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2020-21 Performances


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5.8 Season Average Rating
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Mark Pawelek

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What was this 'signicant role' that he had. If I remember rightly, he was up for a corner, as was Maguire, when for some reason we played it short, lost the ball, and Matic had left their striker on his own on the half way line, and he scored unapposed. Tuanzebe's fault?
The second goal was down to Mata miscontrolling a poor ball from Bruno, getting robbed, and then their player had a relatively free run to our goal. Tuanzebe had to come across to close down his space, which meant Maguire had to come across to pick up the striker, which left a 'midfield player' frre to score, not sure where Matic was on that one. So I wonder where this 'signicant role' you mention came from.
Why would you leave Matic (who is slowish) defending against a striker (of unknown speed), when you can put Tuanzebe (who is fast) defending? Seems to me our coaches got that wrong.
 

red woppit

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Why would you leave Matic (who is slowish) defending against a striker (of unknown speed), when you can put Tuanzebe (who is fast) defending? Seems to me our coaches got that wrong.
That may be so, but Matic almost caught him from starting at least 10 yards behind him, I don't think it helped that AWB was dragged forward to help with that ridiculous short corner routine, when he should also have been closer to their striker.
 

A-man

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What was this 'signicant role' that he had. If I remember rightly, he was up for a corner, as was Maguire, when for some reason we played it short, lost the ball, and Matic had left their striker on his own on the half way line, and he scored unapposed. Tuanzebe's fault?
The second goal was down to Mata miscontrolling a poor ball from Bruno, getting robbed, and then their player had a relatively free run to our goal. Tuanzebe had to come across to close down his space, which meant Maguire had to come across to pick up the striker, which left a 'midfield player' frre to score, not sure where Matic was on that one. So I wonder where this 'signicant role' you mention came from.
It was one of the worst matches I’ve seen with Tuanzebe. I wouldn’t say he was involved in the goals, if that’s good or bad is another thing, but his weak defending left the whole team unstable. He had the role to defend our high line but wasn’t able to do it. He was close to a red when he couldn’t catch Demba Ba. It was not because he is slow, it was because he didn’t read the game and didn’t make the right decisions. I would say he was not involved in the goals, but has a role in our loss. In the end I blame Ole who underestimated our opponent and put up a boy to do a grownup’s work, in order to develop him and to rest first xi players. He wasn’t ready.
 

A-man

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Why would you leave Matic (who is slowish) defending against a striker (of unknown speed), when you can put Tuanzebe (who is fast) defending? Seems to me our coaches got that wrong.
This is hardly tuanzebes fault. Ole has done many mistakes like this on corners. He used to leave Shaw alone to defend as well. For me it is clear as daylight that it should always be AWB who is world class 1v1 on the ground and who doesn’t contribute anything in the air.
In this situation, why Matic? Slow but decent in the air. This was Ole’s mistake.
 

red woppit

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It was one of the worst matches I’ve seen with Tuanzebe. I wouldn’t say he was involved in the goals, if that’s good or bad is another thing, but his weak defending left the whole team unstable. He had the role to defend our high line but wasn’t able to do it. He was close to a red when he couldn’t catch Demba Ba. It was not because he is slow, it was because he didn’t read the game and didn’t make the right decisions. I would say he was not involved in the goals, but has a role in our loss. In the end I blame Ole who underestimated our opponent and put up a boy to do a grownup’s work, in order to develop him and to rest first xi players. He wasn’t ready.
Yet he'd played well against a far superior PSG side, but that was in a back three, and I assume was given the task of watching Mbappe, because of his speed.
I don't think he was any worse than any other United player on that night, the whole team seemed to be in a 'we are superior' mode, and didn't try to win the battle before using our abilities to beat a poor side, similar to the way we seem to come out against the likes of Sheffield United, West Brom and Fulham.
Yes Tuanzebe has a lot to learn, and yes, he struggled physically in that 1 x 1 against Ba, but on Thursday I was waiting for the times when he switched off, but to his credit he seemed 'on his game' for 90+ minutes, which is the first time I'd seen that from him, so perhaps his concentration levels have improved.
He certainly has the physical attributes to perform at the highest level, but needs the experience.
If we do sign another CB, then perhaps a season loan to a prem club may be a possibility, but personally I would like to see him get more minutes, especially as both Bailly and Lindelof appear to have ongoing injury issues.
 

