Man Utd: Solskjaer hails response to Milan draw
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Gary Neville believes Manchester United are lacking creativity in midfield, explaining that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side “struggle to break down teams”. Neville named Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba as the two players most likely to unlock opposition defences but he believes that “the rest need space to operate”.
Speaking to Sky Sports after United’s 1-0 win over West Ham on Sunday, Neville said: “You know how Man United are, they struggle to break down teams.
“They’ve got to be better against teams in those deep blocks with ten men behind the ball.
“That’s where the next stage is. It’s about being more higher quality in the final third.
“There are more organised and compact teams around now, especially teams in the bottom half.
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“You need fantastic players: you look at Man City – [Kevin] De Bruyne, [Ilkay] Gundogan, [Riyad] Mahrez, [Phil] Foden… they have five or six of them.”
Neville added that if Fernandes and Pogba are unavailable or off their game, then United are found wanting in terms of creativity.
He continued: “Fernandes and Pogba may open up defences in these situations, the rest need space to operate.
“Man City have five or six players, if two are injured someone else can unlock the door.
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“If it’s not Fernandes then it’s probably Luke Shaw who’s most likely to do something [after that].
“They need to up their speed and their game a little bit. They play too slow against teams that drop off.
“When they played against City the passing was really good, they need to do that against teams that drop deep.”
Fellow Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp agrees with Neville’s assessment, claiming United are “a different proposition” with both Fernandes and Pogba on the pitch.
“They need more creativity in the team,” Redknapp said. “They miss Pogba.
“There are games when you have Fred and McTominay in there and you don’t have the balance in home games like that. It’s easy to play against them.
“When you have Pogba and Bruno they are more difficult to break down.
“When he comes back, they are a different proposition.”
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