Maybe Lindelof isn’t the problem...

Fosu-Mens

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I agree that its part of the problem. United should understand by now that most clubs are quite happy to get 1 point against us. That means that a deep defensive line/counter attack football would rarely work for us. Hence why we need to be shrewd enough not to buy players who excel in that sort of game. Maguire for example is fantastic in a deep line. He's strong, he's good in air and he's got decent positioning. Unfortunately he'll struggle in a high line because he lack pace. Same can be said about AWB. His superb defensive skills makes him the perfect anti winger/inside forward. He's perfect for the likes of Palace who need to keep a tight defence. Unfortunately he offers nothing going forward

Things are set to get worse with Telles. The Brazilian is the typical Brazilian attacking wingback. He's devastating going forward but will leave acres of space behind. Whose going to cover for that? Maguire? Lindelof? Matic?
In general, I think most top teams will focus on having central defenders that are at least average in isolation versus quick attackers. So, we should hope long term that Mengi comes good and that we can get a good partner to him. Some version of VVD, just scaled down.
I think we are both agreeing that the approach to football this club has is either outdated or more suited to a team with the focus of securing a safe spot.

Telles would be great if we were better at keeping possession and cycling the ball from side to side more efficiently(next manager). Still, I think he would be a big upgrade on Shaw regardless and would make it possible for us to progress the ball down the left side. We could also just have AWB sit back with our central defenders.
 

jem

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You must be 1 of his 10 fans I suppose.
Everything I said is true, it all happened. He's terrible. I backed it up with the countless of mistakes he's made. Watch them back and tell me he's a good defender. I'm sorry that I hurt your feelings, but you can't seem to be able to handle the truth.
Good comeback
 

golden_blunder

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He is not great in the air but let’s not exaggerate. His percent of won aerials is pretty normal, about 65% if I remember correctly. And the amount of won headers is not as bad as you try to make out.


I took the “10 best centrebacks in the world”- list from Sport Bible which means I haven’t cherry picked them myself. I included Lindelof plus some other CBs who are somehow connected with United, and rank them in aerials won per 90 min in their respective league 2019/20:


VvD 5.0
Maguire 4.6
Pique 3.7
Smalling 3.3
Lindelof 2.8
de Ligt 2.7
Varane 2.6
Marquinhos 2.3
Koulibaly 2.1
Ramos 2.1
Upamecano 2.1
Laporte 2.0
Boateng 1.9
Bonucci 1.8
Pau Torres 1.4
Skriniar 1.3
Alaba 0.8

He is obviously not among the best in the air, but there are many decent CBs who win less headers.
You could argue some of those players play in leagues where they play more on the ground. For example I look at those stats it tells me lindelof is better in the air than Ramos? I don’t think so
 

JPB

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He is not great in the air but let’s not exaggerate. His percent of won aerials is pretty normal, about 65% if I remember correctly. And the amount of won headers is not as bad as you try to make out.


I took the “10 best centrebacks in the world”- list from Sport Bible which means I haven’t cherry picked them myself. I included Lindelof plus some other CBs who are somehow connected with United, and rank them in aerials won per 90 min in their respective league 2019/20:


VvD 5.0
Maguire 4.6
Pique 3.7
Smalling 3.3
Lindelof 2.8
de Ligt 2.7
Varane 2.6
Marquinhos 2.3
Koulibaly 2.1
Ramos 2.1
Upamecano 2.1
Laporte 2.0
Boateng 1.9
Bonucci 1.8
Pau Torres 1.4
Skriniar 1.3
Alaba 0.8

He is obviously not among the best in the air, but there are many decent CBs who win less headers.
It's not about the stats. It's about the important headers and the easy ones he misses. Also he can't jump for shit. when he jumps he barely manages to get off the ground. I'm sorry but it's pitiful.
 

