Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by amolbhatia50k, Feb 13, 2019.
Hall of fame level muppetry.
This is my big issue.
Do we honestly think Ole is the guy to bridge the gap?
Pretty much this, as a simple summary.
Looking at the many on form top clubs, one thing that is clear is that they know how to play football with strong proof respective identities, and respond to any situations happening in game. The experienced heads make sure the teams doesn't get hot-headed/agitated/overpissed which can then lead to reckless challenges, stupid bookings which cost the team, mess rhythm, immature responses, etc. Whether it's Juve, Real (Ramos can get mood swing though), PSG, City (they have Silva, Fernandinho, Kompany for that), etc. We lacked that much after Zlatan and Carrick are out. Also strong football identity, which we're still in the process baby stage. Liverpool and Spurs are a good case for that at its advanced stage, as does the rest of the top clubs, they stick to their football and fully trust/understand their manager/coaches.
Football intelligence have strong correlation with football maturity. It's different than a simple maturity. Don't know how to describe it. How a player play, their positioning and decision makings actively in game show whether they have it or not. It's like making the right play.
I don't criticize our current squad and coaches that much after the long period of messy football identity the squad experienced. It's literally a new assembly of squad full of younger players lacking experiences. There are clear limitations/weaknesses, not all players are (already or ever) "in the groove" with the formation of the newer identity that are more United. United's attacking philosophy have a strong spine to its attack, like guns by a mature shooter with armors.
Sanchez are pretty much still struggling. Never remember him playing in a stable way though. He's like a hot and cold player, even at Arsenal. Constantly have a go attacking, like pam pam pam! energetic more often that not, he'll be making the risky plays then either pull it off or lost the ball, repeat. Weird that this newer system should get the best of him but.. low confidence seemingly.
Lukaku's, Mata's, Young's, Smalling's and Matic's limitations are getting found out more and more.
Lukaku is too much of a poacher, they type of poacher that doesn't move much or sticking too close to defenders for some reason. It doesn't help creator/playmakers eg. Pogba. He have the tools, but not the "football intelligence" on how to maximise his arrays of talent. Let's face it, he's actually that fast, and his wing play can be that good. Got the advantage of heights and balance. No signs of him improving so far, even if this system should help him blooms even further.
Matic tend to slow things down.. not really a good #6 in a fast pace/quick counter system. Good positioning but lacks the intelligence for making top level plays.
Pogba is still hothead and don't know what to do when things doesn't go his ways.
Rashford and Martial and Lingard showed clear improvements but still their movements and plays still lack that good top "football intelligence" level.
Bailly also start to adjust his playstyle which is nice to see but still not enough yet. Lost his mojo i.e. his wil adventurous playstyle which is that effective in attacking and defending.
Shaw is still in a process I would describe as adapting, and he's doing it okay for now, need to try putting in more attacks is his next step. No problem with his defensive positioning nor performances, or even his possession play.
Our back central area also suffers from inconsistencies with the CBs crumbling down and missing in actions consistently, so there is clear instability at the back and between De Gea's distribution play.
Dalot's positioning is good, very mature, but I've seen him making needless tactical foul, in a situation where we have good covers already.
The rest though... is a mess we know how they are whether it's Fred, Pereira, Jones. Fred is like Sanchez, they're constantly pam pam pam, like a high pitch that can easily lacks stability. Pereira is confuse with what his role is atm which is the problem. Jones is always performing in a crazy rhythm way, unstable, range from great games to sudden terrible performances.
Our few current players who have "it" are these:
Herrera, pretty much perfect as #6 and #8 hybrid.
Lindelof, if he can keep this matured-football performances. This season he's tremendous. Last season he's too immature and soft. His positioning is already good, and he's combining that now with calmness and "right" plays, no more of those risky stupid longtime holding the ball he tend to do prev.
Mata, but he's limited usually in the big games.
Young, same like Mata.
