Manchester United look bereft of ideas on how to both hurt and stop teams which is a worrying combination given the daunting run of fixtures we have ahead.

We currently look an awfully expensive assembled bunch of individuals that have no idea of how to play together as a collective.

Yesterday showed again that we have the quality in abundance to have individual moments of world class brilliance as Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford showed.

Away from that though, it’s hard to envisage a pattern of play we regularly conjure up that carves teams open and creates a sense of panic in the opposition backline.

That’s in star contrast to Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool who all have an identity about them.

Pressing from the front isn’t an option

Leicester City v Manchester United - Premier League
(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo was never going to be brought back to Old Trafford to hassle and harry the opposition defenders from the front.

He didn’t do that when he was playing under Sir Alex Ferguson 13 years ago let alone now at the age of 36.

Solskjaer went with Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho, Mason Greenwood and Ronaldo in his starting line-up against Brendan Rodgers’ side.

On paper, a frightening line-up in possession, but out of possession, yes Fernandes covers the ground and presses from the front, but it almost seems like we’re caught between the two – do we go full press, or do we sit back and be a counter attacking team.

Leicester City v Manchester United - Premier League
(Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)

Unless you’ve got a front four of Rashford, Fernandes, Jesse Lingard and Edinson Cavani with the energetic and industrious trusted Solskjaer duo of Fred and Scott McTominay in behind, it’s hard to see the merits persisting with a press will bring.


Time and time again yesterday the likes of Youri Tielemans, James Maddison and Kelechi Iheanacho were all picking up pockets of spaces because the half-hearted press was easily penetrated through.

Our next two games against Atalanta and Liverpool are going to be against two sides that work incredibly hardly out of possession, we are going to have to match that work rate to earn the right to create goalscoring moments.

In possession Manchester United lack a plan

Leicester City v Manchester United - Premier League
(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

In Ronaldo’s first two Premier League matches since returning against Newcastle and West Ham, he had a combined 13 shots on goal (WhoScored).

Since then, he’s had a combined eight shots from the last three games.

United’s attacking threat is focused on getting the ball into the box into Ronaldo as quick as possible.

But away from that it’s difficult to see where the danger currently comes from.

Leicester City v Manchester United - Premier League
(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Rashford showed the rewards you can reap by running across the backline, but that’s something our legendary number seven can no longer do.

With the attacking options we have we should be creating chances at will from all angles.

Having a defensive midfielder who can penetrate the lines and the move the ball quickly is desperately needed, but there are other fundamental issues in this team that urgently need addressing.

Solskjaer needs to use the brief time he has on the training ground this week to come to a resolution on how he wants his Manchester United side to to play in and out of possession.

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