Declan Rice

432JuanMata

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6. Why left footed penalty takers are more predictable.
While the stats back it up, in the 18/19 season(not all of it only when the stats where done) only 5 penalties where taking with the left foot and 2 were scored and 3 missed. 50 where with right foot with 43 scored and 7 missed.
The left foot stat is such a small sample. I am left footed and took penalties in the Sunday league. I was our best player at penalties and I never noticed anything or any side I struggled with. So I just think with low numbers it’s just a coincidence
 

Sandikan

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If we sign him I wonder how quickly we'll see some interviews with him and Martial.

Ant and Dec....
 

AgentSmith

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I think Vasquez or Trippier, both probably available due to their contract situation, would take AWBs place. Specially if we had a good DM like Rice.
Yeah I think Trippier would be a fantastic signing on the cheap. Perfect age and profile to compliment AWB (and Laird in the long-term).

I'm curious to know how you think having one top defensive midfielder will eliminate all these problems that have nothing to do with his position
I think @andersj was probably more succinct than I could be.

I don’t really know if most of those points are accurate and the ones that are accurate would be probably helped by a defensive monster like Rice.

I’d be more interested in your solution for the midfield if we focus primarily on CB. If we got someone in the top bracket for defenders like Varane what midfield would you play ahead of him?
 
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I don’t really know if most of those points are accurate and the ones that are accurate would be probably helped by a defensive monster like Rice.

I’d be more interested in your solution for the midfield if we focus primarily on CB. If we got someone in the top bracket for defenders like Varane what midfield would you play ahead of him?
One of Fred/Mctominay. alongside one of Pogba/DVB/Bruno. Then add a top right winger to create the same consistent space the left wing of our team creates. With that team Id back us to play the same way against any body and always on the front foot.

I instead if we just bring in a DM w'ed change nothing. In big games he'd still need a second defensive partner to protect the joke behind him. I dont care how good he is. Fernandinho and co already proved at city last season that some partnerships can not be shielded.
 

AgentSmith

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One of Fred/Mctominay. alongside one of Pogba/DVB/Bruno. Then add a top right winger to create the same consistent space the left wing of our team creates. With that team Id back us to play the same way against any body and always on the front foot.

I instead if we just bring in a DM w'ed change nothing. In big games he'd still need a second defensive partner to protect the joke behind him. I dont care how good he is. Fernandinho and co already proved at city last season that some partnerships can not be shielded.
I mean France literally play with Pogba and Kante ahead of Varane and they still use a 3rd CM in bigger games so I don’t think it’s a guarantee a better CB would allow us to play like that.

I think the simplest yet most effective thing we could do this summer is to find a workable system to play Pogba and Bruno together in. Rice provides a potential option for that system, a CB wouldn’t imo.
 

andersj

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possibly.
I agree with a lot of it. And I will admit that you might be right that a DM should not be a priority. But I do think Rice would be a significant upgrade on both Fred and McTominay. I dont think any of them is a natural DM, and I do think Rice is. I also think one reason we play them next to eachother is that they complement eachother very well. Both of them has certain limitation making them less suited for playing DM.

In Freds case, he is very reactive and not disciplined enough in his positioning. I also think he is too weak physically (can be bullied in a one on one) and too prone to error. I also feel he lacks awareness or the ability to sense/understand where there will be danger (a bit silly, but a few players do, like an invert goalgetter). I would prefer him a bit higher up the pitch.

McTominay, on the other hand, is very good defensively. Rarely f*cks up too. But IMO he is not a very good passer of the ball. He spends a bit too much time with the ball and is not good enough in the build-up phase. I also think he could be an attacking threat if we get to move him a bit higher up the pitch.

I do think we often move McTominay deeper since he has the physical presence and «defensive awareness» that Fred lack. Fred, on the other hand, is better when we try to play out from the back as he is more efficient in his passing and the way he use the ball.

In my opinion, Rice is wellrounded and complete DM. Off the ball he is great; he has very good awareness, good physical presence and is very disciplined in his positioning. I also think he is a good passer and good technically. He would have to start offering more going forward, but I do think he has the potential to do that. I’m also unsure of his pace, but I’ve never seen it tested either.

