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Antonio Valencia 2014-15 Performances

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5.6 Average rating
35 Appearances
5 Assists
12 Clean sheets
4 Yellow cards
  1. Jul 4, 2015

    berbatrick Full Member Scout

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    He was never picked as a RB under SAF, the pecknig order was Rafael > Jones/Smalling > Val/Fletcher.

    It started under Moyes as a trend to sub Rafael off and send Valencia back and almost every time we did that we both played worse going forward and also conceded many more chances.
    LvG has consistently picked Valencia at RB. I'm not very sure about his reading of defenders (I remember Badstuber, ironically, against Valencia, and Nani derstroying Lahm from the other side while a half-fit Rooney could keep their CBs off balance)


    For SAF and Moyes, Val > Nani; for LvG, Val > Rafael.
    For what it's worth, I think both decisions are wrong.
  2. Jul 4, 2015

    Pogue Mahone Poster of the year 2008

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    Whatever position he played, he's been in the starting XI when fit for almost every single game of his United career. Not something you can say about many of our squad over that time. A period that included a number of trophies. Yet he's the one being singled out in this thread as "not good enough for United". Go figure.
  3. Jul 4, 2015

    Lawman Correctly predicted Portugal to win Euro 2016

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    Of course he's good enough Pogue but the haters are going to hate! There are things Valencia can improve on no doubt but I've yet to see him being torn apart by anyone at full back. Plus he is a better and more reliable option than Rafael imo who switched of constantly whilst defending the back post. If we are going to replace him then the guy coming in will have to be top class or Valencia will just reclaim the jersey. If he ups his crossing levels and confidence is high he is a great asset to any team.
  4. Jul 4, 2015

    Sereques Full Member

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    Personally, I prefer him at RB ahead of the so called prem defenders people are raving about *cough* Clyne and Coleman.
  5. Jul 4, 2015

    POF Full Member

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    I've read your earlier posts and have seen your diagrams and I really don't know where you are getting this from? It may have some validity on the left with Young hugging the touch line but with Mata playing ahead of him, Valencia provides the only width on the right for United. He plays higher and wider than a regular full back.

    Valencia's main strength in that position is his ability to retain possession and I agree with you that he follows instructions better than Rafael as he isn't as instinctive a player. I think you're overthinking this "playing centrally" thing though. Rafael is a better central midfielder than Pogba after all!

    In the middle third of the pitch Valencia is fine but his end product and (far more importantly) his defensive instincts are dreadful. United play a possession game and are generally quite low scoring. Playing that way makes the first goal vitally important and you just cannot have a defender as poor as Valencia.
  6. Jul 4, 2015

    Lawman Correctly predicted Portugal to win Euro 2016

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    I rate him higher than Clyne (who I think is just steady and no better than Phil Bardsley) but Coleman is around the same level and better end product but Tony is better defensively.
  7. Jul 4, 2015

    Lawman Correctly predicted Portugal to win Euro 2016

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    That rules out Rafael and also Alves plus if I recall Evra did more than ok for us. If our full back is offering enough going forward we will find a way to cover him defensively.
  8. Jul 4, 2015

    Ekeke Full Member

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    Absolutely. And perhaps their reason was flawed, just like anyone's else reasoning could be
  9. Jul 4, 2015

    Santiago_KinderBueno Santiago Kinder Bannedo

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    If you can try find it; look for the post match analysis after the win agaisnt liverpool or city.

    Neville talks about how centrally orientated our defenders are.

    As of right now, mata is probably the best RW/RF we have. Van gaal knows this and plays herrera and valencia more to the right hand touchline to counter the fact that mata drifts in as an AM instead of a CF. That gives even rafael the ability to be a great squad player.

    IMO thats why I doubt we will go for a new RB because buying one like coleman who hugs the touchline will mean that mata is the future of our RW; in reality he is a stop gap solution until we find a forward like depay who can cut in and shoot.

