The old saying goes ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. Manchester United should perhaps have considered that before their Premier League clash with Bournemouth.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has seen his side’s winning run come to an end on a frustrating day on the coast.
Manchester United went into the game full of confidence after recent victories over Partizan Belgrade, Norwich City and Chelsea.
But they couldn’t keep their momentum going with Josh King’s first-half strike enough to give the home side all three points.
However, Manchester United may have been able to win had they stuck with the same formation that saw off Chelsea in midweek.
When the Red Devils line up with a back four, they look too open.
Bournemouth were able to, for the most part, run at United and get into their final third far too easily.
However, when United play three at the back – like they did in midweek – it tends to pay off.
That allows Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof to use their neat passing skills to help get players like Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Ashley Young on the attack.
It also allows Wan-Bissaka and Young to cover ground at both ends of the pitch.
The system seems to suit Scott McTominay and Fred, with the United duo performing best when Solskjaer chooses the 3-4-1-2 formation.
And it allows Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial to devastate teams by attacking them by cutting inside.
So why did Solskjaer change it?
United had stumbled across a winning formula but the defeat to Bournemouth will no doubt prompt more questions about the team.
Wan-Bissaka experienced arguably his worst outing yet. He should have stopped King from scoring for Bournemouth, allowing a ball to be dinked over his head.
Andreas Pereira was dire, too. The United star simply doesn’t offer enough creativity when deployed in a No 10 role.
Ashley Young’s crosses were intercepted nearly every time.
And Rashford and Martial were both anonymous in the second half, failing to pose a threat as United chased the game.
The only positive will be the cameos of Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams, who both caught the eye.
Greenwood nearly scored moments of coming on but found his effort striking the woodwork instead.
And Williams was an attacking threat when he came on. Surely, he has to start next time out.