Manchester United suffered a disappointing 5-0 defeat to Liverpool over the weekend.
Manchester United suffered a disappointing 5-0 defeat to Liverpool over the weekend.

"It's a team of individuals, not a collective" - Micah Richards believes Manchester United's slump is because of the coaching, suggests going back to the basics

Jidonu Mauyon

Manchester United's functioning as a team has been questioned by former Manchester City defender Micah Richards. Richards believes the team is struggling due to poor coaching.

"It's a team of individuals, not a collective," the former England centre-back was quoted as saying. "They all want to be the star man, instead of doing the basics of football, like running and tackling."
Manchester United reaction in the second half shows why the board decided to give Ole Gunnar Solskjær some time, after poor performances. First half was terrible - but Man Utd want to protect Ole. Now, Liverpool. 🔴 #MUFC

Man Utd board thinks players are ‘with the manager’.
9:54 AM · Oct 20, 2021

Manchester United signed Cristiano Ronaldo during the summer transfer window but the Red Devils have failed to make his presence count. Micah Richards questioned Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's tactics for failing to take advantage of the Portuguese's brilliance.

He continued:

"If you're bringing in Ronaldo, what's your style of play? Ronaldo is available so you think 'get him', but you try to fit in [Bruno] Fernandes, [Paul] Pogba, [Jadon] Sancho, [Marcus] Rashford and [Mason] Greenwood in as well, so where's the balance?"

Richards also believes Manchester United need to find a way to build their team around Ronaldo and cover his shortcomings. Otherwise, he feels they will be torn apart the way they were during the 5-0 defeat to Liverpool.

"Get some people in behind Ronaldo to do his work if that's what you want to do. Solskjaer said they would play on the front foot, but against Liverpool you would get picked off, just like they did."

He added:

"Get back into shape with two defensive midfielders to defend, full-backs tucked in and play counter attack. United are not as good as Manchester City, Liverpool or Chelsea so defend deep and do what you're good at - they need to go back to basics."

The former Manchester City defender also expressed sympathy for Solskjaer, whose future is up in the air following his team's abysmal run of results.

"He [Solskjaer] has such a legendary status at the club so it was always going to be difficult when things come to this," Richards said. "They need to back him and say he will go to the end of the season or bring someone else in. I feel sorry for him, looking at a person who has this legendary status but he looks a bit out of his depth. If that can't be resolved they need to move forward."

Richards feels the problems are definitely down to coaching and that Solskjaer has looked all at sea in recent times.

"It has to be down to the coaching and some of the things were ridiculous, basic mistakes. They don't know when to press or when to drop deep and it looks like Ole does not know what to do."

Manchester United will face more stiff tests in the coming weeks

Solskjaer has come under intense scrutiny amid Manchester United's poor form

Following their humiliating 5-0 defeat to Liverpool at the weekend, Manchester United will need to gear up for more such games. The Red Devils have a difficult schedule in the next few weeks, with big fixtures across the Premier League and the Champions League.

Up next, Solskjaer's men will take on Tottenham this Saturday (October 30), followed by a clash against Atalanta on November 3. They will then host rivals Manchester City in a derby clash next weekend. The Red Devils will then face Watford, Villareal, Chelsea and Arsenal in subsequent fixtures.

Edited by Anantaajith Ra
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