Desire, pace and athletecism

NoLogo

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These seem to be the main attributes we have been lacking for years now, why is that?

Yesterday watching Brentford in the first half and now watching Chelsea against Tottenham I see players sprinting almost non stop, fighting for every ball, and it becomes clear to me again how much we are lacking in that department. I don't have the stats but I remember commentators yesterday the commentators were saying after the 4-0 that we hadn't won a single second ball so far and were completely outperformed by Brentford in terms of distance covered and sprints. Physically, at times, it felt like amateurs were getting bullied by some pro athletes out there.

So why is there this huge gap in intensity between us and those other teams? Do we have a fitness problem, I mean still? Wasn't that discussed last season already, how has this not been fixed? Or is the problem that we exclusively recruited lazy and slow players? For some, that is probably true, but half the team at least looks this slow and cumbersome.

Like what is going on here, and how is it possible that this seems to get worse, year after year? Do we maybe lack the personal to get our players to the level of other clubs, or are we allowing simply too much personal freedom for players when it comes to taking care of their fitness?
 
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Tyrion

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I did hear that last summer a lot of the players were eating rubbish during the preseason. I think we've allowed them to get lazy and they were indulged. We need to raise standards and either force them to be better or force them out.
 

Bobski

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Sounds like pashun to me
Which is part of the problem, some fans scorn basic hard work, "brexit" "pashun" when the simple truth of the matter in every sport is that talent without hard work is pointless. Beyond every weakness in technical ability, speed, height, the simple truth is that every team outworks Utds, run more, faster, with more intensity.

That has to change before eveything else and fans have to stop making excuses for players unwilling to work just because of their talent.
 

Lentwood

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I think there's definitely a degree of truth in this. If you look at our squad, many of them have obvious physical flaws, whether that's lack of pace, energy, intensity, height or strength.
 

NoLogo

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Which is part of the problem, some fans scorn basic hard work, "brexit" "pashun" when the simple truth of the matter in every sport is that talent without hard work is pointless. Beyond every weakness in technical ability, speed, height, the simple truth is that every team outworks Utds, run more, faster, with more intensity.

That has to change before eveything else and fans have to stop making excuses for players unwilling to work just because of their talent.
Exactly. Look at all the technically gifted and talented players that City have, the still work their socks off in every game. Like Keane said, it's the absolute minimum, every team in the PL needs to be able to deliver, and we can't even do that.
 

Red-17

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Sounds like pashun to me
We absolutely struggle winning competetive dual situations. The likes of Rashford, Sancho, Bruno to name a few rarely win a physical dual for the ball. So many situations where instead of us keeping possession and sustaining an attack, the opposition beats us in a dual and we are on the defensive. I don't know if it is due to lack of hunger, physicality, or just capability, but it is a massive issue.

Who is our squat has the tenacity to follow through with multiple efforts? Fred does, McTominay sometimes but usually his second effort is him fouling someone. I struggle to name many more.
 

Infra-red

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Rangnick identified the problem last season, but anyone can see that we're very obviously short on athleticism in this squad. Too slow, too weak and too soft.

We're like a less technical version of a late-era Wenger Arsenal side and we're going to be out run and physically bullied by most Premier League sides this season.
 

Fortitude

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If you're dismissing this as an issue, you really have your head in the sand to the game every side in the top 6 plays.

You negate athleticism with insane levels of technique and press resistance, even then, those lines are blurred now and highly technically proficient sides also have ridiculous fitness and stamina. We have neither athleticism or technical ability, which means there are countless ways to roast us.

This is a fundamental level fix that we have needed for two seasons now. People tend to forget that at the time Rashford wasn't ruined, our athleticism on the counter was second to none and even McFred served their purpose in rabidly scampering and tracking. Shaw and Wan Bissaka were also athletic obstacles to overcome. Even though we lacked finesse, we had pace and power opposing sides had to cater for. We've lost all of that now and not compensated for it with some astronomical leap in technical acumen.

We cannot amble along being a non entity in these aspects - it makes us sitting ducks time and time again.
 

Hammondo

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I think we lack hard work yes, but way more important is our lack of structure and technical ability. We have had quite a lot of pace in recent years, in fact we have bought or played players just because of it.
 

Irwin99

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Ralf said as much, although he also said we were technically good which surprised me a lot. I don't think we're horrible on that front but we're not a lot better than other mid-table teams (Christ that sounds bad but it's really how I feel our overall technique is)

As for athleticism, Sancho and Rashford and Ronaldo are hardly pressing monsters, our full backs are some of the weakest in the league and the pressures on the oppo just aren't there sadly. There's a lot of whingers in this team but otherwise, not much aggression at all. I'm still hoping Martinez and Malacia will settle in and make us a little more combative at least.
 

largelyworried

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We had Jose who actively seemed to reduce our training load after LVG. Then we had Ole who wasn’t prepared to do the hard and sometimes unpleasant graft of drilling the team week after week, focussing instead on keeping everyone happy.

We’ve had two coaches in a row who weren't prepared to build the foundations of the club physically and mentally and who would just welch out and take the easy route when the going got tough. Both suffered for it when they needed those foundations down the line.
 

