The Europa League group stage is back. We strode our way to this stage as we bypassed MFK Ružomberok and Hajduk Split with relative ease, bar a Split wonder goal in Croatia. So our Europa League efforts are in stark contrast with our Premier League season, which has started woefully. But Thursday night is a time to forget about domestic woes and remember that we’re in the hunt for European glory.
So it’s going to be a team of change on Thursday, and hopefully Koeman will follow suit by ripping up the tactics book and revamping a lethargic side. The tactics are too similar to last season and there’s two problems with that: Firstly, we’ve lost Rom, and secondly, we haven’t replaced him. We have no one who offers what Lukaku could anymore, so the Romelu-centric tactics have to be forgotten.
Build the team around the talented midfield we have and let’s have a go. Our defe-… our Jordan Pickford is enough to stop most of Atalanta’s hypothetical attack and we have natural width on the left with Baines. Focus on our strengths Ronald.
But I’m not Ronald, so here’s my XI.