A cohesive modern structure/fluid style of play needs to come first before United can win big

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by Raees, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. Feb 13, 2018
    #1

    Raees Boing Boing Baggies

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    Not going to repeat the comments I made in the Busby mantra thread, but surely unless we start playing good football, any dreams there are of big trophies are very unrealistic? no one is saying we need to be as extreme as say City in the beauty of our football but at the same time, you can't have as many unstructured, chaotic random performances like we have and expect to be rivalling the best clubs in the world.

    No matter how much money you throw at the situation, until you have a proper vision for how to play the game, for how you want those 11 players on the pitch (as well as the squad, academy) to play, they're going to go out on the pitch and play like strangers..

    First thing you have to look at is, well what is the most successful modern formation at the moment, which formation is the one which most teams use.. and it still tends to be a 4-3-3, but even if you say chose a diamond or a 3-5-2, the bottom line is that there seems to be a huge emphasis placed by the top sides in controlling the midfield battle and being proactive on the ball, playing out from the back and lots of nimble possession play and pressing pretty high. That seems to be a common theme amongst the top sides, so why are we not following this formula to success.. why are we playing like the English national team from the 00's, when the rest of the major clubs seem to have taken Barca/Bayern/Dortmund template from 06-14 and added their own twists to it.

    We are playing football that is tactically more prehistoric than anything we played in 2008. We look out-dated. Simple eye-test tells you, we don't play good football.. we make bad decisions on the ball constantly, we kick it long, our build play is too slow and laboured, we have a big lump up front when the likes of Barca, Napoli, City have more nimble strikers and even sides like PSG/Spurs have very multi-dimensional target men up top, mobile number 9's who can drift across the pitch.

    What bemuses me, is people saying well we have Jose.. he's a winner! well, Jose at his best had a proper system and usually was ace at picking players who fitted that system but as he has aged.. the system remains in his head, but his ability to execute it and his choice of players for that system is not as sharp as it used to be. So we are suffering a double-whammy, slightly out-dated tactical system but it is being implemented really badly and it shows on the pitch. We have more bad performances than we do good.. we are regularly outdone tactically and it is only the superior individual quality we have at our disposal and the fact other teams have their own defensive deficiencies that we are second in the league. But it is very much a false position because playing wise, to the naked eye we look very far from a title winning side or a great challenging side.

    Final bone of contention is, without playing well to the naked eye.. regardless of whether you prefer a more counter-attacking style (say Leicester from a few years back) or a more proactive style, if you can see that whatever it is, it isn't clicking fluidly and the team constantly looks out of sorts. Surely that is an issue to worry about, because no side wins major titles by being disjointed? getting a cohesive side out on the pitch week in week out needs to be the first step and United have totally failed carry out their duty in this regard. It has been years since we have seen United, regularly play an identifiable and outstanding brand of football. Until that happens, we have no big major success in our near future.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  2. Feb 13, 2018
    #2

    Arbitrium Taking a year off

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    Usually enjoy your threads @Raees but I read the first sentence and the last sentence and that was enough.
  3. Feb 13, 2018
    #3

    Raees Boing Boing Baggies

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    Do you not agree that we need to play a good brand of football in order to win the league or the CL? by good I mean cohesive, consistent, patterned, fluid?

    Why are we constantly splashing the cash, when we don't have a proper vision for how we want to play the game set up first.
  4. Feb 13, 2018
    #4

    Arbitrium Taking a year off

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    Seems like it’s more a case of us not having your own vision in this case.

    I’m fairly confident that Jose has a clear vision of how he wants to play, that’s why we’ve seen more convincing displays this season than before (how many times had we scored 4 goals in a game in the total of the last 3 seasons).

    We are in a good position right now and you could understand why Jose might have thought that a lot he has done so far this season has worked.

    And personally, I think any “style” has to start from the back, and our defenders are the issue as they are clearly a few levels below in quality than the midfield/attack.
  5. Feb 13, 2018
    #5

    Sterling Archer Full Member

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    @Raes like the other poster says your analysis is usually a good read. I wonder how it is you’ve been lured into the dark - this idea that we aren’t coached well and that the manager and staff has not been training the team enough in the attack. Surely you not gone and taken Hazard’s whining to heart without any doubt?

    One of my favorite performances of the season across a full 90 minutes was CSKA Moskva away. We actually looked very well drilled that day. We have it in us, that’s for sure.

