Monday , March 1 2021

The Manchester United stat that proves this is a team going nowhere – Manchester Evening News, Manchestereveningnews.co.uk

Top four race

Chelsea’s failure to beat – man Arsenal on Tuesday night again opened the door for Manchester United to capitalise in what isn’t likely to go down as a top four race for the ages.

Frank Lampard’s side have been stuttering since late November, dropping points in their last

Premier League games. But on seven of the eight occasions they’ve failed to win in that run, United have also failed to claim all three points. They’ve now dropped 18 points of their own in the last games.

The top four has been there for United this season, but their failure to grasp an opportunity that has been gifted to them shows just how far off the pace this squad is.

United are points worse off than they were after 25 games of last season. This is a team that’s going backwards, not forward. Fortune has favored them this season, it has given them the chance to qualify for the Champions League with what will undoubtedly be the lowest points total to claim fourth the Premier League has seen, but on this evidence they aren’t good enough to achieve it .

Chelsea have done their best to open the door for United, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have so far only managed to walk into the wall. It’s difficult to see how that will change over the next 22 games. United ended this defeat against Burnley one goal against away from dropping to sixth, behind Tottenham on goals scored.

Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal will all expect to improve significantly next season under Lampard, Jose Mourinho and Mikel Arteta. United will have to find plenty of improvement of their own, or they will be left behind.

Wan-Bissaka

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One positive for United was the impact of Aaron Wan-Bissaka down the right-hand side. For much of the first half, in particular, he was the best attacking weapon, regularly finding space deep in Burnley territory and on three occasions he put in crosses that could have been converted by Anthony Martial, Juan Mata and Daniel James.

Wan-Bissaka has often played behind James on the right wing this season, with the Wales attacker often staying wide on the right rather than cutting in and therefore denying the full-back space to get forward.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka was one of United’s most dangerous attackers against Burnley

But in the first half Mata was in front of Wan-Bissaka, but the left-footed did drift inside, thus giving Wan-Bissaka more space to exploit, which he did well.

United need more from their full-backs in an attacking sense, but this was a sign that their £ million right-back may well have more to offer going forward than we’ve seen so far.

Game changers

There was some surprise that the injury to Marcus Rashford did not lead to a start for Mason Greenwood , but Solskjaer was hamstrung by the desperate lack of depth in this squad.

By promoting Greenwood he would have been left without any kind of game-changing attacking player from the bench, which is a fall-back every manager wants.

In the end Solskjaer had to break glass to release his emergency attacker at half-time, not a scenario he would have envisaged before kick-off. When United went 2-0 down it was Luke Shaw and Jesse Lingard who were called on, few people idea of ​​players who are likely to turn the tide in the final third.

United have been short of attacking options all season and now the injury to Rashford and Daniel James’ loss of form are costing them.

Atmosphere

It took 80 minutes for the anti – Ed Woodward ) and anti-Glazer chants to start from the Stretford End this week, with the soporific football on offer not doing enough to calm an atmosphere that was always going to be on edge.

The Stretford Enders did manage to generate some good noise during the game, with a prolonged ‘Red Army’ early in the second half to try and inspire United, but it was impossible not to spot the empty seats in that stand once again, as well as plenty in the upper tier of the Sir A Lex Ferguson stand.

Evidently watching United under this regime is becoming a chore for some, especially when the weather is as Mancunian as it was on Wednesday night. Those who stayed away won’t have felt they’d made the wrong decision as they watched on from living rooms or pubs.

Burnley’s second goal was a catalyst for more protests. “We want our United back” was quickly followed by “Stand up if you hate Glazers” and “We want Glazers out.”

The protests may not yet be reaching the green and gold nadir of 01575879 / 12, but the direction of travel is clear and the message is coming from those in the stands and those that are staying away. Old Trafford has had enough of this regime.

Defensive errors

Before Sunday’s trip to Liverpool Solskjaer was talking of a United back four that could gradually establish themselves as one of the Premier League’s best.

That was on the basis of three clean sheets in four games and did include the ill Victor Lindelof rather than Phil Jones, but this was Further proof that they are performing well short of expectations in defense.

Maguire is looking nowhere near an £ million million back and he was comfortably outshone by Jones against Burnley. His distribution was poor and he was too far away from Chris Wood when United defended the free-kick which led to them falling behind.

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