Although Manchester United only lost by one goal to Newcastle United at St. James Stadium, the situation can be said to be a disadvantage like falling leaves swept away by the autumn wind. The “Magpies” have the Red Devils in full control, just like they did at Old Trafford in the Carabao Cup. The same was true for the second leg last season, when Newcastle won 2-0, avenging their defeat in the League Cup final.
What’s more fatal is that the key to Newcastle’s success is Eddie Howe’s tactics. He used an organized framework to defeat Ten Hag’s system. He wrote a “script” for Manchester United’s passing through high-position pressing, thus easily breaking the ball. He won the ball, launched a fierce attack from the wing, and won the victory.
Newcastle’s pressing plan is very targeted. In the 4231 formation, Brazilian strongman Guimarães is responsible for keeping an eye on Manchester United youngster Kobe Meno, Almiron guards the right corridor, and center Isaac presses Maguire. He could only pass back to goalkeeper Andre Onana.
Like many Premier League teams, Ithaca then did not steal the ball from Onana, but blocked his passing route, leaving only a passing point for his left center back Luke Shaw. Once Onana hands the ball to “Manchester United Carlos”, Almiron steps forward to intercept it.
As mentioned above, Guimarães blocked Meno, Isaac blocked Maguire, and under Almiron’s pressure, Luke Shaw could only pass the ball back to Onana. At this time, Anthony Go Den approached Maguire, and the ball-playing goalkeeper signed by Manchester United for 43 million pounds could only become another “De Gea”. Onana had no choice but to choose a long pass.
Newcastle young midfielder Lewis Miley won a header near the center circle to help the team regain possession.
Ten Hag wanted to implement the passing football he advocated at Manchester United and organize from the backcourt. Therefore, he did not hesitate to withdraw his offer to renew De Gea and signed the old Ajax player Onana. However, he spent 400 million pounds to build a new lineup, but still failed to create the system he wanted. The team has significant shortcomings and cannot achieve passing control at all. This includes the lack of a core player to hold the ball in the midfield, no stable explosive points on the wings, and no fulcrum in the frontcourt. Once Onana’s passing is restricted, he can only pass long balls, and the frontcourt rarely controls the ball.
Examples like this happen again and again in games. When Onana got another chance to possess the ball, Isak chose an angle to press, forcing the 27-year-old Manchester United goalkeeper to turn to the left. Guest left-back Diogo Dalot faced an awkward situation, with Almiron nearby and Guimarães between Meno and Luke Shaw.
Onana had no choice but to pass the ball to Darlot, who, as a right-footed player, could pass the ball to fellow Portuguese Bruno Fernandez, but Guimarães and Mailey quickly adjusted their movements to close that path. Passing lane.
Dalot had only one option left to pass the ball to Maynor. Guimarães immediately rushed back to stick to Maynor, Gordon kept an eye on Maguire, Isaac blocked the pass back to Onana, and Al Myron remains close to Darlow.
Like Onana last time, Maguire had to take a long pass, and the ball was easily picked up by Newcastle’s defense.
In another instance, Isaac forced Onana towards the other side of the pitch by blocking Maguire’s passing lane. At the same time, Guimarães moved forward to mark Meno, and Almiron defended his area. As Onana prepared to pass the ball to United’s left centre-back, Almiron put pressure on Shaw.
On the other side of the pitch, Gordon moved into position to prevent United from passing the ball to Maguire. Luke Shaw chose to pass the ball to Darlow. The latter was immediately pressed by Miley, and Joelinton also came to help. In the end, Manchester United’s attack ended here again.
The situation in the second half was similar. Isaac launched a high press, forcing Onana to move to the left. Almiron interfered with Luke Shaw. Midfielder Meno still couldn’t avoid Guimarães’ marking.
Onana was once again forced to send the ball forward with a big kick, and Newcastle were already ready, because it was almost up to them to decide where Manchester United would attack.
In the backcourt, Newcastle captain Trippier had already suppressed Alessandro Garnacho. Although he was nicknamed the “New Ronaldo”, the Argentine winger had no ability to dominate the air. The England right-back managed to regain possession of the ball quite easily.
Newcastle’s pressing not only invalidated Manchester United’s possession tactics, but also produced the team’s winning goal.
Before Gordon’s goal, Isaac stepped forward to put pressure on Luke Shaw, and Guimarães continued to mark Maynor. With no clear passing option, Luke Shaw attempted a long pass to Ganaccio.
But Mailey and Trippier were prepared. They intercepted the ball. Trippier passed the ball to Isaac. The Magpies center found Guimaraes again. Trippier took advantage of the situation and assisted from the right side.
Guimarães passed the ball to Trippier in the gap, and Gordon on the other side started his cut. Manchester United right back Wan-Bissaka is good at tackles and one-on-one defense, but his position selection and ability to grab points are his biggest shortcomings. Gordon received the cross and sent the ball into the empty goal.
Newcastle’s high-position pressing is just one of the many high-level skills that have been outstanding in the game. Their cooperation on the wing and the tactics of set pieces have the opportunity to score more goals, but they have not grasped it well, otherwise it is entirely possible that another big mistake will be made. Beat Manchester United.
Newcastle’s style of play is exactly the way Eddie Howe wants to play: proactive with and without the ball, leaving opponents breathless. Manchester United coach Ten Hag also wants this, but unfortunately, his players are not equipped to implement it, especially in terms of mentality.
Pressing is more of a spirit than a skill, and Manchester United’s high-paid stars are all “giant babies” who are unwilling to compromise their dignity and work hard. This attitude can be epitomized by Rashford, the core player of the team and the highest-paid player.
In the battle against Newcastle, Rashford, who returned to the starting lineup, did nothing on the right, was weak in attack and unmotivated in defense. When he was replaced, he muttered something and seemed to complain rudely. Alan Shearer and other famous players pointed out that his current body language reflects that he does not want to play football at all.
Last season, Rashford scored 17 Premier League goals, reaching 30 goals in all competitions for the first time. The club gave him a new five-year contract of 300,000 pounds. But as the contract extension was reached and people’s expectations for him increased, his performance plummeted. At St. James’ Park, Rashford’s slack performance when returning to defense has been criticized on social media. What’s even more frightening is his offensive performance, with an average of only one shot on goal every 120 minutes, making it no surprise that he only scored two goals this season.
Off the pitch, the situation is also worrying. After Manchester United lost 3-0 at home to Manchester City in the derby in October, Rashford decided to celebrate his birthday in a nightclub. He also high-profile dedicated his goal against Everton to his recently deceased cousin, even though it was just a penalty awarded to him by B Fee.
There are too many players like Rashford in Manchester United, and his strike partner Martial is one of them. The 27-year-old French monster king was scolded by Ten Hag on the sidelines for his poor defense during the game. He spread his hands and seemed to say “it’s none of my business.” After the game, the Red Devils coach explained that it was not against Director Ma. To a certain extent, it was true. Most of the players in the team were no different from him and were spectators on the court.