Manchester United has endured a tough start to the season. They lost 2 out of the opening 3 matches conceding 7 times in the same. There was an immense criticism of the playing style and the player’s will to play.If on-field issues were not enough, Manchester United faced considerable off-field issues. There was considerable speculation about Jose Mourinho’s position at Manchester United and even the future of certain star players, namely Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial.
Pile on! ? pic.twitter.com/5zWIp4tPIe
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 15, 2018
But, going into the International Break, Manchester United players seemed to turn all that criticism around. They won convincingly, scoring twice and conceding none, away at Burnley.After the International Break United was due to face an upbeat Watford, having won all 4 of their starting games. Kabasele, Watford’s star defender has attributed such form to a number of changes like a ban on baked beans.
Manchester United, however, had to focus on far more than a change of diet for their recent resurgence as they went on to win against Watford 2-1, courtesy of goals from Lukaku and Smalling.
We take a look at 3 main reasons behind Manchester United’s recent Resurgence:
1. Introduction of Marouane Fellaini
Manchester United have conceded goals in premium quantities in the opening few matches. That is very unlike a team being managed by Jose Mourinho. He had earlier agreed to have no idea about the best center-back pairing available to him. He had wanted a center-back in the summer but, for various reasons he was not provided with one and the effects of the failed transfer are made clear by United’s woeful defending. However, with the introduction of Fellaini into the line-up, the defense seems to be a lot more secure.
Matic had been underperforming this season so far and the next best alternative available to United is Fellaini. With his introduction, the defense had conceded only once in two games. Neither Fred nor Pereira could provide the cover that to the defense that Fellaini provides. Surely his introduction has been pivotal to the recent form.
2.The Diamond in Midfield
A change of formation has been an integral part of the resurgence. Mourinho has changed his formation into 4-1-2-1-2. This change has seen Pogba play much freely and influence the game much more than he could in the 4-3-3 system.
Playing behind Lingard, who plays as a number 10, and the pair of Lukaku and Sanchez, playing as the strikers, Pogba has been influencing the game. He has sparkled in the last two games. But, his game is still heavily dependent on other midfield players as was seen in the second half against Watford. But, surely it is a positive sign going forward for Manchester United.
3.Players have come out to defend Mourinho
There has been much talk going about the dressing room situation at Manchester United with much talk about the lost faith of players in Mourinho and his philosophy. Speculations went so far that even the possible replacements were being determined by the media. The speculations, even if not true, must have created a sense of unease in the dressing room. But, the players like Nemanja Matic, Romelu Lukaku and even Chris Smalling have spoken out in defense of Jose Mourinho and about the unity present in the dressing room of Manchester United.
This, coupled with support from the fellow managers have lifted the air of unease and reduced media speculation about Jose’s position at the club. This surely has helped the players to be united and show the will to work for the team and teammates. Even the results are reflecting this change and sense of unity at Manchester United.
Just seen yesterday’s match highlights and I must say I am extremely pleased for Fellaini.
Pogba was great as well and we looked more threatening because of the forward press.
Manchester United aren’t that bad as they are made out to be.
Also, kudos to Chris Smalling.
— The United Link ? (@TheUnitedLink) September 16, 2018
It remains to be seen whether these changes are gonna help Manchester United in their quest for maiden Premier League title since the Ferguson era and whether Manchester United can carry their momentum deep into the Premier League.