    Now this isn’t as simple as just deciding to play tiki taka or high press to the extreme. We had “zombie football” back before SAF retired, transitioned to mid table lump ball with Moyes then another
    extrme with LVG. Amidst that we have an accumulation of players that are probably equally dazed with the merry go round. Give the coaching staff time. Meet basic requirements (4th place) and build on the season. And it truly starts w defense. And that isn’t perfect either.
  6. Feb 13, 2018
    #6

    Rawls You'll never find, that microfilm of mine

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    While I agree that United are in big need of a major improvement in attacking structure, it's not as if we are the only side with this particular problem. In my eyes, the only two real major sides who are impressively structured in attack right now are Man City and Napoli. For instance, I don't think you can say that Barcelona under Valverde are a particularly impressive side with regards to their attacking structure; that's not to say that they lack attacking structure, it's just that their structure is not as impressive as either the structure of City or Napoli.

    However, whilst very few teams are very well-structured, most of the relatively unstructured sides seem to have more structure than us. Bayern, Juventus, PSG, and Chelsea all compare unfavourably to City and Napoli in terms of attacking structure; however, their respective attacks all compare favourably to our attack structure-wise. If anything, this is a greater source of worry for United fans than the great tactical nous of Guardiola; how is it that managers who you wouldn't describe as tactical visionaries are able to develop relatively coherent attacks, whilst José struggles to create any semblance of an attacking structure?

    In the short-term, it's difficult to see how these current problems abate. Replacing the 4-2-3-1 with a 4-3-3 or a 4-1-2-1-2 wouldn't transform United into an attacking juggernaut or wouldn't really address the more profound issue of a lack of attacking structure; it would however make us a more effective side going forward, likely guarantee a Top-4 spot, and give us a decent chance of going quite deep in the CL. However, you have to question yourself that if José has largely refused to deviate from the 4-2-3-1 this season (Barring the few matches in a 3-4-1-2), why would he change now? In José's eyes, it would seem that the 4-2-3-1 is in no way an issue, and that the problem itself has more to do with the inability of the players. I don't really agree with José's assessment of events, and his inability to address the issue of what formation we should play has me really pessimistic as to whether United can be both a genuine contender for the PL and the CL under José.

    Moreover, if José can't see that the 4-2-3-1 is a problem, it's even harder to envisage him believing that a lack of attacking structure is the problem. José has never really emphasised an explicit attacking structure during his managerial career; instead, he has devoted more of his time to developing a cohesive defensive structure. All things told, there's absolutely nothing wrong with developing a cohesive defensive structure; ultimately, consistent PL and CL contenders need both a cohesive defensive structure and a coherent attacking structure. However, whilst we largely have a cohesive defensive structure (Barring a few miscues this season), we definitely lack that coherent attacking structure. Consequently, it's hard to see how we can really challenge for the PL and CL in the absence of a vibrant attacking structure. What's more, past evidence leads me to unfortunately believe that José will not change his modus operandi with regards to developing a coherent attacking structure.
  7. Feb 13, 2018
    #7

    L1nk Full Member

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    Are we really in a good position though? We are, as of this moment, the best of a bad bunch, and conceivably we could slip out of the Top 4 before long on this form. Keep in mind at this exact stage of the season last season we were 16 points behind leaders Chelsea as we are now 17 points behind City, i just don't see the massive improvement people have been talking about.

    Raees is right, whats the plan, whats the identity, yeah sometimes we look good but other times the players look like strangers on the pitch. You cannot tell me that regardless of whats happening in the table that as a Manchester United supporter you aren't slightly envious of how entertaining the football is of some of our rivals and how dour ours is in comparison at times.

    Don't get me wrong, love to see Mourinho get us back to the top, but the team is not showing signs of a forward progression from last season, and I don't personally think the solution is to throw 200million at Mourinho every summer so that he may eventually get it right, or to fix a defense that he's had 4 windows to try and sort out.

    Something has stalled and something is definitely not right with Pogba, we're on a knife edge at the moment between second and 5th, with 3 tough league games next, this is a dangerous time.
  8. Feb 13, 2018
    #8

    VanGaalEra Full Member

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    Is this deja vu or have you made a thread like this in the past?
  9. Feb 13, 2018
    #9

    Anonymous Coward Banned

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    Is there actually anyone high up at the club who gives a toss about the style of football beyond 'It can't be so unattractive that it turns of fans?'
    Therefore the vision at United has to come from the manager. Because it won't come from the board or anyone else.

    Unfortunately, with this appointment of Mourinho there's little guarantee of stylish progressive football.

