Michael Carrick and Man Utd face nice Bruno Fernandes problem after Villarreal win

Villarreal v Manchester United: Match in Pictures

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Manchester United caretaker boss Michael Carrick raised eyebrows when he dropped Bruno Fernandes in favour of Donny van de Beek for Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Villarreal. But the Dutchman’s display in the 2-0 win showed why the makeshift boss made the decision.

United could have secured their spot in the knockout stages with a result against Unai Emery’s Villarreal, and did so thanks to goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho.

Goalkeeper David De Gea was forced into several great saves to protect his clean sheet and will certainly receive a lot of credit for his side managing to secure all three points.

Compared to Solskjaer’s United, there weren’t overly too many exciting positive changes to shout about, though the absence of usually ever-present Fernandes in the no.10 was not as striking as many expected pre-kickoff.

Fernandes entered the fray in the 66th minute in place of Van de Beek and didn’t have the most significant impact, though he did assist Sancho’s late goal.

Read More: Man Utd target Mauricio Pochettino breaks silence amid Red Devils link

The Portugal international has been one of United’s best players over the past few seasons, scoring 30 goals and assisting 22 in 66 appearances, so it came as a surprise to see Fernandes named on the bench.

But his replacement, Van de Beek, was one of United’s standout players on Tuesday night, being a great presence in the final third but also charging back and helping out his team defensively too.

The former Ajax star created several chances, linked up well with Ronaldo and was confident and capable of forcing openings for himself with his neat footwork.

The Netherlands international struggled to justify his price tag since arriving at Old Trafford from the Eredivisie for £35million, but at no fault of his own – Solskjaer simply opted to never play him.

Don’t Miss:
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Molde players’ savage Fantasy team snub[OPINION]
Man Utd’s Ferguson replacement plan failed: ‘My number one choice'[INSIGHT]
Roy Keane’s reaction to Southgate’s ‘tried to castrate me’ accusation[ANALYSIS]

However, under new management, the 24-year-old will expect to have plenty more opportunities after his showing on the European stage.

But that could actually prove to be a major issue for whoever is named at the next United manager as they will have a lot of talent to squeeze into one starting eleven.

Marcus Rashford, Ronaldo, Fernandes, Jadon Sancho, Edinson Cavani, Mason Greenwood and Van de Beek are all battling it out to become crucial players at Old Trafford and at most European clubs they would each be one of the first names on the team sheet.

And if the new manager also wants to utilise Paul Pogba then that could also cause issues considering he is not the most defensively strong midfielders but a massive talent all the same.

It is also worth pointing out how shaky United’s defence have been in recent weeks, conceding 13 goals in their last five games in all competitions, so whoever is appointed must be wary of how they probably aren’t competent enough to cope without a protective midfield.

Paris Saint-Germain’s Mauricio Pochettino has been heavily linked with the managerial vacancy, as well as Leicester City’s Brendan Rodgers and Real Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane.

It remains to be seen who will next be appointed as United manager for both the rest of the season and then the years that follow if they are unable to secure a long-term target midseason.

And with the January transfer window on the horizon, it will be interesting to see if one of the numerous attacking threats decide to move elsewhere if they fear they will have to succumb to a spot on the bench for the remainder of the campaign.

Source: Read Full Article