Man United made it 5 wins from the last 6 games in all competitions with an impressive display against Brighton yesterday.
Amongst the many highlights throughout the team was young Brandon Williams, who has been impressive in recent outings.
While Luke Shaw is out injured, Williams is staking his claim for the left-back spot. Making his first Premier League start following appearances largely in the cup competitions, Williams once again impressed.
Making 4 tackles, 2 interceptions and a passing accuracy of 84.9%, the 19-year-old seems to have taken it all in his stride. Alongside Williams 6.98 rated game by whoscored.com. Man Utd ran out 3-1 winners with both Rashford and Martial bagging either side of a Propper own goal.
Man United fans are a happy bunch once again, with plenty of praise for their players…
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side take on Partizan Belgrade tonight in the Europa League. Man United could seal qualification with 2 games to spare with this starting line up.
This game could give some first team regulars a chance to rest. If Man United are confident enough that they will qualify, some youngsters could get a look in.
Players like Marcus Rashford, Fred, Lindelof and Aaron Wan-Bissaka could get a rest. Why waste their energy that could be used in the league?
With that in mind, here is my prediction of how they could line up…
A 4-2-3-1 formation could see things change up a bit. There’s enough help in each area of the squad.
Solskjaer should also use this opportunity to use the young team members and give them a start.
18 year old James Garner could get a look in helping Scott McTominay. 19 year old Brandon Williams could help out in defence. However, eyes may be on 18 year old Mason Greenwood to see whether he could deliver up-front.
Nemanja Matic has rarely featured this season under new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. He made his first appearance in the 1-1 draw against Southampton as a substitute, a questionable decision as the defensive midfielder is far from a match-winner.
Matic’s first start for the Reds this season came against Leicester City as Pogba was out injured. Although the Serbian did little to harm the team’s performance, the introduction of Fred in his place allowed Man Utd to take much more control of the game, particularly in the midfield.
Falling out of the first team, Matic has been unhappy with the amount of game time he is currently getting. Now, Italians are set to hijack yet another Man Utd man as Juventus are weighing up a deal for Matic in January.
As January transfers are often difficult to accomplish, Solskjaer should begin preparing for his replacement by considering these two Serie A midfielders for the transfer window…
Man Utd could cleverly swap the experienced defensive midfielder for someone of similar calibre. Matuidi is one of the fiercest midfielders in the game, and would successfully serve as a more commanding figure than Matic in front of Man Utd’s back four.
Furthermore, Matuidi won the World Cup with Paul Pogba and the French connection in the midfield could give Man Utd an impressive second-half to the season.
Man Utd’s main problem in their unbeaten pre-season, was the 25-year-old Italian who ran the midfield in their face-off with AC Milan, scoring a wonderful goal.
Able to play the wing also, this attacking-midfielder has the creativity and finesse to massively increase Man Utd’s goal tally.
Although there would still be a hole in the defensive midfield position, Scott McTominay is rapidly becoming a solid first-team player for Man Utd.
Matic has been dropped to the bench behind Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba. With Pogba likely to leave in summer, Matic could be following suit.
Whilst the Reds desperately need first team midfielders, such as Bruno Fernandes or Christian Eriksen. They may have to replace a midfielder on the bench too.
Despite recent years indicating that Man Utd have little to no intention of investing in their squad, losing Pogba and Matic will mean that two or three midfielders must be acquired in summer.
Regarding this midfield crisis, here are two midfielders Man Utd should sign regardless of the futures of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic.
Man Utd are hopeless in creating chances. James Maddison, on the other hand, is fantastic at it. The Englishman created 100 chances in the Premier League last season, more than any other player.
The 22-year-old attacking midfielder fits the mould of Solskjaer’s ideal transfer target; young, talented and British.
Busquets made a name for himself by shining for Barcelona over the past decade. The 31-year-old would be a like-for-like replacement for Matic as the Spaniard enjoys sitting in front of the back four and guarding them.
A fairly big signing for Man Utd. He would replace Scott McTominay as the number one central defensive midfielder. Despite McTominay showing great professionalism and hard work, the 22 year-old doesn’t quite make the cut for being in a title contending side just yet.
In summer, Man Utd fans were disappointed by not obtaining any new midfielders. The consequences are already beginning to take place. The Reds already need at least one more first-team midfielder. Losing Pogba and Matic means at least three midfielders are needed, and getting them all is very unlikely.
So unfortunately for Man Utd fans, it appears that next season will be similar in terms of their midfield crisis.
