It's not the manager, it's the players

Gator Nate

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OP is spot on.

For our losses recently, its been on the players. The loss to Arsenal and yesterday is on the players cos we created chances, and missed clear cut chances. And on top of that conceded due to individual mistakes (vs Arsenal, DDG + their penalty + yesterday, Fred + own goal).
Exactly. We had twice as many shots and twice as many on target as Wolves, and they won on an own goal. Ole had the plan, players lacked execution.

Id be ever more worried if we were not creating chances but the players are making mistakes. For defence, I know Smalling might be our best defender, but it does seem telling that we transitioned from defence to midfield/attack better when we had lindelof/Jones in our defence. Our midfield seemed to always go deeper with Smalling there to take it off him.
I've been saying for weeks that it is all about player combinations. For what it's worth, with Young out for a game and Shaw out for two, we'll probably see Lindelof, Jones, AND Smalling in the backfield in the next league game. And Bailly better not even smell the grass on game day.

We got injuries at the wrong times too in terms of Lingard, Herrera, Matic. However we also rushed them back too quickly when their replacements were doing more than good jobs. Matic vs Arsenal, and Herrera vs Wolves was too quick (added to Lingard vs Liverpool causing a further injury).
It is difficult to assess these things. Teams invest way too much in players to risk re-injury. If the players were deemed ready, they had to pass a battery of tests to prove it. Now, maybe the team needs to improve their procedures, but Ole did not go in simply thinking it's worth the risk. That said, I do think they were too mentally rusty to start. And as you said, their replacements were doing very well.
 
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Yes we are far too reluctant in moving players who aren't performing. It's as if we're hoping for that day when they'll magically become the players we expected them to.

I'd seriously considering the futures of

Young
Jones (lol)
Rojo
Periera
Mata
Lukaku
Fred

We need players with technical quality, intelligence and energy. Enough of filling spaces with technical deficient players and the dreaming of dominating possession.
When we have seven players that could comfortably be allowed to leave, we know we have an issue.

When you add Damian, Valencia, maybe Sanchez and (imo) Matic, it really shows how our standards have slipped in terms of accepting 'ok' players and keeping deadwood.... presumably Ed thought increased wages was more palatable than chunky transfer fees (or he just hadn't got a clue).

Needs a gigantic transition. Hold on, this could be a long and bumpy ride.
 

amolbhatia50k

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When we have seven players that could comfortably be allowed to leave, we know we have an issue.

When you add Damian, Valencia, maybe Sanchez and (imo) Matic, it really shows how our standards have slipped in terms of accepting 'ok' players and keeping deadwood.... presumably Ed thought increased wages was more palatable than chunky transfer fees (or he just hadn't got a clue).

Needs a gigantic transition. Hold on, this could be a long and bumpy ride.
That combined with managers picking players who won't suit the next manager or the football we all want to see.

It's a big challenge but I do feel we've got a good squad. It's just needed with numbers are certain positions that either need replacing or to retain squad player status. And these things have a cascading effect. If our midfield and fullbacks improve , and we begin truly controlling games, I can see the likes of Mata in attack improving.
 

Buster15

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Hard to disagree with any of it. It’s a disgrace that our squad needs a complete revamp despite all the money we spent. A right back, right winger and ball playing centre back have to be our priorities for this summer.
What gives it away was the immediate improvement after the change of manager followed by the steady drift back to normal.
Compare Pogba for example.

Like many others said, the excuses went with Jose Mourinho.
We are now not that different to then in terms of effort and execution.
One or two things have improved but in general the players are still underperforming.

Bang average displays are again the norm.
I am afraid that Ole is now faced with the same inherent problems.
The big question is whether he is able to transform the team to be capable of winning titles again.

Am I optimistic. This is a massive massive job and I am hopeful but nothing more.
 

Red_toad

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You were moaning or not ? This isn't an answer on my question.

If you were moaning previously you don't have the right to accuse others for doing the same under the next manager because your stance is different. Pretty much an example of double standards.

