Arsenal and United's contrasting approaches to their rebuilds

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by Skills, Aug 9, 2019.

  1. Aug 9, 2019

    Skills Snitch

    Jan 17, 2012
    Both teams finished outside of the top 4 last season in positions 5th and 6th.

    Arsenal P 38 W 21 D7 L10 GF73 GA51 GD+22 Pt70

    6 Manchester United P38 W19 D9 L10 GF65 GA54 GD+11 Pt66

    Both teams underwhelmed defensively conceding over 50 goals each, but Arsenal's attack was more productive scoring 73 goals.

    Both teams this season have last one of their best midfielders for free and haven't tried to replace them.

    But here's the difference. Arsenal have decided to spend most of their cash bolstering their attack.

    • They have spent 80m on a forward in Pepe, while we've also spent 80m but on a CB.
    • We also decided to go big by spending 50m on a right back, but they've chosen to go for two slightly cheaper options in defence with Luiz and Tierney.
    • We've instead decided to cheap out in attack by spending 20m on James.
    Who's approach is ultimately going to prove to be more successful?
  2. Aug 9, 2019

    charlenefan Far less insightful than the other Charley

    Aug 17, 2005
    Well it's obvious which camp your in using the terminology 'go for two slightly cheaper options in defence' when referencing Arsenal and 'We've instead decided to cheap out in attack' when describing us
  3. Aug 9, 2019

    Gee Male Full Member

    Apr 10, 2009
    Roy Keane is Damien, the devil incarnate off the f
    You're making the mistaken assumption that a rebuild is over one transfer window. Ours clearly isn't. Emery has had 3 windows now, so way ahead of Ole. And Emery still has massive weakness in defence in particular, but also midfield and GK.

    Take what we have done to date, consider the possibility of our young strikers having another year of development to see where they get to, maybe add Sancho next summer as RW, plus concentrate on midfield reinforcements - ideally Longstaff has a good season of development but Newcastle go down, plus something else too.

    I'm happy enough with what is the start of a rebuild under Ole. It's going to take about 3 years.
  4. Aug 9, 2019

    r3idy Correctly predicted France to win World Cup 2018

    Jul 7, 2012
    Near Old Trafford
    Goals win you games, defence wins you titles.

    Not sure why it's a cheap out to go for James at £20m.(I thought the figure was closer to £15m but hey) What is there to suggest that Pepe will be 4x times the player of Daniel James ?

    There is a few points to our transfer window. Let's say we had the Midfield was not an issue nor was attack. If we ended the transfer window saying that one of the worlds best GK is on the verge of signing a new contract, you had just signed an England international CB who let's face it could have gone with Pep and 'Project' as the easier option, decided he believed in Ole and his vision and signed for us. Same with Wan Bissaka then we would all say that is a good window.

    Ole is getting utter pelters at the moment. Favorite for the sack blah blah, hasn't got any balls because he doesn't stand up to the Glazers or Woodward and other such claptrap. He's going about things the right way, he's setting standards but more importantly, he's getting players in who want to play for him. Put the romantic ideals of playing for the proclaimed worlds biggest club to one side. Get a cohesive unit together and build it over time. Not a popular opinion, hard to separate the glazers woodward from the current mess but I genuinely feel that our rebuild post Fergie is starting in earnest under Ole.

    Back to Nicholas Pepe, nothing can be guaranteed but I would wager he will be at Arsenal for 2-3 seasons. Flashes of brilliance with flashes of mediocrity, I would also wager Daniel James will be a bigger success in the long run.
  5. Aug 9, 2019

    Patience New Member

    Aug 5, 2019
    Always better off sorting out the back first.

    I think Ole is 100% going about this the right way.

    Look at Liverpool - and I am a massive fan of Jurgen Klopp.

    Liverpool finished 7th the first season with him... a bit like us last season.

    First thing he did was up the fitness levels of his players (same as Ole has done this summer). Then Klopp bought in the two glaring defensive areas they needed strengthening in: goalkeeper and centre-back.

    He tightened up the defence first!

    Then he had a steady season.. after tightening the back.

    Next summer, he bought a new engine in midfield: Keita and Fabinho.

    What happened: 97 points and a CL in the bag.

    Klopp finished 7th in his first season.. but was given ample time to turn it around.

