Ball retention

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by Devil81, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. Aug 12, 2019
    #81

    Sultan السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته Staff

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    Young players are always inconsistent. Creative players will always lose the ball more than safe players. Central defenders generally have the best stats for ball retention for a reason. It was also a very frenetic game yesterday. Once United were up 3-0 ball retention was simple with the players hardly taking risks.
  2. Aug 12, 2019
    #82

    Devil81 Full Member

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    That's a great point, there were a few occasions I had sympathy for Pogba as you could clearly see he had zero out ball.

    We could be a fantastic side but clearly, there is a little element missing.
  3. Aug 12, 2019
    #83

    Ash_G Full Member

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    Yeah- I think it's being overblown a bit. There was clearly some sloppy play at times but they felt like issues of our own making e.g. Pogba holding on for too long, players trying flicks etc rather than players panicking etc and some of it was hopefully due to lacking that bit of sharpness. Tactically as well we set up in the first half in a way that let them dominate the ball as when we lost it we didn't get the wide players to track back and so we got overwhelmed in the middle as you had Barkley coming inside from the wing and so we were outnumbered making it hard to get the ball back but also once we had it we were trying to do quick counters rather than slow build up- I didn't get the sense that if we wanted to slow the game down and keep the ball that we couldn't.
  4. Aug 12, 2019
    #84

    OverratedOpinion Full Member

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    I think Fred seems to lose the ball for us but weirdly one of the things he seemed to do well in the match compilations for Shaktar is keeping the ball when he looks like he is about to lose it.

    I think the way Fred plays is all down to inches, he invites pressure but at his best he always seems to find a way out. I think this is why a lack of confidence or consistent playing time effected him so drastically last season. If he can get back to his best he would he really valuable in this respect.

    Pogba reminds me a bit of Giggs when he moved to midfield in that he is always trying something and as such may lost the ball. He can play a more conservative role but you probably lose more than you gain
  5. Aug 12, 2019
    #85

    Adnan Full Member

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    26 and 15 passes and people want to know why we can't retain possession or control games. Lingard and Pereira can be upgraded easily from within the squad but I wonder how long it will take until the penny drops.
  6. Aug 12, 2019
    #86

    Sultan السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته Staff

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    This is classic LvG.

    Dominating games and retaining the ball for very little gain.
  7. Aug 12, 2019
    #87

    pocco loco

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    It's kind of good and bad in a way, but I've said during the last few games inc pre season that Wan Bissaka looks like the calmest, most composed guy on the ball for us.
  8. Aug 12, 2019
    #88

    Sterling Archer Full Member

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    Great point. Two positions, had we recruited , would position the squad for a far better challenge for any honors.

    That said, I hope nerves settle and these players grow into the season.
  9. Aug 12, 2019
    #89

    Sultan السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته Staff

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    Ole is setting up the team to let the opposition have more of the ball and hit teams on the break. We'll just have to accept losing possession due to mostly playing on the break.
  10. Aug 12, 2019
    #90

    90 + 5min New Member

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    Spot on.

    The one thing I don't agree is lack of midfielder. Surely I wanted one more central midfielder but I think it is down to not playing ball at right time. Players we have are not pub players. They know how to pass the ball. What they must work on is to play it simple and play it at the right time. If you watch the game there is too much waiting and to many complications. Lots of those lost possessions are down to flicks and show-off passes. If we can simplify our passing game and if we start playing in a simple way we will be much more dangerous.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2019
  11. Aug 12, 2019
    #91

    Mcking Full Member

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    Fred does seem to have that tendency to just give the ball away in dangerous positions, but more often than not, he retains it. He had the sixth best passing accuracy in our team last season and he is someone that do take risks. He has little problem winning the ball, getting on the ball, retaining the ball , and progressing the ball both long and short. What he lacks is the consistency. McTominay and Pereira are just the complete opposite, and we will always struggle to get on the ball with them in team. They are invisible more often than not and doesn't have a clue on how to make themselves available for the ball, so we will always be outnumbered with them in the team.
  12. Aug 12, 2019
    #92

    UnofficialDevil Anti Scottish

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    Not anti Scotish, just posted a lot against Moyes.
    Thing is, if Chelsea had scored first, when they hit the post for example I don't see how we would have turned the game around. Us scoring first and the way Chelsea attacked and defended after the pen was the perfect scenario for our counter attacking.
  13. Aug 13, 2019 at 00:16
    #93

    Greck Full Member

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    Midfield isn't good but we're being overly negative if we think it's expected for bottom half sides to dominate us in possession. Of course I don't expect us to start every game with Mctominay and Pereira.
  14. Aug 13, 2019 at 00:24
    #94

