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2023-24 Performances


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simonhch

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Generally speaking though players have positions and the best teams keep their players in the position that suits them best.

Even Rooney and Ronaldo, eventually they settled on a specific role.

Liverpool don't have Salah moving around all over the place. Arsenal don't have Martinelli and Saka switching around.

I've always argued against "fluid" styles. Bit of a meaningless buzzword to me. It doesn't really exist in reality.
It doesn’t exist so much now, because of the rise of fixed positional play - which is really a product of the Tiki-taka era. But it has existed to great effect.

What I am getting at though, isn’t so much that, it is making the best use of the players we have. Having two inside forwards cutting in, is making us very narrow because our full backs are either injured, poor going forward, or playing inverted themselves. We desperately need some variety and width.

what I’m suggesting is that the left forward plays as the current inside forward and the right sided forward is encouraged to stretch the play more and go on the outside. Stick closer to the touchline. Our two best wide forwards are probably Rashford and Garnacho. I wouldn’t want to have one of them permanently reverted to a wide right role, but I would like them both to play and interchange during games using the system I just described. So not fluid in the sense of positional play, but fluid in the sense of swapping flanks with each other. Likewise, I’d like to see Antony used on the left sometimes, going on the outside to stretch play and use his left to a different effect.

In midfield I think we are currently best served with a double pivot, which should in my mind be Casemiro and Eriksen. We desperately miss Eriksen’s line breaking passes, and play Bruno or Mount as the 10. I have no issues rotating them. Good squads need variation and depth. And Bruno is so overplayed it’s absurd. For the double pivot you can rotate Amrabat, McTominay, and Mainoo in, and Hannibal can play as either a pivot or a 10, again, as squad depth.

We have to use all our players in rotation to compete across all competitions. That’s the point of a squad. Casemiro, like Bruno, is terribly overplayed and it shows he had so many games last year plus the World Cup, at 30. Some games he just has to be left out for Amrabat.

The only two players I think we have that can actually link up the midfield between the defensive portion and the attacking phase, are Eriksen and Mainoo. Which is a poor state of affairs. One at the end of his career, the other at his beginning. Mount has clearly been signed to be that player, but he’s going to take a while to adjust to that role. Because he’s naturally more of a 10 or inside forward. Bruno is too erratic at the simple things to really play that role. You want him on the pitch more often than not, but primarily you want him in the attacking third as a ten. Yet, with Mount on board, he doesn’t need to play every game.

Mount is a very good player, tidy and intelligent, but playing as a true 8 is very different than playing as a 10, and I think it’ll take him the best part of a whole season to get fully used to doing that. And I don’t think the fans will ever be that patient.
 
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Marwood

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It doesn’t exist so much now, because of the rise of fixed positional play - which is really a product of the Tiki-taka era. But it has existed to great effect.

What I am getting at though, isn’t so much that, it is making the best use of the players we have. Having two inside forwards cutting in, is making us very narrow because our full backs are either injured, poor going forward, or playing inverted themselves. We desperately need some variety and width.

what I’m suggesting is that the left forward plays as the current inside forward and the right sided forward is encouraged to stretch the play more and go on the outside. Stick closer to the touchline. Our two best wide forwards are probably Rashford and Garnacho. I wouldn’t want to have one of them permanently reverted to a wide right role, but I would like them both to play and interchange during games using the system I just described. So not fluid in the sense of positional play, but fluid in the sense of swapping flanks with each other. Likewise, I’d like to see Antony used on the left sometimes, going on the outside to stretch play and use his left to a different effect.
I know what you mean, I'd prefer to have at least one wide player on his "natural" side. But if you just swap those two around nothing really changes. The left side is always cutting in, the right side going on the outside.

But it just doesn't work long term anyway. I can't think of a top team that's constantly switching their wide players around. Might be an exception I've missed somewhere but in general it doesn't happen.

All players have a position that suits them best. For Garnacho and Rashford its unfortunately the left for both.
 

RuudTom83

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CM doesn't really allow it.

