Is Matic a big reason why we can't build attacks?

Grande

Full Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2007
Messages
2,590
Location
The Land of Do-What-You-Will
So as we know, he's having a poor season so far.

Against Newcastle he looked very slow, dithered on the ball and got tackled/intercepted many times.

He's in charge of building our play from the back, and he's doing a poor job, he just doesn't move or pass the ball fast enough.

As soon as he was moved into defence in the 2nd half, our play rose dramatically. While you can argue that was mainly because Newcastle sat back and tried to hold on, we also pressured them back and won the ball higher up the pitch than usual.

When I think back to the start of the season, we played Fred,Pereira and Pogba. While this midfield wasn't perfect we certainly got the ball forward better and created more chances.

Jose then decided to drop Pereira for Fellaini, and we continued playing well.

Matic was then brought back into the team, and since then we've struggled.

Jose seems to play him every match whether he's good or bad, and his current form is detrimental to the team.
Your memory of the season seems very selective. Leicester and Brighton in particular we didn’t create much at all.

Our best periods of play and chance creation came against Tottenham (first half), Burnley, Watford and Young Boys.

I thought Matic played well and Improved our flow and balance once he entered the team this season, but he’s been deteriorating by the game. Maybe he can’t take the intensity, or maybe he is afflicted by what the reat of the team is afflicted by.
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2014
Messages
6,405
Location
Behind the right goal post as "Whiteside shoots!"
Think it's a combination of things (including Matic).

Firstly, Jose's tactics are to retain possession with little risk which prevents players making passes which MAY come off (especially at the back). The CHs are poor at bringing the ball out (compare it to say the Valencia game where the defenders looked comfortable) which allows the opposition to sit/man mark, Matic has definitely slowed down and very cautious (maybe linked to Jose's tactics .... caution), Pogba/Martial/Sanchez can cope with fast fluid passing, some of the others can't, especially Lukaku who is too static - doesn't make the runs to help the passer and if you knock it to him, his first touch is dreadful and for a big man, gets outmuscled too easily (compare to say Arnautovic). Finally, most of the team stand still and passes are made to feet, which is much easier to defend against. No idea why we don't move more/pass into space.

We have a cautious manager (which is a waste of some of the players we have), we have players with poor technique (first touch, moving with the ball (defenders) and inability to make a mix of passes), we have a slow Def Mid (which negates ability of Pogba, Sanchez, Martial, Rashford, Lingard), the midfield three doesn't gel in style and Lukaku is not the CH for us (goals but little else).

The end of the Newcastle game was only a cameo but at least showed what the players can do if they play with more pace, more front foot, more ambition. It has to be tempered depending on opposition but with the players we've got, a negative/slow style is pointless.
 

TMDaines

Full Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
4,125
He doesn't help. An issue we have is that Pogba will often drop back to pick up the ball from the centre backs, which should mean Matic pushes up to add numbers to the attack but he doesn't really do that. But if Pogba doesn't drop back Matic/ our centre backs can't usually find him from deep.
This. Absolutely this.
 

Cnaiür urs Skiötha

Full Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2013
Messages
2,127
Right now I have the feeling we mainly have 2 different kind of players:

The immobile ones slowing our play down (Matic, Lukaku, Smalling, Fellaini) and quicker ones being good on the ball but suffering from the headless chicken syndrome (Martial, Rashford, Sanchez).

Modern football is all about mobility, movement without the ball, positioning, quick decision making, slick passing, pressing etc.
Only few of our players seem to have that kind of abilities and the ones that could fit into such a philosophy like Mata, Herrera or Lingard are too inconsistent or too average.

Matic is a player that needs his time on the ball to produce something great and I am not sure if this is still possible when playing on the absolute top level against the world elite.
 

Adam-Utd

Part of first caf team to complete Destiny raid
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
Messages
23,395
No!

A defensive midfielder has 3 things to worry about


1. Break up play ahead od defense - he does this ok
2. Be the link up play from defense to midfield - he does this exceptionally well. Always there with a good angle to receive the ball AND knowing what to do if he gets the ball. He reads the game so well. Better than anyone in our squad

3. Be there for midfield - Again he is one of the best to be a relief in midfield to get the ball, buy also to pass to a player and not put him in a bind. This is very important for a midfielder. Do you pass the ball such than you don't leave your teammates hang dry. Carrick was excellent at this, Matic is almost as good as Carrick


If you have never coached you will never be able to understand what midfield is about.

