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Things Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Needs to Change at Manchester United

A section of the Manchester United fanbase is already asking for Solskjaer to be replaced by a more experienced tactician.

However, the board is reportedly still backing the manager. Even though their recent record has been poor, there is no doubting the fact that Solskjaer has done a great job at Manchester United.

He needs to make sure all the work he's done over the past few seasons doesn't go to waste.

In order to do that, he needs to make some big decisions.

On that note, let's take a look at things Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to change at Manchester United.

1. Stick to using ball-winners in defensive midfield

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gets a lot of stick for using the double midfield pivot of Scott McTominay and Fred. The criticism largely stems from the reasoning that neither McTominay nor Fred are great at distribution.

But the fact of the matter is that Manchester United is much more defensively solid when those two are on the pitch. Fred relentlessly chases down opposition midfielders and with him on the pitch, the Red Devils defend with intensity.

McTominay needs to work on his spatial awareness but he brings a lot of energy to the side. As we saw against Leicester City, the midfield pivot of Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba spells disaster. Neither of them is quick or good at winning the ball back.

Pogba, in particular, should not be playing in defensive midfield. For example, he made zero tackles in the game against Leicester City. The Frenchman was dribbled past three times and committed six fouls in total. He also won just two out of 13 ground duels and lost possession 12 times.

2. Stop relying on Cristiano Ronaldo


With Ronaldo on the pitch, United is affording far too much space and time for the opposition to play through them. This is a team that was settling down well into a system and now they're being forced to reconsider how to maintain their shape.

As a result, the midfielders are being forced to cover too much lateral space because there is no urgency being shown up. This opens up far too much space between midfield and defense and that is why, time and again, United seems too vulnerable every time they lose possession.

3. Solskjaer needs to use his squad better

It's always easy to say this in hindsight but Harry Maguire should never have started the game against Leicester City. He was severely off the pace and at fault for nearly every goal the Foxes scored as Manchester United fell to a 4-2 loss over the weekend.

Solskjaer could have called upon Eric Bailly. Sure, the Ivory Coast international has an erratic streak in him. But he would have been a lot sharper than Maguire, who was returning from a calf injury he picked up in the last week of September.

The Manchester United manager keeps rotating his starting XI which eats at the stability of the side. Bafflingly, however, he seems reluctant to rely on players like Eric Bailly and Donny van de Beek.

Alex Telles is another case in point. The Brazilian scored a wonderful volley against Villarreal and his confidence would have been up to after that game. Instead of using him for a second consecutive game, Solskjaer immediately went back to using Luke Shaw.

The Englishman was out with a minor injury he picked up a week ago against Aston Villa.

 Before the break, Ole played an injured Luke Shaw ahead of a confident Telles who had just scored against Villarreal then he played Maguire who wasn't match fit ahead of Bailly. Solskjaer must start trusting the squad and stop playing unfit players.

4. More efficient pressing higher up the pitch

Manchester United suffers every time they come up against a side that presses high up the pitch.

They still struggle to play out from the back comfortably when they are up against players who hound them relentlessly. Leicester City's opening goal came from a terrible mistake Maguire committed while trying to build from the back.

Meanwhile, Manchester United allows their opposition plenty of time on the ball in their half.

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