It's all about the Fullbacks

amolbhatia50k

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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…
Depressing to see these two start for us. Such average footballers.
 

Remember the geese

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We can't sort everything out in one summer. I get the impression that we will attempt to improve the spine of the team now, then look at the fullbacks next year.
 

KikiDaKats

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I think our fullbacks are a major problem and actually bigger than we’re willing to accept.
Generally it’s a position I don’t believe a top club should be buying ready players for because a clubs identity is mainly dictated by them. The historical way of getting them right for most top club has always been thru nurturing from the academy/converting players with particular skill set from within the team.
That’s not to say we can’t pick an Evra but it takes time for them to bed in/adapt. Of cause it might be different for this new manager, seeing he is likely be tasked to lead us into a new footballing identity.
Finally, what’s this foolishness about modern football. Football before 80s to date has always been of the same core principles. The only difference now is athleticism of the player and how we consume it. The game on the pitch is and will forever be the same. These templates young managers are using now have all been used by lesser/successful managers before them. Due to their various successes doesn’t make the inventors of football.
 

RedDevilRoshi

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We can't sort everything out in one summer. I get the impression that we will attempt to improve the spine of the team now, then look at the fullbacks next year.

That’s exactly what it looks like and that’s fine by me.
 

Sandikan

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When he buys Daley Blind to be left wing back, this place will explode.
 

Sandikan

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That’s exactly what it looks like and that’s fine by me.
Centre back is interesting when you bear in mind we have an 80m man and Varane there.
As you can't imagine it'll merely be a 3rd or 4th choice merchant to replace the Bailly-Jonesy axis.
 

diarm

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The problem with sorting out the midfield or defence without sorting out the fullbacks, is that in a years time, we'll be back here talking about how "shite" our midfielders are precisely because of how important modern fullbacks are.

The magical midfields of Liverpool, City, Bayern, Chelsea, Madrid etc are as good as they are, because the fullbacks in those teams are part of the midfield. The "terrible midfielders" in our side are as bad as they are, because our fullbacks aren't good at their own jobs, let alone playing a part in the midfield.

We want guys who can play under pressure, who are technically good enough to work the ball out of tight situations and up the field efficiently. To do that, they need passing outlets they can trust to play ball with, no matter how good they are themselves. Those outlets are never going to be found in Wan-Bissaka or Telles.
 

Dante

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The problem with sorting out the midfield or defence without sorting out the fullbacks, is that in a years time, we'll be back here talking about how "shite" our midfielders are precisely because of how important modern fullbacks are.

The magical midfields of Liverpool, City, Bayern, Chelsea, Madrid etc are as good as they are, because the fullbacks in those teams are part of the midfield. The "terrible midfielders" in our side are as bad as they are, because our fullbacks aren't good at their own jobs, let alone playing a part in the midfield.

We want guys who can play under pressure, who are technically good enough to work the ball out of tight situations and up the field efficiently. To do that, they need passing outlets they can trust to play ball with, no matter how good they are themselves. Those outlets are never going to be found in Wan-Bissaka or Telles.
I agree with all of this.
 

NewYorkRed

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The problem with sorting out the midfield or defence without sorting out the fullbacks, is that in a years time, we'll be back here talking about how "shite" our midfielders are precisely because of how important modern fullbacks are.

The magical midfields of Liverpool, City, Bayern, Chelsea, Madrid etc are as good as they are, because the fullbacks in those teams are part of the midfield. The "terrible midfielders" in our side are as bad as they are, because our fullbacks aren't good at their own jobs, let alone playing a part in the midfield.

We want guys who can play under pressure, who are technically good enough to work the ball out of tight situations and up the field efficiently. To do that, they need passing outlets they can trust to play ball with, no matter how good they are themselves. Those outlets are never going to be found in Wan-Bissaka or Telles.
Hahahahaha
 

RedDevilRoshi

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Indeed. We aren't going to be the finished article next season. Though I'd like to think going into 23/24, we would have most pieces of the puzzle in terms of personnel.
I’d hope so but end of the day but end of the day it’s going to take time which we need to be patient about. Similar to what Liverpool did with Klopp which is what we need to show the exact same patience with ETH as it’s not going to be a 1 season/ 2 season fix. Let him build the foundations on how he wants his team to play and back him (both fans and board).

