Similarities between United 17/18 and City 16/17.

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by Di Maria's angel, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. Feb 12, 2018
    #1

    Di Maria's angel Captain of Moanchester United

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Messages:
    9,876
    Location:
    London
    Following the loss against Newcastle, I started thinking about City, last season and the progress they've made. Quick stat:

    Last season, City had 17 wins, 5 losses and 5 draws after 27 games.

    This season, we have... the same. 56 points with a better GD.

    The results/performances feel quite the same, good results and bad results, started on fire, fell away but still showing enough throughout to bag a top 4 finish. A lot of us always felt as if we were a little behind them in our transition but could we follow their progress and "click" next season? Obviously, I could be falling in to the "next is year is our year" trap, but you cant deny that we're heading in the right direction and aren't too far off from being where we want to be. And most, importantly, there is still plenty to play for this season.
  2. Feb 12, 2018
    #2

    Sigma Full Member Scouse Lover

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2015
    Messages:
    9,867
    Location:
    Monstropolis
    Good thread and puts into perspective our position. We aren't too far away.
  3. Feb 12, 2018
    #3

    charlenefan Far less insightful than the other Charley

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    16,485
    Gary Neville was spot on again yesterday when he said all the players are lacking that extra bit of intensity, that can be translated to that they're playing within themselves which is somewhat understandable if they feel the league is gone. What's concerning though is I wouldn't imagine you can just turn it on like a tap and falling out of the top 4 is something that could very easily happen if they dont apply themselves appropriately between now and May.

    As for next season? It'll need a big drop off from City to give us a chance at winning the PL which is perfectly possible given they've basically won every single game this season
  4. Feb 12, 2018
    #4

    Hellboy Full Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    16,925
    Location:
    Heaven on earth
    C'mon their football was far better than ours. We look turgid and out of ideas, they were far better in the final third than us.
  5. Feb 12, 2018
    #5

    Turnip Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,523
    Location:
    Beckham's right nipple
    Cool, so all we have to do is spend £200m on a new defence line and we're gonna blitz the title next season.

    I think our problems are different to Cities. We have the same issue of a flakey defence, but its not like we don't have decent defenders, we just don't use them. For example, I can't see any good reason for using Young over Shaw, he's worse in pretty much every aspect in that position barring that beast of a game he had a while back where he scored twice, but since then he's been poor. It's also been obvious for a while that Smalling and Jones together are terrifying to watch, there's a clanger around every corner. To be fair I'm sure if Bailly hadn't been injured he'd have been playing, and that would instantly be a few less stupid goals/points dropped. I don't know why we aren't seeing more of Lindelof and Rojo. That said, if Jose isn't fond of Lindelof then this would be a priority in the summer, but I don't get why we paid £30m for a defender last summer that's never going to get played.

    But we also have problems in every other area. In midfield Jose wants to play with 2, but it's blatantly obvious that against any team with a strong midfield it simply doesn't work with our current squad. He either needs to concede that we need a 3, or sell Pogba because he's wasted here. Obviously I'm praying for the former, to deliberately sell our star player because we can't get a system that he works in is madness and will set us back another couple of seasons while we find a replacement. But then who else do we play with Pog and Matic? Herrera? Mata? McTominay? Lingard? Fellaini? None seem quite right and I guess that's why Jose isn't playing like that, but I feel any of them would do better there than we currently are in the 4231. It at least has to be worth a shot, we are so unbalanced at the moment its hard to see how we're in 2nd.

    Our attacking mids again have the same issue of Jose wanting to use players in the wrong positions. Martial was killing it and looking like he did when he first arrived on the left, but stick him on the right and he basically sucks, it's just not his position. But then that means playing Sanchez on the right, where he also isn't at his best (that said, he's still actually productive there, so surely has to be our best option). I actually wonder why we went in for Sanchez when we didn't have a plan for him, it's the same situation as Pogba, we've bought a star player who doesn't fit into our system without upsetting everyone else.

