Manchester United’s achilles heel


Could we really find any faults in any of Man Utd’s performances in the league so far? Maybe not. They stand at the top of the table with the most goals scored and the highest goal difference in the league along with 3 clean sheets.

Manchester United finally look like a team, but it’s definitely not all rainbows and sunshine. There are cracks and flaws, that need to be corrected. There are players who still are yet to perform up to their levels. In all of the optimism and high spirits, there are some concerns as well.

Manchester United’s purchase of Lukaku and the resigning of Zlatan Ibrahimovic does paint a picture of what sort of attack the opposition might be up against.

The analysts will not butcher you if you were to think that a lot of their attacks would come from down the flanks. Certainly, with one of the tallest teams in the Premier League, United will look to cause a considerable amount of damage via set-pieces and crosses.

This could be Manchester United’s Achilles heel, their fullbacks. Antonio Valencia and Daley Blind’s performances have been overshadowed by the victories. While both are defensively sound, they do not offer much in attack.

Romelu Lukaku’s aerial prowess is there to be taken advantage of, but the crosses into the box are dismal, to say the least. In the game against Leicester, Manchester United put in 39 crosses into the box; with only 9 being completed. That accuracy is glaring. But what’s even more surprising is the fact that just 2 of those 9 could be considered as serious threats to the opposition; with 1 being converted into a goal by the virtue of a Mkhitaryan corner.

Much of last season, Manchester United tried to penetrate through the centre; as a result of which, most of the teams would make it compact in the centre of the park which would lead to United drawing blanks in attack. They do not possess out-and-out wingers, and so it is obviously the responsibility of the fullbacks to provide the service.
Antonio Valencia is one-footed and Daley Blind is too slow. These are certain areas where Manchester United can improve, and should improve if they want to continue their momentum.

It may provide an alternate route of attack when teams play with 10 men behind the ball, as an accurate cross into the forward’s path would, at least 9 times out of 10, lead to a goal.