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Adam-Utd

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I'll ignore the pretentiousness for now :lol:

The issue is not that he's not a "highlight reel player". The issue is that in our current setup he's not suited for anything but the no.10 position. He's smart and hardworking, but he's not that good defensively. I rate Fred, McTominay and Matic higher in this particular aspect.

His strengths lie in his passing and positioning, primarily. To fully utilize this we need him further up the pitch. He's slow and a poor dribbler, so he's not gonna drive the ball forward in an effective manner like you'd expect a box-to-box midfielder to do. There have been multiple instances where he's received the ball with lots of empty space ahead where the correct decision is to drive the ball forwards at least 15-20 meters before passing(or dribbling). What does he do? Stop and play the ball sideways/backwards, often to players in a worse position than him.

Those are the main issues for me. He's clearly not a DM and he's too slow/unassertive to play box-to-box at the highest level. In a different setup, where the team is relentlessly attacking and always keeps a high line regardless of opponent, I could see Donny playing box-to-box, as there would be less need for speed and more need for killer passes. But that's generally not how we play. Against teams that park the bus I can see Donny starting, but even then I think Fred and McTominay is a better pairing.

I believe that every new player deserves at least a full season, though. Especially the younger ones. That's why I'm gonna reserve my final judgements for another year or so. But based on what I'm seeing so far, he's a backup to Bruno. I don't think he should start further down the pitch.
That wasn't aimed at you in particular, but lots of people say he's not impressive but they don't really know why. If Fernandes pulled off that flick assist for Mata we wouldn't hear the end of it for weeks.

He's better as an 8 in this team, we need his efficiency in midfield. We have too many wasteful players that are happy to rush a long pass and overturn it.

Defensively he was better than Mctominay against Watford statistically - so it shows he's more than capable. The other thing Matic does better is stand taller.
 

Bebestation

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Lets drop our best player because Donny hasn't played enough... and include Pogba who has shown inconsistency throughout his time here and wants to leave....
Or play VDB as a support striker in a 433, Rashford out left, Greenwood on the right, Bruno CAM, Pogba/Grealish CM and new CDM.

VDB the Ajax version was in the box player that was almost a forward playing from midfield.
 

romufc

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Or play VDB as a support striker in a 433, Rashford out left, Greenwood on the right, Bruno CAM, Pogba/Grealish CM and new CDM.

VDB the Ajax version was in the box player that was almost a forward playing from midfield.
So play without a Striker?

Pogba has played in the CM role and has been moved to the left because he cannot do that job. Grealish is another player who is not really a CM, he is an attacking midfielder.

Playing box to box in the dutch league is different in the PL in all honesty.
 

fps

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Van de Beek is interesting. My impression is he isn’t currently fit and dynamic enough to play 90 minutes in our midfield, he can look a little one-paced. Dynamite passing and control though, lovely.
 

Rocksy

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When people say he should be played in the middle of the front 3 :yawn::yawn::yawn:
 

Bebestation

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So play without a Striker?

Pogba has played in the CM role and has been moved to the left because he cannot do that job. Grealish is another player who is not really a CM, he is an attacking midfielder.

Playing box to box in the dutch league is different in the PL in all honesty.
The player people called VDB most similair to is Thomas Muller and that's why some are not necessarily pleased seeing him played so deep even though he is versatile, he isnt going to be good there.

Rashford -VDB-Greenwood
Bruno
Pogba-Rice
I'm not saying I want Rice, but we need a pure CDM, and an attack RB to make a formation like this work. Greenwood and Rashford are central strikers that are narrow but drift wide when they dont have the ball only.

VDB basically takes Martials false 9 role and tries to play flicks and and short passes, would be more energetic, better header and I think more predatory at times aswell.

I think he will be the like for like version of Firmino in our squad ie the harder working version of Martial


Look at the goals and the positions he gets in to
 

Terranova

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The player people called VDB most similair to is Thomas Muller and that's why some are not necessarily pleased seeing him played so deep even though he is versatile, he isnt going to be good there.

Rashford -VDB-Greenwood
Bruno
Pogba-Rice
I'm not saying I want Rice, but we need a pure CDM, and an attack RB to make a formation like this work. Greenwood and Rashford are central strikers that are narrow but drift wide when they dont have the ball only.

VDB basically takes Martials false 9 role and tries to play flicks and and short passes, would be more energetic, better header and I think more predatory at times aswell.

