Erik ten Hag - Manchester United manager

Marwood

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Plugging that canyon wide gap in the middle isn't a bad place to start. Plus hell yes we need a versatile or modern forward as Rangnick says. Our other forwards play like specialists. The modern frontline needs at least one swiss army knife that does more than score. Ole was a bit of a dinosaur in how he saw strikers. Even Greenwood was turning into a specialist forward.
I don't think the forwards have to be versatile.

Salah isn't. Aguero wasn't. Benzema, Lewandowski?

They just have to go really good at that they do and compliment each others styles.

That's what I'm hoping these recruitment meetings produce.
 

DomesticTadpole

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I don't think the forwards have to be versatile.

Salah isn't. Aguero wasn't. Benzema, Lewandowski?

They just have to go really good at that they do and compliment each others styles.

That's what I'm hoping these recruitment meetings produce.
Maybe with the word versatile they don't necessarily mean can play in different positions more they are mobile and will move around to get involved with the play. Rather than someone who just sits there waiting for the ball.
 

Cloud7

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I don't think the forwards have to be versatile.

Salah isn't. Aguero wasn't. Benzema, Lewandowski?

They just have to go really good at that they do and compliment each others styles.

That's what I'm hoping these recruitment meetings produce.
I assume by versatile they mean doesn’t just hang around in the box waiting for the ball. Benzema and Lewandowski both drop deep or pull wide and link up with other players effectively. Aguero was a monster at dribbling through defenses or just bursting past them with his acceleration from a ways out. I would count all those facets of their game as being versatile.
 

Greck

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I don't think the forwards have to be versatile.

Salah isn't. Aguero wasn't. Benzema, Lewandowski?

They just have to go really good at that they do and compliment each others styles.

That's what I'm hoping these recruitment meetings produce.
Salah is absolutely versatile in skillset. Versatile here doesn't mean being great at everything, it just means having more than a traditional skillset. Benzema of all people is also one of the most versatile forwards in world football. His wide skillset is why he is able to fit beside so many great players. The way Rashford plays CF is like something from the 442 of old. People don't carry limited strikers or forwards who can't bring others into play. Rangnick and ETH are alluding to our need for these types of players when they say we need modern, versatile forwards. Whatever term one might want to use to describe a striker with a wider skillset.
 

Marwood

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Maybe with the word versatile they don't necessarily mean can play in different positions more they are mobile and will move around to get involved with the play. Rather than someone who just sits there waiting for the ball.
Maybe. I think they'd use those words rather than versatile if that's what they meant.

I've personally never bought into "versatile" and "fluid" football talk. It falls into that pseudo science category for me. Hipster stuff.

The best players have a position and they stick pretty rigidly to it. Which makes perfect sense as that's what they're good at. Keep doing that. Liverpools front three of Mané, Firminho and Salah was amazing for a few years yet they all have pretty defined roles and positions.

If we'd have signed Haaland this summer I wouldn't be concerned about his ability to play all front three positions. Just let him do his thing centrally. That's why we have wide players.

Focus has to be players with high technique that suit playing together. That's all that really matters.
 

Marwood

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Salah is absolutely versatile in skillset. Versatile here doesn't mean being great at everything, it just means having more than a traditional skillset. Benzema of all people is also one of the most versatile forwards in world football. His wide skillset is why he is able to fit beside so many great players. The way Rashford plays is like something from the 442 of old. People don't carry limited strikers anymore. Rangnick and ETH are alluding to our need for these types of players when they say we need modern. versatile forwards.
Rashfords style isn't the problem. His ability is. He wouldn't have worked in the old 442 either because he can't cross, can't beat a man on the outside, takes too many touches etc.

How many times have you seen Salah playing for Liverpool anywhere but on the right? Not many I bet. He's not versatile. He's just an exceptionally good right sided forward.

Benzema is just a really good centre forward. Good touch, good hold up play, good finisher. That's not versatility, it's the basics of being a top striker. Madrid play him up front all the time for good reason. They don't have him playing multiple positions and roles because he's versatile.
 
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Greck

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Rashfords style isn't the problem. His ability is. He wouldn't have worked in the old 442 either because he can't cross, can't beat a man on the outside, takes too many touches etc.

How many times have you seen Salah playing for Liverpool anywhere but on the right? Not many I bet. He's not versatile. He's just an exceptionally good right sided forward.
The term refers to skillset not position. If the criteria to judge modern forwards was playing multiple positions barely anyone would qualify. Examples of modern or versatile would be a forward with playmaking abilities or a striker with link up talents like a 10 etc. Playing multiple positions can help but it's more about actual skillset than what part of the pitch you're standing. Skillset is what makes it all possible.
 
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Marwood

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The term refers to skillset not position. If the criteria to judge modern forwards was playing multiple positions barely anyone would qualify.
I'm not sure then what versatile means within skillset. Because you could say our current bunch, with maybe the exception of Ronaldo due to age, are versatile. They can all do a bit of everything. It's a question of to what ability level can they do it.

Most forwards now aren't specialist like Inzaghi was for instance. That went a long time ago.

Salah is no more versatile than Jarrod Bowen for instance. They play the same position. Bowen can hold it up, beat players, score goals. It's just that Salah can do it to a higher level.

