Manchester United just cannot seem to get it right in the Premier League this season.
After a dazzling 5-0 win over RB Leipzig in the Champions League, the Red Devils were outclassed by Arsenal at Old Trafford yesterday.
Mikel Arteta's side claimed a deserved 1-0 win at the Theatre of Dreams, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring the game's only goal from the penalty spot.
It was a United performance which reeked of mediocrity. Minimal attacking threat from the full-backs, porous in midfield and wasteful up top, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side were second best throughout.
The manager's decision to implement a midfield diamond - just as he did against Leipzig - proved to be a fatal one, as it simply played into Arsenal's hands.
"You have six midfield players at the club: Nemanja Matic, Fred, Scott McTominay, Bruno Fernandes, Donny van de Beek and Paul Pogba and you’ve somehow got to get them into a system, which is forcing Ole to play a diamond," Neville told Sky Sports, per Mirror.
"I think there was an element of him thinking he could just put four players in that diamond and it would work after what happened in midweek but Scott McTominay on the right-hand side wasn’t working after five minutes.
"You have to be comfortable moving out into that wide area. Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s already a bit awkward on the ball at right-back so you need someone to balance it and the balance on the right is a real problem for United.
"When Greenwood went off it was even worse. They wanted Jadon Sancho obviously to play on that side and it looks like a real bad error in not getting that position recruited.
"Changing systems, players, having plenty in one position and not enough in others is a real problem. Manchester United’s full-backs aren’t the best attacking full-backs in the world.
"Luke Shaw’s okay going forward, he gives a bit of balance, but you’re playing a diamond and your width’s coming from players who don’t really play that position well in terms of being high and wide.
"It’s all looking a bit scruffy and towards the end, I’m not sure what shape United were playing. He might have to make some tough decisions, Ole."
The decision to sign Van de Beek over a top-class winger was a strange one.
There's no denying that the Dutchman is a hugely talented player, but United were already well stocked in the central midfield department before the 23-year-old's arrival.
Van de Beek was never going to be a Thomas Partey-esque signing for the Red Devils because of this, but Sancho - or any other winger - could well have been.
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