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2020-21 Performances


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5.5 Season Average Rating
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SirScholes

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You can fancy all you want, you wouldn't even match the work rate of U18s, U21s. It's insane how quick, strong they are and also their stamina.

Well yeah, James isn't good enough
Without getting sidetracked some footballers have good cardio but my experience working with them, very poor biomechanics but this is all irrelevant. We both agree James is poor
 

SirScholes

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Agreed. But at the minute with Pogba and Cavani out, Martial and Donny playing like they’ve never seen a football before we don’t have much choice.
No I get that, I’m not slating ole for starting him, just calling a spade a spade, or in this case a poor footballer a poor footballer
 

acolyte

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The OP specifically referenced James and Fred, which is why I referred to hardworking but lesser talented players (though that may be harsh on Fred).

But I agree with you, we shouldn't compromise on talent or hard work for the sake of the other.
 

Ali Dia

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The guy was a waste of space for over a year till a few weeks ago when he started to resemble a footballer again, his bad form was almost as bad and as long as Lingard's.

This is the best version of him and it's still nothing special and very far from what's needed in his position.
he might not be good enough but why exaggerate. Lingard has been poor since 2018 and he’s been on about 3 times the wage James is as well as being 5 years older. James father died right in the middle of when was singlehandedly carrying our only threat from the right in his very first game in his very first season in the pl. is that totally fair? I think he did very well under the circumstances. Is James going to say no to the chance just because a few of our fans don’t like his style? A properly structured club would never have let that situation arise let alone happily carry on until the end of the season. We got very lucky Greenwood picked up the slack shoehorned into a wide position.

It’s our fecking owners!!! They have us all fighting amongst ourselves about good honest players now too. Is he world class? No but we don’t need world class and overly expensive players in every position. It’s pretty clear we need workrate and enthusiasm to break the predictability of our supposed world class potential forwards Greenwood martial and Rashford strolling around making the same mistakes over and over again. It’s like fans have totally forgotten about how pragmatic and hard working we were under Fergie and aren’t happy unless it’s an expensive sulking player walking around stinking up the place but they aren’t happy then either. A few more players with some fire would be just the ticket.
 

Foxbatt

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He came from the Championship. He had a very poor spell and he has started showing improvement. He does a lot of donkey work up front. Twice any other player. I saw him pressing even on the left wing and then running back to the right wing.
The coaches should get him to play simple and get his decision making right and also improve his passing. He is a squad player who is going to come in and do a job.
 

Robbie Boy

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I think Ole played him yesterday as he combines with AWB far better than anyone else you have on the right wing, especially defensively.

He was picked, IMO, to help contain Rudiger, Chilwell and Mount playing down that wing and given that your full backs were pressing so high up the pitch, it was crucial that AWB had that defensive help from James. In fact your team pressed higher yesterday than I've seen this season and again this is something that James is very good at. It's noticable as well that these are aspects of the game that Greenwood does not have and if Greenwood had been played out to the right you could well have been overrun down that side of the pitch.

I'd agree with many that James is not an outstanding winger in the vein that you've had over the years like Beckham, Ronaldo, Kanchelskis or Olsen, but he is a very useful player and offers something that no one else at the club does in that position at the moment. Hs output in terms of goals has definitely improved this season and I think you could argue that his dip in assists compared to last year is as much down to your other forwards dipping in form as it is his own game.

EPL 2020/21 - 9 games 3 goals 0 assists
EPL 2019/20 - 33 games 3 goals 6 assists

James gets a lot of stick that he does not deserve and he's definitely improving as a player, he's not nailed on first team material, but as a member of the squad he is extremely useful and is far more than the kick and run merchant many seem to see.
You're really over complicating things with this post. He's a very average player who has generally looked nowhere near good enough during his tenure here. He's really not that useful and can easily be upgraded. I see recency bias is at play with him. Yeah, he's been ok since he's come back into the side but these performances are actually above what he usually shows.
 

Idxomer

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he might not be good enough but why exaggerate. Lingard has been poor since 2018 and he’s been on about 3 times the wage James is as well as being 5 years older. James father died right in the middle of when was singlehandedly carrying our only threat from the right in his very first game in his very first season in the pl. is that totally fair? I think he did very well under the circumstances. Is James going to say no to the chance just because a few of our fans don’t like his style? A properly structured club would never have let that situation arise let alone happily carry on until the end of the season. We got very lucky Greenwood picked up the slack shoehorned into a wide position.

It’s our fecking owners!!! They have us all fighting amongst ourselves about good honest players now too. Is he world class? No but we don’t need world class and overly expensive players in every position. It’s pretty clear we need workrate and enthusiasm to break the predictability of our supposed world class potential forwards Greenwood martial and Rashford strolling around making the same mistakes over and over again. It’s like fans have totally forgotten about how pragmatic and hard working we were under Fergie and aren’t happy unless it’s an expensive sulking player walking around stinking up the place but they aren’t happy then either. A few more players with some fire would be just the ticket.
He actually started on the left and then got moved to the right when Martial came back from injury.

