High pressing

jesperjaap

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United players covered 107.89km compared to Chelsea's 106.63km. So we won the running on Sunday... just.
Not a fan of stats, distance covered showed we are fit and worked hard, does it show we pressed intelligently though? (as we didnt) A lot of people seem to associate the high press with Guardiola as though it is revolutionary, it isnt at all.

The best lessons our Fergie fledglings learnt about where they were and how they needed to improve was in Oles days as a player with the times we played Juventus. They pressed from high up all over the pitch , hunting in packs of three in triangles. Didnt have stats in those days, they worked extremely hard, but be interested to see the stats as was so simple but cleverly done as I expect they didnt actually cover great distances with it either
 

LoneStar

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I would think the fact Chelsea were so far spread out and leaving huge gaps between players pressing would have been extremely hard to do and it didn’t seem helped by the fact Lingard and Perreira for the first half seemed to be running in sand.
In pre season against Spurs the pressing was very evident and in other games we were forcing lots of errors from teams and playing with a highline. Hopefully it’ll still improve but there were signs of it there or trying to press but Chelsea are no mugs and have good players in the squad but it will be interesting to see how we do against more compact teams.

@Infra-red what you’re saying about injuries and Exhaustion is true. I remember Pool as they were transitioning to this for the first part of the season absolutely flying then after Christmas they looked exhausted and nothing like the early season team.

Actually feel last year Klopp changed them slightly and they weren’t so gun-ho with their pressing and looked a lot more refined team that could win in different ways but it will be intriguing to see how we are doing injury wise and energy levels come January as part of Jose’s style was based on preserving players to last in to the final days so it’s a big change and 1 that might take a season or 2.
Definitely. They were playing gung ho football and were there for the taking if you could come out of the press.

Klopp tweaked his style last season, and it was far more effective. Probably helped them at the end of the season as well.
 

Trophy Room

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Definitely. They were playing gung ho football and were there for the taking if you could come out of the press.

Klopp tweaked his style last season, and it was far more effective. Probably helped them at the end of the season as well.
Could argue this happened with Chelsea. They faded badly in that second half.
 

Greck

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Like that people appreciate pressing is more than having players independently closing down the ball at a 100mph. It's got to be coordinated and tactical. If you can't eliminate all options you force them to make the lowest percentage pass. There's some brainwork to what Pep has his team doing beyond being fit and I'm curious to see Ole's version of it
 

Lebowski

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High pressing in a team as sloppy as ours is suicide. We need to learn how to keep the ball.
Sadly I think you're right.

If Ole starts talking to the likes of Lingard, Pereira and McTominay about implementing a high press, they will probably think he wants them to turn up to post match interviews stoned.
 

SCJY

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If Ole starts talking to the likes of Lingard, Pereira and McTominay about implementing a high press, they will probably think he wants them to turn up to post match interviews stoned.
I have no clue what this even means.
 

The Boy

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Liverpool and City manage it. Jose just had us playing lazy, pragmatic bus parking so it was expected, because players weren't used to it when Ole first arrived! We're much better conditioned now to carry out the new playing style.
The key is keeping possession once you have it to give the team breathing space

Interestingly though if you look back in this thread you'll find this

So in that Cardiff game you pressed more than any other team in Europe on your first go at it!
 

Adam-Utd

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The key is keeping possession once you have it to give the team breathing space

Interestingly though if you look back in this thread you'll find this



So in that Cardiff game you pressed more than any other team in Europe on your first go at it!
TO be fair I think the lads just had the weight of the world (or mourinho) off their shoulders and wanted to go out and show what they had.
We played with a great intensity that game but obviously couldn't keep it up. That's where we need to be smarter. Press in the RIGHT way tactically, don't rush it and give the ball straight back if there isn't an opportunity, get your rest with the ball etc.

That's why Pep's Barca team did it so well. They killed you with possession, they swarmed you if you won it back. They'd kick into a higher gear when they decided and blew you away.

