Criticism is fine (and encouraged) but there are some criticisms thrown at Ole that don't make any sense

Schmeichel's Cartwheel

Correctly predicted Italy to win Euro 2020
Joined
Dec 21, 2014
Messages
11,420
Location
Manchester
Both terribly past it managers, absolute dinosaurs.

Both terrible examples.

We haven't had a modern manager to make a comparison. Ole is just a younger Mourinho (in terms of playstyle, not trophies), basically. His preference in players is better, his demeanor is positive - which is great but that's about it.
I disagree with this. Mourinho had our wingers basically playing wing back. With Ole our wingers & our 10 are basically a front 4 with our 9. With Mourinho & LVG the players looked like they were too heavily coached, there was no freedom. With ole they look like they aren’t coached enough. A lot of what we do looks pure freestyle.
 

georgipep

Full Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2015
Messages
1,266
Location
Not far enough
See

See the final against Villarreal and other games. Hes a limited manger who himself says his strongest skill is man management rather than tactics. If he does win a major trophy with the team he has now he deserves to be sacked.

Granted away form is great but thats because ole only has one gameplan which works away from home.
So, Pep losing the CL final last season is a proof he is not good tactically?

Klopp losing a whole bunch of finals with Liverpool too?
 

kthanksbye

Full Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2014
Messages
824
Location
United Arab Emirates
I can't see the future so I don't know if Ole would win us things. Same could be said regarding Conte. But even if 100% Conte would win us things I'd say a big no thanks.

For some silverwares are the most important thing, but for me the most important thing is to be entertained each week. I'm happy enough with the current football and 100 % do not want to see that Mourinho football back here. And the mess. Talking about that possibility alone gives me PTSD.
Fair enough then, if that's not the football you like to watch.

For me, a tactically aware team that is able to maintain shape, not get caught on the counter, control games with or without the ball, not get outnumbered on any area of the field and still create enough chances to win games and trophies would be an absolute treat to watch.
I'm not sure if you've watched enough of Conte to be honest.
 

Schmeichel's Cartwheel

Correctly predicted Italy to win Euro 2020
Joined
Dec 21, 2014
Messages
11,420
Location
Manchester
So, Pep losing the CL final last season is a proof he is not good tactically?

Klopp losing a whole bunch of finals with Liverpool too?
Pep & Klopp teams control the game pretty much every week, how often do you see us control the game under Ole?

Ole is good at setting the team up to sit deep & counter attack with speed. Ask him to come up with a plan to control a game & stop the other team getting the ball, he can’t do it. Wolves had about 5 clear cut chances in the first half alone last week. That wouldn’t happen against Pep, Klopp or Tuchel.
 

largelyworried

Full Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2021
Messages
1,200
Fair enough then, if that's not the football you like to watch.

For me, a tactically aware team that is able to maintain shape, not get caught on the counter, control games with or without the ball, not get outnumbered on any area of the field and still create enough chances to win games and trophies would be an absolute treat to watch.
I'm not sure if you've watched enough of Conte to be honest.
Not quite sure where the idea that Conte is not a fun manager comes from. He was pretty thrilling in his first season at Chelsea. You don't shithouse and grind your way to 13 straight wins. While Im not sure Id want Conte if there was a choice to be had, I'm pretty sure he'd get the most out of our team.
 

romufc

Full Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
8,731
That's actually not really true imo. We've managed to play pretty well against some very well coached team under famous managers. You can't say teams under Pep, Klopp, Tuchel, Biesa, Nuno, Hassenhult, Rodgers, Nagelsmann etc. are not well coached.

I'd say we're inconsistent and usually have issues when facing teams with a good midfield without McFred. If my memory serves me right most of the matches we struggled in the last 18 months were without one of them. Or both.
Agreed, we have had good results against those coaches, no disputing that.

I also do agree that without McFred we do look vunerable, alot has been said about Ole always using McFred but alot of people are wrong in that too.

Sevilla Semi Final Pogba was CM, same as Villareal, so this agenda that Ole only plays McFred is wrong.

We need to be alot more confident in dominating games with the players we have is the feeling i get watching this team, we don't seem to have the balance fo that atm.
 

Schmeichel's Cartwheel

Correctly predicted Italy to win Euro 2020
Joined
Dec 21, 2014
Messages
11,420
Location
Manchester
The only thing that doesn't make sense is how some people would go to the end of the Earth to defend Ole for the job despite all the evidence to the contrary. This reminds me of the dark Moyesy season. It was the same thing then, it is the same thing now, only Ole has at least done something for the club (as a player, but still) to deserve it. The facts are simple - if we do not challenge this season, he has to go. Or at least win the CL. The squad is full of world class players in almost every position. Yes, we have weak links, but so does every other team in existence. For a team to be stacked in EVERY position with class players would mean it would be one of history's greatest like United's Treble, Sacchi's Milan, Pep's Barcelon, etc, and that's not easily accomplishable.

