McFred is the worst midfield 2 of the PL’s top 10 teams

Zen86

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The rest of our first XI must be pretty amazing if we’re second with the worst midfield of the top 10.

Honestly though, I just don’t see it. Fred and McT have their moments of sloppiness, but personally I think they’re a good combo who have grown in stature throughout the season. They’re hard-working and solid, they put a shift in the middle and allow our forwards to do their thing up front. The problem has been our forwards being hit and miss for large parts of this season, meaning we’ve often struggled scoring against defensive teams.
 

tjb

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It was actually just a month ago that we defeated Spurs. Fred scored the equalizer and we also had more possession than them. Our midfield 2 is not as bad as you would think based on this thread.
Its not top ten bad, but for what we want to be it is. I do agree with a lot of people on the thread though, calling out Fred might be unfair. Mctominay on the other hand is not good enough to start consistently.
 

Mr Anderson

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Need a new defensive midfielder. Fred is just not good enough. McTom in poor form since he came back from injury/around the time he has the shits.

both Fred and McTom try to press high and win absolutely nothing most of the time. A decent DM would do a better job than these 2 combined.

get a leading centreback (lindelof is awful) and leading defensive midfielder, that would be a great summer in this climate.
 

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They're fine. Relax
 

lysglimt

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If we only look at stats (without thinking about who we play against) - we perform best when just one of them is playing: 7 wins and 2 draw

We perform by far the worst - when none of them starts: 4 wins and 3 defeats

And we draw too many games when both starts - but that also has to do with them both starting all the toughest games. 9 wins 8 draws and 1 defeat

But if you pick up 35 points in 18 games (and that includes all the toughest games) when both Fred and McTominay start - clearly they are a lot better than they get credit for.
 

tjb

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It was actually just a month ago that we defeated Spurs. Fred scored the equalizer and we also had more possession than them. Our midfield 2 is not as bad as you would think based on this thread.
Dominate like City does when they play them. You saw the standard Liverpool and City have set for the last 3 or so seasons ( well not this for Liverpool). That's what we have to get to. I don't think keeping the midfield as it is will ever achieve that, even if we had PSG's front line. Another side of this is our combination play down the flanks have improved significantly over the past 2 seasons, yet we still struggle to progress the ball down the middle. It's a hinderance. Our defence outside the first 3 games has been really good outside of a few casual moments ( usually Lindelof related). Our attack is now finding a good formula with Pogba moving to the left hand side. The next step is to improve our ability to get the ball into more dangerous area's of the pitch with a quicker build up. That can only happen if we improve the quality of the people required to do that ( our midfielders). Even if you go back to watch our old games, despite being more direct, one feature every team had was that our midfielders were always able to hold and quickly progress the ball further up the pitch. These were features in our games that we didn't even notice because they were so normal. At the time we assumed any decent player could do this, yet we are at a stage where we have two players who struggle with both providing a comfortable outlet for our defenders and moving the ball quickly to more dangerous areas.
 

tjb

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was fine for Liverpool only difference is their attack was world class.
They have world class attacking full backs. We aren't Liverpool, we don't play like that, so we need better midfielders to support that.
 

Teja

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both Fred and McTom try to press high and win absolutely nothing most of the time. A decent DM would do a better job than these 2 combined.
The data says you're wrong, so there's that.

Fred is one of the top midfielders in Europe at winning the ball back both in defensive and offensive 3rds of the pitch. McT is extremely well rounded and puts up decent numbers in all of his defensive / offensive actions.

People whine about their quality under pressure / passing ability somewhat justifiably (I imagine this thread will get bumped after the Pool game) but there are only a handful of midfielders who can do a better job than Fred at ball recoveries.
 

jesperjaap

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To add to that, we don't really want to play that way in those games. We need to start getting dominant wins against the Arsenals and Spurs, for me, that the tell tale sign of a team that is operating at the highest gear. You can't do that when our midfield loses the midfield battle to them due to those teams having superior technical ability in that area.
True, but I dont think it is even the superior technical ability though that is there. It is as much about the balance there, though both are better at certain things than the other, both really if we are being blunt are players to break up the play in the middle of the park and give a lot of energy, which is great in certain games but I think they are both lacking defensively positionally and reading play and though they can both drive forward they are also lacking in what they can add to the attacking play. They just dont seem right to play those positions and that formation week in and week out in a dominating side....but it isnt just them, Pogba hasnt worked there, I dont think VDB works in that formation either. Only Matic seems to have suited it though he slows down play and Fernandes in the attacking midfield position....that why I think at least one central midfield signing is a priority
 