A-man

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Yet he'd played well against a far superior PSG side, but that was in a back three, and I assume was given the task of watching Mbappe, because of his speed.
I don't think he was any worse than any other United player on that night, the whole team seemed to be in a 'we are superior' mode, and didn't try to win the battle before using our abilities to beat a poor side, similar to the way we seem to come out against the likes of Sheffield United, West Brom and Fulham.
Yes Tuanzebe has a lot to learn, and yes, he struggled physically in that 1 x 1 against Ba, but on Thursday I was waiting for the times when he switched off, but to his credit he seemed 'on his game' for 90+ minutes, which is the first time I'd seen that from him, so perhaps his concentration levels have improved.
He certainly has the physical attributes to perform at the highest level, but needs the experience.
If we do sign another CB, then perhaps a season loan to a prem club may be a possibility, but personally I would like to see him get more minutes, especially as both Bailly and Lindelof appear to have ongoing injury issues.
I agree with most you wrote here. However I still think he struggled against Istanbul because he got a very big responsibility to defend basically the whole line. Lindelof also struggled with that in the beginning. It cannot be trained in trainings, it has to be done in matches.

Tuanzebe was fine for speed vs Mbappé but not vs Demba Ba.
It’s because his role was to defend against Mbappe and he could focus on that and start running before Mbappé did. There is no chance he is fast enough to react when Mbappé had started to run, he had to anticipate the run. If you don’t anticipate the run, even a fast CB like Tuanzebe struggle with Demba Ba. When you defend a high line you must always decide whether to cover space, cover for your team mates, or push forward. That is difficult no matter how fast you are.
 
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red woppit

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I agree with most you wrote here. However I still think he struggled against Istanbul because he got a very big responsibility to defend basically the whole line. Lindelof also struggled with that in the beginning. It cannot be trained in trainings, it has to be done in matches.

Tuanzebe was fine for speed vs Mbappé but vs Demba Ba.
It’s because his role was to defend against Mbappe and he could focus on that and start running before Mbappé did. There is no chance he is fast enough to react when Mbappé had started to run, he had to anticipate the run. If you don’t anticipate the run, even a fast CB like Tuanzebe struggle with Demba Ba. When you defend a high line you must always decide whether to cover space, cover for your team mates, or push forward. That is difficult no matter how fast you are.
Ah, I see. You're saying it was the responsibility of him to ensure the high line, which he wasn't realistically equipped to do, and make those difficult decisions to drop, stay or push up, so I understand what you are saying.
I'm certain there is a terrific defender in there, but as most defenders don't seem to peak until late twenties, he still has time to develop.
I hope we can put a few league wins together, so the last two or three matches can be used to integrate some of our academy lads into the side. I'm sure the senior pros won't mind, as some of them (Maguire, Bruno, Pogba, Rashford, McTominay) have a European competition coming up, so a week or two rest shouldn't hurt them too much.
 

Brightonian

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This is hardly tuanzebes fault. Ole has done many mistakes like this on corners. He used to leave Shaw alone to defend as well. For me it is clear as daylight that it should always be AWB who is world class 1v1 on the ground and who doesn’t contribute anything in the air.
In this situation, why Matic? Slow but decent in the air. This was Ole’s mistake.
Which has always worked very well. I don't think I've ever seen us concede a goal following a United corner when Shaw was the last man. He's got the technique to take down a headed clearance tidily, the brains to recycle it back in effectively, is no slouch if it does come to a recovery sprint and in a worst case scenario has very good judgement about the necessity of making a tactical foul.

Sort of off topic I know, but couldn't leave that unsaid.
 

