Declan Rice

Scholsey2004

Full Member
Joined
May 12, 2016
Messages
2,892
Location
Barnsley
Whilst we're in a desperate need for a quality DM I think people are over rating this guy massively. He's barely played any International football, never played European football and he's been decent for Westham without being spectacular and all of sudden he's the answer to our prayers?

He's going to cost minimum 65 - 70m so it's a big fat 'No' from me. City wouldn't pay it. They would find somebody abroad for half the price. We're the only club in the world who would pay that kind of a fee for a player like Rice.
This. The prices that are being quoted you could sign Brozovic whos a totally different level of player.
 

ThatsGreat

Full Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2016
Messages
1,017
Supports
Arsenal
This guy is elite. Its a no brainer for United really, young english talent in a position of need with the transfer price being subsidized by Lingard going the other way. Stars have aligned, really.
 

croadyman

Full Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2018
Messages
9,996
This guy is elite. Its a no brainer for United really, young english talent in a position of need with the transfer price being subsidized by Lingard going the other way. Stars have aligned, really.
My only concern with him is his quality of passing
 

Ali Dia

Full Member
Joined
May 10, 2013
Messages
6,810
Location
Souness's Super Sub/George Weahs Talented Cousin
Some people talk about Rice like he's some absolute clogger on the ball when he's really not. We're currently playing with two blokes who half the time can't pass 5 yards for heavens sake.
He doesn’t pass it progressively at all. What’ll happen is he’ll get the ball and knock it safe to Fred or Mct or whoever and the same pattern will repeat. We need a really special player or 2 very good players.
 

croadyman

Full Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2018
Messages
9,996
He doesn’t pass it progressively at all. What’ll happen is he’ll get the ball and knock it safe to Fred or Mct or whoever and the same pattern will repeat. We need a really special player or 2 very good players.
Like others have said we ideally need a hybrid who has his positioning but can progress the ball as well
 

Lappen

Full Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2021
Messages
269
Location
Sweden
I don’t know how anyone can look at Lindelof and say he’s doing ok? He’s a hider. Maybe ok compared to Bailly and Jones, but there is much better out there
Yes it depends on what you compare to, and you just said he is ok compared to Bailly whom someone here rate as our best CB. But I'm with you on this! There are a lot better options out there and hopefully we invest in the CB area this summer.
 

Ali Dia

Full Member
Joined
May 10, 2013
Messages
6,810
Location
Souness's Super Sub/George Weahs Talented Cousin
Like others have said we ideally need a hybrid who has his positioning but can progress the ball as well
that’s what I mean by a really special player. I don’t know who it is. It’s not any one PL player anyway. Rice Bissouma whoever beside McT we are still majorly facing the same problems but after spending 45/70 million quid
 

anant

Full Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2015
Messages
6,940
I genuinely think signing him or a DM is going to win us more points than a Sancho or a CB. And a lot of it is because of the domino effect it'd have on our team.

Rice as a DM means Pog in the double pivot is a feasible option, it also would mean Rashy, Mason and Cavani can play in their natural positions.

From an attacking persective, having Bruno and Pog ensures we don't lack creativity and with Rashford, Mason, Cavani and Bruno , we have enough talent to finish off the chances as well.

From a defence perspective, it means the CBs actually have decent protection from one person who can genuinely filter out the attacks thanks to him being a much better reader of the game than McT and Fred. It also means he is a good passing option and can progress the ball even when pressed
 

Ali Dia

Full Member
Joined
May 10, 2013
Messages
6,810
Location
Souness's Super Sub/George Weahs Talented Cousin
I think the only way you get a real noticeable boost in there is to get Rice and Camavinga and demote Fred and McT. Rice and Fred or McT = same problems
Camavinga and Fred or McT = Inexperience beside erratic players.
Rice and Camavinga = yeah could work instantly and has potential to be the best engine room in Europe
 
Last edited:

Rajma

Full Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2012
Messages
6,064
Location
Vilnius
Yeah let’s waste large chunk of our transfer budget on another average midfielder who can’t pass.
 

Ali Dia

Full Member
Joined
May 10, 2013
Messages
6,810
Location
Souness's Super Sub/George Weahs Talented Cousin
I genuinely think signing him or a DM is going to win us more points than a Sancho or a CB. And a lot of it is because of the domino effect it'd have on our team.

Rice as a DM means Pog in the double pivot is a feasible option, it also would mean Rashy, Mason and Cavani can play in their natural positions.

