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2021-22 Performances


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Zehner

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Guess we'll have to wait and see. Imo Sancho will help us a lot playing from the right. Might have to be a change in manager until we do anything anyway though. But I strongly disagree with pretty much saying Sancho only worked on the RW with Hakimi behind him, he did well without Hakimi too and generally I think the biggest difference in his play from either wing would just be he takes on more shots from the left as he can cut in. We don't need shots from him though so I don't care about that. We'll see though.
Everythingrelated to cutting inside is more difficult, not only shooting. As a dribbler, you prefer to have your body between the opponent and the ball. This is really one of the most basic principles. But when you cut in from the right with the ball on your right foot, you leave it exposed to interceptions and tackles. That means you can't let the opponents come as close to you. It is more difficult to "invite" pressure (because by shielding it, you open your body towards a direction in which there are almost zero options) and it is more difficult to "round" the defender. Moreover, when you cut inside it is very often in a horizontal direction. If you want to play a forward pass after cutting in from the right as a right footed player, you pretty much have to play the pass - and those are among the most difficult - with the weak foot. You can't even use the outside of the foot properly in many situations and even if you can, you simply can't manipulate a football the same way you can manipulate it with the inside of the boot. All this means that you intrinsically look for a back or horizontal pass - and even the latter is more difficult since you can't utilize the curve to gain a bit of space as it is often seen in switches of play. Or in other words, you feel saver when passing backwards than frontwards and this will affect your decision making and frequency of space creating passes.

And you could go on and on about it :) There's also this thing that passing/shooting the ball with the outside of the boot often requires a bigger "range of motion" and interrupts your step sequence/footwork more, meaning you lose a few milliseconds here and there. And that's one of the strongest elements of Sancho's game: Quick body feints and skill moves not to cover lots of grounds but to set the opponent on the wrong foot and open up tight passing lanes he can utilize with a quick "flick pass" or use as a distraction to dribble through.

Moreover, going past a defender on the outside with your weak foot on the inside is much easier than the other way round, so it doesn't really limit your decision making at all. You can even say it is easier for less pacey players to do it as an inverted winger since you have the element of surprise.
 

lex talionis

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Looking at Sancho now, it would have been more likely he was on the bench most of last season rather than help us in a meaningful way but that's all ifs and buts really. Think he's one that'll need a lot of time to adapt.

Also I don't think Greenwood owns the RW at all. He's great at cutting inside from scoring but the rest of his RW gameplay is still a little short. I still believe that Sancho can provide a different option at RW.

As for Ronaldo, I mean Ronaldo is Ronaldo. We didn't sign him to fill any gap in the team, we signed him because he is Ronaldo. I don't buy that we would have passed on Ronaldo this year had we signed Sancho last season. The timing of the Sancho signing and the Ronaldo signing is unrelated to each other.
I just can't see how Sancho would have been benched for most of last season. Unlike Donny, Sancho is a player that Ole desperately wanted. But I do agree that he'll need time to adapt, which is why last season would have been the right to time to let Sancho adapt. With all the talent on this squad, it should be hitting top gear and not waiting for players to adapt to the league.

Greenwood will eventually move to CF, but based on his play so far this year it would be hardy to justify pulling Greenwood out of RW duty. His game does need improvement, no question, but what he does well he does brilliantly.

As for Ronaldo, what I'm getting at is that had we used last season to develop Greenwood as a CF and had Greenwood maximized that chance -- and we'll never know whether he would have -- we actually might have passed up on Ronaldo. Keep in mind the reason we brought in Ronaldo is that we didn't have a proper CF. Martial has gone to the dogs and Cavani at his age isn't the answer as a regular starter for United. Because we didn't develop Greenwood as a CF last season he isn't a CF this season. The acquisition of Ronaldo, though a panic buy, was a shrewd buy given the collapse of Martial and Cavani's age and injury record.

Had we brought in Sancho to own the RW last season he'd be in a higher gear this season and Greenwood would have -- at least we hope -- developed into the CF that this squad desperately needed going into this season. All to save 30m of the Glazers money? Not that smart of a move, and here we are now...flailing in the PL and possibly a few weeks away from sacking the manager because the manager, among other things, now has to reconfigure his tactics to work to Ronaldo's strengths.
 

Bebestation

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Just out of interest, does anyone know of a left footed RW that is good at hugging the touch line on the LW like Sancho is on the right?
 

Harry190

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I genuinely believe City and United signed the wrong players. Grealish would have suited United, Sancho City.
 

lex talionis

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I genuinely believe City and United signed the wrong players. Grealish would have suited United, Sancho City.
I completely agree with that. Sancho would have settled in by now had he come last season, but Grealish's footballing DNA would have suited United perfectly. This would have meant, of course, that we sell Pogba last summer.

Had club management thought it through more strategically in the summer of 2020 we would have brought in Grealish and not Donny (whom I rate, but Ole does not) and sold Pogba. Greenwood still looks more like a CF than a RW to me, so bring in Sancho (yes, at 108m). And then this summer instead of Ronaldo (I get the romance, but there are real issues with him at his age and having to reconfigure our tactics around him) we should have brought in a proper CDM, Rice if the budget allowed it or Tchouameni.

The objection would be that Rashford occupies the role that Grealish would have assumed, but I have no doubt that Grealish would have thrived for us in the Pogba role.

De Gea
AWB Varane Maguire Shaw
Rice Grealish
Sancho Bruno Rashford
Greenwood

AWB is the weak link above, but there isn't much we were ever going to do about that. But a front five of Grealish, Sancho, Bruno, Rashford and Greenwood (with Cavani as backup) would have been ferocious.

But if it came down to an either/or between Sancho and Grealish, Grealish would have much better suited our improvisational/brilliance tactics. But maybe what this squad needs is more tactical discipline. When Zidane comes in, which appears increasingly likely now within the next month, he can make more use out of Sancho than he could have Grealish.
 

bosnian_red

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I completely agree with that. Sancho would have settled in by now had he come last season, but Grealish's footballing DNA would have suited United perfectly. This would have meant, of course, that we sell Pogba last summer.

Had club management thought it through more strategically in the summer of 2020 we would have brought in Grealish and not Donny (whom I rate, but Ole does not) and sold Pogba. Greenwood still looks more like a CF than a RW to me, so bring in Sancho (yes, at 108m). And then this summer instead of Ronaldo (I get the romance, but there are real issues with him at his age and having to reconfigure our tactics around him) we should have brought in a proper CDM, Rice if the budget allowed it or Tchouameni.

The objection would be that Rashford occupies the role that Grealish would have assumed, but I have no doubt that Grealish would have thrived for us in the Pogba role.

De Gea
AWB Varane Maguire Shaw
Rice Grealish
Sancho Bruno Rashford
Greenwood

AWB is the weak link above, but there isn't much we were ever going to do about that. But a front five of Grealish, Sancho, Bruno, Rashford and Greenwood (with Cavani as backup) would have been ferocious.

But if it came down to an either/or between Sancho and Grealish, Grealish would have much better suited our improvisational/brilliance tactics. But maybe what this squad needs is more tactical discipline. When Zidane comes in, which appears increasingly likely now within the next month, he can make more use out of Sancho than he could have Grealish.
Ffs in what world could Grealish ever not be anything but a complete liability in a midfield 2? The guy is the furthest thing from a deep midfielder, he does pretty much feck all defensively wherever he is on the pitch. He is a #10 or a left winger. We have Bruno and Rashford there. Grealish was never a need for us. That's it.
 

Tony247

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When we desparately need some width and creativity from right Ole plays his most natural RW on left. A RW who has strong right foot and can cross from wide right, the part of game entirely missing at united for years.

Seriously don't know whether to cry or laugh.
 

Borussia Teeth

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Bayern the obvious, Pep at City have always done better with players on their stronger foot side rather than cutting in (Foden and Jesus, Sane and Sterling were both far better balance wise than it was with inverted wingers).
Mahrez and Silva cut in from the right, Sterling plays left. As for Bayern, I don't watch a lot of BL but I always see Coman on the left. To be blunt about it; inverted wingers are normal, traditional wingers are a rarity, so I still don't see the problem with Sancho on the left and Greenwood on the right.
 

lex talionis

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Ffs in what world could Grealish ever not be anything but a complete liability in a midfield 2? The guy is the furthest thing from a deep midfielder, he does pretty much feck all defensively wherever he is on the pitch. He is a #10 or a left winger. We have Bruno and Rashford there. Grealish was never a need for us. That's it.
Grealish likes to carry the ball up the pitch. A proper CDM and a capable back line don't need two defensive midfielders. To suggest otherwise is the kind of thinking that has given us McFred, which predictably dire results.
 

