Michael Carrick hits back at critics who question the Manchester United press
According to Manchester Evening News, Michael Carrick has explained Manchester United’s approach to pressing the opposition when not in possession, a tactic that was in full display against Villarreal.
Some lessons appear to have been learned as United showed better aptitude in their approach against Villarreal last night. Fred’s pressing of Etienne Capoue played a key role in Cristiano Ronaldo breaking the deadlock in the second half of a crucial UEFA Champions League group stage tie.
Carrick went on to praise the Brazilian midfielder for his contribution and defended the team’s pressing. He believes little has changed in the approach that has been prevalent since Solskjaer’s reign.
“Over the last number of years that’s what we’ve tried to do.”
Fixing what is wrong
The United boss admits that while the approach may not have always worked, the intention had been clear. Hopefully, with better application and training, the team can learn better to choke the life out of opposition backlines.
“If you look back over time we have pressed a team, especially on goal kicks, sometimes it hasn’t worked but the intention is to do that.”
The fact that Carrick is aware of the shortcomings and does not appear to paint a happy picture is a good precedent. At the very least, it gives the coaching team an idea of what is working and what isn’t and reacts accordingly.
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Pressing is an integral part of modern-day football. How a team reacts without the ball is equally important to how they do so with it. Rather than run after the ball like headless chickens, United should focus on cutting off avenues of passing.
It is something Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City also make use of. Regardless of the names on the field, United need to come up with a template that can be used game in, game out. It, however, takes practice and application- something Carrick will need to work on at Carrington.