United slip at John Smith.
Manchester United suffered a major title blow on Saturday against Huddersfield. The Red Devil’s lost 2-1 against a team who haven’t won or scored since August.
Man United were abysmal from start to finish. From the minute the first whistle blew Huddersfield wanted the game more. They showed more passion, wanted the ball more and wanted the win more. United’s case for title contenders took a real blow in this game, but why?
Individual Errors and lack of creativity.
Juan Mata and Victor Lindelof made two massive errors which cost United the game, Lindelofs the most startling. A long ball over the top from Huddersfield’s keeper Loessl was ducked under by Lindelof. A top-level defender ducking under a header, this startles me. How a defender at this level can duck under a header in a game of this magnitude in the Premier League is beyond me. The header was his to be won, with no pressure from Depoitre, yet he misses it. As if he was afraid the ball would hurt his head. Startling. Juan Mata’s loss of possession wasn’t great either. The Spaniard allowed the ball to run too far ahead of him and was duly dispossessed by ex Man City man Aaron Mooy. Mooy broke, Ince turned Lindelof inside out and Huddersfield took the lead. Two individual errors cost United in a must win game.
It wasn’t just the errors that cost United, it was the general play. No creativity. Not one actual bit of penetrative play. Martial was poor, he rarely took on his full back and nearly got sent off early on. Mata was bad. Backward and sideward passes must have been his mantra on the day because they were all he could muster. Matic and Herrera are not a partnership. They do not function well together. There must be either a Pogba or a Fellaini beside them, the lack of creativity between the pair is startling. Lukaku was again offered little service. Balls through to him were rarely held up though. The Belgians assist for Rashford’s consolation goal highlighted his quality. Pure power and pace and a surprisingly accurate cross, the only bit of quality from an otherwise lackluster performance.
What can United put this down to? They’ve spent over 400 million and yet they lack creativity. Speaking after the game Ander Herrera put the performance down to a lack of “passion”. Here’s the Spaniards interview.
These remarks came under huge criticism from his boss. Mourinho questioned why the lack of passion is there in the team and why if it happened that day what’s stopping it from happening tomorrow.
General anger from United and with Mourinho criticizing his team publicly, is there general unrest in the United camp?
How can United improve.
The loss of Paul Pogba has been huge for Manchester United. I felt, when he was playing, the control and dominance United displayed was reminiscent of the Fergie era. Teams feared the Red Devils due to the balls Pogba can play and the damage Lukaku can do if given the service. It was beautiful football to watch. Since his injury United have struggled. Three bad performances in a row showcase that. United’s shocking performance against Liverpool buckled the wheels off a stream-train wagon, and the wheels haven’t been re-applied since. The dominance Liverpool displayed in midfield against United showed how much Pogba was missed. Fellaini was even missed, the Belgian has been United’s third best player this season, behind Pogba and Lukaku. His power and presence was missed as Matic found it hard beside Herrera. What United need to do is simply get Pogba, Bailly and Fellaini back from injury. Two of them three make United a title-winning side, the other is just a solid squad player who can more often than not change a game in Fellaini. Bailly solidifies the defence. That will be needed after Lindelof’s blunder. Pogba adds creativity to a midfield that was purely static against Huddersfield. What will also be interesting will be the return of Ibrahimovic. I believe he gives United something the others don’t have in pure world-class experience. Let’s take a look at my ideal United team with all players fully fit.
Through all the United analysis, you almost forget there’s another team in this game. Huddersfield were excellent from start to finish. They played with such high pressure and high intensity that United couldn’t handle it. United were allowed no time on the ball. David Wagners decision to put third man in midfield was key. Matic was allowed no time on ball and as a result struggled. Huddersfield attacked when possible and done it effectively. Aaron Mooy ran the midfield, holding everything together. Van Le Parra was excellent when he came on. The flying dutchman you could call him, time and time again he committed Ashley Young and got the better of him. Depoitre and Mooy took their goals excellently and the fans were the 12th man on a fantastic afternoon at the John Smith stadium. It’s a night Huddersfield fans have been dreaming of for 65 years and it’s finally come through.
De Gea-7: Safe as usual. Made a great save before Huddersfields first, could do nothing about either goal. Produced the best skill of the game and touch with a deft flick over Delpoitre.
Valencia-7: Played decent, attacked when he could and defended well. United’s best player argubly. AGAIN.
Jones-5: Taken off early through injury, played very well up until.
Smalling-5: Didn’t do much wrong or right, deployed as a striker last 20. Had a great chance to draw at the end which was defended well.
Young-5: Was beaten easily by Van La Parra a lot, may have been punished against a better side.
Matic and Herrera-4: Bad performance collectively. No gile or creativity. Lost the ball cheaply and never threatened to trouble Huddersfield.
Lingard-3: Simply isn’t good enough. Doesn’t do anything positive, doesn’t affect a game, terrible performance.
Mata-3: Very poor from the Spaniard, his bad performance and mistake resulted in a half-time subbing.
Martial-3: Poor and aggressive, nearly sent off for a kick at Tommy Smith. Improvement needed.
Lukaku-6- Done okay, didn’t have much service. Brilliant assist for Rashfords goal.
Victor Lindelof-2: An awful display on his 2nd appearance. Looked shaky in pre-season in the air and made a huge blunder for Huddersfields goal. Abysmal.
Rashford-7: Decent cameo by the wonderkid, took his goal well and played decent overall.
Mhykitaryan-4: Another bad performance, loses the ball way too much and is slow in possession. Improvement needed.
Loessl-8: Kept United out numerous times. A great performance by the keeper.
Tom Smith-8: Had Martial and Lingard in his pocket first half and performed well in the second.
Jorgensen-7 Solid performance keeping Lukaku at bay, looks a real coup for Huddersfield.
Schindler-8: Added a good defensive performance to his list
Loewe-6: One of Huddersfields worst performers, still had a good game but did allow a lot of crosses in his side.
Jonathan Hogg-7: Controlled the game along with Mooy and Williams.
Aaron Mooy: 9: Mooy of the match. A tireless performance from a real gem. Hunted Mata down in creating his first goal and kept Matic at bay for the whole game, great performance.
Williams-7: Another player who kept Matic at bay, good solid performance.
Ince-7: Great running for Huddersfield’s first goal, good performance.
Kachunga- 6: Lucky not to give away a penalty, taken off through injury but played well.
Depoitre-7: Led the line well, scored a super goal and made Huddersfield dream.
Van La Parra-8: Brilliant.Pace and power caused Ashley Young numerous problems.
Mounie-6: Saw the game out, wasn’t involved much back from injury.