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Casemiro needs to focus on defensive midfield role and curb attacking instincts

by Ayantan Chowdhury

Manchester United’s poor start to the season continued as they suffered yet another home defeat, this time to Galatasaray in the Champions League on Tuesday.

It was yet another poor performance, especially from the big names, and the pressure on manager Erik ten Hag is set to be ramped up even more in the coming days.

One of the poorest performers on the night and in this season in general was Casemiro and the Dutchman needs to have a word with him.

Casemiro sees red again

The Brazilian saw a second yellow for a clumsy challenge inside the box after a terrible mistake from Andre Onana but more than that, it was his shambolic passing and the fact that he constantly abandoned his post that cost his side.

The former Real Madrid man hardly ever played expansive balls and was never required to act as the primary creative source during his days in Spain, but the manager seems to have given him the license to do this in Manchester.

Sometimes his first-time balls work but generally, keeping things simple would help the side more, especially when the team is clearly struggling to control games.

His penchant for Hollywood passes saw him complete only 31 percent of his attempted long balls, allowing the opposition to recycle possession time and time again.

He had a dismal pass completion rate of 72 percent against the Turkish side and lost possession a mammoth 16 times during the course of his 77-minute stay on the pitch.

He keeps venturing forward and his goalscoring has certainly helped the team but in the process, he leaves far too much gap down the middle.

Failing to do the basics properly

United ended up conceding via a cutback again as the Brazil international failed to track the free runner for Gala’s second. This has happened fairly often this season.

He is not fulfilling his primary role of cutting out opposition counters and attacks, and his duel win rate on Tuesday stood at a poor 45 percent (all stats via Sofascore).

His red means he will miss the next game against Copenhagen and it might be time for the manager to drop him and ensure he returns to his best.

Sofyan Amrabat can don the defensive midfield hat for now and Ten Hag can have a word with him about his primary responsibility and ask him to curb his attacking instincts.

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