Lack of composure

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by noodlehair, Dec 10, 2017.

  1. Dec 10, 2017
    #1

    noodlehair "It's like..."

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    Anyone else find it quite staggering how easily our players seem to panic when put under any kind of sightest pressure at either end of the pitch?

    We're second in the league and quality wise that's probably about right, yet we showed less composure on the ball today than you'll see from any other PL side, including the bottom ones. Almost no one willing to pick a pass out from the back, or even take the care to clear the ball properly. Most times we did get forwards, not being able to pick a pass or a decision, and instead just charging into defenders or shooting in a panic, or freezing completely.

    It's actually a bit embarassing when you watch teams with much worse players (e.g. West Ham), play against the likes of City and Chelsea, and pick passes, play their way up the pitch, and play football under pressure as if it is no problem for them. Then in the exact same situation we make it look like it is impossible.

    Lukaku today for example. Every time the ball went to him you could almost see the blood rush to his head...he actually had the ball in dangerous positions more than enough times to hurt City. He missed an easy chance, fired wide on his weak foot in a good position instead of shifting the ball. Twice got in behind their defence then just panicked and ended up running into a defender he'd already beaten. Cost us the game with a completely unecessary panic clearance (as a team we must be close to about 100 of these in the last two games alone).

    And he is just an example of what most of our players were doing. Only Matic, Martial, and Valencia showed any ability to keep their head. Of the rest, Lingard was the only one with his head screwed on enough to even attempt to put in a footballing performance.

    If we want too be taken seriously as title contenders, we can't really have over half our outfield players turning into a non league side every time there is a bit of pressure. Imagine what they'd be like in a game like today if there was actually a league title or cup on the line.
  2. Dec 10, 2017
    #2

    kthanksbye Full Member

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    Maric tried to bring some compose in the second half. Valencia is a big culprit for this, he's visibly shitting bricks when he gets the ball and even if one player is closing him down, same with Smalling Herrera and even Rashford today. Martial is the opposite, he's too casual in possession.

    Overall we don't have enough players in our squad who're confident on the ball.
    Need to address this problem by bringing in a new set of fullbacks, a winger and another midfielder for when Pogba isn't available.
  3. Dec 10, 2017
    #3

    buckooo1978 Full Member

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    composure is a mark of quality really and we don't have enough in the team

    simple as that for me
  4. Dec 10, 2017
    #4

    redom Full Member

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    Yeah, we do tend to look like a deer in the headlights when we face quality opposition. We were never going to out pass City but the inability to string 5-6 passes together to relieve the pressure or make them retreat into a defensive shape was annoying to say the least.
  5. Dec 10, 2017
    #5

    Snow Somewhere down the lane, a licky boom boom down

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    The first half might have been the worst composed game I've seen from a United team. Rashford gave it away all the time. Triangle passing was way off. Plenty of forward passing that made no sense. That Young ball forward comes to mind where there were two options open in midfield and the next City player was 5+ meters away from him but he kicks it to Ederson with no United player in the picture.

    Similarly against Liverpool the passing was just very very poor. The setup in of itself works fine but the football being played is just awful. Plenty of opportunities to attack on the counter, to keep the ball a bit and play it but the quality just isn't there. Doesn't help that Lukaku, Rashford and Lingard aren't very composed on the ball with no "leader" of passing to guide them like Pogba or Mata or possibly Mkhitaryan who should be able to dictate the play.

    It sucks because every time the players seemingly tried to get going it did work out well. Maybe they are just scared of something but I don't know what. It isn't the same fear as we saw under LvG where creativity was stifled. Players are allowed to be adventurous under Mourinho as we see with the types of passing, frequency of runs and dribbling.

    We are a dangerous side on the counter and our tactics created as many good chances as City today despite having 40% less time on the ball to do so.

