Lou Macari offers solution to Manchester United's lack of penetration

Old Trafford

The Manchester United legend has suggested a way the club could score more goals.

Louis van Gaal's arrival at Manchester United in the summer brought with it a new philosophy of possession-based football, a style successfully employed at both Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

Seven months after the Dutchman fully took control of the Red Devils and we are yet to see the club reap the benefits of possession football, and some now believe that this style of play has done more harm that good for the team.

Following the surprise 2-1 defeat to Swansea at the weekend, a game in which United looked in relative control and should have probably won, club legend Lou Macari thinks United should abandon the idea of having lots of possession and instead take more shots at goal.

He posted the following tweet on Twitter earlier today:

Macari, a striker for United between 1973-84, was responding to a tweet posted by celebrity United fan Eamonn Holmes on Saturday that read: "Here's a novel idea .....let's forget the "more possession bit" and just start taking shots at the opposition goal . #MUFC".

Holmes was obviously frustrated by the fact that despite United dominating the possession stats with 64%, they could only muster three shots out on target out of 18 in total at the Liberty Stadium.

That was a frustration that was echoed by the United boss post-match as he bemoaned the fact that his side could not turn their possession into goals.

According to Whoscored.com, Manchester City are the Premier League's most proficient club that attack with possession. Across all their games this season City average the most possession with 59.8%, the most shots per game with 16.9 and the second most shots on target per game with 5.8.

In comparison, United are second in possession with 59.4%, but in terms of shots they fall all the way to eighth, averaging a measly 12.8 per match with only 4.6 on target.

What does this mean?

We all know United's strikers have been dismal this season, so replacing the ageing ones at the end of the season might be a start. Overall though, how likely is it that Van Gaal and United will abandon this possession style of play? Not very.

They need to learn how to utilise possession properly in attack, a little like the two clubs who currently occupy first and second in the Premier League. Otherwise the play will continue to look how it has been at United for much of this season - slow, pedestrian and too risk averse.

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