    Other clubs (some clubs that United fans see as beneath them) have football people dominating their boardrooms; people who actually care about leaving a legacy of attractive, progressive, exciting football.
    It's the price United will have to pay under this ownership/boardroom. Take the positives (commercial success and little interference) with the negatives (barely any footballing/style vision from upstairs)
  10. Feb 13, 2018
    #10

    Raees Boing Boing Baggies

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    Similar, but this is less about the 'Busby Way' and more about the tactical approach. Signing someone like Sanchez, is a good thing.. he's got that United DNA, so in terms of profile of players we're looking at the right type of players more so under Jose than we were under Moyes or LVG.

    Tactically though, we're still off IMO and I don't think we're getting the best out of the players, we don't look cohesive or fluid to the naked eye. Classic Jose sides like his Chelsea outfit or Porto, they looked fluid, well-constructed.. everyone singing off the same hymn sheet.

    @Arbitrium - I disagree that it is about my own personal vision. This is more about, our players don't look on the same wavelength.. whether we play more attacking is neither here nor there, you can also be a fluid counter-attacking side. You can even be a fluid catenaccio side, as long as everyone knows what they're doing and it is effortless. This United side makes football look difficult. Surely you can't deny that?
  11. Feb 13, 2018
    #11

    roonster09 Correctly predicted France to win World Cup 2018

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    There is some truth in what @Raees said. When we drop deep, we don't counter attack as there is no proper pattern in our attack.

    Compare that to Spurs (don't shoot the messenger, just remembered their game vs big teams) against Madrid and Dortmund. When they counter attacked, there were lot of runners from deep from every possible angle. It gives player in possession so many chances to pass the ball without losing momentum.

    Our play is very laboured and looked complete devoid of any ideas.

    We need to improve the style of play, which makes even player transition easier.
  12. Feb 13, 2018
    #12

    Arbitrium Taking a year off

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    I categorically deny it, maybe it’s down to my mindset. You see, I was well prepared mentally for the post Ferguson years and to be honest if you’d offered me an FA cup, a league cup and a Europa League title in the first 4 years since his departure I would have snapped your hand off because it was ALWAYS going to be a difficult transition. But despite the downturn in fortune with regards trophies in the cabinet, the club is financially viable, still attracting world class talent and unequivocally has a platform to build on. When you look at all the variables, is success in the short term a viable option for Manchester Unired? How about the mid term and long term? The answer is a resounding yes.

    To be honest, I’m a bit sick of the needyness of our fans. If you’re 18+ years old and a united fan, then you’ve already been spoiled more than the fans of most sporting teams in the world will be in their lifetime. We resemble Real Madrid fans more and more these days, who are well renowned as the most self entitled fans in the world.

    We’ll get back to winning titles and consistently performing well in the champions league because that’s what big organizations do. We were spoiled for decades with the greatest manager of all time, made some shocking business decisions after his departure but the truth is we are in good shape. So as long as their is a cohesive fluidity about realistic expectations for where the club is headed, I trust that it’ll manifest itself on the pitch when it’s ready to and I’ll just strap myself in for the ride instead of whinging about it.
  13. Feb 13, 2018
    #13

    Bosnian_fan New Member

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    I'd mostly agree with OP.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not making any comparisons between the two managers, but Manchester United of now looks to me like Manchester City in Roberto Mancini era to some extent. I mean, the ingredients are clearly there, the player recruitment is as good as it needs to be, but something else is lacking. United is not being managed to its full potential and that's why I'm making comparison to that City team.

    I'm not going to be the one to call Mourinho a dinosaur, but football has improved way beyond the style that was imposed by Mourinho fifteen years ago. And while he has made little tweaks here and there, he's remained loyal to his style. And it's unfair to expect him to change that, because managers almost exclusively use the style that fits their philosophy and identity. Mourinho was a footballing scout and analyst, he was always in charge of finding opposition weaknesses and exploiting them. That's what he does as manager too, and that's what I'd call reactive football.

    Football evolves in cycles, and while reactive football was incredibly successful earlier, it seems to be in distant past now because teams eventually found ways to brake it down. And they are far more complex than they were before. I'd reserve my judgement on whether Mourinho is capable of creating such a complex schemes and patterns, but I do know that managers that prefer attacking football do have them. Guardiola, Sarri and Pochettino definitely, probably many more.

    It is not enough to ask your team to attack, or to order players to press high, if you don't know exactly what you want to get from that and in what way. Player positioning, occupation of certain field zones, movement into half spaces and all those other little things obviously play a big part in whether team is a succesful attacking unit or not. Five meters in positioning could play a crucial difference in whether someone is successful or not. And I'm reserved on whether Jose does understand all these things.

