How do we solve our midfield problem?

Litch

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Last time I looked didn't we have Pogs here, does he play midfield? What about Matic, doesn't he play midfield too? Love the whole narrative of you send 80m on Pogs but you need one of the best CDM's in world football next to him to get the benefit of him? Matic legs have gone, where's that narrative come from? Yep anyone legs will look gone whilst Pogs and Bruno are camped on the edge of the oppositions box. Even forgotten about the forgotten man in VDB, bit controversial but would be interesting to see him play 10 instead of Bruno.

Anyway let's feck off McFred and bring in 2 other quality midfielders that we can moan about in 6 months.
 

Josep Dowling

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He needs to give Donny a run of games in my opinion. And even if he makes a few mistakes in the initial games he needs a run of at least 5 games. The situation is laughable. Fred is costing us game after game yet starts. Surely Donny can’t be any worse.
 

arnie_ni

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Well looking forward, I wouldn't be trying to re sign pogba at 400k per week if you don't think you can play him week in week out there. Seems madness
 

Litch

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He needs to give Donny a run of games in my opinion. And even if he makes a few mistakes in the initial games he needs a run of at least 5 games. The situation is laughable. Fred is costing us game after game yet starts. Surely Donny can’t be any worse.
So we are losing games solely due to Fred?
 

redshaw

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Biggest problem right now is Fred and McTom are playing much worse so I think we need to see Donny and Matic more and try different combinations and give competition to the McFred combo. McTom is not really involving himself in games and Fred is playing badly trying to cover everywhere, he's not even built for that.

Donny can do that job in midfield, again you should watch Ajax from the CL run, he did a lot of the donkey work for De Jong in midfield. Donny's best game for United in the 5-0 smashing of Liepzig he was in the midfield doing a lot of hard work covering, beating the press they tried. Leipzig were succeeding for about 10-15 mins then Donny stepped it up and lead by example with his Ajax style passing and moving quickly, very press resistant, he was in top form at that time when he arrived and has been left to stagnate. He's very much what we need to help out in our travesty of a midfield and make other players in there buck their ideas up and work on their control and passing, evading the press and controlling games better.

I would urge anyone connected to the club to ask Ole to rewatch Donny in that 5-0 game at home to Leipzig, Donny was brilliant in the middle covering across the midfield and instrumental to killing their press, he's not this Bruno replacement.
 

laughtersassassin

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Our Midfield problem is mostly a coaching issue.

Sure we don't have the greatest Midfield in that our players don't suit eachother but we play 2 cdms and have had 1 clean sheet In the last 18 games.

And that's with De Gea playing well.
 
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Last time I looked didn't we have Pogs here, does he play midfield? What about Matic, doesn't he play midfield too? Love the whole narrative of you send 80m on Pogs but you need one of the best CDM's in world football next to him to get the benefit of him? Matic legs have gone, where's that narrative come from? Yep anyone legs will look gone whilst Pogs and Bruno are camped on the edge of the oppositions box. Even forgotten about the forgotten man in VDB, bit controversial but would be interesting to see him play 10 instead of Bruno.

Anyway let's feck off McFred and bring in 2 other quality midfielders that we can moan about in 6 months.
This in a nutshell.

Our main issue in midfield is our complete lack of control and shape, most players would look like their legs have gone playing in it. Even a prime Scholes would look like he was running in quicksand defending the counter when playing with this team.

I’m certain Klopp, Tuchel, Pep would get a tune out of Matic, DvB, Pogba and Bruno, by actually giving them defined roles and by making the team less stupid and naive after 3.5 fecking years.
 

Camilo

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I quite like the idea of (Fred/Matic/McTomminay) next to Pogba, with VdB playing slightly ahead in a more hard working Bruno role. Bruno starts on the the left of the front 3, with Ronaldo and Sancho. It's not like our left sided attackers ever go past their man (that's what Shaw's for) so I don't think it'd hamper us offensively.. And could surely help us pack the midfield a bit more when we need to.

We'd inevitably be just as shit though!
 

Andersons Dietician

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Just want to point something out even when we play 2 holders one of them seems tasked with getting forward. Pogba vs VR yesterday McT vs Everton. At times these guys were the furthest forward and clearly had instruction to get themselves in and around the box.