From an attacking persective, having Bruno and Pog ensures we don't lack creativity and with Rashford, Mason, Cavani and Bruno , we have enough talent to finish off the chances as well.

From a defence perspective, it means the CBs actually have decent protection from one person who can genuinely filter out the attacks thanks to him being a much better reader of the game than McT and Fred. It also means he is a good passing option and can progress the ball even when pressed
Just no. Never again in a double pivot with anyone. Maybe in a 3 on the left. Any defensive problems at all and he switches off. Knick it off Pogba free run through overloading the defense and on repeat. No thanks. If this season has thought me anything it’s that one person can’t be expected to do the defensive duties of two players and that’s the reality of being pogbas partner in a double pivot.
 
Last edited:

LuckyScout78

Full Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2018
Messages
449
Rice is really good. But to win premier league. United simply and obviously need a world class Scholes.

With a new top CB + RW and Scholes. 3 must have. Then we can talk about winning the premier league.

Central midfield players like Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan have come and go. But still no one has fill that big hole yet.

Internally Bruno or Pogba can be the answer and solution. But I know one of the two cm has to be a new Paul Scholes. The world class and genius nr.8

McTom can do that defensive job and breaking down opponents attack Rice is doing. But Rice doing Scholes offensive and creative job. Not a chance in this life. Closest is Bruno and Pogba.
I challenge both Bruno and Pogba to reach Scholes level as nr.8. If not. The only best nr.8 since the 90 and club history will always be Scholes. Reason why Pogba has not been a world class nr.8 for United yet. Pogba had been showing of world class here and there. But consistent like Scholes. Year after year and season after season. Even Sir Alex had to convinced Scholes out of retirement. You know how important and key Scholes was for United. One of the most ingredients and factors of Sir Alex and United success. Ronaldo came and go. Same as Stam and Cantona. But the last man , with Giggs. Those won United last premier league title. It’s the world class nr.8. Scholes.

Go and find a new one. Bruno made immediately and important impact. Great football vision and head too. But I feel he is not there yet. But maybe Bruno is the answer. Drop Bruno as nr.8.
Because a new Paul Scholes doesnt exist out there right now. Then you have to lower your expectations and be satisfy with Bruno as a top nr.8

Rice is really good, but not the answer. Important reason to win premier league title again.
 

gajender

Full Member
Joined
May 7, 2016
Messages
1,516
Yeah let’s waste large chunk of our transfer budget on another average midfielder who can’t pass.
Rice is far from average and he certainly can pass you are way off on your assessment of him as a player whoever buys him would get a brilliant young player who is ever improving hopefully it's us.
 

golden_blunder

Site admin. Manchester United fan
Staff
Joined
Jun 1, 2000
Messages
101,346
Location
Dublin, Ireland
Rice is really good. But to win premier league. United simply and obviously need a world class Scholes.

With a new top CB + RW and Scholes. 3 must have. Then we can talk about winning the premier league.

Central midfield players like Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan have come and go. But still no one has fill that big hole yet.

Internally Bruno or Pogba can be the answer and solution. But I know one of the two cm has to be a new Paul Scholes. The world class and genius nr.8

McTom can do that defensive job and breaking down opponents attack Rice is doing. But Rice doing Scholes offensive and creative job. Not a chance in this life. Closest is Bruno and Pogba.
I challenge both Bruno and Pogba to reach Scholes level as nr.8. If not. The only best nr.8 since the 90 and club history will always be Scholes. Reason why Pogba has not been a world class nr.8 for United yet. Pogba had been showing of world class here and there. But consistent like Scholes. Year after year and season after season. Even Sir Alex had to convinced Scholes out of retirement. You know how important and key Scholes was for United. One of the most ingredients and factors of Sir Alex and United success. Ronaldo came and go. Same as Stam and Cantona. But the last man , with Giggs. Those won United last premier league title. It’s the world class nr.8. Scholes.

