Tom Cleverley | 2012-14 Performances

Discussion in 'Player Performances Forum' started by Bebe, Jul 7, 2012.

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  1. Sep 6, 2013

    Walrus Oppressed White Male

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    Just going to throw it out there that I think the thing which really hinders Cleverley is the shape that we play.

    We employ essentially a 4-2-3-1 (call it a 4-5-1 or 4-4-1-1 or whatever, same shit). In this lineup, Cleverley is not technically sound enough nor productive enough in goals/assists to operate in the #10 role behind the striker (especially when we have Rooney and Kagawa), but he isnt a defensive holding midfielder either, which is the role that the "2" tend to play in this 4-2-3-1.

    The system which would suit Toms natural game would be that of a 4-3-3, whether you have a single holding midfielder playing behind two central midfielders, and then the front three playing well ahead. In this role he has the freedom to get forward and exploit the space left behind the 3 attackers and thread passes through, without being under pressure to be the one to deliver, but he is also not so defensively liable and can therefore afford to venture forward.

    In an England midfield of say Carrick sitting behind Wilshere and Cleverley, he would thrive.
  2. Sep 6, 2013

    Ash_G Full Member

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    Problem though is what does clev do that would make a team want to drop someone else or move someone else out of position to get the best out if him? Clev can be a good player but I can't see him ever being a player you would design your system around to accommodate.
  3. Sep 6, 2013

    Walrus Oppressed White Male

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    Indeed and im not suggesting that we do. Simply that its a possible explanation for his apparant underperformances and failure to live up to some of the potential (although I still think he is/will be a good player).

    Its a tough one for him as I cant see him becoming an influential player for us without substantially adapting his game, but nor do I imagine him realstically leaving anytime soon.
  4. Sep 6, 2013

    Ash_G Full Member

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    Could be, personally I think if you have to play a certain way to look good then there's a problem in your game. I mean even in our system it's not like Rooney is so far away that clev can't play off him or anything. It's like when some argue that he doesn't look as good because ando isn't there it carrick can't do a certain style. If you're a good player you can play with a variety of players and still do your game. I mean taking carrick, sure he's had two great seasons in a row but even before that but for one dip in form he been a very effective player for us, playing with a huge amount f partners, many of whom have needed lots f protection from him.

    In fact if anything clev is in the best position of any if our midfielders in the past few years to really show what he can do because he actually has a partner in his prime and playing like it, something we've had rarely over the past 6-7 years.
  5. Sep 6, 2013

    Stack Leave Women's Football Alone!!!

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    We need at least 4 cm players available for all the games we have to play during a season. We still havent signed anyone who pushes Tom out of the main 4 places. Even if he isnt a starter he is still going to be an important part of our squad.
  6. Sep 6, 2013

    Cina Call me Korean

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    The thing that hinders Cleverley is Cleverley, cause he's not really good enough at any one particular facet of football in order to be anything more than a normal, solid midfielder.
  7. Sep 6, 2013

    Ash_G Full Member

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    Oh yeah and that's fine, he's certainly a good option to have, I just don't think he's ready for the first eleven. Hopefully this will be a challenge for him now and spur him to up his game like fletcher did following Hargreaves and ando arriving.
  8. Sep 7, 2013

    Devil may care Full Member

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    That's pretty much it in a nutshell, he's a tidy little player who is useful over a long season, but his future is as a squad player rather than regular starter.
  9. Sep 7, 2013

    ghaliboy Snitches on Tom Hagen

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    He can't exactly put on 15kg of hench and grow 6 inches can he though? If he wants to play in that deeper role with Carrick then it's utterly pointless him trying to play a combat role. He's not big enough or solid enough.

    When he broke onto the scene in a few friendlies before the loan move to Wigan he was playing as a second striker come AM and he was a lot better there. Able to use his quick touch passing and smart movement where it matters in free positions of threat. This deeper role where he gets nowhere near the goalmouth is totally pointless for a player with his locker imo.

