In Defence of Our Defence: Defending the Indefensible?

In Rainbows

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Even if we got more luck in recent matches, none of this is sustainable football. I can't pick out a first 11 in world football who would look good playing in our current set up.
You would need 3 more Kobbie Mainoos that are also more athletic than Kobbie Mainoo to even have a chance.
 

Red-17

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You would need 3 more Kobbie Mainoos that are also more athletic than Kobbie Mainoo to even have a chance.
Yeah combine the best traits Mainoo/Kante for 3 midfielders, 2 Virgil Van Dijks at center back, KDB and Erling Haaland and we may find ourselves scratching top 4 and the knockout rounds of champions league.
 

Sky1981

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You dont need world class back 4 to defend adequately as a team

What we are displaying is lack of tactical nous as a team, having better player helps but is not the be all and end all of defensive play.

Teams with a fraction of our budget defend more compact and better drilled.

I do not expect us to keep a streak of clean sheets, just to do the basic of defending right, and if god forbid the opponent outplay our defender by sheer skill then fair play.

We keep on making excuses after excuses, the fans have subconsciously accept we're shit and the best we can come up with against fecking Bournemouth is a draw
 

Desert Eagle

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You dont need world class back 4 to defend adequately as a team

What we are displaying is lack of tactical nous as a team, having better player helps but is not the be all and end all of defensive play.

Teams with a fraction of our budget defend more compact and better drilled.

I do not expect us to keep a streak of clean sheets, just to do the basic of defending right, and if god forbid the opponent outplay our defender by sheer skill then fair play.

We keep on making excuses after excuses, the fans have subconsciously accept we're shit and the best we can come up with against fecking Bournemouth is a draw
You've nailed it with those first two sentences. What we have is a bunch of players who are brainless and they reek of indecision and cowardice.

Why does a near retired Evans look like our best defender so often? Because he at least has the heart and the smarts even though he's physically done
 

BelfastRed2021

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Last season Liverpool defence injuries including losing Van Dijk just about scraped 5th place with a big run of wins at end of the season.
This season Rodri misses 3 matches in a row through suspension and they lost all 3.

Anyone that says injuries in defence and midfield dont matter is talking nonsense.
 

BenitoSTARR

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Last season Liverpool defence injuries including losing Van Dijk just about scraped 5th place with a big run of wins at end of the season.
This season Rodri misses 3 matches in a row through suspension and they lost all 3.

Anyone that says injuries in defence and midfield dont matter is talking nonsense.
Van Dijk only missed 6 games and look what that did.
 

redcucumber

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It isn't just the defence that is the issue. From top to bottom we are a disorganised bunch of bodies that don't know what the feck we are doing. We don't score enough and we concede too much. Pointing to Liverpool and their issues without van Dijk as if our situation is an apt comparison is silly.
 

Rood

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Despite the constant focus on the shots conceeded stat, it's pretty crazy that only the top3 have conceeded less goals than us this season
 

BenitoSTARR

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Despite the constant focus on the shots conceeded stat, it's pretty crazy that only the top3 have conceeded less goals than us this season
We’re pretty good defensively it’s just a really weird and long term unsustainable system we’re using unless we change the personnel.

It looks awful on paper, it’s worrrying to watch but it’s largely effective and it creates natural transitions where the opponents are higher up the pitch leaving space for our fast forward line to exploit.

It’s partly the reason for our uptick in goal scoring.
 

Fahad Jawaid

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I remember the great Barcelona sides their tactics to protect their defense was to play as many players in their lineup which are comfortable in possession, the lesser the ball is with other team the less chances they will create.

Or any side which wanted to protect their defense is to play compact and pack the middle with 4-5-1 like SAF used to do in tough away matches.

What is concerning me is that, we have been bombarded with shots and have allowed every team so many chances but there has been no change in approach. Either he is delusional or he is tactically inept that he does not understand these basic tactics. LVG changed his tactics after Leicester Debacle, Mourinho used to do it, SAF aswell, I don’t understand why he is soo stubborn in the approach which is clearly not working.

we could easily play this lineup which will consist of our mostly possession based players and I am 100 percent confident it will keep the ball better that what we are currently doing.

Backfour will remain the same, it is based on availability major changes will be in midfield and attack.

Casemiro Eriksen Mainoo
Amad Hojlund Mount

This team except Casemiro has most players which are very comfortable in possession and will happily keep the ball to keep the other teams away, why not try this lineup what do we have to lose.
 

