Discussion in 'Player Performances Forum' started by Bebe, Jul 7, 2012.
What evil is this? I cast thee out, foul spirit.
Mmmm... Phil jones was a bit of a disaster in Europe but it wasn't just him. We had full-backs both repeatedly getting caught upfield at the same time and David De Gea in full on rabbit in headlights mode. Complete defensive nightmare, for the vast majority of those games.
Disagree about Everton. If Rafael hadn't been fecking ball-watching and had bothered his arse to track his man at least two of those goals could have been prevented. Besides, it was only the width of the post that stopped the game from turning into a complete route. Fine margins an' all that.
Anyhoo, I'd almost wiped that game from my memory. feck you for bringing it all back.
What I don't get is, whenever he's acknowledged that there's a problem in other positions, he's made the signing he felt were right, almost straight away. We probably didn't have much more than two years at the very most to identify our new GK, probably a lot shorter, but still managed to sign De Gea the summer Edwin left, not wait four years without doing anything with the problem or hoping a youth GK stepped up.
Why is Ferguson so reluctant to sign a midfielder? He's signed a lot of players in areas we didn't really need strengthening to that extent, yet is reluctant to sign even one midfielder who's supposed to be challenging for a first team place. It's just bizarre. Even if he did hope Pogba or Morrison or whatever would step up, it's absurd to bank on it completely.
I think Djemba's face still haunts his dreams. He probably still wakes up screaming. And whenever he starts looking at potential recruits there he has a panic attack just thinking about it.
We're like a soldier going into battle against guys in modern body-armour, who's wearing mediaeval chain-mail and a woolly jumper and insisting that his heart is adequately protected because he has a good helmet, quality boots, three broken ribs and a cock.
To be fair, watching Anderson's fat arse waddle around in training, being reminded that I've spent a shitload of my company's money on it and little else, would probably convince me too to hold the purse strings a bit tighter.
That, and the remains of Owen Hargreaves in the treatment room, should serve well as a repellant for any new midfield signings in the short to medium term.
Djemba twins aside, it's not as though he hasn't tried to beef up our midfield since. There's the fact we signed Hargreaves, not to mention the whole Ramsey debacle. I do find it strange that he obviously saw these two players as worthy of adding to our squad yet hasn't yet felt the need to replace them.
You could say we were unlucky in midfield last year with Fletcher having to be written off, and both Anderson and Cleverley being non-contributors. Maybe Fergie feels that his luck is bound to change, and is willing to roll the dice again?
It was our finest attacking performance of the season, one of the finest since Ronaldo left, and that Rooney-Welbeck goal was instantly one of my all-time favourite United goals. Then it happened, and to this day I can't watch Rooney's goal back. It was especially horrid because I'm an incredibly pessimistic football fan, to the point that I often don't celebrate goals because I always have that voice in the back of my mind saying we'll probably throw it away.
When Rooney scored that goal I threw all my trepidation out the window and celebrated not just the match, but the title. I genuinely think that disastrous, unprecedented, unaccountable three minutes has permanently damaged my ability to enjoy football, as melodramatic as that no doubt sounds. So yeah, I sympathise.
beacuse there isnt many (if any) centre midfielders around who are realistically available and who would go into our side. therefore fergie is reluctant to to sign an average midfielder who would only hold back ando, cleverley and petrucci who he obviousley has faith in. if xavi, iniesta, alonso, busquets, fabregas, yaya toure, ozil, schweinsteiger etc showed any interest in the slightest in wanting to join us then fergie would be in like a shot.
mvilla, witchel, sahain and who ever else is flavour of the month in the caf at the moment will all have been watched numerous times (alot more often and in depth than all the muppets on here who qoute their stats) and from watching them in action it has been determined that they would not improve us.
Who is it who constantly comes back to the theory that SAF is just shit scared of signing midfielders? Cina maybe? It sounds silly at first but the more you think about it, the more sense it makes. Once you have eliminated what is impossible, whatever is left, no matter how improbably, has to be the truth. I think that might be where we are. Kleb, Djemba, Hargreaves, Anderson, Miller.... all for different reasons, but a long list of SNAFUs. He must be sick to death with the whole sorry business.
