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

Bilbo

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Yes and what have we achieved this season? 2nd place and Europa league final. If we want to get to the stage of actually winning the league, champions league and maybe a treble year again they cannot be in the starting line up. What we achieved this season is not what we should be aiming for. We should be aiming for what city aim for. Winning all honors.

Standards really have dropped.
God this whole 'standards have dropped' line is really the most tired phrase currently infesting this forum.

Fact is pretty much all of our best performances this season have come with those in the middle. As I said they aren't perfect, but they give this team a solid balance that is vital to us, and one that we don't have when one or both of them is missing.
 

Borys

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That is my problem with McT. For United level; he is not good midfielder because he lacks vision, passing skill and technique in general. He is not good enough in defensive job because he is not mobile enough and is not good in positioning. Fred at least has better technique and passing skill (comparing to McT) and is mobile.
I can only see player like McT in defence in 352 formation.

But, i know that he will be in first 11 in midfield next year
Well I agree with the bolded part... The only problem I have with McTominay is his lack of spatial and time awareness. This is why it never worked with another midfielder - for example Pogba will travel forward and leave McTominay to cover midfield, and he will chase the ball rather than positions himself properly and commit only when necessary. Awareness is key for a midfielder, that's why I rate Fred higher than McTom (although Scott has better passing and technique).

McTominay is perfect for 3-5-2 formation I agree. He will be useful, but IMO it'll be easy to upgrade on him.
 

mancan92

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I think this attitude is not helping, to expect success without having to work and wait for it, to just buy new players all the time. It’s a steady progress that takes you where you want to be, look at City. This season was a big step up from last season and even if I think both McF can be upgraded, they deserve cred for our improvements this season.
What are you on about? I didn't say it is going to happen tomorrow. But yes they will need to be upgraded if we want to challenge for top honours.
 

mancan92

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Isn't this exactly what everyone said about Liverpool's limited midfield just before they won a CL and a PL?
Well if we get a world class cb, world class rb, world class front line and world class manager then yes you can get away with a decent midfield. Even then they had a top class dm so it was only 2 decent players.
 

032Devil

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Some posters need to remember that apart from Maguire, AWB and James, all the other players in the manager's first team are not HIS. Considering he has inherited a ramshakle number of players from previous managers and is beginning to pull them together into a decent team that is beginning to have a single purpose (playing as a team), with a strong mentality and a will to win. I feel more positive now about the future than I have done post-Ferguson era.
 

Craig Ward

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And yet, McFred have played a major part in keeping us in second place in the table. They may or may not be the best but there's no denying that they've played their part in our success. I'm not sure if we need just a single player to replace McFred. Sir Alex always had two midfielders: Keane & Butt, Keane & Veron, Paul Scholes & Michael Carrick etc.
I'm fine with having two players - just two that work together and can use the ball a bit better.

You've name dropped some of the absolute best midfield players the premier league has ever seen - McFred doesnt come close to any of those combinations because they aren't as good. Nowhere near.

Fred is the only deep lying player I have faith in. He's good with the ball - has leaps of energy and pretty reliable. His biggest issue is probably eagerness - he seems to want to be everywhere on the pitch.

McTom baffles me - he's so poor with the ball. Not good off the ball - doesn't get himself in good positions to receive the ball and sometimes looks to move OUT of space to avoid the ball. He has his moments don't get me wrong, but we need such a better football player to run our DM area than him.

Together they're a bit meh. We should be expected to dominate against all but a handful of teams. McTom only works for me when the opposition are streets ahead - when they're sole purpose is to have two of them bashing up opposition play. Against teams we want to actually play against - they're a car crash together.

My biggest gripe this season has been the lack of game time in CM for Donny - it's criminal he hasn't featured with the limitations of McTom. We've done good things in CM this year - used Matic sparingly to not overwork his old legs and shunted Pogba as far away from any defensive responsibility as we can, but omitting Donny is poor from Ole.

At best, McTom can be described as "decent" but we wanna challenge for the league and compete in the champions league - decent wont cut it. We need a big signing at CM/DM
 

lost7

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The comparison with Liverpool midfield makes 0 sense. When they won the league and the champions league, they had fullbacks that contributed to a ridiculous number of goals, something never seen before. Also, Henderson and Fabinho have significantly better passing range than our midfield.

It's honestly weird to me that there are people actually pushing back to the idea that at least one between Mctominay and Fred needs to be upgraded. They are both good players, but as a partnerships they don't offer enough in terms of control or progressing the ball quickly when needed. This is not a problem when we're playing against the top teams that dominate possessions and we can hit them on the counter (in fact they work superbly well in those matches), but most of the pl games we play are not against top sides. We need a player who can effectively control the temp from deep, be able to switch the ball confidently, make a lot of passes through the lines (Fred does it quite a bit to be fair) and also protect the back 4 on his own.