bosnian_red

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Grealish likes to carry the ball up the pitch. A proper CDM and a capable back line don't need two defensive midfielders. To suggest otherwise is the kind of thinking that has given us McFred, which predictably dire results.
You don't need 2 defensive midfielders but you need a balance of midfielders and attackers who have the defensive solidity, work rate and positioning between them. An attack with 3 of Ronaldo/Cavani/Rashford/Greenwood/Sancho and Bruno or Pogba as the 10 would need a much more solid midfield 2. Just as Bayern balance an attack of Lewandowski, Muller, Sane and Gnabry with Kimmich and Goretzka. In fact even if you ignore the front 3... your midfield 2 or midfield 3 needs a balance. There isn't a single team or system that can make a midfield of 1 DM behind Grealish or Pogba with Bruno work. And don't bring up Pep with De Bruyne and Silva, as they are both far better in possession and are much more prepared to just control the game without chasing a killer ball unlike Grealish/Pogba/Bruno who constantly look for that pass.

I don't get why people have this weird aversion to holding midfielders. We used Carrick and Scholes as our midfield base for ages. Or Keane before Carrick. Scholes was a player who didn't run with the ball and vacate the midfield constantly, which is a common problem we have with Pogba in the middle. It would be far worse with Grealish. No sense of positioning from him or Bruno, just like there isn't with Pogba, which leads to an excessive area to cover for the 1 holding midfielder. A lack of positioning can be kind of covered up with enough work rate (how we half ass manage it with Fred and McTominay, except those 2 are very average on the ball). What we need is a deep playmaker who sits and dictates tempo, like Verratti or Jorginho or Kimmich. Not someone who will constantly run forward and leave the midfield stranded.
 

Threesus

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Does anyone feel that there are too many system players these days? Is this a correlation of academy football becoming too structured or has it always been like that?

Like where are the players who take the game by the scruff of the neck? It looks like players these days need x, y and z to perform, especially ours.
 

Shark

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Does anyone feel that there are too many system players these days? Is this a correlation of academy football becoming too structured or has it always been like that?

Like where are the players who take the game by the scruff of the neck? It looks like players these days need x, y and z to perform, especially ours.
Our team is littered with them. We just don't get the ball to them nearly enough.
 

stefan92

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Mahrez and Silva cut in from the right, Sterling plays left. As for Bayern, I don't watch a lot of BL but I always see Coman on the left. To be blunt about it; inverted wingers are normal, traditional wingers are a rarity, so I still don't see the problem with Sancho on the left and Greenwood on the right.
Coman has barely featured this season, and when he did, then on the right, not the left. You are right for earlier seasons though.
 

MalaysianRed7

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Let's be honest it was pretty telling that no one else was interested in signing him, especially at a vastly reduced price this summer.

I hope he'll find another gear and embrace the challenge of fighting for his place but I do worry he might be another signing for the hipster hype dud eleven.
Apologies for using your post as my one example, but this is just one of many I’ve seen in this thread writing Sancho off already. I’d advise anyone not to make this mistake, as I’m convinced he’ll be making you look very silly as early as the end of this season.

Firstly, there’s not a doubt in my mind that his adaptation to the PL will be pretty plain sailing. Yes, he’s spent his whole senior career in Germany up to now, but there was absolutely no difference between his youth development and the other young English wonderkids in the league, like Mason, Foden and Saka. He also dealt with the rough and tumble of youth football in England and thrived as much as them. And in fact, going by his performances against West Ham in the cup and Everton, he’s well on his way to being fully embedded already.

Of course, he still has 0 goals and assists, and didn’t look great against Leicester. However, I just don’t see what he’s meant to do when we don’t play to his strengths whatsoever. If you watched only one of his games at Dortmund, you would be able to see that he needs the ball into feet to run 1v1 at the full back, and everyone disperses to find space. This is how he achieved 30+ total goals and assists for each of the past 3 seasons.

The beauty of it is that with the likes of Bruno, Ronaldo and Mason also in the team, defenders won’t even be able to double up on him. You’d think Ole would know this after spending £72m on him, but instead, we play long ball and try to find him in behind. That’s Rashford’s game, but it’ll never be Sancho’s. He is not as quick and explosive as someone like Marcus, but he is more skillful. Even so, he has not been as bad as many people are making him out to be.

