The curious case of the Red Devils: defeat Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City on the bounce, put on a poor performance at Old Trafford against Everton, a team that was in the relegation zone two weeks ago, although they seem to have turned a corner under new management.
On a bigger scale, 7 points from 3 games is a good haul, especially when you consider that they were not really favourites two win two of the three.
The issue seems to be the set-up. A little bit of context here: Manchester United has 25 points and have won more points from the 5 teams above them – 13 to be precise – than other 12 teams that they have played below them – 12 points. It is as imbalanced a point haul as you could get.
Playing against the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool – to an extent – falls perfectly into their hands as they have some of the quickest forwards in Martial, Rashford, James and Lingard – I know, I know – and are one of the best counter-attacking teams in the globe on their day. Unfortunately, that accounts for less than 30% of the teams they would face in the League. Essentially, there are more teams in the bottom half of the Premier League table that they should be able to take more points from.
The issue however is that when they are left to control a game and not play on the break, the team is totally devoid of creativity.
Enter Paul Labile Pogba. We all know that he has not set the Premier League alight especially considering his high price tag and we have only seen flashes of his brilliance, but a player of his quality is sorely needed by the Red Devils. Admittedly, the likes of McTominay, Fred and co. have held their own when needed but they are not the most creative players you would ever see.
We all know the abilities that Pogba possesses. Unfortunately, he does not do this often enough. With the fairly decent performances of his fellow midfield club mates, it would be expected that Pogba would have less defensive responsibilities when he becomes fully fit.
For a team as big as Manchester United, they cannot always expect teams to dominate and push and then leave spaces for them to counter attack. For them to gather more points against “smaller teams” that would sit back and become as deep as possible, covering all the spaces, they would need to utilize their most creative player.