It is a question that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would have been asking himself throughout the early weeks, as he pondered how he can get the very best out of the attacking players at his disposal. United’s results have worsened over the past couple of weeks, as they have won once in four in all competitions.
Another draw at Old Trafford in the Premier League against Everton has seen their soccer odds for the league title rise once more. But, is there a way that Solskjaer can integrate all his star attacking players into one line-up to get the very best out of them? At the top Vietnamese bookie Vwin you can check for the latest news and best betting offers for major soccer matches.
Who Sits At The Base?
A decision that Solskjaer needs to make before choosing the attacking players in his team focuses on the players that will be used in the middle of the park. His decision to play Scott McTominay and Fred in the two defensive midfield positions has often led to criticism, but it’s one that the Villarreal Champions League game a few weeks highlights should be made. United look far too defensively open without two holding midfielders, and it’s unlikely that Paul Pogba will ever be trusted enough to play in that role.
One player that could be given a chance in that role should be Donny van de Beek, who is by no means any worse defensively than Fred. The Brazilian has won just 46.94% of his duels this season, which is far lower than the 72% won by Rodri and the 75% won by N’Golo Kante. Having van de Beek in the middle of the park will also offer United the added advantage of having a player that is accustomed to passing forward and getting into good tactical positions on the pitch.
Formation Is Crucial
The formation that Solskjaer plays is the most important factor. The back penalty, including David De Gea in goal, pretty much picks itself, but players are forced into positions around the pitch if he should play a 4-2-3-1. His dedication to include Pogba often means that the Frenchman will play wide left, which means that the attacking play loses a bit of balance as the World Cup winner often looks to move inside.
Bruno Fernandes in the number ten also works well, but the Portuguese could seamlessly drop into a 4-3-3 in the middle of the park, and play alongside McTominay and Pogba. A 4-3-3 would also allow extra attacking players on the pitch, whose main job will be to create chances for Cristiano Ronaldo. Since United’s full-backs aren’t the most attack-minded, they could instead focus on defensive responsibilities and leave the attacking outlet to the players further up the field.
Who Misses Out?
In a 4-3-3, it’s likely that one of McTominay or Fred will need to miss out, while van de Beek could switch with Pogba depending on the game. The biggest headache will come in the players that play in the wide positions. Mason Greenwood has started the season in fine form, and shouldn’t be overlooked in favour of Jadon Sancho. Sancho’s been used in a left-wing position throughout the early months of the season, which is baffling considering the numbers that he was accumulating in his favoured position on the right-hand side.
Playing Sancho on the left takes a lot away from his game, just as it would if Solskjaer opted to move Greenwood across. Marcus Rashford’s imminent return from injury to play on the left will add much-needed balance, while many fans also wouldn’t be against Ronaldo playing in that position to allow Edinson Cavani to play through the middle.