I think that's slightly besides the point. I'm not asking for the bloody pig rider. In the matches against Basel and Blackburn last time around, actually HAVING a midfielder would immensely improve us. You know, a midfielder, not Phil Jones, Park, Rafael, Wayne Rooney, or Ryan Giggs. An actual midfielder.
Having a midfielder of decent quality who could play week in, week out, and form a partnership with for instance Michael "The Geordie Postman" Carrick would most definately improve us. I refuse to believe that the scouting team that found Javier Hernandez couldn't find a decently talented midfielder who wouldn't cost more than say Phil Jones or Ashley Young.
I have similar thoughts from a game against the same opposition. I was away at a wedding but snuck off to watch the match which ended in that last minute collapse when Gary fecking Neville hoofed the ball upfield - for no good reason - in the closing seconds, allowing Everton to complete a ridiculous comeback. Watching United has not been the same since.
The fact that Cleverley is put a lot of faith in, along with Pogba, Morrison, Petrucci, even Anderson, lends credency to this theory. The signing of Powell too makes sense, because it's at such a low risk, no one will lament it if he goes all Liam Miller-esque. Also, the Scholes resurrection, which whatever Ferguson will say was in deed desperate...
As I said, the ghostly remains of Owen Hargreaves and the very much physical presence of Anderson(which in football terms might as well be called "remains" as well), combined with a previous transfer history of having signed Kleberson, Djemba-Djemba, some guy we never saw and a guy who ended up becoming the cone guy half a fecking century ago..
I would not actually dismiss it completely, silly as it sounds.
they have they;ve found nick powell, petrucci, pogba, anderson but midfielder mature slower than forwards.
we had a massive injury crisis. at times last year both in centre mid and centre half. everybody refers to the basle / blackburn disasters. I dont think it unreasonble of fergie to have expected fletcher, anderson or cleverley to be available for those games.
we will go into the season with anderson and cleverley fit, scholes back and carrick rested. we are therefore in a much better position than we where last year. we also have kagawa, powel and petrucci. in addition, we also have vidic back making it less likeley that carrick will need to fill in at centre half.
whilst i whole heartedley agree that we could do with a world class centre midfielder i just dont think there is one around that we can get. while that is the case i would rather put faith in cleverley and anderson until the time when a midfielder who can improve our team is available
Yeah, that's a huge part of my previous trepidation being at such an obscene level, because prior to that nightmare I'd always accepted that once you get into injury time with a two goal lead, the match is over and you can finally relax. That's been gone completely ever since, but at least that match didn't cost us anything. The Everton match was not only ridiculous on its own terms, it also meant we'd thrown away an eight point lead.
I mean really, will any United fan ever feel confident about winning a title before it's actually won ever again? Remember how delighted we all were to go five points clear after the Everton comeback in 2007, or when Arshavin allowed us to stretch our lead over Liverpool to a massive three points, well those feelings are never fecking happening again.
edit: On the subject of throwing matches away, prior to Bayern in 2010 we hadn't failed to win a match we'd been leading by two goals in over ten years. Since then we've done it four times in two years. It's not even like it's United fans getting to experience trauma which is standard for other, less privileged fans. I don't think any other team in the PL has ever thrown a way a two goal lead in fecking injury time. The closest would be QPR, and those cnuts actively celebrated conceding twice at the death.
Maybe. Either way, if we find ourselves in exactly the same situation again, will we be able to say, again, it was reasonable to expect it all to be OK? Or will we have to say, loads of us saw this coming. So why wasnt anything done about it? We are not picking over the bones of what might have been here. We are preparing for another title challenge.
I echo Marjen here. A world class centre mid to take us to another level would be lovely. Failing that, someone who is not world class will do. Someone premiership class. Someone who can do a job, who we can pick up for a reasonable price. You dont have to be that good to be a better option that some of the people we had to play in there last season.
'Scared' is a bit strong though, more so reluctant.
I think he'd rather milk Scholes, Giggs and Carrick for all they're worth whilst he still can before spending another £20m+ on a midfielder.
The only midfielder out of those you've mentioned that has been anywhere near a first team regular feature, is Anderson, which let's face it isn't a very good footballer on the evidence of his years at OT, nor likely to, say, become reasonably fit or not get injured for 5 months a season. He cost more than Young and Jones, by all accounts.
