Bruno, Fred, McT

AFC NimbleThumb

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One match doesn't confirm anything. That other midfield has had great games too.

It's just getting ahead of ourselves to say that this midfield is the best one after one game together.
Exactly.

We were drawing 1-1 when Pogba came on, we won 4-1 - I’m not even stating he was integral in the 3 goals buy people are behaving as if McT & Fred raised the level immeasurably.

We won a game, both were ok. If that’s them stamping their authority on midfield we really are doomed.
 

Strelok

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One match doesn't confirm anything. That other midfield has had great games too.

It's just getting ahead of ourselves to say that this midfield is the best one after one game together.
Do you agree that our midfield of Matic and Pogba was dogshit in the first three matches ? And this McT and Fred is much better?

Yes/No please.
 

Borys

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Exactly.

We were drawing 1-1 when Pogba came on, we won 4-1 - I’m not even stating he was integral in the 3 goals buy people are behaving as if McT & Fred raised the level immeasurably.

We won a game, both were ok. If that’s them stamping their authority on midfield we really are doomed.
"both were OK" is a vast improvement of Matic - Pogba combo we've seen lately. And you need to take under consideration that two of our 3 best attacking players were missing.

We outplayed Newcastle and should've been a few goals ahead before Pogba came to face tired opposition. Good enough for me and like I said, improvement it is.
 

ThreeCorners

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For me, Fernandes, Pogba, McTominay/Fred will probably just about have the right balance of creativity and energy to press.

After the restart last season, Fernandes, Pogba, Matic seemed to be our best midfield combo. But I thought it was harsh that Fred and McTominay were frozen out given they were playing well before lockdown.
The problem is that against teams that sit back and counter, Pogba doesn't always track back, Matic doesn't have the legs, and then Maguire is exposed as well, especially to players with pace. That's almost the entire spine of the team.
That midfield worked better against teams that we play defensively.

Would like to see Ole follow Sir Alex's policy of picking players on form, rather than on reputation. He always gave fringe players a chance to prove themselves if the first choices were underperforming. Gave them more incentive to try harder.
 

hungrywing

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Pogba came on and played when Newcastle started to get tired. He loves it when the oppos can’t really press like they normally do in the first hour. We’ve seen it before.
He should play further up the pitch instead, together with Bruno and Rashford and play three of Matic, Donny, Scott and Fred behind them. Would give us a nice balance i think. Both Pogba and Bruno can score if they get into the box as well.
This. We’ve finally find a way to get the best out of Pogba. The super sub role from a manager who used to be known as super sub player too. :lol:

Pogba always good when coming on as sub against Spurs, Watford last season and today, there is no guarantee if Pogba will do the same or perform better if he starts or plays 60 min or plus against Newcastle.
Jokes aside, this is a totally valid strategy, and probably what happened yesterday.

Keep it tight with Fred/Matic or Fred/McT and then if we're still only drawing or up by one, bring Pogba on against tired legs.

If I'm an opposition manager, something like that's what concerns me the most right now. More pressure to win by the 60th minute, maybe plays more aggressively which is also in our favor as opposed to the low-block-two-banks-of-eleven.

That combo never really did anything in the league. Only played the one game against Spurs which we were losing until Pogba replaced Fred and won us the penalty. Similarly we were only drawing with it today until Pogba replaced Fred again. They did win a few games against lower league opposition in the FA Cup and Europa League though.

It was Fred, Matic and Bruno that started our winning streak in the league. Won three games against Chelsea, Watford and Man City. Then we had the lockdown and it was basically Matic and Pogba until the end of the season.

*I messed up the stats in my other thread if anybody is going off that. The Everton match had all three of Fred, Matic and McTominay playing which I somehow missed. I'll go back and change the stats in that thread.
Makes you think that the bolded part's probably still our best option.

Like a few people pointed out, Bruno-Pogba-Matic-make-'em-turtle-up-and-keep-'em-defensive only worked for a few games before teams started realizing they could run through Pogba/Matic.

Fred-Matic-Bruno then sub Pogba on and McTominay as necessary might really be the way to go.
 

cyril C

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Do you agree that our midfield of Matic and Pogba was dogshit in the first three matches ? And this McT and Fred is much better?