If the argument here is that we won't be signing players that only have a very narrow way of playing then ok I suppose but I don't think that was ever going to happen. It hasn't happened for years.
 

mitchmouse

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less than five weeks until next season's fixtures are published - and we can work out how soon we'll be out of the title race! Unless this guy is some kind of miracle worker
 

Long Time Red

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less than five weeks until next season's fixtures are published - and we can work out how soon we'll be out of the title race! Unless this guy is some kind of miracle worker
We won't be in the title race unless both City and Liverpool drop off but there's no reason why we couldn't get close to the 81 points total we achieved in 2017/18 which I think is the highest in the post-SAF era.
 

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“You WILL wear it. You’ll wear it and you’ll like it.”
Assistants wearing exactly the same clothes as coaches is one of the funniest things around. Low and Flick used to do it too all the time.
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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The fact that we are in for 2 midfielders and 1 CB, I’m glad that he done his homework to identify our strength and weakness. Our midfield needs a complete rebuild so 2 is required 100% and defensively we are shocking so we indeed need a new CB.
 

Fooza

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Need fullbacks just as much as those supposed targets, otherwise I'm concerned.
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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Need fullbacks just as much as those supposed targets, otherwise I'm concerned.
I think luckhurst said we will be in the full back markets depends on the outgoing transfers. But the 2 midfield and centre back are the spine of his team that need to be addressed first.
 

roonster09

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Need fullbacks just as much as those supposed targets, otherwise I'm concerned.
Not sure we can transform entire 11 in one window, IMO CM is the biggest weakness in our team. If Shaw is back to his best we don't have to worry about LB. It's only RB that's worrying

For CM, we don't have anyone who can hold the midfield, someone who can spread the ball. In short we don't have a proper midfield both in quality and quantity.

Would go with CM X 2, RW, RB in the order of priority. CB can wait, at least for a season.
 

GoldanoGraham

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RR has suddenly become very quiet…..hopefully he is busy helping out in the background working with ETH and giving him the low down and plenty of useful info/stats on the state of things……

or

He is busy watching videos of Austrian players for his next job!
 

bosskeano

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definitely agree with you guys that in order for this club to get back to challenging and more importantly being a more sound team, the middle of the pitch is the top and only priority

you can't be anyone if the spine of the team is weak....you can live with average fullbacks as long as they can fuking defend but not if your CB's and CM's can't defend and pass a ball
 

Dr. Dwayne

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RR has suddenly become very quiet…..hopefully he is busy helping out in the background working with ETH and giving him the low down and plenty of useful info/stats on the state of things……

or

He is busy watching videos of Austrian players for his next job!
:confused: we don't play CP until the 22nd and Ralf only talks at pre and post match pressers.
 

Ali Dia

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It’s mad that it’s got to the point where the spine of a multi billion pound team needs to be brought in over one window. Just madness. If it was my team I’d have been spreading those costs out over the last however many years and cutting players on big deals that weren’t up to it. I’d be a lot more hands on that’s for sure. That’s the only way to build value on the pitch.
 

sunama

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Need fullbacks just as much as those supposed targets, otherwise I'm concerned.
We need to replace most of our team, but we can't do that this Summer, unfortunately.
If we are to make his work, we'll have to give ETH 5 years of incremental progression.
We've tried the "throw money at the problem to get results as quickly as possible" plan and it didn't work. So now we must try the "give him time" approach.
 

sunama

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RVP has ruled himself out I think due to not wanting to unsettle his family. Rene seems like a no brainer at this point.
I thought Steve McLaren was going to be the assistant?
Why do we need so many staff members who have links to the past? One staff member (McLaren) is enough.
 

ShinjiNinja26

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I thought Steve McLaren was going to be the assistant?
Why do we need so many staff members who have links to the past? One staff member (McLaren) is enough.
Theres been a serious lack of quality coaches at the club in recent years so the more quality we can bring in the better as far as I’m concerned and Rene is an excellent coach. People are getting to hung up on the “links to the past” thing. These are people ETH is personally asking for it’s not like they’re being thrust upon him like has seemingly been the case in previous years.
 

edcunited1878

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Because of the mistakes in how he built the squad. Getting the most out of players counts when it's in a format that's sustainable for long term success. We bandaided problems for so long. When it comes to modern forwards Rashford would post nice stats but Ole's barebones tactics would reinforce his weaknesses ie teamwork, passing and anything team related. Now that Ole has gone it's become obvious he has nothing in his bag outside of running and shooting. Rashford never developed his team based skills and it will probably plague him for whatever might be left of his United career. Strikers being extremely greedy is a dinosaur concept from era's past. These days teams play front 3s not 442s with specialists.

With our midfield we played a deep lying counterattack that hid just how deficient our midfield were at supporting a high line. He thought he could just play one way for 2 years while rebuilding for a totally different style. If the goal was to play proactively it wasn't a very well built midfield in any shape or form. ETH now has to patch it asap.
Ole and Murtough just began to build the squad. Whether or not Ole was the manager going into this previous season or next season, the squad was always going to be building.

Outside of Marcus, whom I don't disagree with his limitations, CF was going to be addresses two fold even without Mason.

Central midfield was looked up last year but wasn't addressed due to Ronaldo and inability to shift other players. It was always going to be urgent knowing Pogba, Matic, and Mata were going to leave within 12 months or sooner.

So it isn't just all about Ole. The club has to have a vision of player identity and recruitment that is of a certain level, bar the manager. It's pretty clear it has changed a lot with things being more streamlined through Murtough and the collective scouts, academy personnel, etc.