The "We Don't Actually Need A Midfielder" Thread

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by KingEric7, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. May 14, 2012

    NoLogo Full Member

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    I think SAF meant with defensive midfielder someone like Makele whose main job it is to just sit in front of the defenders and clear up all the balls that aren't played over the defense but into the middle of the field. The shield in front of the two CBs so to say.
  2. May 14, 2012

    charlenefan Far less insightful than the other Charley

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    Going to be another disappointing summer for those thinking a central midfielder will be signed
  3. May 14, 2012

    gooDevil Worst scout ever

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    I wouldn't call Carrick a defensive midfielder, he's very well rounded. He can certainly play a holding role in midfield when required, but that's rarely what he's asked to do, imo. When Chelsea play 433 I usually only see 1 defensive midfielder out there, these days usually Mikel.

    But as far as the history of the 433 I'd have to take your word on that.
  4. May 14, 2012

    londonredmaniac I suffer delusions of grandeur

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    We need 2.

    It's fecking simple.
  5. May 14, 2012

    Radamel FalCinao Shagawa Baby!

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    I didn't mean to say he *is* a defensive midfielder, but I think he's generally used by us in that role. Just because you're a defensive midfielder it doesn't mean you can't pass forward well and such. I consider Alonso to be a defensive midfielder too, and his passing range is up there with the very best.
  6. May 14, 2012

    Sunny Jim Full Member

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    yes, we do.

    our positional game is quite simple - pass it around the opponents box, pass it until either of our wingers have enough time to whip a cross in. We lack someone who could dribble through the middle.

    If teams do press us and hassle us we need someone to chase the ball and put some hard tackles in. Tiote-like player would do nicely in my opinion.


    I would also love us to get a striker and a full back who can play on either side.
  7. May 14, 2012

    evra Full Member

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    Regarding the O.P; turns out we did actually.
  8. May 14, 2012

    londonredmaniac I suffer delusions of grandeur

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    We definately need that creative influence and are in desperate need for a player who can actually apply pressure, tackle and be busy.
  9. May 14, 2012

    FlawlessThaw most 'know it all' poster

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    You've left out Park as well from those who have played in midfield. If he is no longer counted as CM (please SAF let that be the case) and we no longer have Pogba and Fletcher then there is space in the squad.
  10. May 14, 2012

    redspoony Full Member

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    Agreed. All the signs point to Kagawa being one.

    I'd love Tiote from Newcastle. An absolute beast who breaks play up and uses the ball simply but effectively. He'd only get better at United.
  11. May 14, 2012

    gooDevil Worst scout ever

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    I meant the way he's asked to play as well, I think he's asked to attack as much as defend, his efforts are well rounded. When we've played 433 in the past it tends to be Fletcher whose the furthest back of the 3 midfielders, or even Anderson, and Carrick is asked to get forward more, but again that's just how I saw it.

    When we play 442 or 4231 I certainly agree he tend to take up deeper position for his passing and puts as much energy into defending as attacking. If that makes him a defensive midfielder, I wouldn't go that far, I reserve that term for someone like Makalele who just sits in front of the defense. But that's just semantics really.
  12. May 14, 2012

    londonredmaniac I suffer delusions of grandeur

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    We need someone in both them moulds yeah. Definately.
  13. May 14, 2012

    apotheosis O'Fortuna

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    WTf? Yes and here's me talking about a general rule of 4-3-3 to encompass every club in football, or just maybe i could be talking specifically about us! :houllier:
  14. May 14, 2012

    Amir Full Member

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    I don't know how the numbers stack up in terms of the 25-men squad, but when it comes to wages we're close to spending 50% of our turnover on salary, which is a figure we do not want to pass. Berbatov may free a lot of cash, but some of that may be taken by another striker.
  15. May 14, 2012

    RedRover Full Member

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    Young - contract running out, still fairly young.

    Jones - young, sell on value, won't be on massive wages.

    We need proven quality, not players for the future or additions to the squad from mid table rivals.

    We need at least two top quality players who can slot straight in, preferably into midfield. Top players will cost top money and will want top wages - that's where we're lacking.
  16. May 14, 2012

    apotheosis O'Fortuna

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    How about reading it and applying it to us and what we have, instead of trying to make it an issue of some type of general law of 4-3-3. You surely know the general point being made.