    I wouldn't bash him for being overly defensive though, as I think that the opposite is true. He cannot win in England while being completely defensive, at least not if he is Manchester United, who must attack in most games, and level of opposition is much higher than in his earlier league winning seasons. But at the same time, he is not able to produce that sort of attacking football which would satisfy the fans. It's not like he's in charge of semi-professional footballers, he has a very good squad, capable of actually getting much better results than it actually is.

    And one last thing in this already too long first post on main forum: Attacking football is a way to go today. Looking at the Champions League winners over the past couple of years, it's always been the attacking teams. And it only looks set to become even more evident in future with the rise of PSG and Manchester City, who are attacking sides in their philosophy.
  14. Feb 13, 2018
    #14

    walkinhop Full Member

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    Every fan wants to see good looking football. It shouldn't be a priority, however, and I think some might misunderstand you. I like to emphasize the important of coherence and fluidity, an understanding between the players and them understanding the instructions of the coach.

    I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. A scrappy 1:0 win against rivals is good enough but the occasional 5:0 against weaker teams gives that pleasant flavor for the supporters.
    Unfortunately, we've been making a lot of personnel changes and expecting too much of fluidity between them is unrealistic. On the other hand, it should be better than what we see now as professionals should be good enough to quickly fit into another set of professionals.

    Structure aiming at continuity and stability should be our priority. Not necessarily in terms of the coach but in the corridors higher up. It looks to me that the age of the manager as a central figure is slowly ending and clubs who want continued success should focus on a grand direction with specific features. Coaches, staff, players should be replaceable without the need to change direction. There should be plans A, B, C, D for each position in order to avoid system shock.
  15. Feb 13, 2018
    #15

    bosnian_red Worst scout to ever exist

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    I agree, and it's pretty obvious that we look pretty clueless out on the pitch and little more then a collection of individuals. We don't look coached well at all. This isnt even because i disagree with the style he wants to build towards, we just look disjointed more often then not. The players we signed are mostly good, but they do not point to a certain type of system either and that's an issue

    Mourinho typically likes to keep it solid at the back, to defend deep in numbers and then counter attack when he has the chance, with a target man up top. Especially in big games, but mostly in other games too. Other games he'll take the front foot but still use the same tactics defensively, but conversely play a more attacking side and just expect the individuals to do their thing. That just hasn't been working with our squad. We are awful when we sit back and try to defend deep. Gaps all over the place, teams waltz through us and make chances at will, defence a mess, mistakes are forced, etc.. We just aren't suited to it and whatever defensive plan Mourinho aims for in the big games just isn't working because we always get battered in them.

    Personnel wise, we aren't building for a cohesive side really. Pogba has never been a midfielder with discipline. He's still got plenty of space to improve and needs to, and his attitude you can say is looking questionable, but to play him In a 2 is asking for trouble. Matic doesn't have the legs to cover. Then he plays a winger converted to left back in young, even though Shaw is available and playing well. Valencia has done well there, but he was always capable of the position. Young is just a winger playing there and it unbalances us. Then you look at the center backs, and we are awful at playing out from the back, but even still, only matic picks the ball up (and he isnt great at it) while the front 5 just push up and wait for a longer ball. Results in a huge gap in midfield.

    In the attack, he bought lukaku who he deemed not good enough in the past. What changed? He hasn't changed the type of player he is. He still isn't a Drogba type battering ram, nothing close. He is not great in the air, he isn't great at holding the ball up, he can't really deal with both center backs physically despite his size... all things that are vital to Mourinhos style. He bought a striker who fits the style looking at his size, but not how he actually plays, and the performances show that. Then he plays forwards constantly as left mids in a 4231, constantly needing to drop deep and defend loads. Of course everyone has to defend and play their part, but there's a difference in playing as an advanced left winger and the way we use our wingers. That's a big reason why martial and rashford struggle for consistency.

    You can blame players for underperforming- to an extent. After a while, the constant poor performances has to point to Mourinho. A lot of times, better players will just win on the day. Hence us being 2nd. But what is telling are big game performances. We get outplayed and look 2nd best in every single one of those. We don't create the better chances in them, and if we win, it's usually thanks to brilliant finishing and de gea being a god in net. Having your keeper bail you out is not a tactic, it's a last resort option, so how often he needs to do that for us means something isn't right.
  16. Feb 13, 2018
    #16

    bosnian_red Worst scout to ever exist

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    It won't just click into place. It's on the manager to make it click. The whinging stems from constantly struggling for any sort of good play. Fergie retired 5 years ago. This isnt his side anymore. That's long gone. It's not a case of being needy to spoiled. Manchester United should be competing for everything, with the financial power the club has. With our spending since Fergie retired, we're pretty easily the worst club comparative to every other club with a similar type of spend. Even those with lower budgets are able to play more cohesively and look a better drilled football team then us. Any bit of resistance on the pitch and we lose all composure and forget what to do. That stems from the manager failing to get his ideas through to them.
  17. Feb 13, 2018
    #17

    Adam-Utd Part of first caf team to complete Destiny raid

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    @Raees While the top reds will never agree, i'm 100% with you.

