The final set of Premier League fixtures before the international break are well underway with the first game of the lot taking place yesterday in the early kick-off at Old Trafford. Manchester United and Everton played out the latest in a long line of fixtures between the two top flight stalwarts and in the end, they shared the points after the Toffees managed to cancel out Anthony Martial’s first half goal with a well-taken effort from Andros Townsend.
Behind the curtain, though, it feels like there’s more to this result than initially meets the eye.
Old Trafford woes
Beaten by Aston Villa, knocked out of the League Cup by West Ham, held to a draw by Everton, no clean sheet at home in the league since March. There are plenty of reasons to be concerned if you’re a Manchester United fan especially when you take a look at their home form above all else. They just can’t seem to get themselves going and after attempting to resolve their defensive issues during the summer, you’d have to think there are going to be those wondering what the next step is in the transfer market.
Deserved Everton point
Everton were consistent, had the better chances, forced United back and didn’t crumble under the pressure of the game – which all adds up to a pretty solid day at the office for Rafa Benitez and his side. Many people rolled their eyebrows upon hearing that he was going to be taking charge but we don’t think anyone is laughing now. The Toffees are well and truly in the hunt for a place in the top six this season and we think they’ve got the squad depth necessary to do it.
Questions for Ole
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has had a few years to work with this squad now and in that time, he’s definitely improved the overall quality of it – but the fact United haven’t been able to win a trophy in that period raises some serious alarm bells. From his tactical style to some of the choices he makes when on the touchline there are definitely going to be many folks out there who wonder whether his time at Old Trafford needs to come to an end.
They may give him until after the international break given how tough the fixtures are to come but if they come out of those games looking weary, they might have to pull the trigger.
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