How good is our attack really?

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by VP89, Mar 17, 2019.

  1. Mar 17, 2019
    #1

    VP89 Pogba's biggest fan

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    I've thought against making this thread a few times because I misread Pogba as a player, but after giving 24 hours to digest yesterdays performance I still find myself questioning the true quality of our attack and want hear your thoughts?

    Whilst Rashford and Martial could become great stars the fact remains they aren't there yet. They aren't able to lead a club like United week in week out because they are guilty of too many anonymous performances. Sure they are young so there's every chance they can get to a world class level - but comparing them to peers of a similar age I still find them falling short.

    Yesterday was a good example - Martial seems to follow 3 habits when he attacks:
    1) jog when he has the ball down the flank, taking too long to run at a man, thereby allowing himself to be doubled up upon. This leaves him no choice but to pass back to Shaw to whip it in or pass horizontally to Matic or Pogba.

    2) Beat a man, but then pass back anyway when he sees a second.

    3) Beat a man, run towards goal and cut it back or shoot (this is relatively rare, but when he does it we're all Martial FC again).

    He also doesn't make enough runs in behind. Jose/Ole have said this and we've seen it. It makes life incredibly difficult for Pogba if he has to play it to his feet every time.

    Moving to Rashford, I see him doing simple things wrong. Be it a cross field bizzare pass to go out for throw ins vs Paris, or failing to control a pass before being dispossessed against Wolves. He himself sees his position as a winger - he mentioned it in a SkySports exclusive that he prefers to operate from the left, but I find pace is his strongest suit. He can shoot well enough but again, I'm not sure his quality is there for us to rely on him week in week out.

    Next we have Lingard, Sanchez, Mata - 2 of whom aren't here long term and the other has reached his cap in potential.

    I just feel the quality when compared to the cutting edge Liverpool and City display just isn't there.

    Does anyone else here question the actual quality level of our attack? Or have I misjudged these guys like I misjudged Pogba, and they have it in them to lead us week in week out.
  2. Mar 17, 2019
    #2

    abdo99 Full Member

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    martial appears to have been injured. withdrawn from the France squad for a recurring knee problems.
  3. Mar 17, 2019
    #3

    deadrevelz Banned

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    Martial should play in the centre, he is a better finisher than Rashford. Or have Shaw make more overlaps. Tony isn't a proper winger.

    Rashford needs to improve and he will with proper coaching, which I don't believe he has had until now. Mainly finding space, scoring tap ins, remaining calm.

    I think we could play Rashford and Martial up front when counter attacking. Pace of Rash, dribbling of Tony might be the perfect combo.

    Lingard is a squad player who is in the team because we don't have a proper right winger or no 10. People should accept this.

    Lukaku is usually great at finishing in the penalty area but his overall play is lacking. If he stays I think he will improve next season, though I don't see him as the long term United no 9.

    Greenwood is too young to rely on clearly but he should get chances next season.


    Conclusion: Buy Jadon Sancho.
  4. Mar 17, 2019
    #4

    Casanova85 New Member

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    Drop Alexis Sanchez.

    Keep Rashford, Lingard, Martial. Another chance for Lukaku.

    Buy Sancho.
  5. Mar 17, 2019
    #5

    Shamana Full Member

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    No I don't really find our attack good enough to challenge for the hightest honours. Mane, Salah and Firminho and Aguero, Sterling, Sane are on another level to Rashford, Martial, Lindgard and Lukkaku.

    Lukkaku is our only proven forward and he has limited technical ability. Martial and Rashford have bags of potential, but none of them have proven they can score 20+ a season. Lindgaard has his uses as a squad player, but should not be first choice.
  6. Mar 17, 2019
    #6

    deadrevelz Banned

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    I think most of what you say is true, though some of it can be blamed on their teammates and the lack of coaching. Martial shouldn't have to dribble past 3 players every time he gets the ball, because there should be options. City and Pool players don't skin defenders constantly, no-one does except maybe Ronaldo and Messi. Their power comes from the fact that they could attack from anywhere, with any player. They are always looking for space, making runs, recycling the ball quickly. It terrifies defences so eventually they make a mistake. Citys midfield also gets higher and dictates play around the box, with United that's often left to the forwards, which means that there is no-one in the box. We have no right winger, and Martial who is good but not great on the left. We have no first team right back and Shaw has only recently started to make runs forward again, so we have no width either.

    New players and a forward-training bootcamp need to happen over the summer. I would be fine with our forward options if we had Sancho. I also feel Fred may contribute a lot more next season.
  7. Mar 17, 2019
    #7

    Matt007a Full Member

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    Not having a right side doesn’t help Martial. Teams can afford to double up on him because they know we can’t switch the play to the right.

