If a goal and a point can be called making progress, then we’re making progress but I’m yet to be convinced, says Matthew Bell.
The first half against Crawley was as bad as we’ve seen this season, but credit the players for their response, which was worth the draw they achieved.
A lot of people have pointed to two things that swung the game.
The first was the arrival of Conor Coady, who showed his displeasure at being left out of the team by producing a driving performance. The second was the introduction of Lyle Taylor. Although he didn’t do anything special, he provided another body up front.
Coincidentally or not, United played better when they lined-up in a 4-4-2 formation.
Brian Clough was right all those years ago when he said that systems don’t win and lose you games. Players are the ones who do that.
But there must be something in the theory that footballers in general, especially those at lower levels, are not known for their adaptability.
It could also be argued that that is too simplistic an explanation for United’s results lately.
A reversion to 4-4-2 will not automatically solve all United’s problems; the players have to perform better whatever the formation.
At least David Weir appears to have more-or-less settled on his preferred starting eleven (fewer changes in the last couple of games than previously), so the more they play together (whatever the formation), the better they will become (in theory).
There are so many imponderables, so few definites, that nobody really knows what to do to improve affairs on the pitch.
It might suddenly all fall into place and we go shooting up the league, but I don’t know anybody who is confident that will happen.