Yesterday’s game against West Ham wasn’t frustrating only for the manager, it was for the fans too. That was Manchester United’s fourth successive game in the league without a win at home. And they have their finishing to blame.
It’s actually weird that United are suffering in front of the opposition’s goal. When Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly got injured, it was thought that United would have difficulties in defence. And why wouldn’t it be? Of course, you worry about your team’s defence when both your first choice centre backs are sidelined. But forget the defence. Now the actual problem lies up ahead.
United’s inadequate finishing ability came to light in the game against Burnley, in which United had 11 shots on target, 38 in total but, they failed to score a single goal and had to settle for a 0-0 draw. A similar scenario was encountered in the previous home league game against Stoke City, where United managed 24 shots with 9 on target. The result wasn’t convincing as the game finished 1-1.
At this point, everyone was optimistic that Mourinho somehow will find a way out of this stumbling block because United have shown some signs of excellence in the past games. For instance, the gameplay and the final score line against Leicester City in the league, Fenerbahce in the third Europa league group fixture and the latest Europa league game against Feyenoord would lift the spirit of any discontented fan. But, after watching the game against West ham, one can easily say that the problem still persists in the attacking unit and they certainly lack the finishing touch.
The home game against West Ham showcased that Jose Mourinho needs to focus on the finishing of his attackers, first and foremost. United are creating a lot of chances so, creativity isn’t the issue anymore. What’s not happening for United is wrapping up the created chances. Numerous clear cut chances were missed by United against West Ham last night that would have been enough to seal the victory if they went in. Statistically, United had 8 out of 17 shots on target against the Hammers. Yes, it was the same old story again, United were dominant in all areas, but all they lacked was the finishing touch . And the output was the same again – a draw. In-form central midfielder Ander Herrera has been left open-mouthed by their recent results –
“We’re playing so well, so it’s unbelievable we aren’t winning these games. I don’t know what I can say to our fans because it’s frustrating for everyone.”
The result meant United are now without a win in their last four home games in the league. This has happened for the first time ever in the Premier league era. Also, it’s their worst start to the campaign since the Premier league’s inception.
What’s tormenting here is the Red Devils have lost points at home against the teams from the bottom half of the table, except Arsenal, and one of the team is battling relegation. United was expected to get past these teams with ease at least on home soil. All of the Red Devil’s rivals are doing a decent job and that’s hurting the fans even more.
Leave the title race aside, United are 8 points adrift of 4th placed Arsenal and 11 points off the summit. In their last four league games at home, United have managed 33 shots on target and scored only three times. Call it unlucky or poor finishing but it’s costing them a fortune in terms of points.
Jose Mourinho must fix this before it’s too late for him. He still hasn’t found his best starting XI and keeps rotating the players almost every game. He has to brush up Manchester United’s attack and find a formula to be more clinical in front of goal if they are to remain in the hunt for the top four.