Home vs Away: Why Has United Been So Bad on the Road This Season?

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by GM K, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. Feb 25, 2018
    #1

    GM K Full Member

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    For all the disappointments in the team recently, United's home record has been impressive this season. What remains baffling is the team's away performances and record.

    This season at home, out of 18 games we have played in all competitions, we have had:

    15 wins. 1 loss. 2 draws.

    Meanwhile, at away grounds in all competitions, we have had:

    12 wins. 7 loses. 3 draws

    So, of all our 8 loses this season, 7 of them have been at away grounds.


    As much as it is normal for teams to be better at home, losing and drawing too many games away is not what great teams do.

    But it's not just the results. Minus the City game at home, our poorest performances have been away. We seem to show up at home in terms of the quality of our play at least for one half of each game.

    Maybe one reason is that we are very poor when pressed. We deal with high press badly. Teams tend to do it more at their home grounds so we get found out more often away. Once the home crowd get behind their teams and they come at us aggressively, we seem to just focus on stopping them from scoring, getting the ball and hoofing it away. In our only home loss, City did exactly that to us. They presses us hard and high and our play became very disjointed and toothless in attack.

    Also, our 'big names' just tend to fizzle out playing away from home. At such times, you need your big stars to show up but with us, they seem to 'disappear' or become average.

    And of course tactics. Perhaps Jose prepares the boys to be too conservative away and that sucks life out of their attacking play away.

    What do you think?

    As an aside, Chelsea is coming to play us at OT. Never really easy for visiting teams no matter how poorly we have been playing. That's a good thing.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
  2. Feb 25, 2018
    #2

    youngrell Full Member

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    Think you answered your own question towards the end.

    Jose usually lets us play a bit more at home, he pretty much has too. It's away games where is pragmatism really comes into play and we do very little attacking.
  3. Feb 25, 2018
    #3

    SER19 Full Member

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    A combination of a more conservative set up and our team being a little mentally weak and getting bullied by teams who raise their level in front of a noisy crowd.
  4. Feb 25, 2018
    #4

    Green_Red Full Member

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    Tactics on the road, thats all. Not positive enough when we play away from home.
  5. Feb 25, 2018
    #5

    el3mel Full Member

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    This. It's both IMO.
  6. Feb 25, 2018
    #6

    Hamadovich86 Full Member

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    Whats weird is that last season our away form was better than at home. Thats it lad next season our form will be great home and away and we'll win the league!
  7. Feb 25, 2018
    #7

    Red Katie The least positive person in match threads ever

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    If it's that straight forward then surely it's an easy fix then. Just let them attack and they'll win more on the road?
  8. Feb 25, 2018
    #8

    marukomu The Gatekeeper

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    We don't control games, even at home sometimes. Everton and Southampton were better than us at home.
    At an away game, it is on the home team to attack us and we usually buckle.
  9. Feb 25, 2018
    #9

    Red Katie The least positive person in match threads ever

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    Pretty much how I see it too.
  10. Feb 25, 2018
    #10

    charlenefan Far less insightful than the other Charley

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    This thread doesn't make sense, the title says why have we been so bad yet we've won almost double the amount of games away from home than we've lost? The title would suggest we've got a record akin to Arsenal away from home yet the reality is yes while our title chances have been lost on the road we're not bad per-say. I'm actually still more confident away from home then I am at OT as I haven't quite ditched the whole 'we'll draw the game if it's still 0-0 at HT' mantra from last season

    The OP is also missleading in the sense that 1 of the 7 looses was essentially an unimportant game in the UCL
  11. Feb 25, 2018
    #11

    Green_Red Full Member

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    You would think. When LvG was here all the talk was about when he leaves clubs they usually take off because the reigns are loosened and here we are on the cusp of a game that will either put us in a position to really believe we can finish in the top 4 to having to win every game just to stay in it. Massive game.
  12. Feb 25, 2018
    #12