    Up front I think Lukaku is fine. He's been wasteful for sure, but he's also not really had great service. It would be interesting to see some relevant stats against other top strikers this season. That said we have no backup, unless Jose is going to play Rashford, Sanzhes or Martial there, which I personally think would be great, except he clearly doesn't and only plays Rashford there. At least Ibra is back again, but he's been really poor since his last injury.

    So yeah, I don't want to be all doomsday because I do think we've got a really good squad which should already be challenging for the title, I honestly believe a lot of it is on Jose right now. He has to find a system that suits our best players without throwing everyone else out of position, stop rewarding poor performances and find a way of motivating our players so they look like they actually give a shit when on the pitch.
  6. Feb 12, 2018
    #6

    charlenefan Far less insightful than the other Charley

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    16,485
    Does style of play really matter? A Mourinho side is never going to play the same attacking football as a Pep side however there's more than one way to skin a cat. Last January City lost 4-0 to Everton and they were the ones looking clueless then
  7. Feb 12, 2018
    #7

    charlenefan Far less insightful than the other Charley

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    16,485
    You're right our problems are different to City's but just as they threw money 200m at their defence we're just as likely to throw 200m on our areas for improvement
  8. Feb 12, 2018
    #8

    Skills Snitch

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    25,870
    :yawn:

    Can't wait to see how imaginative we get with our excuses next season.
  9. Feb 12, 2018
    #9

    DdeGoat Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2017
    Messages:
    468
    City & Pep had a plan and were working towards something. What is our football style and philosophy? What have we worked on as a club besides buying new players and hope that this time it'll work?
  10. Feb 12, 2018
    #10

    Unmutual Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2016
    Messages:
    1,225
    I think the thing that's similar is that City last season were held back by the poor recruitment of a previous era, leaving Guardiola to rely on players that were either incapable of playing his way or were just not good enough. They had the core of a good team, in their case going forward, but there were just too many passengers letting the side down. Also to some extent it took a bit of time for some players to get his methods, such as Sterling, who's been great this year having been patchy last season.

    I think the one thing that makes me hopeful of a simliar leap forward next season is that Mourinho's recruitment has been excellent so far. To my mind, Bailly, Matic, Pogba, Zlatan (last season) and Lukaku (this season) have each instantly become the best player in their position at the club. And Id say there's a good chance Sanchez will do too. We can safely assume United will go into the transfer market again this summer and I'm confident that Mourinho will buy as well as he has done this season.
  11. Feb 12, 2018
    #11

    adexkola Arsenal supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    31,929
    Location:
    Me, and you. Yo momma, and yo cousin too.
    Supports:
    orderly disembarking on planes
    You could see that they were working towards something. Pep got burnt when his team couldn't implement his ideas the way he wanted, against teams like Leicester and Everton. To his credit, he doubled down and the critics from last year are all eating humble crow.

    I'm not sure what we're working towards at the moment. Any one who can shed light on this would be appreciated.
  12. Feb 12, 2018
    #12

    charlenefan Far less insightful than the other Charley

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    16,485
    You realise teams won leagues before Pep Guardiola? What was Jose's style and philosophy at Chelsea when he last won the league? Can anyone really answer that other than being defensively strong and score more goals than the opposition?
  13. Feb 12, 2018
    #13

    slyadams Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Messages:
    518
    This. I'm not sure how Mourinho wants us to play. It certainly isn't the traditional Mourinho way, because Pogba in a two makes absolutely no sense for that.
  14. Feb 12, 2018
    #14

    charlenefan Far less insightful than the other Charley

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    16,485
    He did play Fabregas in a two with Matic for most of his last PL winning season....
  15. Feb 12, 2018
    #15

    horsechoker Sailor vee, this is a right off.

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    Messages:
    9,553
    Location:
    The stable
    If we invest another 3-4 hundred million pounds on talent we'd probably challenge for the league.
  16. Feb 12, 2018
    #16

    breakout67 Full Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2017
    Messages:
    6,849
    Fabregas was a better midfielder than Pogba; he is a premiere league great. Pogba is more flashy and entertaining, but Fabregas reads the game far better.
  17. Feb 12, 2018
    #17

    DdeGoat Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2017
    Messages:
    468
    Football moves on. Van Gaal also won plenty with Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern. Why didn't he work out with us? Why couldn't Wenger, who has won the league thrice previously, win the league with Arsenal in the season Leicester won the title & all teams were slumping?

