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2021-22 Performances


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Bastian

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The pressure was on, and he still very much looks a systems player, taking at most a touch before a pass, which is generally back to his nearest man. In the right setup he can flourish, as he showed at Ajax, but he has to adapt his game or Ole has to augment his tactics. His lack of confidence really shows, unsurprisingly.
 

Borys

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Decent passing, some nice tackles, takes good positions in the build up. Nothing spectacular, seems a bit weak and slow but we've seen that last season as well.

There isn't much between him and Fred at the moment, the latter being more energetic but van de Beek passing if fairly superior. He seems very comfortable in the middle, I want to give him a go alongside McTominay who can cover for his lack of presence.

We barely have a functioning midfield so it's not that surprising people want to see if another player might offer something better.


I thought he did well enough tonight a lot less timid. If he wants to play in that position though he needs to hold back on his instinct to make a run.
Exactly. We're desperate for plan B.
 

bosnian_red

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Thought he was OK but then just got sacrificed due to system change for the red. But he's not someone who can be a great playmaker as a number 8 in a deeper 2, nor is he the holding midfielder. He's just kinda a support player who is decent as most things but doesn't have the right mental attributes to be a top midfielder (vision, the way he plays on the ball, etc). He's a perma squad player, and a pretty pointless one at that IMO.
 

Raven

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I thought he looked alright and that it was the wrong decision to hook him, could have used his composure.
 

RooneyLegend

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What's up with him standing right on top of the oppositions midfield line when we have the ball and are trying to move it about? What's that going to help with?
 

Hackman2210

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I don’t see it sorry. Maybe lack of confidence - he knows he’s coming off. Maybe another kleberson or djemba djemba. It does happen bad scouting, players not adapting. Feel sorry for him looks lost doing something he’s been great at his whole life. Time to say goodbye.
 

Dominos

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I'm a bit baffled by the criticism of the performance. I thought it was promising if anything, kept the ball well, some switches of play, wasn't overly negative like he has been previously. In that midfield role you're basically looking for someone to keep things ticking and find your front 4 players, which I thought he did reasonably well considering it was his 1st game in donkey's years. Also looking for someone who doesn't consistently lose the ball in dangerous areas like the rest of our midfielders are guilty of. We had a decent amount of control over the game before AWB decided to cost us the match.

I think once fans have a negative perception of a player then you have to be exceptional to turn that round. People no longer judge a performance on the merit of the performance, but rather are looking to confirm their own pre-conceived ideas.
 

432JuanMata

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Because he has some really good close control in tight spaces and I wanna see him use that for us.
That’s the main problem for him though he seems better further forward but we have players in that position better than him
 

Pogue Mahone

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I thought he looked alright and that it was the wrong decision to hook him, could have used his composure.
Agreed. He was certainly losing the ball a hell of a lot less frequently than Bruno and Pogba. It was the two of them in central midfield that screwed us. Replace either one of them with VDB (even on tonight’s performance) and we’ve have had a much better foothold in the game.
 

VanDeBank

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Did well playing behind the ball and his defending looked good enough. The defense was always covered when he made a forward run.
Not the guy who's going to save our midfield issues, that's for sure.
Why we bought him in the first place, who knows. Right now we need him for depth.
He's not the liability he's made out to be. 3 games in the pivot now where he did alright (Wolves, Everton, YB).
I'd start him over Matic in a lot of situations.
 

Dominos

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I thought he did well. I'm not sure what standards people are judging him by, but he played alongside Fred as part of the pivot. He was clean and precise with his passing and allowed the attacking players to get on the ball.
Defensively, he did his job as well.
All in all, he performed his role in that first 45.


Not sure what the is being expected of him.
Exactly this.

They've been telling everyone he's shit for months and they are looking for a chance to brag about how correct they are. They couldn't even bring themself to just say "he was decent, did his job well, nothing spectacular".
 

Matt851

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Agreed. He was certainly losing the ball a hell of a lot less frequently than Bruno and Pogba. It was the two of them in central midfield that screwed us. Replace either one of them with VDB (even on tonight’s performance) and we’ve have had a much better foothold in the game.
Exactly i find it bizarre some think he should be written off

Given the crappiness of all of our options on the double pivot, donny deserves more game time to show what he can do and get sharper. Every other option has had many chances to show they arent up to it
 

Siorac

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Start Donny, lose another CL game
We were still 1-0 up when he got subbed.
I thought he did well. I'm not sure what standards people are judging him by, but he played alongside Fred as part of the pivot. He was clean and precise with his passing and allowed the attacking players to get on the ball.
Defensively, he did his job as well.
All in all, he performed his role in that first 45.