    Rashford shouldn’t be our number one striker really. He’s still young and learning the game. He should be 2nd behind a top class forward who is in his peak years like Lukaku. Unfortunately Lukaku has shown himself not to be the top level striker we hoped for.

    Mata and Sanchez are just not up to it physically anymore. Lingard is a good player whose movement and energy is important to linking and transitioning play, but he needs more gifted players around him because he’s not going to unlock a defence himself very often.

    I guess all in all our attack isn’t great no. Certainly when you look at our rivals with players such as Hazard, Aguero, Salah, Mane, Sane, Aubameyang, Silva etc. None of our forwards would make the top 10, maybe even top 15 in the league, which is criminal for a club like ours.
  8. Mar 17, 2019
    #8

    Hoof The Ball Full Member

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    There's a lot of things wrong with the way we attack, tbh. I don't want to sound hipster-ish but automation is a bit part of attacking methods for the best part of ten years now. By automation, I mean pre-set movements which always or often occur based on where the ball is in the field of play. For eg. On the left in the opponents 1/3, We'll have three on the left in close proximity; Shaw, Pogba and Martial. Between the three of them there's rarely a run into a channel inside the full-back. Overlaps and underlaps. City do it all the time. In fact, City, Liverpool, Spurs, Chelsea, Arsenal all do this to differing degrees.

    Currently, however, Martial will be against the touchline, ball to feet and it'll be up to him to either beat two players or pass backwards to Shaw, who will circulate the ball across the midfield. Rinse and repeat. There's too much of our game that is down to instinct or individual players having moments of inspiration. The best teams are a combination of automation and improvisation. Largely, our play relies on players operating based on their better or worse instincts. Hence when Shaw does try to overlap, we look better on the left; and when he doesn't, we look worse. So, you either leave him to his own devices, or, you work on making his overlaps more consistent and aggressive. See Robertson for Liverpool. See Alba for Barca. They take every opportunity to do it. Every time, almost. Not 20% or even 50% of the time, but most of the time.
  9. Mar 17, 2019
    #9

    charlenefan Far less insightful than the other Charley

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    Hard to argue that it's the 4th best (at best) in the PL if you're looking at the front 3 only and given the aim is to finish 1st obviously recruitment is required
  10. Mar 17, 2019
    #10

    Hoof The Ball Full Member

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    We always play a narrower player on the right. Mata or usually Lingard. Both of them come infield, which inevitably leaves Dalot isolated on that side. There's no true overload on the right. Teams know we overload on the left and they compensate for it accordingly.
  11. Mar 17, 2019
    #11

    Andycoleno9 Full Member

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    Our attack lacks top top class player who can score from nothing and who can do it all season. Something what we thought that Alexis will be.
    Messi, Hazard, Neymar, Aguero, Ronaldo...we lack that kind of player.
  12. Mar 17, 2019
    #12

    NFM New Member

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    Martial isn't 'young' anymore. Its no longer an excuse. Compare him to Sane...probably best not to.
    He is an inconsistent 'luxury' player. If everything else was OK with the team, he would be worth playing, sometimes.
    But right now he is a luxury United cannot afford. Play Rashford out there , who moves constantly, and get a decent right sided forward.
  13. Mar 17, 2019
    #13

    Rifer Full Member

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    It's good, watch 'em on their best form.

    Problems are 1. strong inconsistency and 2. tactically missing that consistent right width.
    (I say tactically cause we can adjust our tactics to have that right width consistently with the players we got, Ole is not doing it consistently though. Atm like always it's too heavy traffic on the left with Pogba and Rashford loving that sweet spot then Ole's insistence on letting them be.)

    Sure we lack that established attacker eg. Hazard, that can win the game on his own (we have two potentials in Martial and Rash) but that's not too important if our attacks works consistently which it is not, at least not yet, who knows when it'll be consistent.
    + Which brought up the issue of why the heck are they so inconsistent?!
    • common excuse is they're young so bound to make mistakes. I find this to be a lazy excuse covering their faults.
    • harsher reasoning is they're clueless in some situations and our coaches do not drill into their head to do certain things effectively eg. positioning, right decisions making, movements on and off the ball, etc which is often basic and boring, but perhaps they just don't have that football maturity yet, or you know maybe they just refuse to follow and listen to coaches because "my way is more stylish, flair, star and glory, helps me gets into the highlights."
    • another excuses is lack of experience, which is similar to the first one, lazy excuses.
    • possible reasons is they may lack the ambition nor taking football and especially playing for United seriously. No need to be more responsible then. Solution is to be in environments that foster and inspire this eg. manager that always push you or inspiring captain/experiences member (we don't have one now as players) that have the effects on you.
    Another problem with our attack is we lack the really intelligent player that knows how to break deadlock/tight defence/park the bus consistently which our players tend to struggle, but then these kind of player is not that common anyway, not many teams have it and they don't always come by.
  14. Mar 17, 2019
    #14

