‘You can’t win anything with kids’ circa 2019

OldSchoolManc

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Time travel. 24 years ago, United were beaten 3-1 on the opening day of the 1995-1996 season.
Alan Hansen came out with the immortal line ‘You can’t win anything with kids!’
Back to the future, history seems to be repeating itself - sort of...
But, this is a different game of football these days. This is a different business these days. These are not the same class of players.
Or could they be?
I personally thought we were very unlucky vs Palace and 99 times out of 100, we would have won that game. Ditto the Wolves game. Poor refereeing exacerbated the situation.
I hope in my heart of hearts, that we can have a modern day version of 1995. But is that even possible on the un-level playing field of today.
Next game vs Southampton will be make or break.
I understand the point of getting a squad of hungry young players, especially after the bloated past few years. But are we even in the same universe?
Triumph or disaster?
 

Eric7C

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Time travel. 24 years ago, United were beaten 3-1 on the opening day of the 1995-1996 season.
Alan Hansen came out with the immortal line ‘You can’t win anything with kids!’
Back to the future, history seems to be repeating itself - sort of...
But, this is a different game of football these days. This is a different business these days. These are not the same class of players.
Or could they be?
I personally thought we were very unlucky vs Palace and 99 times out of 100, we would have won that game. Ditto the Wolves game. Poor refereeing exacerbated the situation.
I hope in my heart of hearts, that we can have a modern day version of 1995. But is that even possible on the un-level playing field of today.
Next game vs Southampton will be make or break.
I understand the point of getting a squad of hungry young players, especially after the bloated past few years. But are we even in the same universe?
Triumph or disaster?
Big differences from that era as you allude to yourself:
1. Solksjaer, as much as United fans love him, does not have an obsession with winning as Fergie did and seems unable to instill the required mentality in players.
2. There are no title winning players in the squad except De Gea (who hasn't been himself for a year now) and Smalling & Jones (who haven't made the match day squads this season).
3. Pep's City and Klopp's Pool are not Keegan's Newcastle. They are among the best teams on the planet right now.

If I am being optimistic, United might compete in the Europa league but have no chance in the league.
 

Eddy_JukeZ

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I see bigger parallels with our 2015-2016 season.

Sold off players without really replacing them and relying on miracles from existing players.
 

padzilla

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One difference in 95/96 was that several of the young players - Giggs, Scholes and Butt had already shown they were up to the task, and then some, in previous seasons.
Another, more important point, was they were being assimilated into a squad that contained Schmiechel, Irwin, Bruce, Pallister, Keane, Cantona and Cole to name but a few. These were serial winners with experience and consistency. It's laughable to try and compare our current bunch to this.
 

nokillingmoths

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People need to stop comparing this season with the 95 96 season. Its moronic. There is no compariaon.

In 95 we could and probably should have won the double. And those players weren't just great players, they were amazing characters, real leaders. Yeah we lost 3 players but had an amazing team which the youngsters added to. Like someone else had said some of them had actually broken into the team the year before anyway.

Fast forward to this year we have totally unproven players coming into a squad that came 6th and were nearer relegation than the title.

Not to mention the relative state of the rest of the league compared to now.
 

Red_toad

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Time travel. 24 years ago, United were beaten 3-1 on the opening day of the 1995-1996 season.
Alan Hansen came out with the immortal line ‘You can’t win anything with kids!’
Back to the future, history seems to be repeating itself - sort of...
That United team had some excellent experienced leader in the dressing room and on the pitch. Very very different to what we have now. Characters like Cantona, Bruce, Big Pete, Irwin and Keane are sadly lacking in our current squad. They were the heart beat of that side, they set the example for the youngster to follow.
We've now got Pogba and Maguire, then a bunch of under performing players. I'm sure given enough time the various issues will be resolved as long as the owners are ready to let the club spend. But I suspect if we don't improve on last season there'll be a new manager in place come May/June next year.
 

Jaqen H'ghar

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I don't know why this is being spun as a case of people who want to see experienced players vs those who want to give youth a chance. It's not.