    Our team lacks direction, unless we score the first goal we look lost. Any time of pressing makes us fall apart.

    Until we can build up from defence quickly and efficiently without looking like scared lambs to the slaughter, we won't make it in Europe.

    Yes this style CAN muddle through the league, but we aren't achieving our full potential. Jose has done a good job of steadying the ship and getting us back to 3/4 of what we need, but are we going to kick on from this point? I don't feel like that is possible under Jose.

    Our transfer policy is also a bit miffing. Why we bought Sanchez to keep playing him on the left, when that's the ONLY position we had sorted. He has to play RW or even CAM at a push, it's like we have no actual plan.

    Right now I would rather play 3-5-2/3-4-3 than the 4-2-3-1 formation, we just don't look good playing that way.
  18. Feb 13, 2018
    #18

    redIndianDevil Full Member

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    So your point is since we have had so much success we should not expect it anymore and take it easy for a few years? Also you seem to have a lot of confidence on a management which has appointed Moyes, LvG and Mourinho since SAF left.

    1. Moyes - a pragmatic counter attack based manager
    2. LvG - a possession based manager
    3. Mourinho - back to a pragmatic counter attack based manager.

    That's three managers with alternating styles and with each manager ripping up the framework that was put there by the previous manager. No wonder our players look clueless every match.

    Plus big organizations don't stay big without success, the examples are there in the league - Arsenal and Liverpool.

    I'm not expecting us to win the title every season, but I do look for improvements and there is none. None of the problems since SAF left is fixed.
  19. Feb 13, 2018
    #19

    Arbitrium Taking a year off

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    I’ll just keep supporting pragmatically, and see where it takes me. I’ll trust the guy with 20 major trophies to his name before I start nodding in agreement with some of the shite on this forum.
  20. Feb 13, 2018
    #20

    JK-27 New Member

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    What's the definition of a big trophy? Is the Europa League not a big trophy? Was the FA Cup under LVG not a big trophy? Or are you saying the only thing that matters is the Prem & CL? And even then it sounds as if you want/expect to win these trophies by beating everyone 4 or 5 nil.

    I don't disagree with you, the front 3 do make bad decisions on the ball constantly, not helped by a midfield who don't really support, and build up that is too slow and doesn't play to the strengths of Martial, Lukaku, Sanchez, and Rashford. However, we're still second in the league, average 2 goals per game, and still have realistic chances of winning the CL and FA Cup. In fact I believe we have a team that is currently more suited to the CL then the Prem.
  21. Feb 13, 2018
    #21

    Raees Boing Boing Baggies

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    Has to be Premier League and Champions League. If you start defining the others as big trophies, we're verging on Arsenal territory.

    Don't get me wrong, great to win Europa and FA Cup. They're good trophies, but major has to remain a cut above, and watering it down just to feel good about ourselves is a tad embarrassing.

    After the recent performances, I am not sure how realistic those chances are looking tbh.

    FA Cup is the only realistic trophy we can get IMO.
  22. Feb 13, 2018
    #22

    Theonas Full Member Scout

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    @Raees There is not much to disagree with in your post expect the assertion that you cannot win big trophies without that sort of strategy. I think the last team that played truly top football and won the PL is us in 2009. Leicester, Chelsea, Pellegrini and Mancini's City and our last title winners in 2013 were not cohesive fluid units at all, not compared to the best in Europe at least. In an ironic way, this has encouraged managers like Mourinho to build teams in a very specific way. Solidify the base with physicality (Terry, Ivanovic, Kompany, Morgan, Huth, Cahill) and rely on a a couple of game changers to get that all elusive first goal in games that will allow you to sit back and use the space behind on the break (Van Persie, Rooney, Hazard, Costa, Mahrez, Vardy). This has become close to a bullet proof formula to win the league even if it was ruthlessly exposed the second our champions play a top European side. Leicester, Chelsea and City in particular were made to look very disjointed and unable to show the same level of fluidity and cohesion as the top teams in Europe. This formula had a great chance of working again this year. Our current team is really not that different to Mourinho's title winners and it is certainly better than Leicester's. Those were leading and had momentum and confidence with them which accounts for a few more points but overall, the quality of football is not that different. This is why if you are ambitious and have the finances we do as a club, the aim should not be to win the league by finding that specific winning equation, as even achieving that can be distracting from your overall quality limitations.
  23. Feb 13, 2018
    #23

