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EPL 2020/21: How Man United can still make top 4 despite slow start

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Bruno Fernandes
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Man United started the 2020/21 Premier League season on a loosing note, bowing to Crystal Palace at Old Trafford. To some fans, the loss was a big eye opener for the players and the club’s top hierarchy.

However, mistakes against Crystal Palace appeared not be enough for the Red Devils to make amends were necessary. The Mancunians coached by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer were humiliated by former head coach Jose Mourinho with his new team Tottenham Hotspur, a result United fans cannot forget in a hurry.

 

But moving further, the Red Devils appeared to be having quality timeout in the UEFA Champions League, beating Paris Saint Germain and RB Leipzig in the first two matches of the group stage.

Paul Pogba1

But these big results still does not show the progress that has been made after taking positives from last season’s outing which saw the club eclipse Leicester City to the remaining Champions League position.

 

But how would how it turn out for Manchester United after making several buys in the market including notable signings like Edinson Cavani, Alex Telles.

 

Realistically, the chances of making the top four at the end of the current campaign is still open. After eight matchdays, the Mancunians were sitting 14th, four places away from the drop zone.

 

The club’s Premier League status alone shows this season’s performance so far is one of the worst so far at start of the league campaign.

Manchester United Premier League stats

Titles: 13 titles

Most successful coach: Sir Alex Ferguson

Last time title was won: 2012/13 season

But how can Manchester United achieve a top four position amid surprise teams in the division including Leeds United, Aston Villa, Leicester City, Everton and even Southampton with this current form?

 

How the Red Devils can achieve the top four at the end of the 2020/21 Premier League season

 

1. Settling issues bordering players contract

The notable player in this category is Paul Labile Pogba. According to by Bleacher Report, Pobga is interested in a long term partnership with the club. His current contract with the club expires in 2022.

 

The Frenchman has been linked with a possible return to Juventus as well as a dream move to Real Madrid.

 

The midfielder at some point also revealed his desire to play with the biggest club in Spain in the nearest future. Manchester United’s problems also circles around Pogba’s uncertain future at the club.

Settling the players future, would go along way as it will help the player and the rest of the squad concentrate fully.

 

For Odion Jude Ighalo, it is obvious he’ll return to his club in January since it appears there’s no place in the first team since the arrival of Edinson Cavani, although he was brought on as a backup for Anthony Martial after the lengthy injury on Marcus Rashford.

 

The likes of Young, Smalling and Alexis Sanchez are no longer in the picture. It is left for the club to settle every contract dispute so as to boost to players level of concentration.

 

2. Assign players in the right role

Edinson Cavani

Manchester United this season have been faced with the issue of misplaced formation of key players. If you’ve watched matches involving the red devils, you’ll see how the manager had preferred to play a false nine amid availability of players in the right position.

 

Solskjaer prefers to start Mason Greenwood ahead of an already fit Odion Ighalo in the absence of Anthony Martial. Although, Rashford plays as a centre forward, Greenwood had always been his preferred option in some high profile games.

 

Although in recent matches, the Norwegian manager plays the duo of Rashford and Anthony Martial upfront.

 

Donny Van de Beek who is also seen as the future of United midfield is not always the preferred option for Solskjaer.

 

In all, the manager should consider starting the right players in their usual role.

 

3. Manager changing his tactical approach

Solskjaer

It appears Solskjaer’s tactics is no working fine as it where before. Solskjaer surprised the rest of Premier League after taking over from Jose Mourinho, moving the club to the top after a miserable run of form.

 

There should be a new approach to the game. Small teams like Aston Villa, Leicester City, Leeds United and Southampton have been impressive so far.

 

These clubs have players rated to be average in the division, compared to the category of players present at Manchester United. Watkins, Vardy, Bamford, Ings are perfect examples who have turned out to be Premier League danger men.

 

4. If possible, a change in the managerial department

 

Some United fans are clamoring for a change in the managerial department. Some fans are calling for a quick replacement for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who appears not to be getting things right as things stand currently.

There are options in the market, Manchester United can still sign some high profile free managers like Mauricio Pochettino, Allegri, Erik Ten Haag.

 

5. Minor shakeup in the defense

 

Manchester United defense appears to be fine, but with lapses at the same time. Currently, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire, Tuanzebe, Luke Shaw are still at their best form.

 

However, there should be more reinforcement in the defense. Currently, players like Dayot Upamecano, Lukas Klostermann, Kalidou Koulbaly are players in the sight of many clubs.

The club from the red side of Mancunia can achieve the top four if some of these changes are made.

Ibiye Ambille
Ibiye Ambille is a senior editor at Interesting Football, specializing in news reporting and analysis. Love's football, follows the game with passion. Ibiye holds a Diploma in Electrical Engineering at Ken Poly. ibiye@interestingfootball.com

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