Three Manchester United players who lacked quality against Arsenal
Manchester United fans would have been hoping that a win against Arsenal would have been the springboard to kickstart their season, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s stuttering form and lack of cutting edge proved all too apparent once again.
A 1-1 draw against Arsenal isn’t the worst result in the world, but just like Manchester United right now, the Gunners aren’t the force they once were, Unai Emery’s side were there for the taking.
The Red Devil’s could have moved above Arsenal with the three points, but instead finish the night in tenth place, four points above the relegation zone.
The game was a scrappy affair, which lacked the quality this iconic fixture previously produced in abundance. Here are three United players who struggled to produce any moments of quality…
Lingard just simply didn’t look at the races and as the games pass by, there is a growing quandary as to what he actually contributes to the team.
He hasn’t scored in 21 games, is it time for Solskjaer to drop the academy graduate and give Pogba a chance to flourish further up the pitch and give Fred a run in the side.
In a big must-win home game against a top four rival, United’s number ten managed only 24 touches in 73 minutes before being brought off.
Liverpool and Manchester City have set the bar, that’s where United want to be, Lingard may have come through the academy system, but Solskjaer may have to become ruthless and make some bold choices regarding the futures of the club’s homegrown talent, if United have serious aspirations to get back to the very top.
The return of Rashford was a surprise after he hobbled off against West Ham, but the Englishman looked jittery in front of goal.
There have been question marks surrounding Rashford’s ability to become a lethal goalscorer, on the evidence against Arsenal, he looked a man who was doubting his own ability and timid when put front on goal.
Arsenal’s talisman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang showed United what they are missing after he elegantly lifted the ball over David de Gea to highlight the composure, killer instinct and thirst for goals he possesses.
If Solskjaer believes that Rashford can become a 20 to 30 goal a season striker, there is going to have to be a dramatic improvement in his desire to score all types of goals. There were occasions when Daniel James was crossing the ball to the near post and Rashford was nowhere to be seen.
When Aaron Wan-Bissaka was ruled out of the game due to illness, having Axel Tuanzebe at left-back would have seemed highly unprobeable.
However, as much as Tuanzebe impressed against Arsenal’s club-record signing Nicolas Pepe, Ashley Young struggled to contain Gunners’ youngster Bukayo Saka.
United’s captain was reluctant to give the Gunners winger any space to run into, which resulted in the 34-year-old frequently diving in on Saka and committing rash fouls.
It is clear how Young wants to play at full-back, he wants to get as tight as possible to his man, so he doesn’t have to engage in a one v one battle. In the attacking phases he is always looking to get that ball delivered into the box. He attempted 10 crosses against Arsenal. Four were successful.
Young has starting this many games is not ideal, especially of this magnitude, he should be being used sparingly, but it highlights how thin Solskjaer’s squad is.
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