Is Mainoo the real deal?

Is Kobbie Mainoo the real deal?


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SunTzu

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Surely Bellingham/Rice have the England central midfield wrapped up for the next decade?
Mainoo has a higher ceiling than Rice. Give it a few years and he’ll start regularly.
 

glazed

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Mainoo would be completing a midfield trio with the two of them if he fulfills his very clear potential
Wouldn't it be quite narrow? 5-3-2? 4-3-3? I guess they play that now but all three tend to gravitate to middle of pitch,
 
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RobbieBerns

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I think Mainoo makes the Euros squad if he keeps kicking on, maybe as a pure depth addition but I can see him outperforming Phillips enough until the end of the year to make it.
 

C'est Moi Cantona

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I just loved the celebration, palmed off Antony as if he wasn't worthy of sharing the moment, high five for Mctominay, then sliding on his knees without an inch of emotion on his face as if he's done the same thing a hundred times before.

It reminded me of the Martial debut goal v Liverpool, but better.
 

Berbasbullet

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Wouldn't it be quite narrow? 5-3-2? 4-3-3? I guess they play that now but all three tend to gravitate to middle of pitch,
Bellingham plays quite high up for Madrid. Mainoo the player who helps tick things over, Rice for his energy and Bellingham is well Bellingham. 433 or 4231 with a front 3 of something like Foden Kane Saka.
 

Massive Spanner

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Bellingham plays quite high up for Madrid. Mainoo the player who helps tick things over, Rice for his energy and Bellingham is well Bellingham. 433 or 4231 with a front 3 of something like Foden Kane Saka.
Crazy front six for the future, but Kane’s age is your big problem. Do you lot have any quality young strikers? Preferably non-rapists.
 

Berbasbullet

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Crazy front six for the future, but Kane’s age is your big problem. Do you lot have any quality young strikers? Preferably non-rapists.
It’s a quality side if Southgate goes that route! Has so much to it, suppose we better hope Mainoo even gets a call up first.

You are right about Kane and I’m not sure who logically can replace him for us. Abraham, Watkins? Not getting filled with hope.
 

Scholsey2004

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I remember seeing footage of a United youth game where they were running a 'man of the match other than Mainoo' poll. When he injured himself earlier in the season before he was playing a lot, first teamers like Bruno were ribbing him about when he'd be back is another example. How they look on the pitch in youth games is pretty trivial compared to what people at the club are letting slip and from that evidence a lot of people within the club were aware he was a massive talent.
 

Isotope

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‘What will be interesting as well is seeing how Mainoo develops physically and how that impacts his game, both strength/frame wise but also his height
Agreed. It's hard to judge how young player ends up, but he has all the basics on good level as midfielder: vision, skillful, works hard, good passer, good positioning. I can see why people likened him to Seedorf, but in my opinion, he's more like Modric or Pogba (with France NT).
 

Valencia Shin Crosses

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Agreed. It's hard to judge how young player ends up, but he has all the basics on good level as midfielder: vision, skillful, works hard, good passer, good positioning. I can see why people likened him to Seedorf, but in my opinion, he's more like Modric or Pogba (with France NT).
Honestly I’ve never liked the Pogba comparison. Seems most just see “tekky black midfielder for United” and say Pogba regen (not saying you are just many others).

Pogba for me was a physical freak with Zidane level artistry, but never showed the work rate or defensive game that his frame might have suggested. He was clearly one of the most technically gifted players in the world but not easy to just slot into any team. You sort of needed to build around him with a clear plan (something United never did). Mainoo seems far more versatile because of his grasp of the basics and his footballing IQ is fantastic so you can play him in a multitude of roles without needing to worry if he can cope. He probably wont end up with the top end level of ability that Pogba had, but there’s a very good chance he’s more effective on a regular basis in his teams because he’ll be able to do the normal things (track back, tackle, run hard, move the ball quickly forward) far more consistently while developing the clear god given talent he has on the ball.
 

WirralRed

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He seems to have a great head on his shoulders, his interviews after the games and how he Keeps his head during the game.

Has he ever captained at youth level?
 

Isotope

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Honestly I’ve never liked the Pogba comparison. Seems most just see “tekky black midfielder for United” and say Pogba regen (not saying you are just many others).

Pogba for me was a physical freak with Zidane level artistry, but never showed the work rate or defensive game that his frame might have suggested. He was clearly one of the most technically gifted players in the world but not easy to just slot into any team. You sort of needed to build around him with a clear plan (something United never did). Mainoo seems far more versatile because of his grasp of the basics and his footballing IQ is fantastic so you can play him in a multitude of roles without needing to worry if he can cope. He probably wont end up with the top end level of ability that Pogba had, but there’s a very good chance he’s more effective on a regular basis in his teams because he’ll be able to do the normal things (track back, tackle, run hard, move the ball quickly forward) far more consistently while developing the clear god given talent he has on the ball.

I rate Pogba with France NT very high (that's why I emphasized "with France NT"). Keep mentioning before that he was their only playmaker and I personally thought he was their best player when winning that WC. I saw him running the show, with other players like planets rotating around the sun (him).

Other than that, Pogba with United is mostly a different player.
 
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Valencia Shin Crosses

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I rate Pogba with France NT very high. Keep mentioning before that he was their only playmaker and I personally thought he was their best player when winning that WC. I saw him running the show, with other players like planets rotating around the sun (him).

Other than that, Pogba with United is mostly a different player.
Agree with that no doubt. Pogba with France is an unbelievable player. And because he has a properly constructed midfield around him to mask his deficiencies it allows him to shine which is sort of my point.
 

Isotope

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Agree with that no doubt. Pogba with France is an unbelievable player. And because he has a properly constructed midfield around him to mask his deficiencies it allows him to shine which is sort of my point.
True. I think that how it works with most of these good players. Even Messi or Ronaldo the GOAT needs the team to build around to get the most out of them. I don't think that a sign of "weakness" though.

There are probably only a handful of best players that don't need this "luxury".

But I can see your POV. Not saying I disagreed. Who knows how he'll become.
 

Valencia Shin Crosses

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True. I think that how it works with most of these good players. Even Messi or Ronaldo the GOAT needs the team to build around to get the most out of them. I don't think that a sign of "weakness" though.

There are probably only a handful of best players that don't need this "luxury".

But I can see your POV. Not saying I disagreed. Who knows how he'll become.
I'm still undecided on where we should play him long term. He's obviously gifted enough to play higher up as an 8 and contribute in and around the box. But at the same time DM's that can also carry and are elite technically basically don't exist and if you have one you don't sell him. Guess it really depends on who we buy to surround him with this summer/who is available
 

Lost bear

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Honestly I’ve never liked the Pogba comparison. Seems most just see “tekky black midfielder for United” and say Pogba regen (not saying you are just many others).

Pogba for me was a physical freak with Zidane level artistry, but never showed the work rate or defensive game that his frame might have suggested. He was clearly one of the most technically gifted players in the world but not easy to just slot into any team. You sort of needed to build around him with a clear plan (something United never did). Mainoo seems far more versatile because of his grasp of the basics and his footballing IQ is fantastic so you can play him in a multitude of roles without needing to worry if he can cope. He probably wont end up with the top end level of ability that Pogba had, but there’s a very good chance he’s more effective on a regular basis in his teams because he’ll be able to do the normal things (track back, tackle, run hard, move the ball quickly forward) far more consistently while developing the clear god given talent he has on the ball.
It seems to me that he lacks the flashiness of Pogba - of course, you can alternatively phrase it as 'consumate artistry' or something similar. Pogba hit real dazzling heights. But he only hit them occasionally, and had a sort of childish quality to his attitude a lot of the time.

Mainoo also has a very high ceiling, but probably not quite as high. On the other hand, he's consistent, calm, remarkably mature for his age, and blessed with football intellience. I for one am more than happy to take that small drop in artistry to have consistently very good player with an excellent interperosnal style about him. Out of those two, give me Kobbie any day.
 

Valencia Shin Crosses

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It seems to me that he lacks the flashiness of Pogba - of course, you can alternatively phrase it as 'consumate artistry' or something similar. Pogba hit real dazzling heights. But he only hit them occasionally, and had a sort of childish quality to his attitude a lot of the time.

Mainoo also has a very high ceiling, but probably not quite as high. On the other hand, he's consistent, calm, remarkably mature for his age, and blessed with football intellience. I for one am more than happy to take that small drop in artistry to have consistently very good player with an excellent interperosnal style about him. Out of those two, give me Kobbie any day.
I mean it’s not just “flashiness” though, Pogba was a freaky elite dribbler for his size, and as a pure passer rivals Kroos in range and consistency while also having the full locker of creativity. Whatever you think of his time here, as a player he was an artist and someone capable of doing things only a handful on the planet could do.

Now all of that being said, like I noted before he is also notoriously poor defensively for his size meaning you have to surround him with specific profiles or he becomes a liability at times. Whereas Mainoo seems much more complete and well rounded in his overall game which allows him the versatility of being able to slot into almost any role in a midfield and immediately be a contributor. Thats incredibly rare especially in the modern game where tactics/profiles/etc are analyzed to the finest minute detail. So while I’d be shocked if Mainoo ever has a goals/assists/highlight package anywhere close to Pogbas, there’s a real chance he develops into surefire title winning level midfielder that you build an elite team around without ever having to worry how he fits in it.
 

trevor newnham

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I hope and pray that Mainoo becomes the great player he is promising to be. He seems to have all the attributes but from watching on telly, I just get the impression he is lacking a bit of pace. That isn't the be all and end all of course, but you guys who attend the matches, may have more insight there. Is he quick?
 

Borninthe80ts

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I hope that we continue to play him deeper as the holding midfielder. I think his intelligence will allow him to intercept a lot of opposition ball and shield the defence similar to what Carrick used to do. His tactical awareness and anticipation are pretty good and will develop with experience.

Also with a holding player capable of getting goals from deep, when teams sit in against us and hopefully we are controlling play, he can contribute with in and around the box anyway. Also allows a player with a more physical nature to play in box to box which I think we need.
 

Lost bear

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I mean it’s not just “flashiness” though, Pogba was a freaky elite dribbler for his size, and as a pure passer rivals Kroos in range and consistency while also having the full locker of creativity. Whatever you think of his time here, as a player he was an artist and someone capable of doing things only a handful on the planet could do.

Now all of that being said, like I noted before he is also notoriously poor defensively for his size meaning you have to surround him with specific profiles or he becomes a liability at times. Whereas Mainoo seems much more complete and well rounded in his overall game which allows him the versatility of being able to slot into almost any role in a midfield and immediately be a contributor. Thats incredibly rare especially in the modern game where tactics/profiles/etc are analyzed to the finest minute detail. So while I’d be shocked if Mainoo ever has a goals/assists/highlight package anywhere close to Pogbas, there’s a real chance he develops into surefire title winning level midfielder that you build an elite team around without ever having to worry how he fits in it.
Agreed. The use of the term ‘flashy’ was meant to relative to the more understated style of Mainoo, not as a put down of PP.
I agree with everything you’ve said here, though my focus was on Pogba’s time at Utd.
 

SilentWitness

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Surely Bellingham/Rice have the England central midfield wrapped up for the next decade?
Rice and Mainoo in a midfield two with Bellingham in that advanced role would be top notch.
 

SilentWitness

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Both him and Branthwaite are on track for the Euros but knowing Southgate he leaves both at home.
 

Yagami

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Rice and Mainoo in a midfield two with Bellingham in that advanced role would be top notch.
It's interesting seeing opposition fan opinions on this. English United fans could be accused of bias when wanting that midfield, and there's probably a hint of that, but there's also not a tonne of options. Phillips, Henderson and Ward-Prowse aren't my cup of tea and I don't think there's any other contenders.

I've said it before but I really like Dan Neil from Sunderland, but playing in the championship is always going to count against him. I can see him getting a call up eventually, though, because I think he'll be in the PL with or without Sunderland soon.
 

SilentWitness

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It's interesting seeing opposition fan opinions on this. English United fans could be accused of bias when wanting that midfield, and there's probably a hint of that, but there's also not a tonne of options. Phillips, Henderson and Ward-Prowse aren't my cup of tea and I don't think there's any other contenders.

I've said it before but I really like Dan Neil from Sunderland, but playing in the championship is always going to count against him. I can see him getting a call up eventually, though, because I think he'll be in the PL with or without Sunderland soon.
I think that double pivot midfield with an advanced player like Bellingham is what's working in modern football currently and suits the players England have in midfield. Phillips has fallen off a cliff and Henderson should be phased out now. Really the only options are Mainoo, JWP and Garner, with Mainoo having the most potential of the bunch.

EDIT: I forgot Gallagher and Jones existed. Having a mare. They'd probably be in over JWP and Garner too, but without Rice the options for the 'destroyer' midfielder is limited.

England actually have a problem now where there are quite a lot of good options in respective positions, they just have a wank manager that is incapable of creating a good tactic with them so he picks the old guard that are past it.
 
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mancsarered

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Southgate does not have the cojones to put Kobbie in the squad. He'd rather give minutes to Jordan Henderson. Hope Mainoo chooses Ghana.
 

pacifictheme

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It's probably a bit soon for mainoo to be getting a call up, I would look at Curtis Jones though. Depends how many we take I guess.
 

AltiUn

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It's probably a bit soon for mainoo to be getting a call up, I would look at Curtis Jones though. Depends how many we take I guess.
I think it's mainly to stop him from picking Ghana more so than being ready. I think he should take Jones regardless of what happens with Mainoo.
 

Sassy Colin

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Southgate does not have the cojones to put Kobbie in the squad. He'd rather give minutes to Jordan Henderson. Hope Mainoo chooses Ghana.
There's an argument to say he'll never win anything playing for England. He certainly won't win anything playing for Ghana.

I mean, would MuckyT have been better off choosing to play for England?

Mainoo is levels above MuckyT, of course.