Tuesday 23 May 2017

Front foot approach key to victory over Ajax

United's eggs are all in one basket which is a dangerous situation to be in against a young and highly talented Ajax side. Peter Bosz's side play with energy, intensity and at a high tempo - they will press high up the pitch and look to win the ball back early. 

Their front five - with Bertrand Traore and Amin Younes either side of Kasper Dolberg up top, and Davy Klaassen and Hakim Ziyech slightly deeper - gives them a good mixture of creativity, goals, pace and skill.

To counter the high-pressing game plan of Peter Bosz's side, United have to play on the front foot and mirror the approach we had against Chelsea last month. 

We came flying out of the blocks in that match and took on Antonio Conte's side at their own game.  We were positive, put Chelsea under pressure from the off and never gave them a moment to breathe. 

United played on the front foot and used the pace of Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard to pin Chelsea back, and the energy of Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini to overpower them in the middle.

What we definitely shouldn't do is sit back and invite pressure as we did in the second legs of both the quarter final and the semi with Celta Vigo. 

The team were gripped by a nervous anxiety, we didn't play well and the opponents grew in confidence.United cannot allow that to happen here: this needs to be a game where we have to go out and start quickly. 

The Dutch team - despite their inexperience - don't have to deal with the level of expectation that we do - they've already qualified for the Champions League through their second placed Eredivise finish. 

The final is not break or break for them and Ajax's inexperience is definitely something we should try to exploit to tip the balance in our favour.  Jose Mourinho has great experience, not just of the big occasion but of getting results when it matters.

He is a serial winner, has won each of the three European finals he's been in and will have a massive influence in setting United up to do just that. 

He can't complain about fatigue having given the players the rest they needed in the three Premier League games since we reached the final.

United should be mentally fresh for the first time in five or six weeks.

It's a one-off game in which anything can happen but under Mourinho we'll be prepared, hungry and ready to make history. 

No comments:

Post a Comment