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We had absolutely no desire yesterday. No running, poor closing down. No belief and severe lack of confidence. Toxic.
 

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We are physically inferior to most teams. In a flat out sprint, Elanga and Bailly are probably our fastest players.

Rashford has either lost pace or the will to compete for the ball. That foot race he lost on the half way line was pathetic. One time Rashford played the ball long, jogged after it whilst Bruno speinted past him running for the ball. Terrible attitude. Sancho is back to looking slow. Ronaldo actually looks the fastest of the front trio.

Shaw has clearly lost pace and looks unfit again. Maguire is beyond slow. Varane looked good coming on. Martinez looks OK. Dalot is actually pretty fast and quite strong. Malacia looks quick. Defense could be sorted.

overall, we are slow and weak without any clear strengths the team. James would improve us for his running alone.
 

NoLogo

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If you're dismissing this as an issue, you really have your head in the sand to the game every side in the top 6 plays.

You negate athleticism with insane levels of technique and press resistance, even then, those lines are blurred now and highly technically proficient sides also have ridiculous fitness and stamina. We have neither athleticism or technical ability, which means there are countless ways to roast us.

This is a fundamental level fix that we have needed for two seasons now. People tend to forget that at the time Rashford wasn't ruined, our athleticism on the counter was second to none and even McFred served their purpose in rabidly scampering and tracking. Shaw and Wan Bissaka were also athletic obstacles to overcome. Even though we lacked finesse, we had pace and power opposing sides had to cater for. We've lost all of that now and not compensated for it with some astronomical leap in technical acumen.

We cannot amble along being a non entity in these aspects - it makes us sitting ducks time and time again.
Completely agree, if we don't fix this we will have severe problems beating anyone in the league that has a serious go at us. And yes there was a time where it looked like we still had pace, hell even Martial at the start looked rapid. I mean it's the absolute basic, Keano said weak ago that running as much as the opponent and fighting for every ball was the absolute bare minimum every United player needs to bring to a game and there are no excuses for not doing it and he is totally right, I think.

I sometimes wonder if even in that regard we have a staff problem. Teams like Bayern not too long ago have hired one of Germany's leading sports scientist and fitness coaches in Dr. Holger Broich, I somehow have the feeling we are not recruiting on the same level.
 

Pogue Mahone

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It’s not even about running. We just look physically weak. Losing all our 50:50s and muscled off the ball too easily. There’s no aggression or intensity at all. It’s all boils down to the useless twats not having their head in the game. Under Ole we seemed to need to concede to wake the feck up and start to perform. But even that reactive intensity has gone now. We’re beaten before we set foot on the pitch. A squad full of insipid space cadets, trying to play football with their heads up their holes. Dark days.
 

Skills

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It’s not even about running. We just look physically weak. Losing all our 50:50s and muscled off the ball too easily. There’s no aggression or intensity at all. It’s all boils down to the useless twats not having their head in the game. Under Ole we seemed to need to concede to wake the feck up and start to perform. But even that reactive intensity has gone now. We’re beaten before we set foot on the pitch. A squad full of insipid space cadets, trying to play football with their heads up their holes. Dark days.
The profile of players on the pitch doesn't hp though does it?

The front 3 is just lacklusture. The only player in the playing XI who does have any intensity is Fred.
 

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I don’t think Rangnick got many things right, but one thing he was going to do if he was given the transfer window was to fill this side up with high intensity box to box players who can play vertical high press football. Type of profile we have zero of in the side.
 

Pogue Mahone

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The profile of players on the pitch doesn't hp though does it?

The front 3 is just lacklusture. The only player in the playing XI who does have any intensity is Fred.
I would love to see a breakdown of distance covered across the whole team. We know that the team overall covered a disgracefully low distance but there are surely some players more at fault than others?
 

Will Singh

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I’m just watching the Tuchel Conte push and shove and I have to say it shows how passionate they are for their clubs. We’ve got players who just don’t give a shit and the Brentford game proves that. We used to have players who’d die for the club now they don’t want to break a nail the bunch of pussies!
 

NLunited

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I think the physical side is being addressed by Ten Hag, and personal Chefs are now banned as is alcohol.

The mental aspect is a different matter. There should be competition for each position in the squad, whoever does not perform is replaced by another ready to go for it.

New signings need to have a strong desire and mentality. I don‘t doubt the spirit of Martinez and Malacia, they are feisty.

Eriksen won‘t have the highest workrate but he takes responsibility and is now one of the first names on the sheet.

Bruno is a grafter too, but hopelessly out of form.
 

El Jefe

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Physically our players are not well rounded. The fast players are weak and the strong ones are slow and we have a bunch of players that are neither. This is the answer to the question of why Mctominay plays, he's probably our only non defender who has good pace for hia position and the strength to match, it just happens that he's awful technically so any gain is lost.

You look at Liverpool's front line all pacey but have the strength and agility to match. Arsenal clearly have that with their front three also. I hated Jose's team towards the end but one thing for sure is they would let the opponents know we are in a game and would never be bullied off the park.