To answer your question, our biggest problem is not having a no 10. A true attacking midfielder.
Thanks for the condescending post :lol:

It's funny you mention these as strengths, as I think he's struggling massively in parts 1 and 2.

1. He rarely actually breaks up play unless he's inside the box already, when the play is moving quickly he gets nowhere near forward runners.

So many times he stands off his marker as he's scared to get tight. Just look at the 3rd west ham goal for example of this.

2. He is a poor link as he moves the ball so slowly. He takes 4/5 touches when only 2/3 are needed. His passing ability is quite limited, and he can't drive the ball up the field as he's too slow at accelerating.

I just feel he isn't in good form and what he brings to the team isn't enough. Herrera made more interceptions and tackles than Matic does, the only thing Matic does better is win headers.
 

Raees

Legal Guardian of the Football forums
Joined
May 16, 2009
Messages
27,753
Even when Matic was one of our better players (last season) we still struggled to build attacks unless the entire team is chasing a deficit. He’s in bad form now but it makes no difference.

I have seen excuses such as lack of ball playing defenders, now it is Matic - wonder what is going to be next.

The defence and Matic were actually key in us getting a very undeserved second place last year so that’s tells you all you need to know about what the real problems are at this club and a good 20 minutes against Newcastle shouldn’t make everyone oblivious to the true culprit for our shit performances.

The problem is we have an issue with enjoying victories when they do fortunately come our way and the reason is that they get used as a way to shield the manager from criticism to a point which is beyond comprehensible reason.
 

finneh

Full Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2010
Messages
6,572
Matic is an issue as he lingers on the ball far too long. However I don't believe this problem is down to Matic just being unable to release the ball quickly. I believe that he is one of the few players who wants to play the ball forwards whenever he can; but due to a lack of movement in front of him as well as his lack of mobility/ability to beat a man; he ends up holding on to the ball for far too long pending an available pass.

Out of our attacking 6 players we have Matic, Pogba, Fellaini, Martial and Lukaku; the majority of which always start and all of which do not provide movement off the ball. This creates a huge problem as particularly Pogba/Matic need movement around them to be most effective.

I personally think we can only get away with maybe two statuesque players of our six most offensive, one of which has to be Pogba due to what he uniquely brings to our team. If we're playing Matic and Pogba in my opinion it has to be with four including Lingard, Sanchez, Mata, Fred, Rashford and/or Herrera. In my view therefore we have to make a choice: Herrera in the DM role with Lukaku/Pogba in the team or my preferred option which would be Matic in the DM role with Sanchez or Rashford up front.
 

Giggsyking

Full Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2013
Messages
2,668
the only way we can build on attack and matic on the pitch is if he plays like last game in the defense. He was embarrassing to watch him play this season and I feel sorry for Pogba playing alongside him.
 

Mainoldo

Full Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2004
Messages
14,333
Great skill set... poor execution! He can’t dictate the tempo because he doesn’t believe in one touch football.
 

Johan07

Full Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2017
Messages
1,928
He was the reason we conceded very few goals last season (with cameo performances from ddg). Hence the reason we finished 2nd.

This season he is not even half the player he was last season and as a result you see our defence exposed to the fullest.

Matic isn’t our ‘attacking’ problem. He is the foundation to what we launch attacks confidently from and unfortunately that foundation is very fragile and it is putting us on the back foot and not the opponents.

Mourinho wanted to buy a top class CB so he didn’t have to rely on Matic too much in defence, so that’s a double negative there.

In regards to our actual attack - we lost our rythym and cohesion in attack when we signed Sanchez last January. We had 6 games in the first half of the season where we scored 4 goals or more and you could see clear patterns of lethal attacking play with martial down our left. It’s no concidence we lost all that since he got shafted down to the bench.

So sort out our defence/holding midfielder and then worry about attack. Meanwhile, let martial play on the wing. He just elevates us to a whole new level. We don’t have a player that far forward that can actually dribble effectively and put the whole back line on the back foot allowing players like rashford, mata, Lingard, Pogba, Fred and even Lukaku to punish them as a result.