McTominay, yeah, which is why he's usually effective without the need to be flashy. He knows what he's doing making those right plays. He's limited though but then our midfield tend to be more stable when he play there. I see he's making a more and more forward plays which is still a right safe decisions, so that's a nice development.
+ For the sake of this argument, I'll just include these two: Rojo and Darmian. Seriously they know what they're doing. Rojo with his positioning and dupe plays winning challenges/fouls aka dark arts of football. Many fans hate him booting up the field without considering the situation prior to him deciding to do that. It's the right/fair decisions. Darmian also play in a way where he can be effective, often a safe/stable performances, but we know he lacks for some reasons can't do dual role -- can only either attack or only focus on defend (good attacking WB with Italy and his prev club, and good defensive SB with us).
Nice potentials of who showed signs of "maturing" acquiring those football intelligence, in order from closest to less.
At the moment, the team finally have an effective right system -- the Ole's version of Manchester United.
Just that it seriously lacks enough players with football intelligence/football maturity, at least not yet.
Nice potentials though seeing some of their developments.
If we continue to buy mostly foreign prima donnas who just play for money and don't understand the culture of the club, the circle will continue, I'm a Manc and supported United all my life. Most of our great teams have been built on British foundations, if you look at the candidates the majority would be English young investment and made over two windows not one, if you live in Manchester or understand the culture of he club, you will understand that players like Sessegnon, Chillwell, D Rice, J Sancho are all the type of players Sir Alex and David Gill would have signed before the media or other teams would have even known about them at a fraction of their current market prices.
Of couse if you don't even live in the UK and get to watch live football once every 4 months on a UK holiday it would indeed be hall of fame muppetry for you to understand, that it is our unique DNA for scouting, developing and promoting young players with the cliff being the breeding ground for some of the most talented young footballers to come from these shores?
That's another question altogether and probably far to early to decide, he has our DNA in every bone of his body , he understands the club and should be supported 100% by all the fans to the end of the season, win, lose or draw.
Yes, I love Ole, and what he has done so far is tremendous. The only worrying question I would have is, how he thought that the squad he had was good enough. this was proved wrong against PSG.
I would have liked to have added 1 or 2 in January, which would have benefitted us to get 4th spot.
That's a little bit naive, the players have to be available in January. Good and very good players are rarely available at that time of the season, they are involved in their own season, have their own objectives to achieve.
No it's not Naive, there were players that we could have brought in that would have improved our team had we offered the right money, which was available. This will probably not matter if we achieve to get the 4th spot, but if not, i'm sure it will be brought up again.
For me to say it now, might sound naive to you this moment, but let's see where it goes from here. We certainly need improvement.
Do you have examples of such players?
Well I'm not the CEO, But I'm sure you will hear that we ( Woodward) were in the market for xyz players which he had lined up, but Ole said he is happy with the squad he had.
I doubt very much that Ole was allowed to make any transfers in January, his remit was to simply improve the squad and get some value from certain players who were not playing for the shirt, the truth is that 1 or 2 players, unless we bought Koulibaly and Erikssen were not going to fix our deffiences agsinst PSG.
1 or 2 players could have made our defence stronger, which could also have made the team stronger.
We had a manager that spent the last 6 months telling everyone who wanted to listen how poor our squad was, do you really think Ole would come in and spout the same nonsense?He has done the right thing by telling the players they are good enough to play for Man united otherwise they wouldn't be here.He might not believe that about some of them(in fact i'm more than certain he wants to sell a few of them)but he's got them all playing with a positive mindset which hopefully will get us over the line at the end of the season.
There is no chance they will invest in the squad until the managerial position is sorted - imo.
Every fan agrees 100% with you, however Feillani wages and transfer being taken off the books were made to probably fund Anthony and Marcus's new contracts. Our wage bill is rumoured to be £300m per year, the club have just paid off Jose and his team to the sum of £20M, and last year accounts were in decline from the previous year and could yet be disastrous next year if the club does not have CL football!
What needs to happen is a thorough review of the playing staff, which is what Ole interim position was mostly about, reporting back on who should be sold and who should be kept, Woodward is nervous and rightly so of wasting any more funds on players that are simply not cut out to play for the club.