But I'd like to see a 4-4-2 used as an experiment in one match just to see Garnacho as RW with Rashford and Hojlund up front.
 

pratyush_utd

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Floating roles. Mixing it up.

When we won the CL in 2008 we had a front three of Rooney, Ronaldo and Tévez. You wouldn’t really call any of those proper right wingers. They had fluidity. This fixed positional system is holding us back when it comes to the players at our disposal currently.

What’s important is the link up play, the work rate, the movement, the understanding, and the ability to break at pace. Right now we are prosaic and predictable.
For that Rashford needs to be team player. Tevez and Rooney would play at CB if asked. Rashford is not of the same mentality or atleast he hasn’t shown that
 

3KDré

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I think they should both be starting. Rashford has been a little off this season but he constantly looks our most dangerous player, it just hasn’t clicked for him in the final moments. I would be starting Rashford and Garnacho either side of Hojlund to stretch defences with their pace, having the right sided player stay wider and go more on the outside to give us more width. Then I would have them switch it up during the game.
Would love to see this happening. Makes Garnacho and more an all-around player too.
 

Bwuk

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Floating roles. Mixing it up.

When we won the CL in 2008 we had a front three of Rooney, Ronaldo and Tévez. You wouldn’t really call any of those proper right wingers. They had fluidity. This fixed positional system is holding us back when it comes to the players at our disposal currently.

What’s important is the link up play, the work rate, the movement, the understanding, and the ability to break at pace. Right now we are prosaic and predictable.
We played 442 with Rooney/Ronaldo/Tevez.

The 433 is a weird myth.
 

NZT-One

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Floating roles. Mixing it up.

When we won the CL in 2008 we had a front three of Rooney, Ronaldo and Tévez. You wouldn’t really call any of those proper right wingers. They had fluidity. This fixed positional system is holding us back when it comes to the players at our disposal currently.

What’s important is the link up play, the work rate, the movement, the understanding, and the ability to break at pace. Right now we are prosaic and predictable.
Sounds good and as you say, it takes workrate, understanding and movement. There isn't much indicating that our current attack has enough game intelligence to pull that off (I think, to a degree there are some rotations happening) and, the biggest reason, we had such a solid foundation to build something fluid on... We had peak Evra, Rio, Vida, VDS and either Brown or Oshea. We had Scholes and Carrick. Those guys could handle most of what went their way without too much help from the attackers. Safe to say that this condition isn't met these days.

I hope we get there in the not too far future but for now, I'd think our best chance is to try to replicate what we did during the early Ole days, keep it tight and try to attack with speed and power. We have a few players that theoretically flourish with this. Certainly enough to at least stop the negative trend and build some momentum. Keep it easy for now. Leave the heavy stuff to the big guys. At least for now.

Pretty sure that was 433
I think, back then there was more talk about 4-5-1, when it wasn't a clear 4-4-2, wasn't it? I don't agree though, it certainly started as a 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 with Tevez and Rooney as strikers and Ronaldo starting from the left. Rooney and Tevez were really busy so there was some fluidity in there, but I wouldn't bet too much on that being a rigidly planned thing but more those players expressing themselves. Ronaldo became this more striker like figure during the season but I think, we kept playing with two "out-and-out" wingers for quite a long time. Even through the Valencia and Young era.

It is safe to say though, that the 2007/2008 team had some asymetry going, where the RB did more to support the defense than the LB. And one of the strikers, usually Rooney, fell back into midfield to support while Ronaldo as left winger had some notable freedom in comparison to Giggs or Park on the other side. If we wanted to turn the heat up, we had Nani available to start on the right... Damn, what a team that was... Suited for every way the big man wanted us to play at any given day.
 

simonhch

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We played 442 with Rooney/Ronaldo/Tevez.

The 433 is a weird myth.
We went 4-4-2 for half the game against Chelsea in the CL final with Hargreaves on the right. It was a tactical surprise for them, but second half we reverted back to our usual midfield three of Scholes, Carrick and Hargreaves.
 

