Survival of the Fittest and Best

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by OohAahMartial, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. Apr 13, 2019
    #1

    OohAahMartial Full Member

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    "It's going to be survival of the fittest or survival of the best. That's how ruthless we have to be. We need players here who are going to be able to take us forward.

    "That means culture in the dressing room and what we do every single day here to make us challenge again.

    "Liverpool and City are too far ahead at the moment for what we like. We played against a Barcelona team that sets the standard in European football.

    "We're under no illusion it's going to be hard work and there will be some tough decisions made by me, Mike [Phelan] and the club.

    "We have a certain standard here. We got a great boost, now it's more challenging times with the results and performances.

    "You want to see players step up and say now, 'I want to be part of this.'"

    Seen Ole repeat this phrase, of Survival of the Fittest. Here are some earlier comments of his:
    “It’s probably linked, yes,” said Solskjaer. “But when do you make that change? Do you wait until pre-season and think you will change results by just not asking them to run?

    “Or do we start now and show them demands of intensity and how we want to play?”
    “You have seen what I have chosen,” he added. “We need to play as a Manchester United team. If you want to be a part of Manchester United, it’s a survival of the fittest isn’t it?”

    “They are getting older aren’t they, Juan, Nemanja (Matic), Ander. So it’s about the preparation, the standards that you have to live up to on and off the pitch as a Manchester United player, and as a professional player in the Premier League.

    “It’s not just turning up, playing and training and then going home and doing all these little out-of-football activities that we have all seen too many players doing.

    “I’m pleased with the way my lads have responded in that way, that we don’t see too much of them outside football.

    “That was a big part of my career –- as long as you are a footballer and you play in the Premier League, make the most of it because suddenly you get these injuries and you are done.”


    I find this attitude very good to see, looks like he doesn't want sicknotes, or lazy players, and leans towards younger, fitter players, and aims to:
    "I have got some targets, I want a Manchester United team that is one of the hardest working teams in the league, one of the fittest teams in the league and that then will bring results. I think the players know my expectations on the future."

    Its also noteworthy (but didn't get picked up on the Caf) that Gary Walker, Manchester United’s Head of Strength and Conditioning, left the club last month after 11 years to move to the MLS. I suspect pushed out, as part of the drive for better fitness.

    What I can't understand despite these great developments, is the giving out of new contracts, or extending contracts, or having 'in his plans' Phil Jones, Rojo, Young, Darmian, unless its just a ploy by the club to recoup some transfer money before they actually ruthlessly sell them on this Summer.

    But I would expect from Ole's words, that any player not putting the kilometres, or spending a lot of time on the treatment table, will not have much future at United.

    Considering that previously we have run less kilometres per game than any other team:
    Man Utd distance covered under Mourinho
    Season
    Distance covered (avg in brackets) Ranking in Premier League
    2016-17 4,023.4km (105.88) 20th
    2017-18 4,099.8km (107.88) 19th
    2018-19 744.6km (106.37) 19th -

    Some of our players who have been lazy might be in trouble:
    Martial and Lukaku are in the bottom 25 players in the league for least kilometres run, Martial actually in bottom 10.
  2. Apr 13, 2019
    #2

    deadrevelz New Member

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    The overall sentiment is encouraging from Ole.

    Like you though I'm concerned about some of the specifics... Rojo has just come out and said he is in Ole's plans... Darmian maybe offered a new contract, Mata offered a contract, Jones got a contract. Young was offered a contract, but that was before his form fell off a cliff.

    Let's hope it's not just words. Fitness definitely needs improving. Definitely adds weight to the idea that Martial needs playing as CF, maybe bring in a left winger. The fitness coach leaving was mentioned on here, not sure if it's linked though, isn't he getting a bigger job in the US?
  3. Apr 13, 2019
    #3

    Cathy Ferguson Full Member

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    I would not mind selling both Lukaku and even Martial due to the lack of work they put in.
  4. Apr 13, 2019
    #4

    OohAahMartial Full Member

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    Seems as if Woodward didn't get the memo about fitness, in dishing out contracts. Can't wait for us to have a DoF.
  5. Apr 13, 2019
    #5

    Black Adder Full Member

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    As I wrote in another thread, survival of the fittest and the best and then you give Young new contract, why?
  6. Apr 13, 2019
    #6

    Santoryo ripping the reward

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    People mentioning Martial as players that need to go when he just signed a new 5 years contract. Also who in their right mind would even actually want that? Either wumming or just ignorant.
  7. Apr 13, 2019
    #7

    settembrini Full Member

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    I see other people are on the same page as me. These are great words, exactly what I want our manager to be saying...

    ... however the disconnect between these words and actions like Phil Jones being given a new long term contract is comical.

    If United genuinely operated with a 'survival of the fittest' approach to players then Jones would have been out the door years ago, but we've just extended his contract until 2023!
  8. Apr 13, 2019
    #8

    OohAahMartial Full Member

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    Think that he will be pushed to work harder next season, but I don't know if he has it in him. I think if he can't improve this (and other) parts of his game, then next Summer he might find his place in real danger, as well as finding himself up for sale. Make or break time.