    I am not sure what more he can do in the eyes of the fans other than give 100% all the time and if it's not enough, cop the flack. His skillset is not that of a deeper midfielder and especially alongside a player like Carrick.
  10. Sep 7, 2013

    ninety Full Member

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    Yep hit the nail on the head. He was at his best at the start of 11/12 season when he was playing a far more freer role which is his natural game imo. Him sitting back and just retaining possession and just being neat and tidy isn't doing him justice. He was far more valuable to us when he was using that slick one touch passing and smart movement to create opportunities and set up the play. We aren't seeing that from him in a deeper role. I'd personally like to see us return to that 11/12 formation but with Carrick or Fellaini at the base protecting the back four. I think it was the right idea from Fergie just needed someone to play behind Cleverley and Anderson so as to not leave the defence hopelessly exposed like it was. I don't see why that couldn't work. Plus Cleverley has only had one full season at United, his first season doesn't really count. He has a lot more to offer.
  11. Sep 7, 2013

    ghaliboy Snitches on Tom Hagen

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    Obviously he'll be behind Rooney and Kagawa when they are both fit but I feel that it is where he will be more comfortable.
  12. Sep 7, 2013

    Ash_G Full Member

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    But the problem is that he doesn't have the skillset to be a good a/m. He's far too safe a player. The majority of time I see him his thought is to keep the ball moving, which is fine but the problem is, is that that often ends up with him passing it sideways and can actually end up wasting a good opportunity, that happened a few times against Chelsea in the first half. I find him reluctant to get the ball and do something facing towards the opposition goal. He doesn't carry the ball particularly well, I've not seen him get past people, if he's in a corner he's gonna need help to get out and I don't see him as an incisive passer.

    He's a neat player with a good first touch in fairness but personally I think he's stuck between neither being an a/m or a c/m. He doesn't seem to influence from deep much and often ends up drifting which causes issues defensively, but he's not so good that you would let him push up and be an attacking player unless you had a lot of injuries.

    I think he's gonna have to work on his impact from a deeper role and it really shouldn't matter if it's next to a player "like Carrick". Carrick has shone playing with Clev, Scholes, Fletcher, Ando, Giggs and Jones. Your partner has some impact on you, but it shouldn't be enough for you not to be able to impose yourself on a game. If it is then that's a problem that you have. In fact tbh I would say that's Clevs biggest problem. If the attacking players are playing well then he fits in nicely, doesn't do anything stupid and will help them get out of a tight spot and then give it back to them to actually do something with it. But when they're not playing well he doesn't seem to have it in him to do something himself at least not often enough yet.
  13. Sep 7, 2013

    Cina Call me Korean

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    Yeah, What Ash said!
  14. Sep 7, 2013

    ghaliboy Snitches on Tom Hagen

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    Do you mean second striker? Or an AM with no goal threat. Because he's not played either of those roles consistently at a first team level since those few friendlies before the loan move. Even at Wigan he played mostly as a left sided winger/wing forward (with the odd appearance here and there).

    He just doesn't have the physical ability to play in that deeper role as the tackling player. These first few games and the odd game last season showed that. Even in the first few games of last season when Carrick was having a mare people were slating Cleverley for some reason and to me it was apparent then that he doesn't flourish when he has such a static player in Carrick beside him. Don't get me wrong it's great experience for him and any time is good time for him to develop but it's a physicality problem it has nothing to do with his technical ability. He can pass competently enough, move smartly enough and pull strings if he needs to. This season he's not got within seeing distance of goal. He's basically been stuck hassling so deep that when he does look for a quick pass and move option he usually doesn't get the ball back from Carrick because he's not a similar player.

    The reason he did so well with Anderson was that extra mobility in beside him. A genuine on the ball runner who complemented the fact that he was a quick pass and move player.

