Man United and Man City played out a boring 0 – 0 draw at Old Trafford. It was a game that was crying out for creativity bit there was nothing apart from a few chances. We take a look at five things we learnt.
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1. MAN UNITED SET UP NOT TO LOSE
I think it needs to be put out there – if this performance came under Van Gaal or Mourinho, they would be slated. We simply played negative football as we just parked the bus. I guess Ole must have had his job in mind too. Apart from set pieces we didn’t have any other chances. And why could we not have done this against Leipzig?? We needed a draw and we completely switched off in the opening twenty minutes to let in two goals. We are too inconsistent defensively and it has been our Achilles’ heel for a long time. If we get a good centre back in January or next summer, we can stop playing a double pivot to protect our slow centre backs.
2. SOLSKJAER IS NOT CONSISTENT
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is not consistent with his team selections. I know there have been some injury problems but we keep on changing our shape every other game. There is no consistency to what team we select. And why did we bring Donny van de Beek if he didn’t want to play him. The game was crying for some creativity and Van de Beek could have changed the midfield balance in our favour. Another thing that jumps out is his use of substitutes – or rather lack thereof. He always make late substitutions and as a result the first team players become tired. Something needs to change!!
3. FRED AND MCTOMINAY CAN’T MOVE THE BALL QUICKLY FOR MAN UNITED
This double pivot is great when we want to concentrate on the defensive side of things but Man City were there for the taking. If we brought on Van de Beek, we could have changed the game. Basically, Fred and McTominay are two players who do one person’s job. That being said I don’t want to take anything away from their performances against City. They were extremely good defensively but when we need to win games, we need to attack. And they can’t move the ball quick enough.
4. LUKE SHAW WAS ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT
The battle between Alex Telles and Luke Shaw for the Left Back spot will be an interesting one to watch. At the moment Luke Shaw seems to be winning it. Yeah, I know he doesn’t have the whipped delivery that Telles offers but he is good going forward. Add that to his defensive prowess and he is probably one of England’s best Left Backs. This year whenever he has not been injured, he has performed consistently well. And I think we need to put some respect next to his name.
5. VAN DE BEEK NEEDS TO START FOR MAN UNITED
I cannot stress enough how important this is. We fought off Real Madrid for this boy and whenever he has played, he has looked the part. But I have no idea why he doesn’t start. Van de Beek can do what Scott McTominay does in his sleep. Firstly, he is a player who can provide an option for a pass in midfield. Secondly, he has the vision to create attacks with his passing range. And finally, he is not shy of a tackle. He should have started the game but didn’t and it cost us.