Manchester United embarrass themselves for the second year in a row in the Carabao Cup, after losing to Derby County on penalties in the third round of the competition. The goals from Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini were not enough to get past the Championship side, after Rams were better in the penalty shoot-out.
The Red Devils were atrocious and so far behind the expected levels. Jose Mourinho did slightly rotate in this match, but nevertheless, the starting XI consisted of five World Cup players, plus Sergio Romero, who would have been in Russia last summer if it was not for his injury. This team of international players seemed scared and too defensive in the second half of the match they played in front of their fans. In the end, Man United were lucky to even get to the penalties.
Jose Mourinho’s Strategy Is All Wrong
Well, that is if there is an actual strategy. The tweet you can see below tells a good story. Manchester United do not do any of the things that are a necessity in football in 2018. There is no aggression, there is no pressing and no verticality to the way United play. Passes breaking the lines of opposition are an unknown concept and Mourinho should be held responsible. He is the manager. The team looks and plays like the players are not actually training together during the week and defending against the Devils does not look complicated at all.
#MUFC problem is that “aggression” is currently king of football. Aggressive pressing. Pace going forward. Vertical passing. Taking chances, be aggressive. Manchester United are currently a passive, lumbering deep block. The antithesis of everything that’s working in 2018.
— Robbie Fahy (@RFahy00) September 25, 2018
Martial Did Well Despite Overall Team Performance
Anthony Martial finally got his chance to start for Manchester United and looks like he might start again this weekend. At least, if Jose Mourinho is to feel the way we felt about him. Nothing from Martial was extraordinary tonight, but he did have a good performance. There were some mistakes and maybe he could have done better with finishing chances, but overall, the Frenchman was very good. He was electric at times, attacking opposition with his pace and skill and actually creating something for his team-mates. Martial created three chances, made three successful dribbles and won eight of the nine duels. It was hard stopping him. He should get a chance to play this weekend.
I’ve been critical of Martial in recent times but I thought he did well tonight. Looked a constant threat. Slightly off-target with a few efforts, but he’s rusty, so that’s understandable. I’d like to see him given a run of games now to prove either way if he wants to be at #MUFC
— Jonathan Shrager (@JonathanShrager) September 25, 2018
Lampard Is Doing Great Job
It was maybe even more hurtful for Mourinho that it is his former player Frank Lampard who had beaten him this time. But the Chelsea legend is doing some great things at Derby. His work is still in its infancy, but with exhilarating players like Mason Mount and Harry Wilson, Derby are not scared of anyone. Their second half at Old Trafford was particularly good and Jack Mariott proved he will be a proper improvement amongst the strikers, after joining from Peterborough. Now, Derby could also make a good League Cup run.
Problems Will Continue
There is nothing in the slightest giving us hope that things with this Manchester United side will improve. This match only proved Jose Mourinho does not know how to improve the players he has, how to combine them into a fluid system of play, even against a Championship side. This season has been tough for the fans since the first press conference Mourinho held in the US and it will most probably continue this way. It will be a long ride.