    I couldn't really make sense of the bolded part to be honest. His problem can't really be himself if he's not playing in a comfortable position due to his physical ability and not his technical one. He just simply and probably never has been a deeper playing midfielder. He's more of a second striker or attacking midfield playmaker. The problem at the moment is that we don't have a genuine number 10 to play there. We've used Welbeck and Giggs as floating players and when we had Rooney against Chelsea he never got forward at all because of the awareness to make sure we snuffed the counter attack. That to me tells met hat we have a pretty smart and disciplined midfielder. Carrick is not known to maraud forward and take people on so instantly that is an incompatible partner to the game that Cleverley plays. Much like when Anderson plays with Carrick we look horrible because Ando has absolutely no positional discipline at all and is all over the shop carrying the ball and going berzerk every which way. If we allowed Cleverley to play further forward in his more natural position behind a front striker or pulling the strings in front of the deeper midfielders then we will see his impact improve. Which is why I hope that if Rooney and Kagawa are out he gets that chance. Moyes might opt for the safe option of playing a different style I am not sure.

    I definitely think Cleverley is getting a bit of the raw end of the stick as far as this thread goes. Some people saying that he's not going to make it and that he's pointless etc etc. It's fecking harsh, the lad is clearly a talent and has the ability to play further forward with a platform. A compatible game combination for Carrick is something we've lacked since Fletcher was injured and if you go back to 2007/08 and that period of a couple of years with Hargreaves and then Fletcher playing roles beside Carrick we had some very successful periods there. Since the unfortunate injury to Fletcher our squad has lacked exactly that type of fast closer, tireless harrier and unafraid tackler and it has shown most definitely. In Carrick's numbers and in the style that we've played and being very open on the counter.
  15. Sep 7, 2013

    Ash_G Full Member

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    He's played in the hole for England and done ok, but looked clearly below the level to do that role for a good team and he didn't look able to do much himself. I certainly got the impression from people I watched game etc that they couldn't really see what Clev was bringing. Kept it well but as I've said before that's the minimum England and certainly United should be expecting from their players.

    But in general my point is that I can't see what he would offer in that position. He doesn't carry the ball particularly well, doesn't seem an incisive passer, hasn't shown himself to be a goal threat and clearly isn't a physical impact player. As I said he's got a good touch and he'll help keep the ball but that's not enough. Pretty good cross though tbf.

    I'm not expecting him to be a deep laying enforcer but he needs to do more from deep. The majority of games what is he really doing? Carrick does more defensive work and Carrick is clearly the more probing passer. It's not a balanced partnership. I'm not saying it's beyond Cleveley to be able to influence my point is that he's not right now.

    As I said I don't like the argument that he can only play well next to someone like Ando. That was my point that you highlighted. Carrick has played with a large range of partners, with very different styles, almost all of them needing Carrick to cover them. Yet he's managed to either be very effective or in the past 2 seasons one of our best players next to any of them. Plus personally I think Carrick can do that style but the problem is that we don't always want to approach games in that way, Clev needs to be able to express himself in different match approaches.

    Clev is in a rare position atm. He has had and still has in Carrick a midfielder partner in his prime. He's got someone to share the burden, who can cover him etc and so he should be able to express himself. Again I don't see him doing that enough. Hopefully with Fellaini the extra competition will push him on.

    I don't dislike Clev but at the same time I don't think he's good enough yet to be a starter for us. As I've said he's need to be able to influence more from a deeper role or he needs to balance his game more such that he provides good defensive protection to make up for his lack of attacking contribution. I personally can't see at all how he will ever be good enough to be a number 10 for a good club. He's got nothing to his game to suggest he would do there. You've mentioned about Kagawa or Rooney being out and him playing there but I would much rather either play two strikers or move RVP deeper to cover that before I put Clev there if the opposition were decent.
  16. Sep 7, 2013

    devilish Drivelish

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    No one knows what Moyes has in mind. However there are various hints around to be able to bridge the dots together. We tried to sign 2-3 playmakers (Herrera, Fabregas, Thiago) + we signed Fellaini who is NOT a playmaker. That suggest that Moyes would want a 3 men CM. In my opinion both Clev and Anderson have 3 or 7 months time to convince Moyes that they are the players United need in that role. If they fail then I believe that one would end up leaving and the other will end up on the bench. By the looks of it Ando is favorite for the former and Clev would be favorite for the latter.
  17. Sep 7, 2013

    psychdelicblues Full Member

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    But that is same formation he plays in with Carrick in the side now.
  18. Sep 7, 2013

