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2020-21 Performances


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Cassidy

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I am not excusing his performances but the players are behind him are absolute garbage execpt for Shaw. That doesn't help either.
You are excusing him because he is by far the worst midfielder at the club this season
 

Slysi17

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You are excusing him because he is by far the worst midfielder at the club this season
Ah no I am not. I accept he hasn't been good. But our defensive midfielder options are garbage so we literally have no one decent there. Then you have our centre back pairing which is garbage too. Is that not true or are you deluded in what is really wrong with this team. Wake the feck up. I didn't bloody mention Van De Beek has been decent.
 

dinostar77

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He's definitely playing within himself, seems scared to express himself. Needs to be more demanding and go hunt the ball if its not coming to him. The way he's playing he wouldn't get into the Ajax team nevermind ours.

Our scouts must have seen something in him. The backwards passes where frustating especially on a transition. In the past some Ajax players have taken time to adjust to playing in a different system than the Ajax one. I dont know if its part of it. As others have said, square peg in round hole. A player shot of confidence, scared to be expressive, as if he makes a mistake or gives the ball away he'll get subbed and and not start a game for another month.

One of these that i would honestly love to read the finalised scouting report for, that fed into the machinery that meant we bid and bought him.
 

Can7onA

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He's quite happy to just sit in there and do the simple stuff, which looks great but doesn't actually get you anywhere.
 

Cassidy

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He's quite happy to just sit in there and do the simple stuff, which looks great but doesn't actually get you anywhere.
He played in a team where thats all he really had to do
 

P-Nut

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I've thought for ages that moving him to CM we're he can just progress the ball on to the front 4 would be the best use of him, but now I'm doubting he would even function well enough there.

As a CM he'd be expect to pass through lines and spread the play around, but even when there's someone wide open on the counter he turns around and plays safe. I feel like we'd be just as negative as playing Fred and McT together whilst being less defensively secure.

I'd sell him back to Ajax in the summer personally, complete busted flush with us and we need the money to address other areas.
 

AjaxNL

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I think the critics are fully justified at this point. I don't watch United that regularly, but I have seen some matches in which Donny featured, and he simply has been woeful. Absolutely horrible. So negative in his passing, no initiative whatsoever, no threat whatsoever, he purposely seems to make himself unavailable for the pass. I'm truely amazed by how bad he has been.

However, and I cannot stress this enough... he was a good player at Ajax. Ofcourse, the Eredivisie is on a different level than the premier league, no doubt about that. But he showed it in the Champions League as well for Ajax, quite frequently actually. Plus, Donny has been utter shit against bad cup oppositions as well for United, in slowpaced, low intensity matches. It is not just a matter of the high intensity of the Prem being too much for him. I've seen Donny for +- 4-5 years in the Ajax first team and his body language is unrecognizable. He seems extremely shot of confidence and, given the total lack of initiative and positive impact, his play shows. He seems completely out of place.

I think, barring a total mental reset come summer, there is no way back for Donny at United. It simply seems like a total mismatch. Maybe Donny is just a system player, who knew the Ajax system from his childhood days, and simply is unable to adapt. Or maybe he can adapt in another environment, with another team. But the way this is going, there is little hope for him at United. I hope he proves everybody wrong, because he is a good lad, with great work ethics (although it doesn't show at all at this moment..).
 

flappyjay

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He played in a team where thats all he really had to do
No, the problem with Vdb is the avoidance of risky passes. When he got the ball on the counter he looks for the safest pass.
 

Cassidy

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No, the problem with Vdb is the avoidance of risky passes. When he got the ball on the counter he looks for the safest pass.
And he didnt need to make them at Ajax...
 

slored1

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He can't play on half-turn or carry the ball, so all our attacks end up nowhere because he doesn't progress the ball well enough. Was an advocate for signing him, but would be willing to sell in the summer as he just doesn't suit this league nor our team.
 

talking robot

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He needs to play deeper. Bring back J-lingz as back-up to Bruno, and play Van de Beek as a number 8 or even 6. We're missing creativity in that area, and he's good enough to pull his weight defensively.
 

tomaldinho1

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I've thought for ages that moving him to CM we're he can just progress the ball on to the front 4 would be the best use of him, but now I'm doubting he would even function well enough there.

