So Manchester United won the FA Cup against Crystal Palace on Saturday but it was yet another unconvincing display against a team that a top side would have dispatched in the first half.
And, amidst continuing concerns that Louis van Gaal’s tactics are confused, it was impossible not to notice how many players were deployed out of their normal positions in the FA Cup final.
We have become accustomed to seeing Blind at centre back. The idea is that he offers the ballplaying balance for the athletic but less technically gifted Chris Smalling. But Blind was never powerful enough to be a top centre back.
Has increasingly played at right back as his pace and ability to beat a man have waned. He played well at Wembley but it’s hard to imagine him being the defensive answer for Jose Mourinho.
He’s almost the top goalscorer in Manchester United history but, despite their worst goal return in the league since 1990, LvG has recently deployed Wazza in midfield. It is admittedly just like watching Paul Scholes and Rooney could extend his career by playing in the engine room.
Very few observers think that it’s a good idea to play a star with so little pace and power on the wing in a league which is possibly the fastest in the world. Mata’s strength is clearly at number 10 but LvG continually deploys Mata on the right wing.
Perhaps the most baffling decision of the lot. When Young came on at Wembley he was thrust into the centre forward role with Rooney and Martial surely more appropriate options for the role.
It’s debatable which is his best position – TFF would say the bench – but Fellaini was given the number 10 role despite LvG having the immeasurably more creative options of Mata, Herrera and Rooney of the main playmaker role. Fellaini never fails to drag the quality of the game downwards when he starts.