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Manchester Derby Preview - Danny Mills

Manchester Derby Preview - Danny Mills

Former Manchester City defender Danny Mills thinks Manchester United are “a collection of fantastic individuals” but feels they “don’t seem to have a plan”. Ahead of the Manchester derby, United sit fourth in the Premier League table after 27 games – and are 19 points behind rivals and league leaders City. Mills believes the Red Devils possess enough quality players to be challenging for the title, but that they are missing an elite tactical blueprint to get the most out of them. Check out Danny's preview to the Manchester Derby!


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Fantastic Individual Talent

Speaking exclusively to Genting, he said: “At the moment, Manchester United are a collection of fantastic individuals, and when that clicks they have the ability to be devastating and can beat absolutely anybody. 

“That makes them dangerous, but because they’re individuals and they don’t seem to have a plan, they don’t seem to have that chemistry. 

“That makes them vulnerable and that makes them inconsistent, and I think that’s what we’ve seen this season.

“Player for player, Manchester United’s squad is up there with City, Liverpool and Chelsea, but the fact that they don’t really seem to have the organisation, or a plan is letting them down. 

“They’re relying on individuals, but you need a bit more than that – even when you are top level professionals, you need structure, you need organisation and you need tactics, especially when you haven’t got the ball.

“You have to have a way – you have to have principles, general principles that you’re going to stick to, and have an understanding of what you’re going to do. That’s what Manchester United don’t seem to have at the moment. 

“When you haven’t got the ball, the defence needs to be organised, everybody needs to know their job, and you need to know the job of the person in front, behind, and to the side of you – because then you can cover for them and you can help each other out. Manchester United don’t seem to have that. 

“I don’t know what sort of defending team they are. Do they sit back and defend? Do they go man for man? Do they press high? It’s a team of individuals, and the team changes so regularly, it seems to change week-in, week-out.

“Whatever you think of Manchester City, they do that religiously. If you look at the way that they play, it’s almost like they all have a little square on the pitch, and the moment they lose the ball, all those squares are filled. 

“Sometimes that might be different personnel because they’ve been caught out of position, but they all know they have to get back into those set positions as quickly as possible, and that gives you a basis to be organised and defend.”

Manchester City v Manchester United Preview And Predictions - Manchester Derby

Manchester City v Manchester United Preview And Predictions - Manchester Derby

Guardiola Wouldn't Have Signed Ronaldo

Mills also believes that City boss Guardiola would never have signed United star Cristiano Ronaldo – despite the rumours last summer – as the Portuguese would not have been a good fit for his system.

“I don’t think Pep Guardiola was ever in for [Ronaldo],” he continued. “He doesn’t fit the way that Pep plays. 

“When you look at the players that Manchester City have, the energy that Pep demands, even when he had [Sergio] Aguero, one of the best strikers in the world, he said to him, ‘If you don’t change, you’re not going to play in my team.’ 

“At 37, Ronaldo is not suddenly going to start pressing, he is not going to go back to being the player he was when he was 22 or 23, start chasing fullbacks and closing people down, that was never going to be the case.”



City Favourites But United Are A Threat

While Mills sees City as the favourites at the Etihad Stadium, he says United’s individual quality still makes them a threat.

“My head says that Manchester City should win this comfortably because of the way that they play, the way that they dominate the ball, but there is always an issue in that Manchester United have big game players,” he explained.

“Bruno Fernandes, [Edinson] Cavani, Ronaldo obviously, [Jadon] Sancho could step up, [Paul] Pogba has done it before. 

“These are all players that thrive on games at the highest level, and they will see this as one of the biggest games, if not the biggest game of the season for them, playing in the Manchester derby. 

“Now if they all bring it, and they all turn up and put in a performance, it’s going to be tough for Manchester City.

“They could make it very, very difficult – this is what you don’t know about Manchester United – they have fantastic individuals, and they have some big game players that probably prefer playing against Manchester City, Liverpool, rather than against Watford, Burnley and Norwich. 

“I think Manchester United will bring it, it’s whether enough of the players bring it on the day. 

“I expect City to win 3-1, something like that, but the caveat to that is United have some very special, incredibly talented players, and if they turn up, they can easily turn Manchester City over.”

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