    L1nk Full Member

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    So you'll keep supporting it even if evidence on the pitch shows more often it's not making any strides forward or just isn't going anywhere in general? Why? Again, winning trophies in the past does not guarantee future success, Van Gaal has won around 20 major trophies in his career as well
  24. Feb 13, 2018
    #24

    Tincanalley Turns player names into a crappy conversation

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    Jose is stashing the good stuff for the CL. Wait till ya see all the time space continuum wicky wacky he deploys then. We are going to win it, but ssssh! Ears everywhere
  25. Feb 13, 2018
    #25

    Oldyella Full Member

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    Agreed re Sanchez, but it's a tough one. When a player like that becomes available, you need to be in for them. He really should of started either from the right or behind Lukaku though, esp with the form Martial had been showing.
  26. Feb 13, 2018
    #26

    BRRRRAP Banned

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    Agree with the OP that our most pressing concern is our lack of forward vision and it's resultant lack of any identifiable or coherent style of play.
    Good players look genuinely confused as to their roles. It is as if the manager's own loss of identity has been stamped on the team performance.

    What do I mean by this? Well we should all know that Mourinho at his best is a defensive, reactionary manager who has got his best results by instilling a fierce 'besieged' type loyalty and a 'never say die attitude' into his players. Look how he eulogised the Newcastle performance "they fought like animals" against the odds and it is a "beautiful thing".
    This passionate overcoming of one's recognised traditional superiors is what he's all about as a manager, what drives him in his undoubted will to overpower the big guns. As manager of United this attitude simply can not work. Mourinho's own integrity, his once insatiable hunger has become doubly compromised. How so?

    1. Motivationally compromised.
    Firstly at United he has to abandon such passionate pleas to a cynical romanticism which amounts to willing world class footballers to play as underdog 'animals' etc as it just is totally incongruent with the reality of our footballers ability, the recognition they already have as footballers to say nothing of their fat pay cheques.
    It is simply laughable to attempt to motivate United's players like De Gea, Pogba, Sanchez, Martial and co. with such daft outdated romantic fantasies such as overcoming against all the odds. It worked very well at Porto and Chelsea but is doomed to failure at a club as big as United. Mou's motivational tactics do not fit. Nor has he found a solution, an alternative approach to motivation. No doubt he wants to instill a "never say die" attitude but finds it impossible as it his usual starting point that other teams are better but can be got at by defensive reactionary tactics.

    2. Tactically compromised.
    And this is precisely where he has failed for the second time as his overly cautious position is simply not tolerated at United. Mourinho is caught in the double bind of instinctively wanting to defend, defend, defend yet genuinely fears he is always under the beady eye of United's legacy and the expectancy of attacking, flair football.
    His defensive reactive natural instinct has stood his career well but he knows he can not fully commit to his as fully as he would like. So at United Mourinho knows that his innate conservatism is necessarily compromised and this compromise is exposing his failing in knowing how to go about building a formation of attacking fluency.

    Unfortunately, we can see Mourinho's inner compromised uncertainty externalised on the pitch in the lack of cohesion and direction in our collective attacking play and in the confusion of individual players understanding of their roles.

    Mourinho tried to play 'the United way' by accommodating Pogba, Sanchez, Lingard, Rashford, Martial and Lukaku v Tottenham and Newcastle and again this proved a muddled compromise and a hope for the best, rather than being a fully committed well coached plan. This lack of managerial deciseveness and direction simply does not work today. High press us and the team collectively shit themselves.

    The danger now is that Mourinho will scapegoat Pogba as it is Paul who suffers the most from Mourinhos compromised and failed solutions. Pogba needs to play freely further forward in a 3 man mid but Mourinho is complicating the issue unnecessarily as he is now both too afraid to play his own instinctive conservative footie with counter and yet does not trust his players to win games by controlling the midfield with fluent attacking footie.

