Sunday, 11 September 2016


yesterday mana utd played man city in utd's home .   the game can be clearly described as the game of two halves . the first halves was the proper footballing lesson from city to utd and the way you get ur formation correct and how you make it work .this was the game where on one team likes to have the ball and open the opposition by dominating then with possession and testing them with their defensive concentration and organisation . while the other one like to keep it compact and likes to play on the counter . the game could had been over and it would had been spanking had city been a little bit more clinical . while the first half was for city utd came into the game into the second half with the change of their personal and formation. but one thing that i was very much surprised and disappointed by was the time that mouriniho took to change the formation and personal . i expected him to make the changes immediately in the first half itself when he saw that his formation was not working and that the game was getting drifted away from him and man city having so much of ball . not only that they had the penetration  in the utd defense . for me he could have had made the formation changes in the first half itself and time that he took to make the changes was the reason that utd lost the game .
now it doesnt matter as to what formation you play but its the players who make the formation work . its the players understanding which comes from managers teaching which he does it on the training pitch to make them understand as to what they need to do in the run of play and what their position should be . i remember paul scholes talking about the way former man utd assistant carlos quieroz taking the team's defensive drills as to how and what they should do when they loose the ball and how much distance there should be between players and who should mark whom and how players will help each other out on defense . the reason of this writing is because in the first half man utd were too flat too much too much wide and just like most mouriniho team lacking cohesion .
utd started the game with 4-2-3-1 formation which was 4-4-2 on defense while city started the game with 4-1-4-1  or 4-3-3 formation. now the formation here are very important and as i had said is the kind of players that used to make this formation work . while utd had fellaini and pogba in the middle while  city had fernandiniho ,silva and de bruyne in the middle . first thing city had the numbers advantage in the middle of the park . seconldy there players were more mobile compared to utd . the game started with the familiar note of how gaurdiola's team play and he has started to put his stamp on the team . city had illenacho upfront with nolito and sterling on the wings . the gaurdiola stamp can already be seen they like to play out from the back . they are comfortable on the ball . the centre backs can play ball and pass it . the signs were in the first evident in the first five minutes itself when otamendi could bring ball out from the back and release de bruyne in the space between valencia and baiely . city's game plan was that nolito and sterling will keep on stretching the defense and you could see that city were passing the ball from one end to other in the bid to keep on stretching utd . what this will do was that this will create space in the middle for city where on they can exploit it with runners from midfield . there other plan was to release nolito or sterling behind the back four with them making the diagonal run . the trouble for utd was that utd were not that cohesive on their defense .
as i had written earlier about the paul scholes incidence about carlos quieroz . here fellaini and pogba just didnt had the cohesive ness between them . this fact can be seen with the space between them . this was the first thing that mouriniho failed to correct . he should have asked fellaini and pogba to close the gap between them . if you could see that they had somewhere around 10 yards of space between these two playes . now that kind of space is enough to exploit for the team like city . pogba and fellaini needed to complement each and that is what is expected of them on defense but for me pogba is not that good on defensive discipline . city dont spend time on the ball and players like silva and de bruyne didn infact exploit that space if you could see . utd were very much stretched in the first half . when utd had the ball utd were trying to go direct to zlatan . city just made sure that he didnt any time on the ball and closed him down very quickly and stones and otamendi were on ibra in a flash and just because of the lack of cohesion in mouriniho's team city could just close down utd quickly and have the possession back . second thing was the lack of confidence on the ball by certain utd players like rooney and lingard ( i dont know why he started ). although rooney had changed his game plan and he looks to passing the ball in one go but still he looks suspect with the ball . utd didnt really had the plan as to what they are going to do when they have the ball . silva was the main man for city his ability to come deep collect the ball and roll the play and control the tempo of the game . city's mobility in the midfield and utd's lack of it was the main reason as to why city dominated the first half and could have closed the game in the first half .
now credit to jose he made the changes in the second half and which bought utd back in the game but at the same utd were monotonous and one dimensional . first thing he bought herrera in the midfield now herrera is the most important player as far as utd are concerned he is there most mobile player who covers a lot of grass for them . seconldy he provided that all important mobility in the middle of the park which utd lacked . while he replaced lingard who had a bad game . he switched rooney on the right flank in the bid that he would be able to provide same kind of cross which won them the southampton game. for that he pushed pogba and fellaini forward in the bid to have more height in the box but city defended good and never allowed utd sniff at the goal . just as utd grew in the game city changed their approach they started to city back  deeper because rashford was on the pitch and the kid does link's up very good others . city didnt want to have him space behind the back to run . secondly they started to sit back and hit utd on the counter . thirdly they went defensive with having 5 at the back and congesting space . the thing with utd was that they just didnt had the game plan to open up city and they depend on players ability rather than team work to open defenses .
now something about the players specially utd's . baiely had started the first 4 games but i think he need to be dropped and needs to be taught the proper way to defend . he needs to be taught that defending is about patience and about picking ur moment . he needs to have the better game reading because he is the one who will be exposed if the front players dont do their job . i had already said that blind was made centre back because of the emergency and his best position should be in the middle of park with herrera . i think fellaini needs a mobile partner like herrera or blind and that will give them the edge . pogba had developed technically very well but now he needs to learn the game and how he should run and control the game and the defensive side of it if he wants to be a good no.6 . if we say that he was the same way that he was when he was young then sir alex wasnt wrong to let him go because he hasnt got the brain to control the game even after playing so many game . so time to learn . zlatan for me looked absent in the second half because when rashford crossed him the ball i think he wasnt expecting it . i think with the kid on the ball you should be ready . mikhitariyan had a bad day but he will show his true colors . stones needs to sort out his passing and cut out his mistakes cause if he doesnt gaurdiola will not hesitate to axe him .
last but not the least but why doesnt jose shows the balls and subbed rooney . utd had suffered enough because at times rooney doesnt belongs there and bringing martial in place of rooney earlier would had given utd more impetus . last but not the least i think this should give jose to create a better cohesion in the team and teach pogba the nitty gritties of midfield position . he should stop picking fellaini because his lack of mobility can cost utd . all and all i think jose will come back stronger while gaurdiola will keep on improving .