    Should i be as picky as you and pedantically point out the difference between holding midfielders and defensive midfielders? :p
  17. May 14, 2012

    Moston Red Formerly Giggs1973

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    It's going to be a difficult season if we dont.
  18. May 14, 2012

    charlenefan Far less insightful than the other Charley

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    I disagree, as long as we dont have the injury problems we've had this season we'll be there or thereabouts both in the PL and in Europe with the squad we've got at the moment
  19. May 14, 2012

    RedRover Full Member

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    Based on what?

    In Europe we couldn't get out of the group stages and were frankly awful. Even in the UEFA Cup (or whatever its called now) we were dreadful.

    In the league City (and probably Chelsea) will get stronger while we'd have to rely on two nearly 40 year olds (if they even come back next year).

    United need quality or over the next few years we'll continue to slide. Simple as that.
  20. May 14, 2012

    Ash_G Full Member

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    When we've done 433 with Fletch, Carrick and Ando, Carrick is the holder, Fletch is box to box and Ando is the attacker. He's not a defensive midfielder though, agree on that, can do a job there though.

    If we don't go in for a midfielder, someone who can do box to box, or is a defensively capable deep playmaker ala Carrick/Alonso then I think we'll be making a mistake. An attacking midfielder is fine, particulalry if we don't replace Berba with another striker, but signing no backup/strong partner for Carrick and banking on Fletch again would be a big gamble. It cost us this year unquestionably.
  21. May 14, 2012

    Smores Full Member

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    Probably based on the fact that despite all the injuries we finished joint top with an impressive points tally.

    I don't think the problem is personnel as such, if we knew they'd stay fit then we could go on without reinforcing. As it stands, we'd be taking one hell of a risk going into next season without cover for Carrick.
  22. May 14, 2012

    gooDevil Worst scout ever

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    So you're saying the in type of 433 that United play we need two defensive minded midfielder?

    I'm not trying to be difficult, I just didn't agree with that one point, and it seems Cina agrees that 433 doesn't require 2 defensive midfielders. But I'm not pretending to be any formation expert, I'm glad to learn if I'm missing something.

    The terms are used pretty interchangeably. By all means, what is the difference as you see it?
  23. May 14, 2012

    Ash_G Full Member

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    Depends what you mean by defensively minded. Nearly every 433 I can think off has one specialised defensive player and another who is strong in that area. If we had Carrick and Fletcher fit then we would have that set up too, but without one of them we don't have that. The likes of clev and ando could get away playing in a 3 together sometimes because they'll work hard but they won't be as solid imo, because neither of them have much experience of playing that way and both get attracted to the ball. There's a lot more tactical awareness needed to play Fletcher's role which I hope people appreciate now given Jones performances there.
  24. May 14, 2012

    apotheosis O'Fortuna

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    Yes, for an effective 4-3-3, or a 4-5-1, and more especially for Europe. I actually agree with you on the Madrid 4-2-3-1, that for me would be the best fit for our current crop, but again for that we need another holding player next to Carrick.

    Formations are more fluid now, but my point was after the derby, the reason we are completely ineffective in that 4-5-1 formation is simple. We have one holding player and attack minded players around him attempting to fulfill defensive duties. To allow one midfielder to get forward regularly and stop Rooney becoming isolated we would have required someone better than Scholes defensively next to Carrick.

    Otherwise we may as well have gone 4-4-2. All my points are with regard to Utd. How other teams operate their specific 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formations have little relevance to what we would do because their players may be better suited to other ways of applying the system.

    Holding players as far as i am concerned are more usually all round CM's playing a disciplined role, hence the term 'holding'. They hold their position rather than play box to box which many of the best ones can do. Players who in effect shield the back four but still provide something offensively too.

    DM's are like De Jong, Parker, Makelele etc, just defensive shields, tacklers and destroyers.

    I do agree the terms are more interchangeable these days, players like Carrick, Martinez and Toure can all play CB, because in the modern game there is less need for slide tackling, and in Europe, much less emphasis on crossing.

