Nemanja Vidic laments Man United full-backs’ lack of attacking contributions

by Harry Robinson

Nemanja Vidic has urged Manchester United’s full-backs to be more involved in attacks by crossing from the touchline.

The former-captain’s comments came after Man United fell to relegation favourites West Bromwich Albion, who had won just three games all season to Sunday’s humiliating encounter at Old Trafford.

The Reds were uninspiring, predictable and dull. Vidic laid the blame at United’s inability to push their full-backs forward and get crosses in from threatening positions.

“The first half is the same as the second half, through the middle all the time.” Vidic lamented.

“The crosses didn’t hurt them. It’s easy to defend this kind of crosses [from deep, floated]. I would like to see the full-backs running behind without the ball and crossing from the touchline.”

Vidic argued that Romelu Lukaku’s presence should have been enough to encourage United to use crosses more.

“We had a tall team,” he said, appearing on Sky Sports as a pundit for the first time. “If you see Lukaku in the box I think any defender would be sacred with the cross coming.”

The Serbian played in a United side that utilised their full-backs crossing ability constantly, bombing down the touchline before pulling it back for the opposition to deal with, and likely struggle.

Most of United’s crosses against West Brom were from deep areas, or driven in pointlessly with no target.

Vidic was insistent that he wasn’t asking United to play with attacking full-backs all the time, but suggested in a game against a deep, narrow defence, the Reds had to exploit West Brom in such a way.

“No, I don’t want to say anything about how United should play,” he assured. “In this circumstance, there is the space on the side, for the crosses. That’s disappointing for me. You can lose the match having a bad game, but they were too predictable.”

United need to buy new full-backs. Ageing Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia cannot provide the attacking contribution that United require.

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