Same Old Mistakes
It took Manchester United all of 2 games to expose their frailties; a weak mentality and poor decision-making from the manager. I am not a fair-weather, modern Manchester United fan that cannot accept a setback. I have seen my share of setbacks as a United fan and there have been a lot of it since Sir Alex Ferguson retired. I am just calling it a spade, a spade.
Pre-season I had pointed out that if we didn’t improve in these aspects, we will be left empty-handed again. There is no point chasing and signing world-class players if the manager is cautious. After a great start to the season, I understand why the manager would not want to change too much of the first eleven. They played well enough to start the second game. The only change I would have made was to include Jadon Sancho from the start instead of Dan James. He is a player we have chased over 2 transfer windows, haggling over the price in a long-drawn-out saga. When he is finally here, he is sat on the bench. He might have started training with the first team later than the rest but for a talent like that, you can take a risk and play from the start. If it doesn’t work or if he gets tired later, you can always make a change. Perhaps the Leeds game came too soon for Sancho but surely not Southampton.
Instead of making a straight swap and leaving Mason Greenwood as a centre forward, he puts Greenwood on the right wing and brings in Anthony Martial. A manager lives and dies by his decision and if the player justifies his selection, he is acclaimed, if not, he gets criticised. But Martial did little to justify his selection which leads us to question what Solksjaer sees of Martial in training that we don’t see in matches? Fred deserved his selection but it was not working out for him the longer the match went on which leads to the question of why we need to keep fielding two defensive midfielders in the centre when one would do. To be fair, he didn’t do too badly yesterday but he got into positions where someone more attack-minded would have done something incisive. This leads us to one of our greatest mysteries, WHY DID WE SIGN DONNY VAN DE BEEK FOR?! We were chasing a result or at least I thought we were looking to win. Van de Beek should have been brought on sooner to affect a positive change. Far from being brought on, he was sat on the bench for the second game running!
If you don’t take a risk, if you are not bold, you will not win. It’s as simple as that. The handling of Van de Beek is so frustrating. Former United players; captains, players that have won trophies for United playing under Sir Alex Ferguson who was brave and bold more often than not can’t understand why we need two defensive midfielders. They can’t understand why Solksjaer favours Fred so much. But what do they and we know? We are not at the training sessions watching the team train. Nemanja Matic came in for Scott McTominay, who had a slight injury. People complain that he is slow and old but he was far more positive with his passes and movement than Fred. He played better than Fred and got tired towards the end.
Cautious Mentality and Weak
As long as this mentality remains, we will not win anything. The substitutions again took too long to be made besides the Sancho one which is another frustration in Solksjaer’s era. It doesn’t seem like he has learnt from past mistakes. It seems like he can have all the world-class players he likes but as long as he doesn’t know how to use them and is not brave enough, we will pay the price for it. As for the players, they could have done more to have won the game. We should have taken the lead with one of our dangerous set-pieces in the first half but all throughout the game at the back, we have been sloppy which is how we got punished. I do not agree that it was a foul on Bruno Fernandes in the lead up to Southampton’s goal. Anywhere in Europe, it’s possible to be given but not in England. We were in the ascendancy after equalising but we got sloppy and handed the initiative back to Southampton and failed to regain impetus after that. All that is down to the players and their mentality. It looked like the players were leggy and tired. The passing was slower and less sharp. Again, we are struggling to break down teams that defend deep.
Different Season, Same Shit
The season is only two games old and it might seem extreme to react so strongly to the first points dropped this season but this is just a consequence of seeing the same mistakes repeated time and again. Different season, same old rubbish.