How do we solve our midfield problem?

clarkydaz

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i thought we bought Varane to stop overcompensating for the defence. Ole has bought all 3 defenders (plus telles) and has the England left back
 

jesperjaap

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I disagree our midfield problem is a coaching issue or gettign the right partnership.

It is far simpler than that, its that our options simply arent good enough. Our best central midfielder arguably so far this season has been a pleyr looked finished and whose legs have gone. It is nothing to do with Ole not getting the best out of Pogba, it is Pogba not gettign the best out of Pogba, Mourinho failed too. VDB is just a squad option, McTominay is just a squad option, Fred should have been sold in the summer, only reason I wouldnt have is I thought others were to be sold ahead of him....they werent.

We simply dont have one intelligent, ernergetic, technically good, defensively sound option. All our options have one or two characteristics and are woefully short in others....alomost all of them defensively in terms of intelligence and readign the game.

Considering the three players we signed this summer, its very strange to say....but this window was STILL a failure. Our squad is huge and the fact we failed to move on hardly a single player this summer is poor, the fact that we failed to sign a central midfielder when we needed two was a huge huge mistake.

ANd people talking about the lack of finances, absolute rubbish. There were a good 6-10players we could and perhaps sould have moved on before we even signed ROnaldo...now that list has a few more names on ti with him here.

We simply need to sign new midfielders and do a better job of it. Who have we signed there the last few years VDB who was for me always a squad signign and Fred who has been poor....and they cost over £80m. I seriously wonder what is going on with our scouts or the people the follwo through with recruitment. Bar Bruno Fernandes, when was the last time we made a quality signing outside of the premiership who wasnt already a well known name? Id argue you have to go right back to Chicharito and DeGeas signings, still under Ferguson!

That is criminal, we havent unearthed a gem of a value signing in nearly a decade now. Maybe we have one in Amad or Mjebri, in fact I would like to see Mjebri introduced into matchday squads for his development and to see how ready he is to step up this or next season, to a degree similar for AMad as when Cavani leaves I woul dlike dto see Greenwood up front
 

honirelandboy

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The only way out of it I can see is 4-4-1-1 with Rashford playing LM and Sancho RM and helping out the full backs and quickly breaking. They are much better players I think when they are deeper and have space to run at teams. I would play VDB and Pogba CM who are able to play the ball forward and pick out a pass. Bruno can maintain his freedom in the attacking midfield role with Ronaldo up top. Playing 4-4-1-1 also eases the pressure on Pogba and VDB in the center of the pitch.

This 4-2-3-1 just does not work with McFred getting destroyed every match and constant pressure on the full backs.
 

NZT-One

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The only way out of it I can see is 4-4-1-1 with Rashford playing LM and Sancho RM and helping out the full backs and quickly breaking. They are much better players I think when they are deeper and have space to run at teams. I would play VDB and Pogba CM who are able to play the ball forward and pick out a pass. Bruno can maintain his freedom in the attacking midfield role with Ronaldo up top. Playing 4-4-1-1 also eases the pressure on Pogba and VDB in the center of the pitch.

This 4-2-3-1 just does not work with McFred getting destroyed every match and constant pressure on the full backs.
Would surely try it, but we shouldn't expect it to work so much better than the current setup. Our opponents aren't dumb - they watch our games just like we but, instead of us, they have professionals sitting there to analyse what we are good at and what we are bad at. They also employ professionals who are supposed to come up with the most promising plan to end the match with at least one point.

We are where we are right now, because teams have realised we are quite good when we can attack space. When teams set up deep, they want to deny us that space. Just because we decide that we want Rashford and Sancho to start deeper, doesn't mean, that the opponents will have a go at us. Why would they? There is no other solution - if we want to be acknowledged as a top club, we can't just sit and expect others to play into our hands, we are quite good when given space, now we have to become good to very good with the ball as well. That is the only way how we will get results like City or Liverpool, because they can adapt to opponents and they have more than one way to create chances, score them and to deny opposition chances.
 

Litch

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Could he do worst than what we are witnessing with Fred or McT?
I agree cause everyone else in the team are playing that great. Seen people say we lost the game cause of Fred yesterday. How can someone missing a tackle on the halfway line, with that long left in the game at 1-1 cost you the game?
 