Solskjaer’s Man Utd side has struggled this season after they thrashed Chelsea 4-0, picking up 2 points in three winnable games…
After a painful to watch 1-1 draw against Southampton away, the international break could not have come at a worse time. Solskjaer will be eager to get the lads together in order to fix as much as he can in a squad that lacks both depth and quality.
On the up-side, should some of their players have fantastic games for their countries, they could return with a fresh start and full of confidence.
For example, Marcus Rashford for England, Scott McTominay for Scotland and Daniel James for Wales are all players with enough quality to be key to Man Utd. Each of them has performed well in some areas, and poorly in others. If they can perform well for their countries, they should return with the self-belief to see them through the tough weeks ahead.
However, there are two players in particular who must perform well for their national sides in the Euro 2020 qualifiers. Proving to their club manager that their current dip in form is merely a blip and that they still have the quality to impact the squad.
Lingard has been under heavy scrutiny recently, due to his poor performances, lack of impact and seemingly undeserved trust from the manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
With players like Angel Gomes, Tahith Chong and Mason Greenwood all capable of taking Lingard’s various starting positions, he truly needs to up his game, as protection from Solskjaer can only go on for so long.
The Englishman has failed to record a Premier League goal or assist in the 2019 calendar year so far but has been selected for national duty based on previous good performances for England.
Matic has been entirely dropped for Man Utd’s starting eleven. Making only one brief appearance in an attempt to win the game in the closing minutes against Southampton. Yes, Solskjaer opted for a slow, lethargic defensive midfielder to clinch a win against Southampton…
However, Matic will face Portugal with Serbia. Portugal will be a heavily attacking, high quality and intense side to play against. Should Matic shine in this game with his once-notable ability to break down opposition attacks, he could find his way into Man Utd’s starting eleven, particularly against high quality, attacking sides.
Solskjaer’s Man Utd will be looking to avoid a repeat of last season where the Reds failed to beat Wolves and lost twice at Molineux.
After winning every single game of pre-season, the Red Devils marched on into the Premier League season with a 4-0 victory at Old Trafford over top four competitors Chelsea.
Solskaer’s team selection spoke volumes by dropping Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Nemanja Matic from the starting eleven. Having five academy graduates in the starting eleven and two on the bench tells you what direction Ole is steering the club in. The risk was worth the reward as the Reds thumped a very naive Chelsea.
Will Solskjaer go back to relying on experienced players or allow this winning formula to develop?
Most fans will want to see a very similar eleven walkout on Monday at Molineux. Scott McTominay is quickly becoming a fan favourite, covering more ground on the pitch than any other player against Chelsea and playing a large role in the slick passing from the back, he could be the answer to Man Utd’s midfield mayhem.
Pereira’s position of the interchanging attacking midfielder/right-winger appears to be up for grabs. The Brazilian failed to impact the game on the ball but impressed with high-pressing and an assist for Anthony Martial.
The defence of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw is looking like one of the best defences in English football. Chelsea managed to find themselves in some good positions. However, this may well be a result of the defence being brand new.
Anthony Martial is becoming much more instinctive as a number 9. He is more aggressive, vocal and attentive than ever before as he leads from the front. Having Marcus Rashford in and around him, challenging for that number 9 spot, Man Utd fans could see a lot of goals this season.
Wolverhampton Wanderers recently won a two-legged Europa League qualifier 8-0 on aggregate against Pyunik. But when the final 4-0 win takes place four days before a big game against Man Utd, it might not bode too well.
Top players such as Diego Jota and Leander Dendoncker amongst others featured in the victory and could get exposed by a very fit Man Utd come the Monday fixture.
On the flip side, Wolves are a team full of confidence. Alongside Everton and Leicester, Wolves are a team looking to put pressure on the top six. Beating Man Utd at home would be a good way for Wolves to show the league that they mean business.
Solskjaer is likely to go in a similar direction as he did against Chelsea. It appears he has given his side an identity and a philosophy to follow. His apparent trust in youth has allowed for the starting eleven to be stronger and more exciting, with two forwards who are eager to score.
Wolves could pick up a point against a less than clinical Man Utd. But the retrains of the Europa League will likely impact the squad and Solskjaer as ensured that his squad are one of the fittest in the league.
A 1-1 or a 2-1 victory for Man Utd would be safe judgement. Wolves will hold out for a draw, or a win if they find themselves 1-0 up. But the form of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial will definitely prove to be a challenge for Wolves.
Now that the transfer window has closed, The Football Manc Cave has predicted Manchester United’s starting line up for the season.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team start the season on Sunday the 11th of August and they’ll face Chelsea at 4.30pm.
