De Gea - Mourinho's Get-out-of-jail-free card

B20

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Preface: As a liverpool fan, I've learned to appreciate under Houllier the merits of supremely negative football in order to grind out a win, even against vastly inferior opponents. So it's not like I think Mourinho is fundamentally in the wrong for doing it, especially away from home in a knockout competition. I just don't see him doing a particularly impressive job of it.

When I see people saying that at least Mourinho got the job he wanted to do done, I am just not seeing it. If you are going to be unadventurous and commit your dogs of war to protecting the clean sheet, it should be a defender or central midfielder that shines as your MotM - not your keeper. The payoff for lacking attacking intent should at least be that your keeper had little to do, and yet that frequently does not happen.

Mourinho gives his defenders ideal conditions. They get to sit deep, the midfield generally keeps to its structure, they obviously spend a lot of time on defensive drilling in training. So why is De Gea so often the one shining at the back? When you sacrifice as much as you do going forwards to have a strong defence, your keeper shouldn't be performing miracles as frequently as he is. Mourinho has built great defences with Chelsea in the past where the keeper has still been able to demonstrate that he is a top class keeper. But I've never seen their keeper worked the way De Gea is. A De Gea miracle save should be capping a performance with intent. Not bailing out a defence that spent all game on the backfoot.

Replace De Gea with a peak Van der Saar or other 'merely top class' keeper, and you'd be irrelevant in all competitions at this stage.

From where I am sitting, Mourinho has made big attacking sacrifices to build a defence that is good, but no more than that, and is basically relying on the difference between De Gea and other top class keepers to save him from crashing and burning.
 

KM

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I agree with your general point as in that we're not an Atletico Madrid with an iron clad defense and DDG bails us out quite a lot of times but I think you're overstating the importance of DDG. For all the praise that DDG gets, his routine saves also get highlighted a lot more than other keepers. Even against Sevilla, there was just this one save against Muriel which was very good but Muriel kinda helped it too by putting it withing De Gea's range even though he had a free header from 5 yards.

Also, we're largely irrelevant in all competitions at this stage and so are Liverpool(both of us are not winning the UCL). The only cup we've a chance of winning is the FA Cup where DDG hasn't played
 

roonster09

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De Gea made one great save, save most keepers in the world wouldn't have saved.

This thread is just bonkers btw.
 

el3mel

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No offense, but I stopped reading after "as a Liverpool fan".
 

haram

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He made one great save last night. Even then the forward helped him.

Also, our CB's are not top class and our fullbacks are just ex wingers. The rest of the talk is about Pogba not being good defensively and McTominay who has little experience.
 

Eddy_JukeZ

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I don't disagree, but Pool are as irrelevant as us this season.

Both won't amount to anything.
 

roonster09

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Anyways this thread sort of cheered me up.
 

Kostur

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Think you've made this thread at the wrong time really, there were games where he's had way more to do, even under LVG. I don't really hold our defence in the highest regard either but you don't get to have the least goals against you in the league purely down to the GK either, to be fair, even take a look at the number of times DDG was our MOTM this and the last season, just nah.

Also the dig at van der Sar was just stupid.
 

B20

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Even against Sevilla, there was just this one save against Muriel which was very good but Muriel kinda helped it too by putting it withing De Gea's range even though he had a free header from 5 yards.
It's a save another top keeper could have made as well.

No one around who makes them as frequently as De Gea though.
 

dannyrhinos89

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I don't disagree, but Pool are as irrelevant as us this season.

Both won't amount to anything.

Right now I’d say they have a better chance of winning some sort of silverware, us on the other hand won’t win anything.
 

Adam-Utd

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Preface: As a liverpool fan, I've learned to appreciate under Houllier the merits of supremely negative football in order to grind out a win, even against vastly inferior opponents. So it's not like I think Mourinho is fundamentally in the wrong for doing it, especially away from home in a knockout competition. I just don't see him doing a particularly impressive job of it.

When I see people saying that at least Mourinho got the job he wanted to do done, I am just not seeing it. If you are going to be unadventurous and commit your dogs of war to protecting the clean sheet, it should be a defender or central midfielder that shines as your MotM - not your keeper. The payoff for lacking attacking intent should at least be that your keeper had little to do, and yet that frequently does not happen.

Mourinho gives his defenders ideal conditions. They get to sit deep, the midfield generally keeps to its structure, they obviously spend a lot of time on defensive drilling in training. So why is De Gea so often the one shining at the back? When you sacrifice as much as you do going forwards to have a strong defence, your keeper shouldn't be performing miracles as frequently as he is. Mourinho has built great defences with Chelsea in the past where the keeper has still been able to demonstrate that he is a top class keeper. But I've never seen their keeper worked the way De Gea is. A De Gea miracle save should be capping a performance with intent. Not bailing out a defence that spent all game on the backfoot.

