midfielder. It gets worse. Donny van de Beek, who was one of the most sought after players before United signed him, does not get a minute. He has all the tools that United need in midfield and had he came on against Southampton I believe they would have won the game, with ease.
Rather Solskjaer chooses to bring Jesse Lingard on, who had just returned to training after COVID and is clearly not in his plans, over van de Beek, it does not make sense. Each time Solskjaer chooses not to bring him on shows his lack of managerial ability and causes frustration in the fanbase.
The dysfunctional midfield causes the attacking play to break down. Martial was basically a spectator and the same thing happened to Greenwood when he moved to the middle in the second half. The forwards drop back to get the ball, they do not have an out ball and resort to a long ball and they lose the ball. Rince and repeat. The same issue that they had in the Europa League final, they play slow, side-to-side passes and then launch a ball in behind and ends the attack. United play best when they are playing quickly and on the front foot and the Leeds game is a perfect example of this, they overwhelmed Leeds with the movement and passing of Pogba and Fernandes and pushed them back but resorted back to their old ways against Southampton and dropped two key points because of this.
Manchester United are going round in circles. They will win games comfortably, scoring freely in the process, the fans will get excited and believe everything has changed, they will then lose or draw a game, the fans get frustrated and call for the manager to be sacked. United fans have become used to mediocrity and have fallen into the trap of giving a club legend less slack because of what he has done.
Wake up and smell the coffee, he is not good enough and finishing second every season is not what United are. He is living off the PSG results. United will never win a relevant trophy under him.
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