Ball retention

Denis79

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Aside a few brilliant passes Pogba was quite bad yesterday, we can't be losing the ball in midfield that many times, better teams will punish us. @RussellWilson made a great point I never thought about, no way we can sustain pressing a whole match if we cant hold on to the ball enough to get some rest inbetween.

It's just the first game of the season and I hope this midfield clicks but we really looked disjointed in midfield and I fear it's because of lack of quality and not match fitness.
 
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mancan92

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They had 30% possession against Leicester so it might end up with the ball sitting in the centre circle while both teams are waiting in their own half.
Well they were away from home where last season they played counter attacking game and also remember Leicester have a similarly top midfield. They had the highest number of passes from any side this weekend.

You can't compare that to Wolves at home against a worst midfield where they will play their normal possession game.
 

Gopher Brown

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Pogba definitely reminded me why I am indifferent to him yesterday. Kept giving the ball away needlessly, too slow on the ball, but then produced two individual moments which led to goals. I suppose we have to overlook the first bit.
 

Pogue Mahone

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Your forwards are always going to lose the ball more but Pogba and McT were unacceptable in this regard yesterday. Pogba turned the ball over 25 times and McT 15, it's just not good enough in that area of the pitch and why we looked so chaotic at times.

On Chelsea being wasteful, its worth noting that their xG was considerably lower than ours. Chances like Emerson's were low probability chances as were many of their other chances, they did better with their shooting than they should, rather than creating great chances.
Holy fecking shit. Some kind of record, surely?
 

fallengt

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Need someone who is calm with ball in his feet.
Pogba with all his talents, he's too full of himself, always tries for Hollywood turn & pass and those things are often more risk than reward. I lost count how many times he gave the ball away unnecessarily in the first half. McSauce and Pereira weren't better, they were clueless under pressure.

Everyone can see our midfield just can't control the game.
 

Al Capone

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Need someone who is calm with ball in his feet.
Pogba with all his talents, he's too full of himself, always tries for Hollywood turn & pass and those things are often more risk than reward. I lost count how many times he gave the ball away unnecessarily in the first half. McSauce and Pereira weren't better, they were clueless under pressure.

Everyone can see our midfield just can't control the game.

I think pogba given his mental state is in the right place is capable of using the ball much better and after a few games i hope he is back up to speed and operating at his natural level and he uses and protects the ball much better.

However i agree that our midfield were guilty of losing the ball way too much and not being able to retain posession to control the game or the tempo.

If we can sort this then we will be more than competitive
 

fallengt

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This.

Also, have we ever been a ball retention team? Only under LVG that I can remember.
We don't have to be ball retention team. Carrick could recycle the ball well in the back and not single soul ever called Fergie's football was possession based.

You just need someone who can dedicate tempo so when we win the ball, players can get to their proper possitions. Pogba is not that player. United was very sloppy when in possession.
 

abdo99

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Our pressing is going to be in vain if we don't keep the ball. Hopefully we can see Gomes in the midfield soon working in tandem with Pogba to solve this issue somewhat . The ball is stuck to his feet and he rarely loses possession. It could be a positive step especially in the home matches. We should have also targeted a DLP that's not Longstaff in the transfers window to recycle the ball and allow players like Pogba and Gomes the freedom to cut open teams in the last third.
 

Rajma

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As people already mentioned our pressing game will be enough for 1/3 of the season at most if we don't start dominating possession and retaining the ball well, Fred and Gomes can help us in this area as those two have the ability to not panic when under pressure. Pass for the sake of pass is what we need in our game.
 

Fosu-Mens

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Our pressing is going to be in vain if we don't keep the ball. Hopefully we can see Gomes in the midfield soon working in tandem with Pogba to solve this issue somewhat . The ball is stuck to his feet and he rarely loses possession. It could be a positive step especially in the home matches. We should have also targeted a DLP that's not Longstaff in the transfers window to recycle the ball and allow players like Pogba and Gomes the freedom to cut open teams in the last third.
Grillitsch would have been ideal here.
 

Pogue Mahone

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Bestietom

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Think it was more sloppyness which can be forgiven for the first match of the season. Things will settle down. However I do share concerns about lack of depth in midfield
Me too @golden_blunder . Like to see us bring in a top midfielder in January. It can be done if our Scouts are working on it now. I think that Ole wanted a midfielder but just couldn't get one over the line, in time.
 