KikiDaKats

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I am going to completely disagree with McFred being bad or not good enough.
1. For the counter attacking football we play, we’ll always need 2 DMs. No counter attacking team dares play with 1 DM.
2. Everyone bandies stats around to discuss players but no one tries using it to prove their uselessness here.
3.We should be accessing their performance in relation to what our supposed favourites contribute defensively to the team.
4.Without what they give to the team our so called favourites will not be posing as much attacking threat.
5.In comparison to other pairings in the league it’s not comparable because non of the other teams play our style. How functional do we believe those other players will be in this team. Matic is a better technical player than both combined but we play in a way his ability is of no use.

People always obsess with United spending money on big name players. This not my thing, especially when it comes to DMs and FBs, these positions for me carries the identity of the team and who ever comes in needs time to adapt or repurpose their game. Are we still a team transition for such a move or will we have the patience right now? A better like for like player out their that can be brought in to upgrade the midfield but the type don’t tend to have a massive reputation anyway.The fact that most of us are looking towards established guys makes the unappealing for me.
 

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They have world class attacking full backs. We aren't Liverpool, we don't play like that, so we need better midfielders to support that.
Even the best midfielder in the world can’t make runs, press or score for a static forward. Can’t you see that half of our forwards didn’t even bother to show up this season and when they do they still cancel each other out way more often than they should and that’s the real problem here. When our forwards click we score 2/3 easily and nobody ever mentions the midfield. It’s when our forwards have all the ball out in front all game and do nothing with it that people say oh the midfield is so uncreative.

I feel like It’s a bit of a cop out from blaming the academy players I’m afraid. So say we get this brilliant creative midfield player but we don’t have Cavani all of a sudden. They repeatedly play Rashford through and he continues to show poor decision making and misses a lot more often than he scores? Or this midfielder wins it back and feeds it to the wings and they cross it in and there’s just nobody there? Tough luck. Our forwards just aren’t doing the basics for each other regularly enough. They’ll score their kind of goals when given space (Rashford cutting from the left, Mason cutting in from the right on his left) but fall totally flat against compact teams and it’s because they won’t physically battle, play each other early into more dangerous positions (our forwards amount of assists for each each other is paltry for example) or take up positions for a scrappy goal or two at least. That’s the main problem with this team, a lack of balance and variety in the forward line and also a total lack of fresh legs to rotate in the box to box positions as I touched on in my post before this.
 
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Mr Anderson

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The data says you're wrong, so there's that.

Fred is one of the top midfielders in Europe at winning the ball back both in defensive and offensive 3rds of the pitch. McT is extremely well rounded and puts up decent numbers in all of his defensive / offensive actions.

People whine about their quality under pressure / passing ability somewhat justifiably (I imagine this thread will get bumped after the Pool game) but there are only a handful of midfielders who can do a better job than Fred at ball recoveries.
you Can manipulate data anyway you want. Like Shaw creating the most chances for a fullback in Europe - when his crosses are still not pinpoint but it’s attributed as a chance crested non the less.

Fred’s consistency is just not there. Many times he’s found wanting high up the pitch of in front of his own goal. Simply put, he isn’t up to the level required - and that is why he also needs a fellow defensive midfielder next to him - as he simply isn’t trusted to do it on his own, even against the cannon fodder.
 

jesperjaap

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They have world class attacking full backs. We aren't Liverpool, we don't play like that, so we need better midfielders to support that.
I think they performed superbly for nearly two seasons, I dont think either are world class. I think that goes for a lot of that side. Think it is amazing just how long individually so many of those players consistently played at there very highest level week in and week out. Individually I think there are several better full backs in Britain than both of them, we are blessed at the moment.

