Forward players dithering on the ball for too long (except Rom)

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by Rhyme Animal, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. Dec 20, 2017
    #1

    Rhyme Animal Modmins said "freeze" and I got numb

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    Has anyone else noticed this?

    Martial, Rashford, Mhki, Ibrahimovic - they dither and at times almost hog the ball and then concede possession multiple times in a match. They then often stand for a few seconds bemoaning their own lack of decision while the opposition breaks.

    It's odd because you'd think in a Mourinho team they'd be so focused on their defensive mindset that they'd want to make the easy forward pass as soon as possible, but they don't.

    Mourinho teams are notoriously ruthless - strikers like Demba Ba getting one chance and coldly burying it against the dippers etc.

    Why is he giving them so much freedom? And why are they being so sloppy/greedy with it time after time?

    Rom doesn't do this, he's direct and pretty quick with his passes and he also leathers it back almost every time he loses possession and tracks the man. Lingard also doesn't do it, despite being not technically as gifted as Martial or even Rashford.
  2. Dec 20, 2017
    #2

    kouroux 45k posts to finally achieve this tagline

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    Spot on. Annoying as shit this
  3. Dec 20, 2017
    #3

    Will Absolute New Member

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    It's the clear issue with the side. I don't understand how players allowed to get away with such self-indulgence, like they were in a kickaround in a car park. Pogba is an obvious offender as well.
  4. Dec 20, 2017
    #4

    Keeps It tidy Hates Messi

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    It has been a problem since Moyes.
  5. Dec 20, 2017
    #5

    Pace Abuser Full Member

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    This goes back to basic coaching thread. Our players are completely useless at consistently applying basics.
  6. Dec 20, 2017
    #6

    Paul778 New Member

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    I've posted on here previously about players dithering on the ball as well. However, it's worth making a clear distinction between the different dithering we do - we seem to have become rather prolific at it.

    When we are on the counter attack and our opponents defence are not set and are running towards their own goal. In these scenarios our front three, with their speed and skill should be having a feeding frenzy. We do not convert enough of these opportunities - if you give the ball to Martial or Rashford in these situations they will end up in a cul-de-sac, check back in, the defense is set and the chance is gone. The tap-in goal for Lingard against Arsenal showed how it should be done - very direct - but this is few and far between. In the 90s these were our bread and butter.

    The other scenario where we dither is when the defence is set. We stroke the ball about looking for a favourable 1v1/overlap/whatever. Again however, so many times you see Rashford/Martial or the WB/FB (whatever formation we're playing today) pass back inside rather than take a player on when in a good position.

    However, breaking down a set defense is also about team effort and movement. When we have the ball just inside the opponents half, it would be interesting to see a 'breadcrumb' analysis of the front players movement. I want to see our team making off-the-ball runs to open up gaps in the defense others in the team can capitalise on. However, most of the time I see them standing like statues, giving no help at all to the player with the ball - so either the player on the ball has to do something exceptional or it has to be recycled.

    I do feel that looking at our no10 and wide players we just don't have the players to unlock defences consistently game after game like most of our rivals do. I'm not suggesting they all should be put under the bus, but we are one or two players short of what we need here.

    Don't forget that Jose asked for four players and only got three in the summer. For the sake of haggling over 5m I think we shot ourselves in the foot by not forcing the deal through for Perisic.
  7. Dec 20, 2017
    #7

    Rajma Full Member

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    Because they don't know what to do next, players told to go out and do their thing rather than being coached some attacking patterns.
  8. Dec 20, 2017
    #8

    gibers Full Member

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    Been repeated here multiple times but some people still can't see it.
  9. Dec 20, 2017
    #9

    Steven Seagull Full Member

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    It’s down to our none existent movement. Has been a problem for half a decade at least
  10. Dec 20, 2017
    #10

    deafepl New Member

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    Martial and Rashford are young, they all need time to improve. Given Martial and Rashford's performance in two games, Rashford keens on improving shoots from distance and free kicks rather than his decision making, Martial is improving his decision making and link up with his teammate while operating as midfielders on left.
  11. Dec 20, 2017
    #11

    liamp Full Member

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    This feels too insane to be true, but the more I watch us the more feasible this actually becomes.
  12. Dec 20, 2017
    #12

    Eddy_JukeZ Full Member

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    No structure to our attacking play. We rely a lot on individualism.
  13. Dec 21, 2017
    #13

    Rhyme Animal Modmins said "freeze" and I got numb

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    Wow, great post, and yeah I think you're on the money with most of it.