A-man

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Ah, I see. You're saying it was the responsibility of him to ensure the high line, which he wasn't realistically equipped to do, and make those difficult decisions to drop, stay or push up, so I understand what you are saying.
I'm certain there is a terrific defender in there, but as most defenders don't seem to peak until late twenties, he still has time to develop.
I hope we can put a few league wins together, so the last two or three matches can be used to integrate some of our academy lads into the side. I'm sure the senior pros won't mind, as some of them (Maguire, Bruno, Pogba, Rashford, McTominay) have a European competition coming up, so a week or two rest shouldn't hurt them too much.
Yes this is exactly what I mean. He has the tools, but defending the whole line was a too difficult task for him. He wasn’t ready.

. It’s a lot of easy matches early in the season. This is where he can’t get many games and then be ready for occasional PL starts. I think this was the plan for him but then he got injured.

Which has always worked very well. I don't think I've ever seen us concede a goal following a United corner when Shaw was the last man. He's got the technique to take down a headed clearance tidily, the brains to recycle it back in effectively, is no slouch if it does come to a recovery sprint and in a worst case scenario has very good judgement about the necessity of making a tactical foul.

Sort of off topic I know, but couldn't leave that unsaid.
Before we got AWB, it was Shaw who stayed back on corners. It was probably because he was considered good at it. However I remember at least 2, maybe 3 goals conceded on counters where he was left 1v1 and lost.
AWB is perfect for staying back at corners imo. Wouldn’t want to change him for anybody in those situations.
 

Grande

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Injuries have been a major issue for him. Maybe Ole only sees him as an option of we play a certain way? I don’t know to be honest. But it’s pretty evident if Ole needs him, he throws him in there when required, we’d be playing Matic or Mctommy back there if he didn’t trust him, in my opinion.
If that’s your opinion, I think you were needlessly sarcastic in the post I answered.

I think maybe one can say that Ole trusted him enough to play as a third CB vs M’Bappe, also recognizing he matched M’Bappe well for strengths/weaknesses in such setup. He didn’t trust him enough to give him more than two(?) PL starts as a CB before or after that. He trusted him enough to put him up against Demba Ba in Istanbul. After that, he hasn’t trusted him
Enough to play CB when Lindelöf has had back issues, Bailly has played four straight games right after an injury lay off, Tuanzebe needs games to develop, but Solskjær haven’t trusted him enough to give him those games. Recently, he again trusted him enough to play him as a CB of two when Maguire (and McTominay) was suspended, Bailly was quaranteened, yet Matic was available (but needed in midfield), in a game we were riding a 2-0 lead at home.

I don’t know about Ole, but I trust him a bit more after the Granada game. I like his style, and character, so I really hope he’ll make it at United. Statistically, it’s hard - I’ve fawned over Wes Brown, John O’Shea and Johnny Evans, neither of them could really nail down that undisputed first choice berth as a United centre back. It’s supposed to be hard. I hope Axel will come in leaps, yet I see the point of getting him a full PL season or two, 38-70 games, before he’s ready to be trusted in every game.
 

The One and Only

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I don't see any reason why he can't be a long term squad player for us. Is that unrealistic to believe he can fulfill the role O'Shea, Brown, Evans, Silvestre played for us? Obviously he has some glaring weaknesses, but it can be ironed out over time.

If he improves his injury record, i think he can be an important part of the squad in the years to come
 

Red_toad

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If that’s your opinion, I think you were needlessly sarcastic in the post I answered.
If Ole didn’t trust him, he’d be on the Jesse, Smalling, Dalot etc etc etc boat, out on loan with a view to sell, I’d say that’s my opinion of how he works.
Some people don’t seem to get that players need games to find rhythm and form, it’s very very difficult to be in and out of a team. Then add into that a lot of injuries. Listening to numerous player interviews that’s their opinion.
Ole seeing a player as a forth choice is probably based on their ability and experience, like I’ve stated had their been a trust issue, I believe he’d have picked Matic or McTommy over him.
 