The work the midfielders put in certainly helped them in terms of getting forward. I do think Milner has been seriously under rated as a central midfielder though and wasted a lot of his career by not playing there, especially at City. But for me the big thing has been that spine of Alisson, Gomez and DVD. Such confidence in them as a unit to defend against the break as a last line of defence that the full backs felt free to attack.....DVD especially has been a huge loss to them not just as a defender but in the whole side back to front with the security he brings.
 

tjb

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True, but I dont think it is even the superior technical ability though that is there. It is as much about the balance there, though both are better at certain things than the other, both really if we are being blunt are players to break up the play in the middle of the park and give a lot of energy, which is great in certain games but I think they are both lacking defensively positionally and reading play and though they can both drive forward they are also lacking in what they can add to the attacking play. They just dont seem right to play those positions and that formation week in and week out in a dominating side....but it isnt just them, Pogba hasnt worked there, I dont think VDB works in that formation either. Only Matic seems to have suited it though he slows down play and Fernandes in the attacking midfield position....that why I think at least one central midfield signing is a priority
That's the point I think most people are trying to make. Matic has also slowed down physically so he can't meet pressures of covering a press from his partner.
 

DatIrishFella

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you Can manipulate data anyway you want. Like Shaw creating the most chances for a fullback in Europe - when his crosses are still not pinpoint but it’s attributed as a chance crested non the less.

Fred’s consistency is just not there. Many times he’s found wanting high up the pitch of in front of his own goal. Simply put, he isn’t up to the level required - and that is why he also needs a fellow defensive midfielder next to him - as he simply isn’t trusted to do it on his own, even against the cannon fodder.
Unfair to use Shaw when he passes the eye test and has been consistently brilliant this season.

Although I do agree Fred isnt good enough under pressure.
 

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It is an insult now after all these games to see still these two being mentioned in one sentence. While Fred will be super hard to replace McTominay is good lad being at the right place right time to fill in but certainly now Ole has to see he's not good enough. Unfortunately Matic on his last legs is not good enough either and in a sense good on Scott but we have to do so much better form the next season if we want to challenge for the major trophies. We can get away with McT now because we know at the very least he can give his all, unlike lazy Matic but let's hope there's a player lined up to push both of the two further down the order. We are not Stoke ffs.

Fully expecting Garner to take over from McT hopefully from the season after next one (wishful thinking it could be from the next - but probably too early for Garner) and meanwhile we get another top midfielder because after Matic is gone there will be another squad role and we need to do better going to the future. Then McTominay will go down the Oshea route..

And then Fred will be aging too and will need competition himself...

Perhaps Galbraith can step up soon too.. we actually need midfielders tbh.
 

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I don't know which DM is everyone talking about because last season everyone was so sad of missing out on Partey and as it turns out, thank God we dodged that bullet.
I think we do need a CB and then one of Fred or McT can play holding and let Pogba or VDB do their stuff.
 

jesperjaap

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Comments I find strange even though true are that Fred has improved a lot this season, could say the same for McTominay over the last couple of years and even Lindelof the last 2/3months.

They have all improved....but pretty much all of them were absolutely dreadful for quite a period of time...so I would ask, what level have they improved to? Are they at a level people are happy with to play as regularly next season as they have this season in a side that can close the gap and challenge more in the premiership and also in the champions league.

I know this is all in the past but we are Manchester United. Robson, Ince, Keane, Scholes, Carrick.....neither midfielder would get anywhere near those sides. Butt especially and Fletcher for example were squad players most of there time here and both would walk in to that double pivot currently.....actually nearly all of the midfielders I can think off that we have had the last 25years would.

To find midfielders of the quality of the best of those names is of course hopeful at best as some of them were simply brilliant players of a generation.....but there are so many players potentially could in my opinion be far closer to the abilities of them than my percieved abilities of McFred.

Improvement from shite to average isnt what we should be hoping for, certainly not in terms of a starting eleven player to win major trophies
 

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It is an insult now after all these games to see still these two being mentioned in one sentence. While Fred will be super hard to replace McTominay is good lad being at the right place right time to fill in but certainly now Ole has to see he's not good enough. Unfortunately Matic on his last legs is not good enough either and in a sense good on Scott but we have to do so much better form the next season if we want to challenge for the major trophies. We can get away with McT now because we know at the very least he can give his all, unlike lazy Matic but let's hope there's a player lined up to push both of the two further down the order. We are not Stoke ffs.

