Solving Manchester United’s defensive concerns

It's no secret. Manchester United are struggling defensively right now, despite having very capable players all over the pitch. In David De Gea, they have one of the best goalkeepers in the world. In Lindelof and Maguire, the Red Devils have a defensive pairing that spearheaded one of the league's sturdiest defensive structures last season, and led a Europa League charge. Ahead of them, they have two defensive warriors in Fred and McTominay, who will never be world beaters, but are very competent in what they offer. Despite that, Ralf Rangnick's team have conceded 10 goals in their last 5 games, floundering under the German's style of play. So what's amiss?

Assessing Manchester United’s future centre-back options

For the past few seasons, the attention on Manchester United's transfer business has surrounded their inability to sign a world class defensive midfielder. However, with United floundering under Ralf Rangnick's style of play, greater defensive concerns have been illuminated in the past few months.

Tactical Thinker: How would you solve Manchester United’s defensive concerns?

Things have been bumpy since Ralf Rangnick took over, with many players continuing to flounder under the new tactical ideals. The team's defensive problems have garnered particular attention in the media, with the likes of Maguire, Varane, Shaw and Wan-Bissaka continuously lambasted for their performances. So with that, this week we ask the following question in our third Tactical Thinker. How would you solve United's defensive concerns?

Ralf Rangnick – Manchester United – Tactical Analysis

Since the start of Ralf Rangnick's temporary tenure at Manchester United, rumours have persisted about who the next permanent boss to hold down a legitimate tenure may be. Erik Ten Hag and Mauricio Pochettino have been heavily linked, only continuing to take attention away from Manchester United's burning castle...and their desire to finish inside this season's top four. As the season nears Easter, the likelihood of Rangnick achieving that feat seems all the more unlikely, with Arsenal suddenly looking like the team to beat instead.

Tottenham 0-3 Manchester United – Tactical Analysis – Ole’s New Formation

After an entire week of calls for his head, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer put together a United masterclass, with the Red Devils smashing Nuno's Spurs by a scoreline of 3-0. The former United legend exemplified innovation by implementing a 3-4-1-2 formation, getting the best out of the likes of Edinson Cavani and Bruno Fernandes, and completely undoing Tottenham's 4-2-3-1 bra in the process. Here is our tactical analysis of the match.

The Longball Preview Show – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer stays…for now

This week John and Declan are coming to terms that Ole's still in charge of United, Declan argues that Phil Foden's the most important piece of City's attack, and it's a Patson Daka love fest to end the show! Follow the show on social media @mastermindsite and use the links below to follow our great panel. 

United’s Tactical Follies in the Post-Ronaldo Era – In-Depth Analysis

Cristiano Ronaldo's return to Manchester United started off with a bang. The Red Devils secured a remarkable 4-1 win over Newcastle that day, with the Portuguese striker scoring a brace. Since that dream debut, United have only won two from seven matches, playing some of the worst football they've displayed in the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era. Questions continue to persist regarding Solskjaer's future, but the problems at United lie far deeper than the manager himself. Here is a tactical analysis of United's tactical follies in the post-Ronaldo era.

The Longball – Premier League Preview Show – Ole’s at the wheel, Moyes blowing bubbles, and Pep and Klopp battle again

This week John and Declan are joined by Kausty and Dan Burke of One Football to discuss Matchday 7. Declan raves about just how good West Ham are, John is dejected about a United team that can’t seem to put it all their puzzle pieces together, and a top of the title clash between Liverpool and City has Kausty bursting with excitement! This week also sees the introduction of Declan’s Fantasy Corner, so plenty to enjoy on this week’s episode of the Longball!

Man United 5-1 Leeds – Tactical Analysis – Pogba’s Masterclass

We're not sure why his hair is blue, but Paul Pogba put on an absolute masterclass this weekend, assisting four goals in Manchester United's stunning 5-1 win over Leeds. It was an incredible performance all ends up from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team, and one that certainly sets them on the right path toward a title hunt this season if they can keep up this sort of form. Here is our analysis of the match. performance all ends up from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team, and one that certainly sets them on the right path toward a title hunt this season if they can keep up this sort of form. Here is our analysis of the match.

The Longball – Premier League Preview Show – Manchester United

On this episode of The Longball Premier League Preview Show, John and Declan are headed to Old Trafford to discuss whether Jadon Sancho can lead United to title winning glory. The panel also discuss all things Solskjaer, Pogba's possible transfer away and where Manchester United still need to strengthen heading into the season.

Futbol Masterminds – Champions League and Europa League Finals + Managerial Merry Go Round

This week the supposed underdogs pulled through in both the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League final fixtures, with Chelsea and Villarreal coming out victorious over Manchester City and Manchester United. The Futbol Masterminds break down all of their thoughts from the two finals, including Chelsea's stellar defense, Guardiola's strange tactics, and that crazy … Continue reading Futbol Masterminds – Champions League and Europa League Finals + Managerial Merry Go Round

Why South American players tend to fail at Manchester United (Part 2)

Following Manchester United’s first nine South American signings that were bought between 2000 and 2010, the club then purchased 11 more between 2011 and 2020. Those 11 purchases during the 2010s cost the club approximately £158.3 million in transfer fees, plus millions more in yearly wages. Over the last 10 years, inflation has greatly impacted the price of football transfers. Wealthy clubs began flexing their financial muscles more than ever in order to acquire various top-quality and in-demand players, which in turn has resulted in continuously increasing transfer fees. 

Manchester United 1-0 West Ham – Tactical Analysis

West Ham United have had an extraordinary season thus far. However, against second-place Manchester United, they failed to play with any conviction, almost as though they didn't believe in themselves to win the match. It was a confusing performance from the Hammers, who have achieved positive results against the likes of Leicester, Spurs, and even Manchester City this season. Here is Amelia-Toni Adejobi's Tactical Analysis of United's 1-0 win over the Hammers.