As for the thread being pointless, seems like everyone else who replied on it so far disagree, it's your problem only I guess.
Nah mate the people who don't like to bitch and moan about everything get drowned out on here, or just don't get involved in certain threads, as they're magnets for the moaners.
 

RyRy11

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I feel like we're on a merry-go-round of threads which each manager we have. I don't know who it is on anymore, I think it could be everyone just not being good enough, club officials, management and players.
Because one person isn’t to be blamed for how a whole club performs. You need solid foundations and a good atmosphere to build excellence and that’s a result of players, staff and owners all pulling their weight.
 

AltiUn

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You make some very good points. It's plain as day our build up is shite and has been for years, the issue with Smalling has been creeping its way into the room for a while. He's a very good defender but he really hampers the way we want to play, not just because he can't distribute very well but also because he forces the best CB distributor we have out of position. The difference between Shaw and Young is night and day, one's capable of carrying the ball 50 yards and offering a defence splitting pass, the other has no idea what to do when he gets the ball and regularly concedes possession with his aimless clearances.

Another thing that stops our transitions is Matic, he's just not very good anymore. He's slow, casual and immobile, his lazy recycling of possession is thoughtless and lacks direction. The amount of counter attacks he's cost us this season borders on frightening. The issue we're having with Pogba at the moment is that under Solskjaer he needs Herrera to have a good game, so we can push him further forward. That's when we've played our best football.

The width issues are worrying. Dalot has been a breath of fresh air in that regard. However, he's still not a true winger and like you mentioned we lack an actual winger in the squad. The one we do have is currently playing at full back. Something else worth touching in is the lack of movement we have in the final third. If you look at City, they usually play the game in the opponent's final third but they're constantly looking for one-two's and the overlap to create space and therefore chances. When we're in possession in the opponent's final third we tend to take that as an invitation to remain static, when we do actually overlap and offer movement we create some good chances.

From where I'm sitting we still look like a team trying to understand what it is, sometimes we look like we want to be a possession team, sometimes we look like we want to be a counter attacking team and sometimes we look like we want to be a high pressing team (occasionally even a mixture of all three). We need to settle on a style then sign the players who would allow us to play that way, much like Liverpool and City have in recent years. When everyone's fit and at their best I still think we have the makings of a very good team in there, but there are some very tough personnel decisions to make in the coming windows, we really can't afford to mess this summer window up.
 

devilish

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I think its far more complex then that.

We've got a board of directors whose make football decisions despite not having any idea what football is. That has an impact on our choice of manager (which is often inappropriate for our style of football), our use of resources (we overspend in fees and salaries, we give contract to players we shouldn't keep while letting off those who should stay) and our better judgement (ie we give the managers the go ahead for short term signings only to stop them when strengthening positions we do need). The team is a result of that. We've got too many deadwood which the club wasn't able to get rid off and a lot of players which suit one style but not the style of the current manager.

I think we need to separate finance matters (were we excel) to football matters (were we suck at least at board level). If I was a Glazer I'd separate the two with Woodward taking over the financial side and a football CEO taking over the football side. Then I'd hire a DOF, a head of recruitment + give SAF a more active role in the club possibly with a class of 92 groomed to succeed him (Gaz?)

Many interpret this radical change as a vote of zero confidence to either Woodward or Ole. Its not the case. Its actually allowing the two to focus on what they now best which in turn will make them more productive units at United. Ole in particular is still a rookie in management. He'll need a lot of help which I hope the club will provide.
 

b20times

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Do you think pep would get a tune out of this squad? Personally I'd say yes.
 

AgentP

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If we had a DoF and a proper structure back when Fergie retired, we wouldn't be in this situation. Lack of planning and long term vision from the board is the reason for this mess. Frankly speaking, our board lacks the experience of running a "football club". They are businessmen who only had to deal with the commercial side.

They thought someone else would come in and pick up from where Fergie left and be just as successful. And maybe that could have worked if we had got in some world class manager like Guardiola. Instead they gave Moyes a 6-yr contract. Then they brought in two managers who had the pedigree but whose best years were already behind them.

