Are we actually finally quite good

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by Sarni, Dec 24, 2017.

  1. Dec 24, 2017
    #1

    Sarni nice guy, unassuming, objective United fan.

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    I did not really want to to make it a new thread at all, was trying to find a positive one to post in but there really isn't many of them around here.

    Reading through the forum today I once again realized how grim our fans on here have become. The criticism our team receives these days is really crazy, there is very little positivity about the players and not a single player has managed to escape from the hatred of RedCafe over the last 3-4 months it feels. Every remotely bad result is being discussed endlessly and with some people it even feels that they cherish the moments when we fail because that's when they can voice their disgust at players and manager. In the meantime our rivals have been praised to the sky. Not even talking about City who are absolute darlings here and it almost feels like some people would genuinely cheer their league and CL victories, but also the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs who have largely escaped anywhere near the same criticism United have been under and have been praised way more frequently than us by United fans on here.

    Meanwhile we are halfway through what appears to be our first genuinely good season since Ferguson left. It took us 4 years to get here and we have gone through some horrid football, Moyes interviews, bad transfers and false dawns many times but finally it feels like Manchester United are actually a very good football team. When we play at home, it almost always feels like we are going to win, and we do. We don't get spanked by teams.

    Yes, we are not going to win the league this season. Yes, we have had our bad moments, we had to grind out results. But we are no longer the pushovers that we had been for the last 4 years. We no longer need to fear being embarrassed by Sunderland and Southampton not once or twice per season but several times. We no longer wonder if we can get five shots on target, we no longer go to all other big teams and get spanked silly by them.

    We are back in Europe and about to play our first Champions League knockout game since 2014. We are comfortably in the top 4 and it feels like we don't have to worry about being in the elite again next year. Domestically we finally don't have to look at Chelsea, Liverpool, Spurs and Arsenal from several points behind anymore.

    We will have bad games, we will struggle through them but this time we will get the wins in so many of them - this is the difference between us now and us for the previous 4 years. Let's not pretend we were outplaying everybody under Fergie, we weren't. Our strength was getting the results even when we weren't at our best and looking great when we were. We are very close to being that team again.

    Let's not pretend City is the benchmark here. They are not, they are having a dream season nobody thought anyone would ever have and they will get the highest points total ever in Premier League and possibly in any too European league period. The fact that we will finish one spot below them won't mean that we failed - it will just mean that we have more to do. And I am confident that we will do more, and we will get better and we will challenge for the title again pretty soon - title challenge is not something that looks so distant now as it looked even a year ago.

    This is going to be so unpopular here but I truly feel that we have got our Manchester United back. We got some improvements to make but finally it once again feels like we are a serious football club with ambition.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
  2. Dec 24, 2017
    #2

    Axkiko New Member

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    Do we get our Man Utd back? Score in Fergie time twice a week. Oh but wait...
  3. Dec 24, 2017
    #3

    marukomu The Gatekeeper

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    Agree with this. And I read it all.
  4. Dec 24, 2017
    #4

    MyOnlySolskjaer Creator of Player Performance threads

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    I feel like we’re on track and results wise it’s mostly been good but there’s still a few things we need to iron out before we can say we are back at our level. Looking at our attack, we’re lacking maturity in our play. It’s hot and cold, even the older players like Mkhitaryan are not even dependable. Hopefully something we can change in the next couple transfer windows but as much as there is a lot to love about our improvement there’s still features of that Moyes/Van Gaal era that need removing quickly as it’s holding us back. We are a fragile team when we are in the lead, we don’t have that killer instinct and that’s not because we’re a Mourinho team, that’s remnants of the past 4/5 years that we need to change.
  5. Dec 24, 2017
    #5

    Jaybomb Banned

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    • Quality control
    tl;dr.

    Can’t believe you’re posting this after that shocking performance. :lol: These guys couldn’t finish their dinner. Poor Lukaku is fecking starving up there.
  6. Dec 24, 2017
    #6

    Sarni nice guy, unassuming, objective United fan.

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    I think we were good tonight. We dominated Leicester and were extremely unlucky not to come away with a strong win.
  7. Dec 24, 2017
    #7

    mazhar13 Full Member

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    We still do not have any sort of an identity in our team, yet. Even though we've finally moved on from Sir Alex's Man. Utd., we are now at a crossroads where we are not sure about the direction that we need to take. Mourinho's current spell here is a crucial moment for us, and this will be the period where we either get back into the elite or sink down to the level below where clubs battle for European spots and are satisfied with Champions League qualifications.

    So far, the club is trying to remain ambitious and shake away the losing stigma. The fact that the powers that be sacked Moyes and van Gaal when they were starting to drag us down towards mediocrity is a good sign that we still have some sort of ruthlessness in the club. That same ruthlessness saved us from becoming a mid-table club during the Sexton era and being the "nearly there" club under Big Ron. We need to maintain that ruthlessness if we are to have any chance of being an elite club.