Yes/No please.
In terms of experience, positioning, talent and creativity, Matic + Pogba pairing win every time. Unfortunately the most important attribute of midfield is work rate, which is missing in the M+P pairing, but plentiful in McT + Fred. Why I said work rate is most important, because with good work rate, you win possession and most of the 2nd ball. Possession + creativity, you create chances, Possession with little creativity, which is the case of M+F, at least you are protecting the backline and denying opportunity to opposition. Bruno, Martial, Rashford, James, Mata, Greenwood, none are helpful in defensive duty. Against worn-out or extremely inferior opposition, and all defenders are in top form, may be Matic + Pogba are good enough, but if against better teams, they will need a 3rd hardworking MF to cover their ass.
 

In Rainbows

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Do you agree that our midfield of Matic and Pogba was dogshit in the first three matches ? And this McT and Fred is much better?

Yes/No please.
I thought they (Pogba + Matic +Bruno) were shite in the first three matches. However, why do people like to pretend that post-lockdown Fred and McT weren't awful and only cite the pre-lockdown performances as a way to tear down any midfield with Pogba? Even that lack of context is hilarious to me, but then they also ignore the post-lockdown performances from Bruno, Pogba, and Matic. So their supporting evidence is clearly inconclusive overall. They should stick to this season's small amount of evidence.

If anything I wouldn't mind Pogba on the bench, with VdB starting, but the bias from a certain amount of posters is unreal. Just choosing to live in their own Pogba hate fantasy world.
 

Ekeke

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McTom and Fred had a big struggle against Newcastle
 

AFC NimbleThumb

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"both were OK" is a vast improvement of Matic - Pogba combo we've seen lately. And you need to take under consideration that two of our 3 best attacking players were missing.

We outplayed Newcastle and should've been a few goals ahead before Pogba came to face tired opposition. Good enough for me and like I said, improvement it is.
We’d lost the previous game 6-1 with Pogba playing LW for 45 minutes; I’d expect a vast improvement. 2 of our 3 best attackers were indeed missing, so remind me what happened at 2-1 against Spurs & who the DMs were in the second half because a certain frenchman wasn’t in there.

We outplayed Newcastle, correct.

We should’ve been a few goals ahead, we were not so that’s irrelevant.

Pogba came on & we won; which should be celebrated.

Is this a Manchester United fans forum or a anti-Pogba one; he came on & played a part in winning what was at that point a trying fixture.
 

AFC NimbleThumb

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Couldn't agree more.

Reminiscent of pre-lockdown.

We look more effective when not carrying pogba
Our best/most dominant performances came right after Project Restart though :houllier:

Can’t wait for the anti-pogba agenda to haunt next season when we’re effectively drawing away to a Newcastle & look to the bench with no WC winner on it.

We won 4-1 & people can’t wait to push this narrative; we were drawing when he came on; had played decently but DdG had go back in time to produce a class save to keep it at 1-1; they all need to play better.
 

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My favorite combination so far. Although we need to try vDB in the place of Fred too.
McT and Fred chasing and harassing players is what we need. Those seem basic and not impressive but they give the midfield a presence so that the opponent cannot just bypass it. Basic but matters a lot. It will show even more in big games. The same cannot be said about Pogba, he has a completely different play style.
 

AFC NimbleThumb

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My favorite combination so far. Although we need to try vDB in the place of Fred too.
McT and Fred chasing and harassing players is what we need. Those seem basic and not impressive but they give the midfield a presence so that the opponent cannot just bypass it. Basic but matters a lot. The same cannot be said about Pogba, he has a completely different play style.
Who the feck are we, Stoke!?

Chasing & harassing Newcastle away.

Pogba isn’t the answer - Mct & Fred sure as hell ain’t either.
 

tenpoless

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Who the feck are we, Stoke!?

Chasing & harassing Newcastle away.

Pogba isn’t the answer - Mct & Fred sure as hell ain’t either.
Read again I add more text to make it clear, I wasn't talking about the Newcastle game but rather the midfield combination and their traits overall. It will show even more in the big games. I forgot to add it.

Anyway, do you think if our midfielders don't help with the defense, or rather slow at it, the opponent would not exploit it and would not score because it's United they're facing? because it's not Stoke? I don't think so.
 