    But i still think there can be a clear determination made between the 2. What we need is a Sahin or a Toure next to Carrick. Both capable of dictating the play, defending and getting forward. Both are also disciplined enough to hold and allow a specialist AM like Sneijder to get forward and provide the link between Midfield and Attack. Which really was the point i was trying to make, about our inability to remain effective with any other formation other than 4-4-2 because we lack another holding player, that is the point which Cina agreed with.
  25. May 14, 2012

    KingEric7 Conspiracy enthusiast

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    We almost won the double in the season this thread was started. Ultimately, we didn't need to sign a midfielder when this thread was started.


    I fecking own, basically.


    Now is a different matter altogether. We clearly need to sort our shit out in midfield. The return of Scholes was tellingly influential, and Carrick is currently a lot more important than he should be.
  26. May 14, 2012

    RedRover Full Member

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    So what about Europe then? My post was in response to a post which suggested that "we'd be there or there abouts in Europe and in the league". Frankly in Europe we were showed up for what we are - average in key areas.

    People on here ignore the obvious - we're desperate for a decent midfield.

    The fact that Paul Scholes had to be brought back tells you all you need to know. He'll be another year older next year (and without 6 months rest) as will Giggsy - if they're even still around. You think they can keep on and on?

    As regards "injuries" - they happen, and always will. Anderson spends most of the time injured. Can't rely on a player with his record being consistently fit. The club needs to address that.

    Time to face facts - not enough real quaility or strength in depth. Fergie is the best manager in world football and has worked miracles with this squad - but the club shouldn't be relying on that. Going out of europe so early was warning - if that persists the club will only head one way, both as a football club and a business.

    As I've said before - I think in football you're either going backwards or going forwards. As things stand City are heading one way, United the other and it needs to be addressed.
  27. May 14, 2012

    Radamel FalCinao Shagawa Baby!

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    I can't believe there are people who still think we don't need a midfielder.
  28. May 14, 2012

    gooDevil Worst scout ever

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    I tend to think of holding midfielders as defensive shields, a 5th center back, 'holding' their position in front of the back 4 instead of joining the attack so he can't be caught out on a break. So to me Makalele et cetera are holding midfielders. A defensive midfielder is a more generic term for a midfielder who focus more on defense than offense, tactically, a holding midfielder being an extreme version. But that may very well be wrong, most of what I know about football I learned reading the Caf. :D

    Fair enough, I did read back a few in your conversation but I didn't see that you were only talking about United. But I do think we could follow Barca's model of having 3 ball playing midfielders who are fantastic attackers and be very successful. Wouldn't hurt to have an extremely athletic and defensively capable ball playing midfielder like Yaya Toure, but it seems to me that if you can pass around your opponent before he can reach you then it doesn't matter how big he is or small you are. Likewise, if you're quicker and better with your feet you can get the ball off anyone even if they're bigger and stronger.

    But the details of making that work, you got me.
  29. May 14, 2012

    apotheosis O'Fortuna

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    I think it depends on what your priorities are. Me personally, i see the defensive side as our weakness and i believe our form in Europe supports that. It wasn't what we did in possession that was the problem, our problem was we were unable to stop opponents from creating chances against us, and good ones at that.

    We were simply not good enough at tracking runners, or closing down space. Having only one specialist defensive minded player certainly did not help. As i said previously leaving Scholes next to Carrick and allowing Park or Giggs freedom to regularly get forward is in effect leaving us with the same openess through the middle as a 4-4-2 would, only without any of the attacking threat we enjoy from a 4-4-2.

    Ideally we could do with 2 or 3 players to get the type of system Barca have, but for me, the minimum requirement for us is another Carrick. That would enable us to protect the defence, and allow us to change formation effectively even though we are buying only one player.

    Any other position we fill before that one, may increase our effectiveness offensively, but still leaves us with the same defensive problems in midfield.
  30. May 14, 2012

    Radamel FalCinao Shagawa Baby!

