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THE MANCHESTER CRISIS.

Updated: Jan 25



The 2022-2023 season has already started after August and 5 game weeks have passed in the premier league, with Arsenal sitting at the top of the table.


Since Sir Alex left the Old Trafford technical area, a trophy is a distant thing, Manchester United have failed to secure the top 4 several times & the brand of football has been abysmal under 5 managers.


The fans who couldn’t even think of a trophyless season under Sir Alex Ferguson have seen their club win only 2 major trophies in the past 10 seasons and naturally all rage is now directed towards club owners for their mismanagement during the transfer windows.


To resolve the crisis Erik Ten Hag has been appointed as the new boss, a very technical guy & one who can develop players.


Manchester United so far -This season.


After the arrival of a new manager, all hopes were high, especially after a good pres-season display. The only disappointment was in the signings as the manager didn’t receive his desired signings before the start of the season even after so much fury among fans over the mismanagement for the past 9-10 years. As the season started all hopes were shattered as The Red Devils lost back to back 2 opening games, including a 4-0 humiliation against Brentford. Though they won the next 3 games the brand of football, streets behind the top European level and not at all of Erik Ten Hag’s brand of football.


Overall Analysis:


For a quick overall analysis of the season so far for Manchester United, they have done terribly wrong while following the build-up from the back play-style in their first 2 games.


De Gea is not a good ball distributing Goalkeeper & Manchester didn’t even look for such a Keeper in the transfer market until after 2nd game when De Gea’s mistakes cost United 2 early goals. From the 3rd to the 5th game De Gea has played long balls, not taking risks.


With Harry Maguire in defence and wearing the captain's armband, the defence was looking shaky, uncoordinated, and slow and Luke Shaw on the left back poor, unable to do any line-up plays with midfield.


The no of times Tyrell Malacia came on the pitch as substitute he has had great spells. Hence from 3rd match Maguire & Luke Shaw were benched, giving Varane & Tyrell Malacia the start they deserved. Since then Manchester United’s defence looked solid, conceding only one goal in against one if the favourites, Liverpool in 3 games.


The % of ground & areal duels won, and tackles won, by the defence have improved a lot. But their midfield is nowhere near ok still after 5 games.


In the forward, Marcus Rashford is inconsistent and doesn’t fall back to help with defensive work or press from the forward line. In modern-day football, defence starts from the forward line, Rashford and Elanga fall short of performing that role and with such poor midfield, opponents so easily progress the ball to United’s final third.


The Midfield Crisis :

For at least 3-4 seasons now United’s midfield crisis has been left unsolved. With the likes of Mc Tominat, and Fred there was no quality off the ball, no creativity with the ball. Matic used to show some character, doing the dirty work as a CDM needs to do but Fred and Mc Tominay have never shown any intent to press, win ground & aerial duels, win the 2nd balls. They lack the quality, creativity, and vision to make the ball progress through the midfield. In this season, in all 5 games, Manchester United's midfield crisis has popped up. With the addition of Christian Eriksen the ball progression capacity has surely improved a little but there is lots of room for improvement and in the department of winning duels, United is no good. A good midfield helps you to dominate the game & United has failed to dominate in any of the games.



Addition of Casemiro & Antony.


In the past few weeks, United have shocked the world by signing Casemiro from Real Madrid , a move no one ever expected to happen. Casemiro has won 5 Champions League with Real Madrid and 3 La Liga titles , everyone knows the role played by the destroyer in Madrid midfield alongside the likes of Toni Kroos & Luka Modric. As United have been in un-fruitful search for such a CDM with quality to disrupt opppositon’s play and also play progressive passes there is hope in the Sir Alex Ferhuson stand that United’s midfield would get better from here on.

United could also sign the Brazilian young winger and Eric Ten Hag’s long term target Antony , who comes with a lots of quality that United needs on that right wing . In that line-up Sancho can be put on the left wing from where he has a good goal scoring potential. Antony helps in the defensive work rate and so does Sancho , hence United’s problem of wingers not dropping deep to defend would probably be solved in coming days .


What I believe : is United still needs a ball carrying creative midfielder who can help to by-pass the press from opposition especially , help in ball progression and help United dominate the midfield like Frankie De Jong , whome United have chased for 2 months but have failed to bring in the Dutch International.


United would be up against Artetas new Arsenal today and if United play the same way they have been playing , Arsenal can hurt United really bad.



Probable Line ups and Formation vs Arsenal.





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