New Year's Resolutions Manchester United Should Keep In 2019
Background Photo By: Andrea Sartorati, CC By 2.0.
A prolific festive session under interim manager Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer recalls the old Manchester United. The swagger and fear factor rampant during Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign are back. Following an emotional breakdown under Jose Mourinho, OGS is providing spiritual healing.
That said, the Red Devils remain a work in progress. Crucial decisions must be made correctly for them to resume their place in the title mix. Like the rest of us, it isn't a bad idea for United to make a few New Years resolutions to help them improve in 2019. Here are four.
Sign Better Defenders
Shaky defending persists in Untied's rearguard even with Mourinho gone. Newcastle was the team's first clean sheet under Solskjaer but the Magpies had chances that more accomplished forwards would have finished. Solsjkaer gives defenders more freedom to roam forward but a sturdy attack still unnerves his centre-halves. United have conceded 32 goals in the Premier League this season, more than all but six clubs and more than any club below them in the table has scored.
Victor Lindelof is in inspired form, yet inconsistency from Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Antonio Valencia, not to mention injury worries, rattle any close observer's faith in their ability. United must shell out big money to add at least one world-class defender to their roster. They also need better cover for blossoming wingbacks Diogo Dalot, luke Shaw and the recently returned Timothy Fosu-Mensah.
There’s too much dead wood at Manchester United right now. Ageing stars who lack pace clog the channels younger, more energetic players might fill. A mass-clear out is necessary for the Red Devils this year.
Marcos Rojo's rash tackling, Matteo Darmian's offensive limitations and Antonio Valencia's defensive ones hamper Solskjaer's progress. United should also look to replace ageing, inconsistent players like Ashley Young, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling with younger, more prolific individuals from their academy or elsewhere. Ed Woodward must be as ruthless as Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano were at cleaning house last season at the Etihad. It made the difference in City's title run.
Their defensive record is now the fifth worst in the Premier League also. 🤯🤯
| #mufc | #livman | https://t.co/BlRqJm3NS5
Retain Pogba/Martial/De Gea Core
Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial's importance in attack stands out since Mourinho's departure. The French duo regained form when the shackles were removed. Pogba, in particular, looks a changed man in Solskjaer’s system, scoring four and assisting three in the last four games. Martial’s has the run of the park now, rather than being tethered to the left touchline. For some reason, it's more difficult to mark a man who's never in the same place.
David De Gea’s brilliance has also been tested time and again, with the Spaniard making more stunning saves.
These three form United's core. Ed Woodward must do everything possible to keep them.
Back this manager
Manchester United might frantically be looking for a managerial appointment in the summer but a top name isn't enough. The last three bosses prove as much. Ed Woodward must back the new man, whoever he is. In the interim, he should give Solskjaer, who has to be a candidate now, all the help he can in the January window.
Whoever is appointed by the Red Devils needs to be given at least around £150 million to rebuild the Red Devils into a proper championship quality side. With prices becoming more inflated each year, United need to spend big simply to catch up.