Manchester United: The missing element.

Fernandes vs Newcastle.
United vs Spurs 3–1.

1. “United is still too left sided but for now they need it..”

The City and Omonia games proved why United needed those relationships back. The attack is better with Martial, Rashford and Shaw in it. Fernandes plays better with Martial as they are compatible.

Combination with Martial.
Overlaps with Shaw
Man Utd vs. Omonia
Shaw and Sancho combinations.
Left-side Combinations.
Man Utd pass maps vs Spurs and Newcastle United. (@jdeposicion)
Dalot and Antony are separated as play goes mainly down the left. (Bottom two from @dharnishiqbal)

2. “Eriksen and Fernandes can’t play together.” — The media.

The issue isn’t with the players themselves but with the roles. Eriksen is only responsible for progression when United is building up, which he is very capable of doing. And as mentioned before, Fernandes is still burdened with the role of the sole creator of the team and he is free to roam where he wants in order to create— be that on the transition or in settled position.

Fernandes creating from deep or final third.
Christian Eriksen progression role.

3. “Fernandes’ is a problem with his low pass accuracy”

The style and the state of team affects how Fernandes creates. Last season, United were constantly pushed back and relied heavily on transitions and counter attacks to create. Even this season vs. the big teams United resorted to low blocks to get their wins over Liverpool, Arsenal, Leicester and even in the loss vs City. This forces Fernandes to take more risks as he knows he will be counter-pressed by teams and it is the optimal time to attack them when their shape is broken. Fernandes explains his thinking below in an interview with the Athletic — just listen from min 1:32 to 4:00.

Fernandes talks about the reason he takes so many risks.



Just a guy interested in football.

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