I don't even think we need this world class midfielder you talk about, another proven, reliable midfielder of good PL quality with the ability to stay fit from time to time would do rather nicely. Then we could've afforded to flog Anderson, or let Scholes enjoy his retirement, and still be able to blood the likes of Powell and Petrucci.
It would have certainly helped having midfielders in midfield against Basle, as opposed to a defender, a wide player, and a semi-converted wide player. We might even not have lost and gone out....to Basle.
See, I thought our midfield was a huge problem in the final run in. Not so much distribution wise, as Scholes will probably still be class at that when he's 50, but by the last month or so his age caught up with him again, along with Giggs, and with Carrick being the type of player he is, we must have had the most static midfield in Europe. It looked like they were trying to play a giant game of foosball while a real game of football went on around them. As soon as teams pressed on to us at all it was bad news.
Then there was the Blackburn game...
No. The logic here is that unless we get one of the Barcelona triumvirate to play for us, it's futile looking for midfielders
Thought Clev played well yest. If he can stay fit then I think he'll slot in well. Only issue is how much he'll be able to actually pass and move which a lot of his game seems to be based on. GB didn't exactly keep possession amazingly well and a better team would probably exposed the space that the likes of Clev were leaving with their game plan. Carrick's a better holding player though so that will help and if Clev can striker up a good balance with Kagawa ahead of him then could work well.
As for signing a midfielder, I've said before if everyone is fit, from a creative issue I don't see much wrong. Because of our style we don't need a massively creative centre, we really just need two balanced players in there. We've not really had a chance to see that with injuries. Now we can hope that clev and ando stay fit, and in scholes, giggs, powell there is, even if not ideal, cover. Personally I'm happy to given them one more season to prove they can stay fit and then have an impact.
However as I've said before we have no cover, other than a sick Fletcher for Carrick. If he get's injured then personally I think europe and the league are out of the question. The job carrick provides is just too important given the weaknesses virtually all our midfielders have. Maybe you could get away with Ando and Clev as a partnership provided they're fit at the same time, but personally I think it would be as open as it was last season. But if one of them is out then that means you're looking at clev/ando partnering a scholes, giggs or powell or potentially Jones, if they're both out...it's not good. That to me is a midfield with obvious weaknesses and without getting lucky will get exposed. We need cover for Carrick and in some games, games where we want to be defensively solid, someone who can come in alongside him to give that that. It's something we lack and without it, it will make rotating very difficult and risky and simply make the threat of injury a big problem. It's not unreasonable to expect that Carrick might not be fit for everygame, or available, so having an alternative for the most important role in our midfield, for me is something we can't avoid.
Carrick, Cleverley and Kagawa is a very good central trio actually. Kagawa will link up play in central areas, and Cleverley can race forward to support him and play quick give and goes while Carrick holds and dictates play from deep. In theory it sounds sexy.
I think Cleverley is one player who'll definately benefit from a player of Kagawa's ilk in the side.
You never know, maybe SAF didn't actually care about how defensively shit we were with Cleverley and Anderson and just wants to flood the team with attacking players so we can just outscore everyone. Anything is possible when it comes to our midfield now.
I would be fine with that actually, until such a time comes when Ando and Cleverley get's a knock and we can't do that anymore.
Having said that, I've decided our CM is fine now with Carrick/Cleverley in behind Kagawa. Don't sign anyone SAF, we've got it all covered. I think.
You must be joking?
I think the main problem here is that as United fans we've been spoilt in midfield for so long. Look at the list in recent history, Robson, Ince, Keane, Scholes.
Where the feck can you buy that kind of quality now?
That's just not true at all. We haven't had a really good midfield pairing since Carrick and Scholes in 06/07, not to mention the fact that we've had far more failure signings than success signings there. It's been a thorn in our side for a very long time, we've just been lucky because Scholes and Keane were in it their whole careers.
You've named 4 players there, how many wingers, forwards and center backs could you name? A feckload more.
Well, I'm not entirely sure, but I don't think you can buy that kind of quality from Crewe. Also, I don't think the solution is giving up and playing a positionally indiciplined right back in CM alongside a decent winger.
Depends on your definition of recent really, doesnt it. Midfield has been our weak link since arguably before Keane left, or if not certainly since he left.