    Definite progress in the squad, I feel we've comfortably been the 2nd best team in the country this season but City have just been a lot better. Domestic cups are still viable targets and we shouldn't end up below 2nd place but the big game performances have been poor and that doesn't bode well for the CL.
  6. Dec 10, 2017
    #6

    abdo99 Full Member

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    We need to show more balls and stop playing like cowards. You need a lot of personality to come to OT and dominate us the way City did today. There were some United fans clapping them off today which tells you everything.
  7. Dec 10, 2017
    #7

    Adam-Utd Part of first caf team to complete Destiny raid

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    For all the good Jose has brought to us, this is definitely something we've regressed in.

    Jose not finding possession is a big factor in this, he obviously doesn't feel that holding onto the ball is that important, but getting up the opposition's goal quickly is his aim. Unfortunately though they go hand in hand, if he just wants to play hoofball then let's sign Crouch and Dzeko.

    We won't ever beat this City team if we carry on the way we are.
  8. Dec 10, 2017
    #8

    Ace of Spades Full Member

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    Again, wonder if we blame the players for that or the manager. We used to have a lot of possession under LVG with pretty much the same players, but now it's like the ball is a bomb that needs to be kicked as far and as soon as possible. The players ssem to be scared of losing the ballin dangerous areas, so they just punt it up field.
  9. Dec 10, 2017
    #9

    MaxiPaxi likes to shove his mum's boiled eggs up his rectum

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    Lack of confidence. An inferiority complex.

    Guarantee you if Pep had Martial, Rashford etc we'd be fawning over them.

    Not to say that those guys aren't good already but Jose is holding them back imo.
  10. Dec 10, 2017
    #10

    Pogue Mahone Poster of the year 2008

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    I love Hererra’s attitude but he has to be one of the least composed central midfielders I’ve ever seen. Seems to spread a sense of sheer panic everywhere he goes. The shitty post-Fergie era brings many bad memories but his habit of fecking SMASHING the ball miles up in the air under any sort of pressure near our goal will be right up there...
  11. Dec 10, 2017
    #11

    Di Maria's angel Captain of Moanchester United

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    Oh, this is a huge problem. We visibly shit ourselves whenever in possession and being pressed. Add Young to the list, too. Someone like Mata displayed what's possible when you play with composure, that pass to Martial was beautiful, yet no one else could do anything of the sort. Our front four were poor and the last thirty highlighted that. We had around 45% of the ball in the second half and did jack shit with it.
  12. Dec 10, 2017
    #12

    Di Maria's angel Captain of Moanchester United

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    Think we all saw this coming against Leicester in his debut season.
  13. Dec 10, 2017
    #13

    Pogue Mahone Poster of the year 2008

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    We regularly shat the bed under Van Gaal. And when we did hold onto the ball it wasn’t about being composed on the ball so much as refusing to take any chances with our passing. In it’s own way, just as lacking in composure as what is being discussed in the OP. Just a complete lack of belief in their ability to take someone one or complete a risky pass.
  14. Dec 10, 2017
    #14

    Greck Full Member

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    This will continue to happen every game we sit deep that Pogba doesn't play. We don't have the technical quality to buildup from that deep to the opponent's area

    Jose had the right idea signing ball playing CBs in Lindelof and Bailly. We should start looking to phase out the dinosaur players in defence and midfield
  15. Dec 10, 2017
    #15

    ArmchairCritic You got pets me too mines are dead

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    It's one thing to tell the players to be direct but the players still pick the passes on the actual pitch and the entirety of the first half was littered with hoofs up absolutely no one. We played similarly at home against Liverpool last year when Pogba lost the plot a little bit.
  16. Dec 10, 2017
    #16

    MaxiPaxi likes to shove his mum's boiled eggs up his rectum

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    which is a stark difference from the time he played under Bielsa.
  17. Dec 10, 2017
    #17

    Pogue Mahone Poster of the year 2008

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    Someone else who spreads fear and panic around him is Chris Smalling. It’s a shame because he’s been our best defender this season. My God, though, he looks fecking terrified of the football.
  18. Dec 10, 2017
    #18

    Pogue Mahone Poster of the year 2008

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    Yet consistent throughout his PL career.
  19. Dec 10, 2017
    #19

    noodlehair "It's like..."

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    Don't think that's it. We're 2nd...if the lleague was based on the ability to play football or remain composed under pressure, we would be 20th.