    It is easy to answer questions with more questions. Look, I did it too.
  18. Feb 12, 2018
    #18

    charlenefan Far less insightful than the other Charley

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    16,485
    So Pep's way is the only way to win a league now is what you're saying?
  19. Feb 12, 2018
    #19

    Hugh Jass Full Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2016
    Messages:
    3,552
    We are close. But we have to compete with five other teams who want to come first as well.
  20. Feb 12, 2018
    #20

    DWelbz19 Correctly predicted Portugal to win Euro 2016

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    Messages:
    18,094
    It’s honestly quite impressive.
  21. Feb 12, 2018
    #21

    DdeGoat Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2017
    Messages:
    468
    No, I am saying that Jose has won it previously is not an answer. What he is doing with us and how we have evolved is an indicator of things to come not his previous stints at different clubs. That was a factor when we hired him, not 20 months down the line.

    I don't see anything other than new players that is being added to the team. Our football hasn't improved much. We don't have a cohesive style of play. We don't play with enough tempo and verve in most games. We still play park the bus, six at the back against any top team. We struggle against any team that is drilled tactically. Our star players have improved some of our results, but has our overall play improved? Is it only dependent on getting more players?

    People laugh at Klopp and think Poch is a fraud, but why are they only 2 & 4 points behind us with much inferior resources? Conte is next in line to get sacked and Chelsea could be only 3 points behind us by tonight.
  22. Feb 12, 2018
    #22

    charlenefan Far less insightful than the other Charley

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    16,485
    Firstly I dont really see anyone making excuses for this season in this thread
    Secondly yes if/when we inevitably fail again next season of course they'll be different opinions as to why but that's no different to every football supporter of a side that doesn't meet expectations
  23. Feb 12, 2018
    #23

    Pogue Mahone Poster of the year 2008

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Messages:
    96,328
    Location:
    "like a man in silk pyjamas shooting pigeons
    Oh come on. You can’t be serious. Even if you can’t work it out from watching us, the template is obvious enough based on watching previous Mourinho teams.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  24. Feb 12, 2018
    #24

    charlenefan Far less insightful than the other Charley

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    16,485
    Strange that you say Jose's way isn't the answer and then go on to mention Klopp and Pochetino, do you think their way is the answer then? Because limited resources or not both of those sides have players many rate over our own and yet they're no nearer City than we are
  25. Feb 12, 2018
    #25

    breakout67 Full Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2017
    Messages:
    6,849
    The template was obvious for the first half of the season. But fans did not like the way we played so they made up things like 'we win 4-0 by accident' 'we rely on individual brilliance' 'flattering to deceive'

    We scored the exact same goal in 10 different games, where we allowed the other team to commit numbers and used our pacy forwards to counter attack. The Rashford-Martial substitution worked every single time; because one would tire out the full back meaning their recovery on the counter attack was very poor.

    What has happened as the season has gone on, is that teams no longer fall for this. They press us when we have the ball to force us to go long and are cautious when they have the ball so they are not vulnerable to a counter attack. This puts a greater emphasis on ball playing skills; which we are not at the highest level.

    The manager obviously sees the above because he has said he wants midfielders in the summer to improve our control with the ball. Imagine if we had a 28 year old Carrick in this team, our ability to control the flow of the game would be improved massively. I think that Pogba has not been able to become the tempo controlling midfielder he has the ability to be, so one is required.
  26. Feb 12, 2018
    #26

    do.ob Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Messages:
    5,801
    Location:
    Germany
    I don't mean to be overly offensive but I think the idea in the OP is ridiculous. Pep has a very sophisticated philosophy, for his teams there is lot of natural room to grow into in terms of understanding his ideas or getting players who are a better fit for his quite specific ideas. Mourinho is kind of the opposite, he is famous for being a pragmatist who promises quick success. Sure you can always improve the individual quality of players, but there is no deeper philosophy to Mourinho's football that players need to learn, there won't be a moment when things suddenly click.
  27. Feb 12, 2018
    #27

    Nytram Shakes Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2014
    Messages:
    3,553
    Location:
    Normally dark rooms
    I suppose you could argue that City last year never got their defensive structure right and this year we have never got our attacking structure right.

