Manchester United don’t have enough match winners to rotate how Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did … this was a SERIOUS misstep by the young United manager with his team hesitant, casual and lack of creativity against Chelsea
- Manchester United seemed to have turned towards a better future recently
- But the United that existed in August re-emerged at Wembley
- It’s hard not to feel sorry for David De Gea who should have left a long time ago
This was like looking at Manchester United that existed before the arrival of Bruno Fernandes and the rise of Mason Greenwood.
Hesitant, unanimous and lack of creativity. How strange that this version of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United would be able to show itself again when a corner turned to a brighter, more recognizable future.
Solskjaer, the United manager, undoubtedly played his own role in this huge step backwards. Solskjaer would have clearly picked his team with two last Premier League games in mind, would have left Greenwood, Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba out if he knew his club’s top four rivals, Leicester City, were on the point to lose heavily at Tottenham just before the game started?
Man United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer played his own part in this massive backward step
The Norwegian’s side seemed hesitant, impatient and lacked creativity against Chelsea
It seems inconceivable that he would have done that, but the fact remains that he should not have selected this team. His United team has become popular lately due to the consistency of selection and the sheer threat of his front three.
Omitting two of them for this game was simply not necessary. In doing so, he essentially returned them to where they were last fall and Solskjaer paid a high price for that.
David de Gea’s personal horror show was fundamental to this defeat, and it’s impossible not to feel sorry for a goalkeeper who should have left the club years ago. Chelsea’s first goal – beautifully captured by Olivier Giroud – may have been a mistake by De Gea.
It was not necessary to let Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood out of base XI
Paul Pogba and his teammates have been warmed by the consistency of selection
Their second, scored by Mason Mount, was sure and it’s hard to know who will be feeling worse this morning, De Gea or Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder.
United’s long-term Gea replacement is Dean Henderson, currently on loan at Bramall Lane. Undoubtedly, Wilder is preparing to spend this week with his phone turned off.
But this was a no-show from United that originated in something much deeper than one man’s mistakes, namely that Solskjaer’s squad is not yet good enough to absorb the changes he has forced on them here. He doesn’t have enough match winners to rotate like that and as such this was a serious misstep on the young United manager.
Their recent progress was astonishing, but Solskjaer’s decision to leave his most powerful weapons on the bench left them looking a little naked. Chelsea manager Frank Lampard must have received the United team form with enthusiasm and this was a match that dictated his match from the first moment.
David de Gea’s personal horror show was fundamental to this defeat and he had to leave
Management can be complicated, but some things shouldn’t be. Choosing your best team for the big games is one way to keep it simple. It was because Sir Alex Ferguson did that so often that Solskjaer’s own United career had so many replacement appearances. There were some very good center forward in the Ferguson and Solskjaer team in the late 1990s should it never really pass.
Here at Wembley, Solskjaer went back to players like Daniel James, Eric Bailly and midfielder Fred. James had only started one game since the lockdown, Fred only one since Pogba was found fit again, while Bailly started only one Premier League all season. So why play them in this game? It didn’t make sense at all and to have a chance at the game, United probably had to score first.
At least that would have given them something to hold on to. What was certain was that this side would never dominate the ball against a Chelsea side that was technically superior. For the Lampard team, young Mount was impressive while Giroud had a good time playing.
Mason Mount was impressive while Olivier Giroud played well in a match he enjoys
More importantly, Chelsea just looked like a team that knew what it was doing. There has been a clear presentation of Lampard’s management this season that has been impressive.
Unlike previous Chelsea managers Maurizio Sarri and Antonio Conte, there is nothing mysterious or overly clever about Lampard’s methods. For the most part, he has picked players in their usual positions and applied a system that suits them. It wasn’t always perfect, but Chelsea slowly evolved along a line that was pretty clear from the start of the season.
Now Lampard has a final as a reward and if that next season is accompanied by a place in the Champions League, he has no longer asked for his first campaign as a manager.
The Chelsea players will have woken up this morning, still amazed at how straightforward this was, how simple United made it for them. As for Solskjaer, he will suffer from one notable fact. Wednesday only West Ham is at home.
There was an impressive, straightforwardness about Lampard’s management this season