Manchester United 0-0 Crystal Palace: 5 things learned | Premier League 2018-19
It was more doom and gloom for Manchester United, after a 0-0 draw at home to Crystal Palace.
On paper, this was a game Manchester United should be winning, despite their current low league position. It's pretty telling they have major issues, and this latest draw certainly doesn't ameliorate them.
Overall, this season has been very bad for United, and they have performed far worse than the other top six.
Mancunian rivals City have been exceptional, and are surely favourites to retain the league.
Traditional enemies Liverpool look strong, and Tottenham as well as Chelsea (despite the latter losing to the former this weekend) have been good. Arsenal too has changed, and look a strong contender for the top four.
But United has been weak and beset with numerous issues, mishaps, disputes, and calamities.
Jose Mourinho has said his team lacked heart, but is this the issue at hand here?
Mourinho's tactics have been maligned by fans and pundits alike, and he has not sought to progress the team in this fashion. Sanchez still hasn't performed to his Arsenal-esque levels. And whilst Shaw staying is a boon, he too has been sporadic in form.
It's clear that much needs to change in this context. But what exactly?
Is it purely tactical? Does Mourinho need replacing?
Should players be sold?
Should there be a holistic change at all levels of the club? Should Mourinho stay, amidst a widespread change?
Something has to give though. The telling point is what? If there are no changes, then things are bound to deteriorate.
Man United may finish even 10th this season. Is this a hyperbole? It may be. But with City, Liverpool, Spurs, and Chelsea winning, and a steadily improving Arsenal, they will get left behind. Lets not forget that Wolves, Bournemouth, Everton, and Leicester City, are strong in the bottom half of the top ten.
It's said that when things get tough, the tough get going. Things are tough for United now - and the club holistically needs to get going, if it's to prosper.
#1 Limp attacking play
Whilst Lukaku, Pogba, Martial, and Mata, all had some chances to score, the overall play in the final third was not very potent. The introduction of Alexis didn't add much, and it was a very limp showing.
These are all players, on paper at least, who are top quality. They should have enough to beat Palace, but they just didn't click.
This is concerning, especially with the coming Champions League games and key PL games ahead.
Mourinho must find another way, or he could be out of the job soon, and United may not get in the top six, let alone top four.
Lukaku's form this season also has been off, as he's not at the levels of last season and at Everton. Is it all down to the vibe at the club? It's clear that he needs to shape up, as does Lingard, Mata, and others.
Alexis Sanchez too has still not shone, despite being at the club for months now. Is he spent? Or has he gone over the hill? Maybe. But he too needs re-invigoration, if United are to improve.