It's about having an unbalanced squad, full of dead wood and underperforming players, which has been unbalanced for years. On top of that selling players without replacing them.

I'm not against giving young players a chance, but we should have experienced players who can take the pressure off the youth every now and then, teach them a trick or two, help keep them grounded. It can be a short term signing, a bit part player, but the manager should have his options available. If the youth are good enough then they should play, but don't play them because no one else is available.

And most importantly we need to fix the obvious weak spots in our team. The midfield has been a problem since SAF retired. The RW has been a problem for years now. Half the squad is useless players and eternal sick notes, so depth is non-existant. We've brought in good defenders, but we have 7 CBs. I mean come on ...

The problem isn't a few bad results, or patience, or trusting in youth, or giving Ole a chance. The problem is the incompetence in our squad management and transfer dealings. That's the obvious thing that needs to be sorted out.
 

Enigma_87

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One difference in 95/96 was that several of the young players - Giggs, Scholes and Butt had already shown they were up to the task, and then some, in previous seasons.
Another, more important point, was they were being assimilated into a squad that contained Schmiechel, Irwin, Bruce, Pallister, Keane, Cantona and Cole to name but a few. These were serial winners with experience and consistency. It's laughable to try and compare our current bunch to this.
People really underestimate that team. We had co92 but even without them it was a fantastic team with bright individuals and leaders all over the pitch.
 

Bestietom

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Not replacing Herrera and Lukaku will come back to haunt us this season. Another couple of injuries especially around the midfield and forwards and we will slip back into mid table.
 

TheRedDevil'sAdvocate

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Ferguson took the risk from a position of strength as we were already establishing ourselves as the team to beat in England. In the four seasons prior to the summer of 1995 United were the only club constantly challenging for the PL title. We were undoubtedly the best team on the island.

We've already witnessed what happens when you put the weight of carrying the club on their shoulders with Januzaj and LvG's youngsters. It doesn' benefit a team that has mid-term title aspirations and it doesn't do much good to younsters either who have still a lot of learning to do, both tactically and mentaly.

The finest example are Robertson and Alexander-Arnold at Liverpool. They are a success because they were introduced into a side that was already quite strong, a side that had its leaders and its go-to men. In this sense, their attacking prowess added a new dimension to Klopp's plans. They weren't thrown into the deep-end with the hope that one of their crosses will bounce off an attacker and go straight into the net because the manager has run out of ideas of how to make his side better. I'm sure that if we had them here, we would be scrutinizing their defensive weaknesses because the slow movement (or the complete absence of it) would have rendered their forward runs useless.

Finally, we have our most talented youngsters on the pitch, or at least the players who are seen as such by the staff. Rashford, Martial, AWB, McT, James, Shaw, they are all young or relatively young players who haven't reached their peak and their best footballing years are ahead of them. Should we help them by attaining a few quality additions or should burden them with carrying the team while we introduce another bunch of youngsters in the first team? What seems to be the most logical course of action?

And nobody can argue that Solskjaer does not understand the club's ethos regarding young players. If there's one manager out there who gets United, it's him. He has gone into the season with a thin squad precisely because he wants to give some academy players a chance. But as a manager of a giant club with high aspirations, he has to be realistic too. He watches these players everyday, they're propably not Class of '92 quality. But most importantly, the team isn't fully ready yet for just drastic measures. Our problem is that we're playing relatively well but we drop points and this doesn't call for another series of players who are still developing to be rashed inti the first xi. What we firstly need is a bit if patience and a couple of quality additions in the next windows.

They will get playing time and with the injuries and suspensions throughout the season, they'll get starts too. Hopefully in a side that will be more able by then to turn its pressing and possession into better performances and more confidence and it will not be dropping points left, right and centre. Because this is the perfect environment for youn players to thrive. Like the class of '92, like Klopp's FBs etc.
 