ROFLUTION

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Sounds good and as you say, it takes workrate, understanding and movement. There isn't much indicating that our current attack has enough game intelligence to pull that off (I think, to a degree there are some rotations happening) and, the biggest reason, we had such a solid foundation to build something fluid on... We had peak Evra, Rio, Vida, VDS and either Brown or Oshea. We had Scholes and Carrick. Those guys could handle most of what went their way without too much help from the attackers. Safe to say that this condition isn't met these days.

I hope we get there in the not too far future but for now, I'd think our best chance is to try to replicate what we did during the early Ole days, keep it tight and try to attack with speed and power. We have a few players that theoretically flourish with this. Certainly enough to at least stop the negative trend and build some momentum. Keep it easy for now. Leave the heavy stuff to the big guys. At least for now.


I think, back then there was more talk about 4-5-1, when it wasn't a clear 4-4-2, wasn't it? I don't agree though, it certainly started as a 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 with Tevez and Rooney as strikers and Ronaldo starting from the left. Rooney and Tevez were really busy so there was some fluidity in there, but I wouldn't bet too much on that being a rigidly planned thing but more those players expressing themselves. Ronaldo became this more striker like figure during the season but I think, we kept playing with two "out-and-out" wingers for quite a long time. Even through the Valencia and Young era.

It is safe to say though, that the 2007/2008 team had some asymetry going, where the RB did more to support the defense than the LB. And one of the strikers, usually Rooney, fell back into midfield to support while Ronaldo as left winger had some notable freedom in comparison to Giggs or Park on the other side. If we wanted to turn the heat up, we had Nani available to start on the right... Damn, what a team that was... Suited for every way the big man wanted us to play at any given day.
There really was a squad player for every way Fergie wanted to play. When dominance in midfield was needed, Fletcher. When pressure and results needed application, Park. When finesse, old man Giggs. When individualism, Nani. When goalkeeper needed, O’Shea. He even utilised Darron Gibson.
 

TMDaines

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For that Rashford needs to be team player. Tevez and Rooney would play at CB if asked. Rashford is not of the same mentality or atleast he hasn’t shown that
I cannot believe people who make comments like this actually watch the games. Rashford has played from all four attacking positions in the 4-2-3-1 this season, whereas Garnacho is invariably never asked to do anything but play from his preferred position of inside left. That’s the limiting factor of Garnacho’s minutes, and only Ten Hag will know the reason for it.
 

pratyush_utd

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I cannot believe people who make comments like this actually watch the games. Rashford has played from all four attacking positions in the 4-2-3-1 this season, whereas Garnacho is invariably never asked to do anything but play from his preferred position of inside left. That’s the limiting factor of Garnacho’s minutes, and only Ten Hag will know the reason for it.
I never said he hasn’t played there. He doesn’t put the shift in like Tevez and Rooney did to accommodate Ronaldo lack of defensive contributions. Poster i was replying to was comparing how Rashford can play on right as Rooney and Tevez did multiple times.
 

mintyred

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I cannot believe people who make comments like this actually watch the games. Rashford has played from all four attacking positions in the 4-2-3-1 this season, whereas Garnacho is invariably never asked to do anything but play from his preferred position of inside left. That’s the limiting factor of Garnacho’s minutes, and only Ten Hag will know the reason for it.
Right but Rashford doesn’t try when played in a position he doesn’t like.
 

Galactic

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We can play in any system/formation, but it won’t make any fckg difference if we keep passing the ball straight to opponents.
 

Buster15

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Right but Rashford doesn’t try when played in a position he doesn’t like.
Or in a position he is supposed to like for that matter.

One thing I absolutely hate are players who perform at anything less than 100%.
 

TheRedHearted

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It doesn’t exist so much now, because of the rise of fixed positional play - which is really a product of the Tiki-taka era. But it has existed to great effect.

What I am getting at though, isn’t so much that, it is making the best use of the players we have. Having two inside forwards cutting in, is making us very narrow because our full backs are either injured, poor going forward, or playing inverted themselves. We desperately need some variety and width.

what I’m suggesting is that the left forward plays as the current inside forward and the right sided forward is encouraged to stretch the play more and go on the outside. Stick closer to the touchline. Our two best wide forwards are probably Rashford and Garnacho. I wouldn’t want to have one of them permanently reverted to a wide right role, but I would like them both to play and interchange during games using the system I just described. So not fluid in the sense of positional play, but fluid in the sense of swapping flanks with each other. Likewise, I’d like to see Antony used on the left sometimes, going on the outside to stretch play and use his left to a different effect.