    That's what we need to do.

    We give Ole the time and the patience required to build a team.

    It would have been foolish to try to address everything in this one summer.

    He has taken the perfect first steps. Defence sorted.

    Now, we are in a great position to see if kids can rise to the occasion of the Premier League.

    Can Pereira prove that he is atop midfielder?
    Can McTominay continue to be Ole's key player?
    Can Greenwood become as great as we all think he can?
    Can Gomes prove to be the top No.10 we all hope he can?

    We'll know that answers to those questions by next May,

    If the answer is 'no' to any of them, then we splash the cash.

    Only people who obsess about Football Manager and think that's how the real sport should be played are disappointed with our summer.

    I - personally - think it has been a fantastic first summer for Ole. Everything he has done makes perfect sense. But it only makes sense to fans who are willing to give him the time he needs to turn this ship back around.
  6. Aug 9, 2019

    WensleyMU Full Member

    Aug 1, 2018
    When City went from Peps first season, to their 100 pointer, they signed a load of defenders.

    When Klopp turned Liverpool from the same ongoing joke they have been for 10 years, into champions League finalists and eventually winners, he signed a defender.

    Notice a pattern?
  7. Aug 9, 2019

    charlenefan Far less insightful than the other Charley

    Aug 17, 2005
    You need the foundations to build on, so 100% getting the defence right is the first thing to do. Doesn't matter how many goals you score if you cant keep them out as there's only so many times you can outscore the opposition
  8. Aug 9, 2019

    12OunceEpilogue Full Member Scout

    Oct 2, 2016
    I'd have liked a right winger and a CM, the latter being extra important given we lost Herrera, and a striker given Lukaku's misfiring and now departure. However we look like we've finally sorted our back four out after years of mismanagement, Ole/Ed deserve credit for identifying it as a priority and spending big money to fix it. Maguire and AWB were available, want to be here and are ready to work for us. Dybala/Ben Yedder/Fernandes etc. had the whiff of media-made marriage of convenience around them rather than any kind of genuine sound fit (even though I'll admit to being excited about Fernandes from what I'd seen recently).

    The deals that were there to be done we've done, and we've come out with a functioning back four. It remains to be seen what else we could/should have done and how we'll compare with those in similar situations such as Arsenal.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
  9. Aug 9, 2019

    Nick7 Full Member

    Jan 24, 2011
    Wasn't last summer Arsenals start to the "rebuild"?
  10. Aug 9, 2019

    dove Full Member

    May 15, 2013
    Yes, we are winning the league :drool:
  11. Aug 9, 2019

    izec Full Member

    Sep 5, 2013
    Difference was both Liverpool and City were great going forward. They outscored most teams, but lost games due to defensive mistakes. Then they spent heavily on defenders and GK, and improved at the back. So both have the opposite approach, like Arsenal in fact. Getting the offense right isnt easy, it doenst matter which way you go first. Liverpool and City have great fitness levels, but also great attacking players and patterns of play. Both managers improved a lot of their players. Thats what we have to do as well.
  12. Aug 9, 2019

    Jimmy_Bond Full Member

    Jul 27, 2019
    Jesus Christ. The state of some of the people on here.

    Forget the other signings Arsenal made, people would be saying they'd had a shit window if it weren't for the signing of Pepe.

    The bloke is 24 and has had one good season in France in his entire career. No Champion's Leqgue club wanted him, including Bayern Munich, who are even more desperate for wingers than us. Once again the FIFA merchants crying because we haven't signed a player they've never seen play in the flesh, and now he has signed for somebody else for ungodly sums of money.

    Luiz is shit. Cabellos can't get a game for a Madrid team absolutely desperate for central midfielders. They've also signed a left back from Scotland.

    We've had an infinitely better window than Arsenal, as we've significantly strengthened on area of our team. Their defence is still awful, and their midfield is weaker as they lost their best player. ON A FREE. Pepe could completely flop, or just be average, then what?

    The scenes on here if we'd have signed David fecking Luiz...
  13. Aug 9, 2019

    Nogbadthebad Full Member

    Apr 7, 2011
    I said this on the 'where will we finish' predictor thread, take our defence as a whole, the back four and goalkeeper, and I think we have the best starters in the league now.