As a CM he'd be expect to pass through lines and spread the play around, but even when there's someone wide open on the counter he turns around and plays safe. I feel like we'd be just as negative as playing Fred and McT together whilst being less defensively secure.

I'd sell him back to Ajax in the summer personally, complete busted flush with us and we need the money to address other areas.
Until we see him as a CM I'll reserve judgment. Ole convinced him to join as a 10, it's clearly not where he should play in our system which never builds play through the middle unless it's a direct long ball. He can play in a midfield 2 which we use 99% of games and I don't think he'd make us much worse if he replaced Fred or McT - a lot of fans can't get their heads around the fact that running a lot and winning the ball back loads in a system that constantly churns possession doesn't necessarily mean a player is doing well. I'd rather we kept the ball more that a CM get loads of tackles and interception stats. It's like when fans reference a defender for having made the most interceptions - it's all relative to the system their team plays in.

Matic is great positionally and in possession but just too old and slow now. A good sub to have but he shouldn't start against the best teams in the league.
McT is a limited player but I do think his potential is good - he's young and just needs a lot more positional training defensively. His passing range is actually decent already and he's chipping in with goals now as well.
Fred we all know his issues. Can be great but wildly inconsistent and is being targeted by team's on the press now. I honestly don't understand why he can't not bobble a pass or sort his touch out.
VdB vastly superior to the above two technically and positionally but vastly inferior physically.

If we are playing a team below the top 6 or so, we should surely be aiming to control possession and manage games - VdB should be given a chance alongside a Fred or McT in these types of games because we see loads of the ball and we can properly judge him. Issue is we rarely do this and we've never seen him there so this thread just becomes an infinite loop of:

He has never had a run of games > he's been a passenger in his one off cameos > He has never had a run of games > he's been a passenger in his one off cameos > He has never had a run of games > he's been a passenger in his one off cameos > He has never had a run of games > he's been a passenger in his one off cameos > He has never had a run of games > he's been a passenger in his one off cameos > He has never had a run of games > he's been a passenger in his one off cameos > He has never had a run of games > he's been a passenger in his one off cameos > He has never had a run of games > he's been a passenger in his one off cameos > He has never had a run of games > he's been a passenger in his one off cameos > He has never had a run of games > he's been a passenger in his one off cameos > He has never had a run of games > he's been a passenger in his one off cameos > He has never had a run of games > he's been a passenger in his one off cameos > He has never had a run of games > he's been a passenger in his one off cameos > He has never had a run of games > he's been a passenger in his one off cameos > He has never had a run of games > he's been a passenger in his one off cameos > He has never had a run of games > he's been a passenger in his one off cameos > He has never had a run of games > he's been a passenger in his one off cameos > He has never had a run of games > he's been a passenger in his one off cameos > He has never had a run of games > he's been a passenger in his one off cameos > He has never had a run of games > he's been a passenger in his one off cameos > He has never had a run of games > he's been a passenger in his one off cameos > He has never had a run of games > he's been a passenger in his one off cameos > He has never had a run of games > he's been a passenger in his one off cameos > He has never had a run of games > he's been a passenger in his one off cameos > He has never had a run of games > he's been a passenger in his one off cameos > He has never had a run of games > he's been a passenger in his one off cameos > He has never had a run of games > he's been a passenger in his one off cameos >

:houllier:
 
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Real Madrid wanted this kid. You think they’d look twice at Fred or McTominay? Criminal the way we’ve treated this him.

