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Manchester United broke “the first rule of defending” with shocking play vs Tottenham, says PL legend

Former Arsenal defender Sol Campbell has slammed the defending by Manchester United against Tottenham in their recent Premier League clash.

The Red Devils were stunned by Spurs, losing 6-1 to Jose Mourinho’s side after an absolute nightmare in the first half in particular.

Campbell could barely believe what he was seeing when he analysed United’s defending in an interview with The Athletic, as he addressed the general poor standard of defensive play that we’ve seen in the Premier League so far this season.

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With Man Utd, Campbell was hugely unimpressed with the lack of leadership at the back, whilst also slamming them for breaking a key rule in allowing the ball to bounce in the box.

This gives a huge advantage to attacking players, he told The Athletic, as he generally ripped into the performance of that United back four.

“No one is taking charge. Who is really in charge? Who? No one. No one’s saying: ‘I’m taking control of this. Leave it to me’. It’s complete chaos,” Campbell told The Athletic.

“Why are they letting the ball bounce? The first rule of defending is ‘never let the ball bounce in the box’. Once it starts bouncing, while the ball is travelling the air, good forwards and good midfielders are travelling too. They’re not waiting for you to stick your head on it. They’re moving and they’re on you. It’s about anticipation.

“When Maguire miscues that header back, he’s got to stop Lamela coming across. Just block him off. He’s the only Spurs player you’ve really got to worry about, the only one in a position to maybe score a goal, so block him and clear it away.

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“But because the ball bounces and Maguire is fixing on that, Lamela gets across and, from then on, it’s all over. Panic has properly set in.

“These guys are elite players, full internationals, so what is going on? It can only be down to nervousness on the defenders’ part. Players who are feeling really uptight and unsure of themselves. That’s a team who are defensively really uncertain. They’re missing headers, skewing them, and it’s crying out for someone to take charge.”

Campbell is an all-time great in terms of Premier League defenders, and was part of that golden generation of English players that starred for the big clubs despite struggling to replicate that with the national team.

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