Manchester United passed their first test with flying colors against Chelsea and now must take on a much tougher foe in Wolves. The Wolves squad has a strong tight-knit unit that makes it difficult to beat them. Their team spirit is one of their best attributes. They are never really out of a game even when they’re losing.
We lost last season twice to Nuno Espirito Santo’s men. In each game they were well organized, and compact in both the midfield and defense. Their forwards Diogo Jota and Raul Jimenez were constant threats going forward and they placed pressure on our defenders. We’ll have to be ready to deal with their intelligent runs that they make on and off the ball and into the box.
United were sloppy with the ball both times we faced the men in yellow and black. Many times the Red Devils lost the ball in midfield, and in the final third defensively. We can’t afford the same mistakes against a team that ruthlessly punished us especially on the counter-attack where we were the most vulnerable. Ole should make sure that the midfielders fight to win the ball back whenever we lose it and also win any 50-50 balls.
We need to play the ball forward as quickly as possible. I believe we that Ole should use a 4-2-3-1 system to help to protect the back four. Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba should be placed deep in midfield with Jesse Lingard at an advanced position being placed at the top of the diamond.
Andreas Pereira was mostly poor in the Chelsea game. He didn’t make the right decisions with the ball and lost it at times. Although our whole midfield also had that problem. He was probably the biggest culprit. Anthony Martial should be on the left wing and Daniel James on the right. Then Marcus Rashford in the centre-forward position.
Our back four should be Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka. I believe Wolves played a similar formation last year when they faced them twice. We just need to keep our concentration and just be careful with the decisions that we make with the ball. Once we are organized and compact from back to front, defend well and we take our chances, then we’ll be fine.
We have to keep their wingers quiet like Jonny and Ruben Neves that supplies the ball to Jimenez and Jota. Keeping possession of the ball especially in our final third of the field and in their final third the field and playing directly against them will put them under constant pressure. These are the things that we need to do to win the game.
How should Ole approach this game against Wolves? What do you think should be the formation and starting line-up?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will make two changes to his line-up against West Ham when they visit Old Trafford for Saturday’s league match. The game will start at 12:30 pm (17:30 BST) time. Ashley Young received a red card against Wolves last week and Luke Shaw also received his 10th booking of the season in that match also. That means that he’ll serve a two-match ban that is going to also rule him out of the trip to Everton on April 21.
Shaw also received a one-match ban after he was booked in Wednesday’s Champions League quarterfinal match with Barcelona. He will not feature in the return leg on Tuesday at the Camp Nou. So that means Diogo Dalot may start at right back and Marcus Rojo most likely at left-back. Matteo Darmian and Antonio Valencia are still both unavailable due to injury.
Eric Bailly is still not fit after he suffered a head injury while he was on international duty a few weeks ago. Ole could choose a pairing of either Chris Smalling, Phil Jones or Victor Lindelof. Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera both missed Wednesday’s game against Barcelona and we’ll have to see if they will be on the team sheet come Saturday. Ole said that Alexis Sanchez should be available for the game against the Hammers.
Ole in his post-press conference gave an update on the Chilean striker. “He has done lots of injury work and is now injury free,” said Ole. “Now he’ll step up and train with the team. He will probably be in the squad for West Ham on Saturday and let’s see how much, and if he plays.”
Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial and may be able to start in the line-up this weekend. Marcus Rashford played for most of the game against Barcelona and should start.
As for West Ham, Felipe Andersen returned from injury at Stamford Bridge and Michail Antonio missed the game after suffering from a groin tear. But he may be fit for the game against United. Samir Nasri picked up an injury at Chelsea and now may not feature for West Ham this Saturday. Jack Wilshere and Carlos Sanchez will most likely miss this game because they have long-term injuries.
Andre Reid, Andriy Yarmolenko and Andy Carroll are not expected to play again this season.
Anthony Martial has had many chances to prove his worth at Manchester United, but yet still he isn’t able to do that on a regular basis. When he arrived in September 1, 2015 it was the highest fee paid for a teenager at £ 36 million. The youngster was full of promise and he showed his prowess and his abilities in the first 2 or 3 seasons. But since then he has waned. In the 2017-18 season he made 30 appearances and had 9 goals and 12 of those as a substitute.
Obviously he has some injury issues that has affected his form. But when he has had a consistent run of games his form has been quite dismal. Even under Jose Mourinho in the 2 seasons prior he had looked lackluster. Now, I believe that under Ole he has shown better form but its still not up the high levels that he maintained in his first 2 seasons. The Frenchman still doesn’t show his full repertoire of skills that he is capable of. Whenever I watch him play he tends to drift in and out of games or he doesn’t show that eagerness and confidence to take players on.
He is well-known for his dribbling skills and great pace. You only see that in spurts in matches and then he goes back to being disinterested in the game. Well at least it seems that way to fans and commentators. He’s only 23 and we know he still has an abundance of energy. But Martial doesn’t seem to have the motivation in order to make himself a real force in games again.
Martial’s game should of progressed much more since he arrived at Old Trafford, but he seems to have regressed in certain aspects of his game. Sometimes he doesn’t take on defenders and use his pace on a consistent basis and he also fails to make runs into the box. Martial also opts to pass the ball or doesn’t want to shoot at goal when he has the opportunity to do so.
Ole has very good man-management skills and has gotten the best out of almost everyone on the team. I hope that Ole can help him continue to improve now and in the future and get him back to the great form that he exhibited a few years ago. Its either that or he may have to leave the club.
Do you think Martial should still be a United player?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed to United’s vice-chairman Ed Woodward that he wants the club to sell Alexis Sanchez, Marcos Rojo and Antonio Valencia. According to the sportbible.com Solskjaer is involved in the planning process for certain areas of the squad that he wants to improve next season. In order for the club to buy players next season they also have to sell a few players so the they can balance the books.
These players apparently aren’t in the plans of the manager next season. Antonio Valencia will be out-of-contract at the end of the season. The manager may be looking at other options at the wing-back position and may not offer him a new one year contract. As for Marcos Rojo his season has been hampered by injuries and he has only made three appearances so far.
Alexis Sanchez has had a stop and start season because of his knee and hamstring injuries. He hasn’t been able to show the stellar form that he had at Arsenal. The Chilean also earns around £ 400,000-a-week this has reportedly made contract negotiations difficult with David De Gea and so by selling Sanchez the club would be able to balance the books better.
Do you agree with United getting rid of these players?