What should have happened in January was that a new 'Director of Football' was announced giving him the time to formulate a stunning and competent summer transfer window. The very fact that no signings were made and no new DOF, added to the 'clubs new money no object contracts policy' to players like De Gea, Martial, Rashford and Pogba suggests that there is increasing credence behind the Saudi Takeover!
In other words why spend £40M on Manolas or T Auderweireld in the Winter when you may have £110M to buy Varane or Koulibally in the Summer?
We're still a level behind the elite teams.
Ole's attacking football has bridged the gap somewhat, but when it really matters, we just aren't there. We still have problems all over the pitch.
Our biggest problem right now is we've had to change managers too much. They bring in their players, the next manager sells them.... Rinse and repeat.
It's one step forward and one step back every time.
In defence, we can still pretty much field a Fergie back line (Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Young)
We've given 3 of the 4 players new contracts lately. These aren't going to win you a title anymore, but bad business, letting contracts run down etc has meant they've always been in and around the squad.
We couldn't sell them as they're within their last year, we can't let them go because the defenders we've signed haven't stepped up (Rojo, Lindelof, Bailly, Blind) so all that's left for us to do, is give them new contracts.
At full back we still don't know if Shaw is good enough. Dalot needs time and so we're left with Young, Valencia and Darmian who we refuse to sell for the prices being offered, doesn't play, takes home a wage and will ultimately leave on a free.
To bridge the gap to the top teams, we at least need a LB, RB and commanding CB
In midfield, we're probably at our strongest, or are we?
Pogba when on the field looks head and shoulders above the rest. To some extent I think he carries that midfield in an attacking way.
Matic is ok, but could easily be improved up, somebody with a bit more agility and pace. Herrera is a great little player for certain scenarios, but I think we massively miss somebody like Verrati, Pjanic etc who just sits deeper, lets Pogba do his thing while spraying passing around the final third.
Oh and we have Fred... The guy who just can't get a game, really don't know whats happening to him.
To bridge the gap we need a defensive midfielder, (Gueye) and Carrick style midfielder.
In attack, Ole has shown we can do good things with the players we have.
We have 3 problems in attack.... Sanchez (just doesn't seem good enough), Lukaku (Not technical enough for this fast paced play) and Mata (Too slow)
Martial, Rashford and Lingard are look very good in this set up. I'd like to see Greenwood given a go at some point also.
To bridge the gap, we need a RW and ST
I think Rashford can rotate with Martial and the ST, Lingard can rotate with the RW.
As a side note, Lindelof has stepped up, but it's still early, but he's been positive, so lets persist with him.
Also, because we've chopped and changed our manager so often, this is why I feel we need 7 players. I know we won't get them in one summer, but we need to back a manager, back an attacking Philosophy and work from there.
My priority this summer would be CB, RB, RW and if possible Gueye before PSG get him.
As for RB though, don't think we'll go for one since Young and Dalot will play there
We need a massive amount of work on the training ground. It would help if our core group of players were at an age where they could reasonably be expected to either retain their current level, or ideally improve. I'm not keen on spending time developing relationships on the pitch involving players who are at an age when decline is highly likely.
The whole right side of the pitch needs a lot of thought. If we are to continue to deploy a right sided attacker who drifts inside, then the central midfield has to recognise the danger of a counter-attack and the right-back needs to perform better than Ashley Young has this season, either do more in defence, or offer more in attack, or ideally both.
In centre defence we need better understanding. I'm not totally convinced a new signing is necessarily the answer. Lindelof needs to make more of his ability on the ball.
I would wait until the end of the season before passing judgement on a lot of our players. If Mourinho was holding them back then we need a reasonable sample size before deciding who might be a success under another manager.
I was surprised by how poor we were against PSG. Not just the 2nd half but we failed to create anything with our first choice players on the pitch.
Pogba has performed very well under Solskjaer but his lack of defensive contribution puts a lot of pressure on our other central midfielders. I don't see Andreas Pereira or Fred as having the skill-set for the roles currently performed by Matic and Herrera.