In midfield I think we are currently best served with a double pivot, which should in my mind be Casemiro and Eriksen. We desperately miss Eriksen’s line breaking passes, and play Bruno or Mount as the 10. I have no issues rotating them. Good squads need variation and depth. And Bruno is so overplayed it’s absurd. For the double pivot you can rotate Amrabat, McTominay, and Mainoo in, and Hannibal can play as either a pivot or a 10, again, as squad depth.

We have to use all our players in rotation to compete across all competitions. That’s the point of a squad. Casemiro, like Bruno, is terribly overplayed and it shows he had so many games last year plus the World Cup, at 30. Some games he just has to be left out for Amrabat.

The only two players I think we have that can actually link up the midfield between the defensive portion and the attacking phase, are Eriksen and Mainoo. Which is a poor state of affairs. One at the end of his career, the other at his beginning. Mount has clearly been signed to be that player, but he’s going to take a while to adjust to that role. Because he’s naturally more of a 10 or inside forward. Bruno is too erratic at the simple things to really play that role. You want him on the pitch more often than not, but primarily you want him in the attacking third as a ten. Yet, with Mount on board, he doesn’t need to play every game.

Mount is a very good player, tidy and intelligent, but playing as a true 8 is very different than playing as a 10, and I think it’ll take him the best part of a whole season to get fully used to doing that. And I don’t think the fans will ever be that patient.
Spurs have been doing so well because they are playing narrow.

we don’t have the players for wide play. Rashford cuts in, he rarely sends good balls Into the box(plus side is he did to Hojland in thechampions league, so hopefully it gets better) but our fullbacks are poor crossers, we have a DM at Lb currently, we can not play the width game
We do not have the players to play wide
Our RW cuts in and he has an issue with crossing (Antony) pellistri and Amad should be better then him at that.

Eriksen can not start in a double pivot, he will get physically over run and he will get ran by pacey midfielders.

Casemiro should be no where near our double pivot, he should play higher up and be expected to break up play at that part of the pitch but he also gets over ran in midfield by himself let alone next to Eriksen.

To leave our Amrabat in the double pivot doesn’t make much sense. We are better off throwing a CB next to him to break up play higher up the pitch than at all next to Eriksen and casemiro, both who need rest.

agree about Bruno and Mount,what we need is tidiness now and Mainò brings that but I will get castrated here but with our current midfield McTominay right behind the striker and with him or honestly DVB is a better option. He can make the short pass and he canbe disciplined, I’d rather see DVB right now than Eriksen or McTominay in the 8, McTominay has to be higher up and Eriksen I’m just over all worried about his fitness
 

mintyred

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Or in a position he is supposed to like for that matter.

One thing I absolutely hate are players who perform at anything less than 100%.
That's what happens when you empower players with bad mentalities. We've given him a new contract he's here to walk around the pitch for a long time.
 

Buster15

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Spurs have been doing so well because they are playing narrow.

we don’t have the players for wide play. Rashford cuts in, he rarely sends good balls Into the box(plus side is he did to Hojland in thechampions league, so hopefully it gets better) but our fullbacks are poor crossers, we have a DM at Lb currently, we can not play the width game
We do not have the players to play wide
Our RW cuts in and he has an issue with crossing (Antony) pellistri and Amad should be better then him at that.

Eriksen can not start in a double pivot, he will get physically over run and he will get ran by pacey midfielders.

Casemiro should be no where near our double pivot, he should play higher up and be expected to break up play at that part of the pitch but he also gets over ran in midfield by himself let alone next to Eriksen.