    Having a forward who hugs the touchline and gets in to forward positions, means that our RB should start centrally and drift out to the wide as our forward cuts in; no earlier or no later.
  10. Jul 4, 2015

    Eugenius Full Member

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    It's also not a coincidence that his crap form for the last three years, and him being our outlet ball, has coincided with our worst, slowest and most turgid football over this time too.
  11. Jul 4, 2015

    Santiago_KinderBueno Santiago Kinder Bannedo

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    Slow football is not bad football. The best team of the last 10 years or even ever have played slower football than us. We have to build up from somewhere & getting a fast full action fullback like coleman only to tell him to slow himself down makes absolute no sense. I am sure van gaal has a RB in mind and valencia is only there as the most suitable stop gap until our boy Mcnair is ready.
  12. Jul 4, 2015

    Pogue Mahone Poster of the year 2008

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    You're seriously blaming one player for that? Christ.
  13. Jul 4, 2015

    Eugenius Full Member

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    The football we played in 12/13, 13/14 and last season has on the whole been awful. We got away with it by being lethal and having a strong winning mentality in 12/13 (and RVP genius), but the last couple of seasons our issues have been going forward and scoring goals. Valencia doesn't help because he gets the single most space in our team and doesn't do anything with it. He will get the ball with his fullback isolated and he will take an hour to decide what to do with it. If he's shown inside then he will do everything in his power to not go inside, or will play some cowardly pass back, or will try and go on the outside anyway and knock in some percentage ball (hence the shin breaking crosses). He takes no responsibility and it means that we just get stifled in attack.

    Let's be clear here, there's a reason he didn't get a look to actually play on the wing this year. This is a man who was our player of the year, and our fecking number 7. Yet he's meant to be immune from criticism despite now being a bootleg right back.

    Where did I say it was all Valencia's fault? It's clear that a big feature of our play in the last three years has been Valencia receiving the ball in acres of space and doing something that leads to our attacks breaking down and slowing down. Valencia on form was a key feature of our attacking play in the past, so obviously when he plays like he does now it's a big drag on our football.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2015
  14. Jul 4, 2015

    POF Full Member

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    All 3 mentioned are significantly better defensively than Valencia. 90% of being a good full back defensively is positioning and being able to anticipate danger. I really cannot see how anyone can watch Valencia play at right back and think he can do either of those things to an acceptable level. He's a good squad player but simply cannot be a starter.


    The first City goal came from Valencia allowing a runner inside him so not sure the defence was as narrow as you suggest. He did the same vs Chelsea.

    I think the complete opposite. United's centre backs (Smalling on the right in particular) get dragged wider than I've seen under any other manager. Often Carrick is the deepest central player. Not sure if that is through accident or design.

    I think there is no doubt United will sign a right back. I am very doubtful that Coleman will be the player. I think the player will be more technically sound than explosive. Valencia does part of the role Van Gaal wants exceptionally well but if he doesn't want a better player defensively I would be very concerned.
  15. Jul 4, 2015

    Santiago_KinderBueno Santiago Kinder Bannedo

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    Thats why i assume Mcnair will be RB atleast in our summer tours away. You statr thst we need a RB who is better defensively than valencia. There is no doubt that Mcnair is better. Attacking wise both valencia and Mcnair are quite shyte but i am sure that van gaal would prefer defenders to play with intelligence than explosive wing back play.
  16. Jul 4, 2015

    POF Full Member

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    I can't remember which game it was but McNair had one game where he was disastrous defensively. I think it was a league game just after he had a great game there in the cup (Cambridge?).

    Being good defensively at full back is all about knowing the position. I don't think either Valencia or McNair are first choice options there short term. I haven't seen a lot of Darmian but he looks like the right type of player.
  17. Jul 4, 2015

    Santiago_KinderBueno Santiago Kinder Bannedo

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    It was against southampton man. He was awful that game but that kind of performances are expected from him no matter where he plays. My view of the fullback spots are like defensive midfielders one on the right and onenon the left. It might show why currently and currently only that blind is our no1 LB due to his natural positioning as a LDM and why van gaal was quoted as saying Mcnair could be our RB (since mcnair has natural RDM qualities).
  18. Jul 4, 2015

    SambaBoy Full Member

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    He's good enough to do a job at RB and unless we bring in a really top one which I'm struggling to think of who's available who would be an upgrade in all fairness plus I don't want to see us spending £25m-30m on a RB. There's not even a young RB coming through who we can buy early for a high price like Shaw.

    With Valencia, he's strong and fast. No-one is going to stand him up and beat him in a 1-1, and he puts a shift in going forward and retains possession. I have no problem seeing him at RB and I feel he may get better this season. His problem occurs with runs in behind and over his shoulder, full-backs always need to be on their toes and checking over their shoulder to see if wingers are running in behind them which happened frequently to Valencia where he would switch off and let it happen. Instinctively as a winger, it's easy to understand as normally the man would be passed onto the full-back or a recovery run would be made but at RB, you need to match the runner in behind to prevent the danger.
  19. Jul 4, 2015

    POF Full Member

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    Not the Southampton one. He was right centre back in a 3 in that game. I looked it up. Burnley at home was the game I meant.

