Manchester United Football Club got absolutely dominated at The Etihad on Sunday afternoon. From start to finish, Jose Mourinho’s men were utterly outclassed.
The game was lost in midfield. David Silva absolutely ran the show with his passing and creativity, while Fernandinho won the ball back countless times, leaving Marouane Fellaini, Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera powerless.
Sure, losing Paul Pogba to injury was a massive blow. The Red Devils’ main offensive spark was gone, but that shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all. A club with United’s stature shouldn’t be so overly reliant on one player. Just look at how well City are coping without Kevin de Bruyne…
What’s massively concerning for me is the fact that the answer is under Mourinho’s nose. Fred, a £50+million summer signing was sat on the bench, and when United’s midfield options were struggling, he couldn’t even get a sniff.
The Brazil international was brought to freshen things up, his energy, creative spark, work-rate and tenacity was supposed to transform United. That hasn’t happened. Be it down to a lack of opportunities or the fact that he’s still getting up to speed, the 25-year-old needs a good run of games to get settled in. That has worked with both Victor Lindelof and Anthony Martial recently, why not try it again with Fred?
The ex-Shakhtar man isn’t the only option, either. You also have the homegrown Andreas Pereira. He did a stellar job in the #6 role over the summer during pre-season. His ability to break up the play while getting his team on the front-foot again is something that United have missed.
He started the season in the team, but after one poor half against Brighton & Hove Albion, we haven’t seen him since. You look at how poorly Matic has played over the last month or so, yet the man from Serbia retains his place. It feels as though there is one rule for one, and another for the youngsters.
As the old saying goes, if you’re good enough, you’re old enough. Now, it’s time for Mourinho to give Fred and Pereira a chance at winning their jobs back.