    We won a league and cup double under Fergie on the back of a solid defence and getting one goal, usually cantona. Not saying we will win anything, you need much more these days to win titles, but it is a good foundation. I don't think the lack of goals will hurt us as much because we will be much better defensively.

    Not sure arsenal have really solved their issues, still very vulnerable at the back. They will likely score more goals in games they would have won last year anyway, but I don't think they will change their final position at all. They ended 5th, it's where I have them again.
  14. Aug 9, 2019

    RedSky likes to kick 10-year-olds Scout

    Jul 27, 2006
    Hereford FC (Soccermanager)
    They have better goalscorers and just added a quality player in Pepe to their squad, meaning they could potentially change formation and mimic Liverpools. They'll outscore us by at least 15 goals. Luiz is a stop gap signing for them, but its a pretty smart one. Yes, he can do stupid shit, we all know this, but on his day he's very good. Tierney is a very good signing, instantly improved their LB position. They still have weaknesses and it might take them a bit of time to get going given they've brought in players late.

    I think people are expecting too much from Maguire when the reality is that our midfield wont offer our defence much protection. We're relying on Scott, he's probably our most important player this season so lets just pray to the footballing Gods that he doesn't get injured otherwise we'll be in trouble. We'll also still struggle to break through teams that defend deep. We won't lose as many games as last season but we'll draw more. Whether that's going to be enough to get into Top 4 I dunno. Its probably going to end up being very tight again.
  15. Aug 9, 2019

    Kush Full Member

    Mar 30, 2010
    Not a fair comparison really, Arsenal are ahead of us in this rebuild. It basically started last season. Given they've fixed almost all of their weakness, they've obviously done a great job.

    But, we are probably in our 4th rebuild in 6 seasons. It's a much more complex and difficult process than them.

    I agree, just wanted to point out on Luiz bit. Arsenal also signed William Saliba this summer for £27m. He's only 18 so not ready yet, hence been loaned back. They can get couple of seasons out of Luiz and by then Saliba should be ready to step in. Their squad planning is miles ahead of us.
  16. Aug 9, 2019

    cantonaldo New Member

    Apr 11, 2007
    Back is always the place you need to stabilise first. I remember the days when Fergie spent big on defenders like Pallister, Ferdinand, etc.

    Once Ole's back four is stable, he can then spend on building the mid and top. And if he has a decent enough season, maybe making into cup finals, then I am pretty sure he gets a war chest to do so in the next one or two seasons.
  17. Aug 9, 2019

    r0663664 Full Member

    Aug 9, 2012
    Totally agreed. Defence is sorted, hope it is enough for top 4. Once we get into top 4, RW, 2 CM and 1 striker if the youngsters dont live up to expectation. Class of '92, I think that what Ole is thinking. I hope Perirera, Tom, Gomes and Greenwood show the world that Utd academy is alive and kicking.
  18. Aug 9, 2019

    Adnan Full Member

    Oct 5, 2013
    United Kingdom, England
    Both teams had attacks that scored over a 100 goals so signing defenders was the loglcal choice.
  19. Aug 9, 2019

    Lentwood Full Member

    Jan 2, 2015
    West Didsbury, Manchester
    Call me crazy but I actually like our approach this summer. Sure, I would have liked to have shipped out more of the my book the likes of Sanchez, Rojo, Jones, Young etc....might as well just leave and their minutes go to young lads from the Academy. Overall though James is a wildcard and Maguire and AWB *SHOULD* be bankers to improve the starting XI

    Also, because they are the right sort of age, we can then look to Jan./next Summer to add two or three more players who will definitely improve the XI. At least if we follow this approach, in two/three years time we *should* have a very competitive team

    I am afraid the ship has long since sailed on 'quick fixes' but at least this shows a change in approach
  20. Aug 9, 2019

    macheda14 Full Member

    May 22, 2009
    Your timeline is a bit off. Came in October of his first season and finished 8th. Second season finished 4th, third season, 4th and CL final and last season, 2nd and a CL trophy. You missed a season.
  21. Aug 9, 2019

    WensleyMU Full Member

    Aug 1, 2018
    No they didn't...

