Another game and yet another disappointing result, but this time not due to questionable refereeing decisions or being unbelievable unlucky, but the lack of effort from the players put into the actual performance.
The overall tempo of the game was far too slow and the players showed an incredibly lackadaisical attitude compared to Fenerbahce who gave their all. This was a common theme during Van Gaal’s time at Manchester United with pointless possession fans boring fans to death, but Mourinho is yet to break this habit.
With the lack of off the ball movement, making threatening runs and general pace to the game, it makes me wonder why people keep questioning Lingard’s inclusion in the starting eleven. He can be quite a frustrating player to watch at times due to his inconsistent finishing, but his energy and movement brings so much more to the team despite it tending to go unnoticed. This game just emphasises the importance of Lingard to the team right now until other players step up to the plate and make the sort of runs that break up defences and cause so many problems.
When is comes to trying to find a remedy for these tedious performances, I can’t think of much worse than playing both Rooney and Ibrahimovic at the same time. Both players have their qualities yes, but both are struggling to find form and they lack the pace that they used to have in their younger years. Now is probably the best time to give either Rashford or Martial a go through the middle to try and add some much needed pace and energy to the frontline as the club is famous for doing.
It is actually quite embarrassing really thinking of the 1 shot on target the team had prior to Rooney’s goal, especially considering the huge contrast from the weekend’s game when we kept Tom Heaton extremely busy. It is even more baffling considering the attempts on goal there were in the final few minutes. Maybe if they had played like that all game they could have taken the 3 points or at least kept the fans awake.
To summarise it was yet another dire “Van Gaal-esque” performance with the team lacking any sort of motivation or desire to at least get a shot on goal. The lack of off the ball movement and runs is also quite concerning and maybe dropping Ibrahimovic could help bring some more life into the attack.