Fallon d'Floor

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Despite the constant focus on the shots conceeded stat, it's pretty crazy that only the top3 have conceeded less goals than us this season
No longer top 3.

Arsenal - 26
City - 32
Liverpool - 36
Everton - 48
Spurs - 49
Villa - 50
United - 51

Our defensive record wasn't even good when we were top 4. Villa and Spurs have both been poor defensively in multiple games. They'll both need to tighten up defensively next season.

The difference between Villa, Spurs and Newcastle with us is that while they aren't perfect defensively, they aren't having issues in terms of scoring goals. ten Hag has struggled to get United scoring goals during both seasons in charge.

You'd rather be Newcastle who have conceded 55 goals, but scored 74 goals.

We're actually on course to concede the most goals we've ever conceded in a PL campaign. 6 more would be our joint most.
 

BenitoSTARR

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No longer top 3.

Arsenal - 26
City - 32
Liverpool - 36
Everton - 48
Spurs - 49
Villa - 50
United - 51

Our defensive record wasn't even good when we were top 4. Villa and Spurs have both been poor defensively in multiple games. They'll both need to tighten up defensively next season.

The difference between Villa, Spurs and Newcastle with us is that while they aren't perfect defensively, they aren't having issues in terms of scoring goals. ten Hag has struggled to get United scoring goals during both seasons in charge.

You'd rather be Newcastle who have conceded 55 goals, but scored 74 goals.

We're actually on course to concede the most goals we've ever conceded in a PL campaign. 6 more would be our joint most.
We’ve scored more than enough since January.
 

FootballHQ

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We’re pretty good defensively it’s just a really weird and long term unsustainable system we’re using unless we change the personnel.

It looks awful on paper, it’s worrrying to watch but it’s largely effective and it creates natural transitions where the opponents are higher up the pitch leaving space for our fast forward line to exploit.

It’s partly the reason for our uptick in goal scoring.
As a neutral I find it fascinating how few goals teams score v you in open play despite getting 20 + shots in pretty much every game. Burnley only had 16 today but that's still a huge amount for a side in the bottom 3 all season.

Of course Burnley are limited but the amount of 3 on 3s they messed up in first half with poor pass execution was very wasteful.

I tend to find opposition seem to be obsessed trying to dribble round your defenders constantly rather than getting shots in. Maybe they think likes of Maguire/Evans will just lunge in and give away penalties but to me it gives them more time to set themselves and get Dalot and AWB back on the cover to slide in and block the shot. Was a stat a few weeks back that said you had the most defensive blocks in penalty area this season and that certainly feels right based on the games I see.

If I was just an opposition manager I'd be telling anyone shoot as soon as you get within 20 yards of the goal as Onana may make the odd wonder save but he'll also parry a lot back into the box. Or if it's low and in the corner it will beat him as seen at Bournemouth recently.
 

BenitoSTARR

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Seasons don't start in January though.

United games have been a complete mess in 2024. Basketball FC. You have a shot, we have a shot.

Not sustainable tactics.
Well consider our injuries at the start of the season. Ours kind of does. Højlund started injured, Mainoo injured, Shaw, Martinez injured. You get the idea.

Not sustainable but also not going to be the long term plan.
As a neutral I find it fascinating how few goals teams score v you in open play despite getting 20 + shots in pretty much every game. Burnley only had 16 today but that's still a huge amount for a side in the bottom 3 all season.

Of course Burnley are limited but the amount of 3 on 3s they messed up in first half with poor pass execution was very wasteful.

I tend to find opposition seem to be obsessed trying to dribble round your defenders constantly rather than getting shots in. Maybe they think likes of Maguire/Evans will just lunge in and give away penalties but to me it gives them more time to set themselves and get Dalot and AWB back on the cover to slide in and block the shot. Was a stat a few weeks back that said you had the most defensive blocks in penalty area this season and that certainly feels right based on the games I see.

If I was just an opposition manager I'd be telling anyone shoot as soon as you get within 20 yards of the goal as Onana may make the odd wonder save but he'll also parry a lot back into the box. Or if it's low and in the corner it will beat him as seen at Bournemouth recently.
Yeah I shared the blocking stat. Were brilliant at that part of the game. It’s partly why we’ve had that gap from defence to attack we drop back block and counter or we win the ball high up the pitch.