It's improved tempo that did it!

Mart1974

harbours delusions of insignificance
Joined
Nov 13, 2013
Messages
2,496
Agreed. Atmosphere has been unreal. Shame our match going fans get so much shit on here and twitter.
There were a lot of boos at half time around where I sit, but mainly from people that don't normally sit in that area so I assume they are not regulars.
 

Jed I. Knight

The Mos Eisley Hillbilly
Joined
May 29, 2013
Messages
3,422
Location
Tatooine
I’m not sure it comes naturally unless you have a team of extremely gifted players with an excellent first touch and instinctive tactical ability to continually reposition themselves to create passing lanes (zidane’s CL winning sides come to mind, as does the French side he captained to the World Cup trophy).

Unless you have those sorts of players in virtually every position you have to teach atracking movement, continual repositioning to open up passing lanes, progressive passing through an opposition press into space.

Famously this was what mourinho never taught as a matter of philosophy, believing it should come naturally to attacking players, as Diego Torres describes in his book.

Klopp’s peak dortmund sides are an excellent example of exactly how you can teach inferior players very sophisticated rapid one touch passing and movement through continuous repetition and pattern recognition, thus allowing them to punch significantly above their weight. He’s done similarly at Liverpool, though with superior players at his disposal.

Pep has varied his approach more through the years and the way city play now is different in tempo to his Barca and Bayern sides, more closely approaching the klopp style over and above the continual slow-slow-fast tempo extremely structured juego de posicion he employed at Barca and Bayern.
Astute observations, and a very insightful post.

I’ve watched Brentford a couple of times this season, and I’d say that they are another example of how it is possible to ”get there” with inferior players.
 

el_loco_bielsa

Full Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2020
Messages
102
Location
Yorkshire, UK
Supports
liverpool
Astute observations, and a very insightful post.

I’ve watched Brentford a couple of times this season, and I’d say that they are another example of how it is possible to ”get there” with inferior players.
Yes, Brentford look very much like they’re being extensively coached in terms of repetitive attacking patterns.

Interestingly, so do Atalanta in terms of their attacking play - it’s actually pretty remarkable watching their level of tactical/technical sophistication in the attacking phase considering the entire team is basically journeymen players with limited technical skills - that has been very definitely taught/drummed in, it’s not instinctive.

What becomes apparent watching solskjaer’s United is that there‘s very little if any of that sort of coaching of set attacking patterns going on. Which is criminal considering the quality of attacking players he has to work with.
 

abailey123

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Sep 10, 2016
Messages
311
Definitely an increase in tempo after half term. As soon as the second half kicked off we were all over them. Playing on the front foot, taking less touches and winning the ball higher. That’s a blue print for how we need to be playing. One and 2 touch football, pass and move. None of this passing along the back 4 and back to De Gea to repeat the cycle again.
 

Max_United

Full Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2013
Messages
114
Definitely an increase in tempo after half term. As soon as the second half kicked off we were all over them. Playing on the front foot, taking less touches and winning the ball higher. That’s a blue print for how we need to be playing. One and 2 touch football, pass and move. None of this passing along the back 4 and back to De Gea to repeat the cycle again.
Problem is - however strong your team on paper - you cannot just flip the switch/tell players to do that from next game on and expect to be instantly successfull. That is - beyond some isolated cases, e.g. when the gulf in class is too large for an opposing team to successfully counter that. To be effective on a consistent basis, the team should be (surprise!) coached and prepared for this in advance. If you suddenly decide to play like that without preparation - you will crush some bad teams, yes. But you will have lots of results like 1-3, 2-4, 3-5 (remember LVG vs Leicester?) against midtable teams - as an attempt to play quick one touch football leads to many ball losses if the team is not well-used to it etc. And against top teams you can hardly play like that anyway.

Ole should have drilled the team to play like that long ago (and hired better coaching staff). Imagine this scenario - Ole does that in 2019. Yes, we get some nasty results as the team adjusts. But the fans are very forgiving - as everyone sees we are building towards (and especially - those are the early stages of his tenure). And by now in late 2021, we are much better off - at least style-wise. However - I am still not sure it would have been sufficient to compensate for Ole being not good enough.

But now it is much too late to change anyway - Ole does not have adequate coaching staff to implement it, and he is under pressure to get results. And I am not sure Ole will even try it - we have a tough schedule. I think he will likely approach most of the games ahead extremely cautiously.
 
