Since Alex Ferguson left the Old Trafford dugout, the Glazer’s have appointed three different managers in last five years. United still haven’t tasted Premier League Title glory, having won it last in 2012/13 season with Alex Ferguson as the manager.
The major reason was defeats against so called Top 6 teams, the draws against mid and lower table teams. In Mourinho’s first season as the manager, we managed 15 draws, the most in league that season along with 5 losses which was equal to the first placed Chelsea.
In the 2017/18 season, with a great start to the season United looked favorites for title, but lost to rivals City with a huge margin, this time because of crucial losses against the mid and lower placed teams.
We need to assess these issues if we want to challenge for the title, those draws need to be cut down and maximum points needs to claim.
Manchester United – Pogba, Fred and Matic.
Liverpool – Fabinho, Keita and Henderson
Chelsea – Kante, Jorginho and Golovin
Manchester City – Fernandinho, KDB and Silva
Arsenal – Torreira, Ramsey and Xhaka
The midfield battle will be real this year! ⚽️?
— The United Link ? (@TheUnitedLink) July 14, 2018
Lets take a look at what United have done and need to do against the Title Contenders that being Manchester City and Liverpool for upcoming season, with London based clubs Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur again playing out as strong contenders.
First game: 10/11/18 (A)
Second game: 16/03/19(H)
Last season’s Manchester Derby got off the mark with City defeating the hosts by 1-2, after which Mou stated that United’s title hopes are “probably over”. The second match looked like as if City were in the mood to crush us with two back-to-back goals within 5 minutes, but United’s world record signing Pogba silenced the crowed and his critics with a double in the second half within 2 minutes and later Chris Smalling’s header took United home on their rivals turf.
However United need to learn a lot as they managed just 35% possession in both of the matches with no threatening counter attack which was supposedly the plan. Our attacking play was also a boring one as total shots tally in both the matches was just 13 compared to City’s 34.
Out of the three new signings at Old Trafford only Fred seems to be involved majorly on United’s game plan. With Fred joining Matic in the midfield, this will free some space for Pogba and show what he is capable of doing. We need to improve on our ball retention ability and creating more chances. This season Red Devils also need to deal with Riyad Mahrez who has troubled defenders with his ability to score from diagonal coming into the box.
Manchester United vs Liverpool
First game: 15/12/18(A)
Second game: 23/02/19(H)
Last season, Historic Derby of England got off to a boring start with a draw, we again losing out on possession and total shots. However in the alternate match United got off to a great start with 2 goals inside 25 minutes, but again gave possession too much to the Reds and total shots were less compared to theirs.
This time here we capitalized on the chances we created. For upcoming season Alisson, Fabinho and Keita all set to be majorly involved in the games, United need to hold down main threat MoSalah and decrease the number of times Keita gets on the ball, because he can be a threat in the midfield with his ability to tackle and create chances.
Red Devils vs the mid and lower table teams:
With United improving their record against the mid and lower placed teams from Mou’s first season, we still lost the title to City because of the losses suffered against teams like Brighton, West Bromwich, Newcastle United and Huddersfield which account for 4 losses out of the total 7 losses. We are still in the vicinity of playing the ‘boring football’ which we were used to under the previous two managers Louis van Gaal and David Moyes.
“We started off well but then we got boring after a while,
I didn’t like that because I’m used to Manchester United being an attacking team.”
– Usain Bolt to Goal
With the involvement of Fred in the midfield, United need to keep possession of the ball and press charge while creating threatening chances in the opposition box. Alexis and Rashfords’ ability to cut through the defenders while Pogba chips in the ball to them should be used.
Alexis Sanchez has joined United’s pre season camp after his first post season off in 9 YEARS. If we can get a re-energised and hungry Alexis Sanchez, we’ll be a very lucky club and the fans will be delighted!
— The Man Utd Way (@TheManUtdWay) July 21, 2018
United haven’t played the 1-2 football for a while, which easily gets you through. With Luke Shaw rejecting a move away from Old Trafford and determined to keep his place for left back position, it needs to be seen what tactics Mourinho uses if at all Luke Shaw manages to win the managers’ heart again.
The Best Starting XI United have: