Manchester United have played a mammoth 54 games across all competitions this season and it is starting to take a toll during the season run-in.
Unfortunately, manager Erik ten Hag is not exactly blessed with an abundance of options so he has been forced to select the same players over and over again.
Midfield and attack have let the Dutch manager down and it happened once again away at Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday.
Casemiro looked tired
United tried to sit back and defend a two-goal lead but the options from the bench were just not good enough while usual top-class performers faltered.
Casemiro has played 45 games now and without him United are very poor and thus the manager has stuck by him even when he has looked leggy.
On Thursday, especially in the second-half, the Brazilian looked tired and that allowed Spurs to wrest the initiative back from the visitors.
The Brazilian had 72 touches with 46 passes out of 56 finding their mark for a passing accuracy rate of 82%. Unfortunately, he lost possession 15 times.
Even in duels where the Brazil international generally excels at, he won only four out of eight duels and that was concerning.
Christian Eriksen, who has recently recovered from injury, was subbed off in favour of a hapless Fred whose erratic passing heaped further pressure on the 31-year-old.
ETH needs to find an able deputy for Brazilian
None of Casemiro’s three crosses came off while he failed to place his header on target deep into injury time.
He got an average match rating of 6.7 on Sofascore, the second-lowest among United players and due to a lack of quality options, the manager was forced to keep him on.
Casemiro’s influence has been there for all to see but Ten Hag and United must find a quality deputy for this crucial position. He needs some rest from time to time to truly shine consistently.
As for the former Real Madrid superstar, he will hope to show everyone this was a rare bad outing when United take on high-flying Aston Villa at the weekend.
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