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2021-22 Performances


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5.9 Season Average Rating
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1
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Blood Mage

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He's a perfunctory footballer at best, but sadly that's an improvement on Fred. And he can actually last more than 45 mins unlike Matic. Given our lack of options, I think he should remain in the starting XI until we sign a better alternative (hopefully in January at this rate).

He'll be dropped in the next game though because Fred has compromising pictures of Ole clearly.
 

11101

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Honestly that's really micro analysing his performance. I don't think he took the easiest pass in most of those situations, and the decision making for a midfielder is also on trying to help stretch the opponent. A lot of his simple switches to the other flank were done so to move the players to the other side and help create pockets as they work to cover the other side. It's really not all about what's an easy pass or difficult pass in isolation. Rather it's about the right pass, and I think in most cases he did this.
It is micro analysing, but what do you think the coaches do? They will be looking at what players like McTominay and Matic do in similar situations. Matic is old now but McTominay and especially Fred don't shy away from risky passes, to the extent of sometimes getting it wrong.
 

Denis Irwinning

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It is micro analysing, but what do you think the coaches do? They will be looking at what players like McTominay and Matic do in similar situations. Matic is old now but McTominay and especially Fred don't shy away from risky passes, to the extent of sometimes getting it wrong.
McTominay definitely shys away from risky passes. Fred tries them more than he should given his ability.
 

Dve

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This is part of the problem. It seems a lot of fans don't have any idea how he played and are claiming he was awful, when he frankly wasn't. I paid special attention to him, and I was particularly delighted that he showed potential as a 6, given it could mean we will have a deep midfielder who can fecking pass and doesn't lose the ball repeatedly.

This view is further compounded by the views by many fans that Fred was amazing. In the second half, I will give you that, but in the first, he was very poor. His wayward passing caused YB to have a decent attempt on goal and he was bypassed by attackers more than once. There's criticism for Donny passing "safe", which was nonsense, but Fred's passing was most often to wide and back, to the defender and back. I don't get the double standards for each midfielder.
That was Donny's first start in a very long time for us and he was able to match Fred on performance. He was one of two players who I didn't see lose the ball repeatedly. If that is not a good sign, I don't know what is.
There also seems to be an issue where people expect Pogba's output from him. He is not Pogba. But where he does succeed is that he offers greater work rate and more defensive stability. Let's be real here. Pogba gives us great offensive output at CM, but we are so defensively open, the risks outweigh the rewards.

Looking back, Fred got a ridiculous amount of chances to become a regular, as has Martial when on form and looking back so did Pereira and Lingard. We have a much better midfielder in our ranks who has been left to rot, but for some reason we are expecting some ridiculous kind of performance in a game where just about nobody else around him performed.

Based on his performance, he deserves another chance, and criticism has to be laid if he is treated in the same manner as last season.
All that is good, although I have to look it back to see if you are actually right about Fred and Donny´s performances in the first half. Whatsoever, it turned out to be the right choice to keep Fred on, at least.

And I agree what you say about double standards, and that often pisses me off. I have a different take on it in this specific case though, cause sideways passing and lack of creativity is what you see most often drawn out in the critique of the other midfielders, while when Donny is doing it - it´s suddenly what a DM is supposed to do. But I´m all for giving him a chance, as I´ve never been Fred´s biggest fan either. I´d like to see the pair of Donny and McTominay given a chance.
 

VP89

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It is micro analysing, but what do you think the coaches do? They will be looking at what players like McTominay and Matic do in similar situations. Matic is old now but McTominay and especially Fred don't shy away from risky passes, to the extent of sometimes getting it wrong.
The premise of your initial reply looks to be solely looking at how many risky passes Donny is making, which is not his role in the team. Ultimately Ole has put him in that position to put in a shift, to carry the ball and to make the right passes. I.E to play forward when the pass is on, to switch when there's an overload on one side and to keep the tempo of the game to suit us. I think he did these things, and just because that involved some more straight forward passes, it doesn't dilute his standard for the brief period he was on.
 

Dve

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Yeah, obviously we need to bear that in mind. It is highlights, so to speak.