Fully expecting Garner to take over from McT hopefully from the season after next one (wishful thinking it could be from the next - but probably too early for Garner) and meanwhile we get another top midfielder because after Matic is gone there will be another squad role and we need to do better going to the future. Then McTominay will go down the Oshea route..

And then Fred will be aging too and will need competition himself...

Perhaps Galbraith can step up soon too.. we actually need midfielders tbh.
Its the worst thread on here.
 

rhajdu

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Dominate like City does when they play them. You saw the standard Liverpool and City have set for the last 3 or so seasons ( well not this for Liverpool). That's what we have to get to. I don't think keeping the midfield as it is will ever achieve that, even if we had PSG's front line. Another side of this is our combination play down the flanks have improved significantly over the past 2 seasons, yet we still struggle to progress the ball down the middle. It's a hinderance. Our defence outside the first 3 games has been really good outside of a few casual moments ( usually Lindelof related). Our attack is now finding a good formula with Pogba moving to the left hand side. The next step is to improve our ability to get the ball into more dangerous area's of the pitch with a quicker build up. That can only happen if we improve the quality of the people required to do that ( our midfielders). Even if you go back to watch our old games, despite being more direct, one feature every team had was that our midfielders were always able to hold and quickly progress the ball further up the pitch. These were features in our games that we didn't even notice because they were so normal. At the time we assumed any decent player could do this, yet we are at a stage where we have two players who struggle with both providing a comfortable outlet for our defenders and moving the ball quickly to more dangerous areas.
They are a fairly comfortable outlet for our defenders and moving the ball quickly to more dangeroues areas. The thing is that we are watching them match by match and it is easier to spot the mistakes. From today game I will obviously remember the mistake before Aston Villa's goal, but they actually are amongst the best passers in their position. They don't have to make the key passes - just win back the ball and give it to the more creative players.

Do you think Liverpool had/have better midfield players than Fred and McTominay?

Actually last year Arsenal defeated Liverpool once and Spurs also lost only by one goal on both occasions. Manchester City couldn't defeat Spurs last year (1D, 1L). However, I agree that we should be more dominant againts the bottom 10 teams.

EDIT: And I still think that it is possible to upgrade them as they are not great players like some of our former midfielders, but they are still good footballers.
 

Mr Anderson

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Unfair to use Shaw when he passes the eye test and has been consistently brilliant this season.

Although I do agree Fred isnt good enough under pressure.
it’s just an example. Im not hammering his performances, just stating the stats make him look like Beckham pinging in pinpoint crosses. As Fred’s stat means little when he can’t be trusted like a Kante
 

Glorio

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Need a new defensive midfielder. Fred is just not good enough. McTom in poor form since he came back from injury/around the time he has the shits.

both Fred and McTom try to press high and win absolutely nothing most of the time. A decent DM would do a better job than these 2 combined.

get a leading centreback (lindelof is awful) and leading defensive midfielder, that would be a great summer in this climate.
I suspect if you check how many interceptions and tackles Fred has won high up the pitch compared to other midfielders, you'd retract your claim. Fred does it so much these days, that is seems as though it goes unnoticed because it's expected
 

tjb

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Even the best midfielder in the world can’t make runs, press or score for a static forward. Can’t you see that half of our forwards didn’t even bother to show up this season and when they do they still cancel each other out way more often than they should and that’s the real problem here. When our forwards click we score 2/3 easily and nobody ever mentions the midfield. It’s when our forwards have all the ball out in front all game and do nothing with it that people say oh the midfield is so uncreative.

