Manchester United have had a topsy-turvy year, with a great run after lockdown, but a poor start to this season. Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has come under immense pressure after a few poor results, and there have been talks of him getting the sack.
What’s worrying about Manchester United is the dip in performances as they have got impressive wins against the likes of PSG and RB Leipzig, but lost to the likes of Crystal Palace and Arsenal.
Some in the Solskjaer camp feel that he can turn things around if given the time to complete the job. What should Ole Gunnar Solskjaer do differently to help Manchester United gain some consistency?
Let’s take a look at 3 things Solskjaer should do for more consistency:
#1 Find the right formation to give the team balance
One criticism that has been levelled at Solskjaer is his constant chopping and changing of formations. He has played a 3/5-man backline in important games against tough opposition, played a 4-2-3-1 system, and more recently a midfield diamond, to varying levels of success.
While managers have to adapt and change to the opposition’s set-up, Solskjaer’s team will also have to play off their strengths. The Norwegian has to find the right formation that will give his team balance, especially protect the backline which has been vulnerable this season.
The Red Devils have fantastic attacking players with speed and vision, and a few hard-working midfielders. He has to play to those strengths and set-up in such a way that he gets the best out of these players.
#2 Identify his best players
Solskjaer has also not identified his best starting XI ever since he took charge of the club. Take Premier League champions, Liverpool, for example. When everyone is fit, it’s quite easy to name the starting XI barring one or two players.
The Manchester United manager has to identify his 11-13 best players who will play at all times when they’re fit and in form.
This will allow an understanding between the players and develop partnerships around the pitch.
#3 Establish patterns of play
Manchester United have a rich history of playing attacking football, which has been a part of their DNA for decades. But, with a weak defence, United have been forced to play on the backfoot and use their pace and strength up the field to hit teams on the counter-attack.
For United to truly dominate games, they will need to establish patterns of play all around the pitch. At times, the players seem to lack the knowhow to break down teams and seem to be doing things out of individual quality rather than drilled in coaching methods.
The Old Trafford faithful will not be impressed with a counter-attacking philosophy and Solskjaer has to find different strategies to threaten the opposition.