He scored in the League 3 goals in August 2019 and didn't score again till December last year against Leeds. The manager thought at the end of last season it was better to keep playing the same XI at the end of last season than to give him a chance when Rashford was misfiring and just back from a long injury. He also never showed anything close to Lingard when the team came 2nd.

What we need is to try to get our 3 forwards running again and back to the form that made them outscore Liverpool's from three. James as a tactical option in some games isn't the end of the world but the team shouldn't go back to depending on him again on the right like the 1st half of last season.

And you can't accuse the other forwards of making the same mistakes over and over again when this is James' specialty. They are also not getting any leeway from the fans. I mean Martial carried us in his 1st season as a 19-year-old kid and post-lockdown last season when the whole team was on his last legs, and there's basically a witch-hunt against him right now. Rashford and Greenwood also get plenty of criticism from fans.
 
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Ali Dia

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He actually started on the left and then got moved to the right when Martial came back from injury.

He scored in the League 3 goals in August 2019 and didn't score again till December last year against Leeds. The manager thought at the end of last season it was better to keep playing the same XI at the end of last season than to give him a chance when Rashford was misfiring and just back from a long injury. He also never showed anything close to Lingard when the team came 2nd.

What we need is to try to get our 3 forwards running again and back to the form that made them outscore Liverpool's from three. James as a tactical option in some games isn't the end of the world but the team shouldn't go back to depending on him again on the right like the 1st half of last season.

And you can't accuse the other forwards of making the same mistakes over and over again when this is James' specialty. They are also not getting any leeway from the fans. I mean Martial carried us in his 1st season as a 19-year-old kid and post-lockdown last season when the whole team was on his last legs, and there's basically a witch-hunt against him right now. Rashford and Greenwood also get plenty of criticism from fans.

A few more players like him and we will end up just like Arsenal.
a few more players like martial and we end up like arsenal you mean. Flash players with no heart or grit beyond the skill. You’ve literally given the worst example of what your standard arsenal player has been over the fallow years if you’re using James. If arsenal had more balls and work rate instead of flash technical players they might have actually achieved something.

James came on the right in his first match against Chelsea and scored and stayed there/moved around from right to left in games right up until his form totally dropped off. Himself and Rashford carried us at the start of the season. He scored a few of those shots with the inside of his foot from the left across the keeper and put in a few crosses for goals from the right. He was our only threat from the right up until November and then he dropped off which is fair enough given the jump in quality and what was going on in his personal life. He had a few awful months with no confidence after that and was dropped until recently and now he’s been good again.

this is a guy that was bought to be a squad punt bearing the brunt of Manchester United “supporters” frustrations because the owners haven’t seen fit to sign another right winger since Nani. That’s not James fault. Is it James fault Ole only had 20 million to spend on the wing position after 6 years of no winger? It’s not oles fault either. He's wanted Sancho the last 2 years and was willing to wait instead of going out and signing expensive trash like Pepe just for the sake of it. If you want to look at how and why we have been “heading towards arsenal standard” then look no further than our owners who are absolutely clueless. James is a good squad player and I’m really happy he’s doing well. Our other established forwards could take a leaf out of his book that’s for sure.
 
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Idxomer

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a few more players like martial and we end like arsenal you mean. Flash players with no heart or grit beyond the skill. You’ve literally given the worst example of what your standard arsenal player has been over the fallow years if you’re using James. If arsenal had more balls and work rate instead of flash technical players they might have actually achieved something.

James came on the right in his first match against Chelsea and scored and stayed there/moved around from right to left in games right up until his form totally dropped off. Himself and Rashford carried us at the start of the season. He scored a few of those shots with the inside of his foot from the left across the keeper and put in a few crosses for goals from the right. He was our only threat from the right up until November and then he dropped off which is fair enough given the jump in quality and what was going on in his personal life.

this is a guy that was bought to be a squad punt bearing the brunt of Manchester United “supporters” frustrations because the owners haven’t seen fit to sign another right winger since Nani. That’s not James fault. Is it James fault Ole only had 20 million to spend on the wing position after 6 years of no winger? It’s still not oles fault either. He wanted Sancho the last 2 years and was willing to wait instead of going out and signing trash like Pepe for the sake of it. If you want to look at how and why we have been “heading towards arsenal standard” then look no further than our owners who are absolutely clueless. James is a good squad player and I’m really happy he’s doing well. Our other established forward could take a leaf out of his book that’s for sure.
I edited the last part though we would end in midtable like Arsenal if we prioritized either work rate or technique over the other. At this level, you need both.