Another thing I just can’t tolerate is this lazy narrative from the media and some of our fans that he’s someone who doesn’t press and is lazy. Come on, he played in the Bundesliga, a league where pretty much every team’s main tactic is the high press maybe bar Freiburg, and for Dortmund, the team most famed for the high press and defensive line over the last decade. It’s just that here, our players are evidently not coached on how to press properly, and some (Pogba and Ronaldo) simply refuse to do so. For example, how many times did he or Mason look to press a Leicester defender on Saturday to no avail due to having absolutely zero backup from Ronaldo and Shaw/AWB? Despite that, he still has 28 pressures per 90 minutes, far and away the most in our team.

In a nutshell, I’m calling for patience. This guy is a special talent and was widely regarded as second to only Mbappe in terms of this generation’s young attackers. He will come good in no time.
 

Hansi Fick

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Sancho is not a "system player", fecking hell. Anything but. He's a brilliant individualist, but yes, football is in fact a TEAM SPORT.
 

stefan92

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Sancho is not a "system player", fecking hell. Anything but. He's a brilliant individualist, but yes, football is in fact a TEAM SPORT.
Let us phrase this differently: Sancho is a player who can make a system tick, as he is a brilliant playmaker. When there is no system, he is lost.
 

Hansi Fick

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Let us phrase this differently: Sancho is a player who can make a system tick, as he is a brilliant playmaker. When there is no system, he is lost.
Every player is lost when there's no system. Sancho deals with it by trying to recycle the ball and keep possession ("sideways passing"), his teammates deal with it by shooting from every angle.
 

stefan92

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Every player is lost when there's no system. Sancho deals with it by trying to recycle the ball and keep possession ("sideways passing"), his teammates deal with it by shooting from every angle.
While his teammates try to score wonder goals on their own (like Greenwood). They get praised, Sancho doesn't.
 

Hansi Fick

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While his teammates try to score wonder goals on their own (like Greenwood). They get praised, Sancho doesn't.
Sure. And Greenwood is a world class finisher, but apart from that he's not very present. With Ronaldo, Fernandes, and Greenwood, the team is top heavy with finishers, and then you have Pogba taking shots too.. no wonder there's not much control.
 

OL29

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Sure. And Greenwood is a world class finisher, but apart from that he's not very present. With Ronaldo, Fernandes, and Greenwood, the team is top heavy with finishers, and then you have Pogba taking shots too.. no wonder there's not much control.
He’s also completed the most dribbles of any United player this season, a trait Sancho was meant to provide, so let’s not use Greenwood as an excuse for Sancho’s anonymous performances. Even if the system isn’t great, there’s other ways he can influence a match.
 

bosnian_red

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Every player is lost when there's no system. Sancho deals with it by trying to recycle the ball and keep possession ("sideways passing"), his teammates deal with it by shooting from every angle.
Pretty much this. In Ole's "system", it's essentially players trying to make something out of nothing every time, so they'll stick out more when it works but also show inconsistency (Bruno, Pogba, Rashford, Greenwood). Sancho is a smart playmaker but he isn't the type to try and take a team on all his own - and so he looks less impactful for United so far.
 

Zehner

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When we desparately need some width and creativity from right Ole plays his most natural RW on left. A RW who has strong right foot and can cross from wide right, the part of game entirely missing at united for years.

Seriously don't know whether to cry or laugh.
Where does the notion come from that Sancho can cross? I can't recall a single good Sancho cross and I must have watched 50 full games of him.
 

Tony247

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Where does the notion come from that Sancho can cross? I can't recall a single good Sancho cross and I must have watched 50 full games of him.
He may not be using it often but he does have sublime right footed cross/lob.
 

Orton

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Where does the notion come from that Sancho can cross? I can't recall a single good Sancho cross and I must have watched 50 full games of him.
I tend to believe more of what I read from the German posters on here, and things don’t look great at the moment especially with the current setup and people’s expectations of what Sancho actually is and what they think he is. I’ve only seen him for England and ourselves amongst some highlights.

Keep seeing the same debate about whether or not he should play left/right with some g/a stats to back up these claims.

