Manchester United suffered a shock 4th round defeat at home to Championship side Middlesbrough in the Capital One Cup via penalty shootout.
Skipper Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick and Ashley Young all missed from the spot with young Brazilian Andreas Pereira the only player to score from the spot.
Here is a list of what we learnt from the disastrous performance by the Red Devils:
- VAN GAAL’s TACTICAL DEFICIENCY
The Dutch man always seems lost whenever his first option fails to work out. He obviously didn’t have a plan B on how to bridge the Middlesbrough defence as United kept on doing the same thing all through the game and that was looping the ball into the box hoping Fellaini would nod one in. There was very little attack from the midfield with majority of the attack coming only from the flanks and the Boro defence were up for it. The Gaffer should have brought in Mata or Herrera to split the defence open.
- UNITED NEED ANOTHER STRIKER FAST
This is the second match in a row that United have failed to find the back of the net. Wilson failed to sparkle not because he is a bad player but because he was short of supplies from the wingers and midfield. Wayne Rooney is a shadow of himself and needs a break. Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez stated that Rooney will thrive more as a midfielder and Rooney did better when he moved to the midfield during extra time.
- GIVE THE YOUNGSTERS MORE CHANCE TO FLOURISH
On the night, United youngsters didn’t disappoint, Andreas Pereira, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial all did better than the more experienced players. They deserve more playing time in the squad, it would boost their confidence and enhance their development.
- UNITED SHOULD INJECT MORE PACE TO THEIR PLAY
Manchester United all through this season have been slow to get into games, they play possessive football with no cutting edge. They give opponents time to re-shape after losing their shape. Martial came into the tie last night and his pace caused problems for Middlesbrough. This is why Van Gaal is trying to buy players with creativity and pace.