Furthermore, I would not be that worried if we played Rice next to Fred/McT. I would really like to see both of them a bit higher up the pitch. I agree they dont create much going forward and lack a bit of flair, but they have other qualities that we could make better use of higher up the pitch.

And I’m not sure their lack of flair is a problem. Looking at Liverpool last year, I dont think Winjaldum or Fabinho created much either. Same with Chelsea a few years back when they played with Kante/Matic infront of three defenders. We have also seen Man City play a 3231 where the «3+2» offered very little going forward.

Our main focus for next season should be to add symmetry to our team by improving the RB and the RW. That would offer us more flair and creativity going forward and makes us a lot better attacking wise.
 
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I agree with a lot of it. And I will admit that you might be right that a DM should not be a priority. But I do think Rice would be a significant upgrade on both Fred and McTominay. I dont think any of them is a natural DM, and I do think Rice is. I also think one reason we play them next to eachother is that they complement eachother very well. Both of them has certain limitation making them less suited for playing DM.

In Freds case, he is very reactive and not disciplined enough in his positioning. I also think he is too weak physically (can be bullied in a one on one) and too prone to error. I also feel he lacks awareness or the ability to sense/understand where there will be danger (a bit silly, but a few players do, like an invert goalgetter). I would prefer him a bit higher up the pitch.

McTominay, on the other hand, is very good defensively. Rarely f*cks up too. But IMO he is not a very good passer of the ball. He spends a bit too much time with the ball and is not good enough in the build-up phase. I also think he could be an attacking threat if we get to move him a bit higher up the pitch.

I do think we often move McTominay deeper since he has the physical presence and «defensive awareness» that Fred lack. Fred, on the other hand, is better when we try to play out from the back as he is more efficient in his passing and the way he use the ball.

In my opinion, Rice is wellrounded and complete DM. Off the ball he is great; he has very good awareness, good physical presence and is very disciplined in his positioning. I also think he is a good passer and good technically. He would have to start offering more going forward, but I do think he has the potential to do that. I’m also unsure of his pace, but I’ve never seen it tested either.

Furthermore, I would not be that worried if we played Rice next to Fred/McT. I would really like to see both of them a bit higher up the pitch. I agree they dont create much going forward and lack a bit of flair, but they have other qualities that we could make better use of higher up the pitch.

And I’m not sure their lack of flair is a problem. Looking at Liverpool last year, I dont think Winjaldum or Fabinho created much either. Same with Chelsea a few years back when they played with Kante/Matic infront of three defenders. We have also seen Man City play a 3231 where the «3+2» offered very little going forward.

Our main focus for next season should be to add symmetry to our team by improving the RB and the RW. That would offer us more flair and creativity going forward and makes us a lot better attacking wise.
Fair dues. I agree with alot of this. Especially the adding symmetry

People might get me wrong. I like Rice as a player and as a DM. My problem is he is too expensive to buy to not be solving a structural problem in the team.


To me if you are to spend big. You spend to improve your structure. Not merely to improve on an individual player or individual role. You strictly upgrade individual players when you have no structural issues to solve.

To me there is utterly no point in investing a new DM yet you still get to a big games and have to pair him with a Fred or Mctominay over Pogba, Van De Beek or Bruno. Still can't stretch teams consistently down the right as you do down the left due to no right winger. Plus have to keep sacrificing an attacker to add a second playmaker on pitch to prevent your sole play maker being man marked out of games.

Not to mention that as a big side as a rule unless you are operating a back 3 you have zero business having more than one defensive oriented center midfield on pitch vs any opponent.
Unless you have a Redondo type as one of them. Neither Rice nor the rest we have are a Redondo type.

Thus I do not see any point in investing in a player like him over sorting out center defence and the right wing. I find it very amusing too that most of our fans these days act like we have the worst defensive midfielders in the league and our side are on the brink of sinking into oblivion if we keep them over sorting out our structure issues.

Yet neither statistics nor our position in the table back up that fanciful notion.

If anything it's our structure issues that will ensure we don't progress any further until they are sorted once and for all in a singular summer window.
 

AneRu

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I agree with a lot of it. And I will admit that you might be right that a DM should not be a priority. But I do think Rice would be a significant upgrade on both Fred and McTominay. I dont think any of them is a natural DM, and I do think Rice is. I also think one reason we play them next to eachother is that they complement eachother very well. Both of them has certain limitation making them less suited for playing DM.