I feel like It’s a bit of a cop out from blaming the academy players I’m afraid. So say we get this brilliant creative midfield player but we don’t have Cavani all of a sudden. They repeatedly play Rashford through and he continues to show poor decision making and misses a lot more often than he scores? Or this midfielder wins it back and feeds it to the wings and they cross it in and there’s just nobody there? Tough luck. Our forwards just aren’t doing the basics for each other regularly enough. They’ll score their kind of goals when given space (Rashford cutting from the left, Mason cutting in from the right on his left) but fall totally flat against compact teams and it’s because they won’t physically battle, play each other early into more dangerous positions (our forwards amount of assists for each each other is paltry for example) or take up positions for a scrappy goal or two at least. That’s the main problem with this team, a lack of balance and variety in the forward line and also a total lack of fresh legs to rotate in the box to box positions as I touched on in my post before this.
I'm not saying that's not true. In fact I don't think Rashford should have a guaranteed place in our first xi, we should sign Sancho or Grealish and see how he does under that level of pressure...Mason deserves slack. He's 19, he's playing well and for me he's a striker who still has things to learn. In an ideal world, I would have loved for him to go on loan to a premier league team and bag 20 to 30 goals a season before coming back, but we can't guarantee that clubs will treat him well when he goes there. He's too special to risk. So I completely agree with you in that regard. Last season I constantly complained about how poor our attackers were in their decison making, their unwillingness to drop deep and connect with the team.

However, I feel through our summer decisions and certain tactical adjustments being made, we have improved the creativity and interconnectedness of our attacks. For me, the midfield can now be addressed. The aim is to win the league next season and for me, one of our biggest weaknesses is our lack of presence
They are a fairly comfortable outlet for our defenders and moving the ball quickly to more dangeroues areas. The thing is that we are watching them match by match and it is easier to spot the mistakes. From today game I will obviously remember the mistake before Aston Villa's goal, but they actually are amongst the best passers in their position. They don't have to make the key passes - just win back the ball and give it to the more creative players.

Do you think Liverpool had/have better midfield players than Fred and McTominay?

Actually last year Arsenal defeated Liverpool once and Spurs also lost only by one goal on both occasions. Manchester City couldn't defeat Spurs last year (1D, 1L). However, I agree that we should be more dominant againts the bottom 10 teams.

EDIT: And I still think that it is possible to upgrade them as they are not great players like some of our former midfielders, but they are still good footballers.
That's why I would still start Fred and use Mctominay as a squad player. I think they are good in specific things. However, in a two man midfield, you have to be more of a generalist. I rate Wijanaldum highly, Fabinho is a fantastic player. Henderson is the one I feel that's at a similar level. They play in a three, so their shortcomings are less highlighted. a 2 man midfield requires a lot of responsibility on the two, meaning they have to be good at a wide breadth of things. Neither are really well rounded midfielders.
 

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I was a big fan of this combo in first half of the season (when our game was completely reliant on Bruno, and we needed them at the base), but since then a lot have changed.
It seems we've learned how to use fullbacks in attack, and with Pogba finally finding his feet in attacking position it feels like we just need the midfield duo to provide defensive stability.

Fred is not a defensive midfielder, he has poor positional sense, average tackling ability and easily brushed off the ball. He can't be the last man in front of the defense. What he does well is he keeps the ball moving and has super engine, meaning he is really good supporting midfielder.

McTominay... I still don't think he is a midfielder. In theory he has all the tools but it just doesn't feel natural for him. The main problem is lack of awareness, meaning he spends too much time on the ball just to make a simple pass in the end (which is often intercepted). It's clear he likes to drop to the defense and to the right, he feels very uncomfortable in the middle.

IMO we should really be looking for a replacement for McTominay - a proper DM is what we need. Then we could line up like that:
Back 4
DM

(holding position)
Fred
(buzzing around)
RW Bruno Pogba
CF

It doesn't feel like we need attacking contribution from our midfielders, what we need them to do is to support the front 4 and cover for fullbacks and Centre backs.

Leicester play similar way with Ndidi (holding position and covering for defenders joining attack) and Tielemans (supporting both attack and defense). I like their balance, and since we clearly have far superior players in wide areas and in attack, I believe we could replicate that easily which would benefit us greatly. In the future we might upgrade on Fred, but I doubt it'll be this summer as we probably have bigger issues.

They both deserve huge credit for this season though. McTominay for his goals and Fred for his general play (BTW I think he's playing to maximum of his ability).