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We’d lost the previous game 6-1 with Pogba playing LW for 45 minutes; I’d expect a vast improvement. 2 of our 3 best attackers were indeed missing, so remind me what happened at 2-1 against Spurs & who the DMs were in the second half because a certain frenchman wasn’t in there.

We outplayed Newcastle, correct.

We should’ve been a few goals ahead, we were not so that’s irrelevant.

Pogba came on & we won; which should be celebrated.

Is this a Manchester United fans forum or a anti-Pogba one; he came on & played a part in winning what was at that point a trying fixture.
All true. Pogba played one very little part in this particular fixture, doesn't mean he earned a spot in first XI. He's too far from good form to be a starter.

Funny how you mentioned Tottenham game, when Pogba came as a sub and had a good game - just like yesterday. Maybe in that role he feels more comfortable.

Tell me, would you bring Pogba to first XI because he had good half an hour against Newcastle, and despite being shit since the season start?

We will probably disagree about Fred - McTominay quality, but you have to admit they are a fully functional midfield combo?

Edit:
Who the feck are we, Stoke!?

Chasing & harassing Newcastle away.

Pogba isn’t the answer - Mct & Fred sure as hell ain’t either.
I might agree on that. What is the answer though, with current resources and form?
 
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AFC NimbleThumb

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Read again I add more text to make it clear, I wasn't talking about the Newcastle game but rather the midfield combination and their traits overall. It will show even more in the big games. I forgot to add it.

Anyway, do you think if our midfielders don't help with the defense, or rather slow at it, the opponent would not exploit it and would not score because it's United they're facing? because it's not Stoke? I don't think so.
We saw last year how effective Fred can be against better teams in a set up that conceded possession so yes I think he’ll show even better than yesterday in those games.

As for midfielders not helping the defence, I don’t like dedicating 2 players at the base against most teams; we don’t help ourselves in the fact that we have 2 CBs who are immobile & thus need greater protection. You then combine that with 2 immobile DMs & it’s a catastrophe so the mobility of McT & Fred help get the ball back better but being able to do anything creatively is stifled.

To answer your question though, Midfielders certainly need to help defensively & being a carousel in the middle leads to getting overrun so whilst I don’t believe Matic & Pogba are the answer I’m a little peeved that our defence needs so much protection but that’s for a different thread.

I happen to think 2 starting level CMs are necessary given it ain’t going to work with Pogba.
 

AFC NimbleThumb

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Tell me, would you bring Pogba to first XI because he had good half an hour against Newcastle, and despite being shit since the season start?
No but I wouldn’t draw the conclusion that McT & Fred are the answer given we were drawing 1-1 when Fred came off.

I just don’t believe our current tactics get the best out of quite a few.

We want to play a high line but our Cbs attributes aren’t great for it, we play 2 DMs but still concede our fair share. We play 3 STs across our starting LW,RW,ST & so on.

We won yesterday & I’m pleased but I’m a realist; we’ll have similar games without the final 10 minute scoring spree in the future - we’re too reliant on individual brilliance; the midfield didn’t ‘win it’ yesterday.
I might agree on that. What is the answer though, with current resources and form?
I exhaust more formations than 4-2-3-1 in an attempt to get better from certain players & I’d like to hope my £100mil+ CB pairing don’t need babysitting by 2 DMs against every opponent.

We conceded a poor goal yesterday & bar DdG pulling a save out the archives could have conceded 2 goals & all this is during what was w relatively dominant performance; 2 DMs can only counteract the ineptitude at the back so much.
 

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McT, Fred/VdB, Bruno is a very good combination and has so much upside potential.

OGS should start building this unit and phase out the virus, given he's leaving.
We know you hate Pogba mate :lol: You don’t have to remind everyone in every thread. Did the guy shag your wife or something
 

roseguy64

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For me, Fernandes, Pogba, McTominay/Fred will probably just about have the right balance of creativity and energy to press.

After the restart last season, Fernandes, Pogba, Matic seemed to be our best midfield combo. But I thought it was harsh that Fred and McTominay were frozen out given they were playing well before lockdown.
The problem is that against teams that sit back and counter, Pogba doesn't always track back, Matic doesn't have the legs, and then Maguire is exposed as well, especially to players with pace. That's almost the entire spine of the team.
That midfield worked better against teams that we play defensively.