Here's the main problem with Ole that I have - in 3 seasons with United he has done nothing to suggest he has a style or a form he wants to implement and it shows - we're still winning all of our games not because we play amazingly, but simply on individual brilliance because we have class players that can produce something at any given moment. Our passing is shit, our team cohesion is nowhere to be found, players run around headless chickens, there's no real system of play that you can discern. Pep, wherever he goes, you have a system and a style you can immediately notice he is trying to implement. How successful it is, is another matter, but you can clearly see it. This is how Tuchel transformed an obvious shit team of Chelsea (everyone claimed it to be so) into a CL winning one. Why can't we do the same? It's not the players, that's for sure. On paper our squad is easily up there with City and honestly I'd even say it is better than City's. So what is it? Why are we still struggling in all of our matches, still fumbling passes left and right, still look disoriented in attack and defense? Well, the obvious reason would be the coaching.

This is why the Wolves game pissed me off so much. It's not that we were unlucky not to win (thankfully we won), it's because they simply battered and outplayed us like we were a second division team. With SAF, if anyone remembers, we always dominated teams. Even when we lost. Shit happens in football, sometimes a plucky goal comes, sometimes no matter what you do, you can't seem to score, but one thing is for certain - we never allowed to be embarrassed. Or if we did and I can't remember, it was an off-game. With Ole, it's kinda the opposite - even when we win, we win so unconvincingly that it leaves a sour taste in my mouth. I want to see other teams be scared of United, just the way it was used to be, not laugh at us like we're plucky underdogs.

And if Ole can't deliver that this season with the squad he has assembled. And yes, he has been very good at the transfer market, then he has to go and give it to someone else that can. Because we can't wait 20 years for another title win, this club's revenue is driven by its success and the more it takes to achieve said success, the more we lose. Next season we're losing Pogba by the look of things because of it. So the best way to remedy this is bring Zidane in, give him everything he wants and we're surely goin to go back to the top. Might even keep Pogba in. Anything else is simply reliance on a miracle.

And I feckign hate this comparison with SAF. Just because SAF did it, doesn't mean anyone can do it. For one, SAF took a team in a much worse position with much less resources than Ole has. Second, SAF actually had a CV that would shame Mourinho and Guaridola. The stuff he did with Mireen and Aberdeen were nothing short of a miracle, so you knew this guy could deliver. We know nothing about Ole. If we want to make a comparison , the most apt would be with Klopp. Would I be willing to give Klopp time instead of Ole? Hell yes, because you know of his success at Dortmund and Mainz. This club can't be run on sentimentality, it has to be run on pure and brutal pragmatism. It's why Chelsea, City, Real are so successful and why we are not. We no longer have the GOAT manager luxury to bail us out with title wins by playing Tom Cleverley and Wellbeck, we are right back down with the mortals and have to rely on the same tactics as other teams do.
This is a great post but you’re wrong about us always dominating teams under Fergie. That’s simply not true. Fergie away in big games set us up very similarly to Ole. We regularly surrendered possession in big away games, especially in Europe. We had games under SAF where we got absolutely battered, yet still came away with decent results.

The difference is Fergie had numerous different ways of playing. We could counter, we could go all out attack, we could keep the ball & control. I remember watching us see out an away game at Stoke where we just kept the ball for 10 minutes straight. We can’t even keep the ball for 10 passes under Ole.
 

Strelok

Full Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
3,033
Location
Da Nang, Vietnam
Fair enough then, if that's not the football you like to watch.

For me, a tactically aware team that is able to maintain shape, not get caught on the counter, control games with or without the ball, not get outnumbered on any area of the field and still create enough chances to win games and trophies would be an absolute treat to watch.
I'm not sure if you've watched enough of Conte to be honest.
I've watched some of his matches and tbh I don't like his football at all. It's like watching Mourinho's football. For some matches they looked pretty bad and lacking ideas as well.

For me I have high hope for our football this season. We've supposedly fixed our issue in Lindelof and finally our RW. Last season we generally attack through only the LW and the middle. It's like playing boxing with one hand tied. Tbh I can't wait to see us once we get our full first XI and Sancho manages to settle. Let's see what we can do this season with both hands.

