Last Saturday was a step in the right direction for Manchester United football club. Beating Manchester City at the Etihad 3-2 is proof that José Mourinho’s men are capable of winning the Premier League in the near future. It’s all well and good delaying your arch rivals from winning the title at your expense, but a club of United’s stature should be celebrating more than that.
In the past two seasons, José Mourinho has spent £350million at Old Trafford; such spending power should be reflected in the Red Devils’ silverware success. Next season, Manchester United must make sure we have an actual league title race.
Here’s what they need to do to make that happen.
3 Attacking Philosophy
In the second half at the Etihad, Manchester United showed the world their true attacking strength by scoring three quickfire goals at the expense of the champions-elect. When you have players like; Alexis Sánchez, Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard & Juan Mata, there’s no excuse for playing defensive football. José Mourinho has the tools at his expense to dominate football with attacking football, Saturday’s result proved that.
Manchester United should be taking games to opponents by dominating possession and deploying a high defensive line. With that approach, Manchester United would control games rather than continuously chasing them.
2 Utilise Martial & Rashford
What’s the point in having two of the best young talents in the world if you’re not going to use them efficiently? First, let’s start with Marcus Rashford. Yes, you may say that José Mourinho gives him sufficient playing time for his age, but when it’s not in his preferred position, how is he meant to develop? As a striker, Rashford is lethal, has intelligent movement and rapid at running in behind defences. On the flanks, he’s limited to beating full-backs and whipping in crosses for Lukaku.
In the special case of Anthony Martial, the Frenchman is a player with unlimited attacking potential. But for some reason, José Mourinho doesn’t seem to share that sentiment. This season the 22-year-old has been limited to just 21 starts, but even with such limited time, Martial has still managed to contribute 18 goals directly.
Now it’s reported that the Frenchman has rejected a new deal with the club, as he seeks for a move in the summer. I don’t know about you, but I have a feeling when Martial leaves Old Trafford, he’ll have similar success to the likes of Mohammed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne.
1 Play Paul Pogba in a three
Paul Pogba has become the most polarising figure in football. Everyone seems to have an opinion on him, mostly condescending views. But there’s no doubt about it; the Frenchman has the world-class ability in his feet. To get the best out of him, Pogba must be played in a midfield three, not a pivot.
In a pivot, the 25-year-old has too much defensive responsibility that restricts his creativity. In a three, he’s allowed to roam and travel from box to box. If you free the shackles from Paul Pogba, he will deliver, just like he did against Manchester City.