    Tel074 New Member

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    How far away is Fosu-Mensah to fitness ? He could do a job as a DM until we get to the January window . He is big strong and one of the quickest at the club . I remember watching him when he was younger in a few reserve's games and he was brilliant in that role ..
  15. Aug 13, 2019 at 00:41
    #95

    MrBest Full Member

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    Mctominay and Andreas have played a handful of professional games between them both, they need time and a consistent run of games. Pogba is getting uaed to his new partners, he also gets swamped by defenders whenever he touches the ball as who will waste there time in Andreas. My point, give it a few months and we will be able to see if these guys can handle the midfield job. What was clear though was the level of fitness. Does anyone have any km stats, i would like to know how muxh we ran compared with the other 19 teams ...
  16. Aug 13, 2019 at 01:43
    #96

    Alexit New Member

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    Agreed, our poor ball retention is directly related to our poor midfield. Disgusting that it's not been addressed yet.

    If I recall correctly, Lampard also mentioned it in his post-match interview with the Sky pundits. He said something along the lines of: United can't control a match so you have to take care you don't get snuffed on the break.
  17. Aug 13, 2019 at 02:43
    #97

    Walters_19_MuFc Full Member

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    I agree, our ball retention was poor yesterday, but with time and finding the right balance of the team, it can only get better.

    Back five seems fine. We can finally say we have a stamped down back five. Two very good ball playing centre backs, flanked by two well rounded full backs.

    Then you move onto the midfield. A lot of people, including myself said that we could really do with a deep-lying playmaker. Someone, as you said, thst commands the ball off the back four and starts attacks. However, Ole obviously didn't feel the need for one, and it seems he has gone with Paul Pogba to fill that role. Now, as you mentioned, Pogba was poor in possession against Chelsea, but I can't imagine he'll always be that bad. Pogba made 63 passes, with a pass accuracy of 76.2%. He was also dispossessed 4 times. Not great reading for a deep-lying playmaker! That said, he also made 4 key passes and bagged himself 2 assists. Going forward, I expect Pogba to be much better in possession.

    Moving futher up the pitch we had three players behind the forward which consisted of Rashford, Lingard and Pereira. The midfield rotation between them wasn't great, and the lack of involvement on the ball would suggest they were scared to receive the ball.

    Passing stats were:

    Rashford: 22 passes - 59.1%
    Lingard: 26 passes - 88.5 %
    Pereira: 15 passes - 73.3%

    Not only is that a dreadful reading in terms of thier passing accuracy (except Lingard), as I said above, the number of passes are quite low, especially Pereira and Lingard, who were roaming playmakers, as opposed to wide forwards like Rashford.

    Again, going forward that will definitely need to improve and I imagine it will.

    We haven't got a lot of top class options in the final third, especially players who find a pass, but I would prefer Mata to come in for Pereira, as he is very good in possession. I'd keep Lingard in there as he's a link player, and Rashford can continue to play the wide forward role.

    I do think, with all that's gone on last season, and the end of last season with Ole, the players were nervous. Obviously, that doesn't excuse the silly flicks and tricks we saw, as you pointed out, but having won convincingly against a side you'd expect to be in and around top 6 this season, I personally feel it will give us the confidence to go out and play better football next game.
  18. Aug 13, 2019 at 02:49
    #98

    Yagami Full Member

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    Look at our midfield. McTominay, Pereira, Lingard... Bar Pogba, it's filled with players who are invisible/lacklustre when we have possession. They're in the team for their defensive/pressing qualities.

    Against decent opposition, with than midfield, we're always going to struggle to keep the ball.

    I say it a lot but, bar Matic,we don't have one CM who can shield the ball, and Matic is a liability defensively so that negates that.
  19. Aug 13, 2019 at 02:52
    #99

    VJ1762 Full Member

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    What I would give to have this man back right now. The last pass in particular is crazy.



    If we are leading by a comfortable margin, I would love to see gomes and garner get a chance.
  20. Aug 13, 2019 at 03:14

    lawliet354 Full Member

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    Agree with this, when Pogba is played deeper, then the no.10 should be able to act as a link between the midfield and the striker, but we have nobody good enough for no.10. Just see how Griezmann play for France and we can see why it still works having Pogba played deeper. I hope Angel Gomez can be our no.10 for the future, because right now none of Lingard, Pereira and Mata are good enough if we want to have better ball retention
  21. Aug 13, 2019 at 06:39

    Son New Member

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    Xavi & Iniesta rarely ever lost the ball & they were pretty creative. We just need a different type of midfielder to tie the system altogether. We’ll never get anyone on their level obviously but a playmaker of some description.