In Freds case, he is very reactive and not disciplined enough in his positioning. I also think he is too weak physically (can be bullied in a one on one) and too prone to error. I also feel he lacks awareness or the ability to sense/understand where there will be danger (a bit silly, but a few players do, like an invert goalgetter). I would prefer him a bit higher up the pitch.

McTominay, on the other hand, is very good defensively. Rarely f*cks up too. But IMO he is not a very good passer of the ball. He spends a bit too much time with the ball and is not good enough in the build-up phase. I also think he could be an attacking threat if we get to move him a bit higher up the pitch.

I do think we often move McTominay deeper since he has the physical presence and «defensive awareness» that Fred lack. Fred, on the other hand, is better when we try to play out from the back as he is more efficient in his passing and the way he use the ball.

In my opinion, Rice is wellrounded and complete DM. Off the ball he is great; he has very good awareness, good physical presence and is very disciplined in his positioning. I also think he is a good passer and good technically. He would have to start offering more going forward, but I do think he has the potential to do that. I’m also unsure of his pace, but I’ve never seen it tested either.

Furthermore, I would not be that worried if we played Rice next to Fred/McT. I would really like to see both of them a bit higher up the pitch. I agree they dont create much going forward and lack a bit of flair, but they have other qualities that we could make better use of higher up the pitch.

And I’m not sure their lack of flair is a problem. Looking at Liverpool last year, I dont think Winjaldum or Fabinho created much either. Same with Chelsea a few years back when they played with Kante/Matic infront of three defenders. We have also seen Man City play a 3231 where the «3+2» offered very little going forward.

Our main focus for next season should be to add symmetry to our team by improving the RB and the RW. That would offer us more flair and creativity going forward and makes us a lot better attacking wise.
I think most forget why we have to play Fred and McTominay - they compliment each other but neither is really good enough to play without the other and as a combo they don't have enough technical ability to keep possession or provide creativity making us vulnerable to the press.

Bringing a top CB will make us more solid defensively but our major issues going forward will remain as long as McFred is our first choice in the pivot. Rice can do on his own what we need the two of them for thus allowing us to drag Pogba/VDB back in the pivot to orchestrate play from deep.

Lindelof and Maguire are one paced as a CB duo so there is need for us to something there but if we aren't selling someone else to supplement funds then there is really no point in spending £50m plus on a CB imo and have five of them on high wages when only three are useful. Sell Bailly and Tuanzebe, promote another couple of youngsters or buy Pau Torres alongside Milenkovic for depth.

In an ideal world we should be going for both Rice and Sancho but under the Glazers and in a pandemic we won't. So we should do the next best thing, go to France and sign a DM in the £30m to £40m range then push the boat out for Sancho so that we finally have goals and assists coming from the RW and have a player who allows us to play Bruno and Pogba (assuming he stays) in the same midfield.
 

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Rice and Pogba with Bruno just in front would be class we’re in desperate need of a top DM and Rice ticks all the boxes. Sell Matic and Pereira leaving us with Fred, McT and VDB as squad options.

Rice would be my number 1 summer target.
 

AneRu

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Rice and Pogba with Bruno just in front would be class we’re in desperate need of a top DM and Rice ticks all the boxes. Sell Matic and Pereira leaving us with Fred, McT and VDB as squad options.

Rice would be my number 1 summer target.
I'd sell VDB too if we can get someone offering us a fee in the £25m range. The problem with Rice is that West Ham will demand what we paid for Maguire at least, which is not doable in this climate and he won't make noise to force them into a deal so I think we have to look at alternatives like Bissouma, Koopmeiners or Tchouameni because spending £80m on Rice won't solve all our issues.
 

Castia

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I'd sell VDB too if we can get someone offering us a fee in the £25m range. The problem with Rice is that West Ham will demand what we paid for Maguire at least, which is not doable in this climate and he won't make noise to force them into a deal so I think we have to look at alternatives like Bissouma, Koopmeiners or Tchouameni because spending £80m on Rice won't solve all our issues.
Yeah they’ll want a stupid fee and that would be the problem. We do have Lingard to bargain with though, £45m + Lingard sounds like a decent deal for me.
 

