We managed to nab the former Manchester United midfielder Kleberson for a chat and the conversation quickly turned to his old side. The Red Devils splashed the cash this summer, bringing in Old Trafford hero Cristiano Ronaldo, France World Cup winner Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.
However after a disappointing loss to Young Boys in the Champions League, the former Brazilian midfielder tackles the thorny issue of player rotation in the big games.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rotated players from the Premier League games for their Champions League clash to give other squad players some minutes. Different players start, others rest. It’s very hard to find the perfect balance and find the perfect time to make those changes.
Sometimes a player has a bad game or makes a bad decision. But because the level of competition in the Champions League is so strong, you’re going to get punished. When you play against European teams – it’s a different style to what you face each week in the Premier League.
You never know who might be the one to change the game and that’s very difficult for the manager.
Despite that opening defeat to Young Boys, Manchester United’s experience in big games will help the team succeed this season. The club has a long-term plan to build a team to fight for trophies.
Solskjaer has done a great job of finding the players to build a good side around and he prepares his players to perform at a high level. The next thing he must do is find the balance to stay in the hunt for the Premier League title race and to make sure the team he picks can still perform in the Champions League group stages a few days later.
It’s very hard to manage that as the amount of intense games and travelling involved, means that he will sometimes need to rest influential players.
I don’t think United can play the same team in the Premier League and the Champions League all the time.
They have to change some players when facing the different tests in the Champions League.
It’s so hard to figure out Manchester United’s best team for the Premier League and Champions League because they’re such different competitions.
But that is what the manager must do if United are to chase silverware on both fronts this season.
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