In the Premier League’s early kick-off on Saturday, Manchester United produced a superb 3-1 victory at Everton. The win was much-needed after a 2-1 midweek defeat at Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League. Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes scored a brace, with Edinson Cavani also getting on the scoresheet. The former had a standout game, although he may have been slightly fortunate not to see a red card after several fouls following a yellow card.
A seventh straight away win
Despite their inconsistent recent form, the Red Devils have somehow recorded seven straight away wins in the Premier League. For all the talk of crisis, it seems strange that United have put together such a strong record on their travels. United are well set up to hit teams on the break through the pace of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, while star player Bruno Fernandes is not exactly slow. Maybe that is why the Red Devils are more effective away from home and underwhelm at Old Trafford.
United are just so unpredictable
During the reign of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as head coach, this sort of run is not a surprise. United have a squad full of expensive, highly-rated players who are capable of giving any team problems. The problem is that they seem to struggle to find any consistency and are so unpredictable.
As previously mentioned, they do seem to have developed a pattern of playing well on their travels, only to fail to break down teams on home soil. This is a problem that needs to be sorted.
If teams defend deep against Solskjaer’s team, then United often don’t have the creativity to make scoring chances. This will always be the case with this group of players and unless their head coach comes up with some fresh ideas in the near future.
United fans have hoped for consistency throughout the Norwegian’s reign. However, it has only come in short winning or unbeaten runs. These runs were enough to help the Red Devils to return to the top-four of the Premier League last season. They will not be enough to take turn them back into contenders for the title. The fact that the players can produce a result when it matters suggests a certain determination. It also suggests that the mentality is not right within the team, as they do not show that determination in every game.
United can still challenge for a top-four spot
The Red Devils form at times last season suggested that they could mount a title challenge in the near future. However, a summer of inactivity in the transfer market diluted any idea of Solskjaer’s team as potential title challengers.
Their poor start to the campaign had United as low as 15th place in the Premier League before the weekend’s action. The win at Goodison Park only moved United up to 14th place, but they are just five points outside the top-four in a congested English top-flight table. As we have learned under Solskjaer they have the quality to mount winning wins that could easily propel them into those Champions League spot in the next few months.
The team’s Norwegian boss has survived another week. The big question is can he find a way to get his team to produce consistently or will the team continue to be unpredictable and put his job on a knife-edge?
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Will Manchester United always be inconsistent under Solskjaer?