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2023-24 Performances


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sammyhol

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I have a theory that the incessant negativity on here is a by-product of people's desperation to be 'proved right' and to be able to say 'I told you so' on the Internet.

Brian Clough once said "it's much easier to put your foot through a Picasso than to paint one".

Likewise, it's much easier to be 'right' if you're down on everything that the club does from the outset.

It's very rare that any club or manager makes a decision than is universally acknowledged as a 100% success, so the negative folk have the advantage for sure.

I remember when fans used to be excited about new signings. Now there's a pile-on waiting to say "what a terrible waste of money, it'll never work"

I have plenty of issues with ETH tactically, but I actually like all of his signings, insofar as they are the right profile (with the exception of Casemiro - no more RM castoffs, thanks!)
I kind of agree with a lot of your sentiment here. But I do think it swings both ways. For every permanently critical fan, you get a permanently supportive fan who will also tie themselves in knots to be seen as both "a proper fan" and ultimately right.

Surely the best method is to just be honest with what your eyes are telling you. And with Mount for me, that results in being pretty underwhelmed.

I haven't seen as many of his games as the average Chelsea fan obviously.... but I can't think of any games that I have seen him play for Chelsea, England, or United that made me think "Wow, what a player", or that he was the type of player we should have prioritised this summer considering our limited budget.

And although I hope to be proven wrong, I expect that he will be reduced to a bit part player once the memory of his price tag fades along with the manager's own stubbornness of being proved right.
 

Lentwood

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I kind of agree with a lot of your sentiment here. But I do think it swings both ways. For every permanently critical fan, you get a permanently supportive fan who will also tie themselves in knots to be seen as both "a proper fan" and ultimately right.

Surely the best method is to just be honest with what your eyes are telling you. And with Mount for me, that results in being pretty underwhelmed.

I haven't seen as many of his games as the average Chelsea fan obviously.... but I can't think of any games that I have seen him play for Chelsea, England, or United that made me think "Wow, what a player", or that he was the type of player we should have prioritised this summer considering our limited budget.

And although I hope to be proven wrong, I expect that he will be reduced to a bit part player once the memory of his price tag fades along with the manager's own stubbornness of being proved right.
It depends what we're expecting from him though. Its clear that ETH is a systems manager who values organisation and hard-work over individual skill and talent.

This is not about defending ETH either, I have actually been vocal about my belief were not improving and he's failing to implement 'his' football - but I do like the direction he's going in, with respect his signings.

I accept many fans will disagree with me. They want flair, skills, dribbles, beating defenders, goals from outside the box etc...whereas I much prefer hard-work, ball retention, ability to press, footballing IQ, ball control etc...

We see it with Antony. I happen to really like him, but he's not the player United fans are used to seeing in wide-areas for the club. Likewise, Mount isn't the type of AM were used to seeing at the club....but this is by design.

I mentioned in a post above that we need to build a platform of solid, reliable, hard-workers before we add the 'stardust' that transforms us from 'good' to 'great'. Personally I'm sick of the Rashford's, the Martial's, the Pogba's, the AdMs, the Depay's, the Mhiki's etc...that turn-up one game in four and are desperate the rest of the time.

We wonder why our form keeps swinging wildly from the sublime to the ridiculous. Its because those players' top level is high, but their base level is very low - and they don't work hard enough to cover for bad performances.

I personally want a team of Mount's, Amrabat's, Antony's and Hojlund's working their backsides off game in, game out, first and foremost. We can worry about flair and individual brilliance once we have that solidity. Appreciate that's my preference/opinion.
 

Guv77

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I'm probably in minority or the only one but he was solid, active, tried to find openings, had a good shot, was pretty good in pressing.

Shame most people's minds is already turned up about him being a waste of money and they'll probably wont and dont want to change their minds.
I’m sitting next to a guy at work right now, just like this. Has no idea what he offers, ‘how many goals has he scored?’
and he finished off by saying..’I will be proved right’
 

IrishRedDevil

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I never wanted us to sign him, but I don't mind him as a player and I do see his qualities.
My main issue (not Mounts fault) is that him and Bruno play ontop of eachother.
Totally in-balanced team with no RW.

 

Ayoba

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This analysis is spot on tbh based on the performances we've seen so far this season. I'm afraid he's simply just an OK player but ultimately, he's not good enough to improve us as team.

 

zaafi

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This analysis is spot on tbh based on the performances we've seen so far this season. I'm afraid he's simply just an OK player but ultimately, he's not good enough to improve us as team.

