Five Things We Learned – Manchester United vs. Manchester City

4) Is there an over reliance on the wings?

Going forward there was a lack of effectiveness, partly because there was a failure by United to establish themselves in midfield and because the wingers, Young and Nani simply could not create much out wide. There was a struggle all afternoon to through City’s back wall and much of the play was going out wide without much luck. Despite the flying start that Young got off to early in the season his impact has been dampened somewhat lately and Nani found himself unable to produce an attacking threat in the way he has often done. In fairness to Young he tried to find ways through, sometimes attempting to weave his way through with little success on the day. With the sending off, we found Rooney dropping further back into midfield with Danny Welbeck up front on his own, and although he tried to make the most of the situation when he found himself on the ball, it got to a point where the support was not there.

5) No, Pogba is not the answer, nor is a signing in January

A constant complaint, not just this season but last as well, is the lack of any real strength in depth in the centre of midfield, and in recent weeks, and definitely after the game, the name so often brought up over the Summer resurfaced via Twitter, Sneijder, along with De Rossi, two names of which United should sign at least one as the answer to all problems. In truth this is a bit short sighted, particularly given Ferguson’s reluctance to use the January window as well as the perceived instant impact that some clearly expect such signings to have, assuming such moves would be sanctioned in the first place. Secondly, the desperate idea that Paul Pogba, who for all his talent is still far too young to be gracing the midfield on a ┬áregular basis. Yes, it was an area of weakness once again against City, and perhaps the name so often chastised, Michael Carrick, should have warranted a place as well as Park, but the belief that Pogba will produce miracles is somewhat short sighted.

Final point – major games have been played

It is easy to forget that United have actually played the majority of their main rivals and competitors once already this season, with a tough period overshadowed by this defeat. The next few games are crucial as to the response of the side and the reaction to such a heavy defeat. There is the potential to go on a run of games in the next few weeks, notching up victories and it is important that Sir Alex Ferguson regroups his squad and allow them to move on from such a heavy defeat, one described by the manager himself as the worst of his career. One hopes that this spurs the start of an improvement on recent displays.

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