It's all about the Fullbacks

Desert Eagle

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In modern football the fullback plays one of the most important roles on the pitch. They contribute defensively and offensively, they are tasked with stopping the opponents most dangerous threats , they have to provide width and do a lot of running. The refs helped them out yesterday but that was a brilliant performance by Robertson yesterday for Liverpool. Him TAA, cancelo, walker are all huge reasons for their teams success. We had the likes of Evra, Neville, Irwin etc in our most successful teams. The two seasons we had decent fullback play are probably our best in the post Fergie era ; valencia/darmian and shaw/awb

Even looking at those four fullback it should be clear they're not good enough to compete at the highest level which brings us to our current 4. Shaw, Telles, Awb and Dalot.

I don't think any of them are good enough to start for us. I'd take Shaw and Awb as subs but that depends on their fitness, mentality and wages. You'd have to ask how much are we actually losing by having a Brandon Williams( who I also don't rate) as back up as opposed to a Awb.

Shaw- inconsistent , injury prone, question marks over mentality and motivation. At this point I think selling him is the correct option.

Awb- poor positioning, switches off a lot, inconsistent technique. Because he has great physical attributes I do hope ETH can do something with him. I'd keep as a back up but if we get a good offer then sell.

Telles/Dalot- not physical enough, average at almost everything, has shown this year that they're not at the required level. I'd sell them both as well.

Now obviously this won't all happen in this summer but it is a clear weakness that must be addressed for us to become a better team. Ideally I'd like us to sign a starting caliber left or right back this summer and offload one or two of our 4 and then do the same next summer. What does the caf think?
 

fergiewherearethou

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I think fullbacks are important, sure, the best teams City, Pool, Bayern, Real, PSG, have quality fullbacks but when we have a big hole in the middle of our team, I think that should be addressed first, then the fullback options. With our CM's and CB's, quality fullbacks would improve us too little.
I would love to see Theo Hernandez in a Man Utd shirt soon though.
 

tjb

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I think fullbacks are important, sure, the best teams City, Pool, Bayern, Real, PSG, have quality fullbacks but when we have a big hole in the middle of our team, I think that should be addressed first, then the fullback options. With our CM's and CB's, quality fullbacks would improve us too little.
I would love to see Theo Hernandez in a Man Utd shirt soon though.
I do agree. I think any teams build up in the modern game is determined by the midfielders ( the deeper ones) and full backs. I feel as a team that is why we have struggled to control games or go toe to toe with Liverpool and City. I actually think Shaw is good enough. He can play an inverted role or on the outside. He has the touch and confidence to demand for the ball which he did last season.
 

padzilla

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I think it's no coincidence our form has completely collapsed with Dalot and Telles playing more regularly - they aren't close to being good enough.

Shaw and AWB are not great either and as mentioned by another poster, aren't good enough to be regular starters but they are well ahead of the other two.
 

Chripper

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19 year old Aaron Hickey is going to be a superstar.

If the scouting team haven't inquired about him then there's something wrong. I saw Robertson and Tierney at the sane age, Hickey is better.

He should be high on the list of our targets.
 

Bwuk

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Agreed. Our full backs are miles off the standard required.

Shaw has show he can play at the level, but he’s far too inconsistent.

Telles has great technique but that’s about it. He lacks tenacity going forward, and isn’t the best defender (although this isn’t helped by our midfield/CB issues).

AWB I’m amazed is even considered a footballer. Can barely pass a ball.

Dalot, again lacks tenacity. Looks half arsed the majority of the time.
 

kthanksbye

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We have very few players who are suited to "modern football".

Modern teams don't play with a #10, they're playing a 433 with two 8s and a 6, and we just renewed Bruno's contract. We don't have a left footed winger. Our CMs don't show for the ball, their first touch and close control is championship level. CBs aren't capable of playing a high line or recycling possession or even playing out of a press, same with the keeper, very limited with his feet.

Fullbacks aren't the only thing that's holding us from playing modern football.
 

Bwuk

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19 year old Aaron Hickey is going to be a superstar.

If the scouting team haven't inquired about him then there's something wrong. I saw Robertson and Tierney at the sane age, Hickey is better.

He should be high on the list of our targets.
Agreed. Can play either side too. I think when he starts becoming a regular in the Scotland side he’ll get a lot of interest, I think he gets forgotten about a bit due to his club.
 

Chripper

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Agreed. Can play either side too. I think when he starts becoming a regular in the Scotland side he’ll get a lot of interest, I think he gets forgotten about a bit due to his club.
I've been watching him all season, one word keeps coming to mind "cultured".

