Thursday, August 11, 2022

Strongest Possible Manchester United Lineup When All The Players Are Fit

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Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan used to be the Featured Columnist at The 4th Official. Completely immersed in football and almost all other sports on planet.

The current Manchester United team is surely the second most star-studded team Jose Mourinho is managing after Real Madrid. And like every star-studded team has, Mourinho is also facing the similar problem of choosing the best 11, which is probably the reason United have failed so terribly this season.

Even with players like Zlatan Ibrahimović, Paul Pogba, Wayne Rooney, Henrik Mkhitaryan and Juan Mata in the side, United have won only 5 of the opening 11 league games sitting at the 6th position with 18 points. A lot can be blamed on the injuries though as Mourinho has not even once got a chance to play the full first team. It was almost full against Fenerbahce but the confidence had hit such rock bottom by then that United lost in 2-1 in Istanbul.

Even as they return after the international break, Mourinho will be missing the likes of Eric Bailly, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling and Antonio Valencia at the back and Zlatan with a match suspension in a crucial fixture against Arsenal.

Hence, I decided to bring together the strongest possible United lineup in a hypothetical situation when no players are injured and Mourinho is actually focusing on winning than making headlines.

Defence

There is absolutely no doubt that United could bring in a better keeper to replace the Spaniard with his current form. Sergio Romero looks to be a permanent second fiddle with De Gea playing.

United have one of the strongest possible back-lines in Luke Shaw, Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling and Antonio Valencia. Bailly was undoubtedly their best buy this summer performance wise and the United defence is clearly struggling with him injured. Unfortunately, Smalling and Shaw has not yet clicked with Bailly as someone or the other is always injured. Same goes with Valencia. The wing back’s services have been heavily missed and Mourinho had to do with Darmian. Hopefully United will see the back four returning in the second half of the season when they will actually start clicking.

Midfield

The best three would be Paul Pogba, Andre Herrera with Juan Mata in the number 10 position. Strangely, Mourinho has tried this positioning and it didn’t work that effectively. It may be that he should have given it some time to link up properly rather than rushing onto Fellaini to save United’s day. Now with Fellaini injured, Mourinho might have the only option left here. It might also be God’s way taking revenge for excluding Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Attack

United possibly have the best attack in the Premier League with the likes of Anthony Martial, Memphis Depay, Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

With Rooney not in the best of form, Zlatan should start, although he isn’t there at the top too, but he is too big a name and offers the strength up front. The flanks should be taken by Depay and Mkhitaryan but they have not started together till now. Martial’s name isn’t there simply because Depay on his day is quite a talent. Can Jose get the best out of him? 

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