Yeah, he scored a deflected goal and two goals after that from the left. If he carried us last season after that, it was to a comfortable place in midtable. You don't seem to remember how bad the team was in this period. There's also nothing special in what James is doing now, his current run of form has been literally just 4 games and one of them was a dead-rubber. If you think what the team lack most now is more running, we're never going to agree.

You won't find any arguments from me to defend the bad management at the club. The biggest problem is still spending a lot on the wrong players.
 

Foxbatt

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He is certainly used tactically. He is also getting better. He is a squad player and he runs and makes the defenders tired. His pressing was certainly much better than the half-hearted attempts by Greenwood. I think we should use him against City too. Chelsea should have a few players booked for kicking him..
 

SwedishFish

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Did very well yesterday with his pressing and work rate. Lacked a bit of end product and if we'd have had someone on the bench that actually played RW who could make the difference I wouldn't have minded subbing him for the last 15-20 mins of the game.
 

LoneStar

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Can't believe some of the negative comments about him on here. He's just gone 23 years old a few months ago.

He's a Jose Mourinho wet dream. He's a defensive winger who never gives less than 100%. He's got that Man Utd DNA of always giving his best and someone who feels honoured to play for us.

He's improving all the time, will get better and better, and can eventually become our new Jesper Blomqvist/Ji Sung Park/Quinton Fortune/Antonio Valencia etc One of those grafters on the wing who can play certain games where we need to defend, can be used to give first teamers a rest in less important games, while also being a good option to come on in certain games for the last 30 mins.
Yeah exactly this. Is he a first team starter? No, but he can be a good squad option who'll be more effective in some matches than others.
 

youngrell

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He clearly played a very big part in our improved pressing yesterday, but felt he had quite a poor game overall. Particularly early on where he got caught on his heels a few times while we looked to get up the pitch.

His low cross was nearly on the money but Greenwood was blowing at that point and was nowhere near it. He also put in one good high cross but as usual we have no one in there to do anything with it.

Some more decent ball carrying but it’s hard to tell how effective he could be because he gets hacked down so often.
 

Leftback99

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He's a Ji Sung Park type to do a job in certain games but we don't have a Ronaldo, Rooney or a Scholes to provide the quality alongside it.
 
Crystal Palace 0:0 Man Utd

SadlerMUFC

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From what I've been seeing lately James should be playing more. He is our only winger who looks to assist. He may not be good at taking his man 1 v 1 but he makes smarter runs off the ball than any of our other wingers. Just keep him on the right so when he does have the ball he can look to go wide and get a cross in. For me, our biggest problem is all of our wingers look to score first and assist second. So they cut inside to their good foot and usually get blocked.
 
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He did well in his cameo. Breath of fresh air compared to our starting wide players.

Pressed hard, looked interested. Upped the tempo with mostly one touch passes...including his very first touch - a nice combination with McTominay that resulted in a half-chance.

Also made a great off-ball run into the box that ended up creating one of our best chances of the match.
 

Still ill

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Agreed. The brigade in the match day thread holding their heads in their hands at the very idea of James coming on for Cavani pissed me off. When you're as bad as we are at the moment, you work your ass off till it gets better. He immediately made a difference tonight.
 

UncleBob

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Agreed. The brigade in the match day thread holding their heads in their hands at the very idea of James coming on for Cavani pissed me off. When you're as bad as we are at the moment, you work your ass off till it gets better. He immediately made a difference tonight.
Problem wasn't James coming on, but Cavani going off.

Should've kept Cavani on, hauled off Rashford
 

Adam-Utd

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Not his biggest fan but he did more in 5 minutes than rashford all game. The movement for his headed chance was excellent, shame about the finish.

if rashford has half that desire he’ll start scoring again.
 

FrankDrebin

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He goes on the outside, which is a refreshing change from Greenwood and Rashford. Not sure why James was the one to replace Cavani though.
If anyone was going to get on the end of Jame's potential service it would've more than likely had been Cavani.
 

Pogue Mahone

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Problem wasn't James coming on, but Cavani going off.

Should've kept Cavani on, hauled off Rashford
Should have taken off Matic. We’re chasing the game and there’s 15 minutes left. Overload the team with attackers ffs. Ole’s comments about not being able to bring on Diallo because that would mean taking off Rashford, Greenwood or Bruno were absolutely infuriating. Didn’t even occur to him to try something creative/risky to win a game where we desperately need three points. So depressing to hear him so blatantly out of ideas. Really brought it home how out of his depth he is.
 

