Viewpoint from Southampton: Are United as Potent as the 'Goals For' Column Suggests?

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by GM K, Sep 22, 2017.

  1. Sep 22, 2017
    #1

    GM K Full Member

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    I read an interesting piece from fansnetwork.co.uk (https://www.fansnetwork.co.uk/football/southampton/news/46613/)

    It's the viewpoint of a Southampton fan / football analyst on United's attack and scoring potency.

    A summary from his piece was:


    "So although it cannot be denied that United are top scorers in the Premier League, it is not the full story, 9 of their 16 goals have come in the final 10 minutes of the game, that is over half their goals, in fact 4 exactly a quarter of their total have come in the final 3 minutes.

    So United are far from the free flowing attacking team of old, they are far more of a side that rather than batter you into submission with multiple chances, they are clinical and play right to the final minute of the game.

    In the old days when you played United it was usually your keeper who was the man of the match, far less so these days, they don't rip you apart, but when they do get a chance then they put it away far more than most.

    We found that out at Wembley when we were tight for most of the game but left players unmarked at vital moments, chances they did not spurn.

    So on Saturday Saints task is clear, the game is not over till the final whistle, this is a United side who have less flare than before, but who are far more disciplined than the one of old, you cannot relax for a single minute, if you do then they will take their chances.

    Stoke showed how to get a result against them and this is perhaps good news for Saints because this will suit our game, we will be pushed back, but we now have the strength to hold them and then go on the counter, this suits us.

    But we need to get into those final minutes still in the game, the pattern from their opening fixtures is clear, they score late on when the opposition have to push forward in order to try and get something out of the game and that leaves gaps at the back.

    This shows that United are struggling to kill games off, teams can easily shut off their lines of supply and keep them at bay, they do not rip sides apart as they did for a couple of decades, their game is about wanting sides to come at them so they can go on the break."


    Do you agree with him? Is he right?

    If he is, then maybe we are flattering to deceive?

    Or is he just about to get really shocked?
  2. Sep 22, 2017
    #2

    LoneStar Full Member

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    I agree to some extent. We don't play free flowing football most of the time, but we are very disciplined and very less prone to counters. Our biggest problem seems to be that we score a goal and then let the opposition have the ball. We should definitely look to control the game more after that 1-0. But once the teams start coming at us, we have players who can play some deadly counters. One of the main reasons we score late is because we bring on one of Martial or Rashford for the other and having such an option is a massive plus. Also, we have a lot of players who are athletes, capable of playing at full strength till the full 90.
  3. Sep 22, 2017
    #3

    Nick7 Full Member

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    Can't disagree for the most part but God "flattering to deceive" must be the most annoying phrase on the planet. We can be getting good results without "flattering to deceive".
  4. Sep 22, 2017
    #4

    Mciahel Goodman Worst Werewolf Player of All Times Staff

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    He's talking about the team last season that beat them in the final. This team is a lot different.
  5. Sep 22, 2017
    #5

    Mciahel Goodman Worst Werewolf Player of All Times Staff

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    I disagree here. That's half of the game, the other half is scoring the first goal to force a team out.
  6. Sep 22, 2017
    #6

    Bestie07 Full Member

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    We were coming off a Europa League away game three days previously while they had no games for a couple of weeks before we played them in the league cup final. How we played then will have little bearing on how we play tomorrow.
  7. Sep 22, 2017
    #7

    whatwha Sniffs Erricksson’s diarrhea

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    A pretty fair assessment. Our stats currently make us look a bit better than we are.
  8. Sep 22, 2017
    #8

    Zebs Clare Bald'ings Daughter

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    I don't agree really. We've had clear cut chances to extend our lead well before the 70th minute in several of the games we've won so far. If we were as clinical as he says, we'd have won most games 6/7-0.
  9. Sep 22, 2017
    #9

    Akshay Moderator Staff

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    How does scoring lots of goals late on mean you're not a side that creates many chances but is just very clinical? In actual fact the expected goals stat for United so far in the league is 14.56, pretty close to the 16 we've actually scored. Contrast that with 'high flying fantastically creative' City who have an xG of only 12.11 with the same goals scored.

