Urgency, the difference.

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by Nucks, Apr 7, 2018.

  1. Apr 7, 2018
    #1

    Nucks Cuckoo

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    I don't know if this is down to Mourinho or not.

    However, the difference between United looking like they did in the second half, vs the first, is urgency. More often than not the team lacks urgency. Too often the team is complacent, and only turns it up when it goes wrong.

    If the team can find urgency all the time, they are in it for the title next year.
  2. Apr 7, 2018
    #2

    tjb Full Member

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    nah the difference was a formation change. 433 to a 4222. Pogba on the left cam with a licence to get forward, herrera and matic protecting the back 4.
  3. Apr 7, 2018
    #3

    BringNaniBack Leaves a bullshit trail behind him

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    Completely agree.

    Urgency is one of the reasons we were so great under Fergie. We were always direct and played at speed as if we were in a rush to score goals.

    The problem with the current team is they need a massive kick up the arse before they start playing with any urgency.
  4. Apr 7, 2018
    #4

    TheRedDevil'sAdvocate Full Member

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    Well, it's been obvious throughout the season that our comfort zone, so to speak, lies in a match rhythm which is far from frenetic. The team as a whole doesn't want a game to turn into an end to end contest and our players seem to always need an extra touch on the ball before they decide their next move. It's needless to say that you can't win the PL or the CL if you are not able to cope with high tempo football, at least in the attacking half of the pitch. Moreso, if you're basically a transition-based side, it is a clear indication that something's not working well. And you don't need to only watch the big games, especially away from home, in order to see that we struggle whenever the opposition manages to turn up the volume. It's plain to see it in the easiest fixtures at OT too when we use 15-20 minute bursts, usually at the start of each half, to get a lead and then we retrieve in our shell and we prioritize to not let the game open up.

    My opinion is that this problem stems mainly from the midfield and secondly from the defense. If Mourinho is to be blamed for something here, this would be the utilization of Pogba and his inability to build a stable and reliable defense. When Mourinho first got here, the first thing he did was to sign Pogba for the #8 position. Now, even if we completely change direction next season, i'd still think that this wasn't such a bad idea initially. Pogba's a physical beast who can protect possession under the toughest of circumstances, he's a great ball carrier who can run through the lines and open up spaces and he possesses an exquisite variety of passing skills. But the truth is that we've seen less of these qualities and more of his lack of defensive awareness, his dithering on the ball and his difficulties in tight spaces in deeper positions.

    It hasn't worked but it has created tensions instead. In order to compensate for that, we have reverted to the double pivots in our midfield. Is it that bad, you may ask. Well, since Mourinho's sides don't often use the long diagonal toward the wide areas but prefer to go through the central channel in the first phase of transition, the lack of a deep-lying play-maker or a ball carrier creates a disharmony in the side. We become weak in the area of the pitch where we want to establish control and enforce our own tempo. Since we can transition the ball quickly our low block becomes a liability and any attempt to play at a higher tempo is killed off. But it seems that Mourinho has identified what needs to be done and he's already stated that we'll be after a midfielder in the upcoming transfer window.

    The lack of confidence on the ball at the back doesn't help our cause either. Bailly missed a huge chunk of the season and Lindelof still hasn't acclimatized to the tempo of the PL and the demands of a top league in general. And as for the full-back position... let's just leave it there. Even De Gea seems quite hesitant with the ball at his feet which is strange because he had shown clear progress under LvG in that area. This becomes a problem because the lines must always stay close and compact. So, when the defenders can't circulate the ball correctly and play the first pass out from the back, the midfielders will eventually drop deeper to provide them with passing options and this will force the creative/attacking players further deeper too. And that's a recipe for disaster because it invites pressure and leaves you with very few options up front. And with few options in front of you, it's hard to play one-touch football. I believe this is a picture with which most us United fans are familiar with.

    I might get slated for saying this but i believe we were lucky today. City thought they had the game in the bag and they were thinking more about the title celebrations and less about the 45 minutes of football that still had to be played. On the other hand, we simply had to produce something better than our disgusting first half. We got them napping and their angry reactions after the turnaround are proof of that. It was a good win but for Jose to make these periods of good football look better and more sustainable, we'll need a couple of purchases next summer.