AneRu

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Yeah they’ll want a stupid fee and that would be the problem. We do have Lingard to bargain with though, £45m + Lingard sounds like a decent deal for me.
That would mean they value him at £65m or thereabouts which I still think is about £20m short but yeah that sort of deal would be acceptable.
 
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I think most forget why we have to play Fred and McTominay - they compliment each other but neither is really good enough to play without the other and as a combo they don't have enough technical ability to keep possession or provide creativity making us vulnerable to the press.

Bringing a top CB will make us more solid defensively but our major issues going forward will remain as long as McFred is our first choice in the pivot. ......
This is the thing people simply don't yet understand. The moment center defence is sorted Fred + mcTominay will never again be needed as a double pivot. We'd only one of them. Because of the current state of our center defence we have to constantly sacrifice attacking prowess for defensive safety. Meaning we go into most games not playing our strongest possible midfield line up. A Declan Rice will not change this at all. If the center defence stays the same.
 
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amolbhatia50k

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I don't think signing a better CB will make up for the lack of defensive quality and on-the-ball quality of Fred and Mctominay. Neither will bringing our midfield to the required level, bring someone like Lindelof to the required level.
 

Cassidy

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I don't think signing a better CB will make up for the lack of defensive quality and on-the-ball quality of Fred and Mctominay. Neither will bringing our midfield to the required level, bring someone like Lindelof to the required level.
Maybe if we signed a better CB we wouldnt play Fred and Mctominay
 
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Yeah they’ll want a stupid fee and that would be the problem. We do have Lingard to bargain with though, £45m + Lingard sounds like a decent deal for me.
Given the form of Lingard and the way he’s settled there he should have a dampening effect on fee escalation - assuming an exchange can be done.
 

Floyd

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I agree with a lot of it. And I will admit that you might be right that a DM should not be a priority. But I do think Rice would be a significant upgrade on both Fred and McTominay. I dont think any of them is a natural DM, and I do think Rice is. I also think one reason we play them next to eachother is that they complement eachother very well. Both of them has certain limitation making them less suited for playing DM.

In Freds case, he is very reactive and not disciplined enough in his positioning. I also think he is too weak physically (can be bullied in a one on one) and too prone to error. I also feel he lacks awareness or the ability to sense/understand where there will be danger (a bit silly, but a few players do, like an invert goalgetter). I would prefer him a bit higher up the pitch.

McTominay, on the other hand, is very good defensively. Rarely f*cks up too. But IMO he is not a very good passer of the ball. He spends a bit too much time with the ball and is not good enough in the build-up phase. I also think he could be an attacking threat if we get to move him a bit higher up the pitch.

I do think we often move McTominay deeper since he has the physical presence and «defensive awareness» that Fred lack. Fred, on the other hand, is better when we try to play out from the back as he is more efficient in his passing and the way he use the ball.

In my opinion, Rice is wellrounded and complete DM. Off the ball he is great; he has very good awareness, good physical presence and is very disciplined in his positioning. I also think he is a good passer and good technically. He would have to start offering more going forward, but I do think he has the potential to do that. I’m also unsure of his pace, but I’ve never seen it tested either.

Furthermore, I would not be that worried if we played Rice next to Fred/McT. I would really like to see both of them a bit higher up the pitch. I agree they dont create much going forward and lack a bit of flair, but they have other qualities that we could make better use of higher up the pitch.

And I’m not sure their lack of flair is a problem. Looking at Liverpool last year, I dont think Winjaldum or Fabinho created much either. Same with Chelsea a few years back when they played with Kante/Matic infront of three defenders. We have also seen Man City play a 3231 where the «3+2» offered very little going forward.

Our main focus for next season should be to add symmetry to our team by improving the RB and the RW. That would offer us more flair and creativity going forward and makes us a lot better attacking wise.
I agree with a lot of that. Two things though:

McTominay’s sense of danger is poor imo. Way too often an opponent is about to shoot in and around our «D», and he does nothing, just watches it all unfold, whereas Fred would bust a gut to avoid disaster.

And Rice’s pace is really good, not just for a DM but in general.
 

Bebestation

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The thing with Rice is that he can do the defensive aspect of the whole team in an important area by himself.