We have a pretty young squad, especially our attacking players so imo it's normal for us to be inconsistent. And we have an average midfield so I don't expect we'd win anything this season. But I'm happy with us. For the first time after SAF I can see we're making progress after each season. If we keep doing that one day we'll manage to win big things. I don't know if Ole is the one but I'm sure he'll leave a very good exciting squad for whoever next.
 

kthanksbye

Full Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2014
Messages
824
Location
United Arab Emirates
Not quite sure where the idea that Conte is not a fun manager comes from. He was pretty thrilling in his first season at Chelsea. You don't shithouse and grind your way to 13 straight wins. While Im not sure Id want Conte if there was a choice to be had, I'm pretty sure he'd get the most out of our team.
True, seems to be one of those myths that because he's Italian and prefers to play 3 at the back, he's a dinosaur who only knows how to set up 10 players to defend and nick a goal on the counter.
I'm fairly certain most people here haven't watched or remember specifically how Conte's teams play. Chelsea had 93 points in the season they won the PL.
 

RedSky

Shepherd’s Delight
Scout
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Messages
69,276
Location
Hereford FC (Soccermanager)
He picks the coaches, therefore it's his problem.
I'd agree with that. Clearly he felt the need to bring in a new set piece coach, so that's progress at least.

Our Home form is whats really holding us back. We've played 100 league games under Ole, 50 at home and 50 away. Our Points per game is higher away from home and we've had more clean sheets away too. Our home form is ok, it's not where it needs to be if we want to challenge for the title, but it's not a disaster either. Last season was poor at home, but the other seasons weren't.

Personally, I think our runs of unbeaten form give me signs that Ole is very close to making this team into a real top draw side. We simply do not lose games very often, 6 defeats in our last 55 league games (since Bruno signed). You're always going to have a slightly dodgy record against the top 6 clubs, but our main problem has been the tier below.

Below is Oles League results in a nice table. feck Arsenal, we need to do the double over them this season.
Opponent​
Games​
GF​
GA​
GD​
Points​
Points PG​
Brighton​
5​
13​
5​
+8​
15​
3.0​
Norwich​
2​
7​
1​
+6​
6​
3.0​
Aston Villa​
4​
10​
4​
+6​
10​
2.5​
Newcastle​
5​
13​
4​
+9​
12​
2.4​
Fulham​
3​
6​
2​
+4​
7​
2.3​
Leeds​
3​
11​
3​
+8​
7​
2.3​
Bournemouth​
3​
9​
4​
+5​
6​
2.0​
Burnley​
5​
8​
5​
+3​
10​
2.0​
Huddersfield​
2​
4​
2​
+2​
4​
2.0​
Leicester​
5​
7​
4​
+3​
10​
2.0​
Man City​
5​
6​
3​
+3​
10​
2.0​
Southampton​
6​
19​
8​
+11​
12​
2.0​
Spurs​
5​
8​
9​
-1​
10​
2.0​
Watford​
3​
5​
3​
+2​
6​
2.0​
West Brom​
2​
2​
1​
+1​
4​
2.0​
West Ham​
5​
7​
5​
+2​
10​
2.0​
Wolves​
6​
6​
4​
+2​
11​
1.8​
Chelsea​
5​
7​
1​
+6​
9​
1.8​
Sheff Utd​
4​
10​
7​
+3​
7​
1.8​
Cardiff​
2​
5​
3​
+2​
3​
1.5​
Crystal Palace​
5​
7​
6​
+1​
7​
1.4​
Everton​
5​
8​
10​
-2​
6​
1.2​
Liverpool​
5​
3​
7​
-4​
3​
0.6​
Arsenal​
5​
1​
6​
-5​
2​
0.4​
 

Schmeichel's Cartwheel

Correctly predicted Italy to win Euro 2020
Joined
Dec 21, 2014
Messages
11,420
Location
Manchester
I'd agree with that. Clearly he felt the need to bring in a new set piece coach, so that's progress at least.

Our Home form is whats really holding us back. We've played 100 league games under Ole, 50 at home and 50 away. Our Points per game is higher away from home and we've had more clean sheets away too. Our home form is ok, it's not where it needs to be if we want to challenge for the title, but it's not a disaster either. Last season was poor at home, but the other seasons weren't.

Personally, I think our runs of unbeaten form give me signs that Ole is very close to making this team into a real top draw side. We simply do not lose games very often, 6 defeats in our last 55 league games (since Bruno signed). You're always going to have a slightly dodgy record against the top 6 clubs, but our main problem has been the tier below.

