Are we a CDM short of being an elite team?

Bebestation

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I keep thinking that a player like Frenkie De Jong is unobtainable then I think about Varane, Sancho and Ronaldo and wonder if it really would be that hard.

@AjaxCunian

Is he a deep lying playmaker? Because at times he does seem like it but at times he seems to do all the work with his dribbling. How would you regard his defensive ability?

Also - I know you are not a Barcelona supporter but does he seem happy there considering its arguably gone a level down?
 

Tyrion

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We are 2 midfielders short, a holder who can pass and a creative #8 playmaker.
I'd agree but surely that means getting rid of Pogba. We can't have Bruno, Pogba and 2 other central midfielders.

I think what you're describing plus Bruno would be great. Pogba is very good but I think we might be better off swapping him for one of the two players you're describing.
 

Brexit_Brigade

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He lacks the positional sense that is required. We would also miss his aggression higher up the pitch and his surging runs. He is a much better 8 than a 6 atm.
Don't really need that as much as we need someone reliable to keep the shape in midfield, though. Those surging runs are only really useful against a handful of weaker teams that have a go at us, he doesn't offer nearly enough creatively to hurt the ones that defend deep.

It's time for him to adapt his game and focus on being more of a holder. Better awareness of when to press, when to block lanes, tracking runners, showing for the ball when we're playing out from the back - these are all things you get better at naturally with age and experience, so it should be possible.

As it stands we're best off playing McTominay in this conservative role next to Pogba, who also has to adapt to the needs of the team - move the ball quicker, take fewer risks in his own defensive third, and be a little more conservative with his positioning when we have the ball. Stick with the Fred-McTominay combo against the top 4 and Leicester.
 

Bebestation

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They're right. Those are the two main differences between us and City, Chelsea and Liverpool. If we had Kante and Klopp (for example), we'd be favourites.
Just saying that a Klopp wouldn't have a Bruno, Pogba, Ronaldo, Greenwood, Rashford, Sancho etc on the same team either.
 

Redlyn

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Apart from the huge Carrick shaped hole in the middle I think we are also missing a Shaw on the right.
 

Devil may care

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I'd agree but surely that means getting rid of Pogba. We can't have Bruno, Pogba and 2 other central midfielders.

I think what you're describing plus Bruno would be great. Pogba is very good but I think we might be better off swapping him for one of the two players you're describing.
Yes, I think Bruno was Pogba's replacement but the pandemic hit and he couldn’t leave that summer, I feel we've got Pogba who is best in 4-3-3 and Bruno who is best in 4-2-3-1, we can't consistently get the best from both in the same side while also being defensively solid in midfield.
 

Bojan Djordjic

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Hannibal and Declan :cool::D
I personally wouldn't like them to sign Declan Rice. Too many questions about his on-ball ability but also its too big a gamble given the likely fee that would have to be paid. Think we should try and nab someone cheaper at DM so that we can eventually target someone like Haaland up front for when Cavani and Ronaldo finish up. Tchouameni or Bennacer ideally.
 

Lynty

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He lacks the positional sense that is required. We would also miss his aggression higher up the pitch and his surging runs. He is a much better 8 than a 6 atm.
Players mature.

He also had a tendency to force things or take on too much responsibility, due to lack of creative options.

Focusing on what he does best, breaking up play and carrying the ball forward. I don't think we're going to get the number 6/deep lying playmaker most fans want next season. That mold of midfielder isn't really available and I there hasn't been much indication that Ole wants that. The midfielders we've been sniffing around have been combative box to box.

Ever the optimist, I'd like to believe Mctominay can mature into the role this season.
 

jesperjaap

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We are 2 midfielders short, a holder who can pass and a creative #8 playmaker.
Definately agree that ideally we needed two this summer, failure to sign one whether thats due to moving for Ronaldo or failing to move players on,is still a big mistake.

Dont neccarsarily agree with the specialised types for each position. I think we need all rounders with quality and intelligence. Pogba is a creative playmaker in all honesty amd there is of course Hannibal to come through so I dont think especially targeting that kind of player that is crucial. Someone that can read the game and fill in holes defensively is however crucial. Neither Fred or McTominay really are that type of player, the only one we have is Matic and his age added to slowing down play, coming too deep and not being so mobile meanswe cant really rely on him. But someone technically good as well would be good.