Siorac

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Hilarious that he occupies 3 of the top 5 places. Can’t even begin to imagine how annoying he must be to have in your team. Please god don’t let him ever end up at United.
And that was just one season! I don't have numbers for other seasons unfortunately.

But yeah, I wouldn't want Neymar even if he was actually as good as he thinks he is.
 

Nep77

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The reason I never understood posters going gaga over Bruno Fernandes, We needed a 6 or 8 who can recycle the possession and keep the ball than a final 3rd player like him which we have plenty. This should be the next window Priority be it January or summer. James Garner does look to have all the qualities for that position but maybe its 2 years too early for him at this stage.
 

RedRonaldo

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Even back in Fergie years, we don’t always play possession football, especially when playing against strong side. We are good at fast countering football though.
 

tomaldinho1

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Even back in Fergie years, we don’t always play possession football, especially when playing against strong side. We are good at fast countering football though.
I think the issue with this is that it'll take more than just being good at counter attacking to get back to winning the league, let alone doing well in Europe. Until we can control and dictate the speed of a game - especially when we're ahead - we won't get near the best clubs.

Many of the issues yesterday stemmed from Pogba and McT giving the ball away (I think on this thread someone quotes it as being 17 times between them) which is an atrociously high number so maybe with a bit more focus we'd have seemed a lot more solid.
 

RussellWilson

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Even back in Fergie years, we don’t always play possession football, especially when playing against strong side. We are good at fast countering football though.
Don't think it makes a possession side, but you need a CM to run the game and control possession. We always had Keane, until he left and Scholes had his eye injury, then we were terrible until we got him back, then eventually Carrick took the mantle. And we've been poor again especially in the big games since Carrick lost his powers and retired.

They are hard to come by but we definitely need one. De Jong would have been the dream.
 

Infra-red

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Grillitsch would have been ideal here.
He and Fabian Ruiz were my dream picks for midfield in the summer. Hard working, technically gifted players who could do some of Pogba's running for him and keep some semblance of control in midfield.
 

In Rainbows

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Don't think it makes a possession side, but you need a CM to run the game and control possession. We always had Keane, until he left and Scholes had his eye injury, then we were terrible until we got him back, then eventually Carrick took the mantle. And we've been poor again especially in the big games since Carrick lost his powers and retired.

They are hard to come by but we definitely need one. De Jong would have been the dream.
I wanted De Jong too.

Gomes and Garner are the ideal players, but because they're so young you can't just say "that's the problem solved." They need to be tested in easier matches and earn trust. For all we know they flop at the highest level, despite my belief in them.
 

fps

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A midfield three (McTominay, Fred, Pogba) would have helped in ball retention. But Fred was not available for this game for some reason. So it's not that we can't hold possession, it's that Ole specifically chose to hand possession over to Chelsea and punish them on the counter.
Fred? Ball retention? I'm baffed....
 

Wednesday at Stoke

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Pogba is always going to lose the ball because he takes risky chances. This is why he needs to be spending most of his time in the opposition half so that even when he loses the ball, its not catastrophic. This team has the makings of a solid unit if it can figure out a good defensive midfielder who can get the ball to the likes of Pogba and do the defensive work.
 

romufc

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Why are we getting so worried after the first game, I hope everyone appreciates the pressure the players were in yesterday's game.

Pogba is prob one of the best CM's around and people on here saying we need top CM's to dominate possession.

We have McT and Pogba who are decent CM's. People calling for Pogba to play further up but have no idea about the consequences of that.

1. If we want to play a pressing game, Pogba cannot play no. 10 because he DOES NOT press. Hence Lingard is preferred.
2. If we want to us our strengths then Pogba has to play deeper to play those passes for our pacey forwards to chase.
3. We not not have a player in the team who can get the ball to Pogba if he is further up.
4. Last season, Pogba got marked out of games by opponents CDM's, it is alot harder to maker a CM out a game.
 

Irwin99

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Yesterday definitely took the theory that 'if you win the midfield battle you win the game' and turned it on it's head.

I expect there will be a lot of arguments about the balance of the midfield over the season. Lots of them will be centred on Pogba's role. I know it's really unpopular and I'm not exactly the biggest fan of Matic either but if he plays do we at least have someone to cover the spaces in midfield a bit better? I just don't think anyone else in our choice of midfielders can play that role with the right discipline.
 