The transfer window is now closed and one of the biggest talking points of the summer has been Harry Maguire. He’s joined Man United for a record-breaking fee. Aaron Wan-Bissaka has also joined the club and should have an impact on the squad going forward.
With that in mind, here’s the squad I’ve predicted…
Clearly, De Gea will open the line-up. Harry Maguire should then get his first start for the club to see how he’s blended in with the reds. Wan-Bissaka should also be started ahead of other options and be joined by Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling.
Despite Pogba’s future being questioned all summer, he’s ended up staying with the reds and should start this weekend with Scott McTominay accompanying him.
These two should then have the support of Rashford, Lingard and Daniel James. Martial should then be solo upfront. The formation could be changed, however, I do think this line up will be pretty similar to what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will pick.
Having new signing start is a risk, however, it’s the first game of the season and a chance to see how these players have gelled together and how they’ll cope.
After a lack of backing from the board, can Solskjaer patch up the squad with the youth in typical Man Utd fashion?
Many Man Utd fans would agree that their youth academy is one of the last aspects of the club they can be proud of.
This pre-season, we have seen the likes of Angel Gomes, Tahith Chong, James Garner and Mason Greenwood but heavily introduced into first-team football. And have by far been the most exciting thing about the club in recent years.
After the transfer window deadline day, Man Utd have been left with a very imbalanced team. The defence looks like the best in the league, whilst without Paul Pogba, their midfield is one of the worst. Attacking options are sparse as Solskjaer expects to achieve top four without any proven goalscorers after losing Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan.
Pre-season has taught us that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s high pressing and high-intensity football is too much for certain players, such as Nemanja Matic and Ashley Young. Despite being gifted footballers, their lethargic approach let the team down on many occasions. Juan Mata can still offer quality in the final third but is far too slow to keep up with the “Ole ball” style for 30/40 games a season.
What should this Man Utd squad look like on a weekly basis?
It is a fair assessment to assume that Solskjaer wants and needs experience in his side. But in due time, the criticism directed at certain players will become clear to the management, if it hasn’t already. Man Utd could set out with a very, very young squad. That would look a little something like this…
Despite having an average age of under 23 years old, this is one of Man Utd’s strongest squads. Assuming that the Red’s won’t be changing their approach to the sport mid-season.
Mason Greenwood is an important addition, being likened at Robin Van Persie at only 17 years old. He could add at least 10 Premier League goals with a full season. Rashford and Martial should be aiming for a minimum of 15 each.
Angel Gomes is almost like-for-like Juan Mata. Fantastic with his feet and his football brain, what he lacks in experience he makes up for in quality.
This leaves Man Utd’s two best midfielders to run the park. Pogba and McTominay. After no midfield signings were made for the club this summer.
Daniel James can be introduced into any of the front four positions, injecting great athleticism and speed into the team.
Should this starting 11 be frequent this season, and be in full throttle, Man Utd can break the top four. However, with Man Utd’s best squad being very young and Man Utd’s most experienced squad being very bad, there could easily be a few bumps in the road.
Should Solskjaer get the best out of these two players, we could see Man Utd in the race for top 3 all season.
Pre-season has been full of mixed emotions for Man Utd fans. Despite promising signings in Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James, the overhaul and rebuild are yet to be evidenced.
However, with four games on tour for the Red Devils, they have come away with four incredible wins.
Man Utd’s new style of play, “Ole ball”, requires a high press, a fit team and intelligent link-up play. Making the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic almost useless. With regards to this, it will be the youth that carries Man Utd to success this season.
The Football Manc Cave introduces two Red Devils who will transform this Man Utd side and make this season compared to last season look like night and day…
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has stated that Greenwood has a fair chance of starting the campaign against Chelsea. Across youth levels last season, Greenwood had 28 appearances, with 29 goals and 12 assists. He also bagged two fantastic goals in this summer’s pre-season.
The 17-year-old is Man Utd through and through. It would be a pleasure to watch him grow as the club regains their spot at the top of English Football.
Despite being unimpressive for Man Utd since his arrival, Solskjaer may be an angel in disguise for the Chilean forward. One of Sanchez’s only redeeming qualities last season was his tenacity in pressing high up the pitch. Unfortunately, his teammates didn’t follow.
With the new style of play, Sanchez fits in perfectly. He is versatile across the front four positions, enjoys a high press and can pick out brilliant passes when his teammates can be bothered to make movements.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been unbelievably crucial to Man Utd’s pre-season successes. He has increased the defensive stability ten-fold. Similar can be said for Scott McTominay, who is increasingly becoming a fan favourite. The Scotsman demonstrates professionalism, passion for the badge and absolutely runs the midfield when he’s on his A-game.