We won't ever develop that kind of control, but we do need to be a bit smarter especially in the early phases.l
 

TRUERED89

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The key is keeping possession once you have it to give the team breathing space

Interestingly though if you look back in this thread you'll find this



So in that Cardiff game you pressed more than any other team in Europe on your first go at it!
It didn't last long though, they were completely burnt out after 2 months, hopefully stamina/endurance has significantly improved now.
 

SilentWitness

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The fact that all of your players are talking about fitness during pre-season and how they're much fitter than last season kind of shows to me that they are working towards a pressing game and they're happy with it.

I remember when Moyes was with you and he made players run they all hated it. Why? Because he would make people do running with no intent. He had a military style training regime that wasn't fit for purpose whereas Ole seems to be catering the running toward the pressing and making it all fit with each other.

It's definitely a difficult tactic to master though. The reason that City/Liverpool don't get as burnt out with their pressing is because they're tactically astute with how they play. They're not 5-10 metres off players and needing to make up ground when pressing. They're already tight and hounding people. United need to make that step next to ensure the repeat of last season doesn't happen.
 

romufc

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There is no point pressing teams if the distance between your forwards and defence is huge, yes it works against Cardiff etc, but against better teams they will easily play out of the press by playing a ball into the midfield spaces, thats why teams have to be compact.

Liverpool and City when they press have their CB's inside opponents half if they are pressing high, and drop as a group rather than individually.

The other reason why City and Liverpool don't burn out is if they are 1-0 up and they are tired they keep the ball so well for long periods moving side to side tiring opponents out. They are getting a breather. Therefore; once the opponents get the ball they have much more energy to press and win the ball back.

We cannot press the ball across 90 mins if we only have 40% possession.
 

Gasolin

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Liverpool was still lucky for me last year, I think at some point their pressing system is going to generate injuries again. Btw, Liverpool plays much more direct than City, they don't have much control on the ball, I don't understand how the caf thinks that Liverpool has become the equivalent of City or anything.

City, typical Pep side, presses but also tries to control the ball and not give away, we will have to play them smartly and maybe the Liverpool way of going direct quickly is the answer against that side, still.

People seem to think that we are not pressing well. We do press well, but one way to get out of the pressing is what Chelsea did to us in the 1st half, make *quick* transition out and avoid the first wave, then usually, the pressing team needs to get back in shape and defend rather than pressing. So if the other team is City or Liverpool and they press, one option is to find a way to bypass the first wave of pressing by quickly moving the ball, and that's definitely what we should aim to do.

Otherwise, Ole implemented pressing at Molde too, it started with the striker, and with the intend to induce riskier passes from the opponent. He also defends compact, and ultimately, his team is usually very active in that regard. So why not let him implement that? I for one think he has the right ideas, but the only thing is that he may adapt a lot depending of the match.

We might lose against City or Liverpool, I don't know. But I don't think we will lose like last time. This time, they will freak out because we will be ready to overrun them, and every ball loss will be a goal threat. Once you taste it a couple of times, they will become much more careful, I guarantee that.
 

Santoryo

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Liverpool was still lucky for me last year, I think at some point their pressing system is going to generate injuries again. Btw, Liverpool plays much more direct than City, they don't have much control on the ball, I don't understand how the caf thinks that Liverpool has become the equivalent of City or anything.

City, typical Pep side, presses but also tries to control the ball and not give away, we will have to play them smartly and maybe the Liverpool way of going direct quickly is the answer against that side, still.

People seem to think that we are not pressing well. We do press well, but one way to get out of the pressing is what Chelsea did to us in the 1st half, make *quick* transition out and avoid the first wave, then usually, the pressing team needs to get back in shape and defend rather than pressing. So if the other team is City or Liverpool and they press, one option is to find a way to bypass the first wave of pressing by quickly moving the ball, and that's definitely what we should aim to do.

Otherwise, Ole implemented pressing at Molde too, it started with the striker, and with the intend to induce riskier passes from the opponent. He also defends compact, and ultimately, his team is usually very active in that regard. So why not let him implement that? I for one think he has the right ideas, but the only thing is that he may adapt a lot depending of the match.