Not sure what the is being expected of him.
Yeah, pretty much this. It was a decent midfield performance, moving the ball quickly and accurately, and working hard all half. Nothing spectacular but then I'm constantly told that Ole expects his midfielders to keep it simple and quickly get the ball to the attackers and he's quite good at that.
 

Castia

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Not the guy who's going to save our midfield issues, that's for sure.
I thought he did ok like every performance so far he’s no worse than the shite Fred and McTominay usually serve up.

When was his last first team start about 5 months ago? if its Donny or Zidane starting 1 game and missing 8 you aren’t going to get the best out of him it’s pointless.
 

Brwned

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I'm a bit baffled by the criticism of the performance. I thought it was promising if anything, kept the ball well, some switches of play, wasn't overly negative like he has been previously. In that midfield role you're basically looking for someone to keep things ticking and find your front 4 players, which I thought he did reasonably well considering it was his 1st game in donkey's years. Also looking for someone who doesn't consistently lose the ball in dangerous areas like the rest of our midfielders are guilty of. We had a decent amount of control over the game before AWB decided to cost us the match.

I think once fans have a negative perception of a player then you have to be exceptional to turn that round. People no longer judge a performance on the merit of the performance, but rather are looking to confirm their own pre-conceived ideas.
There might be some truth to that, but the other way to think about it is he needs to do something exceptional just to create a bit of belief and trust. If a player does ok after a long period of underwhelming performances then it's not unreasonable to think...maybe that's the best he can do? And then when you start thinking about it from that perspective, it's kind of underwhleming in a whole other sense.
 

Winrar

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Decent performance in a very disadvantaged situation.

I would like to see him play more part even as a squad player.
 

Denis Irwinning

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Noticed this myself, there was one clear open pass on from Sancho who didn't take it.

I thought vdb was poor/average and wasn't one bit surprised when he was taken off. Was lucky not to be booked for a late tackle.

In saying that he still hasn't been given a proper chance to show what he can do but he's going to have to take his chances better then this
How was he poor though? I hardly recall him giving the ball away and had some nice touches.
 

Raven

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Agreed. He was certainly losing the ball a hell of a lot less frequently than Bruno and Pogba. It was the two of them in central midfield that screwed us. Replace either one of them with VDB (even on tonight’s performance) and we’ve have had a much better foothold in the game.
Yeah, he's safer in possession than the other 2 lads and that's what we needed when we were down to 10 men.
 

Salwan

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Terrible fit and 35m down the drain, which could have been invested in a RB or DM. bravo to our recruitment department + ole.

He was marketed as cover for Bruno and a replacement/upgrade over pereira and lingard. But how many times has he actually played as a CAM with a licence to roam? And now he's well down the pecking order, so instead, we try to shoehorn him as a DM/CM or give him cameos on the wing.

The switch from Ajax's intricate positional build-up play to our freestyle football must be a cultural shock
 

Dominos

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There might be some truth to that, but the other way to think about it is he needs to do something exceptional just to create a bit of belief and trust. If a player does ok after a long period of underwhelming performances then it's not unreasonable to think...maybe that's the best he can do? And then when you start thinking about it from that perspective, it's kind of underwhleming in a whole other sense.
Fair enough if someone's position is "he played decent tonight but I'm not convinced he's the long term solution for our midfield", that's perfectly reasonable and is actually the position I hold. When people are pretending he played shit just so they can say "see, I told you he's useless months ago" it's a bit annoying.

The argument about whether we need to upgrade him is redundant though because we're mid-season, the question right now is should he be getting more game time relative to the current alternatives. I think we've seen enough shockers from Fred, Mctominay, Matic and Pogba in the double pivot over the years to warrant giving him a try.
 

Nicoseth

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Poor bastard. You just knew that once that red card came and we needed to make a change it was going to be Donny. He was doing fine up to that point. I'll be gutted when he goes but don't blame him for a second when he does. He'll be looking out in January for sure.
 

VidaRed

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If he was kept on then lingard would have never come on and we wouldn't have lost. Lingard is not fit to lace donny's shoes yet gets more minutes. Its scandalous thats what it is.
 

Leroy The Red

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Hours later and I still don’t understand this sub.
He was actually looking decent in a role we’ve not really seen him in and one where we’re short of a player. He was keeping it simple and being disciplined positionally. Would have been ideal in there with Fred for the second half.

Feel for him today to be honest.
 