Far too much emphasis is placed on incoming transfers. If you replace a 34 year old with a 23 year old then you probably have strengthened the squad but as we have seen with signings such as Mkhitaryan, Sanchez and Fred, you'd be struggling to make a decent case that they strengthened us.
The other midfielders lack of attacking contribution puts a lot of pressure on Pogba in attack? Goes both ways. They contribute where they can.
Yes I do agree with some of this, but I cannot figure out why some players are getting new contracts and fans are shouting for same players to be sold. I do agree that there is something in the air about a takeover.
Agree with most of your post especially about getting elite talent. When are we gonna start recruiting like the richest/biggest club in the world? Mind boggling that the people in charge are happy with mediocrity.
If you add up the cost of the 7 positions you have listed: 90 + 40 + 50 + 60 + 75 + 70 + 100 = 485
If you add up the wages, it comes to £1400K per week.
The best estimates of the wages of Rojo (100 per week, largely due to not playing), Darmian (100 possibly significantly less), Sanchez (420, more if he starts regularly), Lukaku (240), Valencia (110 would be more if he played regularly), Fred (120), Mata (150). Add them up and you get £1240K
United typically generate about £100m to £120m that can be used to fund incoming transfers. In some instances they have spent more than this (net) in one transfer window then less the following year. Even if that figure were to rise to £150m, some of it will have to be spent on the managerial switch, Solskjaer a lot cheaper to recruit than Pochettino. A net spend over £200m is not something the club could afford in a single year unless it decided to cut spending significantly the following year.
Then there is the issue of wages. The incoming wages are £160k per week above the outgoing wages. With De Gea currently negotiating a new contract, the chances of United being in position to afford that type of increase are very slim indeed. The PL has complicated rules about how much wages can increase in one year; they relate to increases in non-tv revenue.
I take it the bit about Varane was ironic given the previous line about not chasing players we can not obtain.
Realistically, United might buy 3 of the players you listed. The age profiles of the players you listed is sensible but even then the success rate of incoming transfers is about 50%. It is incredibly difficult to predict which transfers will be a success. Sometimes the system they leave suits them far better than the system they join. We have seen that twice now when buying players from Dortmund.
Not sure number 4 is required if we sort out 1.
Also I'd go for a playmaking CM rather than the one you describe.
Rest - I agree.
He was hired as a caretaker manager for a period of 6 months. I don't believe the club should be investing heavily at a time when the next managerial appointment is unclear. It would result in further upheavel required in the future. Unless it's an obvious talent that every manager would love - and those are rare to come across in January - I agree with the decision not to invest.
Of course if he gets hired on a permanent basis then that's great but he wasn't hired with that intention.
So I cannot agree with the notion that Ole is satisfied with the squad.
Agree. We need to strengthen our defense line. Last game, when our attack was not that effective, we saw our defense line was so vulnerable. Two mistakes (in my opinion) from Matic and Lindelof gave us 0-2. But I don't blame my boys because there has been improvement since Ole's return. As Ole said, we learned from each game. So, yes, there is a gap and we will narrow it down.
Just over one year ago Mourinho strengthened the team by swapping Mkhitaryan for Sanchez. Incoming transfers can make the situation worse rather than better.
Fred another example of a signing that confused the team balance more than it helped.
The list of incoming transfers since Sir Alex retired that added almost nothing is a lengthy one: Memphis, Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger - barely in doubt. Mata, Fellaini - debatable. Di Maria and Falcao (loan). Darmian ?
Clearly incoming transfers have to be a part of the mix, as do internal promotions and the development of current squad members. But expecting them to make a difference straight away is optimistic, especially if you look at the history of transfers, here and elsewhere. Lindelof struggled last season but has performed better this season after a difficult August. Luke Shaw's form was patchy at best for his first 4 years at the club. Going back a few years, Evra and Vidic found it difficult for the first 6 months or so. Rio took ages to get going here.