BusbyMalone

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Pogba is always going to lose the ball because he takes risky chances. This is why he needs to be spending most of his time in the opposition half so that even when he loses the ball, its not catastrophic. This team has the makings of a solid unit if it can figure out a good defensive midfielder who can get the ball to the likes of Pogba and do the defensive work.
That's letting him off the hook slightly. A lot of the times he lost the ball yesterday was due to him being very carless in possession. He wasn't trying a risky pass or anything like that, he was just dawdling on the ball instead of releasing it quicker.
 

7even

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1. When we have possession our players don’t run into open spaces and make themselves available to give the holder of the ball enough alternatives. There isn’t enough movements and we don’t release the ball quick enough. That makes us vulnerable against aggressive pressing and that’s one of the reasons we lose the ball frequently in our own half.

2. We need more players who’re comfortable in tight spaces and can dribble themselves out of intensive pressing. Luke Shaw has the acceleration and speed but are to slow in his decision making. McTominay isn’t comfortable with opponents behind his back so most of the time he take the easy alternative and pass the ball back or sideways. It’s unfair to expect him to act as a deep playmaker with his size and technique, he’s better suited as a b2b type of midfielder.

3. Pogba’s best position is further up with two midfielders behind him. I don’t like our 4231 formation because it restricts our most creative player to use to much energy on defense duties. He needs to be higher up and use his qualities when we attack.
 

Inter Yer Nan

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It's clear we are going to be a team that presses and relies on fast breaks. We simply don't have the midfield personnel to control games as I don't think we've really got midfielders who are comfortable with the ball like that. Pogba obviously is the best of the bunch and whilst he's capable of the sublime he's always going to have his sloppy moments in practically every game. I'd trust us so much more if Herrera was still at the club since he's composed on the ball and helps recover the sloppy plays. Oh well.

The problem with this style of play is that some games the ball just doesn't go in and without having control it's going to hurt our consistency. Luckily we've got two central defenders who are superb with the ball but we really miss that extra protection in front of them and that extra midfielder who can retain the ball. It's hard to press all game, every game, all season but with Ole working so much on fitness and seemingly having a plan (building from the back) I do feel we are at least heading in a sense of direction.
 

RedCurry

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We take too many touches. Easy to press a player with the ball when you know they will dwell on it.
 

Treble

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Ball retention is key for successful pressing during the whole season. Pressing without having a lot of possession would run the team in the ground.
 

MrSingh2002

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Scholes puts it into perspective when he could go a whole game without giving the ball away 2 or 3 times.
 

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1. When we have possession our players don’t run into open spaces and make themselves available to give the holder of the ball enough alternatives. There isn’t enough movements and we don’t release the ball quick enough. That makes us vulnerable against aggressive pressing and that’s one of the reasons we lose the ball frequently in our own half.

2. We need more players who’re comfortable in tight spaces and can dribble themselves out of intensive pressing. Luke Shaw has the acceleration and speed but are to slow in his decision making. McTominay isn’t comfortable with opponents behind his back so most of the time he take the easy alternative and pass the ball back or sideways. It’s unfair to expect him to act as a deep playmaker with his size and technique, he’s better suited as a b2b type of midfielder.

3. Pogba’s best position is further up with two midfielders behind him. I don’t like our 4231 formation because it restricts our most creative player to use to much energy on defense duties. He needs to be higher up and use his qualities when we attack.

This is our biggest issue. Our movement is crap and we seem to revert back to zombie passing. I know it'll take time to address but our lack of movement at the start of games is going to kill us. We sometimes take about 20 mins to remember how to create space and it's really frustrating
 

Teja

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Chelsea pressed really well yesterday though (City / Pool / Spurs play a great pressing game as well). We need Midfield signings but I'm pretty sure we'll do a lot better against the cannon fodder.
 

Adnan

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The midfield struggles were predicted by myself and quite a few others before the season started. I even mentioned our ball retention would be a issue against any top 8 side.

We're actually in a position now to give someone like Gomes the opportunity over the likes of Pereira, Lingard, Mata. And I'd even play him ahead of McTominay due to Gomes having vastly superior technical qualities over the Scotsman.
 

Isotope

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Said it on the other thread, the culprits were Lingard and Pereira. Both roles are the hub between midfield and attack. But they were poor on getting involved during the game. Their passing numbers were 26 and 15 passes respectively, which tells that they rarely made themselves available for Pogba and McTom.