Manchester United has a lot of work to do if they were serious about competing in the Champions League this year. This was clear following the UEFA Super Cup.
The UEFA Super Cup between Manchester United and Real Madrid highlighted the big gap between the reigning Champions League holder and the Europa League holders. While the scoreline of 2-1 in Skopje seems to show that only a minor gap separate the two, Jose Mourinho’s side were dominated for large portions of the game.
While Mourinho could be right about the “offside” goal from Casemiro that gave Real Madrid the lead in the first half, making it even easier for Real Madrid to control the game, this sort of wrong decisions are part of football…sometimes the decisions favor you, sometimes no, and I think it’s fair to say that all footballers and coaches are aware of it.
The problem though lies at the disconnect between the defenders, especially Smalling and United’s new defender, Lindelof. It was obvious that United missed the presence of Eric Bailly. In fact, one could easily argue that the “offside” goal appears to be something that even Lindelof and Smalling overlook. The body language suggested that the players were not aware of the presence of one another. Similarly, on the left back, Italian’s Darmian appeared to struggle. I am quite convince that Manchester United would need Luke Shaw back at his best or buy a new left back, because it was obvious Darmian lacked the pace required to get the job done.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment that Mourinho failed to mention was Paul Pogba. I’m beginning to wonder if he could live up to the expectations. While a lot of football analysts were right that Pogba is special, it’s obvious that he don’t usually turn up, and to get to the best, he needs to do it consistently. In fact, it is beginning to annoy fans to see how he change his hairstyle every now and then but his football could hardly justify the fees that he is taking.
Despite the presence of Matic, Pogba was clueless….wrong timing, selfish, and a lot of wrong decisions. Let’s hope it’s just his off day because another performance such as those, Manchester United would not be talking about challenging for the title.
Matic, Lukaku, Rashford, Valencia, Miki has a decent performance but needs to improve
Matic showed a lot of positive that we want to see, and it was good to see Lukaku scored in the game although he could have scored two more if not for him making stupid mistakes…the unnecessary offside and the free shot that he wasted. Rashford was quick with his feet. His presence adds another dimension to the attack as he dribbled and tried to run at defenders. Nonetheless, he wasted a golden opportunity that could have turn the game around. Miki was decent but need to provide more support for the midfield that was obviously outclassed by Real Madrid.
Well, the first game for the Premier League will kick off soon as Old Trafford welcome West Ham. Let’s hope we are ready to welcome Chicharito back because if we are not prepared, we will be the receiving end of what we used to enjoy see him doing, scoring goals.