    Killing games off means scoring extra goals to ensure a win, exactly what he describes us as so good at doing. We're incredibly good at killing games off. We're also very good at getting that first goal to force the other team onto the offensive. Obviously if our opposition decides to sit back and camp even if they're losing they won't get mauled, but they're unlikely to get a result either.
  10. Sep 22, 2017
    #10

    Wednesday at Stoke Full Member

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    Like Tyson said "everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth", likewise every side has a great plan until they concede the first goal. The sooner they concede the more they are at risk because we are better at sitting back and countering with our talent upfront than they are.
  11. Sep 22, 2017
    #11

    Treble Full Member

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    Not really, he talks about our current team with the main point being that a disproportionally big part of our goals come in the last 10 minutes and 25% in the last 3 minutes. This means that the games so far were generaly more even than the final results suggest.

    I wonder what changed this season because we weren't finishing games well last season. Maybe we struggled to score the important first goal? Or maybe we are better at counter attacking with Lukaku? Or both?
  12. Sep 22, 2017
    #12

    GazTheLegend Full Member

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    It's bollocks

    Half our games at old Trafford last season ended with the oppo keeper as man of the match.

    Even this season I'd say Butland was MOTM when we played stoke.

    Last season - Darren Randolph again, mignolet for Liverpool, butland again are the three I can name off the top of my head
  13. Sep 22, 2017
    #13

    Arbitrium Taking a year off

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    Disagree with the part about the goalkeepers
  14. Sep 22, 2017
    #14

    mark_a Full Member

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    Can't say I agree with
    I lost count of the times I came away from Old Trafford last season having watched visiting keepers having put in super-human performances! Yes we missed a lot, but visiting keepers had some amazing games against us.
  15. Sep 22, 2017
    #15

    Jaqen H'ghar I can't drive...55

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    It's an interesting analysis, but rather reductive. There's an element of wishful thinking in there. We're not without flair and we can score in opening minutes too.
  16. Sep 22, 2017
    #16

    noodlehair "It's like..."

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    He's kind of right, but it's odd using the League Cup final as a reference point. I mean he's right about how that game panned out, but it was pretty much the only game last season where we weren't the least clinical team in the history of football.

    We have definitely flattered to deceive. The Everton and Swansea games were not 4-0 games, but Lukaku playing in positions Zlatan didn't, and Rashford and Martial both being in form, gives us a massive threat on the break if we have a lead, especially late on when defending players are tired. So it's not happened purely by luck either.

    Last season we would either sit back and have no threat on the break, or we would be too busy scrambling to score a goal after failing to take one of our 500 half chances from the first 70 odd minutes.

    To me it still looks like we struggle to create consistent chances when the score is level and the opposition sit back. That's where the analysis is spot on. Fergie United teams when in form would batter the opposition from the off. Now we just kind of, stroll about being happy to control the game. You never really get the sense of the opposition goal being under constant pressure or threat...but that's generally how good Mourinho teams have worked in the past. The flair appears in moments rather than being a fireworks display...and then you get picked off as the game goes on and you have to open up.
  17. Sep 22, 2017
    #17

    Tarrou Full Member

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    I agree with it, but we have a lot of room to improve too
  18. Sep 22, 2017
    #18

    Pogue Mahone Poster of the year 2008

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    I think Matic is a big factor. He’s such a calm, composed presence on the pitch I’m sure it’s affecting everyone around him. We just seem more assured and confident in everything we do. Hence we’re not snatching at chances, trying to force things and getting more and more anxious as the game comes to a close.
  19. Sep 22, 2017
    #19

    Treble Full Member

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    Maybe you are right, Matic has been in excellent form and makes a lot of difference.
  20. Sep 22, 2017
    #20

    SirAF Ageist

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    I'm not so sure why a analysis from a Southampton supporter would be interesting to us?
  21. Sep 22, 2017
    #21

    Kapardin Full Member

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    They are partly judging us on the league cup game from last season as well.

    Part of it is true, we are extremely clinical, but it is too simplistic to reduce our play into make-the-opposition-tired-and-seize-chances. We actually do create a lot of chances.

    The 2nd goal always came at a crucial time to kill the games. It came when the opposition were lively and seeing a way to come back in the game, not when they were tired.

    The 3rd and 4th are just icing on the cake though.

    The difference is that while we create chances and are clinical, we don't utterly dominate and often, the game is decided by how effective the midfield and defense is in countering the opposing team.

    The Stoke game was lost due to comical defending. We should have won that 2-0 or 2-1 tbh. So they really cannot say Stoke showed the way to take points off us.