I think he will be the like for like version of Firmino in our squad ie the harder working version of Martial


Look at the goals and the positions he gets in to
VDB really isn't a false 9.
At Ajax he was just the most offensive CM, not really an AM like United has.

The problem is that his "position" doesn't exist at United. The 10 spot is way too offensive compared to the Ajax "10" and the other 2 CM positions are basically a DM. A position for which he's too attacking minded(but he did a better job at it than McT last game).
 

romufc

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The player people called VDB most similair to is Thomas Muller and that's why some are not necessarily pleased seeing him played so deep even though he is versatile, he isnt going to be good there.

Rashford -VDB-Greenwood
Bruno
Pogba-Rice
I'm not saying I want Rice, but we need a pure CDM, and an attack RB to make a formation like this work. Greenwood and Rashford are central strikers that are narrow but drift wide when they dont have the ball only.

VDB basically takes Martials false 9 role and tries to play flicks and and short passes, would be more energetic, better header and I think more predatory at times aswell.

I think he will be the like for like version of Firmino in our squad ie the harder working version of Martial


Look at the goals and the positions he gets in to
I agree, which is why I do not think he is a CDM playing the 8 or a 6. It is clear that he wants to be in the final third where his short passing is used to our advantage.

He is versatile, that doesn't mean we play him anywhere just to get him in the team, which is why fans should be patient.

I know what you are saying works in principle however; in reality Ole is not going to do that, he will always play an out and out striker.

I do think his best position is Bruno's position.
 

Brwned

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It was always questionionable whether he could play well in a much less cohesive team than Ajax's, but I'd say it's pretty clear at this point he can't play well under those conditions as centre mid. Neither an "8" or a "6". He doesn't want to be the one to play the progressive passes from deep and the intelligence of his runs from deep are irrelevant when we don't play through midfield in a way that can utilise them.

He might be good in behind the forward but he clearly isn't a replacement for Bruno, and the way we set up is built around a Bruno-like figure there. Someone like VdB can knit things together in a different way but it requires our wide players to take more creative responsibility so it can never work with Greenwood or James out there. Maybe it can work with Pogba or Mata out there but no-one besides Rashford has established themselves as a reliable creative force out wide, and relying on him even more sounds like a recipe for disaster. Maybe Diallo will solve that problem in a few months, maybe we'll need to wait for a signing in the summer as the team takes shape without Pogba.
 

romufc

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I hate to say it, but VDB looks like would thrive more at City than he will do at our place. Our attack right now is much more individualistic and driven by talented players being given a free reign within a broad set of tactics, while at City the play is more systematic with players expected to act like robots fulfil defined roles and stick to pre-agreed patterns. Irrespective of the merits of each style of management, VDB looks to me more like a systems player than the other players we're used to.

That said, his ability to drift into space and link up play with his great touch is something we really need. Sometimes our attack can look a bit uncoordinated. VDB could be just the player we need to glue our attacks together, being the extra man following the play as it drifts left and right. Its pretty clear that he isn't going to slot neatly into someone else's shoes so fitting him in the first team might require some unorthodox thinking for Ole, but I hope he has a go at it because I'd hate for his talent to go unfulfilled at Utd.
This is a very good explanation of VBD. We have too many individually talented players to play a pre defined system.

At City / Ajax, Donny knows what will happen once he receives the ball or when players receive it. At United if it goes to Martial, Greenwood, Rashford, the first thought is can I take 2/3 guys on and shoot?

In a system, its more whenever a player received a ball in x zone, Y zone player makes run. they play in zones, knowing when to pass, first time passing and link up play. At united the passing is just not good enough for him to have an impact. You can clearly see he wants to play 1 touch passing move but no one else wants to.

On so many occassions he is calling for the ball from the CB only to pass back to them and he moves, the ball never comes.
 

Lennon7

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The player people called VDB most similair to is Thomas Muller and that's why some are not necessarily pleased seeing him played so deep even though he is versatile, he isnt going to be good there.

Rashford -VDB-Greenwood
Bruno
Pogba-Rice
I'm not saying I want Rice, but we need a pure CDM, and an attack RB to make a formation like this work. Greenwood and Rashford are central strikers that are narrow but drift wide when they dont have the ball only.

VDB basically takes Martials false 9 role and tries to play flicks and and short passes, would be more energetic, better header and I think more predatory at times aswell.

