Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Six-goal humiliation leaves Manchester United in crisis again

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Manchester United suffered their worst defeat in nine years on Sunday when Tottenham’s 6-1 loss at Old Trafford plunged the Red Devils into a state of family crisis.

United have not competed for the Premier League title since legendary former coach Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

However, there was high hope that the club was on the rise, as they secured a return to the Champions League after a 14 game unbeaten streak to finish the Premier League last season.

That optimism has proven to be a mistake during the first month of the new campaign, as United were also beaten 3-1 at home to Crystal Palace and were incredibly lucky to escape with a 3-2 win in Brighton at the end. last week.

AFP Sport looks at three main reasons behind United’s problems.

Years of Glazer Ownership

United owners and decision-makers have been harshly criticized for failing to strengthen as their rivals have hit the transfer market despite the economic cloud caused by the coronavirus.

However, Manchester United’s finances have been crippled by the leveraged buyout of the club by the Glazer family in 2005.

Unlike most of its Premier League rivals who can count on a net investment of their own, more than £ 1 billion has flowed out of United over the past 15 years in dividends.

Thanks to the huge income derived from the club’s success during Ferguson’s 27 years in office, United have still spent a lot on the transfer market and on salaries since the Scotsman left.

But with Executive Vice President Ed Woodward the man who makes the deals and no sports director, United lacks the structure behind the scenes to get the best return on its investment.

While a defense that has conceded 11 goals in its first three league games is in dire need of reinforcement, United have spent most of the summer in desperate pursuit of Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho and it looks set to bring in Uruguayan forward Edison Cavani on a free transfer. .

Tottenham manager José Mourinho, who was fired by United in December 2018, put salt on his former club’s wounds by praising the Spurs structure “that made it possible to have this team” after significantly bolstering his options in The last weeks.

Focus on Solskjaer

The ire of most fans may lie with their superiors, but there are doubts that United can rediscover their former glories with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as coach.

Initially, Solskjaer was seen as a hollow until the end of the 2018/19 season after Mourinho’s dismissal before a spectacularly streak earned him a three-year deal.

They advanced last season to finish third last season, but United were still 33 points behind champions Liverpool.

If results don’t improve, the roles could be reversed with United in search of a former Tottenham manager.

Mauricio Pochettino remains without a club since he was fired by Spurs a year ago, just a few months after leading them to the first final of the Champions League.

Dubious defense

United’s defensive record could be even worse if Brighton hadn’t hit the wood five times in defeat last weekend.

Harry Maguire may be the world’s most expensive defender, but he doesn’t look like it after a tight and trouble-ridden season off the field.

Solskjaer dropped Victor Lindelof in favor of Eric Bailly on Sunday, but the Ivorian was one of the biggest culprits in the loss and was lucky enough to stay on the field for a pair of smug kicks on Harry Kane.

Failure to find the right partner for Maguire threatens to derail his season, while former United defender Patrice Evra questioned why Maguire’s place is not at stake either.

The left-back is the only defensive position that can be improved on the day of the deadline with a deal with Porto for Alex Telles, reportedly nearby.

[AFP]

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