    I can't see Mourinho resolving this compromising dilemma of his own stuttering mindset which is mirrored on the pitch. We should perhaps thank Mourinho for some excellent recruitment but let him go and bring in a new manager who can play a modern, pressing, fluent attacking football in order to get the most out of what is a great squad
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2018
  27. Feb 13, 2018
    #27

    L1nk Full Member

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    And this is my feeling on the matter, just look at the squad we have, we have Pogba, Martial, Rashford, Sanchez, Lukaku, Lingard, hell add in TFM, Pereira, Angel Gomes, Shaw, Lindelof... I could go on, these are young, talented, smart players, some could be brilliant, you really really have to wonder of the football these guys could be playing under the likes of Tuchel or Jardim, it would just be brilliant to watch, I feel like they are just wasted in this 'system' we are trying to play, it's right squad but wrong manager I feel. We need to roll with the times and bring in a more modern progressive manager.
  28. Feb 13, 2018
    #28

    Garethw scored 25-30 goals a season as a right footed RW

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    I’m 100% with you guys too. We look absolutely clueless despite having one of the most expensively assembled squads in premier league history.

    We have no style or identity and we seem to stumble from one bumbling performance to the next.

    I’ve seen enough success in the 30 years I’ve supported this club to last me a lifetime. My moaning is not about being a spoilt fan, it’s about being thoroughly frustrated with a team that I know can become something special under the right manager.

    I’m sure I’ll get slated for this opinion, but I honestly don’t care. Mourinho is the source of our issues and the sooner he either sorts his shit out or fecks off the better.
  29. Feb 13, 2018
    #29

    Greck Full Member

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    Gotta agree. Can't put in words how much I hate that teams with inferior squads have a more fluid, watchable attack, despite us having the personnel to put theirs to shame.

    Jose said poetic football doesn't win titles but whatever style he has us playing isn't even winning games against half decent opposition
  30. Feb 13, 2018
    #30

    Bosnian_fan New Member

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    Well, I'd say that recent state of most of the league proves just how wrong he is. Teams with attacking and proactive, not reactive philosophies, reap the rewards, not boring counterattacking sides.
  31. Feb 13, 2018
    #31

    Adam-Utd Part of first caf team to complete Destiny raid

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    Our head to head record against the big teams is the true tester in my eyes than beating minnows, and our record is abysmal.

    We hate to admit it but we are the 4th best team in England right now, behind City / Liverpool / Tottenham IMO. Our football relies too much on individual genius, and this squad is way too inconsistent.
  32. Feb 13, 2018
    #32

    Roboc7 Full Member

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    Currently the formation and tactics are outdated and I can’t see it changing under Mourinho unfortunately. I also think we have signed a mixed bunch of players who don’t compliment one another.

    At the moment we have three big problems, we are too passive when the other team has possession, we get overrun and outnumbered in midfield and the distribution from the defenders is poor.
  33. Feb 13, 2018
    #33

    Red Indian Chief Torn Rubber Thus says Kemo

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    what bullshit. United dont have a right flank attacker and dont have another creative center midfielder outside of Pogba and a semi retired Carrick. Even if you gave our current side to Pep he it wouldnt make too much of a difference. You cant be consistently fluid with missing equipment.
  34. Feb 13, 2018
    #34

    L1nk Full Member

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    Right but, Mourinho has had 4 windows and a load of money to sort this, so why hasn't he? It's impossible to really say whether Pep or Poch or whoever else would do better with this squad, I happen to think they would at least get them playing good consistent football with a plan and signs of some kind of implemented structure.
  35. Feb 13, 2018
    #35

    Crashoutcassius Full Member

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    mourinho has won leagues before. If city were the same as last year we would probably win the league this year
  36. Feb 13, 2018
    #36

    Red Indian Chief Torn Rubber Thus says Kemo

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    What constantly amazes me is how people keep judging us by the standards of the current Manchester City. Which is like judging a fish be its ability to climb trees. I dont understand why none of our current detractors can grasp that we are NOT at the same stage of development as they are.

    Since 2012 they've had a harmonized transfer recruitment strategy and have hired managers to implement a style all geared to one day hiring Guardiola. 6 solid years.

    In comparison we have gone from 4 managers, with totally different philosophies and tactical styles and polar opposite recruitment. Not only Have we had a quick manager turn over, we have had the same with players. Yet by some miracle, these Mourinho critics expected him two walk into a United project, two years into an LVG project, a manager who is nigh a polar opposite of him, change direction of the club 360 degrees, and some how after less than 2-3 seasons get us playing the fluid champagyne manner of Manchester City or Liverpool. Are you serious?
  37. Feb 13, 2018
    #37

    Bosnian_fan New Member

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    And if Chelsea were the same as last year we wouldn't win the title this year. Not that you've proven anything with that.
  38. Feb 13, 2018
    #38

    Red Indian Chief Torn Rubber Thus says Kemo

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    So what? Vity have had every window since 2012 and every manager implementing a playing philosophy geared to what Pep is perfecting now. That's 6 darn years. Yet just because we are spending big Mourinho should just get us their in 4. Of which 2 were January windows? Come on....

