Three questions for Manchester United after Burnley defeat

Manchester United’s 2020 went from bad to worse last night with a 2-0 defeat against Burnley at Old Trafford.

It was an abject performance and the sight of fans chanting against the Glazers and leaving early in their droves summed it up.

There are plenty of questions for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to answer now and we’ve picked out three of the most pressing.

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What was the plan?

United enjoyed a decent opening to the game but failed to turn the openings that created into a shot on target.

Thereafter, it was abject. And as United ran out of time, they also swiftly ran out of ideas.

That’s where a well-drilled team would fall back on their gameplan which is designed to accentuate their strengths and hide their weaknesses.

Plenty has been made of the lack of quality Solskjaer has in his squad but other sides in the Premier League have less talent.

What they have is well-honed gameplans which the players buy into and are familiar with.

Beyond counter attacking, Solskjaer has had a year and come up with nothing. United looked like a side with no ideas last night.

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Why didn’t Greenwood start?

Marcus Rashford’s absence and the fact it was a home match against a team lower down the league might have had many fans expecting Mason Greenwood to start last night.

That wasn’t the case and United were unable to capitalise on their early dominance.

Solskjaer has taken a cautious approach with Greenwood.

24 hours after another teenage striker, Gabriel Martinelli, starred for Arsenal at Stamford Bridge, Solskjaer – who has a reputation for bringing through young players – left Greenwood on the bench at home to Burnley.

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How much worse will it get?

United face an away FA Cup tie, Manchester City in the EFL Cup and a home league visit from Wolves before the winter break.

After two defeats without a goal, the mood around the club and the nature of the upcoming assignments means this poor run could snowball.

Solskjaer does not seem to have too many ideas on how to change the momentum.

Last night felt like a new low, but United fans shouldn’t rule out the fact it could get even worse in the weeks to come.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.