ReddBalls

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1. Solksjaer, as much as United fans love him, does not have an obsession with winning as Fergie did and seems unable to instill the required mentality in players.
Do you know him personally? How long do you reckon it takes to instill a winning mentality in the players?
 

Judge Red

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It’s not even about winning things with kids now. It’s about maintaining our prestigious sixth place. This squad will do well to achieve it.
 

roonster09

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Like others said, we had title winning team + SAF. When these kids were promoted to first team, they had players like Cantona, Keane, Bruce, Pallister, Schmeichel, Irwin, Giggs and few others to guide them. We had that winning culture and the standards were set by players like Cantona, Keane.

We lack that first team now.
 

Bestietom

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Like others said, we had title winning team + SAF. When these kids were promoted to first team, they had players like Cantona, Keane, Bruce, Pallister, Schmeichel, Irwin, Giggs and few others to guide them. We had that winning culture and the standards were set by players like Cantona, Keane.

We lack that first team now.
Yes, if only we could find players of their ilk. Keane and Cantona were real leaders, and the others mentioned wern't far behind.
 

fps

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People need to stop comparing this season with the 95 96 season. Its moronic. There is no compariaon.

In 95 we could and probably should have won the double. And those players weren't just great players, they were amazing characters, real leaders. Yeah we lost 3 players but had an amazing team which the youngsters added to. Like someone else had said some of them had actually broken into the team the year before anyway.

Fast forward to this year we have totally unproven players coming into a squad that came 6th and were nearer relegation than the title.

Not to mention the relative state of the rest of the league compared to now.
This. It's a very poor correlation to suggest we have some young players now, and did then, so there's a chance they'll do the same thing. It's very naive, I'm afraid, and the post I've quoted gives several reasons for this, all key.
 

roonster09

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Yes, if only we could find players of their ilk. Keane and Cantona were real leaders, and the others mentioned wern't far behind.
Yeah, even ignoring their on field impact, the way young players talk about how they used to train and set standards in training was just brilliant.
 

OohAahMartial

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Think you are all to hung up on this whole 'Oh that team had real leaders though, was already a very strong team'. Comparing with that year might not be the best, perhaps compare to Ajax last year, or Monaco of a few years ago, would be better.

And in terms of mentors, Greenwood has Ole, Gomes has Mata, AWB has Young, Garner has Pogba, Chong has Rashford, it's really an overblown argument.

Doesn't mean we can win this year, but we all know this year is a transitional year. Ole is trying to bed in the young players, and buying other young players around them like James and AWB, to build a team that will peak together in a few years time--at which point hopefully Pep will have got bored and moved on.

The future looks bright to me, it looks Red.
 

roonster09

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Think you are all to hung up on this whole 'Oh that team had real leaders though, was already a very strong team'. Comparing with that year might not be the best, perhaps compare to Ajax last year, or Monaco of a few years ago, would be better.

And in terms of mentors, Greenwood has Ole, Gomes has Mata, AWB has Young, Garner has Pogba, Chong has Rashford, it's really an overblown argument.

Doesn't mean we can win this year, but we all know this year is a transitional year. Ole is trying to bed in the young players, and buying other young players around them like James and AWB, to build a team that will peak together in a few years time--at which point hopefully Pep will have got bored and moved on.

The future looks bright to me, it looks Red.
Yeah, Ajax/Monaco is good comparison. When you hear the phrase 'you can't win anything with kids' usually you go back to mid 90s and then start comparing them.
 

LVGSdive

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"You can't win anything with kids" - Alan Hansen
"You can't win anything without them either" -Sir Alex
 

noodlehair

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It's not about whether the players are kids or not. Having good young players is great.

It's about what you can realistically expect from the players you have in terms of performance. No one's going to win anything when their first choice midfield already has average players in it, and their forward line is relying on near impossible goal returns from multiple players.
 

el3mel

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I see bigger parallels with our 2015-2016 season.

Sold off players without really replacing them and relying on miracles from existing players.
This.

It's incredible. We are back to where LVG left us. Decent defense, non existent midfield and attack reliable on inconsistent youngsters.
 