    I guess the biggest difference is that Cities defence last year was a bit crap and need a few hundred million to sort it out, weve already spend those hundreds of millions on our attack and it still looks like a group of individuals with no plan at all.
  28. Feb 12, 2018
    #28

    Treble Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    Messages:
    9,025
    Interesting.

    Problem is that they had 56 pts after 27 games despite their keeper whereas we have the same pts after 27 games thanks to our keeper.

    The difference in class between DDG and Bravo last season was worth at least 10 pts. Maybe even more. Everton scored 4 golas with 4 shots on target.

    What's the comparison in terms of xG? It's a limited tool but better than a mere comparison of points. City were creating most chances in the league already last season. Finishing was off though. Combined with Bravo's performances it stopped them from competing for the league even though they played with the lkes of Zabaleta, Clichy, Kolarov, Nolito etc.
  29. Feb 12, 2018
    #29

    groovyalbert Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2013
    Messages:
    2,211
    Location:
    Brighton
    Not gunna argue they play more attractive football, and did last season, but to say our style is turgid is simply untrue. It's massively inconsistent but for every poor performance there's been positive ones too.
  30. Feb 12, 2018
    #30

    harms Way Staff

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2014
    Messages:
    15,301
    Location:
    Moscow
    It was clear that City's players were struggling to adapt to Pep's philosophy — and that they'd be much better once they're settled.
    With us — I'm not sure. Currently Mou moulded Martial and Shaw to his liking and is doing the same with Pogba, but I don't think that many of our players will change drastically in the next season.
  31. Feb 12, 2018
    #31

    Di Maria's angel Captain of Moanchester United

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Messages:
    9,876
    Location:
    London
    Bar Arsenal, what other game has De Gea been the difference? He's made routine saves in most of the games in and around. In fact, I think, when you consider his distribution this season, this is his worst season since 12/13 (not that its been bad, at all).
  32. Feb 12, 2018
    #32

    Pogue Mahone Poster of the year 2008

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Messages:
    96,328
    Location:
    "like a man in silk pyjamas shooting pigeons
    I’m not sure how much is down to other teams not letting us play our ideal game and how much down to us failing to execute. It certainly hasn’t helped that the spine of the team has been constantly changing due to injuries. Losing Pogba and Bailly for so much of the season has been very disruptive and, depressingly, nobody stepped up in their absence.
  33. Feb 12, 2018
    #33

    DdeGoat Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2017
    Messages:
    468
    You are good at not replying to the parts that really need discussion, like the middle paragraph, but instead pick on other things that can be convoluted. :) No worries though. It's okay to have the simple view that eventually Jose will win the title because he has previously at all the other clubs.

    As for my take, it's clear to me that Jose's current way isn't good enough. The league has evolved, there are more tough teams and more tactical games. There used to be big four earlier, now it's the big 6. The lower table teams are much stronger and tactically adept with all the money and resources available to them. The Plain Jane Jose way hasn't been good enough so far and won't be in the near future either. And for me, there is a fine line with Jose, his football is so pragmatic, so bland and so results based that any time those results are not met, it's becomes extremely grating. We have made changes, he has spent money and got the players he wants, we are not going to get a great goal scoring wide man like prime Ronaldo, so where will this overtake of City going to come from? Are we going to sit back and wait them to fall off? Or is Jose going to device a plan to overhaul them? Because so far it seems like Jose's football has become even more defensive and risk free from the Real and Chelsea debacles where after winning he lost control of both the dressing rooms. The only thing that has remained consistent from those stints is his constant whinging and shifting of blame to other factors; be it the players, refs, spending, other managers or the crowd noise.

