April 19, 2021

Man Utd

News

Man United have two examples to prove why Amad should be playing more often

3 min read

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has often looked to emulate Manchester United great Sir Alex Ferguson since his appointment to the top job in English football, but over the past week he has been doing a pretty good impression of Louis van Gaal.

Three matches, three draws, no goals scored, no goals conceded. Lifeless, uninspiring football which has lowered expectations enormously ahead of the Manchester derby this weekend.

United’s best wins under Solskjaer have all come away from home when expectations were low – so it is not beyond the realms of possibility that they emerge with a positive result on Sunday.

However, even if United do avoid defeat by the champions-elect, very few would view it as a sign of progress after a week of regression.

Supporters have plenty of reasons to feel gloomy after the last three results but perhaps the biggest concern they should have is with Solskjaer’s game-management

A needlessly strong side started against Sociedad when fringe players should have been utilised, leaving the likes of Bruno Fernandes depleted ahead of the game away at Chelsea. Then in the match at Stamford Bridge only one substitute was used when it was so clear to see that bigger alterations were needed.

The issue was exposed again on Wednesday night as United left it late to bring on Scott McTominay and Daniel James despite warning signs being apparent from so early on in the match.

It’s important to note this is not necessarily a criticism of the players who did come on, with McTominay and James having chances to score, but rather a concern over both the timing of the changes and the personnel who weren’t utilised.

Making two substitutions with roughly 15 minutes of the game remaining gave the duo very little time to impose themselves properly against a Palace defence which was sitting back and inviting pressure on.

The nature of the game suited a player who could unlock the defence in a moment of magic. Usually that falls to Fernandes and if not him then the injured Paul Pogba.

Surely it would have made sense give Amad a chance to spark the game into life by putting him on the right wing and allowing him to expose the space left behind by Patrick Van Aanholt?

United do deserve credit for the cautious way they have managed the Ivorian so far, but soon they will need to actually back up his potential£37million price-tag by unleashing him into regular first-team action.

“Of course, we had Shola (Shoretire) or Amad but which one of those five would you take off?” Solskjaer asked at full-time. “That was my quandary in the last 10 or 15 minutes.

“But I felt in Mason, Bruno, Marcus they could get a goal. Scotty and Dan actually had a chance each when they came on.”

Despite his reasoning it is still baffling United opted against introducing either teenager as they ticked over five hours since they last scored a goal.

Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford both made their impact on top-flight football when they were at Amad’s age and now it is down to Solskjaer to take the next brave step in his development by unleashing him.

On a night like Wednesday he might well have decided the game – and even if he didn’t, he’d have been excused for the wider failings of the team.

While the recent results might have been a reminder of Van Gaal’s style of play it is ironic the Dutchman would probably have given the youngsters a chance.

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