    I actually agree with your point that Van Gaal wants a player who retains the ball at full back rather than a great dribbler but we'll have to agree to disagree on this RDM/LDM stuff. They just don't play there or anywhere close.
  20. Jul 4, 2015

    acnumber9 Full Member

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    Not really. Because you'll also struggle to see me say he's been amazing either. I think he'd a decent enough season. Some good games and some bad ones. I just don't feel the need to join in the ridiculous abuse he gets on here when he does have a bad game.
  21. Jul 4, 2015

    acnumber9 Full Member

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    And perhaps it wasn't. It's a hell of a coincidence that three in a row rated him a lot higher than the people on here.
  22. Jul 4, 2015

    Ekeke Full Member

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    Falling for the same trap
  23. Jul 4, 2015

    acnumber9 Full Member

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    That being what? You aren't providing any compelling argument for why he continues to play if he is bad. The fact you can't acknowledge there may be a good reason for this shows your open mindedness.
  24. Jul 4, 2015

    TheRedDevil'sAdvocate Full Member

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    That's one of the reasons why i hate graphs, they show a static picture when in reality the players' defensive positioning is a result of many different factors, i.e. which player concedes possession and where and whether the opposition team is using one of the flanks to build up an attacking play or going through the middle. I believe he meant that our general plan is to always have three defenders in the box but i may be wrong.

    You are completely right about the bold part. In the final third of the season, during which we started using the 4-3-3 as our main formation, it was one of the CBs who was moving into the wide areas to close down the first attacker. Then Carrick (or Blind) was dropping deeper to cover for the CB and our FB on the opposite side was moving into the box and nearer to the other CB. So, we had three defenders in the box plus one marking the first attacker, these are the four defensive players LvG desires according to NLMax and other Dutch posters.

    I don't believe it was coincidence. There has been a lot of discussion about LvG implementing his philosophy into the first team but we sometimes forget that LvG had to adjust his methods and his preferred style of play to the particularities of the English football too. We must not forget that we struggled in the beginning of the season against sides like Burnley, Leicester, Big Sam's West Ham etc., sides which didn't possess much quality on the ball but they were loaded with pace, strength and incredible energy levels.

    Too often we saw players get on the ball in their half and then attempting dynamic runs which cut through our midfield like knife cuts through butter. I believe it was one of LvG's primary concerns, one of the main reasons he started experimenting with different formations and one of the reasons the players seemed so afraid to move in more advanced positions but kept possession in our half instead. The first time we saw this tactic (one CB closing down the first attacker) was in the second half of the away game against QPR. It was mostly Jones who was moving out of position, sometimes in the midfield, to slow down the opposition's attack and give the rest time to get behind the ball. LvG decided to stick with it and it actually paid off.

    In that particular tactic the two full backs are indeed in more central positions. The one, as i mentioned earlier, moves in the box to operate as a third CB while the other protects the channel between the (wide) CB and the holding midfielder (who's dropped deeper) with the instruction to track any attacker who attempts a late run in the box or to anticipate a clearance from the defenders and pick up the second balls in between our lines.

    A more defensive minded player like McNair might do the job but i'm with you when you say that we could use a more technically gifted RB than Valencia. As you mentioned, it doesn't have to be a dynamic FB, like Coleman, who will always look for the opportunity to do an overlap. If that was the case Rafael would have gotten more playing time. I believe we're looking for a player who will be tactically adequate and play his part in our build up play but also provide some end product in the final third. The fact that none of our FBs could be a threat in the final third was one of the reasons we struggled to create chances last season
  25. Jul 4, 2015

    Ekeke Full Member

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    What are you even talking about? Are you even following our conversation?