Centre back is interesting when you bear in mind we have an 80m man and Varane there.
As you can't imagine it'll merely be a 3rd or 4th choice merchant to replace the Bailly-Jonesy axis.
TBH I’m not surprised why he’d want another CB especially after seeing the mess in that area. Probably and most likely doesn’t see most/any of them fitting into his style of play bar probably Varane & potentially Lindelof.
 

Lentwood

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The problem with sorting out the midfield or defence without sorting out the fullbacks, is that in a years time, we'll be back here talking about how "shite" our midfielders are precisely because of how important modern fullbacks are.

The magical midfields of Liverpool, City, Bayern, Chelsea, Madrid etc are as good as they are, because the fullbacks in those teams are part of the midfield. The "terrible midfielders" in our side are as bad as they are, because our fullbacks aren't good at their own jobs, let alone playing a part in the midfield.

We want guys who can play under pressure, who are technically good enough to work the ball out of tight situations and up the field efficiently. To do that, they need passing outlets they can trust to play ball with, no matter how good they are themselves. Those outlets are never going to be found in Wan-Bissaka or Telles.
Yeah but you have to think about what will deliver the most 'expected value'. As important as modern fullbacks are, I still believe that whilst you can turn a good team into a great team with brilliant fullbacks, you can't turn a bad team into a good team with fullbacks.

I'm honestly shocked, flabbergasted, bewildered, puzzled, confused by our total lack of effort to sort the centre of midfield over the last three/four seasons. I think, for example, that if we bought Phillips and Rice, we'd win 20pts more next season without doing anything else differently.
 

RedDevilRoshi

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The problem with sorting out the midfield or defence without sorting out the fullbacks, is that in a years time, we'll be back here talking about how "shite" our midfielders are precisely because of how important modern fullbacks are.

The magical midfields of Liverpool, City, Bayern, Chelsea, Madrid etc are as good as they are, because the fullbacks in those teams are part of the midfield. The "terrible midfielders" in our side are as bad as they are, because our fullbacks aren't good at their own jobs, let alone playing a part in the midfield.

We want guys who can play under pressure, who are technically good enough to work the ball out of tight situations and up the field efficiently. To do that, they need passing outlets they can trust to play ball with, no matter how good they are themselves. Those outlets are never going to be found in Wan-Bissaka or Telles.
I agree the fullback areas definitely need strengthening. I’m sure ETH has watched us and will agree that the fullbacks will need addressing but we just need to be realistic that not every single position is going to get fixed all in the one window. We’ve thrown money at every single position left, right & centre in the past just for the sake of it without much thought.

The tweet that Ducker posted earlier looks like ETH is after a CB, 2 central midfields and a versatile forward so looks like his priority is trying to fix the spine of the team first (which is just as huge a mess as our fullback positions are) which if that is what he wants to do first then he has my full backing.
 

Sandikan

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I’d hope so but end of the day but end of the day it’s going to take time which we need to be patient about. Similar to what Liverpool did with Klopp which is what we need to show the exact same patience with ETH as it’s not going to be a 1 season/ 2 season fix. Let him build the foundations on how he wants his team to play and back him (both fans and board).



TBH I’m not surprised why he’d want another CB especially after seeing the mess in that area. Probably and most likely doesn’t see most/any of them fitting into his style of play bar probably Varane & potentially Lindelof.
There's a tiny handful of players that will be huge calls for him coming in.

Maguire, Bruno, Ronaldo and Rashford.

All highly paid, high profile, massive cost.

Will be really interesting what happens with them,
 

diarm

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Yeah but you have to think about what will deliver the most 'expected value'. As important as modern fullbacks are, I still believe that whilst you can turn a good team into a great team with brilliant fullbacks, you can't turn a bad team into a good team with fullbacks.

I'm honestly shocked, flabbergasted, bewildered, puzzled, confused by our total lack of effort to sort the centre of midfield over the last three/four seasons. I think, for example, that if we bought Phillips and Rice, we'd win 20pts more next season without doing anything else differently.
I totally agree that we need midfield improvements - I just think they won't really be improvements if we don't fix our other issues as well.