Ekeke

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Lindelof's numbers in the air are because its an obvious tactic to put the ball in the air against us. And he has improved in the air since his first season, but thats still the area where he's going to make more mistakes. Just because he wins more headers per match than Ramos for example doesn't mean he doesnt also make 5 times as many errors in the air as Ramos, or that he gets a good header away from trouble under pressure. It simply means that per game he deals with a decent number of balls in the air, regardless of whether its a big weakness and regardless of how well he does it. He's okay/better with the ball on the floor, just extremely negative usually wanting to back off and let attackers progress rather than try to stop them during attacking moves. Sometimes its good to back off and try to hold players up a little bit so teammates can get back into position, but he also wants to do it when all of our defenders are in position and he doesnt really slow anyone down. One thing it does do for him though is it means he's moving backwards into an area to try and cut out a ball behind the defense quicker, so even though he isnt quick, because he's already moving back it'll help him get to balls behind the defense. And thats one of the things that he does quite often, run back with an attacker chasing the ball and deal with it decently.
 

devilish

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In general, I think most top teams will focus on having central defenders that are at least average in isolation versus quick attackers. So, we should hope long term that Mengi comes good and that we can get a good partner to him. Some version of VVD, just scaled down.
I think we are both agreeing that the approach to football this club has is either outdated or more suited to a team with the focus of securing a safe spot.

Telles would be great if we were better at keeping possession and cycling the ball from side to side more efficiently(next manager). Still, I think he would be a big upgrade on Shaw regardless and would make it possible for us to progress the ball down the left side. We could also just have AWB sit back with our central defenders.
Telles Is an excellent attacking wingback. Unfortunately he's meah defensively. He's worse then Evra and Rafael on that regard

I am not against such signing. I think attacking wingbacks are the present and the future of football. However you need a defensive core that is good enough to support that. I don't see United having that
 

Teffe

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I just love people and stats. When the stat suits their own agenda, it proves everything. When the stat proves otherwise, there are other excuses and comparisons.
 

Fosu-Mens

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Telles Is an excellent attacking wingback. Unfortunately he's meah defensively. He's worse then Evra and Rafael on that regard

I am not against such signing. I think attacking wingbacks are the present and the future of football. However you need a defensive core that is good enough to support that. I don't see United having that
Our other left back options are not great defensively either and their attacking abilities are nothing to brag about. Just his passing would make us better at progressing the ball. So i would rather play him than Shaw in 90% of our games.

We could play some more mobile and defensively disciplined midfielders than PP and Matic. Like Fred and DvdB given that our centre backs needs protecting. All we can hope for is that Mengi turns good soon and we buy someone that is not slow and/or weak to partner him given that neither of Lindelof or Maguire have the mobility to defend 1v1.
 

VP89

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I actually like Lindelof as a defender and don't think he's that bad.
 

Teffe

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Our other left back options are not great defensively either and their attacking abilities are nothing to brag about. Just his passing would make us better at progressing the ball. So i would rather play him than Shaw in 90% of our games.

We could play some more mobile and defensively disciplined midfielders than PP and Matic. Like Fred and DvdB given that our centre backs needs protecting. All we can hope for is that Mengi turns good soon and we buy someone that is not slow and/or weak to partner him given that neither of Lindelof or Maguire have the mobility to defend 1v1.
Is this really true? I’ve always believed that it’s one of Lindelöfs strenghts. I mean pure 1v1, hardly ever seen anyone go past him.
 

devilish

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Our other left back options are not great defensively either and their attacking abilities are nothing to brag about. Just his passing would make us better at progressing the ball. So i would rather play him than Shaw in 90% of our games.

We could play some more mobile and defensively disciplined midfielders than PP and Matic. Like Fred and DvdB given that our centre backs needs protecting. All we can hope for is that Mengi turns good soon and we buy someone that is not slow and/or weak to partner him given that neither of Lindelof or Maguire have the mobility to defend 1v1.
There are ways to improve the situation. Henderson can be our no 1 keeper which means that we would finally have a goalkeeper whose not so attached to his line as DDG is. We might play with a deeper line which would suit Maguire and Lindelof better. Pogba can be kicked out of the team and someone more defensively sound like VDB can be brought in. Same with Matic. Unfortunately I don't think we've got the manager whose able to make such brave actions.
 

RedRoseTyke

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I think entering his 4th season at club its a reasonable and fair enough assesment to say he is another flop of a signing
I can't agree he is a flop, but I had hoped he would kick on and develop further than he has.

Our defence was okay last season, but has started off shambollically in 2020-21, it's not just Lindelof underperforming, but he looks awful at the moment - as do 3/4 of the first pick defenders, with Shaw not be great, but at least showing speed and aggression.
 