Would like to see Ole follow Sir Alex's policy of picking players on form, rather than on reputation. He always gave fringe players a chance to prove themselves if the first choices were underperforming. Gave them more incentive to try harder.
Yeah we need to start rotating the midfield and trusting all of them to do their job. The right combination for the right opponent. All of them are competent enough. It's the positions where we have the most quality squad depth. Use it and trust them all. We can't do another post-lockdown thing of playing the most talented in the league just because they are.
 

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It wouldn't have worked today without Mata.

We've tried it before and it's usually not that great.
So far, Mata has the best understanding with Bruno. They were great together pre lockdown too
 

Thiagoal

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Every successful team needs to have water carriers to allow the flair players opportunity to thrive! I really feel we need to stick with the McT, Fred combo as it gives us a level of control no other combo can. Whether or not we can adapt the formation to fit in a Pogba or VDB as well as Bruno is yet to be seen
 

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While Fred was one of our better performers in the first half of last season, I'm surprised how many can claim he had a good game yesterday. Like always, he had good energy but he used the ball dreadfully.
 

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MacT before Fred any day of the week. MacT grossly underrated on here. He plays with intent can certainly put it about, which is what we need. A tall gritty midfielder who must be difficult to play against. Worth his weight in gold! Fred is the opposite. Easily brushed off by oponents. No weight in his tackling. Non existent in the air etc etc.
 

glazed

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Had enough of Pogba. He needs to go back to Italy and be a luxury for someone else. I think maybe a diamond is least worst option

Someone new/Fred / Vdb
Bruno Matta/New Mtta

Rashford/Greenwood Martial/Young Cavani
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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I wouldn't say its the way to go as such, because Matic, Pogba and Van De Beek will all have a massive part to play this season. That said, the pivot of Fred and McTominay did well for large parts of the 19/20 season and deserve to get another run together.
 

Mr PG

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Pogba did’t even touch the ball for our second goal..and the second goal opened up newcastle.

Imagine being insecure enough to give Pogba credit for something he didn’t do

I don’t hate the guy but he nees to get serious. He came on and lacked urgency doing a few attempted dribbles and turns.

Last season was the same... getting caught im possession several times in a games and conceding from it and carelessly handling the ball in the box instead of taking one for the team. Also we all know he’s only here because no-one came for him.

Which other top player openly flirts with Madrid then Juve then Madrid again then Barcelona?
 
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Mr PG

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Pogba it’s like he’s too dumb to realize we paid £89m to bring him back on massive wages and the whole time he gives off these vibes like he’s too good for us despite him having done nothing for 4 yrs.

Many fans started buying into that narrative that he’s too good for us....and in comes Bruno who blows the whole facade into shreds...now everyday there’s these clicks who’ve started reducing Bruno. Minimizing everything he does... how dare he upstage Pogba... seriously you can’t make this shit up...
 

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No but I wouldn’t draw the conclusion that McT & Fred are the answer given we were drawing 1-1 when Fred came off.

I just don’t believe our current tactics get the best out of quite a few.

We want to play a high line but our Cbs attributes aren’t great for it, we play 2 DMs but still concede our fair share. We play 3 STs across our starting LW,RW,ST & so on.

We won yesterday & I’m pleased but I’m a realist; we’ll have similar games without the final 10 minute scoring spree in the future - we’re too reliant on individual brilliance; the midfield didn’t ‘win it’ yesterday.

I exhaust more formations than 4-2-3-1 in an attempt to get better from certain players & I’d like to hope my £100mil+ CB pairing don’t need babysitting by 2 DMs against every opponent.

We conceded a poor goal yesterday & bar DdG pulling a save out the archives could have conceded 2 goals & all this is during what was w relatively dominant performance; 2 DMs can only counteract the ineptitude at the back so much.
Stats show it was quite a dominant performance (possession, chances created and conceded). Watching the game we looked pretty comfortable and growing into it. Now although I can agree Fred - McTominay is not the answer long term, I think it's the best we can do.

We should experiment with different midfield setups, so far we know what we can't do (Matic + Pogba) and what we can do (Fred+McTominay). Your criticism is fair, but still you have not suggested a solution in current situation.

It might be overkill to play 2 DM's, but if we have Martial, Rashford, Greenwood all ahead of Bruno, then I'm not worried about goals scored metrics.
 

MZX7

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Yea, against a stronger opponent with a high press, that midfield will crumble...