Replace De Gea with a peak Van der Saar or other 'merely top class' keeper, and you'd be irrelevant in all competitions at this stage.

From where I am sitting, Mourinho has made big attacking sacrifices to build a defence that is good, but no more than that, and is basically relying on the difference between De Gea and other top class keepers to save him from crashing and burning.
Agree 100%.

We don't play attacking football to remain "solid and compact", but when we play like that we still receive about 20 shots against us, and DDG has to make a few worldie saves.

It was the same against Arsenal, everybody praises him for a good defensive display, when in reality we should have comfortably lost that game as we offered no counter attacking threat to make that approach seem worthwhile.

It's really worrying I must admit, I would rather score 4 and concede 3 than play dour shite football like we are currently.
 

Rifer

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To be fair, ignoring the club you support,
If you are going to be unadventurous and commit your dogs of war to protecting the clean sheet, it should be a defender or central midfielder that shines as your MotM - not your keeper.
In all honesty, it's not a rocket science - everyone can see we don't have that standout defender(s) atm that can literally protects DDG eg. Vidic or Terry in his prime. Not to mention, we don't even have a defensive leader that keeps every other defenders in check to do their jobs properly, and more importantly to organize the defense eg. Rio Ferdinand. Our defence is very leaky. Doesn't matter if Mourinho is that good in setting up this defensive structure, which helps a lot already, if the defenders are.. "not up to the standard high level" not much he can do. Thus, couple with Mourinho's set-up, everything in the end falls to our keeper to save us again and again.

So why is De Gea so often the one shining at the back?
Cause he's that damn good, and justifiably given the spotlight in match highlights always.

David de God.
 

Ekeke

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Preface: As a liverpool fan, I've learned to appreciate under Houllier the merits of supremely negative football in order to grind out a win, even against vastly inferior opponents. So it's not like I think Mourinho is fundamentally in the wrong for doing it, especially away from home in a knockout competition. I just don't see him doing a particularly impressive job of it.

When I see people saying that at least Mourinho got the job he wanted to do done, I am just not seeing it. If you are going to be unadventurous and commit your dogs of war to protecting the clean sheet, it should be a defender or central midfielder that shines as your MotM - not your keeper. The payoff for lacking attacking intent should at least be that your keeper had little to do, and yet that frequently does not happen.

Mourinho gives his defenders ideal conditions. They get to sit deep, the midfield generally keeps to its structure, they obviously spend a lot of time on defensive drilling in training. So why is De Gea so often the one shining at the back? When you sacrifice as much as you do going forwards to have a strong defence, your keeper shouldn't be performing miracles as frequently as he is. Mourinho has built great defences with Chelsea in the past where the keeper has still been able to demonstrate that he is a top class keeper. But I've never seen their keeper worked the way De Gea is. A De Gea miracle save should be capping a performance with intent. Not bailing out a defence that spent all game on the backfoot.

Replace De Gea with a peak Van der Saar or other 'merely top class' keeper, and you'd be irrelevant in all competitions at this stage.

From where I am sitting, Mourinho has made big attacking sacrifices to build a defence that is good, but no more than that, and is basically relying on the difference between De Gea and other top class keepers to save him from crashing and burning.
Pretty much. De Gea, and to a lesser extent Smalling both cover up some weaknesses from our other players and the team in general defensively. Our fullbacks and midfielders would look a lot worse without them and we'd be punished far more often and get a lot less points because of it. De Gea is our trump card and Smalling is our crutch at the back allowing us to get away with Valencia and Young as fullbacks, Pogba with defensive duties, our wingers and player behind the striker not tracking back well, etc.

Its a popular suggestion to get rid of Smalling and get someone who is better on the ball, as there are plenty who are. But that would require half of the team doing a far more honest job defensively or if they cant do it, replacing them.
 

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I understand that fans are biased by nature, "but from where I'm sitting" I really despise when people push their narrative in a circumvent way instead of being honest and saying what they really want to say. And it is especially irritating when it is done in such a poorly disguised manner as in this case, because I feel like it's insulting my intelligence. Next time have some integrity and write: "As a Liverpool fan I hate Mourihno because over the years he repeatedly humiliated my team and it made me feel bad on the inside". It would be therapeutic for you and a shorter read for the rest of us, and maybe some readers would even have sympathy for you.
 