    Ole is rumoured to want a versatile forward, that can play either side or any of the front positions, and I think its to act as competition to Martial, which Sanchez blatantly has failed to actually be.
  9. Apr 13, 2019
    #9

    Kostov Full Member

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    Survival of the fittest, gives Phil Jones a contract extension... Yeah right.
  10. Apr 13, 2019
    #10

    Denis' cuff Full Member

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    Very unlikely it was his decision. Contracts have clearly been dished out over the heads of previous managers, never mind caretaker manager that Ole was at the time.
  11. Apr 13, 2019
    #11

    Handré1990 Full Member

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    As much as I want to see Martial succeed, I’m getting there as well. Not enough product to even afford to appear lazy.
  12. Apr 13, 2019
    #12

    RC89 Full Member

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    Possibly something that was largely agreed before Ole took over. Also, he was interim then and likely have had little input on who contracts were offered to.
  13. Apr 13, 2019
    #13

    AndyJ1985 New Member

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    Inspiring words.

    Bet he's offering Rojo a new contract as we speak.
  14. Apr 13, 2019
    #14

    Black Adder Full Member

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    Yeah, could be, didn't think it that way. But either his decision or not still it's wrong one.
  15. Apr 13, 2019
    #15

    AJ10 Full Member

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    Just like many United fans I would also like to see all the dross shown the door before the start of the season but this is unlikely to happen, we won't get rid of everyone all at once or even in one season. So all this talk about but he's been given a contract (insert names here) do you really expect a business to get rid of its players for free?, regardless of how much they might bring in.
  16. Apr 13, 2019
    #16

    tieunhilang New Member

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    Imagine if Mourinho made those exact same quotes, he would be lambasted as "having a dig", or "not living up to his words" (Because of Phil Jones and Young's contracts).
    I hope Ole really put a ruthless stamp on his transfer this summer.
  17. Apr 13, 2019
    #17

    abdo99 Full Member

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    Actions speaks louder than words. We need to see some action in the summer. And I trust the manager 100% for the job.
  18. Apr 13, 2019
    #18

    OohAahMartial Full Member

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    It will be interesting to see if one or more players given a new contract still end up being sold.

    But we can see signs of ruthlessness with Fellaini and Valencia. Wonder how much power Ole has though over these decisions.
  19. Apr 13, 2019
    #19

    Skills Snitch

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    Does this also hold true for the managers we appoint?

    If for example Guardiola becomes available for strange miracle, should we make every attempt to get him even if it means screwing Ole over?
  20. Apr 13, 2019
    #20

    tieunhilang New Member

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    Pep cannot go to teams without a huge budget to buy whatever he wants. He would walk away from the job way faster than Mourinho's meltdown.
  21. Apr 13, 2019
    #21

    Skills Snitch

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    Yeah we've really been penny pinching in the market
  22. Apr 13, 2019
    #22

    Skills Snitch

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    Ole does have a point. We lack a ruthlessness that the real huge clubs of European football have. Nothing illustrates it more than the amount of time we gave to Ole's predecessors - each of them lasted way too long.

    Madrid have sacked 2 managers this season, yet people were outraged that we sacked a hugely underperforming manager after 2.5 years.
  23. Apr 13, 2019
    #23

    Ace of Spades Full Member

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    I doubt this can be done in one window, we have too many of these types of players. Still, it is a start.
  24. Apr 13, 2019
    #24

    Reddy Rederson Full Member

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    I like the sentiment, but the actions so far point to more favouritism. Todays match line up will be very telling.
  25. Apr 13, 2019
    #25

    hungrywing Full Member

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    Kind of surprised/disappointed that this has to be posted by anyone at all. Should be commonly accepted.
  26. Apr 13, 2019
    #26

    OohAahMartial Full Member

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    This is about players, not managers.
  27. Apr 13, 2019
    #27

    Pughnichi New Member

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    I’m optimistic that 12 months on from last seasons opener the squad will be without Fellaini, Valencia, Darmian and Rojo...at the very least.

    Players I wouldn’t mind leaving thereafter Young, Jones, Bailly, Matic, Mata, Sanchez and Lukaku

    Not suggested they will/should all go this window but a huge cull is needed in coming windows to bring the squad back up to a level that can compete at the highest level. Madness where we have allowed ourselves to be. I think new contracts are pointless as well. Just ensuring a transfer fee.
  28. Apr 13, 2019
    #28

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

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    Exactly. We need some of them to stick around as squad members. Like it or lump it Jones is English and we need a certain amount on the squad. He's not AWFUL but not top class. He's fine as a sub.

    We can't replace Rojo/Young/Jones/Mata/Darmian all in 1 season AND buy better players costing hundreds of million. It's just not realistic.