    Too many kick and run players in our team.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2019 at 07:22
  22. Aug 13, 2019 at 07:23

    red woppit Full Member

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    Mata is the most natural 10 we have, and he does have the ability to find space, and keep the ball moving, if he was brought into the team our ball retention stats would improve greatly I believe, but it looks like Ole wants to give Pereira the opportunity to nail down that position, so I think he will persevere with him for now. Ultimately, I think, and hope, that Gomes will get the chance to make that position his own, but it may take a few matches for him to get the chance. He is potentially the most gifted midfielder we have, and once he has 25 to 30 games under his belt, he will be bossing the midfield, and personally, I think we should be looking to build a team around him as I feel that Pogba will almost certainly be on his way probably next summer.
  23. Aug 13, 2019 at 08:21

    Adisa likes to take afvanadva wothowi doubt

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    Ole in the post match conference said we were sloppy in the first half. So I don't think giving the ball away is intentional. Playing on yhe counter is unsustainable for most games as it would be our responsibility to break teams down.
    I just think we are a sloppy team in general.
  24. Aug 13, 2019 at 08:28

    WR10 Correctly predicted France to win World Cup 2018

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    What’s the fuss? Did you see the passing map? We kept possession brilliantly within our back 4/our half/Maguire which dragged Chelsea way up the field - unlocking our counter attacking threat. We win 4-0.

    Against worse opposition we will retain the ball with ease. It will be creativity that’s the problem.
  25. Aug 13, 2019 at 08:32

    Treble Full Member

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    Thanks for that read. Think most low possession teams do not use high pressing. Imo, high pressing + low possession is physically very demanding and unsustainable. Otherwise, Mourinho wouldpractice it!

    I remember someone commenting about Barca 09-11 that they are the only team in the world that can recover physically while playing with the ball. Low possession means you have to chase the opposition all over the pitch, provided you intend to press them all over the pitch.
  26. Aug 13, 2019 at 08:50

    Infra-red Full Member

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    This is precisely why we will only press sporadically this season, before retreating back into a 4-4-1-1 shape and trying to soak up pressure.

    If you want to press like City, you have to also pass the ball like City. We will never be capable of that.
  27. Aug 13, 2019 at 20:28

    Valuedrug New Member

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    Definitely a key issue. It could be down to nerves to some extent. It did get better in midfield at least after our lead got more comfortable, but I doubt it's as simple as that.

    Unless some of the youth players break out, I don't see where it's going to come from. I think it's most important in midfield in order to build sustained control and pressure in a game, and as everyone knows, we're light in the midfield department. Apart from Pogba, who is quite wasteful himself a lot of the time, none of our midfielders have displayed high levels of the technical quality in receiving and passing the ball, that you see in players like Silva, Eriksen, De Bruyne and so on. First touch, the ability to turn with the ball quickly, awareness of other players in advance etc...I don't see much of that in any of our players.

    I sometimes watch analysis videos of individual players on YouTube. Some of the top playmakers - even before they receive the ball, they know more or less what their options are, because they scanned the pitch ahead of time. I never really checked, but it doesn't feel like our players do this at all. Most of the time when they receive the, it seems like they need to take a few touches to get control, then some more touches to assess their options, until they finally decide to pass it horizontally to the nearest teammate if not backwards. This feels like 95 percent of our play in possession. Back when we still had Carrick in the team, he would regularly find a solid pass forward between the lines right after receiving the ball. I feel like this barely ever happens in the current United side.

    I guess we'll see how the season progresses, but I don't know that Fred, McTominay, Matic or any of the others can deliver this kind of playmaking. I suppose Ole is betting, that we won't need it most of the time. In all fairness, even Liverpool don't really have anyone in that mold anymore.
  28. Aug 14, 2019 at 02:42

    Greck Full Member

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    I don't see it with Mata. Even when he came on. Keeping it simple is preferable but Mata's passing is so safe it's almost pointless.
  29. Aug 14, 2019 at 02:52

    NoPace Full Member

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    I've been really surprised how sloppy Pereira is in possession over preseason and the Chelsea game. He seems like he's in the Ashley Young, Alexis Sanchez, Lukaku group of attackers where he just repeatedly inexplicably gives it away. Like Sanchez he has a good first touch (unlike the other two) but seems to struggle to link with teammates in a secure manner.

    If that doesn't change, I think Dan James will win the RW job for most games for that reason alone.
  30. Aug 17, 2019 at 07:31

    Rasendori Full Member

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    Whilst acknowledging that United did have issues with ball retention, I liked the following:

    Bisakka under pressure from Barkley
    [​IMG]

    Bisakka tries to buy time, but is yet to see a passing option he's comfortable with.
    [​IMG]

    Instead of aimlessly clearing it, his head has been lifted and he now sees Pereira in space.
    [​IMG]

    Great composure and awareness from Bisakka to pick out Pereira.