The cycle since January has been: Sanchez gets ball, we move forward in anticipation of an attack building, Sanchez loses the ball horrendously, ball gets played quickly to our back line/midfield, Matic no longer has the athleticism to deal with it, they’re now 1 on 1 with one of our back 4 - they’re shit - and they create a chance. We as a result become less ambitious in attack because they see we don’t have a rock solid defence and we lose confidence in attack and fear losing the ball hence losing creativity. Sanchez thinks this is his cue to try more audacious playground dribbling - situation gets worse. We as a result play our best football when we are behind because we no longer have the fear of losing (nothing to lose), hence we don’t fear losing the ball and it becomes a feed forward cycle where opponents now step back because they see our confidence. See the pattern? Does that look familiar? Seems to have taken Mourinho a while to notice it too. Glad he finally has and has dropped Sanchez.
This is a very good post. Not at least beacuse it focuses on the one thing that Mourinho has not achieved since arriving here; getting rid of these unnecessary turnovers in attack. Be it in possession or on the counter.
I wrote a similar post above but it focused on Lukaku instead of Sanchez. Both give up the ball way too many times for the type of defensive game we are trying to play. Be it that they lose the ball in different manners, but the effect is the same.
I was surprised that Mourinho stuck with Sanchez so long just because of this; we will see what he will do with Lukaku who is also a culprit of the same behaviour.
That said, we always have enough players behind the ball Mourinho style. Matic and a back four should be able to handle transitions against (even if they are way too many). Matic is just not mobile enough for this though.
I see two remedies; either get rid of Matic and buy new/deploy someone like Herrera in front of the back four. But that would limit is when we do sit low (which is like most of the time) and need Matic to help defend crosses
Or make Lukaku and Sanchez sit on the sidelines for awhile. Play Fellaini up front and Lingard and Mata on the wings. That would fix the issue of too many turnovers, but it would also severely limit our offensive play in other ways.
I would not want to be Mourinho right now, but he put himself in this position, especially when he bought Matic and Lukaku and made them the focal points of our team. And then added Sanchez, who made the issues we are discussing here even worse.
 

Marcky411

Full Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
1,089
YES, YES , YES, far to slow needs far to many touches on the ball and ends up, like Herrera passing sideways or backwards instead of looking up to pass forward. Like Valencia, Matic is also on his last legs and get often overrun in midfield, that is also why he sits so deep that he often slots in between the CD which sometimes is the cause that the CD's don't really know who is picking up who of the opposition's runners.
 

Dr Fink

Full Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2014
Messages
523
Location
Purgatory
To me, he was the main problem in the first half against Newcastle. He was far too ponderous on the ball. I thought Jose was bringing Mata on for him. He looks very leggy already this season. The lack of movement in front of him doesn't help either.
 

thegaffa

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Oct 3, 2018
Messages
23
Supports
Chelsea
He only had one good season at Chelsea in the end it was Kante that made everyone look good including people like David Luiz.
 

Rifer

Full Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2017
Messages
4,433
Location
Losing to Comeback Winning!
Big reason is overstretching it. Yes, he's part of the reason but "a big reason"? Come on..

Is he a player that excel in building attacks i.e. playmaking at the back? No.
How is his passing skills? Not bad, not too good either. Fine solid passing skills and fine passing range.
Can he spot his surrounding team mates and pass to them accurately? Yes.
If not building attacks, then does he offer something else to the team? Yes, a lot.
How is his form recent games? Not a consistent good run of form.

---

Thread is in respond to his current bad form isn't it.
Let's remember back last season and hope he will gain back that form.

So what if he's not that good in building up attacks.

Solution
Just pair him up with other players who can build attacks, and team mates who'll offers him more better options to be given passes. Last I heard, football is still a team sport.
 

PepsiCola

Full Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2016
Messages
1,614
I got blasted for saying he was largely average last season and would need replacing this coming summer.

Would you look at that...

Guys largely crap, a few classy performances and Bakoyoko being worse made him exepmt from critique for too long.
 

Crashoutcassius

Full Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2013
Messages
6,865
Location
playa del carmen
The players is part of the problem. But it is mostly down to the coaching which mourinho needs to improve dramatically. From what he says the desire to improve it is there but he needs to deliver that now
 

kkengvib

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Jan 10, 2011
Messages
56
Location
Basel, Switzerland
I don't think so. I think he provides the same qualities as Carrick (shorter passing range but slightly better on the ball) and we managed fine with Michael. It's the movement around him and the static attack that has us reverting to the zombie passing.
 