We are physically deficient all through our squad. We have the softest gk and in Lindelof, Martinez and Maguire probably the least intimidating set of CBs. Fred bounces of players if they have even the slightest bit of strength, Bruno might be the weakest player we have along with Sancho. To cap it off no one other than Martial can hold the ball up in forward positions.

It really isnt a squad built for the PL.
 

Mike Smalling

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These players are simply not winners. They think they have made it because they are playing for Manchester United, they think they are much better than they are, and they think they are entitled to win. At the same time we are paying most of them a fortune, even though they are crap. The result is that their heads drop when things go against them, they don't put in the required work on the pitch, and they leak to the press to try and restore their images.

It's not at all realistic, but I would love to see some drastic shit to snap these clowns out of it. Wouldn't it be great if they were all presented with a choice: Reduce their wages by 50% or never play for Manchester United again. If they refuse they could be sold, released or play for the reserves. If they accept they could work their way back to the previous levels, if they deserved it.
 

NoLogo

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The profile of players on the pitch doesn't hp though does it?

The front 3 is just lacklusture. The only player in the playing XI who does have any intensity is Fred.
Fred and Bruno actually but they both have a severe problem, they often act completely headless and run aimlessly all over the pitch, creating holes in other areas of the pitch because the rest doesn't adapt to their movement either. It's tragic to watch.
 

NoLogo

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I would love to see a breakdown of distance covered across the whole team. We know that the team overall covered a disgracefully low distance but there are surely some players more at fault than others?
There are, I remember a seeing a top 10 for distance covered per 90 last season, Fred and Bruno were actually among those top 10. Considering that we have two players who end up in the top 10 we must have at least two other players who move atrociously little during those 90 minutes compared to their counter parts on other teams.
 

OverratedOpinion

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They play within themselves in a bunch of ways.

I think Rashford is a great example. He is not a great dribbler but he can take players on yet he has just stopped trying.

We just play nothing passes over and over again until we eventually play ourselves into trouble and lose the ball. The same thing happened under Rangnick.
 

ti vu

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Perhaps we need to do intensive test for asthma in our players?
 

Pogue Mahone

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There are, I remember a seeing a top 10 for distance covered per 90 last season, Fred and Bruno were actually among those top 10. Considering that we have two players who end up in the top 10 we must have at least two other players who move atrociously little during those 90 minutes compared to their counter parts on other teams.
Jesus. That’s just horrendous.
 

Skills

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Fred and Bruno actually but they both have a severe problem, they often act completely headless and run aimlessly all over the pitch, creating holes in other areas of the pitch because the rest doesn't adapt to their movement either. It's tragic to watch.
I think that's harsh on Fred tbh. I actually think he's really good at pressing because he's actively cutting off passing lanes. It's just nobody else is then doing the same. Bruno I agree with - he chases the ball carrier, gets beat and then a bit frustrated.

Eriksen at Spurs always topped distance covered stats. So there's potential there.
 

17Larsson

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I'd love to see the individual stats for distance covered. When I'm watching a game I think I know who is working the least each time but maybe my biases are clouding my judgement. I'd love to see the actual stats
 

RedorDead21

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I'd love to see the individual stats for distance covered. When I'm watching a game I think I know who is working the least each time but maybe my biases are clouding my judgement. I'd love to see the actual stats
neville was calling out rashford during the game I’m sure his stats must reflect that
 

Hughes35

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I think we have plenty of pace. It's energy and stamina we don't have.

Bigger issue for me is footballing intelligence and technical ability. I think only Maguire, Shaw, Sancho, Eriksen and Ronaldo are technically good enough with Maguire & Shaw having other gaping holes in their game.
 

Pogue Mahone

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I'd love to see the individual stats for distance covered. When I'm watching a game I think I know who is working the least each time but maybe my biases are clouding my judgement. I'd love to see the actual stats
Same. I’ve been asking for this in a bunch of different threads today. Surely those stats exist?
 

Idxomer

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I can't actually point to any player we have who combines all three, maybe Bailly and that's it.
 

NewGlory

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This thread seems to assume brains have nothing to do with the game of football. And that is the problem with fan forums. The amount of tactical horror going on in our team overshadows any "they don't run enough" or "they are not motivated" thing by a long mile. Except it's not as visible to the average observer.

Here is a good analysis of how our complete failure at Brentford wasn't just De Gea having a bad day or us wanting to win less

 

Golden Nugget

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Thanks to this thread we’re linked with Vardy. Ticks all 3 boxes (well did anyway, haven’t watched him much recently)
 

NoLogo

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I think that's harsh on Fred tbh. I actually think he's really good at pressing because he's actively cutting off passing lanes. It's just nobody else is then doing the same. Bruno I agree with - he chases the ball carrier, gets beat and then a bit frustrated.

Eriksen at Spurs always topped distance covered stats. So there's potential there.
Imo Fred also ends up too often completely out of position, he doesn't know when to break off or when to take a more conservative approach, but I agree it's not as bad as with Bruno.
 
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