…then for now, surely MU’s goal is not just a position in the Top 4 of the Premier League.
But since this is no different from a type 3 conditional, indicating an unreal situation in the past (and perhaps the future), MU will have to be satisfied and continue to fight with what they have.
The 2-0 win over Everton brought mixed emotions for coach Erik ten Hag. Have fun, when Scott McTominay, Harry Maguire, Marcel Sabitzer, Tyrell Malacia and Anthony Martial all play well or leave their mark. Sad also, when the number 1 striker Marcus Rashford had to leave the field due to injury.
At another time, the striker’s absence might just make Ten Hag frown a little. However, now is an extremely sensitive period, when MU is accelerating towards the remaining two trophies, the FA Cup and Europa League, and the goal of Top 4 in the Premier League. Also because this season, Rashford is almost alone carrying the entire attack of the Red Devils.
But the most worrying thing is what the team-have-Rashford showed against Everton. At Old Trafford, MU has just had an easy victory against an opponent who has almost given up resisting. The only problem is, they should have scored more than 2 goals.
Both Antony, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Rashford himself had too many chances to score against Everton, but all failed. Partly because of the excellence of goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, but mainly because of the sloppiness in the finishing phase. Therefore, they only got 2 goals despite the expected goal coefficient (xG) of 4.39. In a word, MU has personally thrown 2.39 goals into the trash.
More broadly, in the current Top 6 of the Premier League, only MU and Newcastle have lower actual goals than xG. Up to before Liverpool’s trip, Arsenal had 70 goals, although xG was only 60.92. Similarly, both Man City (75 goals, xG 67.18), Tottenham (55 goals, xG 44.83) and Aston Villa (41 goals, xG 37.81) also scored more goals than expected.
So what is the difference here? It is easy to see that Man City and Tottenham own the cannons that are leading the top scorer race of the English Premier League, Erling Haaland (30 goals) and Harry Kane (23 goals). Meanwhile, although there is no outstanding striker, Arsenal have 3 players with 10 or more goals in the Premier League: Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard.
MU has only Rashford, who can not “sit on the same tray” with Haaland and Kane. The Red Devils also do not have satellites capable of sharing the burden of scoring with the English striker. That’s why coach Ten Hag once said “what I want is in the squad to have at least two players who can score more than 12-15 goals per season”.
The problem of the efficiency of the attack can actually be solved easily, if the Old Trafford team has Haaland. When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was in office, they actually got very close to the monster who just scored a double against Southampton on the day of their re-appearance in the Premier League. But for some reason, MU “turned the car”. That’s why we now have a type 3 conditional sentence for something that’s not true.