The United

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He is a bit shite in the air just like our other CBs except Harry. For that, I doubt he will ever be a decent CB for us, let along be a starter.

Unless he improves in that, of course.
 

TwoSheds

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What was this 'signicant role' that he had. If I remember rightly, he was up for a corner, as was Maguire, when for some reason we played it short, lost the ball, and Matic had left their striker on his own on the half way line, and he scored unapposed. Tuanzebe's fault?
The second goal was down to Mata miscontrolling a poor ball from Bruno, getting robbed, and then their player had a relatively free run to our goal. Tuanzebe had to come across to close down his space, which meant Maguire had to come across to pick up the striker, which left a 'midfield player' frre to score, not sure where Matic was on that one. So I wonder where this 'signicant role' you mention came from.
I think the whole defence and midfield was a shambles all game from what I remember.
 

MadDogg

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Why would you leave Matic (who is slowish) defending against a striker (of unknown speed), when you can put Tuanzebe (who is fast) defending? Seems to me our coaches got that wrong.
This is hardly tuanzebes fault. Ole has done many mistakes like this on corners. He used to leave Shaw alone to defend as well. For me it is clear as daylight that it should always be AWB who is world class 1v1 on the ground and who doesn’t contribute anything in the air.
In this situation, why Matic? Slow but decent in the air. This was Ole’s mistake.
That wasn't a deliberate play.

AWB always stays back when we take corners, and he was on his way back that time except we took the very quick corner and passed it to him. He originally did the right thing to pass it forward again, but then instead of dropping back to take his normal position he went forward and stayed involved in the play. Matic then also did the right thing originally as he saw the danger and dropped to cover, but then he wandered out wide to act as a passing option instead of worrying about Demba Ba in so much space if we lost it.

Both AWB and Matic made a bit of a mistake there, and I guess in a perfect world either Axel or Shaw/Telles (whichever was playing) would have been the one who saw the danger and dropped to cover. It was just a bit of chaos in the heat of the moment rather than a play that was set up by the coaches or Ole.
 

A-man

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Poor first half and main responsible for the first goal imo, but came back and had a good second half.
 

Harry190

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Was a big fan, but ever since the injury, not impressed. He doesn't play like he belongs. It is a very important part of the game. He needs to be less skittish.
 

#07

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On the plus side Axel is a proper obstacle, gets in the way of a lot. On the down side his touch is awful, passing is leaden footed and decision making is erratic.

Another one who I really want to be much better than he is. In many ways he reminds me of Chris Smalling. He'll have a good career. I don't think it'll be at Man Utd though. Hope he proves me wrong.
 

Van Piorsing

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He's capable of being calm and focused. Just needs to make it a habit, hopefully he'll play a lot on pre-season.
 

vodrake

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Fairly poor first half I thought, but strong second half. Read the game very well, got into the right place at the right time and kept Iheanacho quiet most of the game
 

Ballache

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He's such a natural defender but lacks experience. He needs to be moved on for his own sake. Either a good loan or sell with buy-back.
 

TrustInOle

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Defended top notch most of the game, bit unsteady playing it about but that's to be expected with his lack of fitness and experience.
 

Solius

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He started terribly but really grew into the game and was one of our best players by the end.
 

Idxomer

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A lot of good attributes but I'm not sure a defender can be this casual and make it far at United.
 

A-man

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On the plus side Axel is a proper obstacle, gets in the way of a lot. On the down side his touch is awful, passing is leaden footed and decision making is erratic.

Another one who I really want to be much better than he is. In many ways he reminds me of Chris Smalling. He'll have a good career. I don't think it'll be at Man Utd though. Hope he proves me wrong.
It’s not easy to come in a play your third ever match as PL centre back, against Leicester fighting for a top-4 position, in a team with basically 8 team mates who rarely play. He had some poor actions that can’t be blamed on the circumstances but overall he was ok imo.
 

Djemba-Djemba

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Bizarre performance filled with some really awful errors. Perfect example of a mixed bag display.

But also some great bits of defending and he was our best player 2nd half no doubt.
 

