Manchester United succumbed to their fifth away defeat in as many games in all competitions after their 4-0 loss against Everton, and the manner of the loss has left many scratching their heads.
After all, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s arrival as interim manager several months ago had seen a marked turn in the team’s fortunes, but everything the team managed in the three-month period or so, has been undone of late.
The Red Devils are chasing a top-four spot, yet played like a mid-table team with nothing left to challenge for in the remainder of the season, such was the ambition of the players on the pitch on Sunday afternoon.
When the going gets tough, the likes of Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, and Fred seem to run away from their duties and end up in a cocoon for some reason. Sunday’s defeat was a result of the lack of urgency, something that has haunted the club for several seasons now.
Solskjaer was visibly vexed during the post-match press conference, and said: “I’ve said it: I want my team to be the hardest-working team in the league.
“That’s what we were under Sir Alex [Ferguson]. That’s what we’ve always been.
“Giggsy [Ryan Giggs], Becks [David Beckham], Gary Neville, Dennis Irwin, whoever. [Regardless of] the talent you’ve got, you ran more than anyone.
“Every single week you’d shift up and down that pitch for your team-mates.
Considering the midfield just didn’t click, the club need to make the necessary ramifications if they are to close the gap on the teams above them.
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A look at the transfer market, and there is one player that the Red Devils can sign to add more work-rate and urgency to that midfield.
One Arturo Vidal.
Future in Barcelona a doubt; Manchester United should pounce
Manchester United have made a lot of bad decisions in the summer transfer window, including Alexis Sanchez, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Radamel Falcao – players who were perhaps on the decline when Manchester United signed them.
Vidal too isn’t the player he was during his heydays at Juventus and Bayern Munich, but despite being 31, he is still a pretty good workhorse to have in the midfield.
There are some players, who despite their age, end up covering a certain number of kilometres in a game, and Vidal is no different.
The Chilean’s spell at Barcelona so far this season has been pretty productive, even though the likes of Ivan Rakitic and Arthur have provided stiff competition to the former Bayern Munich star.
And according to Sport, Frenkie de Jong’s arrival has put Vidal’s Barcelona future in doubt, which is why Manchester United should pounce. Serie A side Inter Milan are said to be interested as well.
Vidal has featured in Spanish Primera Liga 28 appearances for Barcelona this season, and has started in 18 of those games. And despite having fewer starts than Rakitic and just one more start than Arthur, Vidal has managed five assists in the league; the fifth highest in the team.
The reason why Vidal would be a good addition to Manchester United, however, is not because of his ability to maraud forward and create openings and or get back and make a tackle. It’s his work-rate and ability to cover every blade of grass on the pitch that makes him a valuable commodity to any team.
Having played for Chile under Jorge Sampaoli, Vidal was part of a side that gave no moment of rest to their opposition midfielders as pressing and off the ball work was high on the agenda.
Manchester United, who looked clueless on the pitch against Everton and, in general, in the last few weeks, could do with someone like Vidal in midfield.
The spine of the team needs improving, and someone like Vidal would add more urgency to the team.