If you’re a Manchester United supporter bemoaning the team’s lack of depth in the attacking third, then well, you’re in luck because these Jose Mourinho quotes are for you. The United boss apparently feels your pain, and admits that the need to beef up depth in the final third is a major reason for the pursuit of Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez.
Because of a serious knee injury suffered last April (and a later reoccurrence, following a miraculously early return) , Zlatan Ibrahimovic has missed most of the season. That’s left Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford as the only players that are truly center forward/strikers on the team (although Anthony Martial, today’s lone goal scorer, can also play there if needs be).
Today saw Martial starting on the left, and joining Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku in the front four at Burnley. Marcus Rashford was the only forward on the bench today
“In this moment, there is no competition for places. At this moment, we have four attacking players for three positions, one on the bench, Zlatan for whole season was not available,” said Mourinho after his side emerged victorious 1-0 at the Turf Moor.
“We look to attacking areas, and we need that extra internal competitiveness.”
Of course, the attacking midfield has lacked competition for places as well. In general, the Red Devils are short on depth in the forward group, even for a team led by a manager notorious for favoring a more defensive style.
(Yes, we fully anticipate some of you will see an article about Mourinho discussing the attack, forwards etc. as an invitation to slam his sometimes pragmatic ways, so have at it in the comments section- just keep it above board and clean)
Of course, it is worth noting that United are actually third in the Premier League in goals scored this season, behind only Manchester City and Liverpool, so tactics and depth issues aside, they’re still scoring at a very solid rate.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.
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