Manchester United currently enjoy a commendable run of form in the Premier League, but paradoxically, there’s a sense of underperformance. Despite Erik ten Hag’s aspirations to transform the team into a dominant force in transitions, this vision has yet to materialize this season. Instead, a significant part of their campaign has been dedicated to merely appearing as a proficient footballing unit.
While optimism surrounded United as they entered Ten Hag’s second season, much of that positivity has dwindled at Old Trafford. Despite a victory against Luton Town, the team’s buoyancy is tempered by previous letdowns in European competitions.
Steering clear of an exhaustive critique akin to David Moyes, it’s essential for Ten Hag and his squad to focus on key areas of improvement at Carrington during the November international break. These include refining passing precision, enhancing the ability to create scoring opportunities, and shoring up defensive capabilities.
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Supplying Service to Striker Rasmus Hojlund:
– Despite being a standout player this season, Hojlund has yet to contribute a goal in eight Premier League games.
– United’s challenge lies in creating opportunities for their center forwards, with Hojlund not receiving enough service in goal-scoring areas.
– The solution involves a strategic approach to provide Hojlund with more opportunities, potentially involving a shift in tactics or the involvement of other key players.
Goal-Scoring Woes for Forward Line:
– United’s primary goal scorers in the Premier League are midfielders Bruno Fernandes and Scott McTominay, leaving the forwards struggling to find the net.
– Rashford, Garnacho, and others have not replicated their goal-scoring form from the previous season.
– The emphasis should be on clinical finishing, and history suggests that a shift in fortune could occur with improved accuracy in front of goal.
Fitness and Intensity Issues:
– Fitness concerns have plagued United, with some players appearing fatigued earlier in the season.
– The responsibility falls on manager Erik ten Hag to address fitness levels, ensuring players can compete with opponents like Brighton, Crystal Palace, and Galatasaray.
– Improved fitness can contribute to a more competitive and intense style of play, aligning with the demands of modern football.
Positive Changes with Ownership Shift:
– Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s expected acquisition of a 25% stake in United could usher in a new era for the club.
– The optimism surrounding off-field changes should extend to on-field performance, with players urged to embrace a sense of responsibility and competitiveness.
– While fitness issues may be attributed to an injury crisis, players are encouraged to exhibit greater effort and intensity, aligning with the demands of the modern game.
In addressing these key areas, Manchester United can enhance their overall performance and aim for a more successful post-international break campaign.