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2020-21 Performances


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Lennon7

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You have the game upside down, lesser players should develop around the better player's best position. So once he remains, Fernandes and Van de Beek should play behind him, they have all the traits.
Really sorry but Pogba hasn’t been our best player. I really fecking want him to be and I know he can be but he just hasn’t. Injuries got him last season so maybe this is his year at United.
 

Lentwood

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It’s going to be interesting this...from what I saw yesterday VdB is an out and out #10. All of his best work came in the attacking 3rd.

Looks to me like a player who doesn’t have a huge range of passing or a player who is an incredibly good dribbler but looked very clever, very good technically and very aware of space - kind of like a big upgrade on the player I think Utd hoped Jesse Lingard could be.

The issue is then, for me Matic and Fernandes have to play. So do you play Fernandes beside Matic in a deeper role? I don’t see why this couldn’t work. Then the question is what do you do with Pogba, who for me can’t be trusted in CM.

Would it be worth trying Pogba as an AML for a few games with Greenwood AMR, Martial at CF and a midfield three of VdB, Matic and Fernandes? Rashford needs to be taken out of the heat for a while anyway I feel, plus perhaps playing 30mins as an impact sub suits his game anyway?
 

Zlatans Knee

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It’s going to be interesting this...from what I saw yesterday VdB is an out and out #10. All of his best work came in the attacking 3rd.

Looks to me like a player who doesn’t have a huge range of passing or a player who is an incredibly good dribbler but looked very clever, very good technically and very aware of space - kind of like a big upgrade on the player I think Utd hoped Jesse Lingard could be.

The issue is then, for me Matic and Fernandes have to play. So do you play Fernandes beside Matic in a deeper role? I don’t see why this couldn’t work. Then the question is what do you do with Pogba, who for me can’t be trusted in CM.

Would it be worth trying Pogba as an AML for a few games with Greenwood AMR, Martial at CF and a midfield three of VdB, Matic and Fernandes? Rashford needs to be taken out of the heat for a while anyway I feel, plus perhaps playing 30mins as an impact sub suits his game anyway?
His passing is just fine. We don't need another player who can play 50 yard passes like the ones that Pogba, Bruno and Rashford attempt and achieve at most 50% with. He is a neat and tidy passer who doesn't play his teammates into shit all the time. He is tenacious and a seriously hard worker, I lost count of the number of runs he made last night.
Right now I would play Fred, VDB more on the right & Bruno more on the left, with the two of them alternating as to who is further forward.
Until Pogba gets his shit together he does not deserve to be in the team.
 

BrilliantOrange

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I wasnt able to see the match yesterday, but I read a few comments about him connecting well with Mata and that doesnt surprise me at all. I also read some comments stating he was kinda invisible on the pitch for a central midfielder and to be frank.. That also doesnt suprise me at all, looking at Donny's strenghts and looking at the line up yesterday... As someone who watches every Ajax match, I think three of Donny's major strenghts are the following.

1) Donny is a very good in combinations in tight spaces. In this he is a typical Ajax youth product, who is comfortable receiving the ball with little room, finding a close open man with one touch and moving immediately away again to receive the ball somewhere else and making room for other players. I read a couple times above that he was looking for 1-2's a lot and this is recognizable for me. His technique is not spectacular on the eye, but very effective and solid. Thats why I get the link with other technical gifted players close to him in the pitch, like Mata, and thats why I think he could play really well together with Bruno.

2) Donny finds spaces behind the opponents defense. When is isnt directly involved in the combination where the attack is being built up, he is a very good ball receiving midfielder. Somehow he is always 'there' and always 'open' in the final phase of an attack, whether to finish it of himself or to give the final pass to a teammate. Thats why with Ajax he worked extremely well with Tadic as a false number 9 who involved himself in the play and left spaces for Donny to dive into.

3) Donny gives you goals. He is not only good at finding spaces on the pitch and behind defenders, but when he receives it there he is very clinical. The goal against Palace was a good example of that. I think he has a very high conversion rate for changes in the box.

Donny is NOT a player who finds the creative solutions himself, with a pass between the lines (at Ajax that were Ziyech, Tadic, Promes, Neres) or by picking up the ball from defense and bringing it forward (at Ajax that were Frenkie, Blind, Schone). He is just not going to be that player for you.. You need other on your midfield to do so... So therefore seeing he was paired with Matic and Fred yesterday, I can understand is was very hard on the eyes, because you have no one to create creativity from midfield for you.. Ole should know this and not expect Donny to play like this..