    Having said that, one of the traits of elite clubs are that they evolve through the times. Ever since Fergie left, I feel that we've stagnated whilst the rest of the elite football clubs have progressed. Our football club structure is still relatively archaic in that the manager has total control over the football operations. Nowadays, football clubs have more specialists in football operations with the head coach leading the first team. This is impacting us on the footballing front, where most young footballers are growing up in an environment filled with micromanagement and constant guidance, input, and education from the footballing staff. Here, however, we still have Mourinho who's overseeing everything and leaving players on their own to solve problems and handle dilemmas. This may be an unpopular view, but football's no longer like this anymore. It used to be like this, but in came more head coaches and "tinkermen" who were more specialised in the football side of things.

    In order to become "quite good", we need to evolve. If we can evolve, we can finally get back into the elite. If we remain stagnant, I fear that we might be the club playing the catch-up game instead of the others.
  8. Dec 24, 2017
    #8

    RC89 Full Member

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    Agree with this. Shambolic finishing aside, our attack looked to have some chemistry and understanding.
  9. Dec 24, 2017
    #9

    Eriku Full Member

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    Absolutely. We may very well have done as well but for Smalling's groin strain.

    That and the sitters we refused to take.

    I don't know what's been up recently, but we've shown we're on track this season. Hence us sitting comfortably in second place.

    Meanwhile, there's no laughing and pointing at shitty Chelsea, despite them dropping points this weekend.
  10. Dec 24, 2017
    #10

    LennonNL nipple flasher and door destroyer

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    You’re probably the most negative poster on the caf. Give it a rest.

    Our finishing was terrible yes and feck knows what all the dawdling was about but we played well. I was furious when they scored the second not only because we lost points but because we should’ve won by 3+ and instead chucked it all away.
  11. Dec 24, 2017
    #11

    endless_wheelies feeling dizzy

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    Great post.

    If Guardiola had not rocked up to City and been given ridiculous spending power on an already superb team then we'd be top of the league right now.
  12. Dec 24, 2017
    #12

    Bojan11 Full Member

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    Don’t worry it will be all ok when we sign David Luiz.
  13. Dec 24, 2017
    #13

    AshRK Full Member

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    Lukaku today showed he is everything that an all round striker should have. Top.performance by him.
  14. Dec 24, 2017
    #14

    Martial Full Member

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    Agree completely. The fact people are so disappointed with only being 2nd is a measurement of how far we have come since those Moyes days.
  15. Dec 24, 2017
    #15

    LennonNL nipple flasher and door destroyer

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    ¿Qué?
  16. Dec 24, 2017
    #16

    Bojan11 Full Member

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    Jaybombs suggestion is that we sign David Luiz in January.
  17. Dec 24, 2017
    #17

    SalfordRed18 Full Member

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    Sorry but you don't really have a clue how the club or other clubs are run. You dont know the practices put in place to support young players at all, you're making assumptions. Bar city, all these other teams are behind just right now. Grass is always greener and all that.
    He didn't and he doesn't. Was just a good performance by him.
  18. Dec 24, 2017
    #18

    Keeps It tidy Hates Messi

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    This is the first time since Ferguson I think the club is playing up to their potential. We are just unlucky City went supernova this season.
  19. Dec 24, 2017
    #19

    LennonNL nipple flasher and door destroyer

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    Ah right :lol: yeah that’d sort out our bottle in front of goal
  20. Dec 24, 2017
    #20

    NinjaZombie Punched the air when Liverpool beat City

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    We are still not good enough. We were 2-1 up against a 10 man Leicester and had chances to finish it off. We should be winning these games.

    Improving. But still not good enough. I hope Jose doesn't agree with you.
  21. Dec 24, 2017
    #21

    SER19 Full Member

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    You're right but don't expect anything other than a thread derailment into slamming our players, team and accusing you of being unambitious and a host of tired cliches about someone or something 'not being good enough, this is Manchester United.'

    These guys want their title and they want it now, from the very players they seem to have so much hatred for.
  22. Dec 24, 2017
    #22

    Offside Euro 2016 sweepstake winner

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    2-1 up against 10 men there is major problems when you throw that away. Conceding a last minute goal has been in the post for weekends as well.

    I agree when you think back 2 years we could barely get a shot on target and now we are creating chances easily and today scored 2 very classy goals.

