The Theatre of Nightmare

Another draw, another two points dropped at home by Manchester United. This club is still lacking that killer instinct in front of the goal. There could be a number of reasons. Is the squad too fragile to compete on all fronts? Is the team lacking match winners? There are more questions and fewer solutions that need answering at The Theatre of Dreams.

Last night’s match versus Everton almost broke the non consequential streak of 19 unbeaten games. What started as a positive attack from United playing a 4-3-3 formation couldn’t last the entire 90 minutes of the game. Everton looked like the home team with some silky passing and good 1-2 combinations and packed the midfield.

Here is my analysis of what should have taken place for United to grab 3 points.

  1. Starting XI (4-3-3):

    De Gea, Darmian, Bailly, Rojo, Young, Herrera, Carrick, Blind, Martial, Ibrahimovic, Mkhitariyan

This would have been the ideal set up, against a flamboyant and youthful Everton side put forth by Koeman.
Set up this way, you already negate the 3-5-1-1 system and can easily move into the channels.

  1. Bench tired Lingard & Rashford

This decision would be the easiest of them all.

  1. Rashford stats so far are:

    Rashford Stats
    Credit: Whoscored.com
  2. Lingard stats so far are:
Lingard
Credit: Whoscored.com

As you can see, although United have an excellent youth program in place; putting the responsibility in crucial games with these two have not paid dividends. Another key factor as you see, Rashford has played 47 games in a season that will have at least 70+ games.
On the other hand Lingard has not been influential when called upon. Yes he scored the crucial goal in the EFL Cup with a beautiful screamer, but that form has deserted him since then.

  1. Zero communication

United this season although signing record 89 million Pogba and Mr. Icon Ibrahimovic, do not have a conductor in the centre of the park. That voice or mentorship is missing piece from Mourinho’s team. Herrera, a complete work horse found himself out of position in 3 out of the 7 times when United attacked.

  1. Attack! Attack! Attack!

United are really slow off the block and it showed against Everton. A lot of side way passing and zero penetration inside the final third as well as the build-up play was weak. Blind, Young and Lingard amongst themselves had ONLY 2 successful crosses in 15 chances where they could actually make a positive impact.

Manchester-United-v-Everton-Premier-League
Credit: Mirror.co.uk
  1. Fellaini goes a miss

A big unit, a strong presence – what are the other adjectives you could describe this Belgian? But against Everton on 4 occasions has got his tail between the leg and is a complete nuisance.

  1. Stick to one system

Mourinho is meddling with his team’s spine so much that, even though he tries to freshen the team, he takes out key personnel. A bit of consistency is needed in the selection of a team for the results to go United’s way. Too many ideas, too many systems will only bring the moral down.

     7. Finish it.

United are currently ONLY better than Bournemouth when you look at chances created to finish ratio, and have a +1 goal difference.

Below is the Home and Away table statistics of Manchester United:

MUFC Record
Credit: Livescore

 

Manchester United at home is playing squared pegs in round holes, which makes “attractive, attacking” football only a dream in ‘Manchester’s Theatre’.

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