    The movement (or lack thereof) issue is like the flip-side to the dithering, but as you said, the dithering isn't always linked to the lack of movement.

    I think that the 'run into the box and then stand there' started with LvG. Dunno if anyone else remembers but there was a lot of that in his time in charge. We'd basically totally control the midfield area, get into the final third and then just start pointlessly tapping it about outside their 25 yard line while Fellaini and whoever LvG was playing as a CF that particular day just stood in the box like statues.

    Eventually the tapping about would begin to make the crowd groan and we'd stick a cross in that would then be headed away by the opposition and repeat...

    But yeah, that for me when the static box mime artist thing started.

    But the dithering from Martial and Rashford particularly is really odd, and it seems - contrary to his media image - that Mourinho's giving too much freedom, and maybe trusting in youth too much!

    I'd really like to see Martial and Rashford coming off the bench for a while now and instead have Lingard starting games (not something I thought I'd be saying at the start of the season...) and I'd like us to settle with 3 at the back with a new (and proper 10), I'd love Ozil.

    Something like this would surely be an improvement on what we've been putting out...

    -----------------DDG---------------
    Smalling-------Jones-------Lindelof
    Val------Matic--------Pogba-----Young
    ------------------Ozil-----------------
    ------Lingard------------Rom---------

    Lingard is direct, he doesn't dither, and perhaps is a late maturing player - he reminds me of Vardy in that way, both in his game and his build. And with a proper 10 behind him and Rom I think we'd see a lot more directness, and a lot conversion of chances.
  14. Dec 21, 2017
    #14

    Jaybomb New Member

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    Martial tries to dribble it past a hoard of players instead of passing it fecking sideways.

    He always loses possession.
  15. Dec 21, 2017
    #15

    NYAS Full Member

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    I don’t even remember the last time Martial or Rashford tried to to go outside the full-back and take him on to the byline. Some very selfish play last night.
  16. Dec 21, 2017
    #16

    DevilRed Full Member

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    Wish the players could put in a decent cross for Rom to attack. Its proven fecking effective but seems like nothing ever comes from the right flank. What very little service he does get is usually from the left via Ashley Young.
  17. Dec 21, 2017
    #17

    11101 Full Member

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    Yep, players aren't going to pass it to noone and there are rarely any runners offering options. I assume its down to them all not wanting to get caught out if there is a turnover but could be wrong.
  18. Dec 21, 2017
    #18

    DevilRed Full Member

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    Wouldnt be an issue to beat a man if they can put in a good cross once in a while. Keeps the defenders honest and the second balls usually disorganises the opposition defence and allows for chances.
  19. Dec 21, 2017
    #19

    Bobcat Full Member

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    This. There is a real lack of movement in our attack
  20. Dec 21, 2017
    #20

    lysglimt Full Member

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    City play like a team - we rely on great individual performance to win games. City on paper isn't a lot better than us, but Guardiola has turned them into a team - Mourinho after 18 months still pretty far away from doing that. The good news is - if we can perform as well as this without playing as a team, how well can we perform once we fix that problem. The bad news - if he can't make us play like a team in 18 months, when will he ?
  21. Dec 21, 2017
    #21

    roonster09 Correctly predicted France to win World Cup 2018 Scout

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    Yeah it's been a problem from many years. None of our players make the attacking runs, unless they are sure the pass will be played. Why not make the dummy runs and drag the defenders wide/deep? Lingard does it.