Red00012

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He goes on the outside, which is a refreshing change from Greenwood and Rashford. Not sure why James was the one to replace Cavani though.
If anyone was going to get on the end of Jame's potential service it would've more than likely had been Cavani.
He needed Cavani fit for Sunday and Ole had got what he came for last night . A well earned point
 

UncleBob

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Should have taken off Matic. We’re chasing the game and there’s 15 minutes left. Overload the team with attackers ffs. Ole’s comments about not being able to bring on Diallo because that would mean taking off Rashford, Greenwood or Bruno were absolutely infuriating. Didn’t even occur to him to try something creative/risky to win a game where we desperately need three points. So depressing to hear him so blatantly out of ideas. Really brought it home how out of his depth he is.
It can be a decent enough idea if the team overall is functioning, but it wasn't. Rashford couldn't even weight his passes to Shaw, keeping him on for the sake of keeping him on when he wasn't functioning whatsoever was a disaster.
 

Bwuk

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It won't happen but I'd quite like a shift to 4-4-2 and let James play on the right until Pogba is fit.
 

TrustInJanuzaj

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I do admire his work rate and he definitely should be playing more at the moment because our other attackers are shocking but if he really is the best we can offer we are going to drop many many more points before the end of the season. He still lacks the required quality to play for the team, what that says about Rashford is even more concerning.
 

acnumber9

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Should have taken off Matic. We’re chasing the game and there’s 15 minutes left. Overload the team with attackers ffs. Ole’s comments about not being able to bring on Diallo because that would mean taking off Rashford, Greenwood or Bruno were absolutely infuriating. Didn’t even occur to him to try something creative/risky to win a game where we desperately need three points. So depressing to hear him so blatantly out of ideas. Really brought it home how out of his depth he is.
It’s the kind of game Fergie would’ve brought James on for Wan Bissaka and have him play right back but really be right wing. Could also have dropped Bruno deeper in place of Matic. He’d plenty of options which would still have allowed him to maintain the shape he wanted to play.
 

acnumber9

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He goes on the outside, which is a refreshing change from Greenwood and Rashford. Not sure why James was the one to replace Cavani though.
If anyone was going to get on the end of Jame's potential service it would've more than likely had been Cavani.
Cavani played like somebody who had just come back from injury.
 

GlasgowCeltic

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The quality isn't there but of the attackers he's definitely the one who plays like someone competing for a place in the team rather than guaranteed it
 

Sylar

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Happy for him and the work hes put in. Hes done well and possibly been our best attacking player in the last 4-5 games. Could see him starting vs City.
 

Gandalf

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Happy for him and the work hes put in. Hes done well and possibly been our best attacking player in the last 4-5 games. Could see him starting vs City.
We will need him against City. We cannot afford Mason on the right as he so obviously uncomfortable there and neither gets in a position to cross when in possession nor does he press and defend enough when we lose possession. James may only have a fraction of the skill but he will press and hustle all day long and if he gets the chance will get to the byline and put a cross in. Putting players in positions where they are a natural fit is pretty much step 1 in trying to get a result against City, any square pegs in round holes is pretty much suicidal.
 

lex talionis

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I’d rather see James start on the left to give Rashford, who looks completely wrecked, a rest. But with City and Milan coming up, we should expect Ole to run Rashford and Fernandes further into the ground.
 

The Mitcher

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I’d rather see James start on the left to give Rashford, who looks completely wrecked, a rest. But with City and Milan coming up, we should expect Ole to run Rashford and Fernandes further into the ground.
Why would you rest your best players against City?
 

lex talionis

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Why would you rest your best players against City?
I wouldn’t, but I’m telling you they’re wrecked. Both have been played far too much this season even though we have suitable backups for both. Yes, there’s a dropoff from Rashford and from Bruno to whoever comes on for them, but it makes no sense at all for Ole to push them as hard as he has. We shall see, but I expect both to start, both to struggle and we’ll still lose to City.
 

amolbhatia50k

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I’d rather see James start on the left to give Rashford, who looks completely wrecked, a rest. But with City and Milan coming up, we should expect Ole to run Rashford and Fernandes further into the ground.
Would prefer someone like Rashford with genuine skill and ability starting against City. James has done fine of late but he has a long way to go to prove himself. Still lots of deficiencies.
 

lex talionis

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Would prefer someone like Rashford with genuine skill and ability starting against City. James has done fine of late but he has a long way to go to prove himself. Still lots of deficiencies.
I could not agree more. But footballers can’t handle the grind of playing twice a week for an entire season. The cumulative fatigue impairs performances to the point where what we saw against Palace was no surprise.

There will be opponents during the season where we have to settle for James on for Rashford and/or Van de Beek (maybe even Mata if Ole thinks Donny is shit) on for Fernandes.

Ole has a blind spot with respect to player management both in terms of his over reliance on several players and in terms of his in-game management. It’s frustrating to witness this as he makes the same mistakes over and over. Now we’re getting dragged back into the peloton and are at considerable risk of having to scramble at season’s end to secure a fourth place finish.
 
Man City 0:2 Man Utd

Bwuk

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Thought he was great today. If he can just get a bit more self belief and drive at players on the counter he’d go up another level.