Manchester United travel to Fulham in the Premier League on Saturday still seeking a victory following the return from international football last weekend. United have been beaten 3-0 by Manchester City at Old Trafford last weekend, which was not a great start.
The on Wednesday night in the Carabao Cup, the holders were stunned by Newcastle United, last seasons finalists in another 3-0 defeat at the Theatre of Dreams. United’s players seem to have either downed tools or forgot how to play football. They have brought this on themselves.
United are in a similar position under Erik ten Hag as they were under David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick. But it cannot be the sole responsibility if the manager as the only constant is the Glazers and the executives at the club.
Predicted Manchester United Starting XI – 4-3-3
Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Reguilon;
Fernandes, Amrabat, Eriksen;
Mount, Hojlund, Garnacho
Andre Onana has had a terrible time as the United goalkeeper this season as the club has conceded 26 goals in all competitions. In the last two matches, United have conceded six goals with the 3-0 defeats to Manchester City and Newcastle United at Old Trafford.
United need to start funding the hunger age determination to carry the club forward because at the end of the day it is them on the pitch representing the club and it only seems to be the manager, Erik ten Hag taking the flack from supporters and the media.
Perhaps it is time to blood in Altay Bayindir as he will be required to play for the club in the new year with Onana playing for Cameroon in the African Cup of Nations, unless the club does bring back David De Gea, who was rumoured to be returning in the New Year.
Defenders: Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Reguilon
United’s defence needs major improvement this season. The goals that have been conceded and the poor results have seen them exit the Carabao Cup with no chance of retaining the trophy they won last season. Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Sergio Reguilon should be starting.
Having Wan-Bissaka back in the squad will be a positive for United and give more depth on the attack and in defence. Reguilon was probably the best player against Newcastle on Wednesday evening, which says a lot considering he’s on loan from Spurs.
In the centre of the defence we could see Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire, which could strengthen then defence, which is needed with United having more defeats than victories so far this season. Ten Hag is under pressure to get something working at the club this weekend.
Midfield: Fernandes, Amrabat, Eriksen
United’s midfield need some major improvement, which is the story for the entire playing squad this season. United do not seem to be able to get the basics right, which is either because of the management, which is hard to believe of the lack of desire from the players.
Bruno Fernandes needs to lead this team well and get the best of his teammates. The Portuguese midfielder is one of the best midfielders in Europe based on what he has achieved for club and country since signing for United, but the last of any productivity on the pitch is damning.
Sofyan Amrabat and Christian Eriksen should also play in the midfield against Fulham based on what they bring to the squad this season. Both players have been creative this season and alongside Fernandes, they could provide something for United.
Forwards: Mount, Hojlund, Garnacho
United’s attacking line have not achieved anything in the last two matches. United have failed to score any goals. Rasmus Hojlund has not been getting the strikers need to get balls into the back of the net. That is the basics of football that are going a miss at United.
Mason Mount has been playing a predominant midfield role for United this season but with the likes of Antony not performing in the right-wing, it is maybe a position for him to play in and maybe get the best of his game for United, creating and maybe even scoring goals.
Alejandro Garnacho is a positive player for United and that is the sort of thing required to get the best from this team. Marcus Rashford has not been performing this season so far and United need better. Maybe Garnacho could take his chance and shine for United.
Substitutes: Bayindir; Lindelof, Dalot; McTominay, Mainoo, Hannibal; Martial, Rashford, Antony
United will have one substitutes on the bench against Fulham. Five of those will be able to be used throughout the match. Granted, United have no players that look like they will change the game form the bench – having no players on the pitch to do that either – unless they try.
Altay Bayindir will likely be the goalkeeper on the bench against Fulham – but he will get his chance to represent United soon. In defence, United could have Victor Lindelof and Diogo Dalot, should they be required. United have few defenders at this time but it will change this month.
In the midfield, United should have Scott McTominay, Kobbie Mainoo and Hannibal – who could provide something should those on the pitch not be up to spec. In attack, United should have Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford And Antony – despite neither seeming to shine.
Written by John Walker