    Yesterday there were many instances where Shaw and Pogba had the ball, Martial just stood at the byline waiting for the pass to his feet. Why not make the runs behind full backs? Same with every wide player we have though, this is just 1 example.
  22. Dec 21, 2017
    #22

    simplyared Full Member

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    Dithering with the ball: Ibra is the obvious example of that. He stops up the play and we lose our momentum. Against Bristol yesterday we were embarassing until Lukaku and Mhki came on. We looked more dangerous then as we stopped hesitating on the ball and we had more flow going forward. Questions? Why has Mhki been in the freezer for so long? What happened to Shaw going forward? and boy how we missed Smalling in that defence.
  23. Dec 21, 2017
    #23

    slir32 Full Member

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    To be honest most of our players are slow on the ball but the time we are ready to attack the opposition team is setup in defense, it must feel like a training exercise to them. To me it looks like we are playing to conserve energy.
  24. Dec 21, 2017
    #24

    12OunceEpilogue Full Member Scout

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    It's been said elsewhere on the forum but the other infuriating aspect of our forward play linked to the dithering/lack of movement is how sorry our players seem to feel for themselves when something doesn't come off. Huffing, gesticulating or else steaming back to make a foul (I'm sure it wasn't just me who called that Rashford foul late on about 10 seconds before it happened). It smacks of self-entitlement and is entirely self-defeating in that we lessen our chances of winning the ball back quickly.

    This is the kind of thing that only really registers after an abject display but you get the feeling our lads only realised they were in a game midway through the second half, which is unforgivable at any level.
  25. Dec 21, 2017
    #25

    Rory 7 Full Member

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    Is this thread not the 2017 equivalent to the infamous ‘slow zombie passing’ thread from back in Fergie’s day?
  26. Dec 21, 2017
    #26

    hungrywing Full Member

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    That's what confuses a lot of fans trying to think maybe there's a plan. It definitely could be from specific instruction from a staff that doesn't believe the current squad can play more aggressively without losing too much at the back.

    As everyone's falling over themselves to point out we really have scored more than anyone bar city.
  27. Dec 21, 2017
    #27

    Rednotdead Full Member

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    To me, all the faults we've been seeing for some years now are down to the lack of an overall club strategy of how we want the game played. This is where a DOF is vital. The club has an ethos and it's the responsibility of the DOF to ensure that ethos is adhered to by hiring a manager who fits it and who will recruit players capable of playing their roles within that overall ethos.

    We seem to be just hit and miss - hire a manager then adapt everything to his style but if it doesn't work out sack him and hire another manager whose ethos and methods are entirely different from the last one. A DOF would at least ensure continuity of style, not just in the first team squad but also throughout the various age-group teams within the club so that everyone knows what's required of them at every stage of their development.
  28. Dec 21, 2017
    #28

    Rajma Full Member

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    Top post, been saying that for a while but majority of the caf seemed to disagree previously, maybe it now be becomes more apparent to some of the folk.
  29. Dec 21, 2017
    #29

    SkeppyRed Lineups Game Winner 2012/13

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    We rarely ever play at a fast pace, let alone one touch.

    It’s a lack of fluidity and understanding between the players. It could be a lack of intelligent footballers, it could be poor coaching or it could be that we change the team every week so we struggle to build familiarity between the players.
  30. Dec 21, 2017
    #30

    Marcky411 Full Member

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    A lot of sense being spoken here but then we have to come back to manager's tactics/style of play. The basics of the game are lost in this team, the simple pass and move. We very seldom see a one two played and often when tried so weak they are almost always intercepted, so predicable is our game. I see a lot of reference to Martial and Rashford, when they first came onto the scene, playing for the first team you couldn't wish for more direct players, taking on defenders with their pace and both were quite clinical with their finishing. Fast forward to today, now the finishing is letting them down, they are always cutting back in and the ball either goes sideways or backward. 9 times out of 10 dribbles means possession lost and we can try and retrieve the ball and start all over again.
    All this boils down to the tactics and gameplan/style of the manager. If we had a manager like Klopp/Pep/Poch etc this team would be playing a completely different style and game.
  31. Dec 21, 2017
    #31

    BigTimeCharlie New Member

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    Now we complain about player freedom with the ball when with LVG we complained about lack of freedom. I know there is a halfway house but for a player to become a player they need to have freedom.