The 'another Pogba' is just my short hand for a second starting playmaker.
As for the Mata issue. Having a player like him adds real variety to our attack. I feel would be wise if we intend to upgrade on Alexis, Lukaku and Mata, to bring in a top right fank talent, either sign a mobile 9 or promote Greenwood, than add a Joao Felix type talent. Or simply promote Angel Gomes
All well made points but the transfer budget is amortised over the length of the contract and it is a well known fact that we had at least £100M which was available from last summer/winter transfer fund not spent for obvious reasons. The club spent £72M gross and recouped approx £22M for the sales Blind and Feillani.
I'm well aware of the wage issue and on the last reported club accounts it was still running at 50-52% of turnover, with turnover predicted to be £625-640M this year, we could easily increase our wage bill from the rumoured £303M to £315M. (With the caveat if the team does not qualify for CL, there are 20-25% reductions built into their basic Salaries?)
If we appoint Ole, he will paid £8-9M less than Jose per year and the backroom staff will also save another £2M per year, again creating more player budget available.
The club will spend big this summer, obviously not £400-450M big but I'm pretty sure we will spend £200-250M with Player Sales accounting for at least half of that sum.
Three players will just not be enough, we must sign a centre back, two wing backs and a right winger as the bare minimum and if Lukaku or Sanchez go then another top class Centre forward. The club would have lost Feillani, Blind, Darmian, Rojo, Valencia and at least 2 to 3 others from the squad!!
Jadon Sancho is a product of the British System now flourishing in Germany, he's more than good and young enough to take that chance, Varane has major Contract renewal issues and feels lost without Zidane as manager so not an impossible pipe dream like the Ramos fiasco was 5 years ago, especially with United's growing french representation at youth and full team levels.
The Saudi BS which it most likely what it is, however may offer new investment or sponsorship opportunities to generate cash for transfers and write off more of the saddled debt which is increasing due to weak exchange rates, something like this happened only a few years ago and I would guess that this is more likely the reasons for the Glaziers visiting recently.
Wages as you rightly say 1240 against 1400 per week but Ole will be paid 100-120k per week against 300-350k per week for Jose, it's why the Pochettino rubbish is just that, Woodward is a finance man and Poch's £40M compensation cost plus £15-20M wages per year would defintely reduce the Summer Transfer Budget to £150M and about £75M net!!!
I think your comments are spot on.
Prioritise defence and an attacking player. The midfield needs some tweaking, but is your area of least concern.
Right back is the most pressing, closely followed by centre back. I think the best back 4 you can put out at the moment is probably Young, Bailly, Lindelof, Shaw, but it's closely followed by Dalot/Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Darmian. Valencia, Darmian and one of Jones/Smalling will probably be off, so that's 2 players needed. A back 4 of Wan-Bisakka, Alderweireld, Lindelof, Shaw, with backup from Dalot, Bailly, Smalling, Young would be so much better!! That'll cost maybe £65-75m?
As for up top, I think Rashford and Martial should play every game and interchange positions between LW and ST. A top class RW would complete this. Sanchez needs to go and Mata, despite his quality is the wrong type of player for where you are going. I'd keep Lukaku. He can be a great option if you need more physicality as a ST or RW, cutting inside. Add Greenwood and Chong into the mix and one player should give you enough options, even with Sanchez going. So maybe £60-70m for a player like Sancho?
So £125-£145m has addressed your defence and attack. Get a top quality DM and you'll be away. I'm not sure that's Gueye though.
We still underestimate the levels of our players. Only opponent fans tell me that they fear Pogba, Martial and Rasford as opposed to others. I think if we buy some players right for their positions, we can push for any title.
You are right that should Solskjaer become the permanent manager, his salary will be much lower than Mourinho's, creating some space in the wage bill. On a rolling 12 month basis, so the reported Q1 (77), Q2 (77.9) from this season and Q3 (75), Q4 (80) from last season, our wage bill is about £310m before all the recent changes, most notably managerial and coaching staff but also likely salary increase for Martial and possible increases for other players (McTominay, Jones, Young) who have signed new deals, as well as the departure of Fellaini.
