Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick is happy with the change in formation from manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the club’s last two games.
After being thrashed 5-0 at home to Liverpool, it was clear something needed to change for Man Utd, and Solskjaer seems to have struck gold with a shift to using three at the back.
Speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside, Chadwick praised the move by his old team-mate and thinks it’s something the Norwegian tactician will stick with for the time being, even if it could present some other issues.
Although the ex-Red Devil named Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes as three players who look to be benefitting from the new tactics, he admitted it might be harder for Jadon Sancho to find his place in the team.
When asked who benefited from the new formation, Chadwick said: “I think the main man, Ronaldo. He’s scored three goals in his last two games when he’s had someone up there with him.
“It gives him more support, him and Cavani are two world class players and worked really well together against Spurs, giving the team more options when the ball was wide to put crosses into the box.”
He added: “It certainly helped Harry Maguire too, having both Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof with him in the Tottenham game. You could see that there was a massive change as well when Varane went off against Atalanta last night.
“It suits a few players, Ronaldo, Maguire … it probably gives Bruno Fernandes a little bit more freedom too. He can get a bit further up the pitch knowing that it’s a back three which turns into a back five when defending.”
On Sancho, however, Chadwick admitted that the England international might now struggle to get into Solskjaer’s starting XI, whether it’s out wide or in a central position.
“It’s an interesting question … the situation as it is now, Ole has to find a way of winning games, rather than keeping people happy,” Chadwick said.
“He has to pick players to suit the good of the team, and we’ve seen that high press doesn’t really work and teams cut through them too easily.
“With Ronaldo and Cavani up top, and Rashford and Greenwood as options there too, players are going to have to miss out.
“Unfortunately this is a crisis period since the Liverpool game and that means Sancho, who has shown he can play different roles at Borussia Dortmund, is going to struggle to get into the team, whether it’s out wide or instead of Bruno Fernandes in the central position.
“I can’t imagine Ole is going to change the shape now – he can’t afford to play four at the back against Manchester City and leave those spaces that they’ll exploit probably more so than any other club in the Premier League.”