When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer comes to take out the bibs for a Manchester United Training game his team will choose carefully.
The United manager can actually select three different teams of 11 players by numbers he has in training due to the size of the squad remaining after the summer transfer window closes.
While there will be complaints about the lack of depth in the team after a disappointing window, at the same time the numbers are available Solshire Unnecessarily swollen. It is a bit paradoxical for the club to enter itself.
The hectic nature of the season has led to a slight deviation in the usual ideas about team building, but most managers want a group of around 20 first-team members who feel close enough to the starting line-up to keep motivated, with numbers made up of academy alumni and youth building experience And they are waiting for opportunities.
What no manager wants is that a series of top players still come to training every day knowing full well that, with the exception of a number of unexpected events, they are unlikely to be near any match.
This is what Solskjaer has at United. His team will likely have three levels at the moment, maybe four if we include the youth. Suppose the likes of Ethan Laird and Teden Mengi are happy to be at the mid-level, knowing that chances will come their way in the Cup competitions and that’s it. New signings Facundo Pellistri and Amd Diallo (when it arrives in January) are likely to be in this category.
There are maybe 18 players in the first division. Those who start each week in the English Premier League, Champions League and others who are on the sidelines and can participate in those matches. Aside from the regular starter Solshire uses, you’ll have Dean Henderson, Eric Bailey, Alex Tillis (likely to replace Luke Shaw), Fred, and Scott McTominay, Donnie Van de Beek And Edinson Cavani.
All of them will think they have a chance to start big matches. There is an argument that they can fight their way past the players in front of them at the moment.
After that, there will probably be nine players in the second division. Eight of those who know their football will be transported to the domestic cup competitions for now, as will Lee Grant, who is excited about his role as the third goalkeeper.
These players know they may be sitting on the bench in the English Premier League or Champions League, but regular participation bypasses them, except for a surprising series of form. They are Timothy Fuso-Minsah, Brandon Williams, Axel Tuanzibi, Tedem Mingy, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Daniel James, and Odeon Ighalo. Most of them might be happy with their condition, but some will know that regular football seems out of reach at the moment.
Then there are the third level players, those who could have left at the window but due to lack of offers or suitable injuries. Sergio Romero, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo could have easily left in the summer, but they all stay. Everyone knows Solskjaer’s first-team football will not happen now.
United still has to do to build the ideal Solskjaer team, not only in terms of income, but also of expenses. This team is too big and not big enough now.
level one: De Gia, Henderson, Wan-Bissaka, Bailey, Lindelof, Toanzebi, Maguire, Teles, Shaw, Matic, Fred, McTomenay, Pogba, Van de Beek, Fernandez, Greenwood, Rashford, Martial, Cavani
Second Level: Grant, Fuso Minsah, Williams, Tuanzibi, Mingei, Lingard, Mata, James, Ighalo
The third level: Rosemary, Reed, Jones
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