I want to see this at least once

Matic
Donny Pogba
Rashford Bruno Martial​
 
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SadlerMUFC

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Never should have been subbed off yesterday. Here we are needing a goal and Ole decides to take off VdB and Pogba. I understand why Pogba came out. He's been on a long injury lay off and getting back to fitness. But keep VdB on and take Fred off. Then we would have a midfield 3 of McT, VdB and Bruno and likely would have gotten more control in the game...
 

Esquire

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Real Madrid wanted this kid. You think they’d look twice at Fred or McTominay? Criminal the way we’ve treated this him.

I want to see this at least once

Matic
Donny Pogba
Rashford Bruno Martial​
So what does that Madrid wanting him have to do with anything? Madrid wanting someone or not doesn’t mean they have never made a mistake scouting someone. Fact is, you are right DvB has had limited chances to shine, but the key is whenever he’s played, he hasn’t shown anything close to usurping any of the mids in front of him.
 

Wednesday at Stoke

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Never should have been subbed off yesterday. Here we are needing a goal and Ole decides to take off VdB and Pogba. I understand why Pogba came out. He's been on a long injury lay off and getting back to fitness. But keep VdB on and take Fred off. Then we would have a midfield 3 of McT, VdB and Bruno and likely would have gotten more control in the game...
There was a sequence where Fred won the ball on the right and tried to play a give and go with him inside our own half, only to get frustrated when he realized Donny passed the ball back. His confidence is far down in the basement that he'd be the first player to take off if needing a goal.
 

Red & White

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I was just typing the above. That moment when Fred drove through the midfield and played it to VDB and was away, just needing a simple ball into his path and VDB turned back to his own goal and played it backwards. It was bizarre. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one shouting at the TV. Fred was even screaming for not getting it back.

I really want him to succeed but when you spend that sort of money on a player you expect a bit more, even from his minimal game time.
 

Adam-Utd

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Why on earth do we keep playing him in the stupid diamond formation? it just doesn't suit him at all.

Play a 4-3-3 or at least put him in a 4-2-3-1 with runners outside him.
 

kopviolator

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I think he's someone who will look much better elsewhere, especially in a support role, but doesn't have a chance if being used in a key role at a club like United.
He'll definitely look better at a smaller club. Of course he will. I hope he makes it here but honestly, I think his chances are wearing thin. He seems very neutral the few chances he's had.
 

CG1010

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I am not excusing his performances but the players are behind him are absolute garbage execpt for Shaw. That doesn't help either.
Not really. He was playing as advanced midfielder like Pogba and his job was to link our midfield to attack. Yet it was all back passes and nothing 5-yard passes and slowing down our attacking play. James would have done much better than him and that's saying something.
 

CG1010

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He'll definitely look better at a smaller club. Of course he will. I hope he makes it here but honestly, I think his chances are wearing thin. He seems very neutral the few chances he's had.
On the contrary I think he will look good at an elite team which is possession based. He would have done well under Van Gaal's United for example.

I still think he can make it here but he will have to make a lot of adjustments to his game. He still can do it of course. If Fred could.
 

Ronaldo's ego

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He seems an intelligent player so some of his passing decisions are bizarre. His confidence must be absolutely shot, shame as he seems a good kid. Sooner or later the manager has to give him a guaranteed run in the side to prove he’s got something to offer. If Ole has no intentions of doing that then might as well move him on sooner than later.
 

bosnian_red

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On the contrary I think he will look good at an elite team which is possession based. He would have done well under Van Gaal's United for example.

I still think he can make it here but he will have to make a lot of adjustments to his game. He still can do it of course. If Fred could.
Hes essentially been cleverley with less bite since he came here. He hasn't shown any intent to get on the ball or try something when he gets on it. You just can't do that in any midfield position. You have to show for it, get on it and try to do something useful, not just keep possession with no purpose. His touch is good, he can have good passing range, but he hasn't shown any aggression or the mentality yet to survive at any big club. Never taking a single risk. Just hiding off of the ball, and playing the simplest and safest pass on the ball.
 

