Home ยป Wolves game shows Erik ten Hag needs support in the middle of the park

Wolves game shows Erik ten Hag needs support in the middle of the park

by Ayantan Chowdhury

Manchester United made it hard for themselves but ultimately held on for a 1-0 win against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford on Monday to begin the new Premier League season with three points.

The hosts struggled to keep hold of the ball and deal with the Wolves press for most of the game but a second-half goal from Raphael Varane ensured a winning start.

Andre Onana, who was an assured presence for most of the game, almost conceded a last-minute penalty but ultimately the referee and VAR ruled in United’s favour.

United struggled in midfield

The way Erik ten Hag made his team play in pre-season was a clear indicator that Mason Mount would be partnering Casemiro in the middle of the field but at times it felt Bruno Fernandes was playing as the central midfielder.

Lax passing meant the visitors got quite a few counter-attacking chances and both the former Chelsea man and the current skipper were caught further forward leaving the Brazilian enforcer to guard the space.

He was unable to manage when Wolves did win a turnover as he struggled against the pace of Matheus Cunha and Matheus Nunes and he got overrun at times.

While the attacking intent from the manager was pleasant to see, such a scenario cannot continue even in home games especially as teams will figure out that Casemiro can be attacked with pace as he hardly gets any help from his fellow midfielders.

In pre-season, the Dutch manager had played Kobbie Mainoo alongside Casemiro and that seemed to be the ploy for the big games and now the manager might need to play Scott McTominay more to allow the Brazilian time to dictate.

Christian Eriksen tried to bring more control but both the Dane and the former Real Madrid man lack the legs to deal with intense opposition pressing and direct running.

Casemiro needs help

The signing of another solid midfield general might not come fast enough if the game at Old Trafford was anything to go by.

Wolves had struggled to score last season and that problem continued on Monday and United rode their luck with the visiting team missing quite a presentable chances.

The next game is away against Tottenham Hotspur and the Red Devils will need to be much more assured on the ball if they are to be in control.

Considering the difficult run of fixtures United have to deal with in the early part of the season, Ten Hag will be hoping his team can improve and fast!

Latest Top Stories...