The problem is we are terrible in possesion and these guys get caught up the field when we give the ball away cheaply. This issue is further magnified by Shaw and Bissaka also pushing high. We play mind boggiling tactics that seem mostly built on just getting as many bodies in the box as possible without thinking of how best to do that.

Then we hope Fred and McT can cover midfield and our fullbacks but gets worse because one of those guys is pushed up as well. We give the ball away, it gets turned over and we are in trouble.

I really like Ole but this is starting to look a complete and utter mess. Clashes of principles within his own line up and tactics. Hopefully he can fix this over the international break but its looked amateurish as feck all season and the signs were there vs Leeds.

He needs to either get Luke Shaw dropping in or getting McT/Pogba to stop making that run and get the forwards to sprint back in to defensive positions. Too often we are so slow to get back in to shape.
 

theyneverlearn

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We need to get back to basics and not concede goals. Worst streak in over 50 years.

Our team looks disjointed in attack and defence, it’s not the personnel, it’s the tactics that is destroying us. Lesser teams can come and be difficult to play against and still create plenty of chances. It’s all about knowing what you should be doing in and out is possession. Currently we look to set up to rely on individual brilliance to salvage the game. De Gea is in his best form for years and we’re still shipping goals.

We’ve not addressed the midfield problem for years and the latest CM signing doesn’t even get a run of games. When McT was injured recently supporters seemed to shout that he was the answer, without even remembering he is not a defensive midfielder and doesn’t have positional reliability to hold one. Our only decent defensive midfielder is Matic, who doesn’t have the legs any more.

We need to stop trying to shoehorn all the attacking talent into the lineup, it’s clearly not working without a midfield. To see us through to January/Summer we may need to sacrifice an attacking player for midfield stability. I would start giving VDB playing time over Fred, and try to get Matic into the team with McT as well. So a midfield trio of Matic, VDB and either McT or Fred. It’s not glamorous but with the right tactics and instruction it could easily be functional enough to give our attacking players freedom to win us games.
 

NinjaZombie

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Do the coaches even see the midfield as a problem? There's hardly been any attempt to change the way it's been setup the past year or so.
 

Bestietom

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What Ole and his coaches should be looking at now is how to sort our midfield to get us through until January. Then start the change by bringing in a top holding midfielder. The rest can be done next summer, as we really need 2 midfielders as Pogba will not sign new contract. imo.
 

Bestietom

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We have so many options too, but the midfield is a problem due to our naive as feck way of playing, anyone would look lost in there.
Too much pussyfooting around with the ball, by passing backwards and sideways. It seems to be a safety first method drilled into them or they are too scared of making a mistake.. The long ball into space for our speedy forwards has gone out the window.
 

CR1

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Just pick this team, seriously:

(Rashford or Greenwood) (Cavani or Ronaldo)
Fernandes
Pogba Matic Vdb
Shaw Maguire Varane Awb
Ddg

This team has everything: defensive stability, midfield solidity, creativity, passing and movement, pace and goal threat.

Four forwards rotating with each other for two positions. Likewise, McFred can rotate with MatiBeek once they regain their form.

...

Subs
Sancho
Lingard
Lindelof
Bailly
Telles
etc

Sell a few players and get a new CDM/DLP plus maybe a new back-up RB asap.

Sorted.
 
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Too much pussyfooting around with the ball, by passing backwards and sideways. It seems to be a safety first method drilled into them or they are too scared of making a mistake.. The long ball into space for our speedy forwards has gone out the window.
It's stranger than that, as our entire attacking plan in the final third appears dependent on "express yourselves" football, and we have no defined roles for our 3 "midfielders", you have Pogba, Fernandes and 3 forwards right on the opposition box. That's fine if you like Pep have "safer" method of finding a way through/around a defence but when it's "chance it United", it leaves our midfield and defence incredibly exposed when we inevitably take one chance too many and lose the ball.
It's why I'm convinced Pep, Klopp or Tuchel wouldn't have the same issues, as the majority of our issues appears to come from our naivety as a team. It's why people are desperate for Rice, because they think he's a superman who will suddenly mask all of these massive issues with our side.
 

TMDaines

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You’d be forgiven for thinking Miles is a United fan reading this.
 