    Dominos Full Member

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    This is a very good point. It's been a problem for several years, our right wing poses absolutely no threat. It's criminal that we've not attempted to address it.
  15. Mar 17, 2019
    #15

    wolvored Full Member

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    As others have already mentioned we havent got a special talented attack which is needed to win the premier league. We havent got a RVN Rooney Ronaldo even a Van Persie who could make goals out of nothing. We have inconsistant players who need a WC striker to learn from up there with them. Martial Rashford show glimpses but I do worry if they will ever be top class. Lingard needs replacing as hes even more inconsistant and with a RW hopefully coming in where would he play? Lukaku is our best striker but hes way off being a WC striker and doesnt look like he ever will become one. I have a feeling he will move on in the summer as well. Hopefully we dont stick with what we got and think a RW will make all the difference.
  16. Mar 17, 2019
    #16

    WR10 Correctly predicted France to win World Cup 2018

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    The runs in behind is literally what’s sets our attack apart from city. Watch any of their games and look at what their ‘wingers’ do in that fullback/center back channel.

    It doesn’t matter what player is in that position they all make the exact same run and the balls they play is automatic.

    It is the exact reason why their xG is so high.

    I put less of the blame on martial but more on the lack of general attacking movement training.

    If our team was drilled to make those movements then martial would have no problem making those movements. Instead we focus too much on Shaw overlapping or pogba producing carving chances
  17. Mar 17, 2019
    #17

    superdry touched by a genius

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    We need at least one of them to go into one of their sporadic purple patches and drag the others with him, or we may go into a losing streak that almost matches the winning one.
  18. Mar 17, 2019
    #18

    pocco loco

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    All far too inconsistent to lead us to a title challenge. I think we need at least 2 of the 3 front positions to be top notch right now. The thing is i think they're all approaching the age where we should be seeing some sort of meaningful progress to their game, but we aren't. Not to the required level at least.
  19. Mar 17, 2019
    #19

    An Irish Red Banned

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    It's poor compared to our rivals. Martial is the best one out of them, and I rate him highly, but I still think he's only good enough to be a 'side kick' type player in an elite attack, not a main man.

    Neither Rashford, Lingard nor Lukaku would start at an elite side.
  20. Mar 17, 2019
    #20

    kundalini Full Member

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    We have players with weaknesses. We have a new coaching set-up. Let's see if they can resolve some of these issues over the next 12 months.

    Solskjaer has already mentioned some of the flaws, areas that Martial and Rashford need to improve.

    At the moment I would give Rashford, Lingard, Martial and Lukaku the benefit of the doubt. However, in 12 months I might not.

    Sanchez and Mata would be back-up players if still at the club next season.
  21. Mar 17, 2019
    #21

    VP89 Pogba's biggest fan

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    It's definately more than that. Their players showcase more technical ability and close control. They are able to intricately work in tight areas and constantly make the right decisions.

    I'm not saying we should be at this level under just a few months with Ole but I wonder whether we will need to invest in the attacking third in order to do so.
  22. Mar 17, 2019
    #22

    MyOnlySolskjaer Creator of Player Performance threads

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    I miss Van Persie so much. None of these options can even lace his boots.
  23. Mar 17, 2019
    #23

    el3mel Full Member

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    Great on their day.

    Problem is we never know on the day of the match if this is going to be "their day" or not.
  24. Mar 17, 2019
    #24

    haram Full Member

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    Difference between our forwards and the phases of attack. We have young inconsistent forwards, no width, poor build up and poor transitions. Someone tell me how far we can actually go with this squad.
  25. Mar 17, 2019
    #25

    wattsy7 New Member

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    It seems teams just have to defend well down their right hand side for us to look poor, always looks so crowded that side. Get a proper right winger so we can add some variation to our attacks and i’m sure Rashford & Martial would benefit.
  26. Mar 17, 2019
    #26

    Frank Grimes Full Member

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    When you compare them to title winning teams of our past they are not the required quality.