#07

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It’s not easy to come in a play your third ever match as PL centre back, against Leicester fighting for a top-4 position, in a team with basically 8 team mates who rarely play. He had some poor actions that can’t be blamed on the circumstances but overall he was ok imo.
I stand by what I said. His touch and passing are Smalling-like. While his decision making is sometimes very good and sometimes baffling. Small things like which choice of pass he looks for, or overlooks, stand out.

He's a natural defender. He'll thrive in a team that sits in a low block where he's not expected to do much more than hold his ground around the penalty area. However, nothing screams future Man Utd defender to me. I expected a lot more of him when he was younger, hasn't developed how I thought. Guess its been the injuries?
 

A-man

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I stand by what I said. His touch and passing are Smalling-like. While his decision making is sometimes very good and sometimes baffling. Small things like which choice of pass he looks for, or overlooks, stand out.

He's a natural defender. He'll thrive in a team that sits in a low block where he's not expected to do much more than hold his ground around the penalty area. However, nothing screams future Man Utd defender to me. I expected a lot more of him when he was younger, hasn't developed how I thought. Guess its been the injuries?
I fully agree with all of this, that’s why he was so good vs PSG where he defended and didn’t need to make any decisions. There was pretty much zero press from Leicester and still his passing was poor. He doesn’t know when to push and when to fall back, like at the 1-0 goal when he pushes without a chance to press the ball holder who can pass the ball in to the gap behind him. But second half he was defending well.
 

red woppit

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Poor first half and main responsible for the first goal imo, but came back and had a good second half.
Oh right, nothing to do with Matic missing Tielmanns run, which caused the defence to shuffle across to cover, leaving the lad free coming in from the left. By the way that was some goal by the lad, not sure he'll ever score another goal as good as that.
The whole team were, as expected, a bit rusty and nervous first 20 minutes or so, but after that I thought defensively we were excellent, with Tuanzebe keeping Ihaneacho very quiet, and Vardy hardly got a sniff, just one half chance second half.
Thought both Tuanzebe and Bailly were untroubbled for the last quarter of the game.
 
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Red_toad

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He's such a natural defender but lacks experience. He needs to be moved on for his own sake. Either a good loan or sell with buy-back.
So move him on and have Jones and Eric as our only 2 other options to Harry and Vic? Wow I’m amazed by such a suggestion. You’d think squad players aren’t required by some so called fans. Had a good game, after hardly had any game time and just slotted in very effectively alongside Eric.
 

Abraxas

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He's quite an odd player to watch. In the tackle, his strength, recovery speed, there isn't much to question. But he gives the impression of a guy that does an awful lot of defending in a game. There always seems to be quite a few drastic actions taken. Today he was like this, although we had plenty of defending to do so it is not so much today, but in any of his fleeting outings he always seems to be highly notable which worries me slightly for a defender.

He does have quite a strange posture on the ball, which is not a problem but always takes me a few minutes to adjust my eyes to.

I think he's shown enough potential to be around the squad but he's still massively lacking experience considering his age so I'm wondering at what point he is going to get enough to really round out his game?
 

red woppit

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I stand by what I said. His touch and passing are Smalling-like. While his decision making is sometimes very good and sometimes baffling. Small things like which choice of pass he looks for, or overlooks, stand out.

He's a natural defender. He'll thrive in a team that sits in a low block where he's not expected to do much more than hold his ground around the penalty area. However, nothing screams future Man Utd defender to me. I expected a lot more of him when he was younger, hasn't developed how I thought. Guess its been the injuries?
He's hardly played this year, and some of his touches were a bit light, but I thought second half he grew into the game, and can only remember one underhit pass.
I would like to see him with 30 to 40 prem games under his belt, to see whether he can make it. He may need a season long loan to a prem club, possibly Villa, they really rated him there, and some Villa season ticket holders I know rated him higher than Mings.
 

izec

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He lacks game time. Needs to play regularly. Loan him out to a PL side. I think he would grow quite a bit and could come back much better.