Bestietom

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It's stranger than that, as our entire attacking plan in the final third appears dependent on "express yourselves" football, and we have no defined roles for our 3 "midfielders", you have Pogba, Fernandes and 3 forwards right on the opposition box. That's fine if you like Pep have "safer" method of finding a way through/around a defence but when it's "chance it United", it leaves our midfield and defence incredibly exposed when we inevitably take one chance too many and lose the ball.
It's why I'm convinced Pep, Klopp or Tuchel wouldn't have the same issues, as the majority of our issues appears to come from our naivety as a team. It's why people are desperate for Rice, because they think he's a superman who will suddenly mask all of these massive issues with our side.
I agree. Sometimes I do feel that McTominay and Fred are too scared to try a long ball pass. I have seen Cavani last season getting into space and screaming for the ball and Ronaldo this season doing the same, only for both McFred midfield afraid to try the pass, and instead passing backwards or sideways and losing it.
 

tenpoless

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If SAF was the manager and Fred + Scott performed like that you can be sure theyll be taken off and get the hairdryer. Ole cant be smiling at them. Their passes and mistakes were atrocious.
 

MasterCode

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By playing a midfield three of Pogba, Bruno and a single pivot of either McTominay or Fred, preferably the former. For this to work, Pogba must work hard on his positional discipline and more trust needs to be placed on our centre halves.
Always said its simply this. People overcomplicating it.

They don't understand that the reason for the double pivot is the centre halves have shown in a few open play situations they need help(one on one situations etc). That is pre Varane though.

We need to put the responsibility back on the Centre Halves and trust them.
 
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I agree. Sometimes I do feel that McTominay and Fred are too scared to try a long ball pass. I have seen Cavani last season getting into space and screaming for the ball and Ronaldo this season doing the same, only for both McFred midfield afraid to try the pass, and instead passing backwards or sideways and losing it.
I’m sure the entire reason Fred and Scott are his go to pair is because of how naive we are, he thinks the double pivot should allow our attacking players to make decisions like children.
The evidence for a long time now says we’d be best reigning in the forwards somewhat and playing a smarter all round game.
 

Mozox

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Simple answer to the topic: sell Free, buy decent midfielder such as Tielemans or Ndidi.
Is Fred sellable? How much can we get for this "football" player?
 

Bestietom

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I’m sure the entire reason Fred and Scott are his go to pair is because of how naive we are, he thinks the double pivot should allow our attacking players to make decisions like children.
The evidence for a long time now says we’d be best reigning in the forwards somewhat and playing a smarter all round game.
Yes, The sooner the better mate.
 

SuperiorXI

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We currently have a great defence, rubbish midfield and great attack. My idea is to turn that into a good defence, midfield and attack (balance!).

What we do is drop one from defence (AWB) and stick a CDM in front of the 3. This gives us another option in the midfield. It means Sancho and Rashford will need to work harder defensively but don't see why this can't be done.

4 in front of the CDM including our wingers, then the CAM and finally number 9 which can be Ronaldo/Cavani/Greenwood.

DDG
Varane Maguire Shaw
Matic
Sancho McTominay Pogba Rashford
Bruno
Ronaldo

This isn't ideal but gives us I think more balance. Against weaker teams we would use less defensively minded midfielders in the system such as Donny.
 

Terranova

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Great, then pogba or Bruno doesn't start, here his the issue , or a different formation is to be used, the squad is full of attacking players. The other option is to play 442 . And don't let the full backs bomb on to much. Or 433 . But he's sticking with 2 CM double pivot etc, not working with any of the cm we got.
why though? that combo could replace McFred. But even if Pogba of Bruno has to be dropped(always gonna be Pogba), does it matter? Good team > Good players
 

YouknowNani

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It's either play Matic plus anyone with legs both at DM. Or we revert to a 4-4-2 diamond and sacrifice a forward, which would be very unfortunate seeing how many great forward players we have, but may be necessary with our current midfield predicament. It would mean Pogba can play in his preferred role left of midfield further forward, Matic can sit, with either Donny, Fred or Mctomminay just ahead of him/right of CM and then Bruno at 10. Then Ronaldo plus one of Greenwood, Sancho, Martial or Rashford up front.

We don't have the greatest attacking full backs to provide width in this formation and I'd be disappointed see us play without forward wingers but I do think we'd probably get better results with this system until we get a world class DM.
 
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YouknowNani

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We currently have a great defence, rubbish midfield and great attack. My idea is to turn that into a good defence, midfield and attack (balance!).