I agree with the statement that midfield is not our biggest issue, but at the same time it seems easy to improve.
 

rhajdu

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it’s just an example. Im not hammering his performances, just stating the stats make him look like Beckham pinging in pinpoint crosses. As Fred’s stat means little when he can’t be trusted like a Kante
The thing is that Fred has a better pass completition rate in the current season than Kante. He also averaged more passes per game and has less bad control per game (whatever it means). It is much easier to notice the mistakes of our own players, because we watch every minute of their performance. For example, Fred had the most passes (68) and the best pass completition rate today (95,6%) and McTominay is not so far behind (60 and 90% respectively). So they could be trusted.
 

Cathy Ferguson

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I was a big fan of this combo in first half of the season (when our game was completely reliant on Bruno, and we needed them at the base), but since then a lot have changed.
It seems we've learned how to use fullbacks in attack, and with Pogba finally finding his feet in attacking position it feels like we just need the midfield duo to provide defensive stability.

Fred is not a defensive midfielder, he has poor positional sense, average tackling ability and easily brushed off the ball. He can't be the last man in front of the defense. What he does well is he keeps the ball moving and has super engine, meaning he is really good supporting midfielder.

McTominay... I still don't think he is a midfielder. In theory he has all the tools but it just doesn't feel natural for him. The main problem is lack of awareness, meaning he spends too much time on the ball just to make a simple pass in the end (which is often intercepted). It's clear he likes to drop to the defense and to the right, he feels very uncomfortable in the middle.

IMO we should really be looking for a replacement for McTominay - a proper DM is what we need. Then we could line up like that:
Back 4
DM

(holding position)
Fred
(buzzing around)
RW Bruno Pogba
CF

It doesn't feel like we need attacking contribution from our midfielders, what we need them to do is to support the front 4 and cover for fullbacks and Centre backs.

Leicester play similar way with Ndidi (holding position and covering for defenders joining attack) and Tielemans (supporting both attack and defense). I like their balance, and since we clearly have far superior players in wide areas and in attack, I believe we could replicate that easily which would benefit us greatly. In the future we might upgrade on Fred, but I doubt it'll be this summer as we probably have bigger issues.

They both deserve huge credit for this season though. McTominay for his goals and Fred for his general play (BTW I think he's playing to maximum of his ability).

I agree with the statement that midfield is not our biggest issue, but at the same time it seems easy to improve.
And that is why I prefer Rice over Sancho, especially if Pogba stays. Rice would give us balance.
 

Ali Dia

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I'm not saying that's not true. In fact I don't think Rashford should have a guaranteed place in our first xi, we should sign Sancho or Grealish and see how he does under that level of pressure...Mason deserves slack. He's 19, he's playing well and for me he's a striker who still has things to learn. In an ideal world, I would have loved for him to go on loan to a premier league team and bag 20 to 30 goals a season before coming back, but we can't guarantee that clubs will treat him well when he goes there. He's too special to risk. So I completely agree with you in that regard. Last season I constantly complained about how poor our attackers were in their decison making, their unwillingness to drop deep and connect with the team.

However, I feel through our summer decisions and certain tactical adjustments being made, we have improved the creativity and interconnectedness of our attacks. For me, the midfield can now be addressed. The aim is to win the league next season and for me, one of our biggest weaknesses is our lack of presence

That's why I would still start Fred and use Mctominay as a squad player. I think they are good in specific things. However, in a two man midfield, you have to be more of a generalist. I rate Wijanaldum highly, Fabinho is a fantastic player. Henderson is the one I feel that's at a similar level. They play in a three, so their shortcomings are less highlighted. a 2 man midfield requires a lot of responsibility on the two, meaning they have to be good at a wide breadth of things. Neither are really well rounded midfielders.
I think if we could add an improver like Camavinga/Bellingham etc who can go forward and back and take Matic out or one step closer to out that would be a huge step in the right direction as far as our options and freshness goes. About the forwards I just keep thinking about how screwed we’d have been this season if Cavani was a busted flush. I think Greenwood is going to be a top player in a season or two but on the right. Rashford needs to get fit. We know his top level but he hasn’t really hit it since last season. We need to buy a younger central goal machine and a wide creator. The attack still clearly needs work/developing if we want to take the next step.
 

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They would get more appreciated if people rated them by their effectiveness in our tactic and not just technical ability. Fred in particular. I think Mctominay should be on the bench or be getting Matic minutes
They are our most effective pair. And they are more effective than most.

