Man Utd

Manchester United lack the spark says Tony Cascarino

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Former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino is of the opinion that the current Manchester United side lack the spark and if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to save his managerial career at the Old Trafford, he must find a way to reignite it, one of the ways could be by making faster starts.

In his column in The Times, he wrote:

Manchester United cannot hope to make any progress under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer until they start games with more intensity.

They were tame for 65 minutes against Sheffield United last Sunday — failing to lay a glove on Chris Wilder’s team — and were the same in a sluggish performance in the first half against Aston Villa yesterday.

They keep giving themselves a mountain to climb and it is as if they need to fall behind before they can start playing. How is that a sustainable strategy?

A dejected Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the head coach / manager of Manchester United walks off at full time during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Aston Villa at Old Trafford on December 1, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

When you begin a game, you want your team to show drive, hunger and ambition. A fast start gets the crowd onside and builds a positive atmosphere. Starting slowly and falling behind can set the supporters on edge and create anxiety.

Last Sunday, Sheffield United had seven shots to Manchester United’s one in the first half. The figures yesterday were closer but Villa still outshot United in the first half at Old Trafford by five to four.

Over the whole season, United have taken 70 shots in the first half but faced 67. Compare that with the league leaders Liverpool, who have had 101 to 62, or Manchester City, who have outgunned their opponents by 140 to 52.

While United have kept things relatively tight in the opening 45 minutes of matches, only Burnley, Crystal Palace and West Ham United have had fewer attempts.

This is a worrying trend for Solskjaer that cannot continue if United are to start climbing the Premier League table.”

United now sit ninth in the Premier League table, one place and point behind Arsenal, having taken 18 from 14 games.

The Red Devils face AZ Alkmaar in a Europa League dead-rubber on Thursday before welcoming Everton to the Theatre of Dreams on Sunday.

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