3 tactical changes Jose Mourinho should make against Liverpool
Liverpool and Manchester United are two of the biggest clubs in English football. The rivalry between both clubs is immense, and lots of drama almost always follows encounters between the two.
Liverpool go into this matchweek top of the Premier League after Manchester City's surprise loss to Chelsea. Manchester United, on the other hand, have had a torrid season. They sit in 6th position, 16 points behind Liverpool at the top and 8 points behind the top four.
United's poor start to the season has left them in no position to accept any other result aside from a win. A loss to their eternal rivals will further widen the gap to the top of the table and the top four if Chelsea wins at Brighton.
Here's a look at three tactical changes Manchester United should make to ensure a positive result:
#1 Drop Pogba Again
Paul Pogba is the most gifted central midfielder in the Premier League. He has so much quality but has somehow failed to consistently live up to the billing of a one time most expensive player in the world.
In the last two Premier League games, Mourinho has dropped the World Cup winner with mixed results. Much criticism has followed the dropping of Pogba and stories concerning their relationship does not make for happy reading for the board and fan base.
Mourinho, in his post-match reaction to the 2:2 draw against Southampton, said:
“When the players don’t understand that simplicity is genius, especially in some parts of the pitch, they keep and keep playing too complicated football and it’s too difficult to have that continuity. Because we lost so many balls in midfield, we lost so many balls in our transition to the last third, it was difficult to have that continuity.”
Many have said that Mourinho, in his comments, was referring to the French international. The truth is that if Mourinho was not referring to Pogba then he should have been.
Paul Pogba is the sixth most dispossessed player in the Premier League this season. The five players that are ahead of him and the five players behind him are all strikers or wingers.
In fact, Pogba is one of only two central midfielders in the top 20 most dispossessed players in the league. The other central midfielder, Mohammed Diame is 14th on the list and has been dispossessed about nine times less than Pogba.
One can understand strikers and wingers being dispossessed because they are in the attacking third and trying to create space for themselves. However, it is an atrocious character for a central midfielder because losing the ball in midfield causes a lot of imbalance in the team and allows the opposition to attack.
Pogba in Mourinho's words does not understand that "sometimes simplicity is genius" and that should cost him a place in the starting XI against Liverpool.
Klopp's Liverpool are a high pressing and highly intense side. Losing the ball in the midfield is usually rewarded with a quick counter-attack and the ball lying in the back of the net.