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Football News: Surely Manchester United are capable of playing better

Reading analysis of various publications about the game between Manchester United and Newcastle United last night and almost everyone is talking about two things; First, the Pogba conundrum and second, the joke of a defender named Chris Smalling.

I have, in the past been guilty of reacting after defeats and even after victories, but those reactions have never been blatant attacks on players. And while I will try and maintain an objective analysis of what we all saw last night, please forgive me, if I go overboard.

Smalling by no means is a defender who should be touching the grass of any of the 20 teams that play in the Premier League, he is abysmal, the only vibe that you get from him is that he will lose the ball the moment he receives it. While all of us are divided about the efficiency of Lindelof, I fail to see how he can be downgrade on Smalling.

Yes, he had a rocky start and he was shambolic in the game against Huddersfield, but he's still a better player than what Smalling will ever be. If Jose Mourinho has benched the likes of Pogba and Shaw in the past, then why can't he bench Smalling; I mean, I am sure he can see that he brings absolutely nothing to the team, rather, he's a liability.

So, if you as a manager are asking more from your players and will not pick players who are not performing, then surely Smalling has to be the one who falls down the pecking order.

Another player, who seemed to have lost interest as soon the first tackle got him was Martial. I don't think he had the passion to play last night. It seemed to me that as soon as he got muscled off the ball in the opening minutes, he just didn't have it in him to play or to impose himself back on other players.

He should have buried the first one-on-one that he got and should have equalised when he got the second chance. But he didn't. Yes, they will learn from these mistakes and this is just a learning curve, but then you need to see the fire and the passion within them, which I just don't see.

I was really happy when we signed Matic from Chelsea, I thought it was a steal and Chelsea effectively sold us one of their best players and truth be told, we needed him. He's the spine of this current team, he can even provide calmness when Smalling has the ball.

But, over the last few games, his effectiveness has diminished. Maybe it has to do with him covering for Pogba more often than not, or maybe it's just the toll that the matches are taking on him. My guess is, that it's the former and that because Paul likes to attack and not defend too much, he is left with too much ground to cover. If not for Pogba's sake, then for Matic's effectiveness, he should play either Herrera or Mctominay with him.

Lukaku has been deprived of service all year long and the only time he got some service was when in the opening few games. Many of us think that he's not the right player for us and that he's only a flat-track bully, but I think he's become better than the player he was when he joined us.

His build-up play has improved, his hold-up play has improved too. What I would like to see from him is him taking on defenders, I mean, he's a beast, it's not easy to shake him off the ball and even pace wise, he isn't too bad. So maybe, when he does get the ball into his feet, then he could try and take a defender or two on.

Overall, it's just the same thing over and over again, one bad game, one game we somehow get through and then a team with more passion comes in and knocks us out. We're surely capable of playing better. Aren't we?

Article written by Raghav

Written by Raghav February 12 2018 14:49:20