Manchester United need to rediscover their attacking mojo
Manchester United need to rediscover their attacking groove if they want to compete effectively.
Manchester United sit second on the Premier League table with 23 points, just above Tottenham Hotspurs on goal difference.
This may seem fairly good for a team which finished 6th in the previous season, but not for a United team with Jose Mourinho in his second season.
The team started the season strong with 6 wins in 8 games and no loss. However, a dip in form resulting in two away defeats to Huddersfield and Chelsea means they now trail leaders, Manchester City, by 8 points.
The Citizens under Pep Guardiola are on a demolition spree, scoring 38 goals and dominating almost every crucial aspect of the game. Their midfield is proving too strong for opposition as they are averaging 60% ball possession per game.
They are looking menacing and it looks unlikely that they will drop points any time soon.
With Paul Pogba injured, Henrik Mkhitaryan looking tired, and Romelu Lukaku not finding the net in his last four Premier League encounters, there is cause for worry.
Mourinho has never been known for a possession-based style of play with United averaging 53.3% ball possession this season; even Southampton have had more ball possession (57%).
He will always argue that ball possession is not everything, and that counter-attacks work far more effectively. But then again, his Red Devils have only scored 2 goals from counter attacks as 14 of their 23 goals (60%) have come from open play.
Scoring from open-play is about having creativity in the middle of the pitch. With top play maker, Mkhitaryan, finding it difficult to deliver key passes, the possibilities of scoring are reducing.
The return of Marouane Fellaini to the squad has given the squad a boost as his aerial prowess means the team can now go wide & deliver crosses into the box. Also, United have scored more goals from set pieces than any other team and Fellaini can make an impact there as well.
The return of Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic is bound to bolster the attack of the Red Devils & the sooner, the better!!!
But until then, Mourinho has to find a way to keep his team going without dropping any points further if they want to challenge for the title.
They have to fix their woes in the next 3 games after which they will be facing Arsenal and Manchester City in consecutive weeks.