Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has done a wonderful job since he became United’s caretaker manager 3 months ago. After losing just once in his last 17 games, the Norwegian has now lost 2 in a row. We knew that he would have a little blip in results at some point in time and that this magical run the team has been on wouldn’t last forever. But now United are in a position where we are chasing Arsenal who’s in 4th place after we lost to them 2-0 at the Emirates. We also lost to Wolves 2-1 at Molineux.
Now Solskjaer has to re-think his strategies and make a few changes to his lineup. We need to get back on track quickly. At least we can be happy that we are only 2 points and a place behind Arsenal in 5th place, and we are still in the Champions League. I believe Solskjaer is a bright young coach who can help us find the momentum again. His team plays attacking football that is entertaining and effective.
So what needs to change? The team needs to get back to the way in which we played before the two consecutive loses. We need to use the high pressing tactic that has made us so successful. Another thing that we need to do is play a quick consistent tempo of passing and movement on and off the ball. Defensively we were poor and we lacked organization and compactness. If we can get back to doing those things regularly then we should be fine. We lacked those attributes of our game in the losses to Arsenal and Wolves.
The line-up would need to be tweaked. Ashley Young and Romelu Lukaku were both injured for this game. Alexis Sanchez has a medium to long-term injury so we’ll have to wait a while longer for his return. Lukaku was missing from the line-up in the Wolves game and that obviously hurt us. He has been in a rich vein of form recently. Ashley Young has been a consistent performer in the team, so that will make us stronger when he returns to the squad. I would keep the back line of Shaw, Lindelof, and Smalling and bring Young back to the left-back spot.
I would also insert Juan Mata into the line-up in midfield because he is creative and an excellent passer of the ball. The Wolves game needed a more creative player that could open up the defense. So even though the coach didn’t want to start him he should of at least brought him on earlier in the game when we were down 1-0. Ander Herrera does a fine job, but maybe based on the system and team Mata could be a better fit to start occasionally. Also Anthony Martial just came back from injury so we’ll have to give him sometime before he regains his form.
We only have two months left of the season and Solskjaer doesn’t have much time to turn around the ship. He needs to get the team thriving again.