    The first sign of pressure and half our team completely give up trying to play football.

    Some of them actually look like they're having a meltdown. Look at Young in the first half...what on earth was going on there? He is better than that. Any PL player is.
  20. Dec 10, 2017
    #20

    Di Maria's angel Captain of Moanchester United

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    He always seem to shake when in possession, its' weird. Not sure how you'd improve on lack of composure especially when the culprits have been guilty for so long.
  21. Dec 10, 2017
    #21

    ash_86 Full Member

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    More than RW, CM/AM should be our priority signing.
  22. Dec 10, 2017
    #22

    Ace of Spades Full Member

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    True, we did not create much, but we still had better possession than this. There were a lot of problems under LVG, but keeping possession was not one of them. We had composure, but no cutting edge in attack. The moment we reached the final third, we used to just pass it back, that was the big problem. Our build up from the back was better than it is now.
  23. Dec 10, 2017
    #23

    el3mel Full Member

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    It's not much problem of quality, it's a problem in the mentality of most of our players in nature. They panic easily even the good ones of them. The only player in the team that withstand pressure on ball is Pogba, which isn't good enough to have only one player with such character.

    Nothing can be changed though. We can't change the full team. With us getting better results and restoring the winning mentality the players should be less able to get panic on every terrible situation.
  24. Dec 10, 2017
    #24

    MaxiPaxi likes to shove his mum's boiled eggs up his rectum

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    Not really. Herrera has very rarely shown the player he ought to have been when he was bought. For Athletic he was a much more assured, mature player - yet a lot younger. Could be a case of not being able to take to a big stage.
  25. Dec 10, 2017
    #25

    Sultan السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته Staff

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    It's definitely frustrating. Some of the biggest culprits are Rojo, who is a hoof merchant. Smalling can't pass for toffeee. Herrera has forgotten how to play football. Rashford, Martial are different type of players who run past players and use their speed and skill to create danger - more runners than passers of the ball, plus their young and learning to be composed at this moment in their careers. Lukaku seems to be void of all confidence at the moment. I think once Bailly, Pogba and Jones are back we'll look much more composed as a team. Gary Neville was correct when he said we seemed to be scared to play.
  26. Dec 10, 2017
    #26

    Kostur Full Member

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    Partially that's true actually, let me quote myself (ugh) from the post match thread:

    So yeah, I agree with @buckooo1978 on that one.
  27. Dec 10, 2017
    #27

    Pogue Mahone Poster of the year 2008

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    I meant consistently poor!

    Actually, he has been good at times. But when he’s not good he’s unbelievably uncomposed.
  28. Dec 10, 2017
    #28

    buckooo1978 Full Member

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    maybe - when I talk about quality though I'm talking about players who produce good performances 8 out 10 times rather than brilliance in 3 out of 10

    I think the occasion got to some - look at how poor we were in the Liverpool game as well - think there have been a few games where we've looked desperate and went long when we've played half decent opposition
  29. Dec 10, 2017
    #29

    MaxiPaxi likes to shove his mum's boiled eggs up his rectum

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    Ah, Okay.

    Yeah, where is this erratic side of his game come from? Is it the nature of the PL? Because as long as I remember Herrera playing for Athletic or Spain U21, he has always been very good.
  30. Dec 10, 2017
    #30

    Dobbs Banned

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    I've said this a couple of times about Young recently. As great as his attitde is and the recent goals he's a serious hoof merchant. Not comfortable on the ball near his own goal. Against Watford his first three touches sent the ball 50 yards.