    It isn't impossible to say. Pochetino for all the stability he has brought to and had at Spurs could not even beat a mere Leiceister to a league title. With a far better balanced and cohesive United than the current United. No chance in hell he'd be doing any where near as good as Mourinho currently is.

    As for Pep, even though he took over a team that for 6 seasons had been geared towards him taking over, has needed 2 summers to get his team to this current level. Doing a massive recruitment and off loafing drive. Yet even in January he has targeted more. So how does anyone seriously think with the cash constraints we've placed on ourselves in the market as compared to City, he'd have had us anywhere nears as fluid as City under him have been, whilst being unable to offload and recruit talent enmass?

    Even Pool are more fluid than us because Klopp was a straight up upgrade on Rodgers tactically who was there for 2-3 years implementing a similar style. Manchester United and indeed Mourinho himself are being judged on very dishonest and disingenuous scales. All these complaints would make sense of we reached January next season still clunky and inconsistently fluid. Right now they are just disingenuous whinging based on very misguided sentiment and Pep fanboism. Its plain annoying. Yet am not even amongst those who wanted to hire Mourinho as a reaction to City netting Pep.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  39. Feb 13, 2018
    #39

    L1nk Full Member

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    Mancini, Pellegrini and Pep all play to similar philosophy's? I don't think so. We've also had transfer windows since 2012, but we chose to recruit poor managers instead of decent ones, which, true, isn't Mourinho's fault, but you're completely ignoring the fact that managers have to work with players they inherit, even Guardiola has had to do it. Did Heynckes play exactly like Guardiola? No, has any manager since Guardiola got Barcelona to play like they did under Guardiola? No. We have players that are good enough to be doing more under Mourinho, and if you want to talk about similar managers, I mean Moyes and Mourinho play similar negative styles and Van Gaal's wasn't exactly buccaneering either, so under your logic because our managers have been similar the players should be fine then because they've all been recruited under managers of not too dissimilar playstyles.

    Some of this has been Mourinho's fault as well, Sanchez bought, for RW? No, shunt our best LW out to right and further imbalance the team, Pogba in a 2 man midfield, surely he knew how Pogba played at Juventus before buying him, playing Young over Shaw, playing Smalling and Jones over Lindelof (who he bought) and Rojo, I could go on, but perhaps the money should of been spent a little wiser and on a few more players.

    At the end of the day, Mourinho and Manchester United will always be judged by supporters, by rivals, by journalists, by everyone basically, whether the criticism is warranted or not doesn't matter, it will continue to exist so long as United play pragmatically or completely bereft of any attacking flair, because this attacking flair is what the club is known for worldwide, it's what the success of this club was built on, and as long as we continue to not even really attempt it, there's going to be scrutiny, because, and especially when you see your rivals playing this modern expansive attacking football, people want to see Manchester United attacking, they want to see that connection that made them fall in love with the club and for many yes now it's been missing, Mourinho is just the latest person to carry this on and doesn't seem to be changing this. Everyone seemed fine with bringing him in because, despite his footballing philosophy, people knew he would bring success to this club, but i'm sorry, the team isn't playing anywhere near like team a lot of the time and I've lost any confidence he will bring us anywhere near back to the pinnacle of football, first season was great under the circumstances, but unless people see progress, a clear plan, a clear team cohesion, a pattern of play, people are going to continue to criticise and I feel rightly so.
  40. Feb 13, 2018
    #40

    AR87 Full Member

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    I'd say what concerns me most is the lack of control in most matches which has become more of an issue as the season has progressed. That's not just in possession, but in being able to control and restrict the opposition's attacking play. Another major concern is our inability to turn results around when we concede first. The Tottenham match was a culmination of both of these issues IMO.

    In terms of counter attacking play, which is clearly our plan in the big matches, we aren't clinical enough, be it in playing the killer pass or taking chances when they are created. This is also an issue at times in putting matches away when we have the opportunity (Leicester away and Southampton away earlier in the season come to mind).

    I do think some of the imbalance created from adding Sanchez is necessary short term pain for long term gain. However, you have to question the move of Martial, our most in form attacker, off the left over to the right to accomodate him. I'm willing to give Jose some benefit of the doubt here as adding a star attacker in January is a tricky proposition and he deserves a chance to adjust to the realities of it.