What this allows us to do is to play an extra player for creativity (pogba), an extra player as a box to box that can go up forward and score a goal (Mctomminay), play 2 CAM's that can score goals like VDB and Bruno and finally for us to get super defensive with Fred and Rice.
 

markhughes

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Rice would be the perfect buy for us this summer if we can get him, we badly need a midfielder within defensive awareness who is comfortable on the ball, oh Carrick how we miss you!
 

Bebestation

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Rice would be the perfect buy for us this summer if we can get him, we badly need a midfielder within defensive awareness who is comfortable on the ball, oh Carrick how we miss you!
I'm not particularly sure if he is comfortable on the ball to be honest?

We are getting him more for the defensive ability.
 

markhughes

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I'm not particularly sure if he is comfortable on the ball to be honest?

We are getting him more for the defensive ability.
I think he is pretty decent on the ball but of course his defensive awareness is huge for us. Rice has shown that he can dictate games in the past and doesn’t mind passing the ball forward, I’d love for us to have a true defensive playmaker but I’m not sure one exists currently!
 

Don't Kill Bill

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The thing with Rice is that he can do the defensive aspect of the whole team in an important area by himself.

What this allows us to do is to play an extra player for creativity (pogba), an extra player as a box to box that can go up forward and score a goal (Mctomminay), play 2 CAM's that can score goals like VDB and Bruno and finally for us to get super defensive with Fred and Rice.
He doesn't do that at West Ham or for England. It might be he can and it might be he can't.
 

lysglimt

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I agree with a lot of that. Two things though:

McTominay’s sense of danger is poor imo. Way too often an opponent is about to shoot in and around our «D», and he does nothing, just watches it all unfold, whereas Fred would bust a gut to avoid disaster.

And Rice’s pace is really good, not just for a DM but in general.
Well that is because Fred was the one who gave the opponent the ball in the first place. McTominay doesn't move because he is shocked by Fred's mistake :)
 
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I'm not particularly sure if he is comfortable on the ball to be honest?
He's good on the ball. Highest dribble completion % in the PL this season - on a decent amount of attempts for a Defensive Midfielder. Obviously he's not weaving through players like Neymar...more like how McTominay has a nice turn of pace and carries the ball well, Rice does it even better. This run against Arsenal was Rice at his best - bullying players with his strength, long purposeful strides, able to go up a gear.


He's also got great technique; one of the lowest in the league for both miscontrols and unsuccessful touches...very two footed also.

I've argued for a long time that he'd be an absolutely perfect signing. Destined to be a future England captain. Hopefully a United one too.
 

davidmichael

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He's good on the ball. Highest dribble completion % in the PL this season - on a decent amount of attempts for a Defensive Midfielder. Obviously he's not weaving through players like Neymar...more like how McTominay has a nice turn of pace and carries the ball well, Rice does it even better. This run against Arsenal was Rice at his best - bullying players with his strength, long purposeful strides, able to go up a gear.


He's also got great technique; one of the lowest in the league for both miscontrols and unsuccessful touches...very two footed also.

I've argued for a long time that he'd be an absolutely perfect signing. Destined to be a future England captain. Hopefully a United one too.
Agree with it all, too many on here tend to slate Rice and do the “was shocking today, do not want” when he has a poor game yet not many praise him when he’s been brilliant and he’s been a massive part of West Ham’s success this season.

Rice just does the defensive side of the game and does exactly the job we do desperately need in order to play TWO creative/attack minded midfielders in Fernandes and Pogba together and play to win even in the biggest games rather than playing McTominay and Fred and playing not to lose.

People complain that we don’t create or play at a snails pace in our build up yet fail to see thats because we can’t play Pogba and Fernandes consistently due to neither McTominay or Fred being a pure out and out defensive midfielder therefore leaving ourselves open to slaughter if we played McTominay or Fred with Pogba and the less said about Matic the better as he’d never have the legs to cover Fernandes and Pogba playing together.
 

Bebestation

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He's good on the ball. Highest dribble completion % in the PL this season - on a decent amount of attempts for a Defensive Midfielder. Obviously he's not weaving through players like Neymar...more like how McTominay has a nice turn of pace and carries the ball well, Rice does it even better. This run against Arsenal was Rice at his best - bullying players with his strength, long purposeful strides, able to go up a gear.