    People will find anything to moan about though.
  29. Apr 13, 2019
    #29

    tieunhilang New Member

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    We absolutely would not tolerate Pep binning a long-time servant (Joe Hart) just to bring in a more "flavor of the year" (Bravo) who can use his feet well. Only for him to say "Oops, sorry. I was wrong" one year later and immediately got Ederson. Look how many central defenders Jose got last summer? We just went: "Nope. You brought Bailly. Use him!" when it was clear we needed reinforcements.

    See the difference in treatment between us and City? Pep would not last even 2 seasons here without a mammoth budget to buy (and later replace) whatever he wants.
  30. Apr 13, 2019
    #30

    Denis79 Full Member

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    His lack of work-rate doesn't bother me really. He needs to start making some runs through channels though. Very static player. Has the potential to become great not just good as he is now.
  31. Apr 13, 2019
    #31

    IrishRedDevil Full Member

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    Words mean nothing if the likes of Jones and Young are here and play next season.
  32. Apr 13, 2019
    #32

    -Supreme- New Member

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    You will be disappointed if you expect them to be sold.

    Jones and Young are perfectly fine as squad players but I will be disappointed if he plays Young anywhere near as much as he did this season.
  33. Apr 13, 2019
    #33

    kundalini Full Member

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    Robin Thorpe, head of recovery, has also left in the last month or so. Personally, I don't think the time-frame is realistic for Solskjaer to have pushed out either Walker or Thorpe, and for them to have found jobs in the States by March. The whole apply for job, arrange interview, get the job, arrange start date, would take several months. Solskjaer was only temporary manager until very recently. Far more likely that either there was limited scope for promotion at United, they wanted a change, or that Mourinho's decision to bring in Stefano Rapetti (who left at the same time as Mourinho) as head of fitness last summer, was the catalyst for the decision to move on.

    The manager is constrained by contracts. In some cases he may lose players he would prefer to keep, in other instances, it may not be possible to find anyone prepared to take players he would like to leave. We will have a better idea whether "Survival of the fittest" is just a phrase to use in post-match and pre-match interviews, or whether it is an accurate reflection of the manager's approach, at the start of next season, and then the start of the following season.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  34. Apr 13, 2019
    #34

    FreakyJim Full Member

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    words mean nothing if we continue to put in the least effort from any team in the league

    still, it's nice someone from the club actually acknowledges there's a problem
  35. Apr 13, 2019
    #35

    laughtersassassin Full Member

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    Young is not good enough to ever start anymore. Been like this for months.
  36. Apr 13, 2019
    #36

    settembrini Full Member

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    This is not a very convincing argument.

    United let Mourinho buy a CB in his first season (Bailly) and then a CB in his second season (Linedlof). It was only when he decided the two he had already bought weren't good enough and wanted another new one that Woodward said no. And even then it wasn't an absolute refusal to sign a new player but rather he wanted a big signing like Varane while Mourinho wanted Maguire/Alderweireld level players.

    There's also midfield where we let Mourinho spend £90m on Pogba. Then after Herrera won our POTY as a defensive midfielder we let him waste £40m on Matic which made our midfield worse to the point he needed to spend £50m on Fred to fix it.

    And let's not forget about buying Mkhitaryan, deciding he wasn't good enough and then being allowed to smash our wage structure to pieces to bring in Sanchez, who has been even worse!

    The differenece between United and City in recent windows has been more about them buying the right players and us buying the wrong players rather than them spending freely and us being miserly.
  37. Apr 13, 2019
    #37

    IrishRedDevil Full Member

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    I fully expect them to be playing for United next year, that’s why words mean nothing.
  38. Apr 13, 2019
    #38

    deadrevelz New Member

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    City have also spent more and did so despite already having a better squad than us. The club has generally been a rudderless clusterfeck though I agree.
  39. Apr 13, 2019
    #39

    Paul_Scholes18 Full Member

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    We need to be smart though. Not sure being ruthless to kick out player is the key. Since we do need a squad and buying good players cost a lot and if we want world class guys they cost even more. We need to develop and improve what we got and give played good roles suited for how they play. Of course if someone is not suited for the way we play we might sell them if we get good money. If we can remove say Sanchez to free up wages it would be great too of course.

    Spend most of our money on top quality attacking players suited for the style we want to play. Those are the guys that win you games and makes a big difference. Go for both young raw talent, but also some more proven talent too. Look for cheaper bargains that can improve the squad or spend big in defense too when we can get a good deal.

    Many teams buy far too many average players and struggle to build up cohesion, unity and team spirit.

    Liverpool has done pretty much what I want us to do under Klopp. Start with improving the attack (Mane, Salah) and then go for top players in other areas, but also develop younger/cheaper players and use squad/utility players well. Maybe a failure with keita so far, but I still think it was a fairly good buy from them to improve the midfield.
  40. Apr 13, 2019
    #40

    wolvored Full Member

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    Couldn't have put it better myself