Go and find a new one. Bruno made immediately and important impact. Great football vision and head too. But I feel he is not there yet. But maybe Bruno is the answer. Drop Bruno as nr.8.
Because a new Paul Scholes doesnt exist out there right now. Then you have to lower your expectations and be satisfy with Bruno as a top nr.8

Rice is really good, but not the answer. Important reason to win premier league title again.
You are watching something different to me. We’ve scored loads and had loads of chances, i would love a scholes but we don’t need one.

we need consistency and leadership in the middle, both things that rice offer.

and we need to tackle or cb issue
 

Ali Dia

Full Member
Joined
May 10, 2013
Messages
6,810
Location
Souness's Super Sub/George Weahs Talented Cousin
The idea that Mctominay can do the defensive job is so baffling and inaccurate to me. I don't get what some are watching.
It’s like a lot of these posters don’t actually watch our games but have bought into an idea of what he could be instead of judging what the player actually currently brings to the table, which is not a lot apart from the few goals and the kind of pressing that good teams can bypass easily. He’s a mistake waiting to happen in every game and his passing is crap.
 

anant

Full Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2015
Messages
6,940
Just no. Never again in a double pivot with anyone. Maybe in a 3 on the left. Any defensive problems at all and he switches off. Knick it off Pogba free run through overloading the defense and on repeat. No thanks. If this season has thought me anything it’s that one person can’t be expected to do the defensive duties of two players and that’s the reality of being pogbas partner in a double pivot.
Pogba is fine when tasked with limited defensive repsonsibility, like he was doing when playing alongside Herrera or Matic.

Playing alongside Fred or McT means that the other guy is tasked with a lot more work and obviously Pog isn't cut out for that
 

Ali Dia

Full Member
Joined
May 10, 2013
Messages
6,810
Location
Souness's Super Sub/George Weahs Talented Cousin
Pogba is fine when tasked with limited defensive repsonsibility, like he was doing when playing alongside Herrera or Matic.

Playing alongside Fred or McT means that the other guy is tasked with a lot more work and obviously Pog isn't cut out for that
Fred McT Matic Herrera none of them work beside Pogba because he becomes a problem. Put Rice and Pogba in there and it’ll be Rice getting played through. No one player can totally cover for another. Pogba is not a box to box. He’s an attacking midlifelder who costs us when he has be defending and I don’t know how many more examples people need before the penny drops. We’ve finally unlocked Pogba. Why go back to something that just doesn’t work?
 

MadDogg

Full Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
12,492
Location
Manchester Utd never lose, just run out of time
Pogba is fine when tasked with limited defensive repsonsibility, like he was doing when playing alongside Herrera or Matic.

Playing alongside Fred or McT means that the other guy is tasked with a lot more work and obviously Pog isn't cut out for that
Pogba playing next to Herrera AND Matic worked well. Playing next to only one of them was always inconsistent, just like he is when he plays next to either Fred or McTominay. Even when he plays for France next to Kante he has a lot of average games, and that's in international matches where the level of opposition is weaker and the tempo of the game is slower, and France still have to play a third hard-working central midfielder on the wing to help cover.

One player can't do all the defensive work in midfield. Especially when 3 of our front 4 players are also defensively lazy, and our fullbacks are increasingly pushed up quite high. Obviously we do want more ball-playing ability in our midfield, but both players still need to do a lot of defensive work.
 

Devil may care

Full Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2010
Messages
34,435
@Ali Dia you're spot on.

The views on Rice are all over the map, I think he's somewhere in the middle, he's very good at sweeping up in front of the back 4, on the ball he's ok, he can run with it but his passing is fairly ordinary. He feels like our best chance of getting a midfielder so I'm looking on the positive side regarding him, but stick him next to either of McFred or Pogba and it's merely a half measure fix.
 

ivaldo

Mediocre Horse Whisperer, s'up wid chew?
Joined
Nov 15, 2012
Messages
27,223
Struggling to play out from the back? Let's sign another limited DM. That'll sort it!
 

anant

Full Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2015
Messages
6,940
Pogba playing next to Herrera AND Matic worked well. Playing next to only one of them was always inconsistent, just like he is when he plays next to either Fred or McTominay. Even when he plays for France next to Kante he has a lot of average games, and that's in international matches where the level of opposition is weaker and the tempo of the game is slower, and France still have to play a third hard-working central midfielder on the wing to help cover.

One player can't do all the defensive work in midfield. Especially when 3 of our front 4 players are also defensively lazy, and our fullbacks are increasingly pushed up quite high. Obviously we do want more ball-playing ability in our midfield, but both players still need to do a lot of defensive work.
Fred McT Matic Herrera none of them work beside Pogba because he becomes a problem. Put Rice and Pogba in there and it’ll be Rice getting played through. No one player can totally cover for another. Pogba is not a box to box. He’s an attacking midlifelder who costs us when he has be defending and I don’t know how many more examples people need before the penny drops. We’ve finally unlocked Pogba. Why go back to something that just doesn’t work?
Playing next to either Fred or McT means Pog and the other guy get 50/50 distribution of defensive work.

