It is just match day 4 in the Premier League and some clubs and stadia seem to have gone up in flames.
One of such is the Old Trafford where Tottenham Hotspur against all odds pummeled Manchester United by 6 goals to 1, thus equaling Manchester City’s 6-1 drubbing which was the heaviest home defeat for the Red Devils in Premier League history.
Yesterday’s loss was the first Manchester United would suffer at home in the hands of their former boss and unfortunately it was a huge one. What was planning to be a rollercoaster ride for Manchester United after the first minute penalty turned out to be a mauling no thanks to different defensive howlers which was further compounded by the marching orders given to French forward Anthony Martial for apparent retaliation.
The loss brings to the fore the poor transfer activity of the Red Devils in the summer transfer window as they have only signed a player and that is Donny Van De Beek from Ajax Amsterdam.
Despite the protracted link with Borussia Dortmund’s English attacker, Jadon Sancho, Manchester United are yet to make an official bid. Reports have it that the Old Trafford Lords are baulking at the huge pricetag slammed on him but manager, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer has stayed upbeat about chances to add new talents to the team.
“You see other clubs and what they do, they put a challenge up for us. Our response has to be results. That’s the response,” Solskjaer said.
“We can be best at the things that don’t cost anything. The culture here the training the coaching, getting fitter.
“But yeah, we’re looking at a small pool of players that can add to the quality of our team, and let’s see what we can do. They are working hard and I understand that they are working hard.”
But after last evening loss, the position of Solksjaer is no longer tenable as it seems the current crop of players at the club are not good enough to push the Red Devils to glory. While Manchester United might need to strengthen, which position should they bring bodies into?
The obsession for Jadon Sancho should fade for now. Yes, Sancho is a good player, a talented winger but he represents an expensive luxury for now as there are other important positions for them to urgently address. If yesterday’s match showed anything, it was Manchester United’s weak midfield and poor defence.
Nemanja Matic can no longer hold the forte anchoring the defensive midfield position, the team needs a younger and more mobile defensive midfielder. Both Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Donny Van De Beek are attacking midfielders but defensive liabilities. Adding another attacker without addressing that area will not strengthen Manchester United, it will only further weaken them.
Defensively, Manchester United were poor last night and it lays further credence to the fact that they need new center backs. Harry Maguire is clumsy and so far, they are yet to get him a reliable permanent partner as he has been switching defensive partners, from Eric Baily to Victor Lindelof.
The defensive midfield and central defense positions are the areas Manchester United should look at strengthening in the few hours left in this summer transfer window. Failure to do this could see them having a long season and hoping for the winter window to come earlier than usual before their season ebbs away from success and safety.