We have just two months into the new season but many of the same questions remain unanswered at Manchester United. Is Ole Gunnar Salsakazar the right person for the job? Does Paul Pogbar have a long-term future at the club? Why isn’t the proven right winger signed in the transfer window?
It is a matter of concern that so many lines of investigation remain open after another busy summer, and the mixed start to United’s new campaign has done little to clarify the club’s current direction.
The loss to Goodison Park over the weekend gave United the worst experience of the new top-flight season since 1987, but a win instead means they are doing better than last season and still are. Only Eight points above the table.
There is still a huge number of windows in the Premier League so far this season that neither side has shown irresistible momentum that could transform them into a genuine title-challenger bracket. United showed similar prowess with their post-lockdown form last season and although the chances are slim, it could happen again next month.
United needs consistency to make such a splash at events, nothing more than a defense that has shown brief signs of a resurgence in recent weeks.
The team that has kept just four clear sheets in their 12 games this season may find it too positive to praise recent defensive work after the international break, but there are some arguments.
United will have two more shutouts if they do not win their goals against Newcastle and Paris Saint-Germain, Penn Pogba, who lost to Arsenal, came from his penalty, not the defender.
Istanbul Basaksehir’s unacceptable defeat brought unstoppable hero Victor Lindelof out of the team, although he was the one who felt the failure of concentration to gift Everton their lead at Goodison Park last weekend. On paper it doesn’t seem to be improving, however, with the latest fixtures spreading a little bit of nuggets.
The most notable is Lindelof, who often does not keep an eye on Harry Maguire’s performance. The club captain won one of his best United performances on the Windows wicket to Mercidide as he justified Solskazar’s faith through his commanding defensive show.
United entered the international break by winning their most important match of the season at Everton on Saturday.
Bruno Fernandez’s double for United and Edinson Cavani’s first goal came from behind the under-pressure Reds to beat the Toffies.
United have a two-week break as many of their stars begin their journey on international duty – we’ll see how they perform and prepare for their next Premier League match against West Brom.
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Yet it is this Lieutenant Lindelof who plays a key role in maintaining the defensive balance that began to show the same swagger that managed to score nine clean sheets in 11 matches earlier this year. When Tuanzebi stole the show for the great win against PSG last month, Hindsite’s idea was that Lindolfe had protected him to play with such national independence and confidence against one of the best attackers in the world.
The Swedes have a knack for making the best performances against the deadliest opponents, but it is these flaws like Everton that have perpetuated his reputation at the club.
Yet when analyzing his progress it is important to consider how he has physically dried up this season. Lindloff was rested during the international break before the new domestic season, and Sweden manager Janne Anderson has also confirmed that he will be rested this month following such a “ruthless” schedule with United.
It’s no secret that United will want to sign a new central defender if they take the right opportunity next year, but will have to rely on Lindolf before the abundance of other options at the Solskire club.
It looks like the Swedish defender will come down to third-peak at Old Trafford in bad conditions, but a long-term solution is so needed at the moment that he has now proved to be desperate for a free hit.
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