    2016/17 season neither side scored over 100 goals.
  22. Aug 9, 2019

    Foxbatt Full Member

    Oct 21, 2013
    We could have got any decent midfield from any club in the PL and it would have an improvement on what we currently have in midfield. Take out Pogba and it is shite.
  23. Aug 9, 2019

    Adnan Full Member

    Oct 5, 2013
    United Kingdom, England
    Maybe not in 2016/17 but look at the players they had in midfield or attack. Both teams had a big goal threat and Liverpool almost won the league a few years before under Rogers scoring over a 100 goals.

    The reason they focused on defence was because they were strong in other areas.
  24. Aug 9, 2019

    Sky1981 Fending off the urge

    Apr 12, 2006
    Under the bright neon lights of sincity
    Rebuilt? Too early to say. They havent had anything to show post wenger.

    We had several trophies at least
  25. Aug 9, 2019

    WR10 Correctly predicted France to win World Cup 2018

    Jul 19, 2009
    When you don’t have the ball your team have to defend. How much attacking positioning your talented forward players have to sacrifice directly correlates to how good your defensive players are.

    The better your defenders the higher up and more counter offensive your forward players can be.

    With a better Defense you automatically have a better attack. You can’t say the same thing in reverse. See City and Liverpool.
  26. Aug 15, 2019

    steve.crowford New Member

    Aug 2, 2019
    It seems to me that Arsenal never set themselves the goal to win the championship, they always have the top 4 goal, and there is already how lucky they are...
    Besides, most of the matches they played in 3 defenders, we do not play like that)
  27. Aug 15, 2019

    Santoryo ripping the reward

    Apr 10, 2014
    Grass always greener when it comes to blokes in this place.
  28. Aug 15, 2019

    Raven96__ New Member

    Jul 29, 2019
    Real Madrid
    Only time will tell obviously, I would like to visit this thread again in May, Arsenal obviously needs another center back, Luiz isnt long term, and United needs a striker and a midfielder.
  29. Aug 15, 2019

    Kaizane New Member

    Aug 7, 2018
    Great post, couldn't agree more.

    EDIT: Actually, I retract slightly, Although I admire what Klopp has done, I'm not a massive fan.
  30. Aug 15, 2019

    Lentwood Full Member

    Jan 2, 2015
    West Didsbury, Manchester
    Agree. We've a general tendency on this forum to massively, massively over-estimate any foreign-based players and massively under-estimate the known quantity of the PL
  31. Aug 15, 2019

    Nikelesh Reddy Full Member

    Sep 10, 2017
    This.Although I think that we definitely should have signed a midfielder this summer...Not strengthening the midfield may came back to haunt us this season...
  32. Aug 15, 2019

    NinjaFletch Full Member

    Sep 30, 2009
    Woah, hang on.

    Your memory has failed you and you've got almost all of the details and timeline wrong.

    Klopp finished 8th in his first season, and finished 4th in the next season having signed Mane, Wijnaldum, Klavan, Matip and Karius (I don't think the signings of Matip and Karius are the ones you meant when you stated he had sorted the defence).

    They finished 4th the next season and signed Salah, Chamberlain and Robertson in the summer and agreed a deal for Keita to join next year.

    They finished 4th again that season, and signed Van Dijk in January.

    They then signed Alisson, Fabinho and completed the deal for Keita before finishing 2nd.

    The first thing Liverpool had in place from this team is the Salah/Mane/Firminho front three.

    The last area they strengthened was the goalkeeper, and Van Dijk was also signed late on.

    If anything, Klopp's time at Liverpool is proof that you don't have to build from the back forwards; they did pretty much the exact opposite. At the very least, they looked to improve all areas of the team at the same time.
  33. Aug 15, 2019

    terraloo New Member

    Nov 6, 2012

    Do you remember the chatter when Arsenal signed Cech?

    In the majority of games they will concede.There is no doubt that in Aubameyang they have a really decent finisher but Lacazette isn’t in his class and Pepe is stepping up in the standard and consistency of opposition where no one knows how he will do. Of course all transfers have a huge health warning but why weren’t more top clubs in for him?

    Chelsea sold Luiz for good reason.