B20

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I understand that fans are biased by nature, "but from where I'm sitting" I really despise when people push their narrative in a circumvent way instead of being honest and saying what they really want to say. And it is especially irritating when it is done in such a poorly disguised manner as in this case, because I feel like it's insulting my intelligence. Next time have some integrity and write: "As a Liverpool fan I hate Mourihno because over the years he repeatedly humiliated my team and it made me feel bad on the inside". It would be therapeutic for you and a shorter read for the rest of us, and maybe some readers would even have sympathy for you.
I do hate mourinho. And I think he's absolutely barking up the wrong tree with this brand of football at your club. Of course I hope he crashes and burns in the worst way possible.

But that's not what this thread is about. It's more about the narrative among some of your fans that at least his tactics get the job done - 'From where I am sitting', ie as someone who has spent years having to appreciate the merits of that kind of football (something united fans have not been used to), I don't think he is executing particularly well. And certainly not by Mourinho's own standards who did Houllier football far better than Houllier did. I think that with basically any keeper that is not De Gea, that would have been apparent at this stage.

The performances he's served up at Anfield Road I would call well executed. Draws like last night? Not so much.
 

MrPooni

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Preface: As a liverpool fan, I've learned to appreciate under Houllier the merits of supremely negative football in order to grind out a win, even against vastly inferior opponents. So it's not like I think Mourinho is fundamentally in the wrong for doing it, especially away from home in a knockout competition. I just don't see him doing a particularly impressive job of it.

When I see people saying that at least Mourinho got the job he wanted to do done, I am just not seeing it. If you are going to be unadventurous and commit your dogs of war to protecting the clean sheet, it should be a defender or central midfielder that shines as your MotM - not your keeper. The payoff for lacking attacking intent should at least be that your keeper had little to do, and yet that frequently does not happen.

Mourinho gives his defenders ideal conditions. They get to sit deep, the midfield generally keeps to its structure, they obviously spend a lot of time on defensive drilling in training. So why is De Gea so often the one shining at the back? When you sacrifice as much as you do going forwards to have a strong defence, your keeper shouldn't be performing miracles as frequently as he is. Mourinho has built great defences with Chelsea in the past where the keeper has still been able to demonstrate that he is a top class keeper. But I've never seen their keeper worked the way De Gea is. A De Gea miracle save should be capping a performance with intent. Not bailing out a defence that spent all game on the backfoot.

Replace De Gea with a peak Van der Saar or other 'merely top class' keeper, and you'd be irrelevant in all competitions at this stage.

From where I am sitting, Mourinho has made big attacking sacrifices to build a defence that is good, but no more than that, and is basically relying on the difference between De Gea and other top class keepers to save him from crashing and burning.
By your logic one could quite easily post a "Mo Salah - Klopp's Get-out-of-jail-free card" thread and flip the argument from our above-average defensive record to Pool's above-average attacking one but that would be stupid, wouldn't it?

It's effectively taking a teams only stand-out, world class player after a good performance and using them as a stick to beat the rest of their team with - there's nothing clever or profound about it and it certainly doesn't take as much effort as you've put in to point stuff like this out. I'm sorry you wasted so much of your own personal time here lad, I imagine you really thought you were onto something special by paragraph four :lol:
 

SwSw

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Here's the thing. I don't mind us playing compact, negative and defensive football as the expense of our attack. However, the problem is, we are still conceding shots left, right and center.

Look at the Chelsea vs Barca game where Chelsea were being defensive. They occasionally attacked and it was threatening. When they defended, they forced Barca wide and didn't let Barca register much shots on their goals.

What's the point of us playing such defensive football when we can't even do it properly.
 

Yagami

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I do think our defensive organisation under José is a mess. Going just from PL stats, we give away the most key chances out of all the top 6 bar Arsenal and from watching us it isn't a surprise. More than Liverpool whose defence is ridiculed. Like you say, swap de Gea for anyone else and we'd be in trouble.

It's a bit like our attack in Sir Alex's last season. We were by no means a well drilled attacking unit, but we had van Persie in the form of his life to mask our attacking deficiencies. Once he declined we were in trouble, and I think if we were to lose de Gea we'd be in big trouble here, too.
 

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By your logic one could quite easily post a "Mo Salah - Klopp's Get-out-of-jail-free card" thread and flip the argument from our above-average defensive record to Pool's above-average attacking one but that would be stupid, wouldn't it?

