Saturday 16 February 2019

John Aldridge makes a bold prediction for Man United but suspects an old flaw will return to haunt them

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (John Walton/PA)
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (John Walton/PA)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

John Aldridge believes Manchester United could now finish ahead of Tottenham in the Premier League this season, but he suspects some of their old problems will come back to haunt them.

While former Ireland striker Aldridge believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deserves credit for reviving United's fortunes since he replaced Jose Mourinho as United manager last month,  he believes the weak spots in the squad he has inherited will soon be exposed.

"We all said for a long time that Mourinho was holding back this United squad and everything we have seen from them since Solskjaer came in has confirmed that," Aldridge told Independent.ie.

"United have some great attacking players in their squad and Mourinho had destroyed their confidence with his negative tactics.

"Now we are seeing how good Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial can be and it has not taken too many changes for Solskjaer to transform the mood at United. That's why I think they could easily get into the top four in the Premier League now, especially after the events of last Sunday.

"If Tottenham had taken their chances at United at Wembley and not given David de Gea a chance to save the dozen clear cut chances they created in the second half, they would be 13 points ahead of United now.

"Instead, that gap is down to just seven and with Harry Kane out for a couple of months at least, I fear for them. They could be out of every major competition by the time Kane comes back and United will be the team benefiting if they collapse now."

While Aldridge is impressed by United's revival under Solskjaer, he believes their defensive weak spots will be exposed sooner rather than later.

"United don't have defensive quality to compare to the teams around them at the top and even though they scraped a win against Spurs on Sunday, their defenders were shown up once again," he added.

"They rode their luck to get that victory, but the defensive problems that have been an issue all season have not disappeared and it means they may well slip up in games when we least expect it."

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