Jamie Carragher claims Manchester United’s lack of solidity in midfield and pace in defence is a “real problem” for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Crystal Palace exposed those weaknesses in a comfortable 3-1 win at Old Trafford on Saturday, with Wilfried Zaha in particular tormenting Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof.
Scott McTominay deputised for the absent Nemanja Matic in midfield, and the defence was frequently exposed as a result.
Carragher accepts a lack of sharpness and pre-season had an impact on the result, but claims United’s shotcomings should be a real worry for Solskjaer.
“I wouldn’t get too carried away, it was a really poor performance. It was the first game and it’s difficult to judge because we don’t know where players are fitness-wise,” said Carragher.
“But what I would say is, towards the end of last season they were playing really well, and they’ll get back to that. But I’m not convinced by this team, who are now becoming a more possession-based team since Fernandes arrived, Pogba is in central midfield. The more possession you have, the more chance you can get counter-attacked.
“That midfield, for me, is not right. Even though they’re big names with Donny and Fernandes. That team will be far too easy to counter-attack again.
“This is Crystal Palace, who are good at counter-attacked but haven’t got the quality that other teams have. With the pace at centre-back, and how open they are in central midfield, United are going to have a real problem stopping teams on the counter-attack.”