    The way to take points off us is to make us slog for that first goal. If we don't score within 60 minutes, chances of a draw are higher.
  22. Sep 22, 2017
    #22

    12OunceEpilogue Full Member

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    Yes quite a few keepers have played well against us recently.

    Also while he has a point that we're disciplined, patient and clinical rather than ferocious our 'free flowing attacking team of old' was also known for a few late winners over the years. I don't think scoring late necessarily means you lack flair.
  23. Sep 22, 2017
    #23

    Pogue Mahone Poster of the year 2008

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    Might also be a general bedding down process under a new manager. Nailing down a CL place will have been a big boost to everyone’s belief in what Mourinho is building at United. This newfound calmness and confidence could just be down to that.
  24. Sep 22, 2017
    #24

    cyberman Full Member

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    Theres a strange dynamic on here where we treat opposition views on us as if they have authority yet regularly bow down to Bayern fans etc when debating their clubs as if their fan opinions is absolute fact.
  25. Sep 22, 2017
    #25

    Denis' cuff Full Member

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    So United are scoring late on? Like Fergies teams then. Can't be any good.

    "In the old days, it was like the oppo keeper was always man of the match". Just like last season then.

    Utter twaddle.

    But yes, they are different from the '99 side.
  26. Sep 22, 2017
    #26

    sunama Baghdad Bob

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    Disagree strongly with that.
    We are pummeling numerous teams by 3 or 4 goals.
    7 games played; 5 of which resulted in us scoring 3 or more goals.
    Once could be luck. Two could also be attributed to a lucky set of circumstances, bad refereeing, etc, but when it's virtually every game, there is genuinely something to it.
    If Barca, Madrid or MCFC score as many as us, nobody would ever say that the stats make them look better than the are.

    And just in case anyone has forgetten our scores:
    LC W Man Utd 4:1 Burton 20 Sep 2017
    PL W Man Utd 4:0 Everton 17 Sep 2017
    CL W Man Utd 3:0 Basel 12 Sep 2017
    PL D Stoke 2:2 Man Utd 09 Sep 2017
    PL W Man Utd 2:0 Leicester 26 Aug 2017
    PL W Swansea 0:4 Man Utd 19 Aug 2017
    PL W Man Utd 4:0 West Ham 13 Aug 2017
  27. Sep 22, 2017
    #27

    kafta Perpetual Under 11's Team Player

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    We might not be playing free flowing football for 90 minutes, but i like Jose's game management.

    We keep it tight at the back and in the middle. Our players are good enough to score a goal in the first half. Then comes the fun part, they have to come at us.

    Basically we should focus one scoring one and keeping it tight, and the rest will work itself out.
  28. Sep 22, 2017
    #28

    ivaldo Mediocre Horse Whisperer, s'up wid chew?

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    I saw an interesting info graphic floating around here prior to the game against Everton that showed we had created considerably more 'quality' chances than any other team in the league.

    A team that has scored 4 goals in more than half of their games isnt on that struggles to put teama away. In fact, having a knack of scoring late goals even when we are in the lead shows the complete opposite.
  29. Sep 22, 2017
    #29

    Brightonian Full Member

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    We've scored a lot of late goals, but they have only reflected a high number of chances created consistently throughout the 90 minutes in most of our games so far. Those late goals could easily have come earlier in a lot of our games. He talks about goalkeepers being the opposition's MotM against United's great teams of the past, and I'd say a few already have been this season. Pickford is the only reason it took us until the end of the game to make it 4-0 against Everton - a less stellar GK performance and we'd have been thrashing them by the hour mark.

    What's more, that Everton result came without our star player. Pogba out for us is the same as Barca without Messi or Real without Ronaldo. The fact that we still look dangerous all over the pitch is testament to how Jose is maximising a strong squad.

    Southampton's best approach to this game is to completely buy into our strong start to the season and set up accordingly. Stoke showed that it can be done. Burton inexplicably tried to come out and press us on Wednesday and it could easily have ended so much worse than 4-1 for them.
  30. Sep 22, 2017
    #30

    Adisa likes to take afvanadva wothowi doubt Scouse Lover

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    Part of his analysis is true. And that's why I chose the flatter to decieve option in the recent poll. Although I wouldn't say we flatter to decieve, I'm far from convinced. I agree that the scorelines aren't by luck. But when teams defend in numbers, I still don't have the feeling we're posing a threat. For long periods against Stoke, Swansea and Leicester, I thought we looked easy to defend against. Especially when the ball is in wide areas. We still don't move the ball fast enough and our tempo in attacking areas still needs a lot of work.
  31. Sep 22, 2017
    #31

    whatwha Sniffs Erricksson’s diarrhea

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    Why are you bringing up yet more stats? My point is that the stats aren't really matching up with our actual performances. We aren't always pummeling teams. Burton is a pub side. Everton weren't "pummeled" before the final 10 minutes. Stoke definitely weren't pummeled.
  32. Sep 22, 2017
    #32

    Pogue Mahone Poster of the year 2008

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    Is that right? I honestly can't remember him making a decent save?