Improving us as a team is exactly what he can do, instead of being one that relies on moments to make a difference.
 

pocco

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Improving us as a team is exactly what he can do, instead of being one that relies on moments to make a difference.
I feel like it only ends one way with players like him/system players here. We've heard it many times, Kagawa, Mkhitaryan, VdB...'system players' etc. I don't think you can get away with not being a top individual in the PL if you want to compete for trophies. You could say City have set the bar, as all their players conform to a system, but individually they have the quality to deal with situations on the pitch where a bit of improvisation is needed.

To be honest though, I don't think Mount is a top level player or technician on the pitch. I don't think he's particularly good at carrying the ball, his touch is decent enough, but his passing is quite basic. I think the main thing with him is that he doesn't seem to have that inner desire to influence games. I heard many people say that he goes missing in games prior to signing for us - both for England and Chelsea. That's what I've seen from him myself too and think is on display here. He doesn't influence games like Foden, Maddison etc. Bruno boils my p*ss with how loose he can be at times with his passing, but I would never drop him for Mount as the potential for Mount to win the game just isn't there.
 

goatmeister

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I feel like it only ends one way with players like him/system players here. We've heard it many times, Kagawa, Mkhitaryan, VdB...'system players' etc. I don't think you can get away with not being a top individual in the PL if you want to compete for trophies. You could say City have set the bar, as all their players conform to a system, but individually they have the quality to deal with situations on the pitch where a bit of improvisation is needed.

To be honest though, I don't think Mount is a top level player or technician on the pitch. I don't think he's particularly good at carrying the ball, his touch is decent enough, but his passing is quite basic. I think the main thing with him is that he doesn't seem to have that inner desire to influence games. I heard many people say that he goes missing in games prior to signing for us - both for England and Chelsea. That's what I've seen from him myself too and think is on display here. He doesn't influence games like Foden, Maddison etc. Bruno boils my p*ss with how loose he can be at times with his passing, but I would never drop him for Mount as the potential for Mount to win the game just isn't there.
KDB, Bernardo, Gundogan (just to name a few) are all system players.
You can't really say that Mount are better than any of them.
And they are impactful in as much as they conform to Pep's system.
We all want that from our 55m 250kpw player; apparently it's too much.
 
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Sheffield Utd 1:2 Man Utd

Malone_Post

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Reduced to squad player already? Not even part of the three attacking changes made when chasing a goal.

Who could have seen that coming? Oh that’s right. Absolutely everyone.
 

Abraxas

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I don't see how he's in our best lineups at the moment. I'd rather have the solidity of Casemiro and Amrabat together and failing that I'd sooner see Eriksen's composure and influence than Mount who can be peripheral.

Strange situation when you're talking about the guy that was your number one target.
 

JohnyBuckets

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I was quite surpised that even though he was just subed in, he seemed really slow to get to a ball. Did anyone else notice that? I know he is not a fast player but I thought he had a quick first step
 

AFC NimbleThumb

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Reduced to squad player already? Not even part of the three attacking changes made when chasing a goal.

Who could have seen that coming? Oh that’s right. Absolutely everyone.
I was going to ask how our £55mil Summer signing in midfield can only get on in the 88th minute of a game.

This signing is abysmal & quite frankly all who sanctioned it should have nothing to do with transfers going forward.
 

Redivy

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I was going to ask how our £55mil Summer signing in midfield can only get on in the 88th minute of a game.

This signing is abysmal & quite frankly all who sanctioned it should have nothing to do with transfers going forward.
Why? Manchester United should have more than just one starting quality attacking mid in the squad. He has shown what he is capable of in the games before the break and he clearly has more in the tank.

If we want to compete for the top, we need to have different options in the squad. Today was not a Mount day, the next game might be.
 

Doracle

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What was going on with that “sprint” near the end? Looked like a 60 yo running for a bus. He’s never been that quick but I didn’t think he was slow either.
 

RedRonaldo

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Forget about playing him as CM, I’d have him as 4th choice AM right now.
 

AFC NimbleThumb

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Why? Manchester United should have more than just one starting quality attacking mid in the squad. He has shown what he is capable of in the games before the break and he clearly has more in the tank.

If we want to compete for the top, we need to have different options in the squad. Today was not a Mount day, the next game might be.
Why? Well because we aren’t in the phase of building out the squad, which is bloated enough already. What we needed was a certified starter in the Eriksen role. A bloated squad doesn’t mean you’ll compete, a quality squad does.

If funds were endless then fine spend £55mil on Lingard+ but they are not, hes not the profile of midfielder we needed currently.

If we want to compete for the top’ whilst we can’t beat Crystal Palace at home & laboured to a win last night :rolleyes:
 

Borys

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Interesting case of Mason Mount. A few games ago most people expressed opinion he deserved to play #10 role (with Bruno dropped). Now he is reduced to squad player? I Don't think so, I think (hope) Bruno gets a rest and Mount plays with Eriksen and Amrabat on Tuesday.

