Manchester United have had many glory days at Wembley. But the recent performance on Sunday was deserving of a preseason friendly than a FA Cup semifinal.
Let us discuss the failings of Manchester United at different levels. The elephant in the room is the team selection. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer decided to change both his players and tactics to deal with Chelsea’s fearsome attack. Note the sarcasm here.
In order to deal with Chelsea’s attack, Ole had the bright idea of blunting his own attack. Ole sacrificed Martial, Greenwood, Pogba and added inconsistent players like Bailly and James. Pogba has recently shown passion and energy towards the United shirt. He recently expressed a high desire to win both the FA Cup and Europa League. What was the manager’s response? Drop the lad. The result was a lethargic and casual performance. United played with no team cohesion. Dropping in firm players like Martial and Greenwood made no sense. Dropping one in order to give him a breather is acceptable. Dropping them both is catastrophic. This is not a league match. This is an elimination match. Form is the most important quality here. Ole should realise that he is Man United’s Manager. He has no obligation to play the squad players in order to give them play time. His primary objective is to win the match playing attractive football. Ole previously had his foot on the gas pedal. He then decided to apply the brakes because it was not getting as much attention as the gas pedal.
The next problem were the players mindset. There was no urgency, no seriousness. In the first half, the defense was playing the ball amongst themselves as if we were leading the match by two goals. Players like Bruno, Rashford did not see much of the ball. There was some improvement in the second half but then comes another problem.
David de Gea. What do we do with him ? He has saved Man United on countless occasions. But this season, he has been our weak link. Dean Henderson’s form has further complicated the situation. The solution seems to be to play Sergio Romero in all matches this season. Man United have knockout matches both in the Premier league and the Europa League. There is no room for mistakes and the stakes are very high. At the end of the season, Ole will have to talk with both David and Dean and decide the right number 1 between the sticks.
Ole will have to take the right turns to make the most of this season and to make it successful.