    That goes for all over the pitch though. Not one player of the current crop would be a consideration for a United all time PL XI, De Gea would be in a debate. That's worrying.
  27. Mar 17, 2019
    #27

    jesperjaap Full Member

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    Completely agree with most of this. I think we would actually be better with Rashford on the left and Martial up front. I never wanted us to sign Lukaku and never became a fan since he has been here....I do think as a different option he shoul dstay....if he is happy to be used in a squad situation, but I dont see us winning trophies with him as our main striker either
  28. Mar 17, 2019
    #28

    Mal donaghy Full Member

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    Very naive, not clinical, no lock picker in any of our forwards ,
  29. Mar 17, 2019
    #29

    noodlehair "It's like..."

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    I think we have very good attacking players. The problem is the lack of balance or way to fit them all in.

    You don't get the best from Rashford if you play Lukaku and vice versa. Martial arguably would be better up front but then you have the same problem. All of them are most effective when playing more centrally and being able to drift or run into space from there.

    Lingard is a good player but again wants to play in the middle.

    Pogba is a very good player but is at his beat in the middle.

    Mata is at his best in the middle.

    Quality wise I think they're fantastic, and Rashford and Martial will improve. Problem is apart from Martial on the left, none of them look comfortable unless they operate from the centre of the pitch. In the case of Lingard and Mata even if you play them from the right they end up in the middle.

    The closest we've come to a front three or four that all seem to look comfortable is Rashford, Martial, Lingard and Pogba but that seems to put a lot of strain on our fullbacks as they all drift all over the place...And you're going to have inconsistency there with Rashford and Martial supposedly the direct goal threats.

    When you look at Liverpool, I don't actually think Mane, Salah or Firminho are world beaters. All very good players but I think we have players that can reach a similar level. Those three though work very well as a unit. They all offer something different and play in different areas. That's what we seem to lack. I don't think we're a million miles off though.
  30. Mar 17, 2019
    #30

    Eddy_JukeZ Full Member

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    The last time we had a player you can argue was the best in the league.

    You need those to win the league.
  31. Mar 17, 2019
    #31

    cathari Full Member

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    Find this hard to debate when:

    - Sanchez is past it, and was never part of the attack.
    - Lukaku just made it back into contention under Ole, and has a problem with his ancle
    - Martial just made it back from a groin injury
    - Lingard just made it back from a hamstring injury
    - Mata is probably past it, and out with his hamstring
    - Rashford is a little out of form, and has a troubling ancle
    - Matic is past it, and just made it back from a muscle injury.
    - Herrera just made it back from a hip problem
    - There’s no right winger

    ..and Pogba is trying to play this lot good these days

    My take on the attack is:

    We need to bin a few, but not all, and
    I think we are not that far from something, in fact.

    Nevertheless, we need some changes, I agree on that.

    At the same time, we need to be realistic about what we got, and what we’re criticizing before speculate on everone’s overall ability, potential or possible downfall, because there is a lot of great talent there. Let’s not forget that.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
  32. Mar 21, 2019
    #32

    KingMinger22 City >>> United. Moaning twat

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    This.

    Remember when we had peak Rooney, Tevez and Ronaldo in attack?

    That's the sort of quality we should have.

    Not one of our attackers would get game time at the very best teams.

    Two of the three first team spots need replacing with world class talent if we are ever to challenge.
  33. Mar 21, 2019
    #33

    iHicksy Full Member

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    I'd say the Tier 1 attacks are as follows;

    Neymar, Cavani, Mbappe
    Mane, Salah, Friminio
    Aguero, Sterling, Sane/whoever

    Our attack is Tier 2.

    Other attacks that I would put in the tier 2 bracket are the likes of Chelsea with Hazard, Higuain, Pedro or Spurs with Kane, Son, Ali. Arsenal with Lacca, Auber and Miki
  34. Mar 21, 2019
    #34

    Beagle Full Member

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    It's a slippery slope to keep giving people chances to prove themselves. Similar to what the center backs have had. Give them one more season, let's see them under a new manager, let's see how they develop as they get older. These cannot be repeated over and over again if getting back to the top is a priority.
  35. Mar 21, 2019
    #35

    Infra-red Full Member

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    I'm not sure it is. Probably not the priority, anyway.
  36. Mar 21, 2019
    #36

    RedFish Full Member

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    Aunt with a dick?
  37. Mar 21, 2019
    #37

    cathari Full Member

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    Someone has to take up that role around here :lol:
  38. Mar 21, 2019
    #38

    hobbers Full Member

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    Really good if everyone turns up and has a good game.

    But over the course of a season it's clearly quite shite. At least compared with Liverpool and City.
  39. Mar 21, 2019
    #39

    Bocca9978 New Member

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    Why Van Persie? Had a great season from him but he is hardly United’s benchmark.

    Do you mean Van Persie type of player?
  40. Mar 21, 2019
    #40

    RedFish Full Member

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    Lowering the tone since May 2014 ;)