Lack of Leadership at Manchester United

Manchester United have managed to make huge leaps forward with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as their manager. They are hungrier, younger, and fitter than previous seasons. However, it took Paul Pogba a single missed penalty to highlight how far this club still needs to go before they are ready to face the elite clubs of the Premier League once again.

Manchester United vs Wolves

In all honesty, a 1-1 draw at Molineux against the Wolves after being defeated 2-1 in the FA Cup and the Premier League last season can be seen as progress for Manchester United. However, there is still a distinct lack of leadership and experience in the young team of Solskjaer with an average age of only 24 years, making United the most inexperienced team in the Premier League at the moment. Due to this, Paul Pogba managed to miss his fourth penalty since the beginning of the previous season, with Rui Patricio blocking the shot during the 67th minute of the game.

A mere eight days ago, Marcus Rashford managed to score from the same spot at Old Trafford during their incredible 4-0 victory over Chelsea in the opening weekend of the Premier League. The successful penalty has assisted Rashford to maintain his 100% record when it comes to penalties for both club and country and has managed to take several pressure kicks during that time for state and club. However, during their spell against the Wolves, Paul Pogba decided to brush him to the side and take the shot himself because he won the penalty kick after Conor Coady fouled him.

Lack of Experience in the Team

If the Manchester United squad were packed with experienced characters and players that were strong enough to intervene, Paul Pogba would have been instructed to walk away, leaving the penalty to Marcus Rashford, especially when you take into account his excellent record when it comes to penalty kicks. Unfortunately, the squad did not have a Rio Ferdinand, Gary Neville, Eric Cantona, or Roy Keane in the mix, and no one on the current team had the guts to step up and take the penalty shot for Pogba.

The post-match explanation from Solskjaer on the penalty incident only made things worse, which indicated Manchester United’s lack of principles on the pitch at times. According to the manager, both Rashford and Pogba are the penalty takers for the club, so that means that even he is unable to decide which player should be considered the number 1 penalty shooter and who should be considered the second. The manager leaves the decision up to them at the end of the day, which causes loads of unnecessary confusion on the pitch when a penalty needs to be taken.

Manchester United was unable to control the tempo of the game due to lack of experience, and this is something that needs to be rectified before they face a much stronger and elite team down the road.