    Red Katie The least positive person in match threads ever

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    I was meaning to say that if it was that simple Mourinho would let them attack. Think it's a bit more complicated than that.
  13. Feb 25, 2018
    #13

    JPRouve can't stop thinking about balls - NOT deflategate

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    A +50% win ratio is good, it's not great when it's close to 50 but it's not "so bad".
  14. Feb 25, 2018
    #14

    Green_Red Full Member

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    Oh right, I get you. I think Mourinhos tactics on the road are the issue.
  15. Feb 25, 2018
    #15

    Raw Full Member

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    It's not that bad but it's still poor and something that needs to improve if we're ever gonna win the title again. Simply can't afford to be losing to teams like Newcastle and Huddersfield, let alone drawing to the likes of Stoke or Leicester. Like the OP said it's not just the results, our performances are worse too.
  16. Feb 25, 2018
    #16

    TheRedDevil'sAdvocate Full Member

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    It's not that bad. The quality of the performances or the perception of it by some of our fans, if you rather, makes it look worse. Of course, City are making a fool out of everybody this season in the PL but should you look at the rest of the top-six, you will hardly notice many differences. Just a quick search will show you this

    City: Played 13 W 10 D 02 L 01 Points 32 Goals 29-10
    Liverpool: Played 14 W 08 D 03 L 03 Points 27 Goals 34-22
    Chelsea: Played 13 W 07 D 03 L03 Points 24 Goals 25-13
    United: Played 14 W 07 D 03 L04 Points 24 Goals 22-14
    Tottenham: Played 13 W 06 D03 L04 Points 21 Goals 23-15

    Arsenal have tallied only 13 points from 14 games, so let's leave them out of the equation for now. As for big games remaining for the aforementioned sides United have only the Etihad left to visit. Liverpool must go to OT and SB and Spurs still have to play Chelsea away. It seems pretty balanced.

    In other words, apart from City, the story for the rest is more about how you prefer to drop points and not about which style brings more you points. Let's see how we will finish the season. Maybe then we'll be able to draw safer conclusions. But as things stand we're are as good as Spurs and Chelsea and on about the same level with the scousers, just less pleasing to the eye of the neutrals.

    In general, i agree with the observation that most teams in PL are usually more adventurous when they play in front of their own fans. They tend to attack more and when they're a goal (or two down), they tend to turn games into end to end contests with the hope that the side which has the lead will take the bait or it will be unable to control the tempo (which is kind of a lost concept for most midtable English sides). From that point forward, you know the drill. Football is a game of mistakes, the higher the tempo the more the mistakes, you get one goal back and then, voila, the three points aren't safe in the bag anymore.

    Where do we stand in this? Oh, we make mistakes when we're under pressure. I can tell you that. Not only against high pressing tactics, we make mistakes on both ends of the pitch that cost us points when it matters. Whether it is a failed attempt to flag someone offside, leaving someone unmarked in set pieces, making a silly individual mistake or it is misplaced passes, bad finishing and a clouded mind on the other end of the pitch, we miss opportunities to put games to bed or see them through. You can scream your lungs out about how we should aim to score four goals because it won't matter when we concede three at the back but the fact remains: Major titles go to the teams that are good in the small details. Concentration, composure, keeping a cool head on both ends on the pitch. Sometimes your forward will have to make the best out of scraps, some others your defenders will have to fight hard to protect a lead. That's how it's always been no matter the style of football you play. Take City for example, last season they created more chances and conceded fewer chances than everyone else in the PL yet they finished 3rd by playing the exact same tactics they use this season. What happened? They became better at these little details. Chelsea have taken the opposite route in the last two seasons.

    We have systematic problems, that's a given. But we're not the only ones. The teams that are praised as the heralds of a new age have their own issues to solve. A more stable back-four line and solving the riddle regarding who will play next to Matic (if it's not meant to be Pogba) can potentially make us a more consistant and reliable side away from without drastic change in tactics. Give it time, who knows?
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
  17. Feb 25, 2018
    #17

    Rifer Full Member

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    So actually...

