Did we focus on the wrong area of the pitch in the summer?

Mcking

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Thought midfield was where we really needed new players. A £50m defensive fullback we didn't need.
 

Rozay

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Said it at the time. Smalling and Lindelöf could have done a decent job. The midfield is the worst part of our team by some margin, especially considering the losses in that area.
 

littleman

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While I think champion teams always have great defence, it was really naive to dedicate resources to building the team from the back. You get turgid football.

Playing entertaining scoring football has to be the priority for MUFC with defence the last piece of the puzzle to be solved.

So now we have some of the most boring football, and we can't win without scoring. To think we would maintain our attacking prowess while making those outgoing transfers is beyond stupid. Ole overestimated Rashford/Martial/Pogba and underestimated the impact of Herrera/Fellaini.
 

Abhinav

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I don’t think it was an either or situation at all. We needed reinforce the defence while getting in at least one attacker. To not get any attacker in was IMO criminal.

People keep on harping about 150m of players in. But if you look at the net ins, it was 150 - 75m for Lukaku - Herrera - 10m for Fellaini - Alexis - Darmian - Smalling.

That’s a lot of wages off the P&L and we should have got new additions in. Leave aside the others, but Lukaku and Herrera were regular fixtures under Ole. To keep parity in attack and midfield, we should have got their replacements in.
 

romufc

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The signings we made were fine, we should have retained Herrera and Lukaku, and signed a right winger.

de Gea
Wan Bissaka Lindelof Maguire Shaw
McTominay
Herrera Pogba
New RW Lukaku Martial
That's a oretty good team.

Seriously? paying 300k a week for a 30 yr old player on a 5 year deal?
Lukaku did not want to stay at United, ole didnt like his style..

Oh, and apart from the Cb's the same team last year was in the same position as this year..
 

Ole90+3

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Yep exactly. There was never going to be a 1 or 2 signing answer where if we only make 1 or 2 signings, what is the best option. We had basically 5/6 starting positions that absolutely needed replacing - RB, CB, CDM, CAM, RW and then striker if they don't believe Martial or Rashford can be that guy (personally believe Martial can, but we still need striker depth anyway). We made 2 excellent signings for RB and CB, but we still lack a proper holding midfielder, have average players at CAM, don't have anyone who is natural on the right wing, and our main striker has been injured all year while we have basically no depth. Last summer (2018) we needed a midfielder, a right winger, a right back and a center back. Our right back was a youngster who isn't ready and probably not good enough anyway. Our midfielder is looking a massive flop and barely plays. Which meant this summer we again needed all 4 of those, along with a holding midfielder as Matic is definitely not capable anymore, and a squad attacking player as all hopes for Sanchez were gone. So because we fecked up 2018, we needed 6 players last summer. We signed 3, basically playing catch up from the previous summer.

Next summer, we'll need a holding mid (again), a creative mid, a right winger (again), and a starting or squad striker (depending on Martial) and that's if we sell nobody of use. We can't ever sort our side out and get ahead of things because we're playing catch up and doing things we shouldve done 1 or 2 years ago every summer, and then addressing the new issues a year later (by which time a new issue pops up). We need a big summer sorting it all out for once.
All of that isn't even taking into equation our sick note of a LB who is "good defensively" at best. I think LB is a position that we definitely need improvement on.
 

That_Bloke

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You absolutely needed a CB, no question imo. A RB maybe less so, not at the expense of a midfielder who could free Pogba or a good RW anyway. You can do with a crap striker because if you create enough chances, he'll bury some one way or another. Not ideal but not as dramatic as it is at the moment, where you're in dire need of goals.

Whoever oversaw your transfer window, be it the board and/or the manager are criminals.
 

jderbyshire

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I don't see why we couldn't have strengthed all areas. It was clear our squad was in dire need of upgrades.

3 signings is what you would expect any given summer, the bare minimum, even if we were flying high.

But the state our squad was in, and when you consider our previous nothing summer transfer window (Fred, Dalot and Grant), we needed at least 5 this summer.

But ultimately yes I would say we should've prioritised another creative midfielder and a replacement for Lukaku over the Maguire signing.

