Premier League is full of surprises and upsets, and yesterday, West Bromwich Albion caused another such upset against a high-profile Manchester United side.
One week ago, Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United came back from 0-2 to win an exciting away fixture against their city rivals, who happen to be the top team of the Premier League. This week, they faced West Bromwich, the 20th team of the league log, and to the surprise of everyone, the Red Devils went down 0-1 against them.
With the narrow defeat against West Bromwich, Manchester United handed the Premier League 2017/18 title to Manchester City, and have also risked their second position in the table. Coming weeks will reveal whether Mourinho will have much to show for this season. At the moment, let us review some of the interesting points from the last night’s fixture.
(1) Consistency is the main problem for United:
The Old Trafford side have suffered from their flimsy performances throughout the season. Right in the beginning of the campaign, after scoring 10 goals to get three consecutive victories with clean sheets, they drew 2-2 against Stoke City. Later in the season, United drew against Burnley, struggling Southampton and even lost against teams like Huddersfield Town and Newcastle while they were not even at their best. This West Bromwich fixture is another example to this list.
The boss has recognized this problem of the team and commented after the West Bromwich disaster, “I think with my experience, you don’t win titles with inconsistency. You win titles of course with quality, without quality you have no chance, but you win titles with consistency, and consistency at every level.
“Not just the performance level but also the mental level, the day by day, everything must be consistent until the last day. One of the things we have to improve is consistency.”
The team have to get rid of this problem next season, should they want to win major trophies ahead of other big teams from around the continent.
(2) Defense needs improvement:
Manchester United may have the most successful defense line in the Premier League, but it definitely needs better players. The record of league-highest 16 clean sheets, with only 26 goals conceded, is mostly an accolade for David De Gea’s individual greatness, and not a fame to claim for players like Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof. The central defense have failed on numerous occasions, and Mourinho should get a main defender next season.
On the other hand, left wing is in a serious state at the moment. First choice wingback Luke Shaw is often missing with injuries while Daley Blind and Ashley Young are definitely not up to the mark against better right wingers of the league. This has always affected Manchester United and hopefully, the team will find someone to take that flank in 2018/19.
(3) Couple of positives to take away:
De Gea, as always, remains to be a positive spot for the league legends. Other than him, Romelu Lukaku is another player worth mention here. The new signing has scored 15 Premier League goals and recorded seven assists as well. Granted, he played better against weaker sides and mostly failed when United faced top six of the league. But, towards the end of the season, his performances improved and the big Belgian’s display against Liverpool and Chelsea were very good. Given more time, the striker can become an indispensable weapon for the Red Devils.
Another new recruit Alexis Sanchez has also started to adapt to his new side. He played a pivotal role in United’s 3-2 comeback win against the noisy neighbours. He was not bad in the match against West Bromwich as well. Next season, his linkup play with Paul Pogba and Lukaku might prove to be very important for Manchester United.
How will the defeat against West Bromwich affect Jose Mourinho? Comment below!