David Bartley

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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.
Looks that is our only real hope ...
 

Cassidy

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Get a proper manager who likes to control games
 

arnie_ni

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Buy rice and Bellingham for a combined 150mil.

Let a few of our higher earners go to save some cash on wages.
 

sengineer

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Why can't we find a workable solution in the meantime while we are stuck with Ole:
Current midfield squad: pogba, mata, lingard, pereira, amad, fred, fernandes, pellistri, matic, van de beek, mctominay, hannibal, garner

if we remove fred, mctominay, pogba, there are enough young players that could have been molded or mentored by people like matic & mata. This is not going to be a good season i.e tropyhless.
 

nodlocnost2

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The problem with our Central Midfielders are they don't help our defence and they provide nothing for our attack.
 

Polar

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This isn’t an anti-Pogba post (he’s a great player), but I don’t think we’ll be able to solve our midfield problem before we have sold him. He just isn’t the right player for our system with wide offensive wings (Rash, Sancho, Greenwood).

Our midfield with Pogba in double pivot isn’t a balanced one. Neither will 4-3-3 with Pogba and Bruno as two of three midfielders.

Would’ve been fun to try 4-1-4-1:
  • DM: McT, Fred (Rice)
  • LW: Rash, Martial
  • RW: Sancho, Greenwood
  • CM(L): Lingard, Pogba
  • CM(R): Bruno, VDB
 

Nou_Camp99

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Get a proper manager who likes to control games
You can't control games with any of our midfielders. They are all flawed, even Pogba. People forget just how pathetic he was midweek up against Capouee for Villarreal.

Fred we all know isn't good enough. Mctomminay is huff and puff and is a squad player at best. Matic can't play for longer than 60mins and Donny is steady at best. He won't control a game either.

Don't think we have the tools in midfield whoever is the manager. Some of them just need to leave.
 
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Let Pogba go because he has no clear role in the team. Isolate and disgust VDB so he goes. According to the United Stand that seems to be the plan.
 

Cassidy

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You can't control games with any of our midfielders. They are all flawed, even Pogba. People forget just how pathetic he was midweek up against Capouee for Villarreal.

Fred we all know isn't good enough. Mctomminay is huff and puff and is a squad player at best. Matic can't play for longer than 60mins and Donny is steady at best. He won't control a game either.

Don't think we have the tools in midfield whoever is the manager. Some of them just need to leave.
The manager isnt interested in controlling games, if he was midfield would have been the first thing fixed
 

Daengophile

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Ok, clearly we have some issues in midfield. Don't want this to turn into a McFred/Donny slagathon, just want to hear some genuine ideas on how to solve it? In particular, how do we play Bruno and Pogba in the same team? Especially now we have Ronaldo who also doesn't press from the front.

If Pogba plays on the left, we're unbalanced and have to leave out one of Rashford, Sancho, Greenwood. And if Pogba plays in a 2, our midfield gets overran, unless Ole instructs him to stay back which he doesn't seem to want him to do.

So what do you think we should do? What team and what formation? Can Bruno and Pogba even play together with our current squad?
With the amount of midfield experience in the coaching team, it's a major surprise that we play in such a disjointed fashion. We seem to have difficulty putting a proverbial cup and saucer together
Ok, clearly we have some issues in midfield. Don't want this to turn into a McFred/Donny slagathon, just want to hear some genuine ideas on how to solve it? In particular, how do we play Bruno and Pogba in the same team? Especially now we have Ronaldo who also doesn't press from the front.

If Pogba plays on the left, we're unbalanced and have to leave out one of Rashford, Sancho, Greenwood. And if Pogba plays in a 2, our midfield gets overran, unless Ole instructs him to stay back which he doesn't seem to want him to do.

So what do you think we should do? What team and what formation? Can Bruno and Pogba even play together with our current squad?
First we fix the defence
 

Ixion

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Looking back at some old PL tables was reminded in 98-99 Arsenal only conceded 17 goals all season. Can you imagine McFred going up against Petit and Viera from that time.
 