If you start expecting Donny to be the creative brain in your team, United have completely wasted their money. However when used in his strenghts, I think he can be a very very good player for a world class team.

With Ajax this fit perfectly, because you had other players around him who did the things he's not world class in - finding the open spaces in creative manners - but he was used in his strenghts by Ajax playing combination football with other players comfortable on the ball and therewith creating spaces with quick combination football, ánd diving into the deep spaces left by Ziyech, Tadic and Neres in the attacking line.

How would this translate into United?

I think a midield with Pogba Bruno and Donny would never work on the highest level, as there is no balance. I think you always need a midfielder who is behind the ball 95% of the times. At Ajax that were Schone, Frenkie and last year Martinez. At United that could be Matic. If you play Bruno, Pogba ánd Donny you wouldnt use all of them in their strenghts as one of them would have to play in the #6 role, otherwise you risk getting your midfield overrun. I do think United however needs all of Donny, Bruno and Pogba on the pitch because all of them contain crucial qualities which no other current United players have. Donny bringhts depth and scoring ability off the ball, while also have the technical capabilities to link up with Bruno and Pogba. Bruno is the creative brain upfront and Pogba can be worldclass as a midfielder who brings the ball from back to front.

So íf you want to play them all, you need to switch strategy in my opinion, by either playing with Bruno as a false #9 in a 433 like situation, ór in a 442 diamond situation... Both are quite similiar actually). I think both could work extremely well as you will also be able to rotate the two attacking positions with Rashford, Greenwood and Martial. Remaining problem however is that in both scenario's you need proper wingbacks who can also provide some wide threats.

443
---Striker---Bruno---Striker---
----------------Donny----------------
-----Pogba-----------Matic-------

442 Diamond
-----Stiker------------Striker-----
----------------Bruno----------------
------Pogba-------Donny--------
---------------Matic-----------------
 
Last edited:

Raven

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I thought he looked great yesterday. Think he'll be great with Martial especially going forward.
 

Tony247

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And the opposition attack. We need Matic or another defensive minded midfielder to be there.
This need of DM all the time has to go. An 8 should be skilled enough to break opposition attack. Donny is exactly the 8 workhorse we need who can perform his defensive duties. We can play specialized DM against superior attacking teams to give extra cover.
 

Tony247

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Donny is NOT a player who finds the creative solutions himself, with a pass between the lines (at Ajax that were Ziyech, Tadic, Promes, Neres) or by picking up the ball from defense and bringing it forward (at Ajax that were Frenkie, Blind, Schone). He is just not going to be that player for you.. You need other on your midfield to do so... So therefore seeing he was paired with Matic and Fred yesterday, I can understand is was very hard on the eyes, because you have no one to create creativity from midfield for you.. Ole should know this and not expect Donny to play like this..

If you start expecting Donny to be the creative brain in your team, United have completely wasted there money. However when used in his strenghts, I think he can be a very very good player for a world class team.
You are spot on. Hence I was surprised why Ole didn't pair bruno with him against Luton as they will get a good practice to link with each other. This is what I said in match day thread
Shouldn't Burno be playing along with Donny so that both can develop understanding with each other?
 

KennyBurner

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It’s going to be interesting this...from what I saw yesterday VdB is an out and out #10. All of his best work came in the attacking 3rd.

Looks to me like a player who doesn’t have a huge range of passing or a player who is an incredibly good dribbler but looked very clever, very good technically and very aware of space - kind of like a big upgrade on the player I think Utd hoped Jesse Lingard could be.

The issue is then, for me Matic and Fernandes have to play. So do you play Fernandes beside Matic in a deeper role? I don’t see why this couldn’t work. Then the question is what do you do with Pogba, who for me can’t be trusted in CM.

Would it be worth trying Pogba as an AML for a few games with Greenwood AMR, Martial at CF and a midfield three of VdB, Matic and Fernandes? Rashford needs to be taken out of the heat for a while anyway I feel, plus perhaps playing 30mins as an impact sub suits his game anyway?
He looked very average yesterday. Passes seem very inconsistent. I was also under the impression he could play anywhere across the middle but so far from what I’ve seen he operates like a second striker. I want his time here to be more than an impact sub or cup game player because right now Bruno is right ahead of him in the number 10 role.
 