The players that we have now have been signed by 4 different managers who all have different playing styles. The players are obviously trying their best but most of them are pretty limited in their ability and have also not had a fixed style of play that they could master. Every one or two years, they have to unlearn what they did under the previous manager and adapt to a new system.

Basically there's no consistency and everything is done in a random and haphazard manner. So despite both players and managers being at fault, ultimately it's the club management that's responsible for our current predicament.

TLDR: It's neither, it's the management's fault
 

Freak

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To be honest, I've been sick of the majority of this group of players for a while now. Far too many players who are either way to average or bring too much baggage. It's difficult to connect with them.

The only ones I truly like and think they represent the club well as proper professionals are De Gea, Herrera, Mata, Rashford, Shaw, Dalot, Lindelof and the young ones (because it's difficult to dislike the young players from our academy)

I couldn't care less if any of the rest leave (yes that includes Pogba and Martial).
 

Raw

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Do you think pep would get a tune out of this squad? Personally I'd say yes.
I reckon it'd be similar to his first season at City where there was a clear imprint of his tactics on the team, but still too inconsistent and suffered some bad results.
 

Big Ben Foster

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When two legendary managers in succession fail to turn things around, the problem clearly goes beyond the manager.
 

GazTheLegend

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Do you think pep would get a tune out of this squad? Personally I'd say yes.
No.

You can’t play the sort of football city are playing with our squad.

Remember Pep has spent 400 million pounds on the players -he- wanted to fit his system.
 

kouroux

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It is easy to see when it's the manager's main fault or when it's players' IMHO.
At the moment it's the players without a doubt who take the bigger share of responsibilities regarding the terrible current form
 

b20times

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No.

You can’t play the sort of football city are playing with our squad.

Remember Pep has spent 400 million pounds on the players -he- wanted to fit his system.
I think this squad has the correct attributes to be successful under pep, i think his man management would bring an extra 20% out of players plus he'd be willing to play players out of their normal position to see what they could add to the team.

Look what he did with delph for example.
 
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Buster15

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Do you think pep would get a tune out of this squad? Personally I'd say yes.
Yes. But what kind of tune.
If he became our Coach he would initially try but very quickly realise that much of the squad are simply not good enough just as he did at City.

How many of the current squad do you think he would retain...
 

Velvet Revolver

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Defence

The build up is fecking SHIT. People need to stop ignoring this. Yes it does fecking matter and yes it is that important. The simple minor things like body positioning when receiving the ball or simply being open to a pass. The confidence to take the ball under pressure. The composure to deal with a pressing forward. People cry about Young hoofing the ball but this is just another example of SHIT build up. No manager will succeed at the top level like this, it simply will not happen.

Transitions

Again, TERRIBLE. Most of the defenders do not help at all. The only players who can transition from deep is Pogba and Shaw. Only Pogba does it at a high level. This is why Pogba is needed in deeper areas. He can hold the ball under pressure, and burst into midfield. Lindelof can attempt to play passes but it only makes it more difficult with him playing on the left. Smalling and Bailly will always push him into LCB. Smalling said he prefers to play with Lindelof because when Chris partners Eric he has to play on the left which makes him even more uncomfortable.

Build up and transitions are the first two phases of ATTACK. It isn't about just throwing bodies forward. We actually have to get it into the final phase. This is the foundation and base of the team and it is fecking terrible.

Width

We have ZERO wingers. Sanchez, Rashford and Martial are all forwards. Mata and Lingard are number 10's. This is compounded by the fact that are fullbacks are not good enough going forward. Shaw's final delivery is NOT good enough despite his quality in the first two phases. Having a winger which can operate across the whole line, that means LB, LWB, LM, LW & LF positions (also on the right hand side) is vital to build up, transition and creativity in the final third. A wide man transitioning from deep areas is NOT defensive. A wide man with high work rate is NOT defensive. The delivery and crosses are SHITE. The best crosser we have is fecking Lukaku who should be at the end of crosses.

You cannot attack properly if you do not have the base right, that starts in the defensive and deep phases. You can skip build up and transition by pressing high up the pitch or playing a long ball.

