September 24, 2021 || 9:38 pm

Manchester United formation switch could unlock new Cristiano Ronaldo partnership

Man Utd man’ager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hinted at a new attacking partners’hip which could cause serious damage this season.


Mancheste’r United have often been criticised fo’r being’ one-dimensional under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but they mig&ht have finally foun_d a via’ble attacking alterna’tive.

In midweek defe’at to West Ham the club suffered from ‘an absence of a main attacking focal point as Cristiano Ronaldo was awar’ded valuable rest and fellow veter’an Edinson Cavani rem’ained sidelined from in’jury.


With’out eit’her of their tradit’ional No.9s to call up’on, United failed to ever harm the West H’am low-block, someth’ing which Sol’skjaer admitted was partly down to the person’nel.

“We are not gre’at whe’n we play against a low-blo’ck and just sling crosses in becau’se we are not that type of team, we did’n’t have them types of players,” Sols’kjaer admitted after the d’efeat. “So we tried to play rou’nd them, through them, get in behi’nd them but we did not create eno’ugh big chances.

There were lots of sh’ots from outside the box, blocke’d shots, but you know they gav’e it their all, tried and the attit’ude when they lost the ball, can’t fa’ult any player out there.”

Solskjaer refu’sed to bl’ame individuals on a nig’ht where forwards Anth’ony Mart’ial and Jadon Sancho had faile’d to light up the game, further acknowledge’ment fro’m the manager that he’ had the system to win, but not the play’ers avail_able to do so.


United will face sim’ilar frust’ration as the season conti’nues given the massive scalp they repr’esent but next time, unlike on Wedne’sday night, they could ha’ve two players availa’ble who m’ake their task easier.


Speaking at his pre-mat’ch press conference ahead of facing Aston Villa, the United ma’nager spoke glowingly of his 2 exper’ienced strikers, suggesting Ronal’do and Cavani could even play alongside one another if necess’ary.


It’s exciting to see those 2 together,” Solskjaer stated. “I’m s’ure that’ll be a good partner’ship as well, w’anting to be ‘on the end of things.


We’ve seen some teams dro’pping deep agai’nst us, not g’iving space in behind and they’re defini’tely two boys’ you’d like to see in around the goal in th’at scen’ario, I can see those 2 work’ing well together.”

In order to compe’nsate for their attacking threats Unit’ed could switch to a more tradit’ional 4-4-2 set-up in order to use Ron’aldo and Cavani in dual cent’ral roles, a change which could also suit Sancho on the win’g as well.


Perhaps the most cruc’ial elem’ent of making that appro’ach work would be the midfi’eld balance given that Paul Pogb’a would lik’ely be on the left and Bruno Fernandes in a more restric’ted central role.

For matches when Uni’ted need to go gung-ho they could risk sacrific’ing defensi’ve cover in the centre of the pitch, though in finely-poised encoun’ters they would still proba’bly need a defensive speci’alist like Nemanja Matic to make it work.

Given the lackl’ustre nat’ure of United’s attack’ing play in mid’week such a switch in style is certainly one which needs to be considered and as a lov’er of nostalgia it might be time for Solskjaer to embrace the form’ation he excelled in at the club him’self.



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