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    We need Javi Martinez, or his non-union Mexican equivalent.
  31. May 14, 2012

    Zen86 Full Member

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    That's the joke.
    Senor Martino?
  32. May 14, 2012

    GledTheRed Full Member

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    Should have got cunting Vidal last year.

    cnut sake!
  33. May 14, 2012

    manutddjw Full Member

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    On paper we have the depth in midfield, but the problem is that only Scholes and Carrick can deliver top notch performances consistently. Every other central midfielder we have has a question mark on them.

    Anderson has injury issues and while I think he has improved, he's also he's been hit or miss in regards to his performances. One week he'll be amazing and the next he'll be just terrible and subbed off early. With Anderson, you never really know which Anderson will show up.

    Darren Fletcher has a serious unpredictable illness, that can flare up at anytime without warning. You can't plan or rely on having him in the squad for upcoming fixtures because you really don't know if he'll be okay. He'll have to be used like Michael Owen is, where if he's fit on matchday we'll play him if the opportunity arises. I will say that without the disease, I wouldn't be upset if we didn't sign a midfielder because Fletcher is good enough and consistent.

    Cleverley has shown great potential, and it's a testament to his ability that Sir Alex thought he was good enough to start him in every League game to start this season, until he got injured, over guys like Carrick and Giggs. But like Anderson, he has injury issues and so far he hasn't really been tested or shown what he can do against top class opposition over 90 minutes. Signs are encouraging though.
  34. May 14, 2012

    gooDevil Worst scout ever

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    I think that's a very good post, sir, I agree completely. We're far, far better suited for 4231 with our current squad, and while I'm all for getting more players who excel in a 433 for Europe it will likely take more than 1 season to make that happen, next season we're still likely to be best at a 4231.

    And in that regard, we need someone who can play a more defensive role and help take the pressure off the defense. Carrick himself isn't the most athletic or quickest defender either, it would be great to have someone extremely athletic who can run all day, especially if we're going to play Scholes, in order to compensate for his somewhat lesser ability to run all day.
  35. May 14, 2012

    Ramshock Full Member

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    If anybody seriously thinks we do not need investment in the centre of the field then they are delusional. Btw does the OP still hold his original opinion?
  36. May 14, 2012

    De Selby Likes them tattooed and bald

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    What orthodox central midfielders are out there who we could realistically sign and improve the team? Martinez?

    People keep going on about getting an attacking midfielder, but Ferguson rarely uses attacking midfielders- in fact the last one he bought, Anderson, was almost automatically converted into a box-to-box midfielder (to limited success). He likes deep-lying strikers like Cantona, Sheringham and Rooney to do that no.10 job.
  37. May 14, 2012

    Radamel FalCinao Shagawa Baby!

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    Read up a bit.

    I'm tellin' ya fellas, we need more cowbell!
  38. May 14, 2012

    Moston Red Formerly Giggs1973

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    The main injuries have been more defensive ones this season though.

    I'm not one for spending when we dont need it but I really do think the midfield needs some investment.

    Having said that though if theres noone of the right quality available for the price we're prepared to pay then theres not a lot we can do.
  39. May 14, 2012

    RedRover Full Member

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    That's the major issue - Fergie knows as well as anyone that top players cost big bucks - look at the money spent on players in the past - records broken left right and centre to get the right player, at the right time.

    Yet suddenly "there's no value in the market"? The same can be said for players United paid well over the odds for in the past but it didn't stop Fergie taking the plunge - and it largely proved a succesful policy.

    The odd big name to improve the squad was ideal - yet at the time we look most desperate, nothing's done. An example of Fergie having to "tow the party line" in my opinion.
  40. May 14, 2012

    Pogue Mahone Poster of the year 2008

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    the only difference seems to be the age of players who we're willing to pay "well over the odds for". The fee for Phil Jones was much higher than a lot of clubs were paying for established centre-halves. Bearing in mind how well this has worked with the likes of Ronaldo and Rooney, I don't have a problem with continuing to do the same.

    Besides, apart from Rio (a whole 10 years ago) when has "paying well over the odds" for an established star ever worked out well for us? Seems to me that particular strategy has bitten us on the arse (Hargreaves, Berbatov) a lot more often than it's borne fruit. All our best signings of Fergie's reign would fit with this "value" thing people keep talking about, if you ask me.

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