The consistent fault lines

There is so much more to admire of the way we play football in the last week or so. The return of Pogba and of course the return of form of Sancho has been key to all the attacking prowess. And yet, in the final third, the indecisions are costing us points.

Teams score goals against us when we lose the ball in attack. The failure to finish off beautiful attacking moves leaves us fully exposed as teams bypass a sluggish midfield leaving the defensive line looking woefully incompetent. Rangnick’s style works, when we finish the moves off. When it breaks up, off the ball, we are destroyed.

Rashford is in poor form this season. The managers have a role to play in his downfall. Rangnick is bringing out the worst in him, constantly promoting him as the guy who breaks the back line with his searing pace on the break. This one-dimensionality is killing the guy. To top it, his off-field actions keep taking centre-stage as fans find more reasons to crucify him.

Maguire brings solidity to the backline no doubt, but he works optimally with a good sitting defensive midfielder, whom we sadly don’t have. Matic does the role best, but is not young enough to do it 2-3 times in a week.

Scott is preferred to pair with Pogba at 6, but he does not have sufficient defensive attributes nor distribution ability to orchestrate play. This paucity of quality and accompanied by the marauding Bruno – creates umpteen chances to kill the game off but is often found out of position thanks to his instinct to attack. This incongruence is what leads us to dropping points.

We can easily score 3 goals in the first half and kill teams off. That precision is needed this season to manage the 4th position in the league. We have to wait and see whether Ralf can marshal the team to do it.

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