Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie, the Manchester United strike partnership used in the disjointed display against West Ham, doesn't work according to Jamie Carragher. The former Liverpool defender has also said he doesn't expect United to keep Falcao at the club beyond his loan spell.
Carragher was speaking in the aftermath of the 1-1 draw at Upton Park in which United needed a late goal from Daley Blind to salvage a point after a hugely disappointing performance in which Louis van Gaal had to resort to using long-ball tactics as the game went on.
With an almost entirely fit squad to pick from Van Gaal went with Van Persie and Falcao in attack and captain Wayne Rooney playing in midfield. Yet despite the stellar reputations, the trio laboured against West Ham.
"I don't see Falcao staying, it's something they have to address," Carragher said on Sky Sports after the game. "I can't believe (James) Wilson didn't come on at some stage of the game. Falcao and Van Persie lack movement and I don't think this is a partnership that's working.
"Everyone talks about United and that they need a centre-back - they have one of the best defensive records in the league, although (David) De Gea is part of that, but that's the reason you pay him.
"The problems are at the other end of the pitch.
"Rooney's position is not right, he was playing as a defensive midfield player. Why is he (Van Gaal) not putting Rooney up off the front, with two strikers showing such a lack of movement? They had less touches today than De Gea."
West Ham 1 Manchester United 1 player ratings
West Ham 1 Manchester United 1 player ratings
1/22 West Ham: Adrian
Impressive performance from the Spanish goalkeeper. He wasn’t tested too many times but when he was, in particular from Robin van Persie in the second half, he stood firm. 7
2/22 Carl Jenkinson
Not as effective as he has been recently. He struggled to cope with Radamel Falcao and allowed Adnan Januzaj to get the wrong side of him too often. Came close to scoring when his cross-cum-effort when inches past David de Gea’s goal. 6
3/22 Cheikhou Kouyate
What a goal. He did excellently to turn and shoot past David de Gea. Alongside the composed figure of James Tomkins he was able to express himself. He was also the most effective at stifling Angel di Maria. 8
4/22 James Tomkins
Back into the team and he did not disappoint. He kept composed when his defence was under threat and did brilliantly to block a Robin van Persie effort that looked destined for the back of the West Ham net in the second half. 7
5/22 Aaron Cresswell
Consistently he has been one of West Ham’s best players this season. Defensively not much gets past him and he’s no slouch at getting forward. His delivery from the left is superb. 6
6/22 Alex Song
Made a few sloppy errors in the first half. Lucky not to have been punished when his pass across his own box was intercepted by Robin van Persie. 6
7/22 Kevin Nolan
Still not a fans’ favourite as the fans near the press box in the west stand made clear. He was constantly overrun in midfield and wasn’t able to deal with Wayne Rooney running at him. 6
8/22 Mark Noble
Dependable performance from Mr West Ham. Tireless work marking Adnan Januzaj, who can break quickly, but Noble dealt with him well. 7
9/22 Stewart Downing
Behind Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia, the English midfielder seemed to run into trouble a little too often and didn’t press forward as much as he has been able to before. 6
10/22 Enner Valencia
A constant threat to the Manchester United defence. Used his pace effectively to move into areas where the ball could be fed to him. 7
11/22 Diafra Sakho
No sign of his recent back injury causing him any bother. He didn’t use his physicality as well as he should have and was too slow to react in the final third. No doubt he’ll get his sharpness back with a few more matches. 6
12/22 Manchester United: David De Gea
Sharp to react to the penetrating runs of Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho. Did brilliantly to deny Valencia in the first half. Beaten by a strong Cheikhou Kouyate volley. 6
13/22 Phil Jones
Handled the physicality of Diafra Sakho well. He won the majority of 50/50 balls in the air against the Senegal international. A composed performance. Could possibly have done better to stop Cheikhou Kouyate getting his shot away. 5
14/22 Luke Shaw
Caught out of possession a few times by Enner Valencia who never allowed him out of his sights. Pressed forward well. Sent off for a horror tackle on Stewart Downing. 5
15/22 Antonio Valencia
One of Manchester United’s best players against West Ham. Highly effective on the right. Worked particularly hard to support the attack but made sure to track back when required. 6
16/22 Marcos Rojo
He never stopped grafting. Very quick out of defence but covered for Luke Shaw when the English defender pushed up. He did pick up an unnecessary yellow card for a reckless tackle on Mark Noble. 6
17/22 Angel di Maria
In behind Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao, the Argentinian playmaker struggled to make an impact. His delivery from set pieces were particularly poor as they failed to beat the first defender. 5
18/22 Adnan Januzaj
50th game for Manchester United three days after he turned 20. Early on his was relatively effective on the left side but as Carl Jenkinson started to read where he was going the Belgian ran out of options. Replaced by Marouane Fellaini after 72 minutes. 5
19/22 Wayne Rooney
A little out position but his ability to link up the midfield and attack is always required. A threat to West Ham after the Hammers took the lead. Very creative from a fairly deep role. 7
20/22 Daley Blind
Not as strong as he has been. Playing in front of the defence you expected him to stay calm and tidy up loose balls. Bypassed a little too easily by Stewart Downing. Scored a beautiful goal to bring his side level. 7
21/22 Radamel Falcao
Too often he appears a little too casual. His movement created space but when he got the ball he didn’t progress play often enough. Missed a sitter to level the scores when one-on-one with Adrian. 5
22/22 Robin Van Persie
Failed to punish Alex Song’s mistake in the first half when the midfielder played across his own box. Didn’t link up with Radamel Falcao as much as he has done previously. Should have levelled the match with minutes remaining. Good movement, though. 6
Carragher did commend Van Gaal for switching his tactics as the match went on, with Marouane Fellaini coming off the bench and long balls punted forward, something Sam Allardyce admitted his side struggled to cope with.
"It's not luck," Carragher said of Blind's 90th minute goal. "United have done it too often over the years. They've done it again today. How many times have we seen United and they haven't played well and they've still got a result?
"He put Fellaini on and went long. In the past United wouldn't have done that but I admire that. You talk about principles, sometimes you have to change them when it's not working and credit to Van Gaal, he did."
Manchester United's next game is at home to Burnley on Wednesday.
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