Happy New Year to everyone reading this. Hope you have a better 2018 than 2017.
Manchester United were held to a draw (0-0) by Southampton this Sunday and slipped to third behind Manchester City and Chelsea. It was another match that reminded the Old Trafford faithful of the Louis van Gaal era. The team lacked intensity, inspiration and desire to win.
Although Jose Mourinho can’t be the only being blamed, he should take the onus upon him for strange tactics were applied to the United lineup.
Behind Lukaku, all three consisting of Mata, Mkhitaryan and Lingard were playing in unnatural positions; Mata out wide on the right, the Armenian wide on the left and Lingard playing as number 10 when Lingard would have happily slotted into either wing with either Juan or Henrikh could have played the number 10 role better.
Romelu Lukaku was substituted after 14 minutes after a clash of heads and was replaced by Marcus Rashford who played the number 9 role for the rest of the game. The injury got the United fans panicking but it was later confirmed it was not as bad as it was initially feared. Romelu Lukaku did not have to be taken to the hospital and so remains in contention for United’s trip to Goodison Park, Lukaku’s old stomping ground.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been declared out for another month by manager Jose Mourinho. “It’s a big problem. He’s a 37 year old with a bad knee” was the gaffer’s reaction to being asked about the Ibra situation post match.
Pogba makes rousing call
Paul Pogba, who wore the armband against Southampton, said the team needs to “wake up” if they want to keep up their charge for the title. Many United fans found it ironic, after he scored an offside goal which would have crept in had he not touched it, and would have given Mourinho’s men the three points.
There are lots of transfer rumours swirling around as is customary at this time of the year. Paulo Dybala of Juventus, Malcolm of Bordeaux and Cristiano Ronaldo lead the list of probables heading to the Theatre of Dreams this winter.