DANNY MURPHY: I saw a team that wanted to fight for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s future in Manchester United’s impressive 3-1 win over Everton
- Manchester United recorded an important victory over Everton after two bad results
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team was super against Everton from start to finish
- It shows that despite outside pressure, the players wanted to fight for their manager
- Harry Maguire also had his best performance to date after a difficult start this year
That was a Manchester United performance from players fighting for their manager, a fantastic performance from start to finish and a great response to a lot of criticism. There are several ways to look at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure. Lots of numbers. Lots of opinions. I’ve read a lot of it in the past week.
I am never really in the boat that you should lose a manager so early in the season. He’s got his autographs, he knows the players and how well they finished last season has given him credit in the bank. United should not make hasty decisions.
A result like this, a tough win over Everton, will give them confidence after the international break, when United faces some less daunting games, albeit in a short space of time.
Manchester United put in an excellent performance to beat Everton at Goodison Park
Their performance showed that they wanted to fight for oppression boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
It was the team’s inconsistency that was so bizarre. Great results so quickly followed by bad, and then good.
That’s not what normally happens at big clubs. But from what I saw in Goodison Park, each player put in a service. And we have not always been able to say that this season.
Bruno Fernandes produced some of that magic that we know he can do in the moments that matter.
I also thought this was Harry Maguire’s best performance of the season, fighting Dominic Calvert-Lewin who was in brilliant form. Some of Maguire’s defensive headers under pressure were phenomenal, and he won the ball on the edge of the penalty area to make his way to United’s third goal.
We tend to criticize high-profile players when they don’t play well, but it was great to see him back at his best. That is what we are used to from him.
Edinson Cavani scored his first goal with a brilliant finish. Just before that, I loved that he pressed and closed the ball in the final stages. He didn’t show up with an ego, he came up with a hungry attitude to do his bit for the team. Whether it was a desperate signing or not, he’s going to play a big part for United this season.
Bruno Fernandes produced some magical moments and helped inspire them to victory
So what’s the secret to getting that consistency? I think Solskjaer should stick with the same system and staff for a series of games. Build momentum.
On Saturday he went back to a formation that worked for him. When they played on the diamond system, they were everywhere.
Fred and Scott McTominay were great and disciplined in holding onto the midfield. Juan Mata’s inclusion has been smart.
He may not have the athleticism of Daniel James or Mason Greenwood, but he is such an intelligent player, so good at retaining possession and he ties in well with Fernandes. He calms United down a lot.
Harry Maguire had his best game so far after a difficult start for him this season
Solskjaer got it right and keeping it that way is the key to moving forward. Stick to a system that suits your best players, don’t try to cherish your players in one.
I can’t see where Paul Pogba fits into United’s best XI right now. He is loved by everything I hear and I don’t think it’s too much of a problem. But his salary and status determine his stay at the club. If he doesn’t become part of United’s starting XI in the future, he will have to leave.
Solskjaer has to take care of the team and himself. If it means putting a big name like Pogba on the bank, then he should stay there. The team is always more important.
I can’t see where Paul Pogba fits into Manchester United’s best starting eleven right now
Before Everton, they suffered on their right. James Rodriguez is a huge talent, his creativity can open up any defense, but his tracking of Luke Shaw wasn’t very good for United’s first two goals.
I know Carlo Ancelotti didn’t bring him in because of his defensive qualities, but when he goes to the right of a front three, one of the Everton midfielders has to come over to help the fullback. This is what Jordan Henderson does for Liverpool when Mo Salah wins matches on the right.
What it showed me was that without their powerful XI, Everton is a little short. Richarlison is a huge miss. They’ve only just gotten Lucas Digne and Seamus Coleman back and James has recently suffered an injury.
This is where top teams like United and Liverpool have more options and power in depth. United has players like Pogba and Cavani on the bench. Everton doesn’t have that luxury.
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