Below is Oles League results in a nice table. feck Arsenal, we need to do the double over them this season.
Opponent​
Games​
GF​
GA​
GD​
Points​
Points PG​
Brighton​
5​
13​
5​
+8​
15​
3.0​
Norwich​
2​
7​
1​
+6​
6​
3.0​
Aston Villa​
4​
10​
4​
+6​
10​
2.5​
Newcastle​
5​
13​
4​
+9​
12​
2.4​
Fulham​
3​
6​
2​
+4​
7​
2.3​
Leeds​
3​
11​
3​
+8​
7​
2.3​
Bournemouth​
3​
9​
4​
+5​
6​
2.0​
Burnley​
5​
8​
5​
+3​
10​
2.0​
Huddersfield​
2​
4​
2​
+2​
4​
2.0​
Leicester​
5​
7​
4​
+3​
10​
2.0​
Man City​
5​
6​
3​
+3​
10​
2.0​
Southampton​
6​
19​
8​
+11​
12​
2.0​
Spurs​
5​
8​
9​
-1​
10​
2.0​
Watford​
3​
5​
3​
+2​
6​
2.0​
West Brom​
2​
2​
1​
+1​
4​
2.0​
West Ham​
5​
7​
5​
+2​
10​
2.0​
Wolves​
6​
6​
4​
+2​
11​
1.8​
Chelsea​
5​
7​
1​
+6​
9​
1.8​
Sheff Utd​
4​
10​
7​
+3​
7​
1.8​
Cardiff​
2​
5​
3​
+2​
3​
1.5​
Crystal Palace​
5​
7​
6​
+1​
7​
1.4​
Everton​
5​
8​
10​
-2​
6​
1.2​
Liverpool​
5​
3​
7​
-4​
3​
0.6​
Arsenal​
5​
1​
6​
-5​
2​
0.4​
His record against Liverpool, and inexplicably Arsenal, is alarmingly bad. We haven’t beaten either in the PL since the 17-18 season, shocking to be honest.
 

RedSky

Shepherd’s Delight
Scout
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Messages
69,276
Location
Hereford FC (Soccermanager)
His record against Liverpool, and inexplicably Arsenal, is alarmingly bad. We haven’t beaten either in the PL since the 17-18 season, shocking to be honest.
Liverpool you can forgive given they're our domestic and local rivals. It's a bit of a lottery and we've been playing catchup, it's still bad mind. But our record against Arsenal is horrific given that they've been in a total mess, I think that might be Ole showing them far too much respect historically when they're a shadow of their former sides.

On the flip side, we've got a decent record against City, Tottenham and Leicester.
 

justsomebloke

Full Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2020
Messages
2,477
Previously you said we're not really playing as Ole would like, and that was because of our personnel. Now you're saying that we are playing as Ole would like, its just that he's more of a pragmatist. Which is it?
I guess the question is more if you're actually interested in having a discussion about this, or if you just want to conjure up grounds for quarreling by inventing strawmen based on inattentive and/or tendentious reading. If the former, you have everything you need in previous posts, which as far as I can understand are perfectly clear. If the latter, have fun, I'm not biting.
 
Last edited:

georgipep

Full Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2015
Messages
1,266
Location
Not far enough
Pep & Klopp teams control the game pretty much every week, how often do you see us control the game under Ole?

Ole is good at setting the team up to sit deep & counter attack with speed. Ask him to come up with a plan to control a game & stop the other team getting the ball, he can’t do it. Wolves had about 5 clear cut chances in the first half alone last week. That wouldn’t happen against Pep, Klopp or Tuchel.
Wolves create chances against everyone so far this season. They are top of the league in terms of chances created after the three rounds.

And I wonder how many times are you and the rest of the "out" brigade going to move the goalposts?

First, it was no distinguished style of play.
Then, it was no tactical expertise.
Now it is controlling the game?

Ultimately, don't really care to convince you, this has proven impossible in the last 2 years, regardless of the constant progress the team makes. Luckily, he has just been given a new contract which means the only people who matter recognize his skills.
 

Newtonius

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Aug 28, 2021
Messages
33
Rather than saying tactically inept would call it tactically inflexible, his counter attacking has always been pretty impressive with players like Rashford and Martial and it has worked against the big teams and away from home too where they are liable to give the team more space (not to mention in stadiums without any crowds) but that's all he really has at this point.

We are still seeing the same problems we have seen for the last 3 years DM or no DM. Ineffective wing play, an extremely slow tempo, Pogba in a double pivot, a complete lack of ideas with the ball at their feet especially when they are expected to break down a low block and a reliance on indiviidual magic etc. Wolves dominated us for about 85 minutes out there and should have won the game while we got bailed out by a goalkeeper making one of the saves of the season, awb being spider man and a generational talent scoring out of absolutely nothing.