It's effectively taking a teams only stand-out, world class player after a good performance and using them as a stick to beat the rest of their team with - there's nothing clever or profound about it and it certainly doesn't take as much effort as you've put in to point stuff like this out. I'm sorry you wasted so much of your own personal time here lad, I imagine you really thought you were onto something special by paragraph four :lol:
Nail on the head. DDG is just doing his job, albeit outstandingly. I've never understood the argument of "if X wasn't your player, then Y". Well X is our player, and he just happens to be the best in the world.

Take Salah out of Liverpool, KdB out of City, Hazard out of Chelsea, Kane out of Spurs, Ronaldo out of Real, Messi out of Barca and you could make exactly the same argument.
 

KM

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Here's the thing. I don't mind us playing compact, negative and defensive football as the expense of our attack. However, the problem is, we are still conceding shots left, right and center.

Look at the Chelsea vs Barca game where Chelsea were being defensive. They occasionally attacked and it was threatening. When they defended, they forced Barca wide and didn't let Barca register much shots on their goals.

What's the point of us playing such defensive football when we can't even do it properly.
Bingo. Very good post.
 

harms

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I agree to an extent. Mourinho was never an attacking manager — but his teams always defend well, prime example being that incredible Chelsea side of 04/05 or Inter's treble-winning team. And with us he is below par attacking-wise but somehow it isn't compensated by our defensive game, we're distinctly average defensively which is only compensated by De Gea's genius.

Not a fan of the "what if De Gea wasn't there" argument — what would happen to Barca if Messi wasn't there, but the point still stands.
 

Z1L3

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Nail on the head. DDG is just doing his job, albeit outstandingly. I've never understood the argument of "if X wasn't your player, then Y". Well X is our player, and he just happens to be the best in the world.

Take Salah out of Liverpool, KdB out of City, Hazard out of Chelsea, Kane out of Spurs, Ronaldo out of Real, Messi out of Barca and you could make exactly the same argument.
In other words, if grandma had balls, she'd be grandpa :)
 

Thisistheone

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Harry Kane is Pochettino's get out of jail free card.

Mo Salah is.....

World class players make a big difference to every manager.
 

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By your logic one could quite easily post a "Mo Salah - Klopp's Get-out-of-jail-free card" thread and flip the argument from our above-average defensive record to Pool's above-average attacking one but that would be stupid, wouldn't it?

It's effectively taking a teams only stand-out, world class player after a good performance and using them as a stick to beat the rest of their team with - there's nothing clever or profound about it and it certainly doesn't take as much effort as you've put in to point stuff like this out. I'm sorry you wasted so much of your own personal time here lad, I imagine you really thought you were onto something special by paragraph four :lol:
The logic only works if Liverpool barely create any chances, have generally poor attacking play but Salah or some other player converts basically every chance they have to save them from dropping points. In that case it would be an actual good analogy.
 

Fergie 7ime

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I think deep down most of us know the OP is right, but some are just a bit in denial. Hoping for something that'll obviously turn it around, whatever that may be. As it stands though, had we had a Mignolet in goal instead of de Gea we probably would be standing fifth in the League (we'll get there at this rate, don't worry) and lost by at least a goal or two yesterday. And to be honest that was not a special Sevilla side we were playing.

In the past year and a half have we seen that Mourinho confidence we all know and dreaded in the past? The uncertainty on his mind is glaringly obvious if you ask me and it shows on the pitch. Thank god for our keeper.
 
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arthurka

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Harry Kane is Pochettino's get out of jail free card.

Mo Salah is.....

World class players make a big difference to every manager.
Agree but they do it with attacking football not a leaky defense and a great keeper. I saw somewhere that DDG is the 4 or 5 most worked keeper in the PL and that for a defensive minded side is crazy..

KK
AK
 

noodlehair

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I don't actually know what our plan is these games.

I mean fair enough if you do want to set up to be solid and difficult to break down, but that isn't what we do. The opposition plays 1 forward pass, and they're in behind our midfield. They switch the ball from one wing to the other, and they always have an overload.

We're so slow and lazy to react to anything that we look like we're getting caught on the counter attack when we never even attacked in the first place.

We basically just bank on the other team being too shite to score a goal, and if they're not, we lose.

The defending for De Gea's save last night was absolutely pathetic. It was amazing how bad it was. Smalling was paying no attention to where he was and Valencia literally just stood there as if the game had stopped.

We were so crap and slow on the ball that half the time I genuinely thought the ref had stopped the game. What tactics make this kind of shite a good idea exactly?
 

Pexbo

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It's weird that Goalkeepers aren't considered a part of the sum when measuring the quality of a team.