    RedSky Hereford Harlot

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    tbh, Clev reminds me of Carrick when he first came to the club, he was pretty ordinary playing alongside Scholes and was the master of P2P (pass to Paul). He'll develop into a very good player imo will Tom, but he needs experience to do that. To settle his nerves and be used to the first team squad, to be able to express himself more during a match.
  19. Sep 7, 2013

    marjen Desperately wants to be like Noodle

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    Carrick when signed was several levels ahead of what Tom Cleverley is now. It's barely comparable. He's always had so much more to his game compared to Tom, especially defensively.
  20. Sep 7, 2013

    NotoriousISSY $10mil and I fecked it up!

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    Odd point of view, not discrediting your opinion but I'm pretty astounded by it.

    People rate Carrick's last 18 months as the best of his United career, but I was fascinated by what he did to the team and how his inclusion gelled so much together in 2006. I don't think Cleverley is and will ever be close to Carrick but remains a fantastic player to have in the squad because he can play various roles and positions fairly comfortably without being spectacular.
  21. Sep 7, 2013

    Genius Me! Proud EE fan, 10k club member & NSFW crew member

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    I wonder if Tom puts in the extra hours in training as he did when he was younger. He just needs to gain more confidence in himself to play more forward passes. He needs to work on his shooting as well, I remember he was scoring quite a few goals 4 years ago but he's lost his composure when shooting.
  22. Sep 7, 2013

    Sixpence Erroneously Promoted

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    I think playing him in a 3 with Carrick and Fellaini will suit him more. Want him playing further up the pitch.
  23. Sep 7, 2013

    Ekeke Full Member

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    What we saw from Cleverley a few weeks ago is that he can play that Carrick role, maybe just beside Carrick or maybe beside Fellaini because unlike Anderson, Fellaini will make quite a few tackles and help him out. Thats one thing he can do.

    He can also play the general central midfield role, which he did last season. Win the ball a few times, pass the ball about and linkup with wingers/attackers. He can do that, especially with Welbeck in the team as the two have a good understanding.

    And when he plays we're generally better because he moves the ball at a good tempo, sees a pass early and it usually gets to its target.

    The only problem with him being a really good player in either of those 2 roles is... He's incredibly inconsistant. Or consistantly not completely convincing with the odd game where he's really good in those roles. You decide.
  24. Sep 7, 2013

    #07 makes new threads with tweets in the OP

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    I'm not denying this is the case but as I recall when Carrick was signed nobody was overwhelmed. In fact the major concern a lot of people had was that we sold Ruud and didn't buy a striker.

    Over the past few days lots of people have said this reminds me of when we signed Carrick and others have immediately shot back that it's nothing like that. Really? Cos I remember the summer of 2006 very differently. Nobody thought Carrick was worth £18 million, lots of people were concerned Chelsea had got Ballack (and Sheva lol) and nobody knew quite how Schokes would come back or how Rooney-Ronaldo would function.

    There was no fanfare attached to the signing of Carrick, there was a lot of grumbling we'd been ripped off and up until the Rona game a lot of people saw Carrick as an obvious upgrade on Smudge in midfield but nothing great. Loads were delighted when we signed Hargreaves and prophesied Carrick's end.

    Lots of revisionism going on here to talk down Clev. Really it's only been on the last year or so that Carrick has truly won over the crowd. Plenty of groans about him even in 2010/11.