What we do is drop one from defence (AWB) and stick a CDM in front of the 3. This gives us another option in the midfield. It means Sancho and Rashford will need to work harder defensively but don't see why this can't be done.

4 in front of the CDM including our wingers, then the CAM and finally number 9 which can be Ronaldo/Cavani/Greenwood.

DDG
Varane Maguire Shaw
Matic
Sancho McTominay Pogba Rashford
Bruno
Ronaldo

This isn't ideal but gives us I think more balance. Against weaker teams we would use less defensively minded midfielders in the system such as Donny.
Looks very attacking and a massive risk with Rashford and Sancho having to play as wing backs at times. But I can't see it being much worse than our current system and I'd like to see it given a go. No way Ole would every play it though unfortunately.
 

Josep Dowling

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So we are losing games solely due to Fred?
I thinI the biggest issue is our midfield isn’t protecting the back 4 or moving the ball quickly going forward. Fred is a large component of that with McTominay.
 

Litch

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I thinI the biggest issue is our midfield isn’t protecting the back 4 or moving the ball quickly going forward. Fred is a large component of that with McTominay.
Yes but costing us most of the games, that suggests he is solely the problem. What about defenders defending or attackers defending from the front....
 

Ayoba

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We need to stop conceding goals and shore up the midfield. I've said this all along, but a 4-3-3 would work.

Bruno - Matic - DVB

Bruno would be deeper, but he can press and play a decent pass. If we really want to shore up the midfield even more, play McTom in place of Bruno and switch the formation to a 4-3-2-1 with Bruno and Sancho behind Ronaldo. I just wish Ole had some courage and try this instead of constantly sticking with 2 holding players with McFred, neither of which are holding players BTW.
 

Litch

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We need to stop conceding goals and shore up the midfield. I've said this all along, but a 4-3-3 would work.

Bruno - Matic - DVB

Bruno would be deeper, but he can press and play a decent pass. If we really want to shore up the midfield even more, play McTom in place of Bruno and switch the formation to a 4-3-2-1 with Bruno and Sancho behind Ronaldo. I just wish Ole had some courage and try this instead of constantly sticking with 2 holding players with McFred, neither of which are holding players BTW.
A midfield anchored by Matic?
 

Smores

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We've largely improved so far under Ole by just going out and signing a top ready made option for positions. I think we'll continue that for midfield and spend 70 million on someone.

I'm sure it'll improve us as you'd expect a top signing amongst other top players would. Easy job really.
 

Hughie77

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why though? that combo could replace McFred. But even if Pogba of Bruno has to be dropped(always gonna be Pogba), does it matter? Good team > Good players
Ole won't play that 2 in CM can you see him putting Bruno or pogba on bench , may seem simple for you or me , he won't do it. I would buy a De Jong or Rice and do it he won't. So DVB is what in squad .
 

SuperiorXI

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Looks very attacking and a massive risk with Rashford and Sancho having to play as wing backs at times. But I can't see it being much worse than our current system and I'd like to see it given a go. No way Ole would every play it though unfortunately.
It's a risk because we know Rashford and Sancho to be attackers. If they can change their game to be able to help out defensively it could work.
 

eire-red

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Honestly, I'm beginning to believe that the only way United's Midfield becomes top drawer is to reach the Summer, Mata & Matic retire, Donny is sold, Pogba leaves on a Freebie, and a new manager comes in along with three top quality MFs and ditches McFred.
I think DVB could still have a part to play, we've seen him have big games for Ajax in the CL. But yes, reinforcements are needed, and perhaps a change at the helm. I don't see us anywhere near Liverpool, Chelsea and City with our current midfield options.

Not many names spring to mind though. Camavinga was a miss in in summer. Rice, Ndidi, Neves and Bissouma are other names that have been mentioned. These are also a little underwhelming. I think Tielemans would be a great signing if we could get him from Leicester. Other than that, I'm not sure.
 

Litch

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Bruno plays that far up front that we get overloaded in midfield as most of the other big clubs, their 8/10 offers more defensively. Play Pogs in midfield too and whoever is left, is going to look shite on his own defensively.
 

Danillaco

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If we insist in using a fecking two man midfield that does not include Pogba, can at least give a run of games to Matic and Donny? This bullshitery of McFred is beyond any sane decision.
Three years and tactics are of a Sunday pub team sometimes.
 

Litch

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Stop playing Fred and get someone else in who we can blame in 6 months.