The question to ask is for all the talent he adds to this squad is it actually improving performances? For me it just makes it more and more clear how little real philosophy there actually is out there unless they are able to attack the space and counter. Agree with the general sentiment though, deserves at least the season, if only due to the lack of elite coaches available. Missed the boat on Tuchel though imo, not only a charismatic gentlemen but clearly knows how to do more than just spend and hope for the best when Christensen, Alonso, Rudiger et al were considered trash last season.
 
Last edited:

georgipep

Full Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2015
Messages
1,266
Location
Not far enough
They have won major trophies, what has Ole won?
Ok, so now it is trophies. And Klopp won his trophies at Dortmund, which was super impressive, but then lost a few finals at Liverpool.

Ole won trophies with Molde, which is not the same as Dortmund in Germany but it is what it is.
 

Schmeichel's Cartwheel

Correctly predicted Italy to win Euro 2020
Joined
Dec 21, 2014
Messages
11,420
Location
Manchester
Wolves create chances against everyone so far this season. They are top of the league in terms of chances created after the three rounds.

And I wonder how many times are you and the rest of the "out" brigade going to move the goalposts?

First, it was no distinguished style of play.
Then, it was no tactical expertise.
Now it is controlling the game?

Ultimately, don't really care to convince you, this has proven impossible in the last 2 years, regardless of the constant progress the team makes. Luckily, he has just been given a new contract which means the only people who matter recognize his skills.
I’ve given ole plenty of credit where it’s due. The problem with the “in” brigade is they refuse to take any criticism against him whatsoever without dismissing it.
 

georgipep

Full Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2015
Messages
1,266
Location
Not far enough
I’ve given ole plenty of credit where it’s due. The problem with the “in” brigade is they refuse to take any criticism against him whatsoever without dismissing it.
So not winning "major trophies" is valid criticism in your view? Regardless of the fact that Ole has already won trophies with the previous club where he stayed enough to win and has gradually progressed to position where we should be winning now.

But sure, tell me how reasonable you've been....
 

Chesterlestreet

Man of the crowd
Joined
Oct 19, 2012
Messages
16,847
Now it is controlling the game?
Just a general comment, really - but going by what some people seem to imply by this term ("controlling" the game), they'd have dismissed much of what United did under SAF too as being random, over-reliant on individual quality, lacking in "patterns" and so forth.

I'm not convinced by Ole as a tactician by any stretch - but much of the criticism he gets from certain posters on here strikes me as utter drivel.
 

largelyworried

Full Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2021
Messages
1,200
Just a general comment, really - but going by what some people seem to imply by this term ("controlling" the game), they'd have dismissed much of what United did under SAF too as being random, over-reliant on individual quality, lacking in "patterns" and so forth.
Probably true in some respects. SAF's style was far more focused on individuals and character than the likes of Pep. If you read SAF's books he doesn't talk all that much about shape and formations, but he talks at length about the individual battles that went on all over the pitch or the roles that particular players had in games. He clearly saw the game in terms of people, not in shapes and stats. In that respect, I think Ole approaches the game in the same way. I think the reason we don't see a clear vision of the football at United is that it just isn't Ole's thing.

A few differences though. Firstly, Ole isn't as good as SAF. Stating the obvious perhaps, but just because SAF won the league playing as he did, doesn't mean Ole will. So while the lack of focus on formations/control/style of play etc may not have mattered to SAF, it may do to Ole.

Secondly, the game has changed since SAF was around. I don't think you can routinely reach 95+ points playing the way SAF did in his final 10 or so years, and that's the target now. Given that SAF's most enduring strength was his ability to change, I think he would have changed too. He was old school, but he was never a dinosaur. Klopp, Pep & others have changed the game with their thinking on coaching & I think he would have matched them.
 

Schmeichel's Cartwheel

Correctly predicted Italy to win Euro 2020
Joined
Dec 21, 2014
Messages
11,420
Location
Manchester
So not winning "major trophies" is valid criticism in your view? Regardless of the fact that Ole has already won trophies with the previous club where he stayed enough to win and has gradually progressed to position where we should be winning now.

But sure, tell me how reasonable you've been....
Where did I say anything about major trophies? Arguing a point I never even made just makes you look extra defensive.
 

OleTheGreat

Full Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
678
Location
Bangalore, India
I know we have watched #OleOut trending more times than #OleIn but I think we fans have realized that Ole has never really managed a squad in a club this big before and he has done an exceptional job learning on the job. I'm not saying he is one of the best yet but he has just as much potential to succeed as does this squad. He has come in and done exactly what is required for this club and weeded out players that were below par. He has also added excellent players to the squad and I'm sure it takes all managers time to assemble the team that works towards their vision. It's been quite sometime now since he's been here and the football has improved. It is still lethargic and clueless sometimes but that is because we have a few players who cannot adapt and makes changes during the game. I think Ole is one step away from great things at Man United and that's is the engine room. We are set in every other position and that is truly because of his patience and quality work behind the scenes. He now needs fighters on the pitch.