I remember Craig Levein saying that he'll eventually be a midfielder. I can see that.
 

MvG

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Hope Ten Hag can get a song out of Shaw. The only other one who might contribute is Laird who I think ETH will really like.
 

afatzp

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Unfortunately we have so many other positions like ST / MC / RW to upgrade, Full back issues would not be prioritized in this upcoming summer.

Among the options we have, I do think AWB would turn better under ETH . He's got the PL level attributes but currently look very lost in the pitch and don't know what he supposed to do. ETH with his clear instruction on each position and game plan would help him improve.

Luke Shaw would be a question mark after recovery from injury , and Telles simply not up to PL standard. If we could allocate some fund to reinforce the LB, then Aaron Hickey at Bologna would be a great talent to recruit at reasonable price. He may become the next Andrew Robertson / Kieran Tierney .

Dalot also better be sold so we recoup some fund. He seems out of his depth and would not have the potential to be part of a title-challenging team.
 

Ralph1386

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Shaw and AWB are not great either and as mentioned by another poster, aren't good enough to be regular starters but they are well ahead of the other two.
Shaw, when in-form, is ahead of Telles. But AWB is not well-ahead of Dalot. In fact he’s not well ahead of anybody. They both haven’t been good enough.

AWB is better defensively and Dalot better going forward. They should both be replaced if ETH can’t get a tune out of them.
 

arnie_ni

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Shaw, when in-form, is ahead of Telles. But AWB is not well-ahead of Dalot. In fact he’s not well ahead of anybody. They both haven’t been good enough.

AWB is better defensively and Dalot better going forward. They should both be replaced if ETH can’t get a tune out of them.
Dalot is dreadful. Really don't see anything he does well. For a player that's good on the ball he can't cross for shite.
 

Desert Eagle

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I disagree. It's all about that base.
With so much attacking and defending being done on the flanks i'd argue the full backs are a key part of the base. Can't have a stable footballing structure without strong corners. One of the reasons our CBs are so often left on islands and made to look crap. Dm is obviously priority number one but good full backs are essential as well.
 

Adamsk7

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I’d probably sell Telles and AWB (who I think is awful), but a RB and promote Laird and Fernandez. That’ll give us Shaw and Fernandez on the left, new RB and Laird on the right and Dalot as cover for both.
Sure, Laird and Feenandez are young and not actually any better defensively than what we have BUT they are crucially both modern full backs who are excellent going forward. I agree that this is vital to us progressing as an attacking team in the modern game
As others have said, our squad needs major surgery so this way, we’re only spending on one player. I’d probably even look around to see who has a year or no contract left to get that one player as cheaply as possible
 

CloneMC16

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The best teams have quality all over the pitch. They usually have no weak link. City and Liverpool have better players than us in every position across the pitch. I believe that a strong spine is the most important thing to have. I would be looking to fix that before looking at other positions.

Still, better fullbacks would definitely help. We have one of the best headers of the ball in world football, and none of our fullbacks can cross. It's shocking how bad they are. When we signed Telles, so many people said this guy was a good crosser. It's been two years, and I still don't see it. Dalot has put one good cross in all season. His are so diabolically bad, it's unreal. He's a shocking player. It seems like because he's not AWB, he gets leeway from some fans. Shaw's were quite good last season, but have been mostly awful this season. AWB is AWB. Most are bad.

I think Shaw has shown he can be a good player. His problem is inconsistency. I would stick with him for another season, because we have too many other positions to sort out. I would be looking for a new RB if we have enough funds to get a CB, DM, CM, RWF, and a ST first. I have a strong feeling that we're not going to be able to buy all of these players in one summer.
 

Oranges038

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Full backs have always done those things. There's nothing modern about it. What's happened is they are being utilised more since wingers have been replaced by inside forwards.

None of those currently at Utd are good enough going either way, they all need to go.
 

Wallez

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We have very few players who are suited to "modern football".

Modern teams don't play with a #10, they're playing a 433 with two 8s and a 6, and we just renewed Bruno's contract. We don't have a left footed winger. Our CMs don't show for the ball, their first touch and close control is championship level. CBs aren't capable of playing a high line or recycling possession or even playing out of a press, same with the keeper, very limited with his feet.

Fullbacks aren't the only thing that's holding us from playing modern football.
This.

However, I think we have a few players that suit a more modern football. Varane as a CB has the pace to cover up behind a high pressing line, and Fred has the abilities to play as a no. 8. I think Bruno has to be played as a winger, similarly to Tadic and Ziyech at Ajax to be effektive in a more modern style.
But yes, we need a new CB, no. 6, no. 8, as well as RB.
 

sullydnl

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Interesting thread on how Ajax set up which specifically notes the role of their fullbacks.

