Saturday 8 June 2019

Manchester United have a mountain of work ahead of them this summer

Manchester United finished 32 points adrift of Premier League champions Manchester City last season – as many as they finished ahead of relegated Cardiff City.

United want to return to former glories but for now, their focus is on returning to the top four.

This will be a significant summer for the club in making that step and here, Sportsmail has outlined five serious issues that they must solve.

United's statistics under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as a caretaker versus him as permanent manager tell a story.

As their temporary boss, United scored 16.4 per cent of their shots – the best conversion rate in the Premier League. Once full-time, that dropped to 5.2 per cent – the worst.

The statistics show they were still shooting but they weren't scoring, so the strikers have to shoulder a chunk of the blame for their sudden collapse.

Yet what made it worse was their troubles in front of goal coincided with United also losing their way at the back.

They started conceding 1.8 goals per game rather than 0.9. The back four would not stay in a straight line but rather turn zig-zag when opponents put pressure on them. Strikers' runs would not be tracked.

There were times when Solskjaer favoured counter-attack football when he should not have, such as in United's embarrassing 4-0 defeat by Everton.

Other times when United left a worrying amount of space in between their defence and midfield. Barcelona were among their opponents who made use of this.

Solskjaer famously flopped when in charge of Cardiff. He has to improve tactically if he is to avoid the same fate at United.


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