However, you can't blame the club for wanting to sort the defence out first - by the end of the season, we'd failed to keep a clean sheet since February (The 0-0 v Liverpool)
 

VeevaVee

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RB was high priority. CB needed but bottom of the priority list. Not adding to midfield/attack was always going to mean our football doesn’t actually improve which is the reason I said CB shouldn’t be no1 priority all summer.
 

Lee565

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Yes 100%.

Would there have not been more logic in trying Tuanzebe, who had just had a positive spell with villa, as a first choice defensive partner for lindelof or even used as a right back considering all we did was sign a defensive full back anyway, rather than signing an ok defensively Maguire and hoping the likes of james, Greenwood, gomes and Chong could come good despite only James being being the only one that has had a season of 1st team football at a good standard under his belt?

At worse had Tuanzebe not manage to be good for us on his return, we still would have had smalling, bailly, rojo and Jones as back up for the season in that one position, but at worse if Ole's favourite front 3 of martial, rashford or lingard picked up injuries or flopped like they all did at the end of last season for whatever reason then all we have for the left wing and striker position is James, greenwood and gomes. Only 1 of them has a season of 1st team football under his belt and that was in the championship with barely a goal to his name during that time. For the right wing we have mata but that doesn't say much does it either considering he looks like he is already past it and should be in the MLS.
 
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Seriously? paying 300k a week for a 30 yr old player on a 5 year deal?
Lukaku did not want to stay at United, ole didnt like his style..

Oh, and apart from the Cb's the same team last year was in the same position as this year..
No, we were 6th when we sacked Jose, and we finished 6th. We are 12th now and 2 points above the relegation zone. We were miles stronger last year.

Herrera didn't want £300k a week, where did you get that from?
 

Isotope

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Didn't we have one of the best defence just a few years ago, and the years before that? WHy just use last year when everyone was crap (even the "best Gk in United history) as the reason saying defence is crap? I can see reasoning of getting a good RB (although why we spent 50m on non-attacking FB when our attack is crap, is a mystery).

But if the choice is spending 80m on a CB or attacker, I'd choose attacker any day of the week. You just don't depend on strikers who are historically 10 league goal per season to lead your attack. That's just unforgivably silly.
 

Isotope

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Yes 100%.

Would there have not been more logic in trying Tuanzebe, who had just had a positive spell with villa, as a first choice defensive partner for lindelof or even used as a right back considering all we did was sign a defensive full back anyway, ...
This is it. Tuanzebe looked as good as any defensive FB, if that's we're looking for. He may not be a FB for the future, but some of the best CB started as FB: Puyol, Ramos, Thuram, Maldini, etc. And as young player, he needs game time anywhere possible.
 

mariachi-19

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No. We made the mistake of offloading too many key players without replacement too quickly. This is exactly what is discussed if you listened to the United podcast where there's mass exodus by way of cleaning up the squad too quickly,
 

manunited1919

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saying it was wrong now with the gift of hindsight

That being said though maybe we should have seen it coming, we sacked the last manager because he was defensive minded in an attacking age, maybe now it is all about trying to outscore the opposition rather than worrying about keeping clean sheets. The best sides obviously get it right at both ends of the pitch but when starting out now maybe you do need to fix your attack first (that's how Klopp did it at Liverpool after all)
 

manunited1919

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Easy saying it was wrong now with the gift of hindsight

That being said though maybe we should have seen it coming, we sacked the last manager because he was defensive minded in an attacking age, maybe now it is all about trying to outscore the opposition rather than worrying about keeping clean sheets. The best sides obviously get it right at both ends of the pitch but when starting out now maybe you do need to fix your attack first (that's how Klopp did it at Liverpool after all)
It was fairly easy to see this coming. Some of us called it during the summer, before Maguire was bought, that we should prioritize MF and ST instead of CB. If you look up Vidic’s comments from back in March, he also said we should spend money in midfield and forwards instead of a CB. So it’s not just hindsight for some of us. But despite having seen it coming, it doesn’t make it any easier to watch the mess we are in.
 

buckooo1978

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we bought in 3 areas where we needed

the difficulty was that we needed to strengthen about 8 areas

obviously serious issues with some or all of;

- transfer budget
- scouting
- player negotiation
 

predator

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For me it was so painfully, headbangingly obvious that we needed to bolster our attack, with or without Lukaku and Sanchez. Signing AWB and Maguire was great but I was seriously baffled by the decision to sell Lukaku, not replace him and persist with Greenwood, Rashford and Martial for the season - who aren't natural strikers anyway.