Kaos

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Hot take - I do think he has the potential to be very good, but he isn't helped by the fact he gets a game once every blue moon, and when he does he's in the same team with players like Martial who are as static as they come, or just being deprived of creative players around him. I'd like to see him play alongside Bruno or Pogba and maybe Cavani up top.
 

sillwuka

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I wonder what sort of feedback Donny gets in those game analysis sessions - when the whole team watch the game back.

2 occasions where he turned to pass backwards when he could have played the riskier pass up field.
 

Ballache

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I wonder if Madrid would swap him for Odegaard.
He's obviously a good player but he doesn't seem to fit the way we play. It also doesn't help that he barely gets to play...
Weird signing, I'm all for giving players time but I just don't see it with this guy.
 

Idxomer

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Yes, people thought Grealish was overrated because "English player" whereas people tried to say Donny was better because he'd played in the CL. Even though many, many rubbish players have played in said competition; of which Donny is one.

As I said when we were first linked with him, he's terrible. I'd rather have signed no one than even sign him for free, nevermind for £40m.
You're right, here some posts from the VDB's transfer thread.

Makes much more sense than spending 75m for Grealish.
Also we have to factor in the potential emergence of Hannibal Mejbri, so this potential deal makes alot of sense over Grealish. In a years time it could well look a great decision IMO.
So glad we got him and not Grealish (overhyped)

Great signing.
There’s been chatter about Grealish for ages.

I’d much rather have VDB.
VdB at £35m is a far better buy than Grealish at £80m. Grealish is hardly better than VdB and is nowhere near worth over double the price.
Grealish is 25 and very unproven. He has about the same stats as Brooks on per 90 basis. Not exactly special despite what Villa fans would argue. And Southgate and other managers in England seem to agree with that assessment.
 
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So what does that Madrid wanting him have to do with anything? Madrid wanting someone or not doesn’t mean they have never made a mistake scouting someone. Fact is, you are right DvB has had limited chances to shine, but the key is whenever he’s played, he hasn’t shown anything close to usurping any of the mids in front of him.
Maybe getting next to no game time has contributed to him not performing? He’s come to a new league, from a team with a deep & extensive tactical philosophy to a team with no tactical philosophy. Evra & Vidic were shit in their first seasons too, and they were given more opportunities than Donny, in a much more cohesive unit under an infinitely better manager. Plenty of players take time to adapt. Ole has handled him horribly.
 

kopviolator

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On the contrary I think he will look good at an elite team which is possession based. He would have done well under Van Gaal's United for example.

I still think he can make it here but he will have to make a lot of adjustments to his game. He still can do it of course. If Fred could.
Hopefully. But I'm not sure I'd agree that Fred has made it here.
 

Drizzle

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He's a player that thrives in tight one-touch attacking situations. But he'll never provide the momentum, control or sustained energy and presence that will get us into those attacking situations.

In an accomplished team he could be a very useful last piece in the puzzle. For us, he's useless. He'll occasionally do some nice things round the box, but that's simply not good enough. Especially as our main summer signing.

He's the cherry on the cake. But there is no cake yet.

Get rid, at a loss if necessary, and invest whatever we can get into a player that will help us control and dominate difficult matches.
 

Esquire

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Maybe getting next to no game time has contributed to him not performing? He’s come to a new league, from a team with a deep & extensive tactical philosophy to a team with no tactical philosophy. Evra & Vidic were shit in their first seasons too, and they were given more opportunities than Donny, in a much more cohesive unit under an infinitely better manager. Plenty of players take time to adapt. Ole has handled him horribly.
If I remember correctly, Fabinho hardly played at Liverpool when he first arrived and for 6 months he was on the bench. So I can’t say Ole has handled him horribly. He sees DvB day in and out and he would be in a position to know whether DvB is ready for the PL. The only sample size we have see, I think we can all agree, is that he has not been that impressive for a 40m buy. I hope he improves and gets to be a regular cause we can’t be using Fred and McT for all the big games and Matic is done.
 