While we was still here even. kleberson, Miller, Djemba x 2 etc.
Seriously, in the last 8 or 9 years we've only had one consistently good midfield pairing through a season, Carrick and Scholes in 06/07.
We've been far from 'spoilt' there.
Not really I don't think you can say we had much of a issue with Midfield after Keane left, the following season we brought in carrick and we was much better for it as Keane was starting to really look like a shadow, the year after that we brought in Hargreaves and Anderson who was both looking great signings and we won a league and European Cup double, we lost Hargreaves but Fletcher was developing into real quality untill a sudden dip in form which seems obvious it was down to illness now. There is clearly need to strengthen now as with injuries to Hargreaves, Fletcher and Anderson we have not quite developed in that position as well as might have been expected but Keane left towards the end of 2005 and it can not be said we was weak in midfield between 2006-09 because we clearly wasn't.
Yeah but our midfield in previous seasons has been solid. Fletcher and Carrick when they were a combo weren't the most exciting, and for me we didn't get the best out of them as Carrick was right in his rough patch, but those two were both either playing together or one of them was available. As I said that brought a stability to the middle, we might not have been the most creative there but it got the job done. With Fletcher out though we don't have that alternative, no one other then Carrick who is solid defensively, in their physical peak and experienced. If Fletcher, and I'd love it if he did, got back to his best or close to it then I'd be fine with the midfield, but with him seemingly out then it's a big hole that no one is capable of filling in the current squad.
Sorry but Fletcher and Carrick was a terrible combo. 2 very good midfielders who just did not suit each other at all. It was always an issue because they both generally needed Scholes or Giggs alongside them to play at their best.
The unit of Carrick-Fletcher-Anderson (or Giggs) was exceptional when they used to play together. Our midfield problems only really exist because Anderson turned into a crock, Fletcher died, and Giggs is 40. Trying to backdate them like this to make it seem all the more desperate is just silly.
I'd say that even in our 07-08 double winning season, CM was THE part of the team that was the weakest. It wasn't weak, as in depending on Tom Cleverley and the geriatrics weak, but it wasn't as strong as VdS, that brilliant defense with Rio/Vidic as stalwarts, and the three-headed attack of Ronaldo/Rooney/Tevez.
Hargreaves never really impressed me in CM, his best performances came as a wide player. Anderson impressed at times, and showed promise, true enough. Fletcher had a decent to good season, before having a very good one the next year(and even at his best Fletcher still wasn't a top, top player in CM) and Giggs wasn't fully converted into a CM. Scholes and Carrick was a good pairing, if not as good as the year before.
Even at that time, it looked absolutely certain that a Scholes-replacement would need to be a priority in a year or two, and it just hasn't happened. Obviouslly, Fergie thought Anderson would be that player, but now he needs to wake up and acknowledge that is not going to happen.
Agree, Cina, when Keane was still here we had the issue of "replacement" evidently weighing heavily on us - those three you mention all spring to mind. Widnes, I am not saying you can draw a straight line between then and now and say our midfield has been shit the whole time. We had Scholes, we had Carrick, we had Fletcher coming good before his injury and players we were all (or mostly) excited about as big prospects - Anderson for example. But it has always been a weak link - if not the weakest link - for me (at times the defence has probably been worse). Not that it was necessarily weak, but considering our aspirations and the quality we have had elsewhere, it always looked a little weaker. To me, anyway.
It does go back to what Redfighter said in a way: we have had such formidable midfielders in the past, it does make it all the more conspicuous that we have not had that kind of leadership and excellence for the last 8 years or whatever it is.
That's the key I would emphasise here. It all has to be set in context. I wouldnt argue out midfield is really shit. I might say that but it is shorthand. What I mean if I say that is that the team is shit hot, we want to be winning leagues, we want to be closing gaps on Barca, etc etc. And the weakest link in the team is the midfield.
You always need to be looking to improve and the area of the team in most need of improvement is midfield.
In 2010 Darren Fletcher was in the PFA team of the season. Our only problem whatsoever that season was Rooney getting injured. I suppose we also had the obscene injury crisis in December, but we bounced back from that in style. You guys need to stop rewriting history, we never had any pressing need to reinforce the midfield until last summer.
It's a common enough joke, although I guess it's a little inappropriate....
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