Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side was well beaten at Leicester this weekend. Despite his future being secure for the time being, Solskjaer needs to find a solution to their recent performances.
And former right-back Gary Neville has outlined exactly what the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson would do in this situation.
Neville believes Man United need more fight and solidity and would bring Edinson Cavani into the starting XI to partner Cristiano Ronaldo, a tactic Sir Alex often used when United was going through a difficult period, sacrificing his wingers to select a more resilient spine.
Speaking on an Instagram Live, Neville explained: “I like Cavani. Do you know what, I’d stick Cavani and Ronaldo upfront and play two up and play a narrow midfield four.
“I always remember when we were in trouble at times at United, Sir Alex would put Nicky Butt in midfield with Roy Keane.
“He’d put Scholes just off to the left and tuck him in a bit, he’d put Becks to the right – or he’d even put Darren Fletcher to the right – and play a narrow four and leave the two strikers up knowing they’d get a goal.
“We always used to work on the theory, when we were playing badly and we were in a bad moment, that you keep your shape, keep a clean sheet and just one of them lot up front will score a goal.
“I know it sounds really, really simple but when you’re going through a difficult time you don’t really want coaches blurting loads of really high-end tactics to you and loads of nonsense. You just really want simple messages. Football players want simple, clear messages.”
🗣 “I always remember when we were in trouble at times at United”
Gary Neville has broke down in detail the team and formation he thinks Sir Alex would use to change Manchester United’s fortunes.
The changes are “simple”, but could be very effective. https://t.co/SEs0frZUis
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) October 18, 2021
Manchester United have the personnel to do something similar now, with Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay, and Fred potentially playing in a narrow midfield four.
United is now in the sixth plаce, outside of the Chаmpions Leаgue plаces.
Next up for United is а home mаtch аgаinst Liverpool, followed by а trip to Spurs аnd then а visit to Old Trаfford by Mаnchester City.
“I think really the idea of United working on something really simple for the next month, might be that 4-3-3 that they play, but they’re going to have to work a lot harder this week and mentally change their mindset to: ‘We’re going to be tough to beat. We’re not going to let Liverpool come to Old Trafford next Sunday and do what they want to us out on that pitch‘.
“Just get your shape right this week in training. Get your defensive shape right. I don’t believe that Pogba, Matic, Sancho, Greenwood, Ronaldo, don’t know how to get into a good shape. They do. And certainly Ole and the coaching staff need to focus on that in the next few days.
“Get them into a shape defensively and the goals and the football will come from that, the foundations need to be built. And at this moment in time they’re nowhere near good enough out of possession and that’s the focal point.”