As you mentioned, contracts for first team players and the manager include a CL element which would reduce basic salaries and image rights by 25% if we miss out on CL.
I think there is decent logic to the idea of supporting a new manager in the transfer market at the beginning of a new cycle, with the understanding that his budget will be reduced the following year. However, we have to recognise the pressure from fans and the media for transfers every year. As someone who was very much against the Glazers take-over due to the risk involved with carrying such a huge amount of debt, I'm strongly against any action that spends money that the club don't actually have. Leeds and Portsmouth have paid a heavy price for reckless spending over a relatively short number of years.
I like the idea of focusing recruitment on younger players who should be at their peak at United, rather than paying transfer fees and wages that reflect performances for their previous club.
If United opt for Pochettino, I suspect he will be alarmed at the work-rate of the current squad, and will expect Woodward to recruit several players capable of covering similar distances to his Spurs players.
Oh, I agree on both counts. I guess it was more a question of semantics, pushing for any title vs winning the titles. I fully expect the team to be competitive. But there is a bedding-in period in most cases.
Take Fred for example, I can't bring myself to criticize him or say if there is a disaparity in what he brings to training vs on game day when he is selected. But for one reason or another, he has not been able to contribute to this season.
This isn't directed specifically at you... but i've noticed in a few of these lists Gary Neville isn't listed as world class. I know there's a big debate over world class, and Neville was never a Cafu/Alves/Lahm but he was pretty much there and there abouts with the next tier down i reckon.
I wonder if it's unfair that he doesn't get enough credit as the other three. Maybe it has something to do with his age though - they were on the up, he was on the decline.
It's really, really simple for me - most of the players are not quite good enough
It's human nature to overrate our players. If you watch United every single week you'll have seen players like Rashford, Herrera, Mata, Bailly, Shaw, Lindelof, Young etc..etc...all have great moments and indeed great games
The problem is with all of the above and more, it's a few great moments or a few great games followed by prolonged periods of mediocrity which are often either forgotten about or excused (not fit...not played in right position...fatigue...exposed...etc...)
My Dad used to say the problem is not that they are all rubbish, the problem is that between 1991 and 2011, the 'average' rating of a United player on any given day would have been an 8/10 with one or two 9/10s and one or two 7/10s, whereas the 'average' rating of a United player on any given day since 2012 is more like a 7/10 with one or two 8/10s and one or two 6/10s
It's been a steady and subtle decline in standards across the board which makes it hard for people to spot it because it's happened over 7yrs+ and in almost every outfield position
He was great in 06-07 but, after that he declined and struggled with injuries.
Neville was on the wrong side of the 30s and he did retire 1 season too late. If you classify Lahm as world class or great then certainly Neville was just as good. Not very fast but make up for his speed by brain. Great crossing and industrial overlapping run for 90min. Neville was certainly a leader at the back and for the team. So I reckon Neville == Lahm, only regret was no trophy at national level.
But then I still don't classify Lahm or Neville as world class neither, Cafu was way ahead of the peck.
I have no doubt that Fred can come good in England. Of course it is difficult for anyone who move here and try to play the way the team does. There are 2 things i want to talk about here, some of the players we have in our team was bought by Van Gaal and some by Jose.. although they had their differences with the United way of playing, i think they both have their own way of playing football. If Jose was backed in the summer and was given a chance to buy Perisic and maybe Alderweireld, i think we could've still been fast in transition and killed many games. Jose was taken down by his pride alone and Van Gaal is crap through and through.
Thank God for those two still getting the best lot together. With a few minor additions, we can rule English football for many years to come. Ole knows our conditions and he also knows the reality of what he has to do in order to get the club back to winning ways. I'd choose him over anybody else. Big shout out to Poch but i still think Ole needs the job and has the urge to do the best for this club owing a lot to his beautiful ability to calm things down and speak the truth all the time. We have to do it the OLE way now.
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