He's also got great technique; one of the lowest in the league for both miscontrols and unsuccessful touches...very two footed also.

I've argued for a long time that he'd be an absolutely perfect signing. Destined to be a future England captain. Hopefully a United one too.
I want him because of his defensive abilities, when I said he isnt good on the ball I was relating to his ability to play a ball or pass like Carrick etc.

I want him here because he looks like a player that can win the ball by himself at CDM which means we dont need a double pivot of defensive minded players.

However, most the people that dont rate him is because they see that he isnt spreading balls across the field like Carrick did at CDM. That doesn't bother me because even if we bought a new Carrick we would have to end up buying a ball winning midfielder in this squad aswell in my opinion. However, I can see why it has some people worried hence why I said he isnt that good on the ball.
 

amolbhatia50k

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He's good on the ball. Highest dribble completion % in the PL this season - on a decent amount of attempts for a Defensive Midfielder. Obviously he's not weaving through players like Neymar...more like how McTominay has a nice turn of pace and carries the ball well, Rice does it even better. This run against Arsenal was Rice at his best - bullying players with his strength, long purposeful strides, able to go up a gear.


He's also got great technique; one of the lowest in the league for both miscontrols and unsuccessful touches...very two footed also.

I've argued for a long time that he'd be an absolutely perfect signing. Destined to be a future England captain. Hopefully a United one too.
Is he a good passer? In every compilation I watch he just passes it to the nearest man after winning the ball. Would Mascherano be a good comparisons? Excellent destroyer who was efficient on the ball.
 

amolbhatia50k

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I want him because of his defensive abilities, when I said he isnt good on the ball I was relating to his ability to play a ball or pass like Carrick etc.

I want him here because he looks like a player that can win the ball by himself at CDM which means we dont need a double pivot of defensive minded players.

However, most the people that dont rate him is because they see that he isnt spreading balls across the field like Carrick did at CDM. That doesn't bother me because even if we bought a new Carrick we would have to end up buying a ball winning midfielder in this squad aswell in my opinion. However, I can see why it has some people worried hence why I said he isnt that good on the ball.
Been thinking about what the right midfield combination would be for the 2. You could go with two box to box complete midfielders but those are rare to find these days. Alternatively one DM and one attack minded CM. The problem I find is that Pogba Is not ideal for a 2 even if paired with someone like Ndidi or Rice. Maybe it could work if Pogba is diclplined enough as we have seen it a few times in his United career. However I'd worry for us as a passing team as Rice is a destroyer and Pogba as well as Fernandes are flair midfielders who can produce magic but do give the ball away plenty. I think ideally you'd have an 8 who was a playmaker in the Modric mould to work alongside Rice (who would be somewhat like Casemiero for us).
 

AneRu

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This is the thing people simply don't yet understand. The moment center defence is sorted Fred + mcTominay will never again be needed as a double pivot. We'd only one of them. Because of the current state of our center defence we have to constantly sacrifice attacking prowess for defensive safety. Meaning we go into most games not playing our strongest possible midfield line up. A Declan Rice will not change this at all. If the center defence stays the same.
No Chief, I don't agree, when you are defensively weak in midfield you can expose even the best of defenses because passers, runners and shooters have a free rein at your central defensive pair without anyone molesting them. Add to the fact that with McFred you can never be assured on the ball then its a crisis.

I'd argue that we need both a CB and a DM not one of. Playing technically and defensively limited players in midfield is limiting the level this team can grow to, in addition to lacking in the striker and right wing department, of course.
 

Bebestation

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Been thinking about what the right midfield combination would be for the 2. You could go with two box to box complete midfielders but those are rare to find these days. Alternatively one DM and one attack minded CM. The problem I find is that Pogba Is not ideal for a 2 even if paired with someone like Ndidi or Rice. Maybe it could work if Pogba is diclplined enough as we have seen it a few times in his United career. However I'd worry for us as a passing team as Rice is a destroyer and Pogba as well as Fernandes are flair midfielders who can produce magic but do give the ball away plenty. I think ideally you'd have an 8 who was a playmaker in the Modric mould to work alongside Rice (who would be somewhat like Casemiero for us).
There is a couple options imo :

1) I've always been a believer that Bruno Fernandes should start a little deeper with the free ability to get forward; a bit like Iniesta was a CM/CAM. The reason I say this is because Bruno Fernandes is hardly sticking and waiting for the ball at CAM like he was ozil - if he doesnt have the ball you will see him running to CDM positions before running all the way back to play in ST positions. He knows how to run and find half spaces before the defenders do (because he does it already after he runs down to CDM) so I dont really see what Bruno as a CM cant achieve.