But, like I said, 23/25 passing (92%) including 4/4 long balls (100%). Defensively; 1 successful tackle, 2 interceptions and 1 block. Only Maguire, Fred and Dalot had more than him and the former two played 90 mins. In fact, I believe in the first half he had the highest defensive contribution in the team. Highlights aside, the stats themselves paint a picture of a rather measured and accomplished performance from a much maligned player.

He didn't deserve to be hauled off based on his performance. Retaining both Pogba and Bruno on the pitch, in a match where we were 1 man down and being endlessly pressured, backfired. I'm fairly convinced that if Pogba was taken off for Matic, instead of VDB for Lindelof, we would have slowed the game down and achieved much better control of the football in the second half. Therefore protecting the defence better by not allowing as many YB attacks.
That´s possible (and you mean vdB for Varane, of course). It´s also possible that we still would have lost (or drawn) the game, and that specific change would have been the thing pundits and hindsight experts would use to beat Ole with. "He saw all the crossers coming into our box in the end of first half, why didn´t he address that in the break". "Taking Pogba off made us totally toothless on the counter. What an absolute ridiculous sub".

Personally, I was quite happy with the change that was made, cause I was hoping that 3 at the back would allow Shaw and Dalot to push more forward and provide us with some width in attack, and that way allow us to play more on their half. If he hadn´t done that, and we still lost (or drew), I´m pretty sure we would have heard from certain pundits what an obvious change that would have been.
 
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MattofManchester

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Whatsoever, it turned out to be the right choice to keep Fred on, at least.
while when Donny is doing it - it´s suddenly what a DM is supposed to do.
I never suggested taking Fred off. Pogba should have been second off, given him and Sancho were having a mare.

This is the thing. I don't expect it from Fred either. I was just suggesting the standards we hold one to should be the standards we hold another to. They're low standards, but at the end of the day, improvement is improvement. We play with 2 DMs to supplement our overly offensive output. Their job is to get the job to the creative players and let them do their thing. Against YB, those players were Pogba, Bruno, Sancho and to a lesser but important extent, Shaw. They are mostly tasked with breaking up play and playing a supportive role.
I have no problem that Fred goes sideways and backwards, because any further and he likely will misplace it. Even when it is a simple pass, he has potential to fluff it. To make my point, there was a moment close to 45 minutes after the sending off, where he has to make a simple pass to Ronaldo who's wide on the right, but he overhits it out for a throw in.
I'm not trying to bash Fred. I like the guy. But he's not good enough. However, he can't be dropped because he is still important for his defensive output. Which means that for now we need someone who is a cleaner passer next to him.
One thing I liked about Donny was the very simple but effective switches to the left. They made us harder to press, which YB tried to do early in the first half and freed up the left side. If we had Matic or McTominay in the same position, the ball goes wide to AWB and we get boxed in before going back to the defenders or De Gea( A very big issue we had against Southampton and Wolves).

So, it wasn't some wonderful performance, but for a first performance among a team who played utter shite, he showed potential that he could be a good player there.
 

Dve

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I never suggested taking Fred off. Pogba should have been second off, given him and Sancho were having a mare.

This is the thing. I don't expect it from Fred either. I was just suggesting the standards we hold one to should be the standards we hold another to. They're low standards, but at the end of the day, improvement is improvement. We play with 2 DMs to supplement our overly offensive output. Their job is to get the job to the creative players and let them do their thing. Against YB, those players were Pogba, Bruno, Sancho and to a lesser but important extent, Shaw. They are mostly tasked with breaking up play and playing a supportive role.
I have no problem that Fred goes sideways and backwards, because any further and he likely will misplace it. Even when it is a simple pass, he has potential to fluff it. To make my point, there was a moment close to 45 minutes after the sending off, where he has to make a simple pass to Ronaldo who's wide on the right, but he overhits it out for a throw in.
I'm not trying to bash Fred. I like the guy. But he's not good enough. However, he can't be dropped because he is still important for his defensive output. Which means that for now we need someone who is a cleaner passer next to him.
One thing I liked about Donny was the very simple but effective switches to the left. They made us harder to press, which YB tried to do early in the first half and freed up the left side. If we had Matic or McTominay in the same position, the ball goes wide to AWB and we get boxed in before going back to the defenders or De Gea( A very big issue we had against Southampton and Wolves).