Odoi

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
9
A very limited player and I cant believe united fans were cheering when he was bought.
 

Andersons Dietician

Full Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2016
Messages
9,536
Supports
Supports good football
I don't think so. I think he provides the same qualities as Carrick (shorter passing range but slightly better on the ball) and we managed fine with Michael. It's the movement around him and the static attack that has us reverting to the zombie passing.
Our movement is an issue but sorry the amount of times he has options to make a decisive pass and he turns away from it are unreal, he seems scared to take that risk or execute the pass and his general pace of passing is awful. I think he is a stronger person than Carrick so can hold people off better but Carrick had ice in his veins and never really panicked, could hold that ball till the pass presented itself.
 

Aloysius's Back 3

New Member
Joined
May 21, 2018
Messages
2,770
Carrick made the right pass at the right time & would be a way that he relieves pressure off the defence by inviting pressure on to him before releasing that ball to the best placed midfielder in front of him.

Matic takes too long in midfield, invites pressure that stays constant, doesn't always find the best possible pass forward to relieve us of that pressure. Good on the defensive side & that's pretty much it.
 

kkengvib

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Jan 10, 2011
Messages
56
Location
Basel, Switzerland
Our movement is an issue but sorry the amount of times he has options to make a decisive pass and he turns away from it are unreal, he seems scared to take that risk or execute the pass and his general pace of passing is awful. I think he is a stronger person than Carrick so can hold people off better but Carrick had ice in his veins and never really panicked, could hold that ball till the pass presented itself.
I get where you're coming from, but do you think that's not because of the tactics and the role the manager has given him? I don't think that's what he's been told to do - make that decisive killer pass. That's more Pogba's role. He's there to control the tempo of the game and distribute to others - again similar to Carrick. I think he's being exposed this season a bit because Pogba has been pushed forward more and he doesn't really have a partner who's good on the ball to relief some of the pressure (Fred doesn't play enough and Fellaini is not the ideal partner for him). We've bought him probably when he was on his last legs as well, which isn't great.

I also don't think he's scare of making that pass. Remember this guy used to be an attacking midfielder/playmaker in his younger days.

For the role he's been asked to do, I think he's a decent player. Has he had a drop in form? Yeah sure. I still think he's important and offers something that none of our other midfielders can.
 

Adcuth

Full Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2013
Messages
2,308
He doesn't help. An issue we have is that Pogba will often drop back to pick up the ball from the centre backs, which should mean Matic pushes up to add numbers to the attack but he doesn't really do that. But if Pogba doesn't drop back Matic/ our centre backs can't usually find him from deep.
So in essence, replacing matic win someone who shields the defence but can pick a key pass from deep will allow pogba to stay forward and improve our play. Who do we sign then?
 

RikRuud

Full Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2014
Messages
1,705
He’s been in poor form since the Liverpool draw at Anfield last season.
 

Adisa

likes to take afvanadva wothowi doubt
Joined
Nov 28, 2014
Messages
37,096
Location
Birmingham
Our problem isn't that we can't build attacks. It's we can't sustain them.
 

Andersons Dietician

Full Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2016
Messages
9,536
Supports
Supports good football
I get where you're coming from, but do you think that's not because of the tactics and the role the manager has given him? I don't think that's what he's been told to do - make that decisive killer pass. That's more Pogba's role. He's there to control the tempo of the game and distribute to others - again similar to Carrick. I think he's being exposed this season a bit because Pogba has been pushed forward more and he doesn't really have a partner who's good on the ball to relief some of the pressure (Fred doesn't play enough and Fellaini is not the ideal partner for him). We've bought him probably when he was on his last legs as well, which isn't great.

I also don't think he's scare of making that pass. Remember this guy used to be an attacking midfielder/playmaker in his younger days.

