Manchester United returned from the international break with a win against Sheffield United.
But only just. It was another somewhat unconvincing performance from Erik ten Hag‘s men. There were some bright sparks, but all in all, we were saved by a Diogo Dalot screamer.
Sheffield were surprisingly good. They really took the game by the scruff of the neck and were unlucky to leave Bramall Lane with zero points.
A lot may be down to the selection of players available for Ten Hag.
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Evans and Maguire unconvincing
Speaking on BBC’s Football Daily podcast, ESPN journalist Mark Ogden gave his thoughts on the United performance and suggested that Sheffield were really unlucky to lose.
He thought the Blades’ attack in particular was problematic for United’s centre-half pairing.
“They (Sheffield) caused Manchester United problems,” he began. “With Maguire and Jonny Evans, United didn’t look convincing. Mcburnie and Archer caused them major problems. They were direct and pressed them.”
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He also thought the unorthodox midfield was a problem for United.
“In midfield, they played with Amrabat sitting on his own and Scott McTominay in a kind of number 10 role. It just looked like hard work. It’s not a Manchester United team that we’re used to watching.”
“It’s not a Manchester United team”
The line from Ogden is particularly prevalent. Considering Ten Hag has had a year and a bit at the helm now, it doesn’t look like a team he’s built.
Instead, it looks like something that’s been thrown together – which isn’t entirely untrue.
The sheer amount of injuries hasn’t helped, but United do just feel rather disjointed this season.
Once everyone else is back to full fitness, we may start seeing a different side – but right now everything does feel a bit make-shift.
Not good nearly heading into November and with a Manchester Derby looming.