Denis79

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Time travel. 24 years ago, United were beaten 3-1 on the opening day of the 1995-1996 season.
Alan Hansen came out with the immortal line ‘You can’t win anything with kids!’
Back to the future, history seems to be repeating itself - sort of...
But, this is a different game of football these days. This is a different business these days. These are not the same class of players.
Or could they be?
I personally thought we were very unlucky vs Palace and 99 times out of 100, we would have won that game. Ditto the Wolves game. Poor refereeing exacerbated the situation.
I hope in my heart of hearts, that we can have a modern day version of 1995. But is that even possible on the un-level playing field of today.
Next game vs Southampton will be make or break.
I understand the point of getting a squad of hungry young players, especially after the bloated past few years. But are we even in the same universe?
Triumph or disaster?
24 years ago we had a spine of quality players who had won the league to lead the youngsters, a bit different now.
 

Marcus

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I am willing to watch the kids get a chance to prove themselves. At least we will get energy and enthusiasm. Then we see how we go from there. After all, what is there to lose? Maybe we just groom them for the future like the German National Team did.
 

Annihilate Now!

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People need to stop comparing this season with the 95 96 season. Its moronic. There is no compariaon.

In 95 we could and probably should have won the double. And those players weren't just great players, they were amazing characters, real leaders. Yeah we lost 3 players but had an amazing team which the youngsters added to. Like someone else had said some of them had actually broken into the team the year before anyway.

Fast forward to this year we have totally unproven players coming into a squad that came 6th and were nearer relegation than the title.

Not to mention the relative state of the rest of the league compared to now.
Not to mention the fact that all the so called "youngsters" that season had a ton of first team experience already.

Giggs had obviously been around the first team for years

G.Nev, Nicky Butt and Scholes both made over 25 appearances for the first team the season before (Butty actually made 35 appearances across all competitions)

Beckham made 5 appearances for PNE and 10 for United

Phil Neville was the only one didn't really feature the season before, and he was the one out of the lot that made the least appearances in that 95-96 season.

So yeah, there really is no comparison.
 

Sky1981

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Its easy to field a young squad. Even easier to field 11 academy players. You just have to pick them from u23 and stick them on matchday squad. Any epl teams could have done so.

Problem is, you need to actually win stuff with them. What makes co92 special was that all of them merits their place and actually won shits load.

We could field the youngest squad, the most academy graduated squad, it means nothing if we finished 8th doing so
 

Eric7C

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Do you know him personally? How long do you reckon it takes to instill a winning mentality in the players?
Um, you can see the way the players perform on the pitch? Do you think James would have celebrated an equalizer in the 90th minute against Palace if SAF was in charge?
Also, "do you know him personally" is never a good counter-argument for anything.
 

Code-CX

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We had a legendary manager + a really good team supporting/mentoring those younger players. Compared to now, we have an unproven manager and a really average squad with barely any leaders on the pitch. Constantly trying to push this "you can't win anything with kids" narrative is honestly the most frustrating part of our fan-base.
 

Irwin99

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It does help if you have players like Pallister, Bruce, Irwin, Big Pete, Roy Keane, Eric Cantona and Andy Cole.

Now we got Jlingz :drool:
 

DevilRed

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One thing I will say is that we are at least trying to play on the front foot and dominate our opposition.

We can all cry about how we aren't creative or incisive enough in the last third, but the pattern of play and strategy is clear to see. We keep the ball and try to attack all the time. When we lose it, the team runs like madmen to try and get it back.

Thats a good sign of things to come, especially as the younger players start to mature and improve. Obviously, additions still need to be made to the team, but hopefully the right ones which will improve us both on AND off the pitch.
 

Random Task

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It does help if you have players like Pallister, Bruce, Irwin, Big Pete, Roy Keane, Eric Cantona and Andy Cole.

Now we got Jlingz :drool:
He's one of our brightest young prospects. Try showing some respect.
 