    I actually think the Everton game is a fairly glaring anomaly in the season so far. For the first 15 minutes we were great but we were fairly awful for the rest of the game. Which has dented my confidence ahead of the Soton game a little.

    Although, I did watch it in Reykjavik airport. On my phone. With a mind-bending hangover. So my analysis may have been a bit more negative than the performance deserved.
  33. Sep 22, 2017
    #33

    SirAF Ageist

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    United have scored three or more in every match bar two so far. That's no accident if you ask me.
  34. Sep 22, 2017
    #34

    Treble Full Member

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    That's true, it's not only about our forwards being clinical. At the same time, our fixtures were a bit easier, at least on paper.
  35. Sep 22, 2017
    #35

    OnlyTwoDaSilvas Gullible

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    Flattering to deceive is the new Blessing in disguise.

    If the West Ham 4-0 was followed by tighter results, then it may have been a one-off, but you don't keep scoring that many goals and it be some sort of fluke. The opponents are playing the same game we are. If they ship 3 late goals then I don't know how that is being used as a stick to beat United with, as if they don't count the same as goals in the 35th minute.

    Pundits seemed to suggest Everton didn't deserve to lose 4-0. I couldn't have disagreed more. They were the worst defensive unit we have faced this season. Utterly disorganised, and forced to play a hashed together possession game that doesn't suit 2 out of 3 of them.

    I don't really care if we're not beating the door down for the full 90. There was lots of games where we did that last season and they ended 1-1 or 0-0.
  36. Sep 22, 2017
    #36

    JB7 Full Member

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    A "pub side" that would comfortably beat most of the teams in Norway.....

    Sorry but having grown up watching my hometown team face Burton several leagues down and seeing their amazing rise through the pyramid without ridiculous financial backing I take issue with a side in the second tier of English football being called a fecking pub team.
  37. Sep 22, 2017
    #37

    unitedforeveral Banned

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    I have to agree. Jose has always built counter attacking football teams. That is exactly why he needs a good defensive midfielder(Matic) and a player who can run the ball through the channels (Pogba). MkhiT in the middle hasn't worked great thus far but i wouldn't blame him yet, it's new for him although he likes playing in that position. He played on the right for Borussia and last season for us. He will eventually sit well in the middle. At some point in our season i hope Jose tries Martial on the left and Rashford on the right with Lukaku up front. I think it can be fast and also we can play more passes when the going gets tough. Mata is fantastic when the game is slow, he should be played in the middle and according to the opposition.

    Coming back to the matter at hand, yes, We are not right up there with best teams in the world but we can hold off any team and hit them when they are least expecting it. Now that's a lethal weapon. Jose will never take any team lightly and his presence in the previous clubs have shown that. He will do the same with United, set up teams to beat any opposition. It is time for the boys to go out there and express themselves. We can win the league and getting to the knockout stages in the Champions League is easily achievable. Further ahead, we need Pogba to be back and the great Zlatan.

    We will grow as the season goes on, i hope from strength to strength!
  38. Sep 22, 2017
    #38

    Kostur Full Member

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    What a load of absolute shite this article is.
  39. Sep 22, 2017
    #39

    Ish Lights on for Luke

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    Aye, I was also quite surprised by how many times over the summer I read on her about the concern of "only buying Lukaku to replace Ibra's goals - where are the goals going to come from?". Yeah we have Ibra back now, but a lot of people seem to have not factored in a lot of other variables - Rashford/Martial being a year older. Mkhitaryan settling in after year 1 etc. And all the players being more confident and understanding of Mourinho and what he's trying to build.

    Let's hope it continues. And yeah, Matic has brought immense balance and composure to the team as well :drool:. The team spirit seems fantastic.
  40. Sep 22, 2017
    #40

    Schmiznurf Full Member

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    I disagree, we have that killer instinct back and we will destroy them tomorrow.