Ronaldo - Zidane's get out of jail free card.
Kane - Pochettino's get out of jail free card.
Barcelona - They wouldn't have won much without Messi.
Sir Alex Ferguson - United would be nowhere without him.


My uncle would be my auntie if he had a vagina. De Gea plays for United, he's the best in the world, and he contributes towards our results, just like any other great player at any other team.
 

GhastlyHun

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Expected goals are relevant here. https://understat.com/league/EPL
Going by the difference of expected goals against to actual goals against, there's two teams being massively saved by their keepers this season - Burnley and United.
Taking the expected goals against as a measure for the quality of the defensive work of the team, United sit only fifth in the table.
 

Massive Spanner

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I see where you're coming from with the thread and it's a valid point, but at the same time, DDG has bailed us out far less under Mourinho than he used to under LvG (where he was out POTY both seasons), so it's quite clear Mourinho has put far less of an onus on him to make top saves whilst also having us conceding fewer goals.
 

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I can't disagree too much. We have conceded the fewest goals of any team in the league and yet there are 7 teams in the league (and 32 teams in Europe's top 5 leagues) who have given up fewer chances than us this season. De Gea makes up that difference.
 

charlenefan

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Preface: As a liverpool fan, I've learned to appreciate under Houllier the merits of supremely negative football in order to grind out a win, even against vastly inferior opponents. So it's not like I think Mourinho is fundamentally in the wrong for doing it, especially away from home in a knockout competition. I just don't see him doing a particularly impressive job of it.

When I see people saying that at least Mourinho got the job he wanted to do done, I am just not seeing it. If you are going to be unadventurous and commit your dogs of war to protecting the clean sheet, it should be a defender or central midfielder that shines as your MotM - not your keeper. The payoff for lacking attacking intent should at least be that your keeper had little to do, and yet that frequently does not happen.

Mourinho gives his defenders ideal conditions. They get to sit deep, the midfield generally keeps to its structure, they obviously spend a lot of time on defensive drilling in training. So why is De Gea so often the one shining at the back? When you sacrifice as much as you do going forwards to have a strong defence, your keeper shouldn't be performing miracles as frequently as he is. Mourinho has built great defences with Chelsea in the past where the keeper has still been able to demonstrate that he is a top class keeper. But I've never seen their keeper worked the way De Gea is. A De Gea miracle save should be capping a performance with intent. Not bailing out a defence that spent all game on the backfoot.

Replace De Gea with a peak Van der Saar or other 'merely top class' keeper, and you'd be irrelevant in all competitions at this stage.

From where I am sitting, Mourinho has made big attacking sacrifices to build a defence that is good, but no more than that, and is basically relying on the difference between De Gea and other top class keepers to save him from crashing and burning.
Very few United supporters are happy with our defence. Bailly is the only one most of us have any confidence in and he's had 2 lengthly injuries in his 2 seasons here, other than him though most wouldn't have a problem with us having a complete clear out and starting again

As for De Gea his saves get highlighted more than other keepers because what he does is save the impossible, he was only MOTM yesterday because he did something outstanding while the 10 outfield players were either average or below average, Sky's summery of him pulling off a string of fine saves and keeping us in it (paraphrasing) was BS
 

B20

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It's weird that Goalkeepers aren't considered a part of the sum when measuring the quality of a team.

Ronaldo - Zidane's get out of jail free card.
Kane - Pochettino's get out of jail free card.
Barcelona - They wouldn't have won much without Messi.
Sir Alex Ferguson - United would be nowhere without him.


My uncle would be my auntie if he had a vagina. De Gea plays for United, he's the best in the world, and he contributes towards our results, just like any other great player at any other team.
They are. I am not really trying for a 'take out X and you're shit' argument, although I did make such a comparison.

My main point is that when you look at how much you end up sacrificing going forwards, you don't really get much from that sacrifice, because you still end up having to do a 'hail mary de gea' way more often than you should for such a defensively oriented side. De Gea masks that and that's why you end up with people thinking that Mourinho has put together a solid defence when he hasn't really. The payoff Mourinho is supposed to deliver defensively isn't there.

For example, 0-0 at anfield in october 16. You made it extremely hard for us to play, the team did its job defensively that day. Coutinho pulls a rabbit out of the hat late in the game and blams it into the top corner. De Gea does his usual worldie to save it. Mourinho did his job well and so did de gea. That's what a keeper behind a top defence is there for.

Last night, sevilla found room enough to play despite you playing only for the clean sheet and when Muriel gets a free header at point blank range, de gea still does his job.

Both 0-0, but only one of them you can say that Mourinho's tactics worked as intended.