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Gary Neville Breaks Down Sir Alex Ferguson's Formation And Team When Man United Were In 'Trouble,' It Could Help Ole Out Now

Adnan Riaz

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Gary Neville Breaks Down Sir Alex Ferguson's Formation And Team When Man United Were In 'Trouble,' It Could Help Ole Out Now

Featured Image Credit: PA/Instagram

Gary Neville has revealed how Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could benefit from taking a page out of Sir Alex Ferguson’s tactical playbook.

Solskjaer is facing mounting pressure at United after the Red Devils’ defeat to Leicester City at the King Power on Saturday.


United have also suffered a shock defeat to Young Boys in the Champions League and were dumped out of the Carabao Cup at the hands of West Ham in September.

The Red Devils have only managed to pick up one point out of a possible nine in their Premier League matches against Leicester, Everton and Aston Villa.

Solskjaer has come under intense criticism over the balance of his United team, which came into question during his side’s 4-2 defeat to the Foxes.

Neville believes that his former teammate needs to shake up his United XI by potentially bringing Edinson Cavani to partner alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

And the United legend has recalled how Ferguson would make significant changes to his team selection and formation when United were in “trouble at times.”

Speaking in an Instagram Live on Sunday, Neville said: “I like Cavani. Do you know what, I’d stick Cavani and Ronaldo up front and play two up and play a narrow midfield four.

“I always remember when we were in trouble at times at United, Sir Alex would put Nicky Butt in midfield with Roy Keane.

“He’d put [Paul] Scholes just off to the left and tuck him in a bit, he’d put Becks [David Beckham] to the right -- or he’d even put Darren Fletcher to the right -- and play a narrow four and leave the two strikers up knowing they’d get a goal.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

“We always used to work on the theory, when we were playing badly and we were in a bad moment, that you keep your shape, keep a clean sheet and just one of them lot up front will score a goal.

“I know it sounds really, really simple but when you’re going through a difficult time you don’t really want coaches blurting loads of really high-end tactics to you and loads of nonsense. You just really want simple messages. Football players want simple, clear messages.”

United face a tough run of fixtures in the coming weeks, with the Red Devils resuming their Champions League campaign on Wednesday against Atalanta.

Solskjaer’s men will then host Liverpool at Old Trafford before facing Tottenham and Manchester City in their subsequent Premier League matches.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Neville has insisted that United must focus on getting their “defensive shape right” and need to “mentally change their mindset.”

The Sky Sports pundit continued: “I think really the idea of United working on something really simple for the next month, might be that 4-3-3 that they play, but they’re going to have to work a lot harder this week and mentally change their mindset to: we’re going to be tough to beat. We’re not going to let Liverpool come to Old Trafford next Sunday and do what they want to us out on that pitch.

“Just get your shape right this week in training. Get your defensive shape right. I don’t believe that Pogba, Matic, Sancho, Greenwood, Ronaldo, don’t know how to get into a good shape. They do. And certainly Ole and the coaching staff need to focus on that in the next few days.

“Get them into a shape defensively and the goals and the football will come from that, the foundations need to be built. And at this moment in time, they’re nowhere near good enough out of possession and that’s the focal point.”

Topics: Gary Neville, Manchester United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Sir Alex Ferguson, Football, Premier League, England

Adnan Riaz
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