Worrying Man Utd stat gives Ole Gunnar Solskjaer work to do to challenge Man City

  Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must address Manchester United's lack of discipline in order to fight for next season's Premier League title....


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must address Manchester United's lack of discipline in order to fight for next season's Premier League title.

Manchester United need to improve in a number of areas to snatch the Premier League title from the clutches of Manchester City next season. Pep Guardiola's side have been far and away the best outfit in the division since the beginning of the current campaign, with the Red Devils deservedly falling short in the race for domestic glory.

United made a sluggish start to proceedings, with their lacklustre performances leading many onlookers to call for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's head early on.

The Norwegian boss then proved his doubters wrong by mounting a formidable surge to the summit of the Premier League table over the festive period.

United's rapid rise suggested that a first title since 2013 was within their capabilities, but their hopes of returning to the top of English football were promptly dashed by City's merciless charge to the trophy.

The truth is that the Red Devils were simply not good enough to win the Premier League this season, despite playing out their best campaign in a number of years.

It seems as though United will be two or three players short of challenging Guardiola's men for next year's crown unless they can address their need for additional quality in the summer transfer window.
Solskjaer has a big problem to fix ahead of next season (Image: GETTY)
Solskjaer is believed to be targeting a winger and a centre-back ahead of the new season, with Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane said to be near the top of the 48-year-old's wish list.

However, the 20-time English champions will need more than just new signings if they are serious about beating their cross-city rivals after 38 matches.

Indiscipline has been a key theme of United's season, with Solskjaer's side establishing themselves as one of the dirtiest teams in the Premier League.

The Red Devils have committed a foul every seven minutes and 56 seconds on average, according to CIES Football Observatory, putting them second in the order behind only Championship-bound Fulham.
The Red Devils have lacked discipline throughout the campaign (Image: GETTY)
In contrast, City are down at the other end of the leaderboard with a foul every 10 minutes and 15 seconds, with their tally of 327 infringements far lower than United's haul of 429.

Discipline can often be the difference between success and failure over the course of a season, and Solskjaer will need to improve his side's game management if they are to mount a sustained Premier League title challenge next time around.

Although United's high foul count suggests no shortage of desire and passion, these two qualities do not win you football matches.

City have been the model outfit this season, picking up maximum points on an almost weekly basis, with their ability to keep things relatively calm when out of possession helping to shape their dominance since the turn of the year.
It seems fairly obvious but with every foul conceded, the opposition are given a fresh chance to make something happen.

United have shipped plenty of goals from set-pieces as of late, with Liverpool striking twice from dead-ball situations on their way to a 4-2 victory on Thursday evening, clearly showing that the Old Trafford club's lack of discipline must be resolved as a matter of priority.

Even if the Red Devils manage to complete the summer signings of both Sancho and Varane, their transfer escapades will be in vain if they cannot get the basics right on the pitch.

Make no mistake, new blood will definitely be needed to build on this season's efforts, but it seems evident that Solskjaer will need to dig a little deeper to realise his side's true potential.



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FotNetwork.com: Worrying Man Utd stat gives Ole Gunnar Solskjaer work to do to challenge Man City
Worrying Man Utd stat gives Ole Gunnar Solskjaer work to do to challenge Man City
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