For the role he's been asked to do, I think he's a decent player. Has he had a drop in form? Yeah sure. I still think he's important and offers something that none of our other midfielders can.
I do think his role is basic, get the ball off the CB’s give it to Pogba and just break up play. However he is a footballer and I’m not saying has to play these defence splitting inch perfect passes but really the amount of times I’m watching him and it’s not even a hard pass it’s a straight line to someone out wide in space or just moving it to someone to create an angle which would put opposition Nader threat and he doesn’t take the opportunity. I don’t think that would be by instruction or part of the tactics and if it is it shines badly on a lot more than just him.

In general I think our whole tactical set up is rubbish and people don’t know what they are doing and it just ends up in a complete mess. However being that I was an avid member of the bring Matic in he’ll be great I’m having serious second thoughts now. I would hope some rest, hopefully a new manager will instil some confidence back in him and we see more of the player who was here for the first 2 months but right now for me he is a big part of the issues we have.
 

redshaw

Full Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2015
Messages
3,614
As a lot of players, he had a good first few months last season, lots of energy and inventive play then he's been quite poor mostly.

Thing is we tend to make scapegoats out of certain players, they don't feature and we still look slow and crap.
 

PepsiCola

Full Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2016
Messages
1,614
We really should have let Fred, Pereira and Pogba gel as a midfield 3.
 

gerdm07

Full Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2011
Messages
1,275
Yes. And I think this because I just watched a recording of the Chelsea v Liverpool match and saw Jorghino move the ball so quickly. His play is infectious as you see kante and Kovicek (?) also play a lot of one-touch passing. In contrast, we have Matic, Pogba and Fellaini who, it seems, only play a one touch pass if it's backwards or very easy. Maybe Fred and Andres could quicken our pace but it doesn't seem Mou wants to go in that direction. As long as Mou is here the majority of our play will be slow and conservative.
 

Van Piorsing

Lost his light sabre
Joined
Feb 10, 2006
Messages
18,301
Location
Polska
Just like Lukaku, he doesn't have a strong rivalry on his position which is a strictly defensive midfielder. More advanced position on the pitch automatically forces him to run back to his defensive position and it takes also too long.
 

Bestietom

Full Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2013
Messages
5,202
Location
Ireland
Fred will always try to move the ball forward but he is not played, Pereira is the same and is not played. WHY??
 

JK-27

Full Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2017
Messages
868
Jose has stated we don't have the technical ability to play out from the back (i.e., our defenders can't pass), so he has asked Matic, Pogba, and McTominay to drop deep and take the ball off them to start to build an attack. When our midfielders are dropping in to our final third to get the ball, and our attackers are staying in the oppositions final third to create opportunities we are getting the massive gaps between midfield and attack that we see.

Jose is asking the wide players of the front 3 to drop back in to midfield to help combat this and provide defensive cover but we're still getting outnumbered in midfield due to our natural midfield players being too deep. Then we lump the ball up the field anyway and wonder why Lukaku can't get hold of the ball when he's surrounded by 4 defenders because all our others players are so far back.

It's a tactical problem, not a player problem. If we'd have got Maguire or Toby I don't think we'd have that problem, but Jose simply doesn't trust Smalling, Lindelof, Bailly, or Jones with the ball (and I can't blame him). But he does need to find a better solution than having our midfield players drop so deep to get the ball.
 

Slik

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
93
I have seen several times a player tries to do a one two passing move with Matic and then Matic passes the ball backwards whiles the other player is running forward. And then the opposition regroup before we can attack them again. He looks like a player who doesn’t want to take risks with his passing. I think he slows our attacking play down. I believe mourinho plays him because he reads the game better as a defensive midfielder. But he really offers so little to our attack and build up.
 

Ekeke

Full Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2006
Messages
45,268
Location
Hope, We Lose
There's not much wrong with a DM who wants to play simple passes and give the ball to more talented players. What isnt good is if that same DM tries to get on the ball as much as possible. That means that a large amount of what our team is doing with the ball is simple passes. Thats Matic. He wants the ball all the time but wants to play a simple passing game to keep the ball. He's made our 2nd highest amount of passes this season, 1 behind Pogba - but joint 2nd lowest key passes of our CMs and attackers with Rashford. Andreas is lowest but hasnt played much.
 

VeevaVee

despite the protests, wears Ugg boots
Scout
Joined
Jan 3, 2009
Messages
35,065
Location
Manchester
It looked as though he 'unlocked Pogba' when he first came and was exactly what we needed. So what's changed? Increased expectation? Matic not performing? Poor tactics? Age?