R'hllor

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Its one thing to mix talented kids with proper players, legends of this football club, for them to look up to and its another to put them into the mix with bunch of wage leeching, lazy, rotten to the core donkeys. One has to give, either keep kids away from that kind far far away so they dont learn how life is easy as United player or you remove donkeys.
 

Thiagoal

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The pessimism in here is unreal!! Of course we ain’t winning the league with all the kids this season but we do have the most talented group of young players we’ve had for years and more importantly they seem good solid characters too!

Henderson- Performed fantastically for Sheffield United last season and is a very vocal leader.

Tuanzebe- Captained United at youth level and did well at Villa and on tour- superb prospect

Laird- The best young right back at the club since G Neville in my opinion

B Williams- Quality left back that oozes class and fights like an ox- clearly loves the club

Garner- the class this boy possesses is unreal for his age- also works extremely hard

Chong- Superb dribbler and traditional United winger- May need time to develop physically

Gomes- Technically the best youth player since Ravel/ Scholes- will make a massive impact when he plays

Greenwood- The best striker the academy has ever produced imo and once settled will get better and better!

Now of course I’m not naive enough to think all of these players will make a breakthrough this season but I totally believe the majority will have careers at United! I support Ole and support the team this season no matter how dire things look as I believe this will lay the foundations for getting us back to the top
 

villain

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Time travel. 24 years ago, United were beaten 3-1 on the opening day of the 1995-1996 season.
Alan Hansen came out with the immortal line ‘You can’t win anything with kids!’
Back to the future, history seems to be repeating itself - sort of...
But, this is a different game of football these days. This is a different business these days. These are not the same class of players.
Or could they be?
I personally thought we were very unlucky vs Palace and 99 times out of 100, we would have won that game. Ditto the Wolves game. Poor refereeing exacerbated the situation.
I hope in my heart of hearts, that we can have a modern day version of 1995. But is that even possible on the un-level playing field of today.
Next game vs Southampton will be make or break.
I understand the point of getting a squad of hungry young players, especially after the bloated past few years. But are we even in the same universe?
Triumph or disaster?
Everything is in the extreme hyperbole, how on earth will the 4th game in the season be 'make or break'?
 

Foxbatt

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One thing I will say is that we are at least trying to play on the front foot and dominate our opposition.

We can all cry about how we aren't creative or incisive enough in the last third, but the pattern of play and strategy is clear to see. We keep the ball and try to attack all the time. When we lose it, the team runs like madmen to try and get it back.

Then we do not know what to do with it. Only strategy we have is to counter attack if the other teams attacks us. Because our strikers are quick enough to get away from the opposing defence. When teams sit back we do not know what to do.
 

Omahahaha

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I don't know why this is being spun as a case of people who want to see experienced players vs those who want to give youth a chance. It's not.

It's about having an unbalanced squad, full of dead wood and underperforming players, which has been unbalanced for years. On top of that selling players without replacing them.

I'm not against giving young players a chance, but we should have experienced players who can take the pressure off the youth every now and then, teach them a trick or two, help keep them grounded. It can be a short term signing, a bit part player, but the manager should have his options available. If the youth are good enough then they should play, but don't play them because no one else is available.

And most importantly we need to fix the obvious weak spots in our team. The midfield has been a problem since SAF retired. The RW has been a problem for years now. Half the squad is useless players and eternal sick notes, so depth is non-existant. We've brought in good defenders, but we have 7 CBs. I mean come on ...

The problem isn't a few bad results, or patience, or trusting in youth, or giving Ole a chance. The problem is the incompetence in our squad management and transfer dealings. That's the obvious thing that needs to be sorted out.
Very good post. It's frustrating when we ship out players without replacing them, a huge gamble to put that much trust in that many young/inconsistent/currently average players.
It's a huge step up for youth players to instantly produce and help us compete for top 4 or better in this kind of team with our glaring weaknesses.

It feels like Woodward and the owners are using the "United way, trust in youth" as an excuse not to invest where it is needed.
 

Sandikan

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We all laugh at Alan Hansen for that comment, but it was actually true.