    [​IMG]

    Bisakka prevents a possible throw in for United by feigning a clearance
    [​IMG]

    This buys him a bit of time
    [​IMG]

    Goes into a standstill position
    [​IMG]

    And scoops the ball to Jesse Lingard. A throw in would've allowed Chelsea to remain on the offensive.
    [​IMG]
  31. Aug 17, 2019 at 08:28

    Champ Full Member

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    The more passes you make, the less chance you have of scoring.
    Majority of goals come from small passages of play rather than retaining the ball for any length of time.
    Pressing high as a team is much more important in today's game then retaining the ball for any length of time.
    Obviously the situation dictates this to a degree, for example one nil up with 5 to go you'd want to retain the ball.
  32. Aug 17, 2019 at 09:24

    Buster15 Full Member

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    Yes I agree to a certain extent about Pogba.
    But as I have mentioned before his biggest problem is that he can be and often is closed down very quickly when in possesion.
    The opposition knows this.
    The players also must be aware of this and it is their job therefore to give him options to make far more simple and quick passes.
  33. Aug 17, 2019 at 09:35

    90 + 5min New Member

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    Thats is incorrect.

    I'm not a big fan of passing to ball to eternity and I love more directly style of football. BUT if you look at the facts you'll see that most (if not all) teams that have more possession and more passes in the game usually wins.

    To put it in other way even if its to simplified. If your team have 70% and the other team 30% then you have almost 65min to score the goal while other team get 25 minutes. Thats a lot of difference. There is now other factors to think about (like quality, tactics and so on) but still the more ball you have the more your chances increases to win the game and in this case to score a goal.
  34. Aug 17, 2019 at 11:55

    Grande Full Member

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    It’s a delicate balance between retention and winning back the ball. Mata is our best ball retainer, but across more than three yards, our weakest ball reclaimer. Pereira is far from Mata’s level of sophistication, but he ran the most of all players on the field against Chelsea, if you combine kms and most sprints. Mata would probably have bottomed that list.

    Pereira has the technique to retain the ball well in an open field, but his inclination is to go for the marginal passes, which leads to ball losses. Mata is good and smart enough to balance that so he can both recycle the ball, and open up tight defences. That’s why I still expect to see Mata against buses that park at Old Trafford, while Pereira will get
    more chances in end-to-end games.

    Pereira has the technique, working capasity and ethic to be alot more useful at either one of the 8, 10 or 11 roles in a 4-2-3-1. He just seems a slow learner, still making a lot of wrong decisions both on the ball and in press. Pereira with Mata’s brain would be a dead cert starter, but alas.

    Lingard is the closest in-between thing we’ve got, so on form, I expect him to play alot this year, contrary to popular demand.

    Gomes can grow into the best of all these worlds, and if he keeps on developing like we’ve seen, I think he will get more and more of that game time.
  35. Aug 17, 2019 at 13:36

    Champ Full Member

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    No, it's true,
    The more passes in a move, the less chance you have of scoring. You can check any stats you want, they all back this up.
    If I remember rightly, the percentage of teams winning having had more possession was only about 55% a few years back, which suggests possession isn't everything.
    Pointless retaining the ball if you don't shoot.

    You'll find that football is around 50% chance and 50% skill, once again this is backed up by facts and figures, you couple this with the lower chance of scoring the more passes there is in a move and you'll see how possession doesn't win games.
    Shooting however, this is what wins games.
  36. Aug 17, 2019 at 13:55

    Irwin99 Full Member

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    100% chance if you're Moyes and playing against Fulham. I'm sure I recall him replying something like 'you'd need a football brain to understand that' when asked about the infamous 81 crosses against Fulham.
  37. Aug 17, 2019 at 14:15

    tenpoless Full Member

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    There is one player that guarantees you 80%+ pass accuracy and is calm on the ball.. Mata in CM anyone?
  38. Aug 17, 2019 at 14:24

    Dead Wood Woodward New Member

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    Who are these statisticians measuring how much luck a team has had?
  39. Aug 17, 2019 at 14:46

    90 + 5min New Member

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    I believe that you are still incorrect. Let me put it in a different exaggerate way. If you have 100% of the ball and the other team have 0% don't you think you got better chance of winning?

    As I said earlier that having most possession is not everything because of quality, tactics and so on but it increases your chance of winning. If we are talking about possession in one attack (move) during a game then it all depends on players, quality, tactics, little bit of luck and so on. However having more ball in one game should give you more chances of winning if you use your possession in right way.

    Here is one article about possession and win. A bit old but still. I would be glad if you could present to me with some articles or reports that backs you theory. Because if I'm wrong I'll happily hold my hands up.
  40. Aug 17, 2019 at 16:52

    Champ Full Member

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    I suggest you read a book called 'The numbers game, how everything you know know about football is wrong'
    Will explain everything better than what I can.