Like last season, post lockdown, when Matic was in decent form, we didn't really struggle with Pog playing along side him. Similarly, In Mou's 1st season, Pog played alongside Herrera with Mata/Mkhi, Rashford.d/martial, Rooney playing ahead.

I'm not expecting Rice to do all the defensive work, but the 1.5x of the work that McT and Fred do can be done by a single natural DM
 

Ali Dia

Full Member
Joined
May 10, 2013
Messages
6,810
Location
Souness's Super Sub/George Weahs Talented Cousin
Playing next to either Fred or McT means Pog and the other guy get 50/50 distribution of defensive work.

Like last season, post lockdown, when Matic was in decent form, we didn't really struggle with Pog playing along side him. Similarly, In Mou's 1st season, Pog played alongside Herrera with Mata/Mkhi, Rashford.d/martial, Rooney playing ahead.

I'm not expecting Rice to do all the defensive work, but the 1.5x of the work that McT and Fred do can be done by a single natural DM
Check out Rices defensive stats in a more defensive team. He’s not even as effective as Fred but you expect him to do 1.5 of the work? Right then…
 

UNITED ACADEMY

Full Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2018
Messages
8,888
This. The prices that are being quoted you could sign Brozovic whos a totally different level of player.
I don't like the price quoted but that's not how transfer business works so we need to look at the positivity from that price.

Brozovic is 29 this year so he's already matured player but is reaching end of his prime age career while Rice is 22 this year. Transfer fee is not just based on ability but you also need to consider the long term investment. The long term investment means the club doesn't need to splash money for that position in the next 5-7 years so it might look massive fee but has potential to save the club financially for years.

Look at our recent poor investment on Matic. 40m for 29 years old. One year later after we invested the money, we wanted a new one, it was like we paid 20m per year on his service. That's what I call worse investment than paying 70m on Rice.
70m transfer fee on Rice is probably like paying 7m transfer fees per year on his service for the next 10 years.
 
Last edited:

MadMike

Full Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2015
Messages
9,308
Location
London
People keep saying Pogba in the middle is a problem but he really isn’t. It’s our tactics that don’t suit him. He could play fine with Fernandes in the middle and a DM behind him under the right tactics.

For example City have been doing it for years, playing D.Silva and KDB in midfield with only Fernandinho defending. D.Silva now replaced with B.Silva or Gundogan, Fernandinho with Rodri. Pogba isn’t any worse at defending than D.Silva, B.Silva or KDB.

However Pep’s tactic, unlike Mou or Ole, is not counter-attacking football but a high press to win the ball early and fouling the opponent if they look like they are breaking through. If City sat back like we do, with their shite CBs and only 1 midfielder capable of defending they’d be getting mullered too. If Pogba were at City playing in Gundogan’s position next to B.Silva or KDB he’d absolutely fine in those tactics. Rice would be fine playing Rodri’s role too IMO.
 
Last edited:

Red_toad

Full Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2010
Messages
9,016
Location
DownUnder
Just sell Pogba, buy Zakari and Aouar. Then we’re not fecking about trying to shovel players into certain positions. We’ve got Rashford, James and Martial who can all work in Pogba best position. We don’t need Rice to cover Pogba’s deficiencies in midfield, just go out and buy a duo who’ll compliment each other. Both will be available in the summer for reduced fees, I believed they’d be an upgrade of Fred and McTommy and we could rotate through the 4 of them during the season. Rice is going to cost an awful lot and won’t really suit what we already have.
 

Dominos

Full Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Messages
5,193
Location
Manchester
Fred McT Matic Herrera none of them work beside Pogba because he becomes a problem. Put Rice and Pogba in there and it’ll be Rice getting played through. No one player can totally cover for another. Pogba is not a box to box. He’s an attacking midlifelder who costs us when he has be defending and I don’t know how many more examples people need before the penny drops. We’ve finally unlocked Pogba. Why go back to something that just doesn’t work?
Another thing I think people are missing with Pogba is his work on the ball is also a problem when played in the double pivot. He likes to dribble and hold the ball too long, he tries this in dangerous positions and it leaves us horribly exposed when he loses possession. His decision making, touch and short passing is inconsistent again leading to turnovers in possession in dangerous areas. Even in his good games in that position you're never getting the most influential version of him, he has much greater effect higher up the pitch.

I don't like this compensation mentality. I've seen a lot of people arguing that our new CB signing doesn't need to be good in the air because he'll be playing alongside Maguire who's good in the air... As if Maguire can head every single aerial ball no matter where it is on the pitch.