I don't see how he's in our best lineups at the moment. I'd rather have the solidity of Casemiro and Amrabat together and failing that I'd sooner see Eriksen's composure and influence than Mount who can be peripheral.

Strange situation when you're talking about the guy that was your number one target.
Who plays #6 and who are the #10s?
 

ElDiabloRojo

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Why did we buy him exactly? I dont see the point of him.
He played against ETH previously. Seems to be no other reason. Brainless signing, and number 7 too. He can't play with Bruno so one has to go or sit on the bench.

A lot to fix once again if/when a new manager is hired.
 

Abraxas

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Interesting case of Mason Mount. A few games ago most people expressed opinion he deserved to play #10 role (with Bruno dropped). Now he is reduced to squad player? I Don't think so, I think (hope) Bruno gets a rest and Mount plays with Eriksen and Amrabat on Tuesday.


Who plays #6 and who are the #10s?
Casemiro and Amrabat can play 6. If they play together, Casemiro plays box to box, which to be honest with his style of play at United which I think is a bit overly ambitious for his skillset, is more or less along the lines of what he has been doing but with more defensive cover.

Bruno plays because he's Bruno, he's a far more effective footballer than Mount for all his frustrations.

Eriksen can play with Amrabat or Casemiro for me. He did it last season, no special reason to think he can't still do it. Could also play as a 10.

Not forgetting Mainoo is a talent in the deeper positions.

Nothing at all about Mason Mount compels me to think he offers something substantial that is better than the above. Energy maybe? Pressing? Hasn't been very effective so far, and even if we presume it is somewhat effective, does that make up for providing little influence? Not sure.
 

Borys

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Casemiro and Amrabat can play 6. If they play together, Casemiro plays box to box, which to be honest with his style of play at United which I think is a bit overly ambitious for his skillset, is more or less along the lines of what he has been doing but with more defensive cover.

Bruno plays because he's Bruno, he's a far more effective footballer than Mount for all his frustrations.

Eriksen can play with Amrabat or Casemiro for me. He did it last season, no special reason to think he can't still do it. Could also play as a 10.

Not forgetting Mainoo is a talent in the deeper positions.

Nothing at all about Mason Mount compels me to think he offers something substantial that is better than the above. Energy maybe? Pressing? Hasn't been very effective so far, and even if we presume it is somewhat effective, does that make up for providing little influence? Not sure.
We can do many things now that almost all players are available. I was being half serious with my comment, I just believe ETH got this setup totally wrong and he's trying to be too smart.

Yesterday Ten Hag sold part of his football soul by playing McTominay with both Eriksen and Mount on the bench. I would rather have them both on the pitch over McTominay and Bruno.
 

Devil81

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I was going to ask how our £55mil Summer signing in midfield can only get on in the 88th minute of a game.

This signing is abysmal & quite frankly all who sanctioned it should have nothing to do with transfers going forward.
Mount and Antony, those two signings prove the Director of football isn't doing his job correctly.
 

ForFuchsSake

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Not necessarily a bad player. Fairly decent when on top form, however anyone could see he simply was not the right fit for the team.

I can’t see him being more than an occasionally useful, versatile player that can fill in in a few different roles but fails to tie down a regular starting berth over a duration of time.

Hope to be proven wrong!
 

Abraxas

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We can do many things now that almost all players are available. I was being half serious with my comment, I just believe ETH got this setup totally wrong and he's trying to be too smart.

Yesterday Ten Hag sold part of his football soul by playing McTominay with both Eriksen and Mount on the bench. I would rather have them both on the pitch over McTominay and Bruno.
I'm not sure if he sold his soul or realised that continually doing the same nonsense in midfield that isn't working is not so good. I think he also rewarded form with McTominay. We continually talk about merit but if it's not backed up by selection it's fairly meaningless. Meritocracy does mean picking the less fashionable names when it is right to do so and judging by the performance he probably just about got it right.

I don't think that it means he's sold his idea of how to build a team in the long run. I think It's more the case that we have been fecking appalling and need some points on the board and at that stage you can stand behind a philosophy but if you get sacked trying to implement it then it's no good to anyone. I think he'll go back to the Mount/Bruno thing at some stage, he's fairly stubborn.
 

RuudTom83

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I was going to ask how our £55mil Summer signing in midfield can only get on in the 88th minute of a game.

This signing is abysmal & quite frankly all who sanctioned it should have nothing to do with transfers going forward.
So if he starts on Tuesday from minute 1 does that make him a huge success ;)
 

VP89

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I was going to ask how our £55mil Summer signing in midfield can only get on in the 88th minute of a game.