There is a call for us to throw bodies forward and press. If we are to manage a high intensity game throughout a whole season we have to retain ball possession at a rate closer to 60-70% , so that we don't tire and fatigue. How can we do this with our current defenders and the manner in which they handle the ball in the deepest areas? It is not possible. It simply isn't. I hope people do not turn on Ole, there is only so much he can do.
All true statements. What's sad is this has been the case since the last few seasons under SAF too only thing is we won the league

some things in addition to the ones you listed
- Our lack of movement without the ball, every single player in the team is static including DDG!
- We have too many 'Jack of all trades' players and no specialists.
- The needs of the manager vs the need of the commercial club is quite different. We bought players that were available/enticing as opposed to players that would support a specific system. [ Jose wanted perisic but the commercial aspect of Sanchez was more impressive].

Ole can coach the players but if they are limited and he has no funds to bring in the right players then there is no hope!
 

Gator Nate

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I reckon it'd be similar to his first season at City where there was a clear imprint of his tactics on the team, but still too inconsistent and suffered some bad results.
Huh... go figure. Sounds like a close, current example that's been brought up recently. Daily. Hourly.
 

tomaldinho1

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I think this squad has the correct attributes to be successful under pep, i think his man management would bring an extra 20% out of players plus he'd be willing to play players out of their normal position to see what they could add to the team.

Look what he did with delph for example.
Not a hope in hell.

If Pep had free choice to pick any of our players for their first XI, he might (and it's a big might) pick up Shaw because he's desperate for a fit LB. Don't think he'd touch anyone else with a barge pole. If we tried to play the way they do, it would not go well.
 

crossy1686

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We need investment, that's absolutely clear. Solskjær's got us playing better and with more freedom but individual errors are really hurting us. We need to 'grow' a squad instead of trying to buy a ready made one if we ever want to sort this mess out, thankfully, it appears that Solskjær and United's board are aware of this. Let's just hope he gets the time he deserves to correct the previous mistakes.

Next season could be worse before it gets better, I really hope not though...
 

sp_107

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Yes we are far too reluctant in moving players who aren't performing. It's as if we're hoping for that day when they'll magically become the players we expected them to.

I'd seriously considering the futures of

Young
Jones (lol)
Rojo
Periera
Mata
Lukaku
Fred

We need players with technical quality, intelligence and energy. Enough of filling spaces with technical deficient players and the dreaming of dominating possession.
You can add Valencia / Baily / Matic and Alexis to the list..They are either finished OR not good to play for UTD.

You might criticize me for saying this but if you really think about our squad hope atleast few agree with me

DDG/Romerio/Dalot/Victor/Smalling/Shaw/MCT/Pogba/Martial/Rashford/Lingaard/Herrera are the only ones we can try to keep and build the remaining squad in next few transfer windows

Problem is
DDG(He might had enough of not winning)
Pogba(Zidane Love/ Bad Agent)
Herrera (PSG) might depart too, I really hope they dont but if they decided to move on then we will be in real mess
 

Schmeichel=God

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You cracked me up. :lol::lol:

* shit
* shit
* terrible
* attack
* zero
* not
* not
* shite

All the capitalised words extracted. Finally burst out out laughing with the last one to wrap things up.



I think the spirit of this man got into you....


 

Von Mistelroum

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I think the wingers are actually our worst problem going forward. Rashford is a good player but often seems to not really know what he's doing with his legs. Martial seems to have lost his killer instinct and has flashes of looking good but not top class. Lingard seems less sure of what his legs are for than Rashford most of the time. He's a good player too, but not top class and not a proper winger. Sanchez is essentially retired. We need a proper winger on each side who will take on players and put in crosses that reach other players...
 

devilish

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Its certainly not Ole's fault although he does need help to deal with the board. Having said that lets not try to justify our previous managers. Most of the tripe was brought in by them
 

Reddy Rederson

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You can add Valencia / Baily / Matic and Alexis to the list..They are either finished OR not good to play for UTD.