NinjaFletch

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I'm pretty worried about him tbh. He's obviously talented, but he's the exact sort of player United have been killing for years. I give it 3 months of him making runs which nobody is even looking for until he stops making them (especially if he's going to be playing without Bruno more often than he is with him).
 

DomesticTadpole

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I'm pretty worried about him tbh. He's obviously talented, but he's the exact sort of player United have been killing for years. I give it 3 months of him making runs which nobody is even looking for until he stops making them (especially if he's going to be playing without Bruno more often than he is with him).
I would have been trying him with a partner he is most likely to be playing with rather than Fred and Matic. You would think more often than not it would be one or the other not both. Matic/Bruno/VDB would have been interesting. Although I do think he did well with Mata, now often will we see that?
 

luke511

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I'm pretty worried about him tbh. He's obviously talented, but he's the exact sort of player United have been killing for years. I give it 3 months of him making runs which nobody is even looking for until he stops making them (especially if he's going to be playing without Bruno more often than he is with him).
For the brief moment when Bruno was no.8 and VDB was no.10 at 0-2 vs Palace it seemed to be a flowing combination. VdB making the runs giving Fernandes space to operate a bit deeper, he ended up scoring to make it 2-1, great. Then Solskjaer switched it to 4 4 2 bringing on Ighalo and having Fernandes and VdB as the two centre midfielders, therefore nullifying the successful combination that got us our first goal, not so great.
 

Adam-Utd

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He looked very average yesterday. Passes seem very inconsistent. I was also under the impression he could play anywhere across the middle but so far from what I’ve seen he operates like a second striker. I want his time here to be more than an impact sub or cup game player because right now Bruno is right ahead of him in the number 10 role.
He can, he was just playing the number 10 and that's how he likes to play.

He didn't need to drop deep against fecking luton, let the midfield sort it out and get the ball forward.
 

KennyBurner

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He can, he was just playing the number 10 and that's how he likes to play.

He didn't need to drop deep against fecking luton, let the midfield sort it out and get the ball forward.
But they did get it forward to him and he did feck all with it so I’m not getting your point? Matic and Fred were very good yesterday.
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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It’s going to be interesting this...from what I saw yesterday VdB is an out and out #10. All of his best work came in the attacking 3rd.

Looks to me like a player who doesn’t have a huge range of passing or a player who is an incredibly good dribbler but looked very clever, very good technically and very aware of space - kind of like a big upgrade on the player I think Utd hoped Jesse Lingard could be.

The issue is then, for me Matic and Fernandes have to play. So do you play Fernandes beside Matic in a deeper role? I don’t see why this couldn’t work. Then the question is what do you do with Pogba, who for me can’t be trusted in CM.

Would it be worth trying Pogba as an AML for a few games with Greenwood AMR, Martial at CF and a midfield three of VdB, Matic and Fernandes? Rashford needs to be taken out of the heat for a while anyway I feel, plus perhaps playing 30mins as an impact sub suits his game anyway?
I'm not really sure why do we need to debate where we can fit him in. People were crying loud about us lacking the squad depth which one of the main reason cost us the semi final of the FA Cup last season. That's the main reason why we signed him, upgrade Lingard & Pereira, offer us different dimension in the team such as can be brought on as sub to change the game & change our formation to 442 diamond or even 352 or 3421 when required against certain opposition too. Remember last season we were forced to play Pereira in double pivot twice or more due to injuries in our midfield. IMO he's a good additional for our squad and important as well for this season, intelligent footballer with his movement and finding space, likes to press high & play quick passes & versatile.
 

Adam-Utd

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But they did get it forward to him and he did feck all with it so I’m not getting your point? Matic and Fred were very good yesterday.
Did they? I don't remember many times he got the ball in the box with much space. The few times he did get it to feet he did a nice dummy for Mata to get a shot away or linked up a few times.

He got it once in the 2nd half and got a shot away and nearly scored. Yes a few of the flicks didn't come off but the attack hardly all clicked did it? they looked like a team that's never played before.

Lingard was trying to run the whole pitch by himself and score with no help, mata was trying to link up and standing in the middle of the pitch clogging it up. Ighalo stood still like a statue with his back to goal not making any forward runs.

He's clearly used to a team that plays a more pass/move style of football that trusts people playing quick passes into feet, united don't do that. they'd rather go wide to the fullbacks and swing in a cross.
 

