Are we ready to make the next step?

UNITED ACADEMY

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Our 11 looks good compared to the top teams?

Seriously.

Our LB is one notch above awful. It's strange so many are willing to accept a player who could down tools and stop training properly at any time. That's if he hasn't done already a few times this season.

We have no top CBs. Not sure thats up for discussion.

Pogba has wanted out for years and we've received a single bid, and it was completely unrealistic. Barca, PSG, City, Chelsea, Bayern not even paper gossip. He's not all that. Pogba against Sheffield was the best he's played for us for years but that's not a player anyone is gonna spend 100m for.

Big fan of Bruno but we need to wait and see.

As for our front line, come on. Our guys don't compare to top teams, that's just silly. You could see against Norwich why Greenwood doesn't start.

Martial having a good (for him) scoring season but if any of you think his no sprintin', no runnin' style would last longer than a season at a club with actual ambition you are very mistaken.

And then when we look at what other clubs have in the bench versus us it's no competition at all. Fred? Lingard? James?

Hopefully we can be good enough for top four next year, but that will be hard.
I just want to specifically mention the LB & CB here.

I know Shaw is not a top notch but it's the same goes to other club's left back. Pretty sure only Digne & Robertson for PL left back at the moment who can take Shaw's spot while both Mendy & Chilwell have been dreadful & heavily criticised this season.

Maguire would have starting in all 20 PL teams now. Pep wanted to sign him as well and they are 2nd best team in the league while Maguire is no 1 England centre back above Joe Gomez in pecking order.
 

andersj

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We're one attacking player injury away from this bubble popping. The squad isn't a next-level squad at all, most players outside the regular starting XI haven't looked like they know what the plan is at Manchester United, before or after the corona break.
Good point. We have been lucky not to have injuries on any important players the past fifteen games...
 

r0663664

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This is said about every manager until they win their first trophy or league title. It's not so long ago that people said Klopp lacked the mentality to forge his team from a team that plays exciting football into a team that can win titles. And this was despite the fact he had won league titles with Dortmund.

The same was said about Pochettino, so saying things like we haven't seen anything from a manager to suggest he can lead a team to titles is idle talk. All it takes is one season to change that, and somehow people always tend to remember that. A guy like Jose has mounted nothing close to a title challenge in 5 years and is still referred to as a "serial winner".

Ole has assembled a genuinely exciting team, he's improved the bulk of players he inherited, such as Rashford, Martial, McTominay, Fred, Shaw etc and made very good signings who have made a significant impact. He's on the right path and to hold the fact that he hasn't shown in the past he can win trophies is terribly unfair in my opinion.
I rate him not by the trophies. Who has really won trophies in the last few season? I don't rate him for his ability to motivation and change tactical changes when needed. We can't beat Norwich who is the worst team being 1-0 up. Why Rushford was brought into the game and not exploiting the Norwich defence. In his mind, Pogba will get 30mins. Greenwood will get 10min regardless if James is ineffective or no one is dominating midfield. Ole seems to be a coach who buys good players and hoping that they develop some chemistry to bring the title home. That's what I am saying.
 
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Infra-red

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The two big unknowns are:

Can one of Martial/Rashford/Greenwood explode and become a truly top tier goal threat?

Can Solskjaer coach an organised attack (à la Guardiola, Klopp, Nagelsmann, Rose, Gasperini etc)?

(we'll probably need to get a "yes" to the latter before we will get a "yes" to the former, but we need both things to happen if we're to stand any chance of racking up the number of victories necessary to amass the 95+ points needed to challenge Liverpool/City).
 

King7Eric

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I rate him not by the trophies. Who has really won trophies in the last few season? I don't rate him for his ability to motivation and change tactical changes when needed. We can't beat Norwich who is the worst team being 1-0 up. Why Rushford was brought into the game and not exploiting the Norwich defence. In his mind, Pogba will get 30mins. Greenwood will get 10min regardless if James is ineffective or no one is dominating midfield. Ole seems to be a coach who buys good players and hoping that they develop some chemistry to bring the title home. That's what I am saying.
Can you name one manager who won a league title with Championship level or mid table level players?? This is an absurd thing to say. Every manager needs good players to win trophies. The fact that he has bought good players and improved the existing ones is something that raises his credentials as a top manager, not diminishes it.

By the way we heard this nonsense about SAF too for years. That he wasn't tactically brilliant and his success was built on his motivational powers and the ability of Utd to buy the best players in the league. It seemed to work out alright for him.
 

cyril C

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Our woeful result was due to

1. We are not creating enough chances - OK 50% solved with Bruno. But still need wingers and fullback that can make cross.
2. Our defence lapse every few games. Maguire was the culprit for the Norwich goal. Then you have DDG every few games. Don't think we can solve all defensive crack overnight, perhaps a decent 3rd CB replacing Jones/Rojo/Smalling would be 1st step.
 

