11 The Daily Telegraph Monday 21 September 2020 *** Everton 5-2 West Brom Right place ... right time Striker’s smart positional play 25 touches - three goals Dominic Calvert-Lewin touched the ball just 25 times in 90 minutes but six of them were in the penalty area and three resulted in goals. Direction of play after Palace shambles Cheap turnovers, no patterns of play and being caught on the break That it was Wilfried Zaha who ran them ragged will only have added to the sense of disquiet among fans would be straightforward and Ed Woodward, United’s executive vicechairman, again hinted at the financial repercussions of the Covid-19 crisis when he stated the club were “not immune” from its impact. Yet too many of United’s transfer pursuits become drawn-out sagas – Wan-Bissaka, Maguire and Bruno Fernandes were all the same – and it raises serious questions about Woodward and right-hand man Matt Judge’s approach to negotiations. “Deal attrition” is how wellplaced sources have described United’s transfer tactics to – the attempt to grind down selling clubs through incremental tweaks – but they still have a troubling tendency to end up paying the asking price. United’s capture of Holland midfielder Van de Beek from Ajax was a rarity because it flew largely under the radar, but they lack the stealth of rivals Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City in the market. Van de Beek’s name was spelt incorrectly on the team-sheets handed out before kick-off and it set the tone for a sloppy, error-strewn night. Paul Pogba contracted coronavirus and missed a lot of training which may have explained his difficulties, but Palace did a job on Fernandes, who could find opposition sides are wiser to his movements this season, and James McCarthy and James McArthur took it in turns to hound Scott McTominay. The result was United conceding possession and being caught on the break. It did not help that there was so little interplay between United’s attackers. Marcus Rashford has been out of form for months, it was hard to remember Anthony Martial touching the ball and Mason Greenwood made no headway. Luton and Brighton are next. Solskjaer needs an immediate reaction. When you look around at how other teams are strengthening, we must also do it to keep up with the others”. Shaw was slow to track Townsend’s run to the far post for the first goal and could yet find his position under threat from Alex Telles should United manage to complete a deal for Porto’s Brazilian left-back. But the England defender was only saying what everyone can see: that United’s squad is full of holes that need plugging before the transfer deadline on Oct 5. No one said striking a deal with Borussia Dortmund for Sancho Telegraph Sport
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