You might criticize me for saying this but if you really think about our squad hope atleast few agree with me

DDG/Romerio/Dalot/Victor/Smalling/Shaw/MCT/Pogba/Martial/Rashford/Lingaard/Herrera are the only ones we can try to keep and build the remaining squad in next few transfer windows

Problem is
DDG(He might had enough of not winning)
Pogba(Zidane Love/ Bad Agent)
Herrera (PSG) might depart too, I really hope they dont but if they decided to move on then we will be in real mess
Pogba, no. He doesnt care, only plays when he wants to. He should be first on the list out the door to get the maximum cash for him.

Lingard, pish. Utter pish. Sell him first.

Smalling, not good enough. When he makes a mistake he loses confidence like its leaking out of his bum.

Martial, not good enough. All the promise, and none of the attitude to push on. Sell while we can still get a good price for him.

Last night showed that it wasnt jose. It was the players. It was that same 20 minutes playing well, then 70 playing shit trying to ride out a one goal lead. We all thought it was jose, well hes not here. And I doubt ole told them to play like that. Theres an attitude currently in that dressing room that players dont need to put in a shift. The guy who cant get in the starting line up for scotland, shouldnt be outplaying the supposedly world class pogba. Or "messe" lingard. Maybe martial can kick on, I dont see it, but I'll be happy to be proven wrong. That dressing room needs a iron fist thats backed by the upper management. Players need to know that if they play like crap, they dont get to keep their spot. McT more than earned his spot during the PSG game, yet as soon as matic was fit he was back in the side, playing like crap.

That game last night, and the few before it stunk of players that believe their own media hype bullshit. The fact it was the B team that beat PSG and the A team were sat at home making twitter videos about how they celebrated the win seems lost on them. I hope Ole can see it, and I hope he has the balls to move the trouble makers on. McT looks like hes hungry as feck to kick on, would be a shame to see him dragged down by the current dressing room belief that they dont need to put in an effort every game.
 

Jesper Weber Mortensen

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I completely agree OP. Our defence keeps getting worse and worse. Shaw is the only upside and Lindelöf may prove to be class, but the rest are either mediocre or outright poor. Rojo, Young, Darmian, Valencia, Bailly, Smalling and Jones should all be offloaded but the issue is that that's basically 80% of our defensive squad so no way in hell is that happening - especially after Young, Smalling and Jones' new contracts.

We stink of mediocrity. When I see Young I see Burnley. Jones and Smalling - Everton. Rojo - a random La Liga player from the bottom 5, Bailly - still Villareal level. Valencia - I don't even see a professional footballer anymore, the man had trouble dribbling his mum ffs.

A lot would be fixed with a RW. It would open up the pitch for one. But a CB pair like | Skriniar --- Koulibaly | would change this team in a heartbeat. I know how unrealistic it is to get those two (or the likes) with no Champions League (hoping for a jinx here) and numerous other clubs interested but that would be the dream.

I did the math and we've almost spent €900mil. since 2013 on players according to Transfermarkt. In my opinion it's only Shaw, Martial, Herrera and Pogba that's been good businesses (Zlatan and Romero were free so not included + Dalot, Lindelöf and Fred still have time). The rest imo have been either poor or average. That's shocking recruitment. We haven't had a direction and I fear we'll continue that path even with OGS.

We also haven't had a proper RW since what... Nani? How does stuff like that happen at a professional club, nevermind Manchester United? We are handling out contracts to players like Jones, Young and Smalling while it's a matter of time before De Gea and Pogba leaves on a free. At this point, knowing the way the clubs has been run the last five years, it would take a miracle for our club to win either the Premier League/Champions League in the coming five years.
 

lewwoo

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I agree with most the OP, except about Luke Shaw who has improved a lot this season, especially since Ole came in. His attacking play is getting better every game. Even last night he was making more runs, attempting dribbles, usually successfully. I'm optimistic he will have a great next season.

When the 19/20 season is finished then we will have a clear idea of Ole's abilities. Unless of course the club don't back him, in which case we're back to square one, fighting about who is to blame.
If the club dont back him then it is beyond doubt who is to blame. The owners. There will be no more excuses and nobody else to blame if Ole isnt backed this summer.
 