So, it wasn't some wonderful performance, but for a first performance among a team who played utter shite, he showed potential that he could be a good player there.
Well, we pretty much agree then, although I´m a litte on the fence when it comes to Donny. But I´m sure at the end of this season, we´ll have a better pictures of him as a player, and he certainly does not deserve to be written off just yet.
 

MadMike

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That´s possible (and you mean VDG for Varane, of course). It´s also possible that we still would have lost (or drawn) the game, and that specific change would have been the thing pundits and hindsight experts would use to beat Ole with. "He saw all the crossers coming into our box in the end of first half, why didn´t he address that in the break". "Taking Pogba off made us totally toothless on the counter. What an absolute ridiculous sub".

Personally, I was quite happy with the change that was made, cause I was hoping that 3 at the back would allow Shaw and Dalot to push more forward and provide us with some width in attack, and that way allow us to play more on their half. If he hadn´t done that, and we still lost (or drew), I´m pretty sure we would have heard from certain pundits what an obvious change that would have been.
It's obviously possible that it wouldn't have worked either. It's also fairly certain that unless we actually won the game, then any action taken by Ole would be seen in negative light by the pundits who would claim he should have done something different. In fact, we're doing the same thing here.

But I think I mentioned the reasons why I wasn't happy with the changes. We don't play with 3 at the back, we're not familiar with the formation. And even if we wanted to play 3 at the back, given the circumstances of the red card, then playing Pogba and Bruno in the middle (two players very profligate with the ball) was not the way to go about it. My reaction was that Ole botched the call on the basis that he either was too afraid to sub one of his stars in Pogba/Bruno or that he trusted them more than VDB based on their historical performances rather than what was unfolding on the pitch in front of his eyes.
 
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Dve

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It's obviously possible that it wouldn't have worked either. It's also fairly certain that unless we actually won the game, then any action taken by Ole would be seen in negative light by the pundits who would claim he should have done something different. In fact, we're doing the same thing here.

But I think I mentioned the reasons why I wasn't happy with the changes. We don't play with 3 at the back, we're not familiar with the formation. And even if we wanted to play 3 at the back, given the circumstances of the red card, then playing Pogba and Bruno in the middle (two players very profligate with the ball) was not the way to go about it. My reaction was that Ole botched the call on the basis that he either was too afraid to sub one of his stars in Pogba/Bruno or that he trusted them more than VDB based on their historical performances rather than what was unfolding on the pitch in front of his eyes.
In the end we are not used to play with 10 men at all, whatever formation. Anyway, we´re not having a big disagreement here. I was just trying to think back to my reaction of the change at the moment it happened - with the limited tactical understanding I have - instead of analysing it in hindsight, which is course, a far easier exercise.
 

11101

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The premise of your initial reply looks to be solely looking at how many risky passes Donny is making, which is not his role in the team. Ultimately Ole has put him in that position to put in a shift, to carry the ball and to make the right passes. I.E to play forward when the pass is on, to switch when there's an overload on one side and to keep the tempo of the game to suit us. I think he did these things, and just because that involved some more straight forward passes, it doesn't dilute his standard for the brief period he was on.
From what we know Ole has him in there to move the ball through the lines from when Fred wins the ball back. I didn't see very much of him doing that on Tuesday night.
 

VanDeBank

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I think it's kinda harsh to say he didn't play line breaking passes (like Pogba can) and it's sort of moving the goal post. He's replacing McTominay, who doesn't either. VDB is proving he isn't the calamity people thought he would be. Put in competent showings 3 starts in a row now in that position. We should use him there instead of playing an injured McTominay or whenever the game is unsuited to Matic (most non easy games).
50 seconds - not the worst, but he had so many options forward instead of passing to Maguire
1.03 - run into the space, drag some players towards you
1.23 - turn and look up, he had so much space to run into there
1.30 - took the beginnings of an attack and passed it back to Maguire

None of these are the worst things in isolation but it all reminds me of Rio saying how Roy Keane ripped into him when he first joined for taking the easy option. DVB still takes the easiest pass he sees instead of looking for what might be better.
I think shifting the play to Maguire was completely fine in both instances. He has a lot of space there to pick out a pass and better angles for it. Agree with the other 2, the man really doesn't like to dribble.
 