DomesticTadpole

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I'm not really sure why do we need to debate where we can fit him in. People were crying loud about us lacking the squad depth which one of the main reason cost us the semi final of the FA Cup last season. That's the main reason why we signed him, upgrade Lingard & Pereira, offer us different dimension in the team such as can be brought on as sub to change the game & change our formation to 442 diamond or even 352 or 3421 when required against certain opposition too. Remember last season we were forced to play Pereira in double pivot twice or more due to injuries in our midfield. IMO he's a good additional for our squad and important as well for this season, intelligent footballer with his movement and finding space, likes to press high & play quick passes & versatile.
I agree as long as he is used to get the most out of his assests. The lad has played less than two games and some are moaning. Good job we haven't signed Sancho because if he hadn't assisted a couple of hattricks by now they would be saying he is rubbish. He has played with two different combinations of players, not exactly great to get you settled in. There were plenty moaning late last season about the number of balls Bruno gave away. He is a class player for the depth of our squad and should be welcomed as such. Also he is our joint top scorer.:angel:
 

DomesticTadpole

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Did they? I don't remember many times he got the ball in the box with much space. The few times he did get it to feet he did a nice dummy for Mata to get a shot away or linked up a few times.

He got it once in the 2nd half and got a shot away and nearly scored. Yes a few of the flicks didn't come off but the attack hardly all clicked did it? they looked like a team that's never played before.

Lingard was trying to run the whole pitch by himself and score with no help, mata was trying to link up and standing in the middle of the pitch clogging it up. Ighalo stood still like a statue with his back to goal not making any forward runs.

He's clearly used to a team that plays a more pass/move style of football that trusts people playing quick passes into feet, united don't do that. they'd rather go wide to the fullbacks and swing in a cross.
Ighalo is a bit of a problem. If he doesn't offer more and Ole doesn't trust him then really we should be getting someone else.
 

AjaxNL

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I wasnt able to see the match yesterday, but I read a few comments about him connecting well with Mata and that doesnt surprise me at all. I also read some comments stating he was kinda invisible on the pitch for a central midfielder and to be frank.. That also doesnt suprise me at all, looking at Donny's strenghts and looking at the line up yesterday... As someone who watches every Ajax match, I think three of Donny's major strenghts are the following.

1) Donny is a very good in combinations in tight spaces. In this he is a typical Ajax youth product, who is comfortable receiving the ball with little room, finding a close open man with one touch and moving immediately away again to receive the ball somewhere else and making room for other players. I read a couple times above that he was looking for 1-2's a lot and this is recognizable for me. His technique is not spectacular on the eye, but very effective and solid. Thats why I get the link with other technical gifted players close to him in the pitch, like Mata, and thats why I think he could play really well together with Bruno.

2) Donny finds spaces behind the opponents defense. When is isnt directly involved in the combination where the attack is being built up, he is a very good ball receiving midfielder. Somehow he is always 'there' and always 'open' in the final phase of an attack, whether to finish it of himself or to give the final pass to a teammate. Thats why with Ajax he worked extremely well with Tadic as a false number 9 who involved himself in the play and left spaces for Donny to dive into.

3) Donny gives you goals. He is not only good at finding spaces on the pitch and behind defenders, but when he receives it there he is very clinical. The goal against Palace was a good example of that. I think he has a very high conversion rate for changes in the box.

Donny is NOT a player who finds the creative solutions himself, with a pass between the lines (at Ajax that were Ziyech, Tadic, Promes, Neres) or by picking up the ball from defense and bringing it forward (at Ajax that were Frenkie, Blind, Schone). He is just not going to be that player for you.. You need other on your midfield to do so... So therefore seeing he was paired with Matic and Fred yesterday, I can understand is was very hard on the eyes, because you have no one to create creativity from midfield for you.. Ole should know this and not expect Donny to play like this..

If you start expecting Donny to be the creative brain in your team, United have completely wasted their money. However when used in his strenghts, I think he can be a very very good player for a world class team.

With Ajax this fit perfectly, because you had other players around him who did the things he's not world class in - finding the open spaces in creative manners - but he was used in his strenghts by Ajax playing combination football with other players comfortable on the ball and therewith creating spaces with quick combination football, ánd diving into the deep spaces left by Ziyech, Tadic and Neres in the attacking line.

How would this translate into United?