    However, to think how good we were not even that long ago (For the first 20 years of the PL) we are always going to be compared with that and in terms of the balance of the team we are completely miles off. Need to buy someone in Jan.
  23. Dec 24, 2017
    #23

    Ramshock CAF Pilib De Brún Translator

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    We are good. This City team is making any misstep look worse. Citys form is unprecedented and any other year we would be in a title race.
  24. Dec 24, 2017
    #24

    whatwha Sniffs Erricksson’s diarrhea

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    :rolleyes: Ffs. He made a couple good passes. That doesn't make him a good enough all-around striker.
  25. Dec 24, 2017
    #25

    Nick7 Full Member

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    A few missed ones make him a bad one though, right?
  26. Dec 24, 2017
    #26

    MarchingOn New Member

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    Swear to god today as we missed chance after chance, I thought to myself, "we are pretty damn good despite the table"

    And then the lads break my heart
  27. Dec 24, 2017
    #27

    mazhar13 Full Member

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    I'm not talking about the underage levels and below. I'm talking about the first team. Yes, youngsters are tasked become more independent as they get older, and yes, they're supposed to improve their decision-making, overall, but explain to me how so many first-team coaches nowadays place attacking and defensive structures where every player knows the role that they (and others) play. Right now, our first team isn't like that, and players still look unsure as to what their teammates will be doing next.

    Roles nowadays are more defined. Players nowadays know what they (and others) need to do when placed in a particular role. When I watch most of the matches, most of the players perform a particular set of actions that they know and everybody else knows. That's how a coach like Pochettino or Favre can move to various clubs and have the players in their team gel relatively quickly with each other. Most of the younger head coaches nowadays have their teams play in a particular way where each player knows what the others will do.

    Compare that to Mourinho, Ancelotti, Wenger, or Luis Enrique. All of them have their own brand of football that focuses on the players taking charge and figuring out how to break down a defence in whatever situation they face.

    Onto how clubs are run, I'm talking about how clubs are set up nowadays, not how they execute them. However, you are correct. A club with a whole football operations team with specialised roles isn't necessarily run better by default (see clubs like PSG, Barcelona, Everton, Swansea, etc.). Having said that, how many managers/head coaches are out there that can build a solid foundation for a club for years to come? As far as I'm aware, Sir Alex was the only manager who could do that, and Moyes tore it all up.
  28. Dec 24, 2017
    #28

    amolbhatia50k Sneaky bum time

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    We were very good today but switched off defensively twice which ultimately cost us.

    We bossed the game and pinned Leicester back for the most part. Martial dominated the left flank completely whereas Lingard and Mata found space and created openings with ease. In the final third, we could be more sharp of course but you can't complain about 2 goals away at Liecester I suppose. I think we do lack that one attacker/leader who has the experience and composure to lead and/or kill teams, moves and chances off reliably. I'd like to see Lukaku and Pogba do more in this respect.

    So, I can't have big complaints with today's performance.

    As for us in general, we've improved as a team for sure. As have individuals like Rashford, Martial etc. However, I do think we and Jose need to prove their worth in the 'tight' games. We've spent huge sums of money so is playing goods football and being top 2/3/4 really that a big deal? It's progress but not the ultimate goal for sure, nor the objective of success for the manager and board. I think people are blinded in this respect by how poor LVG and Moyes were.
  29. Dec 24, 2017
    #29

    SalfordRed1960 Full Member

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    We have always been a good attacking team.

    It is so annoying that we see games like today and against Arsenal where you can see our attacking threat at full force and then see it hindered by some negative tactic. We are a lot better than what our manager(s) have enforced on the team. Be nice to see us play to our strengths.
  30. Dec 24, 2017
    #30

    Womp idiot

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    I honestly see this in one of two ways: either a) Given Jose's record, he wasn't brought in to build a team that dominates top opposition etc. but rather brought in to stop our bleeding, fix the club which has been a shambles for years and instill a winning mentality into the squad/setting a good base for the next manager to work with and finally as he's probably the only manager in world football who can stop a Pep team at their best. Let's remember, Jose's never really had the time to create a team that can play dominant football, whether that's because he went into a job that expected instant success or because he's fallen out with the board or players or something for being a dick. If that was why he was brought in (which I believe it is, btw) we have to admit he's done a brilliant job of it so far.

    The second option is that both the board and Jose both accept it's not a short-term appointment and want to build something long term together. This would be much more interesting as we've never seen Jose do it, in that case, I believe (at least I'd like to) that when as his squad gets more to his liking, his teams will be more adventurous - even in the big games. His teams are capable of playing some great attacking football, we saw it at Madrid, we saw it at Chelsea in his first stint and the first half of his second stint, saw it in patches here too. Will he be more open to doing it more consistently if his team is more to his liking? That's the golden question I suppose, I really don't know.