But for all the good they do, they are not technically good. Their lack of technique and composure gets us into tight spots (or fails to get us out of them) a little too often.

When you don’t have any better options, you take the rough with the smooth and thank them for putting in the work and helping us to get the best results we can.

I love both these guys and I want them around for years to come but I want a new CM or DCM at the top of our list this summer. (Assuming we keep Cavani that is, if not we need a striker, damn it!).
 

tjb

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I think if we could add an improver like Camavinga/Bellingham etc who can go forward and back and take Matic out or one step closer to out that would be a huge step in the right direction as far as our options and freshness goes. About the forwards I just keep thinking about how screwed we’d have been this season if Cavani was a busted flush. I think Greenwood is going to be a top player in a season or two but on the right. Rashford needs to get fit. We know his top level but he hasn’t really hit it since last season. We need to buy a younger central goal machine and a wide creator. The attack still clearly needs work/developing if we want to take the next step.
I agree. Especially as there aren't many world class sitting midfielders that can both pass the ball and hold. Going for a double box to box combo by buying a player who is better than Pogba defensively and doesn't surge forward as often but still has a presence in attack would benefit Fred greatly.

On the attack, If Pogba stays wide left ( if not, sign Grealish), we can get away with competition between him and Greenwood in attack. Who knows, Greenwood might take the next step up. The key for me is Rashford. I feel as a fanbase we coddle him a bit too much, injuries or not. I like him, I like his attitude on the pitch and his directness. However, he has to adapt his game just like any other player who wants the priviledge of playing on a great team. Bale had to at Real. Ronaldo constantly had to. Giggs played second striker and on the right at times. Ole had to put a shift on the right at times. This crying over shifting his role makes no sense to me. He's good, but he's not great. He's not a player of year candidate. Why shouldn't he adapt to play for us. Why shouldn''t he play on the right. If he's serious about improving, he'll take that challenge and become good in that role too.

What annoys me about this the most is that Martial and Rashford had years to make that right hand side their own. Imagine having the opportunity at United to make slight adjustments to your game to ensure keeping a place in the starting 11 for years to come and you can't even choose to make that commitment. There are players at smaller teams who have been better, that are seeking the global recognition and attention playing for Man United comes with, that would potentially play anywhere if they were told they could play for United. Our fans treat our younger players like they truly deserve to make it when they break through or come here on the promise of potential. The truth is, they are fortunate to be tied to a club this size that makes great efforts to push young talent through. Moussa Dembele is a similar age to Martial, what has Martial done in his career to be perceived as better than him. We spent window after window trying to avoid signing left sided players ( that would be better and more consistent than either of them). People complained when they were competing with each other when Mourinho was here, but the truth is, as much of a clown as Mourinho can be at times, he was mostly right in his analysis of those players at the time. Martial is 25 and still hasn't learned how to move off the ball in attack.
 

meamth

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The obsession with deep lying playmaker, or controlling midfielder is outdated and stupid.

Said it before the most successful midfield combo in recent years is the one who ran more and work hard more. Those traditional playmaking type is yesterday's tactic.

We have 2 of the most hard working midfielders in the league and I'm sure we're heading in the right direction.
 

Ali Dia

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I agree. Especially as there aren't many world class sitting midfielders that can both pass the ball and hold. Going for a double box to box combo by buying a player who is better than Pogba defensively and doesn't surge forward as often but still has a presence in attack would benefit Fred greatly.

On the attack, If Pogba stays wide left ( if not, sign Grealish), we can get away with competition between him and Greenwood in attack. Who knows, Greenwood might take the next step up. The key for me is Rashford. I feel as a fanbase we coddle him a bit too much, injuries or not. I like him, I like his attitude on the pitch and his directness. However, he has to adapt his game just like any other player who wants the priviledge of playing on a great team. Bale had to at Real. Ronaldo constantly had to. Giggs played second striker and on the right at times. Ole had to put a shift on the right at times. This crying over shifting his role makes no sense to me. He's good, but he's not great. He's not a player of year candidate. Why shouldn't he adapt to play for us. Why shouldn''t he play on the right. If he's serious about improving, he'll take that challenge and become good in that role too.