We might lose against City or Liverpool, I don't know. But I don't think we will lose like last time. This time, they will freak out because we will be ready to overrun them, and every ball loss will be a goal threat. Once you taste it a couple of times, they will become much more careful, I guarantee that.
Well said.

I don't know how some people would think we're not pressing. Seems to me some are confusing pressing and controlling the game Pep style aka depriving the other team from getting on the ball.
 

SCJY

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Well said.

I don't know how some people would think we're not pressing. Seems to me some are confusing pressing and controlling the game Pep style aka depriving the other team from getting on the ball.
I'm not sure how one would confusing those two things. Yeah, they're both part of pep's style with the philosophy of keeping the ball, but pressing is what you do when you don't have the ball, and possession is what you do when you have the ball.

With Ole and his high press, it seems to be more about catching teams on the turnover or on the break. I don't think it's going to work against City, but based on the personnel, I don't see another way either. Definitely exciting times ahead this season, that's for sure.
 

Andycoleno9

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In City-Spurs game we all could have seen how good pressing looks like. It is done with the whole squad not only with front 3.
 

criticalanalysis

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I remember when Moyes was with you and he made players run they all hated it. Why? Because he would make people do running with no intent. He had a military style training regime that wasn't fit for purpose whereas Ole seems to be catering the running toward the pressing and making it all fit with each other.
That's interesting to hear from an Everton fan. For all of Moyes' failures I don't think what he tried to implement (better, higher intensity fitness) was neccessarily a bad thing, rather it was just a bad fit because he didn't have the personnel for it i.e an aging squad with a bunch of successful and strong headed characters.

I say that because I remember his Everton sides being very fit and combatitive, playing well above the sum of their parts, which explains some of the optimism Utd fans like I had. If Fergie was dragging the team to success, what if we played and trained in a more structured way?

I know Rio jokes about Moyes showing him the video of Jagielka on how to defend but it seems to me Moyes just wanted to coach and get the team playing his way. In a way the team did need it. That team was 50% Fergie and without his aura, you need to supplement that with fine tuned tactics and coaching on the training pitch.
 

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It's definitely a difficult tactic to master though. The reason that City/Liverpool don't get as burnt out with their pressing is because they're tactically astute with how they play. They're not 5-10 metres off players and needing to make up ground when pressing. They're already tight and hounding people. United need to make that step next to ensure the repeat of last season doesn't happen.
Agreed. It's systematic, it has specific phases and happens at specific times in specific areas of the pitch, is often targeted at specific players. There are different types of press, with different desired outcomes. It's as complex a part of the game as what you do on the ball. Requires the whole team to be well drilled and on the same wavelength. Otherwise you burn a lot of fuel, achieve nothing and just leave a load of gaps to be exploited.

We're already showing promising signs under Ole. There were indications he was working on it last season too, and I think we're seeing half a season and a summer's improvement already.
 

bond19821982

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Better yesterday. Both high pressing and playing out from back.

There won't be a team who will press more than what Wolves did . We played quite brilliantly from back.

If DDG can't improve his ball playing skills, we should go for an upgrade.
 

Inigo Montoya

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Better yesterday. Both high pressing and playing out from back.

There won't be a team who will press more than what Wolves did . We played quite brilliantly from back.

If DDG can't improve his ball playing skills, we should go for an upgrade.
I thought we out-pressed them.

And City/Liverpool's pressing is insane at times. We'll get there, I have absolutely no doubt
 

Yagami

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Our pressing in the 1st half was fantastic. I've wanted us to press forever and I'm loving what I'm seeing so far. Sure, we're not perfect in terms of synchronized pressing, but the signs are encouraging!
 

Adam-Utd

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Our pressing in the 1st half was fantastic. I've wanted us to press forever and I'm loving what I'm seeing so far. Sure, we're not perfect in terms of synchronized pressing, but the signs are encouraging!
Same here, we haven't boxed a team in their half like that for a LONG time. Especially a team as good as Wolves at home.