    My point was that 3 managers in a row can make a mistake. That 3 managers picking him doesn't automatically mean its not a questionable choice to use him

    At no point has it been on me to provide proof that it is definitely beyond reasonable doubt a mistake to pick him. But its pretty obvious to most people that he's been one of the weakest points of the team for many years in a row. Maybe not the weakest and worst, but somewhere close.
  26. Jul 4, 2015

    acnumber9 Full Member

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    And the point is maybe there is a good reason. You haven't even acknowledged the possibility.
  27. Jul 4, 2015

    berbatrick Full Member Scout

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    2 PL titles in quite a weak field, neither of which had anything to with him (he missed almost the full 2010/11 season and was terrible during 2012/13), one run to the CL final where he played really well in the quarters and semis, and 1 League Cup which honestly I can't remember (I think he had an assist in the final.)
    He definitely was not the standout player for any of the wins while Nani who he replaced was POTY in 10/11 while Rafael in 12/13 was 3rd behind RvP and Carrick. Which is why it grates so much to see him become regarded as so obviously superior to those 2.


    On a side note, the only other regular constant between the 2 titles would be Carrick, Vidic, and Evra. Rafael and Rooney were not regulars for most of the 2010/11 season, and Rio and Nani for the 12/13 season, Carrick's partner changed quite a lot too, Berbatov, Hernandez and RvP all played at different times, Park was crucial only in 10/11, VDS replaced by DDG, Jones, Kagawa and Young brought in after the 1st win..
    I guess that squad was being refreshed, a shame that Moyes couldn't take it forward.
  28. Jul 4, 2015

    amolbhatia50k Sneaky bum time

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    Clearly abuse and criticism are too different things.

    "Go feck yourself, Toni" - abuse
    "Valencia is playing poorly" - criticism
  29. Jul 4, 2015

    acnumber9 Full Member

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    There's been more of the ilk of the former than the latter.
  30. Jul 4, 2015

    prath92 Full Member

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    He has made much less mistakes over the season in comparison with most full backs. Coleman gets all his praises for his attacking skill but defensively he is weak. Clyne isn't even that good attacking wise. Even zabaleta had a poor season. Bellerin for instance was taken to the cleaners by Young but Valencia held Sanchez really well. His main mistakes were against arsenal and Everton . Even in the Everton game only the stones goal could be said as his mistake . The hate for him is unwarranted here.
  31. Jul 4, 2015

    Robbie Boy Full Member

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    This thread :lol:
  32. Jul 4, 2015

    Randall Flagg Worst of the best

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    Don't expect it to change. Valencia is not a popular player at all

    But I agree, I think Valencia was one of the best fullbacks in the league last season. Although he did have one or two high profile blunders
  33. Jul 4, 2015

    soap Directionless weirdo who like booze and ganja

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    I'm not in disagreement he had a good season or that he's a good player. Good should mean squad player at Man United, I don't think that's unreasonable. People can be quite annoying and irrational with that line of thinking, you see people make silly statement like Smalling isnt good enough for United because he's not Vidic, that we also need to have a bench full of world class players, and other such silliness, that isnt what I'm saying. If people are saying we should sell him then I don't agree at all.

    What i also don't agree with is the idea that he must be good enough to be a regular fixture in the team merely BECAUSE he's been a regular feature in the team. Cleverley was a starter under two managers. England managers have picked mediocre players like Parker and Barry over Carrick. And anyway in Tony V's case, I'm talking about him a first choice right back - van Gaal is the only one to start him their regularly and I've already said why I think that was. Admittedly he is very hard to beat in one on ones, its getting caught out of position and poor marking that are the problem there, and its well documented his crossing ability has fallen off a cliff. You can say there aren't many top right backs available out there for sure but that doesn't mean Valencia is of the required standard to be starting there for us.
  34. Jul 4, 2015

    stu_1992 Full Member

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    Good post. I agree completely with this. Not sure why some people get so defensive over the criticism of Valencia. Yes he's hard working and has been loyal, but when we can do better then we should do better. I would definitely keep him as back up though. No issues there at all. Especially with his ability to be used in multiple positions, though I actually prefer him at right back.
  35. Jul 4, 2015

    beergod Full Member

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    The criteria that IMO seem important for a RB in this system are 1) Positioning 2) Retaining possession 3) Crossing and there just aren't any players out there that fit these days with the abundance of "modern" fullbacks. The only ones I can think of that best fit that criteria are Lahm, Dani Alves, and then possibly Ivanovic and Zabaleta and none of them are available to us. IMO the ideal player would be Gary Neville.