Cavani/Rashford
Martial Greenwood
VDB ------Bruno------Pogba/Mata-------Fred
Telles/Shaw---Maguire---Lindelof/Bailly---AWB
De Gea
 

RooneyLegend

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The transfer window is shut now so its pointless looking back at who we should have signed. We have to work with what we have.

The way I see it, Bruno is the most important player in the team, he starts. The front 3 (Rashford, Martial, Greenwood) have goals in them, each can get 20 goals a season, so they start. Therefore, to complement the attackers we need more defensive minded/workhorse type players behind them to provide a solid base and protect the defense, especially when VAR can give penalties at any second. Liverpool got close to 200 points in the last two seasons by relying on their front 3, and having a solid, reliable base behind them in midfield, nothing fancy, no show pony's, win the ball back ASAP and give it to the front 3 etc. Granted our front 3 are not at their level, but its the model to follow.

The club has spent an absolute fortunate trying to accommodate for Pogba, when ultimately the problem is Pogba himself. We're not winning the league anytime soon if we're relying on players so consistently inconsistent, and Pogba is certainly that.
We're not winning the league any time soon with ole in charge. We can't play like Pool and they are not the model to follow, you know why? We're not being coached by klopp. No one is consistent at the club. Not a single player. One day Bruno can pass, the next day he's playing for the opposition. Only the Lord knows what you're gonna get from Fred and Scotty McT quite simply isn't good enough.

The transfer window maybe closed but you don't need it to be open to find a new coach, that should be the first order of business. City win the ball back quickly and they don't need cloggers in there. There are no solutions are the club currently, big changes have to be made. You can move players areal you want, it won't change a damn thing.
 

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People criticising Fred-McTominay for lack of offensive contribution need to understand that we've lost 12 goals already this season. This midfield gives us some safety and makes it diffficult for opposition to play their game.

Neither of Fred and McTominay are world class, but somehow combined it's a functional midfield. What is more, it is also a great platform for front 4 to do their thing.


IMO upgrade on Fred should be our priority, someone in De Jong mould would be perfect. For the time being though, this is the way forward.
Spot on. Unless we are playing someone who have 11 men in their own half, Pogba and Matic does not provide a safe base and even then we are vunerable to counters because of Matics lack of pace and Pogbas reluctance to track back and get stuck in there
 

Preggy99

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For me VDB needs to be in there, the little we have seen from him coming off the bench he has been very good. Class on the ball in possession, a lot better than Fred and McT in that department. I think we should play Bruno, VDB with one of Fred/McT depending on the opposition we face.
 

TwoSheds

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Yea, against a stronger opponent with a high press, that midfield will crumble...

Cavani/Rashford
Martial Greenwood
VDB ------Bruno------Pogba/Mata-------Fred
Telles/Shaw---Maguire---Lindelof/Bailly---AWB
De Gea
I agree. Playing 443 would definitely sort our midfield out.
 

romufc

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Exactly.

We were drawing 1-1 when Pogba came on, we won 4-1 - I’m not even stating he was integral in the 3 goals buy people are behaving as if McT & Fred raised the level immeasurably.

We won a game, both were ok. If that’s them stamping their authority on midfield we really are doomed.
Yes, the score was 1-1 but its not like we didnt create anything.

The point of a midfield is also to help out defensively, and control the game. Since Pogba has been back, we never look like controlling the midfield and the opposition always rips through the midfield.

Common factor. Pogba.
 

TwoSheds

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For me it's Fred for McT. And Bruno love connection with VdB.
Fred wasn't great on Saturday I didn't think. I just think he's more hit and miss than McT which if you're the only really defensively minded one is a bit of an issue. When he's good he's probably better than McT though, on that I would agree.
 

Danillaco

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Fred wasn't great on Saturday I didn't think. I just think he's more hit and miss than McT which if you're the only really defensively minded one is a bit of an issue. When he's good he's probably better than McT though, on that I would agree.
True. Although I would argue he was better than Scott.
I was thinking, I know we love wingers and width, but maybe we could see a 4222? Two more defensive and energetic to support two of Bruno, Pogba or VdB, with Two of Martial, Rashford, Greenwood and Cavani?

Especially since width could come from Telles supposedly goodness supporting the attack and even AwB new found courage, like yesterday?