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Depends what your standards are, current United he's good enough as we're top 4 challengers, United title challenging sides of the past, he wouldn't even get a look in on the bench.
 

pss

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He's pretty "meh", but we're a better team when he's playing than we are when he's on the bench.
Good in some parts of his game, terrible in others. Think he would be quite good in a better organized team and with a partner that allows him to play to his strengths.
 

Ekeke

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I just love people and stats. When the stat suits their own agenda, it proves everything. When the stat proves otherwise, there are other excuses and comparisons.
I love people and excuses. But you cant reason someone out of a position when they havent used reason to get themselves there in the first place so I'll leave you to pretend that all stats mean the same thing and none tell more or less than another because its clearly too complicated for you to look at numbers on an individual basis to see what they suggest, or put them together to work out the framework of a full picture
 

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I’m just saying... people love to shit on Lindelof, and a lot of people have been calling for Maguire/Bailly to start, well Lindelof hasn’t put a foot wrong & these two had a disasterclass today. Harry has been completely embarrassed twice now in 4 games.

I’m not shitting on Harry, but our fans need to be more consistent. Keep the same energy you have for Lindelof when it’s Maguire or Bailly, because I’m seeing blatant agendas against Victor at the moment.

Our best CB on current form. I pray he’s fit because the thought of Bailly terrifies me.
Is the answer to the question what’s wrong upfront. If the question is what’s the problem at CB then lindelof is the correct answer, every time . He is terrible
 

TwoSheds

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If he was 4th choice CB I'd love him. If he was 3rd choice I'd like him. At the moment he's 1st choice. feck that shit.
 

Foxbatt

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Of course he is not a top class CB and when you couple that with a terrible midfield it is bleedin obvious it is going to be worse. Put AWB in right back it is going to be much worse. I am worried about tomorrow. Is he going to play with Bailly or Maguire? Is Ole going to let Matic and Pogba roam all over and not have any protection for our back 4?
 

A-man

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Evans is better. It’s not even funny
We all saw the the difference between Evans and Lindelof when we played Leicester. The difference is one took his team to CL and the other one failed his team and went out with a red card.

You could argue some of those players play in leagues where they play more on the ground. For example I look at those stats it tells me lindelof is better in the air than Ramos? I don’t think so
Yes of course we can argue that everybody else is playing more on the ground.
Ramos is clearly better than Lindelof in attacking positions imo, with his head. Defence, i dont know.
Lindelof won 2.8 aerials and lost 1.5… he won 67% of his attempts
Ramos won 2.1 and lost 1.9 … he won 55% of his attempts.
Who is the best in the air, Its up to you how you define good in the air, but Lindelof won more aerial duels and lost less than Ramos according to the stats.


It's not about the stats. It's about the important headers and the easy ones he misses. Also he can't jump for shit. when he jumps he barely manages to get off the ground. I'm sorry but it's pitiful.
Again you exaggerate a bit. Hes not great but as showed he is abut average in the air.
 

tenpoless

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We all saw the the difference between Evans and Lindelof when we played Leicester. The difference is one took his team to CL and the other one failed his team and went out with a red card.
Which is why he's better than Lindelof. Imagine playing for another team and still contributing more for ManUnited than Lindelof.
 

roseguy64

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Yeah of course. I was saying he's probably worth £50-55 million at the time, 80 was ridiculous to me. But still the point is that Maguire has shown hes a good defender in the premier league, Lindelof hasnt. So in terms of how we move forward its obvious that you get a partner for Maguire
Wouldn't disagree with that. We need to get Jones and Rojo between January and next summer. Also, give chances to Tuanzebe. If he manages to stay fit then we can get rid of Bailly and roll with Maguire, Lindelof, Tuanzebe and new CB next year with Mengi as fifth choice or maybe a loan.
 

Greck

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Think Maguire has been given an easy ride by our ex-players in the media. By the same point last season our so called legends were wanting to punch De Gea in the face.
 

Red00012

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Bailly , Lindelof , Jones , Maguire And Rojo all bang average centre halves. All 5 in the one club earning crazy money compared to their value. Only at Utd we’re becoming a laughing stock.
 

::sonny::

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We all agree and nobody can’t deny he is a nothing player

But the others are worse than him, so at the moment he is the best in the squad in that role
 

Deery

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Lindelof gets the blame a lot but Maguire’s positioning is very questionable all the time that leaves Lindelof exposed.