    Valencia's physical capabilities smooth over many of his positioning issues and he may improve his positioning, he is excellent at retaining possession, but his crossing can be comical at times. I think we can do better at RB, but I won't be surprised if we simply sign someone to cover for him so that we can move Rafael on.
  36. Jul 5, 2015

    mazhar13 Full Member

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    I don't believe that van Gaal set it up so that the full backs actually just push up and go into the midfield positions. I believe that this is more down to circumstance than anything else. What I mean by this is that players just fill in for others and, essentially, take up different positions to retain the shape. This is something that's reminiscent of total football where players are able to defend in any area as well. I'll go into detail on this in the next paragraph.

    Whenever an opposing winger, attacking midfielder, or wide central midfielder goes out wide in the middle third, Valencia (I'll be referring to him since this is a thread about him) pushes up to immediately press the ball holder out wide and unsettle him. This is down to instruction in order to prevent the wide player from taking the ball and running at our defence and disorganising it. When Valencia pushes up, someone has to take up the right back slot, so Smalling goes there. Someone has to take the central defence slot at the right side, so Carrick/Blind goes there. Since the defensive midfield slot is vacant, Valencia normally drifts into that role whilst Herrera continues to play his usual #8 role. Since the ball's at the right side, the whole team automatically shifts in towards the right to maintain a compact shape (left central defender goes to the middle of the box whilst the left full back goes to the far post; the defensive midfielder at the right side of the defence is normally just beyond the far post to cover for a run into that area).

    As you can see, the final positions of the players is a part of his total football philosophy and not something special that he planned out. The issue that we faced earlier, and the reason why van Gaal tried to set us up so that we had 4 players in defence, is that players were moving into areas in between the players' positions, and this caused issues with the players early on as no one took charge of closing down the ball-holder by straying out of their area. This was a real problem for us against teams that played the long-ball game and/or had willing runners in the attacking roles (Vardy, Ings, Sakho, Walters, etc.). van Gaal remedied this by giving certain players the responsibility to close down the ball-holders in those in-between areas, which we saw with Jones/left back on the left and Valencia on the right, and as a result, our whole shape and defensive structure improved; this was because other defenders knew that they wouldn't be the ones challenging for the ball and, instead, holding the shape.

    Other than this, though, we'd maintain our usual back 4 shape in the 4-3-3 with Valencia out on the right side in our third marking the opposing wide player. Him being so tough to get past due to his pace and strength made him very useful. Also, his technique and physical traits on the right side allowed us to maintain possession and create spaces in the middle as players would look to close him down. Where he really falls off, though, is his deliveries from the right. If we had a proper right winger instead of Mata, this wouldn't be too much of an issue. However, as seen last season, Valencia cannot be a consistent danger on the right if we play someone like Mata there.
  37. Jul 5, 2015

    Santiago_KinderBueno Santiago Kinder Bannedo

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    The fact is; if there was someone better than valencia then everybody would be on it for a signing.

    The problem is that when people attack valencia it is normally to encourage a signing of an almost similar player. Thats what makes me defend valencia.

    When Alves was available, i was keen for that signing no matter the guys age because he is hands down & without question a better RB than valencia will ever be.

    However the flavour of the month be that Clyne (which i rightfully guessed as a non signing), or Coleman even darmian who will have to be 1/100 to be a successful italian in the premiership; is neither realistic or needed.
    . 12-15 or 20 million is a hell of a lot of money to spend on a minor improvement especially when we have gaps across our squad.
  38. Jul 5, 2015

    Eugenius Full Member

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    You're overrating Valencia. He has big glaring weaknesses in his ability to spot danger and position himself. I'm pretty confident we'll sign a natural right back and not have half the chaos down the right hand side we've had (see goals scored down that flank through gaping holes e.g. Chelsea away, arsenal in the Fa cup, City at home, Everton away and Smalling getting sent off covering that channel City away). Those guys mentioned may not be the next Cafu, but they're a lot better RBs that Valencia.
  39. Jul 7, 2015

    caisenma I ♥ Adnan

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    so assuming we sign darmian, what does this mean for valencia?

    surely, SURELY there's no way he'll play as a winger again. i'd like to think that he'll then be RB backup, as rafa will be out.
  40. Jul 7, 2015

    Amethyst It's banter lads, inn't?

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    That's exactly what will happen I think. Valencia's 30 next month and so as long as he gets decent minutes he'll most likely want to stick around for a few years yet. Only thing that may change his mind is if his place in the national team comes into question.

    Rafael is out favour with van Gaal and I expect him to be sold.