I think a midield with Pogba Bruno and Donny would never work on the highest level, as there is no balance. I think you always need a midfielder who is behind the ball 95% of the times. At Ajax that were Schone, Frenkie and last year Martinez. At United that could be Matic. If you play Bruno, Pogba ánd Donny you wouldnt use all of them in their strenghts as one of them would have to play in the #6 role, otherwise you risk getting your midfield overrun. I do think United however needs all of Donny, Bruno and Pogba on the pitch because all of them contain crucial qualities which no other current United players have. Donny bringhts depth and scoring ability off the ball, while also have the technical capabilities to link up with Bruno and Pogba. Bruno is the creative brain upfront and Pogba can be worldclass as a midfielder who brings the ball from back to front.

So íf you want to play them all, you need to switch strategy in my opinion, by either playing with Bruno as a false #9 in a 433 like situation, ór in a 442 diamond situation... Both are quite similiar actually). I think both could work extremely well as you will also be able to rotate the two attacking positions with Rashford, Greenwood and Martial. Remaining problem however is that in both scenario's you need proper wingbacks who can also provide some wide threats.

443
---Striker---Bruno---Striker---
----------------Donny----------------
-----Pogba-----------Matic-------

442 Diamond
-----Stiker------------Striker-----
----------------Bruno----------------
------Pogba-------Donny--------
---------------Matic-----------------
Best analysis I've seen on here regarding Donny.
 

Adam-Utd

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Ighalo is a bit of a problem. If he doesn't offer more and Ole doesn't trust him then really we should be getting someone else.
Yeah I don't see him staying passed january at this rate unfortunately. He had a great start but since Lockdown he's seemed to have dropped off a bit.

There was a point in the 2nd half he was clear through on goal but took a heavy touch and then ended up running wide, that's just not good enough.
 

KennyBurner

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Did they? I don't remember many times he got the ball in the box with much space. The few times he did get it to feet he did a nice dummy for Mata to get a shot away or linked up a few times.

He got it once in the 2nd half and got a shot away and nearly scored. Yes a few of the flicks didn't come off but the attack hardly all clicked did it? they looked like a team that's never played before.

Lingard was trying to run the whole pitch by himself and score with no help, mata was trying to link up and standing in the middle of the pitch clogging it up. Ighalo stood still like a statue with his back to goal not making any forward runs.

He's clearly used to a team that plays a more pass/move style of football that trusts people playing quick passes into feet, united don't do that. they'd rather go wide to the fullbacks and swing in a cross.
Fair enough. It’s still very early to be judging him. I’d like to see him with our better players. I’m very interested in his quality of passing rather than movement which is what everyone says he is exceptional at. Need more than great movement to be a starter just ask Jesse lingard.
 

Adam-Utd

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Fair enough. It’s still very early to be judging him. I’d like to see him with our better players. I’m very interested in his quality of passing rather than movement which is what everyone says he is exceptional at. Need more than great movement to be a starter just ask Jesse lingard.
As you say it's very early. His passing against Villa looked very good if you didn't watch the friendly (although from a deeper position)
 

Betson

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Only a few minutes today which is not time to impress(he did win the corner that led to the penalty) , really hope he starts to get more time as I think he could add a lot to what we have.
 

kiristao

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Decent game. Looked much better once the subs came on. Great assist and almost assist. He is good in right spaces in the penalty area. Just might be what we need when we are trying to get past a parked bus
 

Anustart89

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I like him. Would like to see him get some minutes with Bruno and MMM. Think he'd shine with proper quality and movement around him. Just need to find a way to fit them all in.
 

Eckers99

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His general play was pretty average but he comes alive around the box. Strikes me as more of support striker than an attacking midfielder tbh. Lovely touch for the goal.
 

el3mel

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He's really a great player. Hopefully he keeps improving and doesn't regress.
 

#07

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Van de Beek allows us to breathe easily if Bruno is unavailable or in need of a rest. Such an intelligent footballer. His short range play in the final third is truly top notch. As soon as Ole upped the quality around him with the second half subs he really turned it on. Fabulous.
 

bosnian_red

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You can tell he's so good technically and very intelligent on the pitch with the way he moves and how quickly he releases the ball. Always pass and move. Would like him to get more involved on the ball as he has the ability for it... Looking forward to seeing him more with the rest of the starters, think alongside Bruno/Martial etc he'll look even better.
 

Adam-Utd

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We aren't using him anywhere near enough, keep passing wide instead of going into his feet.

The 3 times we did do it in the 2nd half he created 3 chances. Top class player, I just hope we use him correctly.
 

-Supreme-

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Love his intelligence and one touch passing particularly in the penalty box.