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Bingo, and it becomes even more apparent when Lindelof does not play since hes the only CB that can actually pass the ball instead of this soul crushing hoofing. This problem became extremely apparent when we played PSG at OT. Despite us huffing and puffing, their defenders passed it confidently and precisely among themselves, which opened up space their midfielders and attackers could exploit.

With us on the other hand its DDG ---> Smalling/Jones --> Hoof ---> Lose the ball and concede possession

If we are serious about becoming a modern possession based side, first order of business has to be getting a RB and a CB with the technical quality needed to start attacks from the deep , create space and link up with our MF players
 

L1nk

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List of average players in this squad that would not likely get into the first team of any other top team in Europe, these are players that are capable of maybe scoring a good goal or two, or a good assist every now and again before playing absolutely awful for about 5/6 games in a row. But the couple of good games is enough for everyone on here to then declare them the new messiah and how they are terrific and need to be given a chance yada yada yada

Phil Jones
Jesse Lingard
Chris Smalling
Ashley Young
Antonio Valencia
Matteo Darmian
Marcos Rojo

List of players that are obviously talented, and show it on occasion, but the occasion is far too rare for some and they are wildly inconsistent players that can't wholly be relied upon

Paul Pogba
Anthony Martial
Ander Herrera
Nemanja Matic
Romelu Lukaku
Juan Mata

Players who haven't always played so well but have either seen some great resurgence or put together consistently good strings of performances over the last season or two when they have been asked, enough that, also considering their age, they could have a future here at United.

Marcus Rashford
Victor Lindelof
Scott McTominay
Diogo Dalot

Players who i've no idea what to do with because they either are bit part players, can't tell if they are good enough or if they will get enough game time, are even trusted enough to begin with.

Fred
Andreas Pereira
Eric Bailly
Alexis Sanchez

Only odd one out for me is De Gea, who I love, and consider him one of the best keepers in the world, he's been our POTY for years, but this season he has gone well off it, no idea what is wrong with him.

So yeah, it IS the players, half of them are garbage and half of them are far too inconsistent to really be relied upon.
 

TrueRed79

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This is definitely our problem. Poor recruitment and neglected youth investment have led us to where we are. Some posters who reacted so badly in the Solskjaer thread need to think about what they say before posting such drivel. And it's not a case of "you can't slag Ole", you can! but perspective needs to be applied. The root cause of all our ills is from the very top. Clueless owners, and that doesnt apply to who they have appointed per se. It's too easy to blame managers when the wrong man is in the seat in the first place. I believe Ole is a step in the right direction and will buy the right players, but until there's a massive change at the very top, we won't be back to where we belong anytime soon.
 

Njord

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Think it's telling that we were really good yesterday at the start of each half. This shows that Ole had a good plan for the match. But after we conceded in the first half the team seemed to forget what they were supposed to do. The same happened in the second half after the red card. With a little more quality yesterday we're up 3-0 after 20 minutes, we don't concede a goal like that after 25, and we finish with 11 men, because quality players don't make tackles like that after getting a yellow two minutes earlier.
 

deadrevelz

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If the club dont back him then it is beyond doubt who is to blame. The owners. There will be no more excuses and nobody else to blame if Ole isnt backed this summer.
My point was that if he isn't backed we won't know whether he is the right manager or not. We already know the owners and Ed have been terrible for the club so far.
 

lewwoo

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Bridgwater
My point was that if he isn't backed we won't know whether he is the right manager or not. We already know the owners and Ed have been terrible for the club so far.
Sorry I didnt make it clear. I agree with your post was just commenting on the last bit about fans fighting who would be to blame if he isn't backed. Not sure how anybody could defend the owners if thats the case!
 

Janson

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Manager doesn't hold a controller to control the players. There're no miracle workers. If the players are crap in basic passing, ball retention and building up from the back, whatever coaching they'll get, they'll never become good. People exaggerate manager's ability in developing the players or creating miracles.
This is what I've been saying for years. I think it's the transforming systems of Pep and Klopp that has led people to believe that any group of players can be turned in to a top team with coaching. In reality, you also need a brilliant squad to do that.

And please people don't come at me with, "But they have Milner and Hendo in midfield." Yeah and they are very good players.