We're going to lose a minimum of 6 players this summer, possibly as many as 10 and free up a whole ton of wages. I really think we can afford to be a bit more adventurous than our usual 3 or 4 signings this summer. Teams like City, Chelsea and Madrid have made wholesale changes during single windows and made them stick. Why can't we?

They don't need to be £80m signings either. Young, technically sound players who want to prove themselves will be fine and we need to get better at finding those.
 

RedDevilRoshi

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There's a tiny handful of players that will be huge calls for him coming in.

Maguire, Bruno, Ronaldo and Rashford.

All highly paid, high profile, massive cost.

Will be really interesting what happens with them,
The board will simply need to back him with these big changes not just in terms of who he wants to bring in but also who he wants to ship out. If that takes a hit on shirt sales because we won’t be seeing Ronaldo or Rashford shirts being sold then so be it.
 

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The problem with sorting out the midfield or defence without sorting out the fullbacks, is that in a years time, we'll be back here talking about how "shite" our midfielders are precisely because of how important modern fullbacks are.

The magical midfields of Liverpool, City, Bayern, Chelsea, Madrid etc are as good as they are, because the fullbacks in those teams are part of the midfield. The "terrible midfielders" in our side are as bad as they are, because our fullbacks aren't good at their own jobs, let alone playing a part in the midfield.

We want guys who can play under pressure, who are technically good enough to work the ball out of tight situations and up the field efficiently. To do that, they need passing outlets they can trust to play ball with, no matter how good they are themselves. Those outlets are never going to be found in Wan-Bissaka or Telles.
You have it completely backwards.

The fullbacks at Livepool, City, Bayern Chelsea, Madrid etc. wouldn't look half as good if they had McTominay and Fred to pass to with Ole/Rangnick coaching them.

Our fullbacks will look a lot better with some proper coaching and some midfielders who are always happy to receive the ball.
 

diarm

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You have it completely backwards.

The fullbacks at Livepool, City, Bayern Chelsea, Madrid etc. wouldn't look half as good if they had McTominay and Fred to pass to with Ole/Rangnick coaching them.

Our fullbacks will look a lot better with some proper coaching and some midfielders who are always happy to receive the ball.
We'll see.

We're about to get some proper coaching. Let's revisit in a years time and see who it has the biggest impact on; McTominay or Wan-Bissaka.
 

Sandikan

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We'll see.

We're about to get some proper coaching. Let's revisit in a years time and see who it has the biggest impact on; McTominay or Wan-Bissaka.
I genuinely don't know which one it will. You seem to think it's a given to enhance one of their games.
 

Elcabron

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We need full backs, however a right back is more urgently needed than a left back as hopefully Shaw will decide to try again next season - he hasn't this year. Yes he needs replacing, but not as much as AVB and Dalot, we should get 20m each for those two. That 40m could then be spent on a proper replacement. Liverpools full backs cost a total of 8m so 40m should be plenty.
 

FerociousCorgis

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anybody who thinks replacing mcfred isnt as important as the fullbacks is just plain delusional.
 

horsechoker

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There are so many gaps in the squad that filling them all is highly unlikely. Its going to come down to which positions can EtH make do with.

We probably need 7 very good players but most likely we'll be very lucky to get 4
 

J2J

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Doesn’t ETH play with one of the fullbacks tucking inside to make a sort of back 3/additional midfielder? Isn’t this what Blind does in the current Ajax side?

Could it mean that if we do move for a player in the summer, it would be for one who fits the profile of someone like Blind, and less of a “bombing forward” sort of player? Someone who is strong defensively, and has good positioning but is also composed on the ball, with less focus on dribbling ability and athleticism. Can any of our current fb’s play this sort of role, could someone like Lindelof perform here, is this why there has been reported interest in Timber who can also play rb?

Someone who is more familiar with Ajax feel free to correct me.
 
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Irwin99

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Question marks over all of the ones we have here but Shaw is the interesting one to me. I'm not a massive fan of his although i recognize his ability but i'm hoping ten Hag might be able to keep him in good form and fully fit because he is a very good player when at his best. Would save having to fork out for a new left back if he played to his potential and stayed that way.

