Pogba and Sanchez
Manchester United have a great squad of players and these two are possibly the most high profile.
But in Jose’s team selection they often appear to get in eachothers’ way. Both like to drift into the number 10 position and surely Jose needs to adopt a formation where Sanchez plays on the shoulder of the last man and Pogba comes onto things from a little deeper.
Smalling, Jones? Get rid. Lindelof? Not good enough. Meanwhile Young and Valencia have given their all but are well into their thirties and seldom beat a man these days. Manchester United need to build their defence around Luke Shaw and Eric Bailly.
Juan Mata is a lovely lad but not the sort of swashbuckler United need on the right. Ditto Jesse Lingard who has surprised many this season but is no more than a useful squad player in an elite club.
Manchester United need power and pace down this flank to give the attack another prong and match the quality of the left side.
There was nowhere near enough invention in Manchester United’s midfield last season. The reason United performed better against the bigger clubs was because they pressed higher up and thus allowed United space in behind. But when United had to pick a lock with a whole team parking the bus, they did so with nothing like the success or ease of title winners Manchester City.
Perhaps Fred will help but the midfield needs to be allowed to express themselves. Currently they look petrified to make forward passes for fear of a rollicking from their uber-cautious boss.
Having spent 75m GBP on Romelu Lukaku, a man of Jose Mourinho’s pride is not going to suddenly admit that he got it wrong. Indeed, Jose thinks the Belgian breeze block was one of Manchester United’s best performers last season. But, let’s face it, he’s no Drogba. And even if he did have great technique, the idea of the big target man seems very unfashionable right now. The modern successful paradigm is to put three lightning quick forwards up top who can break quickly and decisively and interchange. What’s more frustrating is that in Sanchez, Martial and Rashford, United seem to have a ready made trio for the roles. Unfortunately we aren’t confident that these three will get enough minutes together to gel.
But, in the biggest games, we think Lukaku looks leaden-footed and way too predictable. He chases shadows. This is a problem which will persist while Jose is in charge at Manchester United. But TFF wouldn’t have Lukaku anywhere near the first team.