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Opinion

Manchester United are there for the taking – Time for Steve Bruce to take the brakes off

1 week ago
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A lot of the talk is understandably about that last Manchester United match.

The Mancs all over the place as they lost 6-1 at home to Tottenham.

Yes they had Martial sent off but Manchester United were already losing 2-1 by that point and had wasted a series of chances that should have put them further ahead.

That game and the personal (lack of) form of Harry Maguire has dominated the headlines but if you scratch below that, it has been far far worse for Manchester United.

Only West Brom have conceded more goals than the 11 that Solskjaer’s team have done and Man Utd have played only three times, a game less than most, including the Baggies.

Manchester United started the season with a deserved 3-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace and then followed that up at Old Trafford with the demolition job Spurs did on them.

Sandwiched between those two, there was a win at Brighton.

Room for optimism then for Manchester United? Well, apart from the result, not really.

A very fortunate penalty in the 100th(!) minute giving them a very undeserved victory.

Brighton had more possession (53% v 47%), more shots (18 v 7) and more corners (7 v 1), plus the Seagulls hit the woodwork FIVE times!

This Saturday, Manchester United are missing Cavani and Martial, plus of course they have had a lot more key players away on international duty than Newcastle, plus those Man Utd players tending to be key players for their countries as well, so playing plenty of minutes these past 10 days.

Bottom line is that Manchester United are having real problems in defence and Newcastle need to take full advantage.

It is time for Steve Bruce to take the brakes off, ditch the negative tactics of standing off teams, defending deep, particularly against what he would claim are the ‘top’ teams.

Liverpool and Man City are the only two clubs that have been top quality in recent seasons and where it might be understandable to go seriously more defensive. Man Utd haven’t been top quality and certainly at this moment in time, are not a team to be cautious about.

It doesn’t mean that you will automatically beat them BUT by getting at them, you are far more likely to beat Manchester United.

If Steve Bruce does the usual and stands off Man Utd, they will love that. Dominate possession and get some of their confidence back, as Newcastle sit back and just hope not to concede and catch them on the break.

Manchester United are there for the taking.

Newcastle United need to move 20 yards further up the pitch, get Almiron and Fraser onto the pitch as well as Wilson and ASM, then you have a lot of quick mobile players who can push up and successfully press Man Utd. The thing is as well, the likes of Fraser and Almiron will also work hard tracking back.

Bruce doesn’t normally allow his central midfield pair to get forward much, if at all, so Newcastle not exactly totally exposing themselves to Man Utd breaking.

Saturday night could be very nice for Newcastle and see a very convincing performance as well as result…but only if those brakes come off and Newcastle United put the focus on the quick players who can press and cause this rocky Manchester United defence all kinds of problems.

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