Rampant Red Rodriguez

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Let Poggers go, bring in a DM/CM to replace him. McT gets more creative and we have better protection for the defence with the new guy. Problem is the defence is too exposed too often which messes up the attacks we try to do
 

Bastian

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Eliminate plays like these. When I watch Fred, this is what I see
That was a hilarious watch, has to be said. Obviously highlights, but seems he's trying to mark his marker when we're in possession instead of finding space.
 

HailtotheKing

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I agree cause everyone else in the team are playing that great. Seen people say we lost the game cause of Fred yesterday. How can someone missing a tackle on the halfway line, with that long left in the game at 1-1 cost you the game?
Cause we are moments FC and sadly those moments don’t come along very often so you have to hold onto them. Other than that tackle though I thought Fred played ok. He kept the ball moving quicker than normal and he got his foot in. At least in the first hour or so. But we still got ripped open about 3 times in the first half and should’ve been punished earlier as per.

McTominay for the third game running was gash and shouldn’t have been in the team, especially as it was his third game in a week after injury. Stupid decision.
 

Blood Mage

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i thought we bought Varane to stop overcompensating for the defence. Ole has bought all 3 defenders (plus telles) and has the England left back
Having world class individual defenders means nothing if the coaches can't organise the defence properly. You still have to defend as a team and we don't do that, so Ole falls back on McFred in a desperate attempt to mask his and his coaches' own deficiencies.
 

Devil may care

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I've seen shelter dogs less neglected than our midfield, the only way to fix it is by buying 2 new CM's as no matter what you do there's no balance, McFred are not good enough period, together or with a different partner, Pogba is a defensive liability and Matic only has 60 minutes in the tank once a week.

We got away with it last season as McFred and Maglof played as a defensive square ahead of the keeper and we looked to use the counter or have Bruno or Rashford pull a rabbit out of the hat, this season we've tried a higher line with McFred and people can now see that they're not just poor on the ball but their defensive positioning is inept.
 

Ananke

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Fred has his positives, but his negatives FAR outweigh them. You're limited to playing 2 DMs because a single one isn't good enough (for what it's worth I don't think Mctominay is first team quality either). When I say not good enough, I mean he's not United quality. Ask yourself, what starting 11 in this league would he get in? If it's none of the top 4-5, there's your answer.

I know he gets a lot of heat, but it's Manchester United. You need to play off pressure.
 
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Superden

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Pretty much any player in the squad could do the job fred actually does...running around, harassing the opposition. he provides no creative spark and at the same time isnt a defensive screen. at least McT makes runs into the box and has a shot on him.
 

Kcocymkcus

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Get a new manager and get rid of the dross that is Fred, Matic and McT...thats how.

It won't change until that happens, simple as, because those players will just rotate all season long.

Also do away with this ridiculous 4-2-3-1 formation. When is it going to click for Ole that it's not working???? Honestly, it's like pulling teeth with him. A straightforward 4-4-2 would be way better than this garbage he keeps sticking with. It's depressing beyond belief.
 

Litch

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Cause we are moments FC and sadly those moments don’t come along very often so you have to hold onto them. Other than that tackle though I thought Fred played ok. He kept the ball moving quicker than normal and he got his foot in. At least in the first hour or so. But we still got ripped open about 3 times in the first half and should’ve been punished earlier as per.

McTominay for the third game running was gash and shouldn’t have been in the team, especially as it was his third game in a week after injury. Stupid decision.
Not pro Fred or Scott, but if Scott was that poor, and for me Bruno doesn't drop back in to help often too far up field almost like a false 9 at times, Fred or whoever is left playing 6 is exposed. I don't think Matic's legs have gone, just think it's a massive ask for anyone working In there on their own.
 

NZT-One

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Not pro Fred or Scott, but if Scott was that poor, and for me Bruno doesn't drop back in to help often too far up field almost like a false 9 at times, Fred or whoever is left playing 6 is exposed. I don't think Matic's legs have gone, just think it's a massive ask for anyone working In there on their own.
I agree with your last sentence - but Matics legs still are gone. He is the past, there is absolutely no point in playing him anymore in my eyes. All he does is take minutes away from the youngsters or even DVB who, if nothing else, I would like to be able to evaluate as a midfield option after that season. And that becomes unnecessary difficult if he doesn't play. If Matic still expects to play somewhat regularly, he is welcome to join another team.
 