2) Pogba is currently used as our deep lying playmaker either in a double pivot or a 4 man diamond. When he plays in a double pivot he seems to be able to make long distance passing in the squad best. However when we play a 4 man diamond he can mix it up and get forward and be the player that spreads the ball channel to channel.

What I hope Rice does is provide that defensive balance that Pogba sometimes feels in a 4 man central diamond, where he has the ability to get forward whilst making passes from deep. Matic and Pogba looked like a good but aged combination when Ole was testing out his midfield partnerships(which ended up with scott and Fred) and Rice should be able to pull Matic's performance up even if Pogba is stuck in a double pivot. I'm rather hoping that Bruno and Pogba are in a CM/CAM partnership like Silva and De bruyne were guarded by Rice/Fernandinho.

3) Finally there is Van De Beek. There is 2 places he can play. If we played a midfield diamond, then Rice can cover a midfield partnership of Bruno & Pogba whilst VDB plays as a shadow striker/false 9 type player. Alternatively, Bruno & VDB could swap so Bruno plays as the forward and VDB as a CM/CAM next to pogba giving our CM a mix of quick short passing (VDB) and accurate long passing (pogba) guarded by Rice.

The last thing with VDB's future is that he might end up being CM with a quick short pass-rush to space- short pass - rush to space type player which could end up slightly like a tempo setter to the team in the middle of the park; however he will need a player like Bruno Fernandes deeper to pass the ball back to him and make the through balls that VDB has yet to show is within his locker.

Garner is also someone I dont expect to go on loan again especially if we buy Rice as he gives us that deep lying playmaker type ability in the squad even if he is too young to make an impact that season. If players like Diallo and Hannibal are with/near the first team then I dont see why Garner wont be.

Mctomminay will have the ability to play as a pure box to box player that gets forward and scores long distance goals as he has done with Rice behind.

If we play a top top team and need to get defensive with man marking then we can go with Rice and Fred or Rice and Mctomminay or back to Fred and Mctomminay as a partnership to keep us defensive.

I value Rice alot for being a young ball winning midfielder whether its mascherano or an old school less passing Busquets in the way he can hold a teams positioning by his defensive ability. If we need a deep lying playmaker then that's more about replacing Pogba in my eyes.

433 -

Pogba- Bruno
Rice​

Or

Bruno -VDB
Rice
4231 -
Bruno
Rice Pogba
442 diamond

Bruno
Pogba- VDB
Rice

 
Last edited:

AneRu

Full Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
1,592
There is a couple options imo :

1) I've always been a believer that Bruno Fernandes should start a little deeper with the free ability to get forward; a bit like Iniesta was a CM/CAM. The reason I say this is because Bruno Fernandes is hardly sticking and waiting for the ball at CAM like he was ozil - if he doesnt have the ball you will see him running to CDM positions before running all the way back to play in ST positions. He knows how to run and find half spaces before the defenders do (because he does it already after he runs down to CDM) so I dont really see what Bruno as a CM cant achieve.

2) Pogba is currently used as our deep lying playmaker either in a double pivot or a 4 man diamond. When he plays in a double pivot he seems to be able to make long distance passing in the squad best. However when we play a 4 man diamond he can mix it up and get forward and be the player that spreads the ball channel to channel.

What I hope Rice does is provide that defensive balance that Pogba sometimes feels in a 4 man central diamond, where he has the ability to get forward whilst making passes from deep. Matic and Pogba looked like a good but aged combination when Ole was testing out his midfield partnerships(which ended up with scott and Fred) and Rice should be able to pull Matic's performance up even if Pogba is stuck in a double pivot. I'm rather hoping that Bruno and Pogba are in a CM/CAM partnership like Silva and De bruyne were guarded by Rice/Fernandinho.