Half time really ruined our flow unfortunately. It seems like it takes us 15 minutes to get back up to speed at the start and half way points.
 

Skills

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Reminds me of Rodgers' Liverpool. A lot of effort, lack of synchronisation (it's why they were often gassed after 30 mins) but he had Suarez so it didn't matter.
 

ShoePolish

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I thought we out-pressed them.

And City/Liverpool's pressing is insane at times. We'll get there, I have absolutely no doubt
Half of our teams hammy's will go before we get there. Then we'll have the likes of Mata and Matic trying to press the opposition and we'll be back to normal.

On a serious note, any injury will throw a spanner. Even Lingard, who many don't appreciate right now, I think is in the team because of his energy levels and ability to constantly press. Our bench is worrying in many areas.
 

Inigo Montoya

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Half of our teams hammy's will go before we get there. Then we'll have the likes of Mata and Matic trying to press the opposition and we'll be back to normal.

On a serious note, any injury will throw a spanner. Even Lingard, who many don't appreciate right now, I think is in the team because of his energy levels and ability to constantly press. Our bench is worrying in many areas.
That's why City have a huge quality squad and are able to rotate so well.

We need a squad to compete at that level.
 

AshRK

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Reminds me of Rodgers' Liverpool. A lot of effort, lack of synchronisation (it's why they were often gassed after 30 mins) but he had Suarez so it didn't matter.
Reminds me more of Liverpool from 2016-2017 season. This is why ole is saying it is work in progress.
 

ShoePolish

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That's why City have a huge quality squad and are able to rotate so well.

We need a squad to compete at that level.
We need a quality starting 11 before we can even start looking at our bench, probably reason why Solskjaer said rebuild will take many transfer windows.
 

M Bison

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Yeah was excellent, I think having Harry helps because he pushes high which pushes the midfield up the pitch too.
 

Adisa

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Enjoyed it so much. Wolves had >70% pass success rate for much of the game.
 

RedDevilRoshi

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We didn’t give them a sniff in that 1st half. Every time they had the ball, one of our players would be right on top of them making them rush a pass/clearance.

It’s still very early stages and a work in progress but so far so good.
 

Teja

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Eye test says the Utd press is very inefficient as other posters pointed out. Bunch of cases where players were accelerating hard and sprinting at top speed to press without checking if all the passing options were closed. If you look at how Spurs / Pool / City press, it feels almost natural and the whole team just presses cohesively and in specific areas of the pitch and players (usually) aren't gassed out in 60 minutes. We still have cases where Martial is chasing down the GK with noone covering the CBs / DMs and Rashford / Lingard / James closing down the opposition wing backs but leaving a passing option (DM / Forwards dropping deep usually) open leading to wasted effort.

Still some way to go but overall pressing during transition and not just getting back in defensive shape is the big improvement between Mou and Ole. To be fair to Mourinho, he's had a lot of success with his tactics, so who am I to criticize but I feel Ole's approach is a lot more entertaining to watch.
 

Rajma

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Eye test says the Utd press is very inefficient as other posters pointed out. Bunch of cases where players were accelerating hard and sprinting at top speed to press without checking if all the passing options were closed. If you look at how Spurs / Pool / City press, it feels almost natural and the whole team just presses cohesively and in specific areas of the pitch and players (usually) aren't gassed out in 60 minutes. We still have cases where Martial is chasing down the GK with noone covering the CBs / DMs and Rashford / Lingard / James closing down the opposition wing backs but leaving a passing option (DM / Forwards dropping deep usually) open leading to wasted effort.

Still some way to go but overall pressing during transition and not just getting back in defensive shape is the big improvement between Mou and Ole. To be fair to Mourinho, he's had a lot of success with his tactics, so who am I to criticize but I feel Ole's approach is a lot more entertaining to watch.
Agree with pretty much on everything, intention is finally there but hopefully we get to that level where we keep it compact and coordinated with angles being cut off instead of running around like mad.