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Morning after

No doubt about it. Last night was poor all round. Right down from the manager to the players we pretty much got it wrong. There is the worry we always have this kind of result in us but I do hope it was the red that was the deciding factor and that we'll have learnt quickly from it. What is clear is that we need to keep the ball much better.

Having said that perhaps, in the long run (and maybe I'm saying this to make myself feel better), we needed a bit of a reality check.

The last few weeks after the Ronaldo signing has been all sweetness and light but we have to realise he's not going to do it all himself for us.

How we bounce back at West Ham will say a lot about the manager and squad I think and it's important we bounce back positively.

On Sunday, if everyone is fit, I see us going back to Fred and McT in the two in midfield with Pogba playing off the left with Greenwood on the right and Ronaldo up top. I'd keep Sancho for the League Cup game hoping he'll get some confidence there.

I still retain some doubts about Ole long term but hopefully he'll prove me wrong. Being at the top of the PL before the next international break (with games against West Ham, Villa and Everton coming up) would be great for confidence and it's something we should aim to be doing.


***EDIT***
I realise I've said above we need to keep the ball better and then advocate McT and Fred in midfield. They're not ideal but I think, at present, they probably offer the best balance. Probably says something that about the midfield recruitment but there you go!

posted 2 days, 5 hours ago

comment by Red Russian (U4715)
posted 1 minute ago

With that in mind do you think we go in for another CM/DM in January?

If so who would you choose based on who may be available?
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I doubt we will, unless a long term target becomes available in January. I'm not against the 'wait for the right player' approach but I'm amazed the club has put this position at the bottom, rather than near the top, of its strategic priorities as it rebuilds the squad.
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The club do seem to have let this issue go really. I suppose there's the added Pogba conundrum as well.

Even though it is frustrating at times I do get why Ole likes McT and Fred in the middle. It's just we need what they provide but, in addition, a bit more quality on the ball and positionally (this is something that should be looked at by the coaches though I reckon).

posted 2 days, 5 hours ago

Fred is a PL relegation fighting level midfielder. You will win nothing with him in the engine room.

A Ferrari with a fiat engine.

posted 2 days, 4 hours ago

I think you win the game if you keep eleven on the pitch, which of course is not a mind-blowing prediction. However I also think you win the game if you do what most managers of top teams do when you go down to ten against a lesser side. You take off an attacker, usually a wide player, going with two up top, one who stays there and one who drifts wide in possession and helps defensively out of possession , keep your shape and control the ball.

Therefore in hindsight the move would have been to bring Dalot on for VDB, stick Pogba in with Fred, with Fernandes ahead of them and Sancho moves up with Ronaldo, drifting wide in possession but helping out defensively out of possession. You then have the option if you're not controlling the ball, to take out one of Pogba or Fernandes for Matic.

You sacrificed controlling the ball, with an extra man in defence, leaving four other players, three of them attacking players and Fred, making it even more difficult to control the ball, inviting them on to you and making it difficult to supply the attacking players.

Easy in highlight of course.

posted 2 days, 4 hours ago


That Midfield is impossible. For one thing, the Pogba conondrum still exists. To utilize our strengths fully, we need to play him somewhere that is not on the lest side of the attack and yet I am yet to see a game where he plays in midfield and we are not soft as butter. He has had a fantastic start but I continue to say if he left, it will not be the worst thing to happen to us.

Other than him, we have no midfielder. Fred did not stop one run in midfield yesterday, Matic will give you 20 good minutes and then gas out. VDB literally has no position he is better at than anyone (not even attacking midfield). If I were Ole, I would have kept Garner in there or effing start Bailly there. At least he'll be able to stop attacks and maybe boot the ball out.

This is literally 4 years, and the one position that would have improved both our attack and defence has gone largely unattended. Out of the last 5 articles i've actually written here, 4 had a comment on this midfield. If we are honest to ourselves, we need to get rid of every one of them bar McT and buy 3 new players. Bissouma, Rice, Hojberg... tbh a lot of midfielders out there will walk into our midfield and improve it massively. This is Oles greatest failure.

posted 2 days, 4 hours ago

comment by United we win (U19958)
posted 1 hour, 4 minutes ago
Even before the red we were poor. It’s the coaching!
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can you not just try and be sensible for once.

