I like that Erik ten Hag’s making United’s players run on the training pitch. They need something. It’s obvious that they need a kick up the backside and I think it’s a good start.
You can’t get away with running 13k less than your opponent in the Premier League as they did in the 4-0 loss to Brentford last weekend. It’s not acceptable to run that much less than the other team and I think that’s a good place to start but there’s a long way to go.
United players lacking the right mentality
It’s difficult to turn a bad atmosphere around. You need strong leaders in the dressing room and that’s something that United have really struggled with.
I’m looking round and I’m thinking, ‘Who’s telling these young lads to keep in check, to work hard, to have a good attitude, who’s going to tell people that we need to run more?’ Simple things.
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I remember at Stoke, we had so many good characters that if we were struggling around Christmas time we’d be able to get ourselves out of trouble. Obviously it’s a different end of the table, but the more we lost those types of characters and brought in so-called better players, we lost that mentality and the ability to turn it around when the going got tough.
That eventually resulted in relegation for Stoke. That’s not going to happen to Man United, but if they’ve not got the mentality they’re not going to get back to the top. It can’t come from the manager all the time it has to come from the players within and I just don’t see that at United at the moment.
Weakened Liverpool will be too strong for United
It’s a huge injury list for Liverpool. All the centre halves are out and when you looked at the team against Crystal Palace last week the injuries were apparent. They’ve lost Darwin Nunez and even Nat Phillips might not be available against United.
You look at it and it was like a few season ago where they had so many injuries, it really, really affected them badly and in the end they only just made it into the Champions League. That kind of injury list is not good for anyone.
United will see that as an opportunity but I still think Liverpool will have too much for them, even with most of the team out!
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- Mark Lawrenson’s punchy picks for every game this weekend
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- Crouchy’s Shouts: Liverpool to breeze past struggling Man United
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