    I mentioned Poch and Klopp as two examples of managers who aren't thought of as good as Jose or have the same resources as us but are still able to get more out of the sum of their parts. Their football is more pleasing and their results are similar to us. So may be, with our resources, their way can be the answer. We won't find out until and unless we try it. People have convinced themselves that Jose is the only answer to this clubs woes. Which is preposterous, imo.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  34. Feb 12, 2018
    #34

    Sunny Jim Full Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    26,238
    Location:
    Warsaw...that's too far away from Edinburgh...
    yes we are. On current rate we will finish 20 points + behind the leaders.
  35. Feb 12, 2018
    #35

    adexkola Arsenal supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    31,929
    Location:
    Me, and you. Yo momma, and yo cousin too.
    Supports:
    orderly disembarking on planes
    I'm very serious. Defensively, we're great. Going forward, I'm not sure what we're trying to do. Nothing screams peak Chelsea, Inter or Madrid. We have the personnel, but our displays from week to week seem so disjointed.
  36. Feb 12, 2018
    #36

    Water Melon before it dries out, eh

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2014
    Messages:
    2,342
    Location:
    vegetable patch
    I do not think that we are great defensively, to be honest, I do not believe that a top team can be great either defensively or offensively. It is all about balance, collective defending and attacking. I think we are great players-wise but we are shite teamwork-wise. I don't see anything that would suggest of building a great team.
  37. Feb 12, 2018
    #37

    Treble Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    Messages:
    9,025
    In comparison to Bravo, DDG has been absolutely fantastic. Your memory is short, he has made top saves in most games, including one vs Newcastle yesterday. He has made more saves within the penalty box than the GKs of the other top 6 terams this season.

    Swap DDG for Mignolet and Liverpool are 10 pts above United.
  38. Feb 12, 2018
    #38

    Di Maria's angel Captain of Moanchester United

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Messages:
    9,876
    Location:
    London
    There was/is a plan/style/philosophy. It's just not what a majority of this forum want. People are so blinded by Pep and City that many seem to believe that you can only win if you play like them. In more than maybe 10 games this season, we've played with pace and power and used the likes of Pogba/Martial/Rashford etc. to tire opponents and counter hard and effectively. It's just that since the Arsenal game, we've not shown the same capabilities. We had a decent January but we played differently in the games against Everton and Stoke. In fact, yesterday we broke quickly on two occasions, but both Sanchez and Martial missed glorious opportunities to put us ahead.
  39. Feb 12, 2018
    #39

    Di Maria's angel Captain of Moanchester United

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Messages:
    9,876
    Location:
    London
    Yeah... football doesn't work like that. Swap Lukaku for Messi and we'd probably be top of the table.

    As for De Gea, it's his job to make saves and by now, saves like the one yesterday are normal for him. It's weird that this is even up for debate, as had some of our attackers taken some of their piss easy opportunities (i.e. done their jobs) over the course of this season, we'd be closer to the top - you know Martial yesterday, Lingard vs Burnley, Lingard vs Leicester, Lukaku vs City.
  40. Feb 12, 2018
    #40

    charlenefan Far less insightful than the other Charley

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    16,485
    I didn't reply to the middle paragraph because it didn't warrant a response because it was mostly bollocks

    I don't see anything other than new players that is being added to the team. Our football hasn't improved much. - 1st set of bollocks, our football last season was much better than it was under LVG and likewise our football this season is better than last

    We still play park the bus, six at the back against any top team. -
    2nd set of bollocks because had we parked the bus away to Chelsea and away to Spurs maybe we'd of got out of both games with a draw instead of being so ridiculously open as we were

    We struggle against any team that is drilled tactically. 3rd set of bollocks the proof being what? Or are we to believe the likes of Stoke, Huddersfield, Leicester, Southampton and Newcastle are these tactical greats? Wouldn't really explain why they're all battling relegation would it

    Our star players have improved some of our results but has our overall play improved?. Isn't that what Salah has done to Liverpool? Isn't that what De Bruyne has done for City? Generally your star players do improve everything be it results and all round performances that's why they're your star players, they help turn good performances into great ones, they turn poor performances into still be able to walk away with points

    Is it only dependent on getting more players? Not only dependent no but many would argue we're still players short