I was actually nevr the biggest fan of Carrick in all honesty. I only really warmed to him and appreciated him in the latter years of his time here, though I do think it was his best period here too. He would be the ideal type of signing to make for this side now though
 

Physiocrat

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This is an interesting idea to be honest. We need a few of the draft regulars to cast an eye on the suggestion.

@Gio @Joga Bonito @Physiocrat @harms @Isotope
I think player wise it is probably the most balanced we can come up with although whether we want Sancho to be that narrow with AWB behind him is another question. Still not sold on McFred even with Pogba as LAM (his best position IMO). I wouldn't mind seeing Donny at CM instead of one of McFred to improve the passing of the midfield.
 

Kush

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A DM and a elite manager.
Nailed it.

Although, lack of an elite manager is the biggest hurdle. A major reason why we aren't being tipped for PL because everyone knows there are 3 elite managers at Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool whereas we don't.
 

Tyrion

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Just saying that a Klopp wouldn't have a Bruno, Pogba, Ronaldo, Greenwood, Rashford, Sancho etc on the same team either.
I think he's right about that. It kind of reminds me of when we had Di Maria and Falcao under LVG. Blind was the only one in front of the defence. Now we just have Matic.

Yes, I think Bruno was Pogba's replacement but the pandemic hit and he couldn’t leave that summer, I feel we've got Pogba who is best in 4-3-3 and Bruno who is best in 4-2-3-1, we can't consistently get the best from both in the same side while also being defensively solid in midfield.
That's why I'm kinda hoping he leaves. I think we'd be better off. It'd force us to sign a more consistent and balanced midfielder.
 

AFC NimbleThumb

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That's why I'm kinda hoping he leaves. I think we'd be better off. It'd force us to sign a more consistent and balanced midfielder.
What’s that midfielders name & market value? Given he’d need a costly DM next to him.
 

AjaxCunian

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I keep thinking that a player like Frenkie De Jong is unobtainable then I think about Varane, Sancho and Ronaldo and wonder if it really would be that hard.

@AjaxCunian

Is he a deep lying playmaker? Because at times he does seem like it but at times he seems to do all the work with his dribbling. How would you regard his defensive ability?

Also - I know you are not a Barcelona supporter but does he seem happy there considering its arguably gone a level down?
I don't think Frenkie sits like Carrick, just blocking passing lanes and sweeping everything up. But him working with Carrick would be far better than the supposed work Carrick has done on Fred.

Frenkie is more dynamic than Carrick, Matic, Busquets but also smaller and shorter. He is very adept defensively, there would probably be no one in our team that makes the kilometres he does. He has defensive awareness, does well at pressing, intercepting, very well balanced and doesnt shy away from duels. He would work in a 2 with Pogba I'd say, but Pogba would need to put some work in as well. I doubt we could play him in a 4141 type of formation, but who could?

He plays in a 433 for Oranje many at times, as single CDM or in a pivot with Wijnaldum who plays more offensively. For Barcelona he is a box to box.

I think he looks happy there, but he loves Messi. Messi not being there and if they won't challenge, I can imagine a move to the PL to play with Sancho, Greenwood, Rashford, Shaw, Pogba, Bruno, Ronaldo, Varane would be enticing, especially if he'd earn somewhere around 300-400k. But I doubt he'll waste top years if Barça doesnt compete. But I think Barça will still compete.
 
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cyril C

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Nope, elite sides don’t need exceptional players in every position and it’s a strange mentality to have
This is true, but they always have a good and exceptional manager. Knowing your limitation, knowing your opponents, read the game, make the necessary tactical change, instead of relying your "best 11" to do the job on their own. Was exactly what fail us at Europa final.
 

justsomebloke

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Eh? Have you watched United under Ole. This is his exact plan, but it doesnt work. Southampton was a prime example. They cut off the passing by pressing the defense and shutting out the CM's. Result? The ball didnt get to the forwards. Just cos we have Ronaldo now that wont change. We had enough quality forwards against Southampton to hurt them but we couldnt. Shoving Ronaldo, Haaland, Kane anyone there wont make a difference if they cant get the ball to them.
I wouldn't overstate it though. Southampton didn't get that result by managing to shut our attack down. We generated more than enough that we should have been able to finish them off. 2.26 xG, which was actually a good deal better than against Leeds. Against Leeds we took our chances (and then some), against Southampton we didn't.
 

Adcuth

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I don't think Frenkie sits like Carrick, just blocking passing lanes and sweeping everything up. But him working with Carrick would be far better than the supposed work Carrick has done on Fred.

