United’s leaders must stand up and be counted against Villarreal

The UEFA Champions League has returned and Manchester United will be without Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who was fired after the embarrassing 4:1 defeat to Premier League whipping boys Watford last Saturday.

The Red Devils are currently under caretaker boss Michael Carrick and will have to bounce back on Tuesday night when they face La Liga outfit, Villarreal, in Matchday 5 of the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night.

Manchester United is currently topping Group F although they are tied with Villarreal who sit second. Both sides have 7 points each and top third-placed Atalanta who have 5 points and will face the group’s whipping boys Young Boys in Switzerland.

Although the Red Devils are currently without a full-time manager, they must do all they can to bounce back from the shocking loss to Watford and at least avoid a loss on Tuesday night to stand a decent chance of making it to the knockout stages of the ongoing UCL competition.

READ: The Curious Case of Aleksandar Mitrovic: Football’s Second-Tier Specialist

It can be recalled that they narrowly missed out on the UCL round of 16 stages last season although odds were in their favor and were consigned to a place in the Europa League, which they eventually lost to Villarreal in the final.

There should be a new atmosphere in the United dressing room in the absence of Solskjaer who proved that the job was too big for him. The new signings in the summers have yet to impress as expected except Cristiano Ronaldo and this has been a cause for concern.

The Red Devils are as good as out of the 2021/22 Premier League title race but still have a huge chance to make a case for themselves in the UEFA Champions League.

READ: The 10 most expensive African footballers in Europe

New caretaker manager Michael Carrick now has a decent chance to make a case for himself during the short time he would be in charge.

However, it remains to be seen if the former Manchester United midfielder can steer the team to glory after a bad run beginning from Tuesday night at Estadio de la Cerámica against Unai Emery’s men or if the bad patch will continue.

The club is searching for a new manager and PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino has been massively sounded out as the replacement for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford.

Regardless, we wait to see how Michael Carrick assembles his team against a tricky Villarreal side and if the supposed leaders in the team can stand up and be counted.