3) Finally there is Van De Beek. There is 2 places he can play. If we played a midfield diamond, then Rice can cover a midfield partnership of Bruno & Pogba whilst VDB plays as a shadow striker/false 9 type player. Alternatively, Bruno & VDB could swap so Bruno plays as the forward and VDB as a CM/CAM next to pogba giving our CM a mix of quick short passing (VDB) and accurate long passing (pogba) guarded by Rice.

The last thing with VDB's future is that he might end up being CM with a quick short pass-rush to space- short pass - rush to space type player which could end up slightly like a tempo setter to the team in the middle of the park; however he will need a player like Bruno Fernandes deeper to pass the ball back to him and make the through balls that VDB has yet to show is within his locker.

Garner is also someone I dont expect to go on loan again especially if we buy Rice as he gives us that deep lying playmaker type ability in the squad even if he is too young to make an impact that season. If players like Diallo and Hannibal are with/near the first team then I dont see why Garner wont be.

Mctomminay will have the ability to play as a pure box to box player that gets forward and scores long distance goals as he has done with Rice behind.

If we play a top top team and need to get defensive with man marking then we can go with Rice and Fred or Rice and Mctomminay or back to Fred and Mctomminay as a partnership to keep us defensive.

I value Rice alot for being a young ball winning midfielder whether its mascherano or an old school less passing Busquets in the way he can hold a teams positioning by his defensive ability. If we need a deep lying playmaker then that's more about replacing Pogba in my eyes.

433 -

Pogba- Bruno
Rice

Or

Bruno -VDB
Rice
4231 -
Bruno
Rice Pogba
442 diamond

Bruno
Pogba- VDB
Rice

A player like Rice is easily the missing link in our team, I think Pogba and Bruno would be devastating as CMs in a Guardiolasque 4-3-3 like the one you posted above. They are both decisive players around the box with passing and shooting and Rice could provide the insurance as the DM. VDB could also play a similar role as cover to both Pogba and Fernandes.
 
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Founder of IhateMakeleles.org and Gourcufffanboysa
No Chief, I don't agree, when you are defensively weak in midfield you can expose even the best of defenses because passers, runners and shooters have a free rein at your central defensive pair without anyone molesting them. Add to the fact that with McFred you can never be assured on the ball then its a crisis.
We all know a weak midfield defensively can expose a defence. But let people not too hoodwink us that our midfield is defensively weak nor that what plays behind them is excellent and simply unprotected by them.

Frankly, Anyone who thinks we are defensively weak in midfield is simply not serious. Both Fred and mcTominay have almost identical defensive statistics to Declan Rice. Proof positive it isn't they who are the problem.

9/10 of the goals Maguire and Lindeloff concede from open play are directly caused by their short comings as a pair. It's a miracle how the midfield constantly keeps carrying the can for it.

I'd argue that we need both a CB and a DM not one of. Playing technically and defensively limited players in midfield is limiting the level this team can grow to, in addition to lacking in the striker and right wing department, of course.
one can accuse Fred or Mctominay of being technically limited. But defensively limited? You're having a laugh.


Right now our weakest departments by far are center defence and right wing. Which is causing us untold problems in midfield and attack because it robs us of playing our strongest possible line ups in those departments. We keep ignoring it we will just read water.
 

Andersons Dietician

Full Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2016
Messages
11,011
I just don’t see there being a willingness for us to spend the money needed to get someone like Rice especially when you could probably get Soumare for something like 20-25mil.

I’m not even convinced Rice is really all that, decent player but 80 mil, they having a laugh. 40 mil given the english tax maybe but I’d rather go fo Soumare.
 

Litch

Full Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
7,761
No idea about Rice until I see him in a Red shirt. That said, what I'm clear about is we are probably looking to replace Pogs and not Fred or Scott. I also think the club would sooner blow the budget on a RW or CF than 60m on Rice.
 

Litch

Full Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
7,761
I just don’t see there being a willingness for us to spend the money needed to get someone like Rice especially when you could probably get Soumare for something like 20-25mil.

I’m not even convinced Rice is really all that, decent player but 80 mil, they having a laugh. 40 mil given the english tax maybe but I’d rather go fo Soumare.
Yep, I just think Harry and how different some players look in teams without the pressure to succeed or people forensically looking at your game.....