What annoys me about this the most is that Martial and Rashford had years to make that right hand side their own. Imagine having the opportunity at United to make slight adjustments to your game to ensure keeping a place in the starting 11 for years to come and you can't even choose to make that commitment. There are players at smaller teams who have been better, that are seeking the global recognition and attention playing for Man United comes with, that would potentially play anywhere if they were told they could play for United. Our fans treat our younger players like they truly deserve to make it when they break through or come here on the promise of potential. The truth is, they are fortunate to be tied to a club this size that makes great efforts to push young talent through. Moussa Dembele is a similar age to Martial, what has Martial done in his career to be perceived as better than him. We spent window after window trying to avoid signing left sided players ( that would be better and more consistent than either of them). People complained when they were competing with each other when Mourinho was here, but the truth is, as much of a clown as Mourinho can be at times, he was mostly right in his analysis of those players at the time. Martial is 25 and still hasn't learned how to move off the ball in attack.
I never really thought about it like that to be honest, it’s a different perspective and one I can certainly sympathise with. I think the fact they’ve played under 3 different managers in 3 totally different systems hasn’t helped either player but I also think they are a bit too alike and passive when it comes to doing the basics well on either wing. I think if Sancho comes in then Rashy is in the rotation for now and a decent rest could really help bring him back anyway. I think the next big mistake we will probably make is backing martial to come good again as our main striker instead of going into the market while there are world class players available before Cavani leaves.
 

TMDaines

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The key for me is Rashford. I feel as a fanbase we coddle him a bit too much, injuries or not. I like him, I like his attitude on the pitch and his directness. However, he has to adapt his game just like any other player who wants the priviledge of playing on a great team. Bale had to at Real. Ronaldo constantly had to. Giggs played second striker and on the right at times. Ole had to put a shift on the right at times. This crying over shifting his role makes no sense to me. He's good, but he's not great. He's not a player of year candidate. Why shouldn't he adapt to play for us. Why shouldn''t he play on the right. If he's serious about improving, he'll take that challenge and become good in that role too.
This is one of the more patronising and condescending paragraphs I’ve read on here for a while. All on the day Rashford notched his 35th goal or assist for the season, again from the right-hand side adapting for the benefit of his teammates.
 

He'sRaldo

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The obsession with deep lying playmaker, or controlling midfielder is outdated and stupid.

Said it before the most successful midfield combo in recent years is the one who ran more and work hard more. Those traditional playmaking type is yesterday's tactic.

We have 2 of the most hard working midfielders in the league and I'm sure we're heading in the right direction.
If we think of Fred as a Kante-lite, then logically the signing to improve him and balance out the team would be a controlling DM in the mould of Matic or Jorginho who can sit and allow him to go chasing and hunting the ball, as well as contribute to the attack. I reckon a younger version of Moutinho would be very good.

As for controlling mids, the two teams in the CL Final right now have good controlling DM's, and the team which won 3 in a row also had the same. It's fair to say Liverpool was an anomaly rather than the norm.
 

cyberman

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The thing is that Fred has a better pass completition rate in the current season than Kante. He also averaged more passes per game and has less bad control per game (whatever it means). It is much easier to notice the mistakes of our own players, because we watch every minute of their performance. For example, Fred had the most passes (68) and the best pass completition rate today (95,6%) and McTominay is not so far behind (60 and 90% respectively). So they could be trusted.
Exactly. Its tiring seeing McFred got all of the blame when our perfomances have risen with improvements around them.
 

Monger

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The obsession with deep lying playmaker, or controlling midfielder is outdated and stupid.

Said it before the most successful midfield combo in recent years is the one who ran more and work hard more. Those traditional playmaking type is yesterday's tactic.

We have 2 of the most hard working midfielders in the league and I'm sure we're heading in the right direction.
I agree with your statement but I believe we can upgrade or add competition. For example, phillips and Neves would compete as two of the most hard working midfielders in the league but both are more progressive on the ball than McFred.

Move Matic on and add those two would greatly strengthen the team while remaining hard working
 

MrBest

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McFred are certainly not Man United quality, but by far, are not the worst in the league. If they were, we would not be 2nd, and that's a fact.