I mean why is Maguire always out in the left back position putting in crazy tackles or being a stopper in midfield when he should be beside Victor..
 

Ekeke

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Lindelof gets the blame a lot but Maguire’s positioning is very questionable all the time that leaves Lindelof exposed.

I mean why is Maguire always out in the left back position putting in crazy tackles or being a stopper in midfield when he should be beside Victor..
Its called defending. He pulls out to the left to cover his left back, like Vidic did for Evra without you complaining. Its what Lindelof should do on the right but instead stays in the middle and leaves a big gap on the right when AWB needs cover.
 

Fosu-Mens

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Is this really true? I’ve always believed that it’s one of Lindelöfs strenghts. I mean pure 1v1, hardly ever seen anyone go past him.
He can somewhat handle (contain) the weak but mobile attackers, but as soon as they have a low point of gravity with some muscle or are relatively strong he can't move them and is pushed around. That said, I would rather have Lindelof in a 1v1 than Maguire.
 

Deery

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Its called defending. He pulls out to the left to cover his left back, like Vidic did for Evra without you complaining. Its what Lindelof should do on the right but instead stays in the middle and leaves a big gap on the right when AWB needs cover.
That’s not defending did you see the positions he was in for England just the other day to get sent off?

Vidic never used to do what Maguire does he literally is out there all the time the gaps he leaves in defence are shocking.
 

Red_toad

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That’s not defending did you see the positions he was in for England just the other day to get sent off?

Vidic never used to do what Maguire does he literally is out there all the time the gaps he leaves in defence are shocking.
Never would be incorrect, he was caught out from time to time, lucky for him he had Rio to help him out. They were a long established world class pairing, who complimented each other. We don't have that now and it's unfair to expect any of our defenders to be as good as they were. Might as well start moaning that Martial isn't as good as Cantona, as it's completely irrelevant.
Team needs better coaching, they're basically following drills that are done via coaching sessions. Once we have a working system then things will improve. As we're signing no one for the next 10/11 months, best we work out how to get the best out of what we have.
 

Deery

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Never would be incorrect, he was caught out from time to time, lucky for him he had Rio to help him out. They were a long established world class pairing, who complimented each other. We don't have that now and it's unfair to expect any of our defenders to be as good as they were. Might as well start moaning that Martial isn't as good as Cantona, as it's completely irrelevant.
Team needs better coaching, they're basically following drills that are done via coaching sessions. Once we have a working system then things will improve. As we're signing no one for the next 10/11 months, best we work out how to get the best out of what we have.
To get the best out of what we have would be to get Maguire back more centrally and closer to goal.
How many times have we seen Maguire getting beaten because he’s out of position and Lindelof is left high and dry.

The main reason I never wanted Maguire was after seeing what Salah done to him at Leicester..
 

SadlerMUFC

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He can somewhat handle (contain) the weak but mobile attackers, but as soon as they have a low point of gravity with some muscle or are relatively strong he can't move them and is pushed around. That said, I would rather have Lindelof in a 1v1 than Maguire.
Vidic never did that because we never played with a 3 in the back. In a 2 you stay put and don't chase down a winger like Harry did. In a 3 it's a different story...
 

Ekeke

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That’s not defending did you see the positions he was in for England just the other day to get sent off?

Vidic never used to do what Maguire does he literally is out there all the time the gaps he leaves in defence are shocking.
Why do you think hes out there? The LB is out of position
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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A defence is only as good as the protection they get. Yes, some defenders are better in 1v1 situations and have attributes that put them above the rest, but we saw with Liverpool against Villa that, if you don't have that protection, regardless of the players you have, the chances are that you will get opened up.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think we've got the best defenders in the world, but I believe we haven't quite got the right balance across the team. Let's not forget, the backline of AWB, Lindelof, Maguire and Shaw were statistically the third-best defence in the league last season. What's changed?

Maybe we need to look at changing the formation, or if we're going to stick with a 4231, then maybe has to look at going with two defensive midfielders. We spent large periods of last season playing with a pivot of McTominay and Fred. Whilst not as creative as Pogba and Matic, they certainly proved to provide better defensive cover.

I would personally play three in the middle and make sure that the middle three has legs. Not only will this give us a bit more defensive stability, but it'll allow our front three more freedom to attack.

Going forward, it's vital that Ole finds the right balance for our team.