AFC NimbleThumb

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The two big unknowns are:

Can one of Martial/Rashford/Greenwood explode and become a truly top tier goal threat?

Can Solskjaer coach an organised attack (à la Guardiola, Klopp, Nagelsmann, Rose, Gasperini etc)?

(we'll probably need to get a "yes" to the latter before we will get a "yes" to the former, but we need both things to happen if we're to stand any chance of racking up the number of victories necessary to amass the 95+ points needed to challenge Liverpool/City).
The highlighted really is a massive ask & something we need terribly.

Rashford, Martial, Greenwood or [hopefully] a Sancho type need to become genuine threats that cause whole defences to gameplan for them.

The fear we last saw with RVP that opens up space for others. I feel Rashford could but he drifts as he did when he came on vs Norwich.

I still believe we should have allocated funds differently last summer.
 

edcunited1878

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The highlighted really is a massive ask & something we need terribly.

Rashford, Martial, Greenwood or [hopefully] a Sancho type need to become genuine threats that cause whole defences to gameplan for them.

The fear we last saw with RVP that opens up space for others. I feel Rashford could but he drifts as he did when he came on vs Norwich.

I still believe we should have allocated funds differently last summer.
There's been clear progression from the top two threats in Rashford and Martial. Since the restart, I've thought Rashford has played well, not including his scoring(!), and looks to be more purposeful with his passes and in the final third. He'll get his goals. But in addition to progress, they have to have a higher floor and be able to maintain those levels of output and at least threat for the majority of the year before we can hopefully say, are United ready to make the next step.

The foundation can still improve and be a little stronger if we're all being honest. And one of the shrewd signings (e.g. Bruno), needs to really improve and be borderline top or world class player along with Pogba, and the progressions of AWB, Maguire, Lindelof, McTominay, Fred, Greenwood, James. Every player should be able to sustain their current levels and improve upon them a level, two, or three in order for United to make that big next step.
 

Majima

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The two big unknowns are:

Can one of Martial/Rashford/Greenwood explode and become a truly top tier goal threat?

Can Solskjaer coach an organised attack (à la Guardiola, Klopp, Nagelsmann, Rose, Gasperini etc)?

(we'll probably need to get a "yes" to the latter before we will get a "yes" to the former, but we need both things to happen if we're to stand any chance of racking up the number of victories necessary to amass the 95+ points needed to challenge Liverpool/City).
They already are. They have outscored the Liverpool 3 this season. That's with them missing chunks of the season injured & no Pogba or Bruno for the majority. The Liverpool 3 have played a combined 10,214 mins, ours have only played 7,272 mins. That's almost 50% less!

Mins per g/a = Martial 108 mins, Rashford 96 mins, Greenwood 109 mins. Those are extremely good returns no? considering they've mostly played with Lingard/Pereira/Mata feeding them.

Salah is at 113 mins per g/a, Mane 104 mins, Firmino 151 mins (:wenger:). Juventus played more mins, Dortmund played more mins too.

To put it into perspective, this season Lingard/Pereira/Mata have combined 18 g/a from 5,798 mins or 322 mins per g/a. That's 3.5 games per goal/assist between them. Crazy stats.

Imagine if they had no injuries and a fully fit Pogba & Bruno behind them this season instead of Lingard/Pereira/Mata taking turns doing disappearing acts?


https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/sco...9&compFilter=top5withClElwithNatCups&yt0=Show

2nd point, we'll have to wait and see. Pogba & Bruno have only been together a short while but there's been promising signs already, about breaking down low blocks or building up. If we're still having the same issues come the end of season/next, then that will be time to be seriously questioning things.
 
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Cheimoon

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As we have seen from Liverpool, one of the key issues is getting players to form partnerships.
Wing backs and wingers, center midfield and especially forwards.

And yes, that is down to coaching; not necessarily the manager.

I do believe that we are starting to form the basis of a good side. And we do have a number of very talented players.

But coaching definitely needs to be ramped up quite a few notches.
But so who is responsible for building those partnerships, if not the coach?

Also, what I'm missing throughout this thread is the question of tactics. Everybody is talking about individuals, and then a few comments about partnerships. But things don't just 'click into place' with the right personnel. If Ole doesn't figure out how to properly break down low-block teams, United won't reach the level of consistency (in winning matches) required to challenge.
 

Buster15

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But so who is responsible for building those partnerships, if not the coach?