Danillaco

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Eliminate plays like these. When I watch Fred, this is what I see
In short, he's man marking when he was supposed to be creating space, and failing to mark to stop counter attacks. He's the best midfielder in upside down world.
 

Chesterlestreet

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Just a remark:

Pogba on the left (AM role - not "winger") doesn't equal "unbalanced" per default (given Ole's 4-2-3-1).

Not at all.

The problem is that the "2" aren't good enough.

(And, I suppose, that it limits the chances of whoever competes with Pogba for that spot - but that shouldn't be a problem as much as it should be a luxury problem).
 
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Litch

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In short, he's man marking when he was supposed to be creating space, and failing to mark to stop counter attacks. He's the best midfielder in upside down world.
I hear all this but what I don't understand as most would acknowledge last season Scott and Fred offered something defensively even if nothing else (a view offered by many). This season, it's almost like there's is a focus to say they aren't even offering that. Whilst it's not conscious, it does feel like those are the scapegoat for our poor form when I seen errors in many of the defences play. Harry and Shaw have been shocking at times since the Euros. Don't see any clips of this.
Fred and Scott aren't the answer but there are so many issues with our structure all over the team, people are just focusing on the easiest to pinpoint.
 

Litch

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I agree with your last sentence - but Matics legs still are gone. He is the past, there is absolutely no point in playing him anymore in my eyes. All he does is take minutes away from the youngsters or even DVB who, if nothing else, I would like to be able to evaluate as a midfield option after that season. And that becomes unnecessary difficult if he doesn't play. If Matic still expects to play somewhat regularly, he is welcome to join another team.
Might be right...
 

Litch

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Just a remark:

Pogba on the left (AM role - not "winger") doesn't equal "unbalanced" per default (given Ole's 4-2-3-1).

Not at all.

The problem is that the "2" aren't good enough.

(And, I suppose, that it limits the chances of whoever competes with Pogba for that spot - but that shouldn't be a problem as much as it should be a luxury problem).
Good enough for what?
 

Danillaco

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I hear all this but what I don't understand as most would acknowledge last season Scott and Fred offered something defensively even if nothing else (a view offered by many). This season, it's almost like there's is a focus to say they aren't even offering that. Whilst it's not conscious, it does feel like those are the scapegoat for our poor form when I seen errors in many of the defences play. Harry and Shaw have been shocking at times since the Euros. Don't see any clips of this.
Fred and Scott aren't the answer but there are so many issues with our structure all over the team, people are just focusing on the easiest to pinpoint.
Are they offering at least that defensive stance in your opinion?
 

HailtotheKing

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Just a remark:

Pogba on the left (AM role - not "winger") doesn't equal "unbalanced" per default (given Ole's 4-2-3-1).

Not at all.

The problem is that the "2" aren't good enough.

(And, I suppose, that it limits the chances of whoever competes with Pogba for that spot - but that shouldn't be a problem as much as it should be a luxury problem).
So you'd play Pogba on the left not Rashford?
 

Newstyle

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There is always something new to complain about at the caf. Last year it was our “glaring” problems at CB. Lindelof was made scapegoat. We buy a new world class CB. Doesn’t solve the problem. Complain about DM/CM instead.

To make a long story short, this is a managerial issue and won’t be solved until a new manager is in charge.
 

Chesterlestreet

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So you'd play Pogba on the left not Rashford?
Here and now - if I had to pick an XI for the next match (and they were both fit)?

Yes, I might.

(Bear in mind that I'm someone who has advocated for selling Pogba in the past - I hardly qualify as one of his greatest fans).

More to the point, let's consider these two variations (given how Ole usually sets up):

A:

McTominay ---------- Fred

Greenwood ---------- Bruno ---------- Pogba

Ronaldo

B:

McTominay ---------- Pogba

Greenwood ---------- Bruno ---------- Rashford

Ronaldo​

...I'd go with the first per default (not knowing anything about the opposition).
 

NinjaZombie

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If Ole trusts the youth players as much as people like to say, you'd think Hannibal would be slowly introduced to the first team squad as the season progresses.

I hope he has the same attitude towards Hannibal as he did with Greenwood, that he's looking to clear a path for him to get in the team.