I think he will be the like for like version of Firmino in our squad ie the harder working version of Martial


Look at the goals and the positions he gets in to
There’s absolutely no way we’ll play with VdB as a false 9, ever.
 

Bebestation

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VDB really isn't a false 9.
At Ajax he was just the most offensive CM, not really an AM like United has.

The problem is that his "position" doesn't exist at United. The 10 spot is way too offensive compared to the Ajax "10" and the other 2 CM positions are basically a DM. A position for which he's too attacking minded(but he did a better job at it than McT last game).
Yeah I know he isnt a false 9, he got more in the positions of a shadow striker but again as you said most of his games were from CM.

When I see Rashford, Martial playing side by side of VDB even for 10 mins when Matic came on - that's where I find him playing like a shadow striker version of himself rather than particularly a false 9. Again, I'm just trying to fit him in.

Would you say he plays like Widjnaldum a bit at Liverpool? I feel he maybe the most attacking CM rather than a CAM?
 

DWelbz19

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Even if he was like Wijnaldum, it would again be not a fit for us. Wijnaldum plays in a midfield three as more of a conventional no.8 getting up and down the pitch.

Donny is pretty much redundant with Fernandes around. Fernandes is our best player who occupies similar positions to where Van De Beek seeks to engage in. Like @Brwned says, he’s not really a like for like replacement for Fernandes in that role — who basically absorbs the main role of being the creative fulcrum and goalscoring contributor.

Funnily enough, I’d say Van De Beek wants to play the sort of role (at his best) Jesse Lingard would and has done for us — high energy, quick passes, leaving the creativity to others playing through midfield as he wants to operate most of his best work off the ball.

At best, he’s very good depth and a damn sight better than Lingard and/or Pereira should anything happen to Fernandes. But it kind of just stops there, I feel. With Fernandes as the no.1 player on our teamsheet, Van De Beek is either his rotational option, or he grows into one of the midfielders behind him (a role which the limited game time we’ve seen of him shows his strengths not to be very suited for, in my opinion).
——
Teams and players often make moves that aren’t suited to either parties. I think this is just one of those moves.
 

GordonG

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Donny looks like a tidy player overall. Last performance against Watford was MOTM for me.

I'd like to see him start with Pogba and Fred next to him, with Bruno infront. Preferably against a weaker side that we'll dominate.
 

ThinkTank@Cafe

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VDB really isn't a false 9.
At Ajax he was just the most offensive CM, not really an AM like United has.

The problem is that his "position" doesn't exist at United. The 10 spot is way too offensive compared to the Ajax "10" and the other 2 CM positions are basically a DM. A position for which he's too attacking minded(but he did a better job at it than McT last game).
This. Which makes me wonder why we bought him.
 

Terranova

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Yeah I know he isnt a false 9, he got more in the positions of a shadow striker but again as you said most of his games were from CM.

When I see Rashford, Martial playing side by side of VDB even for 10 mins when Matic came on - that's where I find him playing like a shadow striker version of himself rather than particularly a false 9. Again, I'm just trying to fit him in.

Would you say he plays like Widjnaldum a bit at Liverpool? I feel he maybe the most attacking CM rather than a CAM?
Yeah they're kinda similar, but VDB is more suited to Tiki Taka. Which is painfully obvious when De Jong, VDB and Wijnaldum are on the pitch at the same time. But i'm not sure that's what's necessary here. But yeah for me Donny is more an attacking CM rather than a CAM, atleast in the current United tactics.
 

Bebestation

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Yeah they're kinda similar, but VDB is more suited to Tiki Taka. Which is painfully obvious when De Jong, VDB and Wijnaldum are on the pitch at the same time. But i'm not sure that's what's necessary here. But yeah for me Donny is more an attacking CM rather than a CAM, atleast in the current United tactics.
Yeah re tiki taka -

The thing I also kind of realized is VDB short passing looks even shorter at United because there is no one usually passing quickly and shortly back to him; he passes it and may make a run it to space to expect a pass back but usually the player he has passed to has kind of dribbled further forward or passed further than he had managed to make a run to - he kind of looks like he didnt do much at United.

I guess that system player thing vs a team of individuals is showing up with him. It's a shame because I wanted to see him a bit more regularly and maybe a bit more settled.
 

OrcaFat

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He looks promising and could develop into a very good player. Not sure if he will be good enough to hold down a first team place for several seasons, it’s too early to say.