Frenkie is more dynamic than Carrick, Matic, Busquets but also smaller and shorter. He is very adept defensively, there would probably be no one in our team that makes the kilometres he does. He has defensive awareness, does well at pressing, intercepting, very well balanced and doesnt shy away from duels. He would work in a 2 with Pogba I'd say, but Pogba would need to put some work in as well. I doubt we could play him in a 4141 type of formation, but who could?

He plays in a 433 for Oranje many at times, as single CDM or in a pivot with Wijnaldum who plays more offensively. For Barcelona he is a box to box.

I think he looks happy there, but he loves Messi. Messi not being there and if they won't challenge, I can imagine a move to the PL to play with Sancho, Greenwood, Rashford, Shaw, Pogba, Bruno, Ronaldo, Varane would be enticing, especially if he'd earn somewhere around 300-400k. But I doubt he'll waist top years if Barça doesnt compete. But I think Barça will still compete.
Wonder if him and donny would work for us as the pivot.
 

Stacks

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Goodness me.
Why are City an elite side with no CF and a pony LB?
Just saying that a Klopp wouldn't have a Bruno, Pogba, Ronaldo, Greenwood, Rashford, Sancho etc on the same team either.
No one could start them all as many play in the same position. Klopp had an attacking side at Dortmund.
This is true, but they always have a good and exceptional manager. Knowing your limitation, knowing your opponents, read the game, make the necessary tactical change, instead of relying your "best 11" to do the job on their own. Was exactly what fail us at Europa final.
Is it not the correct path to compensate on a less talented manager by getting the best possible players in EVERY position? I mean you wouldn't expect Hodgson to beat Pep with Liverpools current team.

Can anyone dissect how the feck did we won the 20th title with mediocre midfield?
Carrick was immense.
Apparently the standards were lower
 

firstkuyttouch

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Can anyone dissect how the feck did we won the 20th title with mediocre midfield?
Well your manager was a level a hair beyond elite, so there’s that. The culture at the club at that time, the expectations, it wasn’t a punchline in some shitty ad man pitch (like Ole is now, whether you like to hear that or not) but something that put steel in the spine of players. I don’t know, it’s something more than just the mystique of a legend manager, it’s something I’ve almost solely posted about on here, what is missing from Manchester United in last decade. Increasingly it feels like SAF was able to work well under leeches but since he has gone leech culture has taken over? Because yea the midfield you rode to that title would make the term workmanlike blush, but it worked.
 

abkmufc92

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We could have 11 world class players but as long as we have Ole and his coaching staff we will be winning feck all.
 

tomaldinho1

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DM doesn't magically improve how we keep the ball, you can keep spending money until you're broke but the issue is how we build play. Has been that way since day 1, we can't be direct ALL the time, especially with 10 men.
 

Jacky Quacky

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Let’s be real even if we had Xavi Iniesta and Busquets in midfield Ole would still find a way to not make it work
 

Hammondo

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We don't have a midfielder who can run our games and dictate our football. You can have the best DM in the world, if we don't have this controlling midfielder we will always have big problems.
 

VinzentFTW

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I fear us prioritising the RW instead of DM and RB will come back and bite us in the ass. Our first 11 would be so much stronger with a proper RB and DM. For the Sancho money we could have bought Trippier and Bissouma or Tchouaméni.
 

cyril C

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Why are City an elite side with no CF and a pony LB?

No one could start them all as many play in the same position. Klopp had an attacking side at Dortmund.

Is it not the correct path to compensate on a less talented manager by getting the best possible players in EVERY position? I mean you wouldn't expect Hodgson to beat Pep with Liverpools current team.



Apparently the standards were lower
Not, it should be the other way round. Why did Chelsea won the league in 1 season, lost in the wilderness in the following, then won it again with a new manager, in the following season, with practically the same squad?

Chelsea again, how did Chelsea flipped in the middle of a season, with a new manager in charge, with the same squad?

In fact, there are numerous examples of Big Sam saving the day, in the middle of a season.

An inept manager can easily ruin a winning squad, just ask ourselves what happen a few years back. I don't think any of us would expect Moyes to step in and win again, but at least maintaining Top 4, make a few changes, and push forward again.

Beside, your definition of Best players in every position, could easily change, when a new manager has different perspective. Such as goalkeeper that can dribble; trying to make 100 cross into the box, when your #9 is 1.7m tall, and so on.