    As for Cleverely he's not likely to become the next Xavi but I can see him getting to Artera level in a few years and I'd be delighted with that. Like most players he'll work his way to the top not get there on natural talent but by time he hits 28/29 he'll be one of the most solid centre midfielders in thx league.
  25. Sep 7, 2013

    Genius Me! Proud EE fan, 10k club member & NSFW crew member

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    If you put Kagawa and/or Nani in the team there's the potential for some nice football. But Cleverley will have to step his game up to justify getting into that team.
  26. Sep 7, 2013

    Shark @NotShark

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    The signing of Fellaini might just be the wake-up call Cleverly needs. He'll have no choice but to step up his game and we'll finally see if he has what it takes to do so now.
  27. Sep 7, 2013

    psychdelicblues Full Member

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    Playing in a 3 mean means playing in Rooneys/Kagawa and possibly Welbeck's position. I cannot see it happening.
  28. Sep 7, 2013

    Ekeke Full Member

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    Yes, sometimes when you sign a player its the reaction of your own players that might make it worthwhile, due to competition and keeping the squad fresh etc. For example how much Scholes improved over the seasons following us signing Veron. Without the extra competition he may not have
  29. Sep 7, 2013

    Ash_G Full Member

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    But what do you see in his game that would make him player good enough for us at the top of the pitch? He's not a good dribbler or the ball, doesn't have power, hasn't shown a real cutting edge with his passing nor a good eye for goal. If we do for for a three then I would expect him to be be well below kagawa and Rooney for that role and then you have to consider whether we would bring him in over say Hernandez.
  30. Sep 7, 2013

    Sixpence Erroneously Promoted

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    He was a goalscoring midfielder when he's been out on loan so he can definitely score goals. He needs to come out of his shell a little bit and be given license to be more creative further up the pitch.
  31. Sep 7, 2013

    RedRover Full Member

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    He won't get that chance at United because he's not good enough with the ball at his feet. Decent passer, works hard - simply not a great player, although valuable to have in the squad.

    He's not good enough to play "in the hole" and has much better players in front of him in that position. His best chance of a long career at United is to do what he does - work hard, but maybe to develop a bit more discipline and look at himself as a defensive midfield player.

    He has limited ability but Fletcher was similar and found a niche for himself and Cleverly could do the same.
  32. Sep 7, 2013

    Twigginater WUM Alert!

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    Really like this kid.

    I think he'll only get better and better with age. CM's sometimes develop late so I'm hoping to see some progress from him. Think one day we'll be thankful we gave him so many appearances when he was younger.
  33. Sep 7, 2013

    Ash_G Full Member

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    I think it's one thing scoring at championship level, he didnt get a lot of goals for Wigan. Personally I would say he's been given plenty of opportunity to create, albeit from a deeper starting point but he's never been ties to that role except for in the biggest games. There's no reason why he couldn't be creating more from where he is. Personally I think he keeps it to safe.
  34. Sep 7, 2013

    amolbhatia50k Sneaky bum time

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    What do we think he was doing differently when he broke on to the scene? He was a lot more impressive then. Or is just a case of losing form? There was a lot more movement and dynamism in the team i guess when he came initially.
  35. Sep 7, 2013

    Twigginater WUM Alert!

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    I still think he's playing well.

    Players go through dips in form. Sometimes the "excitement" of a new player means fan overexagerate their good games more. Now he's accomplished we might want something else.
  36. Sep 7, 2013

    Earthquake Pokemon expert

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    Not enough afro, tbh.
  37. Sep 7, 2013

    Cina Call me Korean

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    People exaggerate his early performances, I think. He was alongside another very attack minded midfielder and we were rubbish at the back as a result. Also, our wingers and strikers were immense then too and they were the real reason we were so good. Back then people seemed to think he was our second coming in midfield which was all a bit silly really.

    He's good, probably good enough to the third/fourth choice here which he likely now is with Fellaini.
  38. Sep 7, 2013

    amolbhatia50k Sneaky bum time

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    There was a bit of new player excitement but only because the new player looked really good. I thought he looked a step ahead in teams of his football brain and quick decision making and were not seeing so much of that these days.
  39. Sep 7, 2013

    Cina Call me Korean

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    Are you sure it's not cause we weren't used to seeing a midfielder actually run and pass with the football?
  40. Sep 7, 2013

    amolbhatia50k Sneaky bum time

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    Are we now used to it?

    I think it's probably down to the team then suiting him. Apart from the defending the whole team was playing that sexy one touch short passing stuff which probably suited him much better than the more far apart game we play these days
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