Ronaldo will add that rugged nature to this squad and demand quality from his teammates. We all know how Ronaldo is if he doesn't score in a game and therefore I feel we will take more efforts in getting the ball to him and quickly. I cannot wait for his involvement in this squad. The owners might think they have made a great decision in bring Ronaldo in for PR reasons but I think they have no idea what he demands from his teammates which will be greater than what Ole does. Ronaldo will push every player to his limits and demand the ball be high up the pitch all the time. This makes me so happy because I've watched United being so slow in the last 6-7 seasons and its been boring as hell. It will all get quicker now and therefore will become exciting to watch. Ole deserves to win a cup at the least this season. We are prepared to shed a tear for him for sure because it has been a long time coming.
 

El Jefe

Full Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2012
Messages
2,304
So, Pep losing the CL final last season is a proof he is not good tactically?

Klopp losing a whole bunch of finals with Liverpool too?
If they hadn't won major trophies already then yes of course it would be proof. Ole has come up short in major knockout ties, and most of the time it has been due to his limitations on tactical setups and lack of changes to alter the course of the game.

None of the criticism of Ole is personal, it just is what it is. Klopp had to deal with the criticism of coming short in finals and he went ahead and won the CL, since that happened the tag of loser has completely disappeared (even though it was ridiculous to begin with). Ole will always be a mid tier manager until he actually starts delivering trophies.

The EL Final by his own admission was a really damaging performance. We had no clue on how to break them down all game and seemed to get worse as the game went on. The semi final vs Sevilla the year before that was pretty bad. He's been able to get some big wins in his time here but has come up short tactically in the pretty much all of the Semis or Finals we've lost under him. I'd have some sympathy if we missed chances galore, or had bad refereeing or were just unlucky but we've deserved to lose all of them.
 

Chesterlestreet

Man of the crowd
Joined
Oct 19, 2012
Messages
16,847
Probably true in some respects. SAF's style was far more focused on individuals and character than the likes of Pep. If you read SAF's books he doesn't talk all that much about shape and formations, but he talks at length about the individual battles that went on all over the pitch or the roles that particular players had in games. He clearly saw the game in terms of people, not in shapes and stats. In that respect, I think Ole approaches the game in the same way. I think the reason we don't see a clear vision of the football at United is that it just isn't Ole's thing.

A few differences though. Firstly, Ole isn't as good as SAF. Stating the obvious perhaps, but just because SAF won the league playing as he did, doesn't mean Ole will. So while the lack of focus on formations/control/style of play etc may not have mattered to SAF, it may do to Ole.

Secondly, the game has changed since SAF was around. I don't think you can routinely reach 95+ points playing the way SAF did in his final 10 or so years, and that's the target now. Given that SAF's most enduring strength was his ability to change, I think he would have changed too. He was old school, but he was never a dinosaur. Klopp, Pep & others have changed the game with their thinking on coaching & I think he would have matched them.
Yep - I agree with that.

Excellent post, in fact.

The part in bold sums SAF up, I think. He was old school in the good sense - not the potentially bad sense.

Ole is...at worst a transitional manager who has a limit or ceiling (in which case, we rely on someone above him realizing just that). At best he could be great...but from my personal perspective, that's hope more than belief (still, hope is what football fans live on - even when they know it's also the very thing that kills you).
 

Bilbo

Full Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2004
Messages
12,159
Rather than saying tactically inept would call it tactically inflexible, his counter attacking has always been pretty impressive with players like Rashford and Martial and it has worked against the big teams and away from home too where they are liable to give the team more space (not to mention in stadiums without any crowds) but that's all he really has at this point.
The way that our team performs has almost always been dictated by the personnel we have available. You've touched on it yourself here. Why have United always been a superior counter attacking team? Its not because our coaches strengths lie in producing this, or because that is the end goal in the style of football they want United to play. Its simply because those players thrive in that environment. Fortunately our coaching team are bright enough to realise our best chance of winning was when we could engineer situations where we could utilise this strength. Common sense, no?

People say that systems matter over players, but you need the latter to be able to execute the former. Before Bruno we definitely were a team that looked for counter attacking opportunities, as you say. Then our style evolved when we introduced Bruno because he offered us options that simply weren't available before him. The team clearly evolved again whenever we were able to field a striker with the qualities that Cavani offers, and I suspect they will continue to evolve when we are able to realise the full potential of what Varane can offer us. Our supposed 'struggle' to break down teams in the past has always been more about a lack of a focal point in attack than it is about patterns of play. Its rarely an issue when Cavani is on form.