    Part of the problem is guys playing out of position. Young isn't a fullback, Rashford isn't a winger. Then there's a few who we all know aren't great in that department. Then finally it's all capped off by a manager who doesn't rate possssion. These guys can knock it around better than this. We've seen them do it. Are City's defenders really that much better on the ball than ours? I don't think so.
  31. Dec 10, 2017
    #31

    MaxiPaxi likes to shove his mum's boiled eggs up his rectum

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    Our players remind me of how I play FIFA. As soon as I get the ball I just release the fecker because I don't want to be disposed.
  32. Dec 10, 2017
    #32

    Di Maria's angel Captain of Moanchester United

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    Lack of leader, possibly? Valencia as captain isn't a great choice. I laughed when Oliver called him over to calm Rojo down. Was wondering whether Valencia would even understand what Oliver was saying. Regardless, he doesn't strike me as a leader. We didn't seem to have anyone to calm everyone down a little - Carrick is a huge miss in that sense, Pogba, too.
  33. Dec 10, 2017
    #33

    skeelz New Member

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    Only Pogba and Matic are not guilty of this and that's a shame. How Smalling found himself at a big club like ours still remain a mystery. He shits himself anytime an opponent is near. So many safe plays - hoofing when he could have passed to the next player. Rojo as well is one of the hoofmasters we've got.

    The manager is also not helping as well. Relying on individual brilliance for the the team's attack is disgusting
  34. Dec 10, 2017
    #34

    ArmchairCritic You got pets me too mines are dead

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    I thought today showed how badly we miss a player like Silva. He sets the tempo for how City play and is so crucial in creating space for others to thrive, whether it by his movement or by beating 2-3 players or by picking a pass. We struggle so badly between the lines and only when Pogba comes back do we seem to resemble a proper footballing side. Better ball-playing defenders and a proper 10 would help us so much with or without Pogba in the team. Smalling, Rojo and Herrera were a terrible spine for anything today and although Lingard is a useful squad player he's just not of the standard we need our 10 to be.
  35. Dec 10, 2017
    #35

    BusbyMalone Full Member

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    I said this in the match day thread, but we really, really struggled to deal with the press today. The thing is, this is not the first time i've witnessed this with United.

    We really don't deal with it at all well. The composure is just not there for the most part. You could see it today when we did actually have the ball for a few minutes - it was so bloody tentative. You could see the player in possession almost look at his team mate as if to say "you want it...yeah...no" and then would eventually pass to someone else. There's no authority there. There's no arrogance there when we pass. And that's the main reason why we struggle to break out of the press. It's all too tentative and meek.

    I don't know who to blame for that really. As with many things there's probably a combination of coaching and players. I've said many times over the last few months or so that we're very inconsistent in our performances. We don't appear to have any structure to our attacking play. It's all a bit...messy. A bit impromptu.

    Talking specifically about today, they were just the better team. They've been the better team throughout the season. Our season hasn't been a disaster by any means; we're in second and that's were we deserve to be. In terms of moving forward we obviously need to address that. Whether that will be through bringing in players who are more confident on the ball (and particularly under pressure), or whether it's to do with coaching i don't know.

    Just absolutely gutted and deflated tbh.
  36. Dec 10, 2017
    #36

    Josep Dowling Full Member

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    I don’t think it’s an issue just for our team, it’s every side that play City.

    They all panic whilst in possession. Yes this is because of the pressing style but the reality is that teams give City way too much respect.

    City have a fear factor this season and teams are already beaten before they step on the pitch. Us included on the basis of today’s performance.
  37. Dec 10, 2017
    #37

    MaxiPaxi likes to shove his mum's boiled eggs up his rectum

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    I don't even think they pressed us intensively. All they did was just kept the playing area small and cut off our passing lanes. That little clip Henry did during mid-match summed it up well. They basically put a blanket on us and isolated Lukaku.
  38. Dec 10, 2017
    #38

    Kush Full Member

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    Quoting myself from other thread

  39. Dec 10, 2017
    #39

    Kostur Full Member

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    Not sure if it's the leader we're missing or just somebody who doesn't scare away from taking the responsibility, a la Pogba really.
  40. Dec 10, 2017
    #40

    BusbyMalone Full Member

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    Sure. Personally i would count that as pressing myself. They were aggressive in their positioning and wouldn't let us easily play out. One player would normally press the man in possession and another would cut the passing lane off. That's aggressive pressing imo. We never done that to them. Or if we did it was very, very rare. They would just stroll out from the back and quickly move the ball into out final third.

    We really didn't deal with the aggression that they showed due to the aforementioned lack of composure/skill on the ball.