It was shocking. I was certain Ole would sign a seasoned striker but he didn't. Unshockingly we cant score and I expected this when the window shut. How could anyone expect Martial, Rashford and Greenwood to carry the burden that is goalscoring, in the premier league?
 

Skills

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For me it was so painfully, headbangingly obvious that we needed to bolster our attack, with or without Lukaku and Sanchez. Signing AWB and Maguire was great but I was seriously baffled by the decision to sell Lukaku, not replace him and persist with Greenwood, Rashford and Martial for the season - who aren't natural strikers anyway.

It was shocking. I was certain Ole would sign a seasoned striker but he didn't. Unshockingly we cant score and I expected this when the window shut. How could anyone expect Martial, Rashford and Greenwood to carry the burden that is goalscoring, in the premier league?
What's even more baffling is that we've decided to move back Pogba back, so putting an even bigger goal scoring responsibility on the three of them.
 

predator

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What's even more baffling is that we've decided to move back Pogba back, so putting an even bigger goal scoring responsibility on the three of them.
Exactly.
I'm starting to wonder whether it's a prank.

It's staggering how a club of our stature with our finances has allowed this to happen.

I am confident we will not score more than 3 goals in our next 6 games.
 

Nevilles.Wear.Prada

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Thought midfield was where we really needed new players. A £50m defensive fullback we didn't need.
We don't have a right back since rafael left. And you know what they say, great sides start at the back. I think when Lindeloff-tuanzebe-maguire starts to click, DDG regains some form, we have more stable defensive base to build on. Defensive midfielder and a good right winger and solve midfield issue. Rashford can rotate with Martial and we are set for top 4.
 

sherrinford

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For me it was so painfully, headbangingly obvious that we needed to bolster our attack, with or without Lukaku and Sanchez. Signing AWB and Maguire was great but I was seriously baffled by the decision to sell Lukaku, not replace him and persist with Greenwood, Rashford and Martial for the season - who aren't natural strikers anyway.

It was shocking. I was certain Ole would sign a seasoned striker but he didn't. Unshockingly we cant score and I expected this when the window shut. How could anyone expect Martial, Rashford and Greenwood to carry the burden that is goalscoring, in the premier league?
A striker wasn’t a priority and justifiably so. Still isn’t - Martial and Rashford are both natural forwards, and are our most established attacking players. Both can play from the left or centrally. In a team that will consistently field four attacking players, with one central striker, it’s easy to see why another central striker wouldn’t have taken precedence over other positions and still doesn’t - even if only looking at attacking positions.
 

predator

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A striker wasn’t a priority and justifiably so. Still isn’t - Martial and Rashford are both natural forwards, and are our most established attacking players. Both can play from the left or centrally. In a team that will consistently field four attacking players, with one central striker, it’s easy to see why another central striker wouldn’t have taken precedence over other positions and still doesn’t - even if only looking at attacking positions.
On what basis was not signing a striker justified?
And, yes, Rashford and martial are tragically our most established goalscorers which tells you everything about the state of the club.

Just to confirm - we are talking about the same club right?
 

lysglimt

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No it was the right thing to do - the fact is - for all our obvious weaknesses, we now have one of the best defences in the league (when all are fit)

But we need to get 2 new players in as early as possible in january….one creative, central midfielder and one goalscorer..if we sign the right 2 players -we suddenly have a quite good side again.
 

romufc

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No, we were 6th when we sacked Jose, and we finished 6th. We are 12th now and 2 points above the relegation zone. We were miles stronger last year.

Herrera didn't want £300k a week, where did you get that from?
In December we were 6th, if that is good enough for you then so be it, most other United fans want minimum top 4. We were miles stronger last year? we conceded 50 goals, this season we have conceded least goals?

Sorry, I don't actually have the PSG wage, I am going by reports that he is on a 5 year 300k week which was negotiated well before Ole signed a permanent contract and for him to stay he would have wanted more.

So Lukaku and Herrera make such a difference why didn't we get top 4 last year?

We are worse of because we didn't replace them not because we don't have them.
 