SATA

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What do the Ajax fans here think of him so far? Wrong player in Ole’s system or the PL is beyond his level? Or simply just devoid of confidence and needs a new environment/team to start all over again?
 

Cassidy

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If I remember correctly, Fabinho hardly played at Liverpool when he first arrived and for 6 months he was on the bench. So I can’t say Ole has handled him horribly. He sees DvB day in and out and he would be in a position to know whether DvB is ready for the PL. The only sample size we have see, I think we can all agree, is that he has not been that impressive for a 40m buy. I hope he improves and gets to be a regular cause we can’t be using Fred and McT for all the big games and Matic is done.
The difference is when Fabhino did play you could see his quality.
 

dinostar77

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I think the critics are fully justified at this point. I don't watch United that regularly, but I have seen some matches in which Donny featured, and he simply has been woeful. Absolutely horrible. So negative in his passing, no initiative whatsoever, no threat whatsoever, he purposely seems to make himself unavailable for the pass. I'm truely amazed by how bad he has been.

However, and I cannot stress this enough... he was a good player at Ajax. Ofcourse, the Eredivisie is on a different level than the premier league, no doubt about that. But he showed it in the Champions League as well for Ajax, quite frequently actually. Plus, Donny has been utter shit against bad cup oppositions as well for United, in slowpaced, low intensity matches. It is not just a matter of the high intensity of the Prem being too much for him. I've seen Donny for +- 4-5 years in the Ajax first team and his body language is unrecognizable. He seems extremely shot of confidence and, given the total lack of initiative and positive impact, his play shows. He seems completely out of place.

I think, barring a total mental reset come summer, there is no way back for Donny at United. It simply seems like a total mismatch. Maybe Donny is just a system player, who knew the Ajax system from his childhood days, and simply is unable to adapt. Or maybe he can adapt in another environment, with another team. But the way this is going, there is little hope for him at United. I hope he proves everybody wrong, because he is a good lad, with great work ethics (although it doesn't show at all at this moment..).
Good points. I watched him closely in the match yesterday. He does that think with his head constantly that scholes used to do and some (not all, i.e. pogba doesnt) where they are constantly looking left to right to build a picture in their heads. I like that in midfielders. He was trying to direct where or whom the ball should go to, but other players werent listening or just ignoring.

The pass and run from Fred that he has been critised on here for, before Fred made the initial pass to him donny indicated that Fred should pass to Matic? (I cant recall the player) but Fred didnt, passed to donny, expecting the return but Donny passed to Matic as he originally told Fred to do. Then Fred looked pissed off. Theres a disconnect there or players dont rate/respect him.

The dummy for the goal was the other positive. Other than that, i agree he looks a player completely shot of confidence. He needs a run of games in the team, (not with Martial at CF who doesn't know how to play CF or just ignores what hes told) and a arm around the shoulder from one of the staff. A run of games and a goal or two and he ll be a different player.
 

mk7

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Look at 27 sec, that long pass from deep in his own half, where is that DVB?
Maybe he was playing in a team, that was actually coached and he knew where his team mates were to be found?
 

luke511

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Look at 27 sec, that long pass from deep in his own half, where is that DVB?
People forget that he was in good form when he first joined us. Every feature was a good one up until his confidence ran out. He's played 317 minutes of football in the league this season, only Tuanzebe and Mensah have had less. Bailly has played twice as many minutes which says a lot.
 

Terranova

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Look at 27 sec, that long pass from deep in his own half, where is that DVB?
Hiding because he thinks that 1 wrong pass will get him the bench for the next month(which probably is true). Same yesterday near the sideline, he could've passed it long(and probably lost the ball because nobody was really available) but instead he then tried to pass backward, again with nobody available. So he then lost the ball. While at Ajax there'd always be someone available. That's the main difference for him at United and that's why United shouldn't have bought him