    Having said that, unless its effective its counter-active so I think we need to step up our game with "effective" freedom.
  32. Dec 21, 2017
    #32

    Bestietom Full Member

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    It is down to the 50 scouts we now have to find the right players for Manchester United and stop dithering around. Mourinho should go with what is put before him from the scouting unit, not depend on players who he managed before and pay the highest price for them.
    We now have some of the best scouts in the world. Use Them.
  33. Dec 21, 2017
    #33

    BusbyMalone Full Member

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    There is no player in our team who is more guilty of dithering on the ball than Ibrahimovic. Done it all last season. Love the guy for what he done in terms of goals, but my god he's frustrating on the ball.

    Anyway, i think this all comes down to a lack of cohesion in our attacking play. This isn't a problem that can be attributed to one area, but something that arises from a combination of bad coaching and the ability of our squad

    We've shown it numerous times this season. What always cracks me up is when one of our players has the ball (particularly in a deep role) and you can see a huge gap between them and the next player. There's nobody in his vicinity. There's just a huge patch of empty space, which often results in either a pass back or a long ball. There's no pattern or triangles, no option for some quick one-two's but instead there's a no man's land type area between the person on the ball and the closest midfield player.

    This is particularly a problem when we play teams who use the press. We're just unable to break out of it due to the aforementioned lack of support from teammates.

    Very frustrating
  34. Dec 21, 2017
    #34

    Foxbatt Full Member

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    It is more than that as well. Our defenders or even midfield players would give the ball to players like Mata etc when they have no need to. Or rather these players demand the ball when they should not. This makes a player redundant and gives the opposition one player less to defend against. The movement or rather the lack of it comes because players do not pass as well.
    I wonder if players ever talk to each other about their movements? Everyone knows how United play now. Young will twist and turn to get it on his right foot before he crosses. Valencia will either hit the first man in front or pass inside. Rashford will try to beat everyone and lose possession. Martial will try and over run the ball and it goes for a goal kick.
    We are not a team but a bunch of 11 individual players.
  35. Dec 21, 2017
    #35

    VeevaVee despite the protests, wears Ugg boots Scout

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    So annoying, and just asks for the opposition to have more players behind the ball and ready to defend whatever. Is also why keepers kept having 'worldies' against us last season...we dithered before shooting and telegraphed everything.
  36. Dec 21, 2017
    #36

    whatwha Sniffs Erricksson’s diarrhea

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    Pogba is pretty bad at this too. He's often far too slow at picking the correct pass.
  37. Dec 21, 2017
    #37

    Jib New Member

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    They are better than us...even on paper ( except De Gea and maybe Pogba )
  38. Dec 21, 2017
    #38

    Smores Full Member

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    I'm sure we started the season releasing the ball quickly when no options were present, the quick pass back to make room was an ever present feature.

    It does just seemed to have stopped wierdly.
  39. Dec 21, 2017
    #39

    Igor Drefljak Definitely Russian

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    Slow build up play = Opposition get solid defensive shapes
    Lack of runners = Only option is to pass to Lukaku or go backwards

    Mourinho is so bothered about not conceding that it hinders our attack. We don't have full backs or midfielders that run past the ball. We don't have options to pass to apart from backwards.

    I know this is yet another comment that talks about City, but they attack in numbers, there is always a forward pass to be made, whether it's inside, or out on the wings. Somebody is available in an advanced position.

    We defend so deep, that when we do get the ball out to Martial or whoever, the only player ahead of play is Lukaku and he is isolated.