To leave our Amrabat in the double pivot doesn’t make much sense. We are better off throwing a CB next to him to break up play higher up the pitch than at all next to Eriksen and casemiro, both who need rest.

agree about Bruno and Mount,what we need is tidiness now and Mainò brings that but I will get castrated here but with our current midfield McTominay right behind the striker and with him or honestly DVB is a better option. He can make the short pass and he canbe disciplined, I’d rather see DVB right now than Eriksen or McTominay in the 8, McTominay has to be higher up and Eriksen I’m just over all worried about his fitness
And they signed a terrific player in James Maddison for a transfer fee or just £40m. He is able to create in a way none of our players can.
 

El Zoido

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I cannot believe people who make comments like this actually watch the games. Rashford has played from all four attacking positions in the 4-2-3-1 this season, whereas Garnacho is invariably never asked to do anything but play from his preferred position of inside left. That’s the limiting factor of Garnacho’s minutes, and only Ten Hag will know the reason for it.
It’s better that way, especially for a player that’s still developing. It can really stunt a players’ growth if they’re asked to shift position constantly. It will not do Garnacho any favours to have him moved all over the pitch. The instinct develops from repetition and playing in the same areas of the pitch over and over again.
 

Malone_Post

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Please just start him so we don’t have to deal with Antony anymore. Garnacho is the type of player I want to see playing for Manchester United. A proper exciting winger with bundles of potential. Opponents are terrified of him.
 

Yagami

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Look at that La Pelopina turn he did at the edge of their box before Dalot's goal.

That's what we need more of. Players with the agility and confidence to turn under pressure.
 

elmo

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AKA: Slapanut Goat Smuggla
Probably the only player in the squad who can say they've improved from last season. His footballing IQ is miles ahead of Rashford...
 

Sarni

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I don't really get why he's not starting games for us. He's our best winger by a mile and even if he makes the occasional mistake, he'll more often than not make it up by being a constant threat up front. I know we aren't really into giving youth much playtime but this guy is so far ahead of our other wingers it makes no sense to keep him out of the first team.
 

poleglass red

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I don't really get why he's not starting games for us. He's our best winger by a mile and even if he makes the occasional mistake, he'll more often than not make it up by being a constant threat up front. I know we aren't really into giving youth much playtime but this guy is so far ahead of our other wingers it makes no sense to keep him out of the first team.
everytime he comes on, he improves us, makes us much more direct and quicker in transition. He's done more than enough to warrant a start. He did start the first 2 league games and was awful, maybe ETH feels he isn't ready to start consistently. The problem with that though process is there are no repercussions for the likes of Antony and Rashford who start regularly, yet are piss poor.
 

Red Royal

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everytime he comes on, he improves us, makes us much more direct and quicker in transition. He's done more than enough to warrant a start. He did start the first 2 league games and was awful, maybe ETH feels he isn't ready to start consistently. The problem with that though process is there are no repercussions for the likes of Antony and Rashford who start regularly, yet are piss poor.
He has had a few chances to start and not really been as effective when starting. We need to manage him well because he could be come a great talent.
 

AshRK

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Don't want to be harsh on the kid but nothing till now suggests he is a supreme talent. He will definitely have a very good career but so far doesn't suggest a world class talent. Hope I am wrong though
 

Big Andy

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Don't want to be harsh on the kid but nothing till now suggests he is a supreme talent. He will definitely have a very good career but so far doesn't suggest a world class talent. Hope I am wrong though
He’s 19 years old. He’s still learning and still developing. He’s got the attributes to be a great winger, he’s got pace, skills and can finish, but he also works hard too.
 

Sarni

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everytime he comes on, he improves us, makes us much more direct and quicker in transition. He's done more than enough to warrant a start. He did start the first 2 league games and was awful, maybe ETH feels he isn't ready to start consistently. The problem with that though process is there are no repercussions for the likes of Antony and Rashford who start regularly, yet are piss poor.
He needs to learn to play as a starter, it's a different game when he comes on against tired opposition, and usually when we are chasing a game / trying to win. His long term role is a starter though and considering how poor alternatives have been, I see no reason why we wouldn't just let him play and improve as a starter.
 

Red00012

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He needs to stop taking advice off Rashford and do the opposite of what he does