Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Shearer pinpoints where Man Utd need to improve as he backs Ten Hag signing to come good

Ben Stewart
Alan Shearer football pundit before FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley

Newcastle legend Alan Shearer

Alan Shearer has identified where Manchester United will need to improve this season if they are to finish in the top four once again.

Erik ten Hag’s side have strung together back-to-back wins in the Premier League, but it’s fair to say that they have been off the pace so far.

Man Utd currently find themselves eighth in the table, five points adrift of the top four. Producing a consistent run of results will be crucial for Ten Hag’s side as they look to recover from a sluggish start.

One of their main problems so far has been scoring goals. The Red Devils have only scored 11 goals so far which is fewer than any other side currently in the top half.

Ruud Gullit thinks that Man Utd’s creative players need to pass the ball to Rasmus Hojlund more often and Shearer has also pinpointed the problems United have had in the final third.

“You feel as though, if they want to get in and around the top four, one thing has to change and that is the forwards have to chip in more with goals,” Shearer told Match of the Day.

“They certainly created the chances today and they should have put the ball in the back of the net more than they did. [Marcus] Rashford, [Rasmus] Hojlund, Antony, [Alejandro] Garnacho, [Anthony] Martial, you have got to ask for more, you have got to demand more when you are getting into these positions.

“Working the ball and passing the way they did, that was really good play until they are in the six-yard box when that should be in the back of the net. There is only one goal from that list which I have just read out and that is Rashford.”

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Shearer backs Hojlund to come good

Plenty of Man Utd fans will be pinning their hopes on Hojlund when it comes to changing their attacking fortunes. He is yet to score in the Premier League, but he has scored three goals in the Champions League.

Shearer does think that Hojlund will prove to be a good player for Man Utd, but the pundit has insisted that Ten Hag’s side need to be more clinical.

“They have had nine league games and I do think he [Hojlund] will be a good player. I don’t know why, after the goal he [Rashford] scored in midweek he was taking a touch, you would have thought he would be full of confidence and just hitting that.

“They are getting into the positions and they are creating the chances so I suppose the time to worry is when you are not doing that at all.

“But there are the stats at the minute, McTominay is their top goalscorer and he has only started three league games and scored three goals.

The demand to put the ball in the back of the net from those three [Hojlund, Rashford and Martial] in particular but you have to add Antony and Garnacho into that. To be in and around the top four, that has to improve.”

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