He needs a decent run of games in a similar position.

I think he would shine as one of two or three in front of a single pivot DM but we haven’t got the right DM to play that role yet.
 

Bebestation

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Have to love people advocating abandoning the approach that has us top of the table just so we can give beek game time cos he is moaning to the press
Its not about dropping Bruno for VDB, its about why VDB is or isn't a good enough player to atleast come on in the 2nd half to help us and try something different, try score a goal - instead he gets 10 minutes which is unfair, when he starts he plays with shit all around him in a system that doesn't suit him.
 

Adam-Utd

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I want to see Fred / DVB and Fernandes play together. We haven’t seen this combination yet outside of the diamond and I think it would work well
 

Adam-Utd

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For the short attention span haters there are countless videos on youtube that show his long passing.
Yep it’s ridiculous to even question his passing ability, he’s probably the best passer in the squad alongside pogba and Fernandes.

he just prefers to play a shorter passing game rather than higher risk % passes.
 

croadyman

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Will be tough for Donny to get opportunities outside of the cup competitions to show what he could provide in the league
 

luke511

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I want to see Fred / DVB and Fernandes play together. We haven’t seen this combination yet outside of the diamond and I think it would work well

Worked well vs Basaksehir, the only time it's been used.
 

Adam-Utd

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Worked well vs Basaksehir, the only time it's been used.
Ah yeah I thought this was his best performance too - I forgot bruno played this one I knew he was with Fred. More proof again he’d play better with faster tempo players.
 

city-puma

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I think we should understand not all signings can eventually work out. If that’s the case for VDB eventually, we have to accept it as part of life.
But now it’s too early to writ him off. Apparently the team needs a system to get the most out of him. And, equally important, he has to improve himself and adapt to the team and the league. Both need time and a little bit luck in process.
 

city-puma

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no. I meant a diamond like below.

VDB----Matic-----Pogba
------------Bruno------------
----Rashford----Martial--
I like this concept and have the same view. The issue is that VDB, Matic and pogba are slow and not physical enough. Playing like this will see us pushed all the way to our own half.
 

Valencia Shin Crosses

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"Martial...He's isolated Skrtel here..."
That wasn't aimed at you in particular, but lots of people say he's not impressive but they don't really know why. If Fernandes pulled off that flick assist for Mata we wouldn't hear the end of it for weeks.

He's better as an 8 in this team, we need his efficiency in midfield. We have too many wasteful players that are happy to rush a long pass and overturn it.

Defensively he was better than Mctominay against Watford statistically - so it shows he's more than capable. The other thing Matic does better is stand taller.
Okay I’m no big Matic fan but that’s severely underrating his defensive abilities. He’s basically the only midfielder we have that reads the game well defensively, but he’s basically a snail so doesn’t offer as much mobility
 

lex talionis

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Donny looks like a tidy player overall. Last performance against Watford was MOTM for me.

I'd like to see him start with Pogba and Fred next to him, with Bruno infront. Preferably against a weaker side that we'll dominate.
A brief but spot on post.

Even VdB haters on this forum have to acknowledge that Donny has been given far too few chances. What he’s done with those chances is debatable, but I hope there’s no disagreement here that Donny is a superior footballer to James, Fred, McTominay, Mata and Mata — all of whom have their uses (well, perhaps not James) but with the ball at their feet are in just not in Donny’s class.

We’re primed to go three points up on Liverpool so Ole has to be doing something right, but going forward into the second half of the season when we gave roughly a dozen parked buses out of out the 19 clubs we need a second short passing, creative, shotmaking midfielder to take some of the creative workload off Bruno in the final third.

Donny needs more than garbage minutes to make the kind of impact on our performances we’re expecting of him.
 

romufc

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So for all those who want to change formations to accommodate VDB, what would you prefer?

Us playing McFred and somehow managing a title race or change formation to play VDB and lose a few games because we are poor defensively but play better football?
 

Adam-Utd

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Okay I’m no big Matic fan but that’s severely underrating his defensive abilities. He’s basically the only midfielder we have that reads the game well defensively, but he’s basically a snail so doesn’t offer as much mobility
I'm just not a fan of Matic. Sometimes he plays well enough but when he has a bad day, he his absolutely awful.

He's just too slow to actually effect the game anymore, the only thing's he does well is position himself in the box for crosses, but we need a lot more than that.

For me he should be nowhere near our first team plans anymore.