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Manchester United: Three tactical changes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should implement against AZ Alkmaar

ANALYST
Feature
03 Oct 2019, 00:43 IST

Solskjaer needs a drastic change of tactics right now.
Solskjaer needs a drastic change of tactics right now.

Manchester United travel to Kyocera Stadium in The Hague, Netherlands on Thursday for their Europa League clash against AZ Alkmaar with their season slipping dangerously out of hand. The Red Devils are currently 10th in the Premier League table after the first seven games and are 12 points behind league leaders Liverpool. United have managed just two wins in those seven games and have scored just nine goals, while also conceding seven.

In the Europa League though, the start has been a little better. The Red Devils managed a narrow 1-0 victory over Astana in the opening game of group L and are currently top of the group. However, the performance was far from convincing and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be aware that he needs massive improvement on Thursday.

This Monday, United could only manage another uneventful draw at home against Arsenal and the cracks are beginning to surface all of a sudden. As such, the game against Alkmaar represents an opportunity for Solskjaer to make amends and try out a few things. Today, we discuss 3 tactical changes the Norwegian should implement against Alkmaar in the Europa League on Thursday.


#3 Aim for a clean sheet


Harry Maguire has the ability to turn United
Harry Maguire has the ability to turn United's fortunes around.

United’s biggest problem from last season has traveled beyond the summer and has failed to subside despite the fact that Solskjaer has invested heavily in defense. The Red Devils brought Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire in the summer transfer window, but the leak at the back is yet to stop. Because a good team is built on a stellar defense, this is where Solskjaer must put all his efforts on in the training ground.

The Red Devils have looked a better defensive unit after the arrival of Wan-Bissaka and Maguire, but still, look vulnerable at set-pieces and with long balls. David de Gea has shown glimpses of brilliance this season and now it is up to the Norwegian to tighten the defense and cut out the gaps that have been hurting them on the field.

United have already paid the price for some individual errors in their defensive areas and the team now need to defend as a unit to prize out clean sheets on a continuous basis. Alkmaar will test them at the back; the Dutch side has already scored 18 goals from eight games in the Eredivisie. Solskjaer, as such, should target a clean sheet against Alkmaar and build on that to get United’s season back on track.


David de Gea.
David de Gea.
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