Litch

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He did ok and so should he be, he's a good footballer. But please let's not turn this into a vintage Carrick performance.
 

jesperjaap

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Decent but unspectacular seems the general consensus....dont agree personally, His movement defensively and offensively off the ball is pretty poor every time he gets opportunities and is a big reason why he generally seems to be anomynous. This is a £40m who has doen noting from any of his opportunities to deserve more.....which says a lot when our midfield is so poor too
 

MadMike

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Poor bastard. You just knew that once that red card came and we needed to make a change it was going to be Donny. He was doing fine up to that point. I'll be gutted when he goes but don't blame him for a second when he does. He'll be looking out in January for sure.
It wasn’t Donny though, it was Sancho. Donny got hooked at half time when Ole tried to go defensive to see out the game and threw an extra defender on in place of a midfielder.

Then Bruno dropped in centre mid, our 4-3-1-1 became a 5-3-1, Ronaldo found himself hopelessly isolated and couldn’t be an outlet any more, Bruno and Pogba also had an absolute stinker in midfield and couldn’t win a 50/50 or find a teammate with a pass, so we kept surrendering possession and YB just kept coming.
 

OrcaFat

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He was okay. Needs a lot more game time.

He looks like he probably has the tools but he looks jumpy and impulsive with his running, not in sync with the rhythm of the team. If he could get ten games in a row he might settle down. Can’t see him getting those games. Probably he’ll leave in the summer.
 

Abraxas

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Was at work at Volvo the cars don’t build themselves, how did he play ?
He played as an 8 and about how you would expect if you were relatively optimistic but also realistic.

He did what he usually does in terms of mostly using the ball well, without doing anything that massively caught the eye. A few decent cross field efforts.

It was a half to build on but unfortunately got hooked thanks to Wan-Bissaka and Ole deeming a change of formation was the order of the day. In hindsight this proved a mistake as we kept losing the ball and the one thing DVB did was find our players.
 

UnitedRepublic

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He played as an 8 and about how you would expect if you were relatively optimistic but also realistic.

He did what he usually does in terms of mostly using the ball well, without doing anything that massively caught the eye. A few decent cross field efforts.

It was a half to build on but unfortunately got hooked thanks to Wan-Bissaka and Ole deeming a change of formation was the order of the day. In hindsight this proved a mistake as we kept losing the ball and the one thing DVB did was find our players.
Thanks appreciate the input, I rate him a very neat and tidy player I don’t expect him to do the spectacular stuff but he should be one of the 3 subs in a game and get some more starts here and there.
 

lex talionis

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I’ve always rated Donny, though he did have a few uninspired performances for us last season, and liked what I saw from him today.
 

antohan

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He played as an 8 and about how you would expect if you were relatively optimistic but also realistic.

He did what he usually does in terms of mostly using the ball well, without doing anything that massively caught the eye. A few decent cross field efforts.

It was a half to build on but unfortunately got hooked thanks to Wan-Bissaka and Ole deeming a change of formation was the order of the day. In hindsight this proved a mistake as we kept losing the ball and the one thing DVB did was find our players.
Roughly my take, including the sub being wrong. Understandable from a players you trust/expect performances from, but the one thing you want if you are going to park the bus is gift the ball straight back to your rivals. I know it sounds mental to 90% of you out there but I would have taken off Pogba or Bruno instead. Not sure what was worse, Bruno becoming a passenger or Paul being conspicuous for consistently losing the ball (more so than Fred).

And no, I'm not having a go at either or a DVB fan running others down to protect him and such shite. It's just a matter of appraising attributes relative to gameplan. If we were going to sit back like that you want press-resistance and safe passing, maybe one Hollywood ball player as an outlet, but two of them was overkill.
 

MadMike

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I get the hate Lingard is getting today but on what basis can you say this? Donny has been bang fecking average at best.
The bolded is fair. But then Lingard has been far worse than average for us. He was good for West Ham but not us, for us he has been atrocious for quite a long time. Since Mourinho’s first season I believe.

If we want to use Lingard’s performances at West Ham then might as well also use VDB’s performances at Ajax. But that’s not how this works.
 

elmo

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Agreed. He was certainly losing the ball a hell of a lot less frequently than Bruno and Pogba. It was the two of them in central midfield that screwed us. Replace either one of them with VDB (even on tonight’s performance) and we’ve have had a much better foothold in the game.
Ole's style is to stick with the players he trust and VDB isn't one of them. It's why Fred and Pogba weren't subbed off for Varane despite playing worse than VDB.