Danny Murphy feels Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to follow the blueprint of Chelsea counterpart Thomas Tuchel and end the policy of ‘carrying’ players in his team.
The pressure is mounting on the Red Devils chief once again after a run of poor results. Having taken 13 points from their first five games they have now added just one to that total from the next three. Saturday’s 4-2 loss to Leicester City saw the Old Trafford giants slip to sixth in the top-flight standings.
And they are already five points adrift of table-topping Chelsea. The Foxes reverse was the north-west outfit’s fourth loss in seven games in all competitions.
Former United defender Gary Neville has had his say on the situation. The Sky Sports pundit believes that a few players are not working hard enough for the cause.
But Murphy has another view and feels it is team selection and the personnel on view that is the issue.
“I said this a year ago – Pogba and Fernandes in the same team doesn’t work, unless you’ve got eight others who are workaholics,” he told talkSPORT. “You throw Ronaldo in the mix, in effect you’re carrying three, aren’t you.
“It’s fine to carry three attacking players if the rest of them know what they’re doing behind them.”
Solskjaer urged to get tough
There is no questioning United’s attack talent, with an embarrassment of riches at the Norwegian’s disposal. But the way in which they capitulated to Leicester late in the match will be a worry.
While United lost at the weekend, Chelsea dug out a tough 1-0 triumph over west London rivals Brentford. And Murphy believes Solskjaer would benefit from studying how the Stamford Bridge chief operates.
“What’s the answer? Work, and repercussions of performance. If you don’t have the repercussions of performance, you wont get the work in,” he added. “If you look at Tuchel over the last three weeks, he’s not just changed personnel and gone: ‘You fix it’.
“He’s actually gone to a five in midfield, with three central midfielders who are all defensive and the two wing-backs, and then played two strikers – he’s only got two attacking players on the pitch.
“And look at his bench, he doesn’t care who he upsets.”
United’s next task is to take on Italian side Atalanta in the Champions League on Wednesday. Then there is the small matter of Sunday’s clash with Liverpool on home soil.