With the dust settling after another stalemate at Old Trafford, United now must pick themselves up and go again. The 1-1 draw to Bournemouth was United’s seventh draw at home this season meaning there have been fourteen points dropped against lower league opposition like Bournemouth, Burnley, West Ham and Stoke. Despite only losing one game so far this season, United have still only won six matches on home soil.
Positives include the current 18 match unbeaten run in which The Red Devils find themselves still on. However, in that time goals as well as wins have also been hard to come by. There have been only 20 scored so far this season in front of their own fans. The defensive side of their game has been impeccable at times, and with only ten goals conceded at home, it’s still individual errors which are costing United points.
Phil Jones had a rush of blood to the head on Saturday which gave Bournemouth the chance to take a point, and they clung on to that like their lives depended on it. United spurned many chances in front of an Artur Boruc inspired goal. Zlatan was the one who most could point the finger of blame at. It’s not many times this season Ibra has let down his team mates, but today a chance from three yards out which struck his wrong leg and went away from goal plus a missed penalty, put paid to his recent headline grabbing ways.
Defensive lapses have been few and far between for United. Annoyingly for all, when they happen it normally means dropped points. They never seem to happen when there is a three goal cushion, a lapse of concentration once the game is safe and put to bed. These errors always seem to occur at key moments which derails a performance and takes the shine off what should be a solid win and three more points on the board.
Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo and as recently as Jones, have all been guilty over the last six to eight months of gifting opposition chances. Jose will no doubt look to strengthen this area in the summer as his teams are renowned to be very stingy at allowing opposition strikers near the goal. His Chelsea team went on a record breaking clean sheet during his first spell at the club. Both stints at Madrid and Inter saw title winning seasons with goals against kept at a minimum.
The next week sees United travel to FC Rostov in Russia in a bid to get back to winning ways. After the weekend’s result the Europa League could now become Mourinho’s number one target. Qualification for the Champions League will be vital if United want to capture their top targets this summer. Two seasons without being in the top trophy would no doubt have sponsors having itchy feet over new deals.
United need to tighten up their backline between now and the end of the season or the boss might just find the bank of Old Trafford has tightened up for him.