The turn over 3-1 at Villa on the opening day was because we had quite a few superstar experienced players out.

Arguably, if we'd played that same first day lineup for every game, we'd have won nothing, just like he said.
 

Chesterlestreet

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Yeah, we all (presumably) take the point: the original "can't win anything" team had a foundation we're nowhere close to having now.

But we're not supposed to win anything now - are we? As a "philosophy" (Christ, how I hate that term), moving on established players on insane wages who don't fit (in some cases because they're utter shite), making room for academy products, is - well - bloody right.

People who bemoan the Sanchez deal, claiming he'd be a genuine option for Ole, presuppose a) that he's capable of contributing anything significantly more than, well, anyone who might be thrown in (which is unlikely based on what he's done so far) and b) that he's even arsed to put up a proper fight for a place in the team.

And that's without mentioning that he's apparently not very popular in the dressing room.

Ole has marginalized and/or moved on several established players, seemingly intent on relying on - mainly - new purchases (Maguire, AWB, James) and academy lads (McTominay, Pereira, Greenwood, Tuanzebe - and beyond that Gomes and Garner). Which is perfectly fine in my book given a) who the marginalized/fecked off players are and b) that we aren't actually supposed to win anything at this stage - but rebuild.

To what extent Woodward considers what we've embarked on now as a genuine and comprehensive rebuild (which should mean, among other things, that the apparent "4th or feck off" principle applied in previous seasons doesn't necessarily apply), I don't know. But there are some signs things have changed. Ole is on record saying he's working (closely) with Woodward and the owners (Joel Glazer has been mentioned explicitly) - which is new. None of our previous managers post Fergie seemed to have much of a direct relationship with Woodward, never mind the Glazers, working on anything like a long-term plan.

Could be nothing but flannel and snow, obviously. Time will tell. Ole doesn't strike me as a sheer bullshitter, though, whatever else he may be - or turn out to be.
 

Mark Pawelek

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I see bigger parallels with our 2015-2016 season.

Sold off players without really replacing them and relying on miracles from existing players.
The strikers we sold are not good enough for us
Sanchez - not fast enough for PL. Did not score or assist much anyhow.
Lukaku - unsuitable for our playing style; never shows against top teams (apart from that match against PSG)

Kids we have are, in some ways, better than them. Chong, Gomes, Greenwood all have better 1st touch than Lukaku. Chong and Greenwood are both faster than Sanchez. Gomes and Greenwood are both good finishers with Ole-style coolness in front of goal. We don't yet know whether they can play in PL but will only find out by playing them. Sanchez was not doing such a great job & Lukaku was out of place after Mourinho left. I think Gomes is more exciting player than any of Mata, Lingard, and Pereira.

Midfielders who left are a different issue. James Garner may be able to, at least look decent.

If we play these kids we may only get top 8. But at least we'll have some more players for the following season.

Transfer season is over. Glazers are never going to spend the money you want them to. We can either continue to play those players who're never going to be good enough to win a league (most of the current squad) or we can develop youth. Glazers aren't going to pay for 5 new players in one season at £50m to £100m each. They are not going to buy a PL winning team. Face up to it.
 

ReddBalls

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Um, you can see the way the players perform on the pitch? Do you think James would have celebrated an equalizer in the 90th minute against Palace if SAF was in charge?
Also, "do you know him personally" is never a good counter-argument for anything.
It's actually not a counter-argument at all. It's a question. Which you failed to answer, along with my second question.

Based on what I've seen on the pitch this season, It's not the winning mentality that is lacking. It's the execution. The players fight for the team and the manager, but they're an inexperienced team with a few new constellations on the pitch. And some players are probably not at the required level.

Also, it's kind of weird using the fact that celebrating goals as a point arguing that the team has no winning mentality. Goals is what wins you games. They SHOULD be delighted to score. It means the game is on. And disregarding that, do you really think it's weird that a 21 year old kid from The Championship celebrates when he scores a blinder on Old Trafford in his third game for the club?