Theres a lot of talk about what type of coach Ole (& team) is. I agree with @justsomebloke when he says that Ole caters to the situation, but as I've tried to explain above its not just about the opposition its also about what you have available to you, and there are numerous examples of that over the course of his time here. As our squad has evolved, its clear that we are trying different things. United haven't been a counter attacking team for quite some time, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't still use that weapon. We are arguably the best in the league at it, and besides, who doesn't love a counter attacking goal? Many of my favourite goals down the years have come from that. To say that this is all he has is really just being stuck in the same insults that were (not incorrectly, but also not actually insults) being thrown about 2 years ago when we had a significantly inferior squad.
 

georgipep

Full Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2015
Messages
1,266
Location
Not far enough
If they hadn't won major trophies already then yes of course it would be proof. Ole has come up short in major knockout ties, and most of the time it has been due to his limitations on tactical setups and lack of changes to alter the course of the game.

None of the criticism of Ole is personal, it just is what it is. Klopp had to deal with the criticism of coming short in finals and he went ahead and won the CL, since that happened the tag of loser has completely disappeared (even though it was ridiculous to begin with). Ole will always be a mid tier manager until he actually starts delivering trophies.

The EL Final by his own admission was a really damaging performance. We had no clue on how to break them down all game and seemed to get worse as the game went on. The semi final vs Sevilla the year before that was pretty bad. He's been able to get some big wins in his time here but has come up short tactically in the pretty much all of the Semis or Finals we've lost under him. I'd have some sympathy if we missed chances galore, or had bad refereeing or were just unlucky but we've deserved to lose all of them.
So, Ole beating Pep multiple times is something other than tactical expertise then? It only works when we lose, not when we win?
 

largelyworried

Full Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2021
Messages
1,200
The way that our team performs has almost always been dictated by the personnel we have available. You've touched on it yourself here. Why have United always been a superior counter attacking team? Its not because our coaches strengths lie in producing this, or because that is the end goal in the style of football they want United to play. Its simply because those players thrive in that environment. Fortunately our coaching team are bright enough to realise our best chance of winning was when we could engineer situations where we could utilise this strength. Common sense, no?

People say that systems matter over players, but you need the latter to be able to execute the former. Before Bruno we definitely were a team that looked for counter attacking opportunities, as you say. Then our style evolved when we introduced Bruno because he offered us options that simply weren't available before him. The team clearly evolved again whenever we were able to field a striker with the qualities that Cavani offers, and I suspect they will continue to evolve when we are able to realise the full potential of what Varane can offer us. Our supposed 'struggle' to break down teams in the past has always been more about a lack of a focal point in attack than it is about patterns of play. Its rarely an issue when Cavani is on form.

Theres a lot of talk about what type of coach Ole (& team) is. I agree with @justsomebloke when he says that Ole caters to the situation, but as I've tried to explain above its not just about the opposition its also about what you have available to you, and there are numerous examples of that over the course of his time here. As our squad has evolved, its clear that we are trying different things. United haven't been a counter attacking team for quite some time, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't still use that weapon. We are arguably the best in the league at it, and besides, who doesn't love a counter attacking goal? Many of my favourite goals down the years have come from that. To say that this is all he has is really just being stuck in the same insults that were (not incorrectly, but also not actually insults) being thrown about 2 years ago when we had a significantly inferior squad.
What I'm interested to know is whether you think the current style of football, pragmatic & situational, is the final destination, albeit with better players? Or whether we will see a change in tack down the line to the stylized hyper coached style of football that we see at City, Liverpool and now at Chelsea? Because those two are pretty different things, both in terms of our chances of success and in terms of keeping fans on board.

I don't reckon a situational approach to team management will win you the league anymore. With the absurdly high points tallies and very long winning runs we see these days, I think the only way to win the league is to have a very proactive Plan A that can overwhelm most teams week after week, and then rely on individual moments of brilliance to get you out a hole from time to time, or to make the difference in big games.

On the other hand, if there is a long term shift in direction planned, then it's a different set of questions - mainly what style, and when?

Personally, I think that wysiwyg with Ole, as it were. I think if there was a long term aim to start overwhelming teams with a heavily coached approach to football, we would see signs of it by now. Instead, I think we'll see more of the same - the basic quality to beat most teams, a reactive style that's useful in some big games, but a lack of focus & direction in some games that results in too many dropped points to win the league. Which is why I'm not that hopeful for our chances.
 

