Manchester United continued their poor run of form in a game which saw some stunning goals (maybe even the Puskas award contenders) rather than tactical victories. Fenerbahce did well to overcome a ‘sleepy’ Manchester United who looked pretty clueless barring the likes of Rojo and to an extent, Rooney.
Manchester United started with their captain up front and Morgan Schneiderlin got a rare appearance which didn’t particularly go well for him. The absence of Bailly ensured another start for Rojo while Pogba’s stint was, unfortunately short. Moussa Sow was the lone striker upfront, the versatile that he is while the rest of Fenerbahce saw the likes of Lens, Topal and Skrtel start.
For Fenerbahce, Moussa Sow was the lone striker upfront, the versatile that he is while the rest of side saw the likes of Lens, Topal and Skrtel start.
What went wrong?
I honestly don’t know where to begin. United conceded another early goal, this time, however, to a screamer not much could be done about. The free kick from Lens was no less in quality. The catastrophe was that, once Pogba went off, United had four strikers on the field, and not one played the actual role of a striker. Rashford was wasted on the right to accompany Martial, who by the way, also failed to do anything significant. Rashford and Martial were nullified with the pressing of Fenerbahce and Ali Kaldirim can be extremely proud of keeping Rashford in check.
What are United missing?
United need Michael Carrick, the only Regista in the squad capable of ensuring a composed defence and a creative offence, to start every game and since that isn’t possible they need a replacement as soon as possible.
Weigl from Dortmund would be a great buy and such players ensure that Pogba and Herrera can pair up well, get passes from the deep, link up with the wingers and score or create in the final third. This is what United have lacked in every game they have looked toothless in. Herrera is no means a permanent solution to replace Carrick in that role.
Were Fenerbahce tactically better?
To be fair Fenerbahce deserved their win but it wasn’t a tactical masterpiece at all. They did the basic things right and didn’t overdo anything. They maintained their defensive line well and ensured that no one was a threat. Even the pace of Luke Shaw was nullified as he failed to take on the Fenerbahce defence on the break.
United have been so poor of late that teams hardly have to do anything outlandish tactically to get a point or a win.
Implications on the Swansea game
Swansea who haven’t been in great form themselves will not be any easier for United considering how smaller teams have been a thorn in the league (Stoke, Burnley). The positive is Marcus Rojo has been delivering and United have midfielders to cope without Pogba who might be missing a game or so.
Manchester United need to play with Martial or Rashford upfront. With the latter playing on the left, they appear to be wasting his talents as they clearly have a better player in Martial for the position. Ibrahimović needs some time off since he is after all 35 years old.
United can only hope that they put in a good performance prior to the international break and take some heat off Mourinho’s shoulders.
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