JPRouve

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For me it was so painfully, headbangingly obvious that we needed to bolster our attack, with or without Lukaku and Sanchez. Signing AWB and Maguire was great but I was seriously baffled by the decision to sell Lukaku, not replace him and persist with Greenwood, Rashford and Martial for the season - who aren't natural strikers anyway.

It was shocking. I was certain Ole would sign a seasoned striker but he didn't. Unshockingly we cant score and I expected this when the window shut. How could anyone expect Martial, Rashford and Greenwood to carry the burden that is goalscoring, in the premier league?
Martial is a natural striker that's the position he was developed at, until United.
 

Ikon

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Centerback was shite for ages, and we made the signing we should have made a year ago. Absolutely in no way was it the wrong decision, Wan Bissaka and Maguire were expensive but both were exactly what we needed. The only problem was that we needed more signings.
Absolutely.
We conceded an horrendous number of goals last season, and that had to immediately be addressed.
We all know that 3 new signings was never going to be enough to get this team firing again, but I am happy with what we did manage to achieve in the market, biggest disappointment is that we didn't manage to sign a MF, there is just no good excuse for this failing.
 

Thaila-X

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Think we gambled massively on Martial and Rashford being able to step up and lead the line. Midfield is a massive problem in my eyes though, Scott McTominay is our consistent player in there. Pogba is the most frustrating man to walk this earth, shows occasional flashes of genius but simply doesn't perform anywhere near his best often enough. Generally not in favour of stop gap signings but if Rakitic is available in January we simply must get him, even at 31 he would add so much to our midfield.
 

Tom Cato

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Good teams build on the idea they will have the initiative to score. So it's stupid to "build from the back"
Liverpool went from a top4 team to the masters of the universe by "building from the back" with Van Dijk at the helm. He is literally the reason they almost ran away with the league trophy last season, and won the champions league. You know, on top of having a team that suffers very few injuries.

As opposed to our glass cannon team where we're so lucky to play about half our preferred starting XI at any given time.
 

predator

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Martial is a natural striker that's the position he was developed at, until United.
What is your criterion for defining a striker and how does that vary from a centre forward, forward, winger?
For me, Martial, like Greenwood and Rashford, does not look out of place on the wing. I think we need a traditional centre forward who would look out of place on the wing ala Mandzukic, Aguero, Vardy, Kane Etc etc

Even if the 3 of them identified themselves as strikers, it doesn't help the fact that we are hopeless in attack.

I basically think we should've signed a centrally forward striking attacker this summer.
 

JSW Devil

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I’d say we have strengthened the defence but it’s not as strong a people are making out imo, the fact we have conceded less goals is partly due to the fact we sit back against everyone and defend deep.

Most league winning teams Nowadays are based on a very strong midfield and attack playing expansive possession attacking football and winning the ball higher up we’ve entered this season by weakening the midfield and destroying our forward line, you can point to goals conceded all you want but it goals converted that win games and look at our chance created/converted stats they are shocking.
 

JPRouve

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What is your criterion for defining a striker and how does that vary from a centre forward, forward, winger?
For me, Martial, like Greenwood and Rashford, does not look out of place on the wing. I think we need a traditional centre forward who would look out of place on the wing ala Mandzukic, Aguero, Vardy, Kane Etc etc

Even if the 3 of them identified themselves as strikers, it doesn't help the fact that we are hopeless in attack.

I basically think we should've signed a centrally forward striking attacker this summer.
He doesn't look out of place now because he learned that role at 19 years old, playing wide wasn't natural for him. And the problem for me is that you talk about a traditional centre forward and name 4 players that are very different which kind of shows that there is an issue with your idea of traditional.

Martial is someone that is good in the box, initially he was good at scoring goals and linking up with players that were around him. He wasn't particularly creative, nor a really good crosser/passer of the ball.
 

Bestietom

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I think we done well with Maguire and AWB, but yes we should have replaced Lukaku/Sanchez and Herrera/ Fellaini. Our midfield is very thin and we have no CF besides an 18 year old.
 

settembrini

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I don't understand all the people wanting more midfielders. We have a couple of good ones in Pogba and McTominay. We don't have any good #10s and no right wingers of any quality in the squad.
 

JPRouve

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I don't understand all the people wanting more midfielders. We have a couple of good ones in Pogba and McTominay. We don't have any good #10s and no right wingers of any quality in the squad.
Well for a lot of people wide players and #10 are midfielders.