It’s fair to say Manchester United have had an inconsistent season so far this time around and while having a young squad has played a factor, some of it has also had to do with their inability to create chances.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have garnered a reputation as being a counter-attacking team with their most successful matches, such as wins against Tottenham and Manchester City, only coming about due to counter-attacking.
Their inability to seemingly beat teams when they have the lions share of possession is rather shocking and the result of their lack of quality in breaking down stubborn opposition.
This is all obvious with the naked eye but looking at the statistics it helps give us a clearer idea as to what is happening exactly and perhaps why.
Some fans have even criticised Solskjaer appearing to be baffled on the touchline whenever the Red Devils aren’t playing well instead of solving the problem.
Manchester United: Grades in 2019-20 pic.twitter.com/8xwCmiWus4
— UtdArena. (@utdarena) January 4, 2020
It’s clear to see why Manchester United are a great counter-attacking team given their excellent dribbling, line-breaking passing quality and shot probability against.
The question now becomes, if they’re capable of breaking the lines with their passing, why can’t they create dangerous chances or score more often.
The obvious answer is that United have no trouble getting to the final third but their problem is playing that final killer pass that helps them defeat deep defences.
So the question now becomes why do they struggle to do that? This time the answer isn’t so obvious with some blaming Solskjaer’s poor coaching and others blaming the lack of a playmaking attacking-midfielder.
The truth probably lays somewhere in between but if the legendary Norwegian hopes to hold onto his job, he’ll have to find a solution as soon as possible whether that’s changing his own methods or dipping into the January transfer market.