Heard ten Hag is a bit of a disciplinarian though which could go either way with Shaw :nervous:
 

Real Madras

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When he buys Daley Blind to be left wing back, this place will explode.
I was terribly disappointed when he left. I feel his intelligence and positioning would really add value to this team. I’d have him at Left CB over Maguire. I’d have him at Left back over Shaw and Telles. I’d even have him at CDM over Matic, Fred and McTominay.
 

Blood Mage

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We will definitely need better fullbacks if we want to compete for titles, but for now nailing the spine of the team and bringing back some stability is the priority. You'll be shocked at how much better we look when we can finally field better players than McTominay and Fred in the middle of the park.
 

Valencia Shin Crosses

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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.
He's miles better as a passer, dribbler, and in general more comfortable on the ball than AWB who really is only great 1v1 as a tackler. Not saying Dalot is good enough, but anyone who thinks AWB is better overall is insane.
 

Valencia Shin Crosses

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Honestly too many people here put too much emphasis on fullbacks being able to defend excellently 1v1. In reality they really just need to be average defensively if they are great going forward, because your system should make up for any 1v1 deficiencies your wide players/wide defenders have. TAA gets skinned all of the time but it doesn't matter because he's the best crosser/passer in the world from his position and is a weapon to help Liverpool create chances and keep the ball.
 

Leftback99

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If we go into next season without at least a new first choice RB we're asking for trouble. Left back depends on Shaw staying fit because Telles isn't PL level.
 

diarm

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I genuinely don't know which one it will. You seem to think it's a given to enhance one of their games.
No, I don't at all. My argument that replacing our fullbacks is as important as the midfield, doesn't for a second mean I don't think the midfield needs improving.

I will admit to thinking there's something in McTominay that a good coach could work with (in the right position and role - not DM). I'm not convinced he'll ever have the technical ability to be a starter for a proper United team but I see a useful squad player in him, if someone can develop the largely coachable weaknesses in his game . I don't see that same potential in Wan-Bissaka - he just doesn't have the footballing ability to work with in the position he plays.
 

joedirt87

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any chance laird or williams able to step up and at least raise the floor of the RB position next season? it's quite a low floor. or any other fullback from the youth ranks ?
 

diarm

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any chance laird or williams able to step up and at least raise the floor of the RB position next season? it's quite a low floor. or any other fullback from the youth ranks ?
I read comments recently from Williams himself, saying he doesn't think he's half the fullback on the right as he is on the left.

Before he left for Norwich, I always thought he might be better on the right as he could cross naturally from there, but apparently not.
 
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Its a myth. In football the spine is key. Then the flanks of the attack. The rest is just window dressing. United have beem treadding water for years first due to a dead right flank in attack from the begnining of Mourinho's time, to a faulty spine since he left. Till United as a club give a manager the power and the support to rebuild that spine and the broken wing. Nothing will work.

I marvel that people look at City and Pool and imagine their fullbacks are their most inmportant players. Even after both sides suffered from a faulty spine briefly and fell so far behind their title rival immediately
 

diarm

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Its a myth. In football the spine is key. Then the flanks of the attack. The rest is just window dressing. United have beem treadding water for years first due to a dead right flank in attack from the begnining of Mourinho's time, to a faulty spine since he left. Till United as a club give a manager the power and the support to rebuild that spine and the broken wing. Nothing will work.

I marvel that people look at City and Pool and imagine their fullbacks are their most inmportant players. Even after both sides suffered from a faulty spine briefly and fell so far behind their title rival immediately
Not most important - equally important.

Football has changed since the spine was the all powerful everything.
 

NewYorkRed

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You could consider writing an actual post. Everybody else seems to be perfectly capable to actually engage with @diarm's points.
I mean, how does one respond to that. That is the most absurd thing I’ve ever read, so I just assumed he was joking.
 

Godfather

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That’s exactly what it looks like and that’s fine by me.
Meh our CB options aren't worse than our fullbacks. Shaw can't stay fit. AWB can't control a football. Telles isn't a footballer and Dalot is hardly good enough for a midtable team either. Depressing.