Also, what I'm missing throughout this thread is the question of tactics. Everybody is talking about individuals, and then a few comments about partnerships. But things don't just 'click into place' with the right personnel. If Ole doesn't figure out how to properly break down low-block teams, United won't reach the level of consistency (in winning matches) required to challenge.
Understand that. It is clearly the manager to set the strategy and then his coaching staff to make it happen.
 

andersj

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To put it into perspective, this season Lingard/Pereira/Mata have combined 18 g/a from 5,798 mins or 322 mins per g/a.
Looking at our squad I think there is two aspects where we really need to improve;

- We need two or three consistent world class-performers to raise our maximum level. Rashford, Martial, Pogba and Fernandes please step up (we are on the cusp of it). Furthermore, we should try to add an attacker with world class-potential.

- We need to replace the most inconsistent performers to raise our «lowest level». Players like Lingard, Pereira and Mata should be replaced. Due to the overall situation I would also add Dalot. If these four players could be replaced by for instance Brooks and Sako we would have come a long way.

Furthermore, in defence we should try replacing Smalling, Rojo and Bailly or Jones (depending on resale value and need for cash) with one experienced central defender who can push Lindeløf. A lot of talk about Konate and Upamecano. Maybe that would be the right move. Personally I would like to see us add someone with more experience. I would keep a close eye on how Dier perform as a defender for Mourinho in the last few games. He is very experienced, perfect age and soon out of contract (Man Utd-fan too).
 

Havak

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It's obviously going to depend what happens in the transfer market and how much the squad can improve and gel together ready for next season.

But my answer would no, and that isn't to sound pessimistic. Let's say we make the Champion's League this season and win a trophy for arguments sake. The next step is what? Win the Premier League title? Not happening, so no we're not ready.

If we say, get to a final or two semi-finals and get knocked out in the cups, but still finish 4th, then the next step is arguably finish in the top four again and win a trophy. If that was the scenario then I'd say yes, we could go to the next level and win a trophy whilst maintaining Champions League football.

If we fail to win either trophy and don't get into the Champion's League through league position, then again the next step would be to finish in the top 4 next season and win a trophy or multiple. Again, there I'd say yes we can go to the next level again.

It's relative to how we finish this season in regards to what the next step is. If we somehow won the FA Cup, Europa League and finished in the top 4, then I don't think we would be surpassing that exactly next season as the only way to do it is keep winning trophies and finish higher than 3rd or so.
 

andersj

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The next step is what?
In my opinion the next step is about being where Liverpool was in 17/18. They came fourth and lost the CL-final, but they looked very good. In hindsight it is easy to see that they were about to build somethint special at that point.

That is my hope for this season. That we can build something similar to that 17/18 season from Liverpool and then build further to challenge.
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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They already are. They have outscored the Liverpool 3 this season. That's with them missing chunks of the season injured & no Pogba or Bruno for the majority. The Liverpool 3 have played a combined 10,214 mins, ours have only played 7,272 mins. That's almost 50% less!

Mins per g/a = Martial 108 mins, Rashford 96 mins, Greenwood 109 mins. Those are extremely good returns no? considering they've mostly played with Lingard/Pereira/Mata feeding them.

Salah is at 113 mins per g/a, Mane 104 mins, Firmino 151 mins (:wenger:). Juventus played more mins, Dortmund played more mins too.

To put it into perspective, this season Lingard/Pereira/Mata have combined 18 g/a from 5,798 mins or 322 mins per g/a. That's 3.5 games per goal/assist between them. Crazy stats.

Imagine if they had no injuries and a fully fit Pogba & Bruno behind them this season instead of Lingard/Pereira/Mata taking turns doing disappearing acts?


https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/sco...9&compFilter=top5withClElwithNatCups&yt0=Show

2nd point, we'll have to wait and see. Pogba & Bruno have only been together a short while but there's been promising signs already, about breaking down low blocks or building up. If we're still having the same issues come the end of season/next, then that will be time to be seriously questioning things.
If that's the case then Danny Ings is also top tier one like Salah or Mane and imagine if Southampton have Bruno & Pogba, Ings could be on 25+ by now. So easy to just looking at goals alone. What makes them on different level is that they aren't only done this once but they done it in previous season, consistent basis & step up when needed. On top of it, both Salah & Mane have incredible fitness to allow them play lot of games without getting injured due to being overplayed.

Both Rashford & Martial have great potential but at this moment their level is still not on the same level as Salah & Mane. Of course, we can't ignore the chance of them being on the same level as Salah & Mane next season if they can keep the same form until end of this season and end up scoring 20+ league goals but for now let's not jump into conclusion until end of the season.
 

slir32

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It doesn't matter in the bigger picture if Ole is or is not good enough to win us the PL as long as we are buying the correct players which the next manager can use. And we are buying the right players finally.