Red Dreams

Full Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2003
Messages
53,748
Location
Across the Universe....from Old Trafford.
If you want to bet on a manager to fall at the last hurdle, look no further than Ole.
I have never been an Ole out guy.
But we need to face facts.
He wanted the job. he needs to pull his socks up and do it.
There is no excuse with the players we have, lack of a solid DM aside, which is his fault btw.
 

Bilbo

Full Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2004
Messages
12,159
What I'm interested to know is whether you think the current style of football, pragmatic & situational, is the final destination, albeit with better players? Or whether we will see a change in tack down the line to the stylized hyper coached style of football that we see at City, Liverpool and now at Chelsea? Because those two are pretty different things, both in terms of our chances of success and in terms of keeping fans on board.

I don't reckon a situational approach to team management will win you the league anymore. With the absurdly high points tallies and very long winning runs we see these days, I think the only way to win the league is to have a very proactive Plan A that can overwhelm most teams week after week, and then rely on individual moments of brilliance to get you out a hole from time to time, or to make the difference in big games.

On the other hand, if there is a long term shift in direction planned, then it's a different set of questions - mainly what style, and when?

Personally, I think that wysiwyg with Ole, as it were. I think if there was a long term aim to start overwhelming teams with a heavily coached approach to football, we would see signs of it by now. Instead, I think we'll see more of the same - the basic quality to beat most teams, a reactive style that's useful in some big games, but a lack of focus & direction in some games that results in too many dropped points to win the league. Which is why I'm not that hopeful for our chances.
Without writing too long a response, I honestly believe that a little too much is made of it. Armchair tacticians are generally just that. They soak up everything they read and hear, but few ever actually understand tactics to a high level (I include myself in that too before anyone accuses me of being patronising). I think of all the coaches alive today its really only Peps teams that I would watch 30 mins of and say 'that's a Pep team' with any real certainty.

I think by now it goes without saying that what we see with Ole is how it's always going to be. Anyone who thinks otherwise needs to get on board, because we arent suddenly turning into a hyper-pressing machine or completing 300 more passes every match (thank god). That isn't to say that he isn't concerned with tactics. Of course he is. He's held his own against his peers over a long enough timeline now to make me treat the Ole Ole Ole I love you talk with the contempt it deserves. Ultimately, Ole is going to make this United the best team one he can mostly by signing excellent players, but also by creating an environment where those players have an opportunity to succeed, and im 100% fine with that, because that's also what every other manager (bar none) has to do too.

What will happen this season is largely already written. Varane will help us defend better, and Ronaldo will help us turn some of those draws into wins, and we'll end up in contention to winning a trophy or two. If we lose Ole will be criticised relentlessly, and if we win he'll be damned with the faintest of praise by the portion of our fanbase who have convinced themselves that the players won it with 'individual brilliance' or some sh*t - because only trendy managers ever actually really win trophies these days
 

mitchmouse

Full Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2014
Messages
11,060
Lots of today's newspapers (7 Sept) saying Ole opted not to boost the midfield - it's in stories regarding our continued interest in Declan Rice
 

ReddBalls

Full Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2015
Messages
989
Lots of today's newspapers (7 Sept) saying Ole opted not to boost the midfield - it's in stories regarding our continued interest in Declan Rice
Or you could frame it the other way and say he plugged the holes in defence and attack. Both was equally necessary as mid.
 

UnitedSofa

Full Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2013
Messages
2,153
Lots of today's newspapers (7 Sept) saying Ole opted not to boost the midfield - it's in stories regarding our continued interest in Declan Rice
Not that he didn’t want to per say I suspect it for him, was Rice or no one.

Doesn’t want to buy a player for the sake of getting a shiny new toy
 

largelyworried

Full Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2021
Messages
1,200
Lots of today's newspapers (7 Sept) saying Ole opted not to boost the midfield - it's in stories regarding our continued interest in Declan Rice
I suspect 'opted' really means prioritised. I don't think he simply chose not to buy a midfielder but felt other areas were more important & so spent the money there. So I'm not up in arms about it. I'd probably be more depressed going into another season with Lindelof at CB.

Equally though, I don't think anyone can say the current situation was forced upon him. He clearly felt he could get the team working with what he had so I think its fair to judge him on that basis.
 

smi11ie

Not a philogynist
Newbie
Joined
May 4, 2017
Messages
713
Location
Buri Ram
Supports
Rangers
Ole needs one more summer transfer window. He has needed to rebuild that squad and he is doing his best while trying to maintain a good league position. I won't be critical of him this season if he gets top 4. If Utd sign a top DM next summer I will expect a greater degree of success. He has done much better than recent managers in my opinion.