    The fact that Chelsea let him go for the sum they did following Saris exit should have set alarm bells ringing for you don't need to forensically dissect his historical performances to realise that as a defender there are serious flaws in his game. As a footballer he can pick a pass and for every time he brings the ball out of defence to good effect on at least another two occasions he looses the ball being out of position at most clubs would be an issue but at Arsenal they are so open it will be an even bigger issue.In both France and of course at Chelsea he has played with defensively savvy players who often covered his indiscretions. I just don’t see an abundance of this type of player in Arsenal’s current squad.

    Tierney is currently out. His number and type of absences due to injuries last season should have said don’t go near indeed it’s telling that no other supposed top 6 clubs went near for what is a bargain price for a reputed top talent.

    Cabbellos is a player who clearly is at a cross roads in his career. I have seen him play on a couple of occasions but at this point in time I just don’t see him as adding strength to Arsenal’s midfield.

    Arsenal’s rebuild is to a large degree being paid for by way of HP. The ongoing payments are not small and unlike the past they don’t have committed future payments ring fenced in their infamous cash reserves.

    The most telling point will be when Arsenal’s accounts for the period to 31/5/2019 are published almost certainly the impact of Amortisation will have taken them into a loss situation and without CL football that will be the case this year and yes I know all about their commercial uplift but I wonder just how big a gamble they have taken this season.
  34. Aug 15, 2019

    Bwuk Full Member

    Feb 29, 2012
    Prefer what we did tbh.

    I really like Tierney, but his hips are made of poppadoms. If he can stay fit he’ll be a excellent signing. We should of went for him. I’m not sure where he will fit for Arsenal if they play a back 3 though. He’s not really a wingback, nor is he a CB.

    David Luiz - why?

    Ceballos - good player but doesn’t exactly add anything they didn’t already have.

    Pepe - let’s wait and see. I’m not convinced from the little I’ve seen.
  35. Aug 15, 2019

    Schmeichel's Cartwheel Full Member

    Dec 21, 2014
    Arsenal's window wasn't all that impressive to be fair. Pepe could be a hit, but he could just as easy be a miss. He's come from the french league after one great season, nothing notable before that & he's 24 and has a large fee to live up to. Luiz is erratic at the back. Tierney is a good signing, I'll give them that. Haven't seen much of Ceballos, but he couldn't get near Madrid's team.
  36. Aug 15, 2019

    Ekeke Full Member

    Aug 1, 2006
    Hope, We Lose
    I'm not sure which way this will go.

    But if I was the Arsenal manager I would have gone for improving the defense and at United I would have put more focus on improving midfield and attack.
  37. Aug 15, 2019

    RightSaidFredTheRed New Member

    Aug 13, 2019
    Its an interesting debate.

    Breaking it down...i see it this way...

    We've both lost important midfielders. United have lost Herrera and plan B Fellaini. Arsenal lost their best player last year..Ramsey

    Pepe in a different position could replace Ramsey as a creator and scorer. Ceballos then adds another body for midfield albeit probably not having a major influence.

    We've not directly replaced Herrera or Fellaini, but we did have some midfield bloat. McTom is fairly imposing and has arguably as much to his game as Fellaini, but more versatile. Maybe not quite as imposing in the box, but there is potential. He is a good blend of what those two could do albeit without the peak yet. Thus we are relying on potential.

    Pereira is capable of moments of brilliance, again something Fellaini could do, but he doesn't have the energy, power and speed of Herrera. So in a way these two step up as maybe weaker players in terms of peaks, but more rounded in terms of offerings. Fred has all the energy of Herrera, but has not found his quality yet, but again provides another option as he did last year and might step up.

    The real excitement in midfield in the AM role comes in a few different forms....Mata in the right position can be like a new signing. He has all the quality to boss that position in tight games requiring less speed. Lingard provides the energy against fast counter attacking teams.

    But most exciting is Gomes who looks like he could have it all. Gomes could be the answer we were looking for, we just have to be brave enough to bed him in. Crystal Palace at home and Southampton away are prime games for this.

    Arsenal probably currently have the better midfield in terms of consistency, but i think ours have potential for more momentary brilliance and that can win you games.

    Arsenal lost Koscielny as captain, albeit a relatively weak one and have replaced with real change, albeit maybe more mistakes in Luiz, but i think overall he might be a better player.

    In CB we've added a first teamer in Maguire so that's a clesr forward step. We also have Tuanzebe so again are more than covered with good quality.