VP89

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From what we know Ole has him in there to move the ball through the lines from when Fred wins the ball back. I didn't see very much of him doing that on Tuesday night.
Not necessarily. If you see that video youl find he was doing just as much defensive work as his partner in midfield. Worth noting Pogba and Fred were both having an average enough game themselves.

It's clear he was making good forward passes as well as switching across the flank, he was never really ponderous either which is vital when trying to move the ball quicker. Whilst not being exceptional, he served the purpose well enough in the brief period. He certainly wasn't only playing safe and obvious passes.
 

Abraxas

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The only other thing I'd say in relation to his otherwise decent performance (and it is perhaps over analysing given he played a half of football) is that his positioning was a bit strange at times when we had the ball. This isn't totally surprising because irrespective of whether he says he can play as a 6, 8 or 10, the fact is he has played a lot of football where his main aim is to get into the box and make an impact in the final third. That is extremely different to playing in our midfield two, even putting aside the fact that he's not had a run of games or played much for us in general.

I think he could be making himself available a little better, he did do this strange thing of sitting on opposition players and at those moments he wasn't really an option for Fred or our centre backs. I don't think he was "hiding" or anything like that, it was just a lack of awareness. We probably don't want him operating too laterally to Fred in these situations as that is rather redundant and predictable but he has to be a little more tactically aware of where he needs to be to really be an influence.
 

MattofManchester

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his positioning was a bit strange at times when we had the ball.
It did seem tactical though. Very oddly tactical, but the manner in which him, Bruno and Sancho were alternating in that central midfield position implied it was. I guess we were trying to be more fluid but it was just weird.
 

Damien

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His best performance for us so far, which isn't saying much.
 

el3mel

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Oh look, the lad isn't really as shit as people made him out to be.

Definitely one of our best players today. Some great passes and was a good presence in midfield when we were attacking.
 

V.O.

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Very solid game and should have had an assist. Glad to see look capable at CM given how thin we are there.
 

lost7

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Some really good tackles, an amazing through ball to Greenwood and a decent first half. He was decent, but didn't exactly set the world on fire
 

Zoo

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Surely we need to pair him up with McTominay and see how they work.
 

Kag

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He was better in as much as he didn’t hide and actually made an effort to be involved.

Obviously not there yet but it’s an improvement.
 

Andersonson

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Didn't have a good game. West Ham sat back and let us have the ball. Easy game in that regard for our two midfielders.

Worst rated on who scored too.
I honestly think matic played better than him
 

Borys

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Very good game, I thought he had a perfect second half, and in the second he created some chances so can't expect anything more from CM.
He brings a different dimension to our game, needs to get a chance in Freds place.
His passing short to mid range is very good.
 

TempusFugit

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Very intelligent player, he was good today. He seemed to tire towards the end when he started losing possession but i'm sure he'll get better as he plays more. He's stronger than Fred, better passer and footballer overall. Should be in the pivot with Scott, he might just be useful for us as a CM.
 

RedIan

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Great display especially 1st half (ignore the goal) he need to be played as part of the midfield pivot with scott..
 

Toad

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I don’t understand the praise. He wasn’t good enough, literally ran away from his man that lead to the goal. Bang average, expectations are way way too low.
 

bond19821982

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Brilliant game. Was everywhere. Hope he starts ahead of Fred over the weekend. Our best player today along with Matic.
 

AjaxCunian

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Some poor and sloppy moments but also some very good defensive moments, wasnt hiding and some quality attacking moments. Much better than Fred in potential. Hope he starts next to McTominay next match.

Poor job for the goal.
 

MadMike

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First half very good, second half frustrated me. He was playing like a striker on the shoulder of opposition CBs, which was congesting the box while we were also visibly missing his passing skills in midfield. Not sure if that was tactical or what.

Anyway, mostly good passing and defensive work from him today.
 

lilcurt

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Having not having consistent games for over 12 months, to come in and perform how he did, wow. What more can the guy do!?