Former Chelsea and Everton player Pat Nevin joined Joe Molloy on The Football Show this evening, diving into all things Premier League as well as the lack of outright goal scorers Erik Ten Hag now has at Manchester United.
Erik Ten Hag may have a few battles to overcome in the search of bringing back Manchester United’s infamous “attack, attack, attack” nature that is ingrained in their DNA, says Former Chelsea and Everton player Pat Nevin.
Although a history of goalscoring may be embedded into the fabric of the club, it must be pointed out that “you can’t do it if you’ve not got the personal that are set up to do it.”
Having improved their midfield third in recent months with the addition of Casemiro and Christian Eriksen, the struggle of who’s the “main man” striker looms on for The Red Devils.
Cristiano Ronaldo captained the team for the first time under manager Erik Ten Hag at the weekend during their 3-1 loss to Aston Villa, in a game where he also led the forward line.
In a situation which “must have felt really bad for Ronaldo” Nevin demonstrates that being thrown into the starting lineup and handed the armband amongst the rest of the team that played may have been quite bewildering.
“If I’m Cristiano I’m thinking, great I’m up front, I’m a skipper. Wait, I’m with van de Beek and Garnacho, what?” says Nevin.
“There were so much dependent on Ronaldo’s goals last season so if he’s not (a) playing as well or often or (b) the classic chicken and egg thing where you play him and he still might not score because the work rate is going to be down.
“It’s a hard way to get around but in the end Ten Hag is going to have to.”
Marcus Rashford another option, the former Scottish international believes he’s a “different player” at striker as opposed to out on the wing.
“When Rashford is the main man he’ll work hard and he just looks like a different player up there battling against people and running beyond them” he says.
“When he’s moved out wide and Ronaldo is up there he’s just a lesser figure…I think he would just like to be the main man.”
Up top however isn’t the only position Nevin thinks Ten Hag may find a solution in, commenting that “sometimes it comes from other areas like your fullbacks.”
“Luke Shaw isn’t playing quite the way he did when he was younger but Diogo Dalot, I have to say he’s brilliant, but is there much creation in that area?”
“You’re wanting those guys to fly beyond the wingers time and time again…but the times I’ve seen them this season they’ve not been doing it anywhere near enough for them to be a team who are known for their attack, attack, attack.”
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