 

Red_toad

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19 year old Aaron Hickey is going to be a superstar.

If the scouting team haven't inquired about him then there's something wrong. I saw Robertson and Tierney at the sane age, Hickey is better.

He should be high on the list of our targets.
Calvin Ramsey from Aberdeen and the club is set for both positions with hard working Scots
 

dinostar77

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Well we will have to live with our current crop of fullbacks for another season as they arent the priority positions for this summers window.
 

Iker Quesadillas

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Manchester United should sign modern fullback and former Ten Hag player Sergiño Dest.
 

Bwuk

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Calvin Ramsey from Aberdeen and the club is set for both positions with hard working Scots
I've seen Ramsey a good few times and think he's quite a way off being ready for a move like that.
 

Ralph1386

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Dalot is dreadful. Really don't see anything he does well. For a player that's good on the ball he can't cross for shite.
Yes but the point I was making is that AWB is not “well-ahead” of him like you claimed. They are both not fit for purpose.
 

arnie_ni

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Yes but the point I was making is that AWB is not “well-ahead” of him like you claimed. They are both not fit for purpose.
I didn't claim anything, I'm a different poster, but I'd have awb starting ahead of dalot. He's the worst fullback we have imo
 

Ralph1386

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I didn't claim anything, I'm a different poster, but I'd have awb starting ahead of dalot. He's the worst fullback we have imo
Oh sorry I didn’t notice you were abother poster. I think awb is just as bad and needs to be shipped out as well.
 

Sandikan

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Shaw and Wan Bissaka can work providing both are fit and in form.
This season Shaw has been neither, and Wan Bissaka's positioning has been dreadful when playing.

It also means a lop sided team as Shaw can do the attacking but WB isn't too good at it.

There's been little threads of momentum about Telles and Dalot starting for their perceived greater attacking ability, but both are pretty weak defensively.
Add in Maguire dropping off a cliff form wise, and Varane missing so many games, and it's no surprise the defence have been horrible this yera.
 

Sandikan

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I didn't claim anything, I'm a different poster, but I'd have awb starting ahead of dalot. He's the worst fullback we have imo
Yep, he's pretty poor defensively, and nowhere near as good attacking wise as some seem to think.
 

luke511

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I agree, Dalot, Telles and AWB all need selling, even with AWB being the best out of the 3. If Shaw can work on his fitness, give Laird and Alvaro a promotion and buy a well scouted RB then the problem's kinda solved at least.
 

Lentwood

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Full backs can transform a good team to a great team but if you don't have solid foundations, I am afraid even the best full-backs in the World won't make a significant difference.

For me, the focus has to be on the centre of midfield. I think this is the area were we could gain the most 'expected value', in terms of pounds spent versus points gained in the short-term.

We also badly need a CF, so that would be next on my list.

In fact, for me, I wouldn't really be too concerned with replacing Shaw and AWB until we have two/three new CMs and two new CFs. Unless, of course, viable alternatives became available at a price too good to miss.
 

Rozay

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Full backs are basically box-to-box midfielders.
 

Red_toad

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I've seen Ramsey a good few times and think he's quite a way off being ready for a move like that.
All about opinions, I'd say he's one we could integrate in the very near future, he's a big strong lad. Will be a shame to see him getting snapped up for a few million then be playing for an opposition team in 2 years. I like him a lot, has a lot of attributes Irwin had about him, though not going to be a left back.
 

redcorner

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The biggest problem we have at Man Utd is that we buy players at such wrong timing. We only buy players when the Rot has set in so deep. So we are always imbalanced and we never get back to back season stunners

AWB came in when we needed a Ashely Young Replacement 3 years too late
Bruno came in when we needed a player maker since SCHOLES!
Sancho came in when we needed a Winger at least since Depay
 

sugar_kane

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Telles and Dalot are two of the worst starters I’ve ever seen in a United team.

Absolute classic examples of players reps benefiting from being sidelined, and from not being English.

I marginally prefer Dalot as he works a bit harder (Telles has become increasingly lazy of late) and he’s probably an okay back up but a team expecting to challenge shouldn’t have either of these anywhere near a starting eleven.

I was going to say how our full back recruitment has been almost as bad as our midfield recruitment then remembered our forward and centre back recruitment as well…
 

lefty_jakobz

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Livramento Arron Hickey Nathan Patterson three players we should be looking at. All three better than the ones we have at RB.