For the past six weeks Manchester United’s players have been focusing on keeping as fit as possible during a national lockdown.
For the club’s coaches, the break has provided a different type of challenge, with added man-management to keep in touch with all of the players. It has also provided time to plan ahead.
First team coach Kieran McKenna told the club website that the staff are planning tactical solutions, and looking at the best ways to reintegrate returning stars Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba into the team.
Pogba is thought to be ahead of Rashford in terms of recovering from injury. There is a chance both players feature if the season resumes.
McKenna talked up the importance of the star duo, and said: “We are hopefully going to have a full squad of players to work with, whenever we come back, in terms of injured boys coming back.
“So you are thinking about how we can re-integrate them, what the squad might look like with them boys back in and how we might look on the pitch.
“Obviously, those are two massively talented players who you are talking about and we have not really had them [together] all season.”
This is good to hear that United are focusing on the tasks ahead and the opportunities which can be taken advantage of with both Rashford and Pogba on the pitch together, combined with Bruno Fernandes and the rest of the team.
Rashford, when fit, is likely to take up his position on the left of attack.
Pogba could feature in a midfield three, or as part of a diamond if United opt for four midfielders.
United demonstrated tactical flexibility this past season by flitting between a 4-2-3-1 and a 3-4-1-2 formation seamlessly, sometimes mid-match.
This showed good tactical awareness from both the coaching staff and the players themselves.
McKenna referencing Pogba is a positive sign too which shouldn’t be taken for granted. His comments demonstrate United are clearly planning for a future with the Frenchman for now.
It wouldn’t be a surprise either if United’s staff are planning ahead tactically for next season too, as well as just the possible resumption of play this season, and looking at potential line-ups and formations for 2020/21 with new signings mixed in.
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