This next midfield signing needs to be technically good with their touch and passing, intelligent in their play such that they rarely lose the ball in dangerous positions, and solid in their defensive work. I've not paid that much attention to Rice but whether he's enough of a technical upgrade on Fred/Mctominay is questionable, particularly for the huge fee. Frankly I hate seeing us get rinsed over price in the transfer market, and there's no better recipe for getting ripped off than buying English from an English club.
 

Dominos

Full Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Messages
5,193
Location
Manchester
People keep saying Pogba in the middle is a problem but he really isn’t. It’s our tactics that don’t suit him. He could play fine with Fernandes in the middle and a DM behind him under the right tactics.

For example City have been doing it for years, playing D.Silva and KDB in midfield with only Fernandinho defending. D.Silva now replaced with B.Silva or Gundogan, Fernandinho with Rodri. Pogba isn’t any worse at defending than D.Silva, B.Silva or KDB.

However Pep’s tactic, unlike Mou or Ole, is not counter-attacking football but a high press to win the ball really and fouling the opponent if they look like they are breaking through. If City sat back like we do, with their shite CBs and only 1 midfielder capable of defending they’d be getting mullered too. If Pogba were at City playing in Gundogan’s position next to B.Silva or KDB he’d absolutely fine in those tactics. Rice would be fine playing Rodri’s role too IMO.
It's a fair point but we don't have Pep coaching our team so it's a non-starter. Likewise I expect this United team couldn't get away with Mascherano at centre back in the way prime Pep teams could.
 

croadyman

Full Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2018
Messages
9,996
@Ali Dia you're spot on.

The views on Rice are all over the map, I think he's somewhere in the middle, he's very good at sweeping up in front of the back 4, on the ball he's ok, he can run with it but his passing is fairly ordinary. He feels like our best chance of getting a midfielder so I'm looking on the positive side regarding him, but stick him next to either of McFred or Pogba and it's merely a half measure fix.
Think this is a very balanced view and sums it up perfectly
 

MadDogg

Full Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
12,492
Location
Manchester Utd never lose, just run out of time
Playing next to either Fred or McT means Pog and the other guy get 50/50 distribution of defensive work.

Like last season, post lockdown, when Matic was in decent form, we didn't really struggle with Pog playing along side him. Similarly, In Mou's 1st season, Pog played alongside Herrera with Mata/Mkhi, Rashford.d/martial, Rooney playing ahead.

I'm not expecting Rice to do all the defensive work, but the 1.5x of the work that McT and Fred do can be done by a single natural DM
Last season after lockdown every team we played was either fighting relegation or in terrible form. Even so we only really played well for the first few of those games, and then for the rest of them we were struggling through while playing quite average. In fact the only decent team in good form we faced after lockdown was Sevilla in the EL, where we dropped Matic and played Fred instead. Interestingly the midfield worked better in that game than it had for the previous month or so, but our attackers and defenders poor performances ended up getting us knocked out.

In Mourinho's first season Herrera and Pogba only played as a midfield duo 6 times in the league, for 3 wins and 3 draws. Our best form of the season came when we bought Carrick back in next to Herrera and pushed Pogba further forward. Fellaini also played regularly with them.

Throughout his entire time here Pogba has struggled for consistency and has cost us defensively when played in the deeper position. Most people have put that firmly on Pogba himself, but many of us have said right from the beginning that he simply isn't suited for that role.

Fred does more defensive work than just about any midfielder in the league other than Ndidi and Kante (and he's only just behind them). Rice will do less defensive work than Fred does. What Rice would do is help protect the centre of our defence better, but on the flip side we'll be less likely to quickly win the ball back high up the field so the opposition will find it easier to keep the ball and build their own attacks. In reality if we do sign Rice I expect we would end up regularly playing Fred-Rice (Fried Rice? :lol:) together, which should be an improvement over the current McFred combo but still doesn't have the ball-playing ability that most would want. We'd then have to spend more money on a second midfielder to get that balance right, but that midfielder would have to be solid defensively in his own right.
 

edcunited1878

Full Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
5,446
Location
San Diego, CA
People keep saying Pogba in the middle is a problem but he really isn’t. It’s our tactics that don’t suit him. He could play fine with Fernandes in the middle and a DM behind him under the right tactics.

For example City have been doing it for years, playing D.Silva and KDB in midfield with only Fernandinho defending. D.Silva now replaced with B.Silva or Gundogan, Fernandinho with Rodri. Pogba isn’t any worse at defending than D.Silva, B.Silva or KDB.

