Connect with us


“It’s crazy…” – Andy Cole blames three Man United players for huge issue this season



| Last Updated:


Credit: Sky Sports

Andy Cole has blamed three Manchester United players for one of the huge issues at Old Trafford throughout this season.

United have been underwhelming this term and have struggled to find consistency in their performances or results.

Erik ten Hag’s side were knocked out of the Carabao Cup and Champions League at the early stages and sit seventh in the Premier League going into the final weeks of the season.

The former United striker Cole has assessed one of the biggest problems of the season, with how the team look so open when out of possession.

Despite many blaming the manager, Cole believes this is an issue involving the three midfielders in the starting XI.

Ten Hag has rotated between having Kobbie Mainoo, Casemiro, Scott McTominay and Christian Eriksen in the pivot behind Bruno Fernandes.

“There’s far too many gaps for a team like Manchester United to compete with the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal. When those sides set-up, they know their pattern of play, what their formation is and what they’re trying to achieve,” Cole told BetFred.

“When you look at holding midfielders, Manchester City have the best in Rodri and everything goes through him and he dictates the pace of the game, he keeps the ball, he knows when to distribute the ball and he has Kevin De Bruyne just ahead of him.

“Arsenal have Declan Rice, Martin Ødegaard and ultimately as a team, they all understand their pattern of play. Liverpool’s team have the same level of understanding also.

“With Manchester United, you don’t really understand where they’re trying to get to. If you’re looking to close the gap on the other teams ahead of you, you can’t completely empty your midfield and when you look at the teams that have faced them recently, most of their play has gone through the middle of the park and it’s as if Manchester United don’t even have a midfield. You can’t allow that to happen.”

When asked whether this was a player or manager issue, Cole doubled down on his assessment that the players on the pitch should be taking more responsibility.

“Of course it’s a player issue because they need to be able to smell danger,” he added. “When you look at Manchester United when they were at the peak of their powers, would they be emptying their midfield like that?

“When Paul Scholes bombed on, would you see Roy Keane doing that as well? No you wouldn’t. Would you see that big space in the middle of the park for the opposition to exploit?

“It’s not down to the manager, it’s down to the players to work out each other’s jobs and roles. It’s crazy how they continue to completely empty their midfield during games and it’s the reason why Manchester United find themselves in the position they’re in at the moment.”