    That being said, I think his criteria is the first option - he's signed probably our best players in their respective positions and has improved us immensely, so much so that people are upset we're second after years of 6th place finishes. The question is, if it's the first option, who will be the next manager? The board will need to actually plan ahead, rather than making another impulse appointment. We are in the rut we are due to a lack of planning. If it's the second option, will one more summer/Jan window be enough for Jose to get the team where he wants? He himself said he'd need three windows and tbf I don't see him getting anymore than a third summer window.
  31. Dec 24, 2017
    #31

    Solver New Member

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    Poor finishing was the really ugly part but the approach play was absolutely fantastic
  32. Dec 24, 2017
    #32

    amolbhatia50k Sneaky bum time

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    It's neither of those. You're just drawing up scenarios you think favour Jose because in A) he's already nearly done all he had to do (create a base and nothing material) or B) Give him lots of time. It's a 10 year Wenger project.

    Jose as brought it to take us to the top again. We were already a 4th/5th placed side when he came in a league where there tends to be not much between 2nd and 4th for the most part. He's been backed with huge money (as were previous managers) and like all the elite clubs is expected to win big trophies. There's no chance he was brought it to "stop the bleeding" at one of the top 4/5 clubs in England who happen to be one of the top 3/4 spenders in football.

    This is the best part about Jose for me. Never really been a fan of his kind of football but he is ace in the transfer market.

    A third summer window is more than enough. We've already got a very good squad that shouldn't be far off winning the big trophies.
  33. Dec 24, 2017
    #33

    Ace of Spades Full Member

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    True, I think we played well yesterday and overall have improved quite a bit from where we were. I think this squad can still be improved in key places, so I can see us improve even further.

    I think frustration from dropping points in such a manner is always going to irk people, plus the fact that City just are not dropping points means fans can get hyper critical of our team.
  34. Dec 24, 2017
    #34

    Womp idiot

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    I really don't agree. If they wanted a manager to do all those things, they would not have went with Jose who has never had a history of doing so, literally makes no sense. He's never been the type of manager to build a dynasty, he's there to fix clubs and get them competitive again.
  35. Dec 24, 2017
    #35

    amolbhatia50k Sneaky bum time

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    Jose has never won big trophies?

    What he hasn't done is either of the things you've mentioned - built a team for others or built a team gradually over a long period. Besides noone spends 150 million to suceed 5 years later. If we had to do that we'd follow the Spurs/Dortmund model.
  36. Dec 24, 2017
    #36

    Rhyme Animal Modmins said "freeze" and I got numb

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    We totally dominated them, two cheap goals given away.

    With a slight formation tweak we'd have won the game 2-0.
  37. Dec 24, 2017
    #37

    Ashley R1+O New Member

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    I have no idea how you "build" a leadership core or "create" a leadership core but that is Mourinho's current biggest task and on here I don't see it said enough.

    Our players that were experienced seasoned men under SAF have gone. Replaced with those young guys who were here who aren't either distilled and ready to lead or don't have the leadership gene. Romelu Lukaku looks like he might have it but he is a young buy in striker and in a perfect world he would thrive even more in a team with the perfect blend of leaders.

    Some of these "lack of bottle" moments just come down to the very problem above. Smalling and Jones might be left over from the old SAF times but they aren't leadership material. Young/Valencia are all playing out of position and trying their best, Jose's buy-in players Pogba/Lukaku/Matic are not ready to command this team yet and the rest is just a handful of also-rans in the grand scheme of things.

    This is a grim task, but we have to be patient.
  38. Dec 24, 2017
    #38

    Werd. New Member

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    I am satisfied with the progress we have made from last season. I just hope Jose is given what he needs to further strengthen the squad as we are evidently, still short on certain qualities.
  39. Dec 24, 2017
    #39

    Womp idiot

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    He's never built a dynasty. He's of course judged on winning trophies, as any top manager is, but he most likely has specific criterion he has to meet. Which usually goes one of two ways: instant success and short-term project, or long-term and building a dynasty. He's never built a dynasty as he's never been at a club long enough, so instant success and getting us out of our slump (both things which are linear btw) is the remaining option. The teams he leaves, whether on bad terms or not *usually have stronger squads etc. when he does, which is becoming evident here. He's signed our best players. Pogba and Matic are by far our best CM's, Lukaku our best striker, Bailly and Lindelof our best defenders. Mkhi is really the only bad patch. So by default, by leaving the squad in a better state, he's already making things better for the next manager (assuming he is here for the first reason)

    He's obviously here to win trophies but that goes hand in hand with making us competitive again - which was my original option.
  40. Dec 24, 2017
    #40

    Hamadovich86 Full Member

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    We played well going forward, created chances that we should have scored and killed off the game. Defensively we've looked very rocky in recent weeks and conceding silly goals. It seems like we cant do both at the moment which is super frustrating.