However Pep’s tactic, unlike Mou or Ole, is not counter-attacking football but a high press to win the ball really and fouling the opponent if they look like they are breaking through. If City sat back like we do, with their shite CBs and only 1 midfielder capable of defending they’d be getting mullered too. If Pogba were at City playing in Gundogan’s position next to B.Silva or KDB he’d absolutely fine in those tactics. Rice would be fine playing Rodri’s role too IMO.
I think United's tactics are also generated by the fact that the technical level of a lot of players who are in the starting XI isn't good enough.

City have top technical players at each position and when the ball is in the middle of the pitch, where they are vulnerable to losing possession and getting countered like most teams in the middle of the park or in the attacking third, they rarely lose the ball in an uncompromising situation. They know what needs to be done and can totally rely upon their technical abilities to retain the ball, keep the ball, and pass the ball effectively with patience.

Pogba isn't any worse than defending, but he also isn't as aware as those players, which leaves him in desperate situations at times. Hence he's given up penalties multiple times the past year or so.

City also have rapid fullbacks such as Walker and Cancelo who can get back and stand up the ball carrier, which allows the defense to set up a little better.

And you mention Rodri...City could have gotten Rice instead of Rodri, but you have to ask yourself why this hasn't been the case. If City wanted Rice, they would get him pretty easily. But there's a reason, at the moment...could change, as to why they haven't inquired about a Rice transfer.
 

croadyman

Full Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2018
Messages
9,996
Just sell Pogba, buy Zakari and Aouar. Then we’re not fecking about trying to shovel players into certain positions. We’ve got Rashford, James and Martial who can all work in Pogba best position. We don’t need Rice to cover Pogba’s deficiencies in midfield, just go out and buy a duo who’ll compliment each other. Both will be available in the summer for reduced fees, I believed they’d be an upgrade of Fred and McTommy and we could rotate through the 4 of them during the season. Rice is going to cost an awful lot and won’t really suit what we already have.
There is no doubt in my mind that we need both a CDM & CM good on the ball which would be very possible IF Ole could see more of an issue with the Fred & McTominay partnership but also IF we didn't have gaping holes at CB & RW too along with depth concern at RB as well.
 

MadMike

Full Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2015
Messages
9,308
Location
London
It's a fair point but we don't have Pep coaching our team so it's a non-starter. Likewise I expect this United team couldn't get away with Mascherano at centre back in the way prime Pep teams could.
No, we’d be getting destroyed with Mascherano at CB under Ole.

The thing is I don’t like our tactics for most games. We don’t need two midfield destroyers in most games. Pogba in the middle is fine against anyone outside the top 8, we don’t always need to sit and counter attack, it’s too risky surrendering possession against worse teams.

And if we’re gonna play with two DMs one better be good on the ball like Jorginho is at Chelsea. We don’t have that. So we play with two destroyers who are very limited on the ball and error prone with their passing and then we get pressed and can’t get out like yesterday. What’s the point?
 

UNITED ACADEMY

Full Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2018
Messages
8,888
People keep saying Pogba in the middle is a problem but he really isn’t. It’s our tactics that don’t suit him. He could play fine with Fernandes in the middle and a DM behind him under the right tactics.

For example City have been doing it for years, playing D.Silva and KDB in midfield with only Fernandinho defending. D.Silva now replaced with B.Silva or Gundogan, Fernandinho with Rodri. Pogba isn’t any worse at defending than D.Silva, B.Silva or KDB.

However Pep’s tactic, unlike Mou or Ole, is not counter-attacking football but a high press to win the ball early and fouling the opponent if they look like they are breaking through. If City sat back like we do, with their shite CBs and only 1 midfielder capable of defending they’d be getting mullered too. If Pogba were at City playing in Gundogan’s position next to B.Silva or KDB he’d absolutely fine in those tactics. Rice would be fine playing Rodri’s role too IMO.
Copying another manager's tactic is easy to say than done but in reality no one does it like him. Their full backs are operated more central or more like midfielder when Silva & KDB went advanced. While our full backs operated the width.

Ironically, they seem to be doing better in UCL after Silva left as Gundogan is much better defensively and provides more balanced.

History itself proven that every manager always have that extra protection to make the best out of Pogba. Matuidi, Kante & 2 full backs who are very good defensively in 2018 World Cup is a good example.
 

Adam-Utd

Part of first caf team to complete Destiny raid
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
Messages
30,768
This thread feels like people expect Rice to be a mixture of Kante and Fabinho :lol: