One of the only things united fans will unanimously agree upon, is the lack of goals this season. The same problem emerged towards the tail-end of last season and we don’t seem to have found a permanent solution for it. But there have been patches of games where we witness goals galore. So what is the key to United scoring more?
To look for an answer, we need to look no further back than the start of Ole’s reign at United. In Ole’s first 17 games in charge, Manchester United scored a whopping 42 goals. United’s record across these 17 games in all competitions was 14 wins, 2 draws and a single defeat. The fact that our record was so much better when we scoring more goals is no coincidence. When we outscore the opposition it naturally gives us a higher chance of gaining positive results. There is a definitive line we can draw after the PSG game, and analyze what went wrong and lead to the drastic dip in form and the swift drying up of goals. And thus, we can see a few reasons that were key to our goals.
A solid midfield
For the majority of Ole’s first 17 games, United fielded a midfield 3 of Matic, Herrera and Pogba with Pogba playing a slightly advanced role. Matic sat at the base of this midfield and Herrera, who probably was the most integral part of the trio, picked up all the pieces between Matic and Pogba. This well balanced midfield gave us the perfect balance of defence and attack with protection to the backline and Pogba at his creative best.
Anthony Martial is the best out and out forward at the club right now and he proves his worth time and time again. During the purple patch of 17 games at the start of Ole’s reign, Martial was an intergral part of the front line and the same goes for our positive results this season. Most of the games this season here United have struggled to score goals happened to be the games where Martial was out injured. We can clearly see the improvement in United’s results.
Right players in the right position
Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial are arguably the most creative and goal creating threats we have in our team. As results over the past year or so have shown, these players like many others thrive in a particular position with specific roles. Marcus has shown in the past month or so that he is much more effective from the left than he is from the middle. And from the middle, Anthony Martial is a lot more clinical when he plays through the middle. Similarly, Pogba’s performances are a lot better when he plays in an advanced role.
These are just a few key reasons to United scoring more but definitely gives a blueprint to a better goal output from the squad. Improvement and consistency in these key areas will be hard to achieve but there are positive signs from Ole and all we can hope for is that we see progression and growth in the team come the end of this season.