I haven’t been impressed and keep wondering why we were so desperate to sign him. Another manager will surely put him to much better use than what never Ole is expecting.
 

Bebestation

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Where does the notion come from that Sancho can cross? I can't recall a single good Sancho cross and I must have watched 50 full games of him.
What was he good at in the Bundesliga? What was his speciality?

Through balls right?
 

FriedClams

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I genuinely believe City and United signed the wrong players. Grealish would have suited United, Sancho City.
Interesting take, and one that I can sort of agree with assuming you get Jack Grealish at his absolute best every game, but even then there would be squad chemistry problems. Grealish is primarily used on the left side of the pitch, whereas Sancho has at least demonstrated he can put in strong displays on the right. With Grealish in our side and current favored line-up, he would be occupying space that Ronaldo, Pogba and Bruno like to use and I could actually see games passing him by. Now, we have Rashford back in the squad who is clearly most effective from that side, so where would Grealish leave him? I think if we want to play quick tempo counter attacking football, Rashford has more pre-requisites for that than Grealish.

With Grealish at the club, We would have had 5 players who all prefer to play from that side of the pitch, and are unproven/don't like playing on the other side. Grealish, Martial, Pogba, Rashford, Ronaldo and to some extent even Bruno. That position is well and truly stocked up, and even though Sancho seems like he prefers to play there, he can be great from the right side.

One thing I can agree with is that Sancho is a better fit for City than Grealish, although a couple of seasons with Guardiola will likely see Grealish performance levels get to a very high standard in the PL and UCL.
 

laughtersassassin

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I'm someone who thinks Sancho is fantastic and will be great for us once we start to function as a team.

But its funny that Amads first games for us where so much more impressive. Football is a funny game.
 

SonyaCross493

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Sancho has to play on the right tonight. We are barely creating chances so that means you need to play players in the best positions. Greenwood isn't a winger.
 
Man Utd 3:2 Atalanta

kouroux

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There was a moment where Cavani overhit a pass to him, Sancho dropped his head, Cavani went on after the ball and it prompted Sancho to do the same.
He needs to be more alive and intense if he wants to make it at Utd. It feels like he is too chill
 

Bwuk

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There was a moment where Cavani overhit a pass to him, Sancho dropped his head, Cavani went on after the ball and it prompted Sancho to do the same.
He needs to be more alive and intense if he wants to make it at Utd. It feels like he is too chill
Agreed. Thought he did well when he came on though
 
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For a new signing who hasn't impressed so far, it's baffling how he consistently plays with such a lack of intensity on and off the ball. It's the same whether he starts or comes on as a sub.

Cavani sprinting past him to do his pressing for him said it all.

You'd think - and hope - he'd be busting a gut to kickstart his time here... but it couldn't be further from the case.
 

Sylar

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There was a moment where Cavani overhit a pass to him, Sancho dropped his head, Cavani went on after the ball and it prompted Sancho to do the same.
He needs to be more alive and intense if he wants to make it at Utd. It feels like he is too chill
And Cavani is about as close to double his age as you may get on a football field.

I reckon there are a few players in our team however who would have reacted like Sancho did
 

saivet

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There was a moment where Cavani overhit a pass to him, Sancho dropped his head, Cavani went on after the ball and it prompted Sancho to do the same.
He needs to be more alive and intense if he wants to make it at Utd. It feels like he is too chill
Would need to see a replay but I thought Sancho was offside there.
 

el3mel

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Forgot this guy was put on. The signing so far has all the signs of being a flop but I'm just trying to be patient and not already consider it one now.
 

Oranges038

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There was a moment where Cavani overhit a pass to him, Sancho dropped his head, Cavani went on after the ball and it prompted Sancho to do the same.
He needs to be more alive and intense if he wants to make it at Utd. It feels like he is too chill
He looked offside, that's why he left it.

He got an assist assist for Maguire's goal. It's a start.
 

Scholsey2004

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For a new signing who hasn't impressed so far, it's baffling how he consistently plays with such a lack of intensity on and off the ball. It's the same whether he starts or comes on as a sub.

Cavani sprinting past him to do his pressing for him said it all.

You'd think - and hope - he'd be busting a gut to kickstart his time here... but it couldn't be further from the case.
That sounds like he was offside and couldnt touch it before an onside team-mate got the ball.