In recent weeks, Manchester United has faced criticism for a lack of attractive football.
Former midfielder Paul Scholes suggests that the team’s struggle with fluidity this season is due to Erik ten Hag’s challenges in implementing his preferred midfield system.
Despite strengthening the midfield with signings like Mason Mount and Sofyan Amrabat, injuries have disrupted Ten Hag’s plans. Mount, intended to play as a free-roaming No.8, has faced limited opportunities.
Injuries in various positions, including midfield, have prevented the consistent implementation of the desired system.
Scholes, analyzing United’s style ahead of the Luton Town match, expresses difficulty in identifying a clear playing style. He notes challenges in playing out from the back, citing the discomfort of certain players, especially center-backs and full-backs.
Scholes believes that due to the lack of pace in the defensive line, United may need to adopt a counter-attacking approach.
Acknowledging the electric pace in the forward line, Scholes highlights the success of counter-attacking goals, especially from players like Hojlund and Rashford. He mentions the potential of Alejandro Garnacho, emphasizing his threat as a substitute from the start.
Scholes suggests that Ten Hag is struggling to find the right balance in midfield, expressing the manager’s ideal preference for one holding midfielder and others in attacking roles.
While Ten Hag may want to replicate his Ajax approach, he appears cautious, possibly influenced by challenging experiences against Liverpool and Manchester City last season.
In ideal circumstances, Scholes believes Ten Hag would like to include Mason Mount and Fernandes in the team. However, attempts to do so this season have faced challenges, often resulting in Bruno Fernandes being shifted to the right, a position Scholes deems ineffective.