Without the red card we would have won that game comfortably.

Apart from being 1 man down and 1-0 up, Its what happenend after the red was a bit of a calamity.

posted 2 days, 3 hours ago

DDG
With AWBs red card last night I was wondering how we could line up without him. How about something like this below with McT in a kind of hybrid RB/RDM role? McT can go midfield, RB or RCB in that formation.

---------Varane Maguire Shaw---------
-----McT Fred Pogba
Greenwood Bruno Rashford
Ronaldo

You can change the personnel further forward but I've just put them in as I think that'd be our strongest team in that particular formation.

posted 2 days, 3 hours ago

comment by There'sOnlyOneRed's (U1721)
posted 54 minutes ago
I think you win the game if you keep eleven on the pitch, which of course is not a mind-blowing prediction. However I also think you win the game if you do what most managers of top teams do when you go down to ten against a lesser side. You take off an attacker, usually a wide player, going with two up top, one who stays there and one who drifts wide in possession and helps defensively out of possession , keep your shape and control the ball.

Therefore in hindsight the move would have been to bring Dalot on for VDB, stick Pogba in with Fred, with Fernandes ahead of them and Sancho moves up with Ronaldo, drifting wide in possession but helping out defensively out of possession. You then have the option if you're not controlling the ball, to take out one of Pogba or Fernandes for Matic.

You sacrificed controlling the ball, with an extra man in defence, leaving four other players, three of them attacking players and Fred, making it even more difficult to control the ball, inviting them on to you and making it difficult to supply the attacking players.

Easy in highlight of course.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Good analysis that, TOOR

posted 2 days, 3 hours ago

comment by Diafol Coch 77 (U2462)
posted 4 seconds ago
DDG
With AWBs red card last night I was wondering how we could line up without him. How about something like this below with McT in a kind of hybrid RB/RDM role? McT can go midfield, RB or RCB in that formation.

---------Varane Maguire Shaw---------
-----McT Fred Pogba
Greenwood Bruno Rashford
Ronaldo

You can change the personnel further forward but I've just put them in as I think that'd be our strongest team in that particular formation.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
But why? You are still 1-0 up. 4-4-1 with players in shape and play on the break. Don't give them space or control of the midfield. As soon as you lose that midfield and leave spaces behind the wing backs, you're playing their game.

posted 2 days, 3 hours ago

comment by Eric_Draven (U20260)
posted 3 minutes ago
comment by Diafol Coch 77 (U2462)
posted 4 seconds ago
DDG
With AWBs red card last night I was wondering how we could line up without him. How about something like this below with McT in a kind of hybrid RB/RDM role? McT can go midfield, RB or RCB in that formation.

---------Varane Maguire Shaw---------
-----McT Fred Pogba
Greenwood Bruno Rashford
Ronaldo

You can change the personnel further forward but I've just put them in as I think that'd be our strongest team in that particular formation.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
But why? You are still 1-0 up. 4-4-1 with players in shape and play on the break. Don't give them space or control of the midfield. As soon as you lose that midfield and leave spaces behind the wing backs, you're playing their game.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
I didn't mean this last night (hence my inclusion of McT who wasn't in the squad). Just proposing it as an idea for some games.

posted 2 days ago

comment by manusince52 (U9692)
posted 6 hours, 4 minutes ago
comment by One Love - Admin 3 (U1250)
posted 22 minutes ago
Oles subs were abysmal and cost you the match. Dont get all the love Ole keeps getting, in his 3rd or 4th season he should not make these mistakes. Tactically he hasnt improved much.
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Yes but that's jusy your mistaken opinion to have your 83rd dig at Ole. Meanwhile Barca go from strength to strength
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Fack off, I don't have many digs at Ole. Even defended him a while back. But yesterday was abysmal and you know it. But whatever man, keep sticking your head in the sand.

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