Tactics Journal

by Kyle Boas

Analyzing football tactics

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Manchester United's Crisis In Perspective

I have put together an equivalent list of players from each team, in the current top four, to put Manchester United’s injury crisis into perspective.

Manchester United are without the following players either through suspension, injury, or another reason:

  • Luke Shaw
  • Lisandro Martinez
  • Mason Mount
  • Harry Maguire
  • Casemiro
  • Sofyan Amrabat
  • Victor Lindelof
  • Anthony Martial
  • Tyrell Malacia
  • Jadon Sancho (disciplinary)
  • Andre Onana (AFCON)

I feel we are judging Manchester United too harshly in the midst of a colossal crisis, the likes of which would sink any club in the top four.

Liverpool:

  • Andrew Robertson
  • Joel Matip
  • Ibrahima Konate
  • Thiago
  • Wataru Endo
  • Alexis Mac Allister
  • Joe Gomez
  • Cody Gakpo
  • Konstantinos Tsimikas
  • Diogo Jota
  • Alisson

Aston Villa:

  • Álex Moreno
  • Tyrone Mings
  • Ezri Konsa
  • Emiliano Buendia
  • Boubacar Kamara
  • Leander Dendoncker
  • Clément Lenglet
  • Jhon Duran
  • Lucas Digne
  • Leon Bailey
  • Emiliano Martinez

Manchester City:

  • Kyle Walker
  • Nathan Ake
  • Bernardo Silva
  • John Stones
  • Rodri
  • Kalvin Phillips
  • Josko Gvardiol
  • Julian Alvarez
  • Rico Lewis
  • Jack Grealish
  • Ederson

Arsenal:

  • Oleksandr Zinchenko
  • Gabriel
  • Leandro Trossard
  • Takehiro Tomiyasu
  • Thomas Partey
  • Jorginho
  • Ben White
  • Eddie Nketiah
  • Jurrien Timber
  • Gabriel Martinelli
  • David Raya

These lists are not to compare the quality, so don’t think I’m saying Bernardo Silva is as good as Mason Mount. It’s a comparable equivalent to show their importance within United’s squad.

Would you expect these teams to remain in the top four if they were missing all of these players at one time? If the answer is no, which it should be, then why are we judging Manchester United as harshly as we are? Why are we expecting them to play well?

I think it is partly due to the fact that we don’t rate their players. “Who cares if they’re unavailable, they’re not good.” The issue is that they are good when fit, and that is all they have. They proved last season that they can compete at a high level.

Part of it is bad luck, another part is likely mismanagement. Poor training regimen, overworked, etc. Information we don’t have. It would be pure guessing to place blame on one person, but it will fall on Erik Ten Hag.

Brighton, Brentford, Chelsea, Bournemouth, and Newcastle are the only teams that could say that they’re going through a comparable crisis today. Every team is struggling, but the expectations need to match the extent of the struggle.

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