Last edited:

Daengophile

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Jan 12, 2015
Messages
207
There are times when Pogba can be prodigious

And there are times when he looks ponderous and plodding
 

Joeace2020

New Member
Newbie
Joined
May 20, 2017
Messages
439
Location
Nigeria
The manager is holding the team back IMO. Any time we get a comfortable 2 or 3 goal lead, which we rarely do nowadays, he instructs the team to lower the tempo. Any time we go behind, then he instructs them to push harder, which is normal.

But what I hate is the lack of the ruthlessness from minute 1 to 90, which is why we press so little or abandon the pressing once our defense starts it's regular brainfarts. I was just happy we scored the 3rd goal quite late in the goal in the Atalanta game rather than earlier. If we had gotten all 3 goals in the first half or early second half, I am very sure he would have instructed the team to take the foot off and play calmer and Atalanta would have found a way back. That's what makes Pep and Klopp different.

We have a manager who is not ruthless and hardly motivates from the side line. I don't ever underestimate what goes on in the mind of players seeing an agitated, animated manager on the sidelines invested in the game just as much as anyone else in the stadium. Motivating the fans to sing louder like a Simeone would. Everything's so soft and smiley with Ole. Ole's approach is so hands off it sometimes feels like he's not at the wheel, or maybe it's a self driving car.

One thing's certain, we will be here again to lament the team's inconsistent tempo.
 

Bristol_Red_87

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Nov 28, 2018
Messages
187
They mentioned it in the coverage last night, but Bruno dropping deeper made the difference for me - he was far to high in the first half and left Fred/Scott struggling to find him.
Absolutely spot on. What concerned me most with Ole's acknowledgment that we were playing a 4-2-4 system. I scoffed at this initially but this is literally how we set up in the first half and we did the same against Leicester at the weekend.

He's literally saying we'll have 6 players behind the ball and the 4 up top will be good enough to win us the game on their own, but this, unsurprisingly, created a huge disconnect between the defence/DM's and the attack and makes us incredibly easy to pick off and play through.

I'm not sure whether to credit Ole with changing things at H/T or not because it was so obvious it wasn't working but second half we finally got to see what appeared to be a cohesive unit.
 

Josh 76

Full Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2018
Messages
3,077
Absolutely spot on. What concerned me most with Ole's acknowledgment that we were playing a 4-2-4 system. I scoffed at this initially but this is literally how we set up in the first half and we did the same against Leicester at the weekend.

He's literally saying we'll have 6 players behind the ball and the 4 up top will be good enough to win us the game on their own, but this, unsurprisingly, created a huge disconnect between the defence/DM's and the attack and makes us incredibly easy to pick off and play through.

I'm not sure whether to credit Ole with changing things at H/T or not because it was so obvious it wasn't working but second half we finally got to see what appeared to be a cohesive unit.
Top class managers would have seen this in the first 20 mins and would have been screaming down at the touch line telling Bruno to drop deeper.
 

Max_United

Full Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2013
Messages
114
Top class managers would have seen this in the first 20 mins and would have been screaming down at the touch line telling Bruno to drop deeper.
It is my impression that some coaches that are out of their depth tend to paradoxically do touchline instructions more often when it is all going well, but when it is all going bad they are more often just sitting on the bench looking clueless. It is like they are trying to make themselves look competent by creating an impression of causality between their instructions and things going well.

I admit I have no great statistics/basis to back it up, just something that I noticed several times, mostly with Moyes and Ole.
 

VeevaVee

despite the protests, wears Ugg boots
Scout
Joined
Jan 3, 2009
Messages
44,135
Location
Manchester
Tempo has been an issue with us for a long time. When you watch old matches, you can see why we were so good. The tempo was often insane.
 

RUCK4444

Full Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2015
Messages
8,981
Location
$¥$¥$¥$¥$
Tempo has been an issue with us for a long time. When you watch old matches, you can see why we were so good. The tempo was often insane.
Yes you just have to watch old matches on MUTV or Youtube, what stands out is that we had an embarrassment of riches on the pitch and the other main thing that stands out is the tempo.

We played it quickly and moved the ball forwards as priority every time, not necessarily with a high press as such, just in possession we were so much more dynamic. We've missed that ever since SAF left mind, not just now.