After Manchester United’s treble-winning season coming to its end, fans should be relatively happy with their season.
However, there are changes that need to be made for their next campaign.
The Red Devils finished sixth in the league while the trophies that they did claim were the less prestigious ones on offer.
What should Jose Mourinho be looking to alter before his side return to competitive action?
Play more attacking and expansive football
Under Sir Alex Ferguson, United fans were treated to expansive, attacking football, and they perhaps didn’t realise how lucky they were. Of course, Jose Mourinho has a different way of setting up his teams, more dependent on his side’s ability to get a lead and then keep it.
However, at times this season, Manchester United have simply not been resolute enough, and have been unable to create or score chances at the other end. They drew ten matches at home in the Premier League this season and in all of those matches they were unable to score more than one goal. Clearly then, a shift must be made to this United side to score more goals and we could see them change tact to become more offensive.
They certainly have the players to do it with quick attackers in front of some of the best passers in the league. Whether Mourinho will move away from something that has given him and his teams so much success remains to be seen, but United fans would love to see an expansive, attacking style return to Old Trafford.
Play two up-front
As mentioned, United have really struggled to score at times this season, could this be down to playing one striker. Although Zlatan Ibrahimovic delivered in the lone striker role, scoring 17 goals in the league, there was little combination from midfielder or wide positions, with Juan Mata being their next top goal scorer with just six.
By bringing in another striker and playing two up top the chances of them scoring, providing they have the right service, is significantly higher.
It is not as though they don’t have the players to do it, with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial chomping at the bit to get a run of games up front. For both young players, playing time is crucial and playing alongside the veteran Ibrahimovic could really aid their development.
Even then, the Manchester club have the finances and pulling power to attract a top striker who could fit in alongside the Swede in a move that would really benefit the team in regards to goal scoring.
Avoiding the long-ball tactic
Often this season, United have been stuck at a stalemate and instead of upping the tempo of their build-up play, they have opted to completely miss out their midfield in transitional play. Mourinho’s side have often pumped the ball long to Ibrahimovic and Marouane Fellaini in the hope that something will happen.
The big Belgian looks set to be at Manchester United for at least another season and apart from his height, he fails to offer much more. His presence of the pitch is often something coupled with long balls and this needs to change.
With the players United have, technicians such as Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Juan Mata and Paul Pogba, this side needs to do more than hopefully punt the ball forward to Fellaini. He could be deployed far more effectively as a deeper ball-winning midfielder or an impact sub, not as an attacking outlet.
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