Let the opponent have the ball - why hasn't anyone at the club think of this before?


Full Member
Oct 20, 2014
*Teleports behind you*
We seem to shit our pants when we need to play out from the back, when the opposing players are all in their positions. Because that means we actually need to think and try to outsmart them - drawing their forwards and midfielders by passing it at the back or confusing them with triangles, leaving them chasing shadows (which shouldn't be possible with a 45 y.o Matic). On the contrary we seem to be doing well when we don't have the ball and don't have to think. Win the ball back, a quick through pass and it's a goal. Win the ball back, a quick through pass and we win a penalty and it's a goal. With two of the best penalty takers in the land this should be a no brainer. We have quick players suitable for counter attack we are just bad when the opponents have all their players behind the ball.

So the idea is that when our CBs or midfielders have the ball, instead of passing it from the back and try to control the match (which usually ends up a disaster - Maguire to Varane to Fred, ball lost and the opponent has a shot on target), why don't we just give the ball to them? No need to control the midfield at all, if Fred gets the ball and he doesn't know what to do, he just need to hit it really hard towards their defenders so we force them to play from the back. Then after that we'll have the bulldogs (Bruno, Greenwood, Rashford, Sancho, Pogba, etc) ready to win the ball back before lumping it to Ronaldo to score. It sounds so simple yet very effective. I mean rather than watching someone gives the ball away for a shot on target to the opponent, it's better to watch someone gives the ball away for our advantage.

Granted this "smart" idea doesn't seem too smart when you think that the opponent can actually do the same thing. We pass the ball to them and they will pass it back. But here is where psychology comes in, you just need to piss them off. So let's say that Moyes tries to do the same thing because he is managing an inferior team and hates United. A concrete example, Fred has the ball and Westham players are all in their positions, he doesn't know what to do so he passes the ball to Rice but Rice passes it back. What do we do? it's actually quite simple. Fred should never receive it. All he needs to do is to watch the ball while keeping his position very close to it and when Westham players get angry for "Fred timewasting" and chase the ball, Fred should immediately kick the ball to their defenders, forcing them to play from the back again. At this point the battle is already won. If for some reason it's hard to pass the ball to the opponent defenders, he can simply kick the ball out of play for a throw in.

The key is we should only do this when our players don't know what to do and seems to have a difficulty breaking down the opponents midfield/defense. We play by our strengths and not weaknesses. What does RedCafe say about this?