This signing is abysmal & quite frankly all who sanctioned it should have nothing to do with transfers going forward.
Could you not see that he was being rested for Tuesday?
 

AFC NimbleThumb

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So if he starts on Tuesday from minute 1 does that make him a huge success ;)
It would make him about as successful as your retorte was.
Could you not see that he was being rested for Tuesday?
He’s just come off a 2 week international break & was our big money midfield signing. If he’s incapable of playing twice a week that’s about as concerning as you thinking a players needs further rest after having not kicked a ball in anger for weeks.
 

VP89

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He’s just come off a 2 week international break & was our big money midfield signing. If he’s incapable of playing twice a week that’s about as concerning as you thinking a players needs further rest after having not kicked a ball in anger for weeks.
Hes also just back from injury and you have feck all to know about whether his game time needs to be managed before being thrown in for two games a week.
 

AFC NimbleThumb

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Hes also just back from injury and you have feck all to know about whether his game time needs to be managed before being thrown in for two games a week.
Alright mate. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt you want to give him & revisit this when he gets subbed off early again [as he’s yet to play 90 minutes] or is benched for McTominay.

Funny you talk about knowing feck all about game time. Your qualifications to talk about it over others is what exactly?

I’m sure I’ll see you here again throughout the course of the season so play nicely & less swearing please.
 

FriedClams

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His best position is Bruno's position. That's a big problem.
I see it as a solution to be honest, have them fight for it, Bruno being out of the team at this stage is a good thing for him, he needs incentive to perform because right now he’s guaranteed to start.
 

Borys

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I'm not sure if he sold his soul or realised that continually doing the same nonsense in midfield that isn't working is not so good.
Strange take, because he hasn't made our midfield better in any dimension by playing McTominay there. Also, seemed to me like this is exactly the same setup that we've been using whole season - Amrabat alone in midfield (Casemiro has been playing there) and two #8/10s higher up the pitch. We've also had the same issues as always (lack of ball progression through the midfield, as Amrabat was easily marked, McTominay made 9 passes total, and Bruno is in poor form).

I'm not sure if he sold his soul or realised that continually doing the same nonsense in midfield that isn't working is not so good. I think he also rewarded form with McTominay. We continually talk about merit but if it's not backed up by selection it's fairly meaningless. Meritocracy does mean picking the less fashionable names when it is right to do so and judging by the performance he probably just about got it right.
That's the catch 22 with McTominay. His performances and the way he plays football doesn't make me think that he should be in the team based on merit. Basically, he is a good poacher (and a running body) and that's also why ETH played him in such advanced position against Sheffield. That's why I said that Ten Hag sold part of his footballing soul picking McTominay. We knew that playing McTominay will make it worse in terms of ball progression through midfield as he hides from the ball. What happened is exactly what Ten Hag could expect from McTominay. Do you think he stays in the team based on merit, and plays on Tuesday?

Imo McTominay role should be reduced to minimum, can be used as another weapon if we're pushing for the goal in the last 10 mins, or we're defending our box. That's it, there's no universe in which McTominay makes us better in midfield.
I don't think that it means he's sold his idea of how to build a team in the long run. I think It's more the case that we have been fecking appalling and need some points on the board and at that stage you can stand behind a philosophy but if you get sacked trying to implement it then it's no good to anyone. I think he'll go back to the Mount/Bruno thing at some stage, he's fairly stubborn.
I agree with this I general. But again, I'm just pointing out we still played the same one-man-midfield setup which IMO has been the root cause of most issues (like lack of ball progression through 3rds and troubles against runners in midfield). I'd argue that until Ten Hag gets this midfield balance right, nothing will change in our performances (not unless one of Rashford /Bruno hit golden form again).
McTominay is never going to solve out problems, but pushing him high might give us more goals. It's funny because I could say the same about current Bruno, and that's why I don't understand what game Eric is playing. Sometimes it feels like the main idea is to push players forward, hoping the ball will fall to their feet. Casemiro and McTominay having more goals than Bruno, Hojlund and Rashford combined makes this somehow effective I guess?

Going back to your initial post, you used the word "peripheral" in reference to Mount. This is indeed the problem, and it has been the same issue regardless of who is playing this role. It used to be van de beek, Sabitzer, Mount, now McTominay. This is a bigger issue than just personal. Whoever is playing this role has to be in between the #6 and #10. Notice how the team is playing better when Eriksen comes on to do this.
I don't know if Mount can play that role effectively, but I don't think there is any other solution (with current squad). No other player can do it week in week out for us. But we have to find a way to involve Mount more in our game. Either we play him deeper, or we play him in advanced position with 2 real midfielders behind. This #6 and two #10s setup is flawed and is never going to fly, but ETH has been very stubborn with it this season and he will die on this hill if he continues this way.