    Tierney adds cover and Bellerin returns at some point so they won't be as exposed on wing backs. Similarly, we have signed Wan Bisakka so are far less exposed than having Young there.

    Our defence is unquestionably better than Arsenal's.

    I've mentioned Pepe for Arsenal, who in a different position needs to replace what Ramsey gave. Ramsey's injury is what cost Arsenal that 4th spot. This does come with some risk, but no where near as much as the risks we are taking.

    Losing Lukaku is a gamble. It's the 2+2=6 route, vs the 2+2+1=5, i.e. we have to hope the increased speed of play and increased opportunities makes up for Lukaku's ability to finish half chances. Lukaku also had a higher work rate than Martial, thus Martial needs to be far more present. In terms of chance finishing i don't dount Martial can step up and Greenwood also provides a new option.

    The main question is simply the work rate to hunt out those chances. The goal Martial scored against Chelsea is a similar type of goal Lukaku would get, i.e. bossing it in the box to make sure the goal is forced in. If anything Martial was actually even more alive than Lukaku would be that close to goal. It's a promising show.

    Before the Chelsea game and maybe as self presevation among friends who support other clubs, i said we'd come 5th behind Arsenal. It was incredibly hard to call as i don't think there is much between us. Similarly i think even Wolves and Everton will close the gap, but i don't believe it will be enough.

    What it comes down to is a few uncertainties....
    Will Pepe replace the influence Ramsey had. Immediately maybe he won't, longer term he might even be more influential. That is probably Arsenal's biggest question.

    They will continue to leak goals, but Lacazette and Aubameyang will continue banging them in. Pepe is the tipping point of will they score one more than you!

    For us anything we lose in Lukaku we gain in defence so I'm not too worried there and from a synergy perspective and with Greenwood i think we have a couple of aces up our sleeve that might mean we are better overall.

    Midfield is the big question. Simply put, do we have enough quality. Take Pogba out and we need to be extra smart tactically. I still think Mata/ Lingard/ Gomes in that AM position could do enough to keep the cogs turning, but even then you still have to rely on Fred/ McTom and Periera or static matic to try and get a hold of the ball.

    The positive about a weaker midfield is it might actually play to our advantage. Our defence are all killers, more often than not they'll get hold of the ball and they all have the ability to transition the play rapidly. Rashford/ Martial/ Greenwood/ James/ Chong will all thrive on quick counter attacks.

    The Chelsea game was a great example of this. Chelsea didn't take their chances and we put the game to bed. If we had conceeded first we might have struggled to get past their midfield, but instead we took took first blood and didn't look back.

    Wolves will be a big test. They like to counter, as do we. They won't expose themselves as much as Chelsea, but we can't afford to use Mata because we'll transistion too slowly on the counter.

    It's the one type of game i think we might be inadequately tooled. Someone like Fernandes has the ability and energy to get back on the counter, but also to provide incision in attack. Do we really have anyone that can do that.

    Lingard can provide the energy, but rarely incision. Mata can provide the incision, but no energy. Gomes could be a solution, but Wolves are physical and he might het get brushed aside. Pereira is maybe the most rounded, but won't get back fast enough and is only a little more incisive than Lingard.

    I'd probably go with Fred and McTom as DM's, Pogba just ahead. Id then have Rashford, Martial and Greenwood forwards. This should provide enough quality in and around the box to craft chances.

    How we handle this test will probably go some way to showing what we can do this season and thus how we compare to Arsenal.

    The potential is there, but our biggest weakness in defence is our strongest weapon in attack. Who will punch's not something Arsenal would consider because they have to keep attacking and have the quality to score.
  38. Aug 15, 2019

    Marshal New Member

    Jul 24, 2018
    Me too, I'm surprised that Emery who is criticised for being too cautious at least in big games, didn't choose to improve such a poor defensive line. Maybe he thinks he can do something about it, but if they receive as many goals as the last year, they will be out of the top 4 almost for sure. Even if they score more goals.
  39. Aug 15, 2019

    ColvaleGoa Full Member

    Jan 28, 2010

    Very good post!! Agree with you wholeheartedly!
  40. Aug 15, 2019

    antohan gets aroused by tagline boobs

    Apr 24, 2002
    Arsenal's approach is the same they've used for rhe last decade or so. We know the results of that, happy to do the opposite.