- Jan 20, 2014
We're obviously limited, but keeping Eriksen on was a strange choice when he was too tired to keep up. Seems to have made one pass between the 80th and 90th minutes. We'd have been better off with any of:Thought Ten Hag was fine today. Problem is when his first choice players aren't getting it done or aren't available, he has an extremely small pool of actually reliable players he can use to do anything about it. Basically Garnacho, Fred (sometimes) and Malacia. Everyone else is already on the pitch.
When your back up for Casemiro is Mctominay, and Casemiro is banned, you're kind of limited to what you can do if this causes a problem during the game.
1) Pellistri out wide and Bruno as the #10
2) Going to 5 at the back by bringing on Maguire or Malacia, and letting Garnacho and Rashford try to snatch a winner
3) Lindelof or Maguire at LCB and move Lisandro into midfield and let McTominay and Fred try to break up play, even if we lose playmaking
Or even something crazier like:
3) Malacia in midfield, or Shaw in midfield and Malacia at LB, just have whoever it is mark Odegaard or double team Saka
4) Mainoo getting 10 minutes in his proper position, even as a 17 year old away at the league leaders, people act like a kid will automatically fall apart in that situation but mostly they just do a 6/10 job
But yeah, the answer was probably 15 minutes of Pellistri trying to get the better of a tiring Zinchenko, who's not exactly Maldini out there defensively (though brilliant as a quasi-midfielder in possession). Not sure why he's so unwilling to use him. He works hard and is used to playing in defensive setups and contributing with dribbling and keeping the ball out wide, which is surely what Ten Hag likes about Antony so much.