The international break is upon us again and for Manchester United at least, has rolled around at a bad time. No team wants to end on a defeat with a 14-day gap before you can put things right.
Despite Manchester City blowing away teams in the opening part of the season, it should be remembered that this is the best start to a campaign for United since the last title win in the 2012/13 season.
With the international break in mind, here are five things which I would like to see improved, as the season progresses into the winter months.
1 – Jose’s Media Comments
Now we all know that Jose Mourinho is press conference gold. Saying things to get up the noses of opposition managers. But just lately, his comments have been loosely aimed at home supporters and maybe even players. This has to stop. Latest rumours to hit the red tops are that Jose is courting PSG. The rest of the world will always comment on trying to bring down United, we need to make a siege mentality and really keep the circle closed.
2 – Revert Back To A Four
United at present are struggling to get into any sort of rhythm. The opening six games of the season, albeit against lesser opposition, saw United playing in a 4-3-3 type system which enabled both an attacking style and defensive solution. Once the big games began, Mourinho tried to play a more defensive style by playing three central defenders. Can we stop this please and go back to early season patterns of play and dynamics?!
3 – Square Pegs, Round Holes
It’s a bugbear of mine, but it seems to be the latest trend for managers to play certain players in a new position. Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia are my case in point. Both decent wingers in their own rights yet being asked to play at full backs or even wing backs in this dreaded three at the back strategy. Now people will say that Valencia had a decent season last year, agreed, but he still featured in a defence who finished in sixth place. Daley Blind at left full back and Matteo Darmian on the right, all day long for me.
4 – Service To Lukaku
Now many people will point to that fact that United have gone off the boil lately and the reason for that is that we haven’t had Paul Pogba pulling the strings. For a team to rely so heavily on one player to be the orchestrator of the side, is footballing suicide. Juan Mata is more then capable of supplying the ammo yet since the change of system, has barely featured. The frustrating part to this is that since the Liverpool game, United seem to be defending deep and then just shelling it up to Lukaku and expecting him to work miracles. Henrik Mkhitaryan has been receiving some bad press lately for recent performances yet all we are doing is missing him out all the time. Come on Jose, get us playing again and not just against the bottom sides. Be brave.
5 – United to Act in January
Last season, Jose decided that there was no value in the January market and decided to not bring anyone else into the squad. Now whether or not this was his idea or the board’s, no one will really know. A central midfield player is a must. Someone who can do things in both penalty areas. We certainly don’t need another number ten, or a holding midfielder, but someone who can sit back when needed or break past the forwards and support play if needed. Knowing how stubborn the boss can be, Mourinho will probably say that he is happy with what he has. Pogba, Ibrahimovic, Rojo and even Luke Shaw, are all due to come back imminently. My only concern is that if Pogba gets injured again, the wheels may just come off the wagon once more.
Once the international break is finished, United need to go full speed ahead in their pursuit of neighbours, Manchester City.
Glory, Glory Man United.