    "Why has United been so bad at away this season?"
    = Combinations of poor finishing, our players retreating to shell, bad chemistry between our attacking players, and opposing teams at their home raised their game.

    Mourinho's more conservative approach/tactics at away games is rational, since as expected often always when playing away, they raised their game, so have to be more solid, or else we'll concede more. As for the nerve, we don't have players that can control the tempo of games who is often a central midfielder or a player that acts as a leader taking charge of us when we're under pressure - useful in away games where the opponents go all out against us.

    Not a problem at home, since the opponents do the same ~ more conservative and/or less intense against us than when they were at their home. Confidence of players may also play an issue here.

    For our remaining away games, I like to see Carrick playing in some of it, just to see if we perform better, and to win it!
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
  18. Feb 25, 2018
    #18

    GM K Full Member

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    Context is what you missed my friend.

    'Bad' is within the context of our home performances not in comparison to Arsenal or any other club. We have lost 8 games this season and 7 of those games were lost away while only one was lost at home. So when you compare our home vs away results, the away results look bad.

    Not sure how the OP is misleading because one of the away loses is 'irrelevant'. The emphasis was not on importance of games. It was on wins/losses. Nevertheless, I am of the opinion that every game we play is important to an extent but I wouldn't want to take this conversation in that direction.
  19. Feb 25, 2018
    #19

    Di Maria's angel Captain of Moanchester United

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    Pretty much this.
  20. Feb 25, 2018
    #20

    Nikelesh Reddy Full Member

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    Its because we played with a 2 man midfield in several away games,and obviously its blatantly clear now that Pogba can't play in a midfield 2.If we consistently keep playing 4-3-3 away from home,we"ll definitely do much better...Plus with Alexis in the team,we can kill teams on the break if we set up sensibly in midfield...
  21. Feb 25, 2018
    #21

    GM K Full Member

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    Brilliant post
  22. Feb 25, 2018
    #22

    Rifer Full Member

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    This kind of post is becoming more rare. Interesting insight and make a lot of sense.

    Just a confusion: What record/stats is that? Away/Home? Early games or recent games?
  23. Feb 25, 2018
    #23

    TheRedDevil'sAdvocate Full Member

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    Thanks. It's away games in the PL this season taken from Whoscored.
  24. Feb 25, 2018
    #24

    GM K Full Member

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    Posts like this remind one that if we strip away all the emotions and common notions, we are not as horrible as we tend to believe many times mainly due to our history, high level of expectations and media reports.
  25. Feb 25, 2018
    #25

    Siorac Full Member

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    You can't really call it pragmatism if it doesn't actually get good results.
  26. Feb 25, 2018
    #26

    Minimalist Full Member

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    Great stuff.
  27. Feb 25, 2018
    #27

    Leftback99 Full Member

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    We've been the same for years. It's all about the mentality of the players when things don't go their way and the opposition and fans are more up for it than us.
  28. Feb 25, 2018
    #27

    TheRedDevil'sAdvocate Full Member

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    Agreed but the expectations should always be high for a club like United. We must not forget that either. But yeah, it's not black and white like some want to believe.
  29. Feb 25, 2018
    #28

    cyril C Full Member

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    But he did play 4231 at Spurs away, so not very pragmatism right?
  30. Feb 25, 2018
    #29

    cyril C Full Member

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    Me Too
  31. Feb 25, 2018
    #30

    Ish Lights on for Luke

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    Yeah sounds about right.
  32. Feb 25, 2018
    #31

    cyril C Full Member

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    Come on, this is rubbish. Don't blame everything on 4231 or 433. Would 433 solve the Lukaku assist? Would 433 address the issue of why we lose more goals on set pieces than scoring? Would 433 address the problem of Rashford trying to take on goalkeeper instead of passing the ball?
  33. Feb 25, 2018
    #32

    Ish Lights on for Luke

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