A young Matic would be the perfect profile for us. Or Fabinho. I will never understand why weren't in for him when it was so obvious he was the perfect player for us.

And btw, I still think we should keep both Mctominay and Fred. Fred in particular already offers a lot to our game, and McTominay is still young so in a couple of years, I wouldn't be surprised if he's good enough to be one of our main players. He's already shown that at his best he's got all the attributes to dominate (in the Southampton game in particular he was playing some unbelievable passes). So, ideally, we sell Matic and replace him with a quality CDM who McTominay can learn from
 

032Devil

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I'm fine with having two players - just two that work together and can use the ball a bit better.

You've name dropped some of the absolute best midfield players the premier league has ever seen - McFred doesnt come close to any of those combinations because they aren't as good. Nowhere near.

Fred is the only deep lying player I have faith in. He's good with the ball - has leaps of energy and pretty reliable. His biggest issue is probably eagerness - he seems to want to be everywhere on the pitch.

McTom baffles me - he's so poor with the ball. Not good off the ball - doesn't get himself in good positions to receive the ball and sometimes looks to move OUT of space to avoid the ball. He has his moments don't get me wrong, but we need such a better football player to run our DM area than him.

Together they're a bit meh. We should be expected to dominate against all but a handful of teams. McTom only works for me when the opposition are streets ahead - when they're sole purpose is to have two of them bashing up opposition play. Against teams we want to actually play against - they're a car crash together.

My biggest gripe this season has been the lack of game time in CM for Donny - it's criminal he hasn't featured with the limitations of McTom. We've done good things in CM this year - used Matic sparingly to not overwork his old legs and shunted Pogba as far away from any defensive responsibility as we can, but omitting Donny is poor from Ole.

At best, McTom can be described as "decent" but we wanna challenge for the league and compete in the champions league - decent wont cut it. We need a big signing at CM/DM
I agree with most of your points except Donny van de Beek.

Ole has said that he uses McFred for balance in the team. It needs to be remembered that (the once great) Mourinho had belief in McTominay's potential and so does Solskjaer. At 24, he not young anymore either but still learning. Some are late developers. Solskjaer has almost no option but to presist with the pairing of McFred as higher management failed to buy any of the options that our manager wanted last summer. He probably will demand to buy a good midfielder - Declan Rice has been mentioned in the media but West Ham have placed a very high price that is not feasible. Perhaps, he'll look for a cheaper but comparable option abroad. But that all depends on Solskjaer's piorities: Striker? Winger? Central defender? Possibly a new goalkeeper?

There is no such thing as a perfect pairing. All players have their weaknesses but most of us do not watch other teams as much as we watch United. Naturally therefore, we will witness more mistakes from our midfield two than another top six teams.

McFred may not be the best but they've earned, at least, appreciation for their contribution in the success we've had this season. Oh, and I consider reaching the quater-finals of the League Cup, the semi-finals of the FA Cup, the finals of the Europa Cup and second in the league as success compared to the achievements of all the managers we've had post-Ferguson.

As far as Donny van de Beek is concerned I've not had the same faith in him as you have with what little I've seen of him. Most of the season though, he has been played out of position, in the midfield. I've never seen him play before United so I don't believe I have a right to judge him.
 

Desert Eagle

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The comparison with Liverpool midfield makes 0 sense. When they won the league and the champions league, they had fullbacks that contributed to a ridiculous number of goals, something never seen before. Also, Henderson and Fabinho have significantly better passing range than our midfield.

It's honestly weird to me that there are people actually pushing back to the idea that at least one between Mctominay and Fred needs to be upgraded. They are both good players, but as a partnerships they don't offer enough in terms of control or progressing the ball quickly when needed. This is not a problem when we're playing against the top teams that dominate possessions and we can hit them on the counter (in fact they work superbly well in those matches), but most of the pl games we play are not against top sides. We need a player who can effectively control the temp from deep, be able to switch the ball confidently, make a lot of passes through the lines (Fred does it quite a bit to be fair) and also protect the back 4 on his own.

A young Matic would be the perfect profile for us. Or Fabinho. I will never understand why weren't in for him when it was so obvious he was the perfect player for us.

And btw, I still think we should keep both Mctominay and Fred. Fred in particular already offers a lot to our game, and McTominay is still young so in a couple of years, I wouldn't be surprised if he's good enough to be one of our main players. He's already shown that at his best he's got all the attributes to dominate (in the Southampton game in particular he was playing some unbelievable passes). So, ideally, we sell Matic and replace him with a quality CDM who McTominay can learn from
It's basically because Ole is happy with that midfield and some of these posters can't criticize him no matter what. Like a previous poster said Mctominay actively hides from the ball sometimes. If that's not telling of a players ability and mindset i don't know what is.
 

Borys

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so do you think Fred is the ideal man for us to continue going forward? It’s not agenda driven, I have nothing against him. He works his arse off but I just don’t have the confidence in him. He is liable to make mistakes, same way de Gea made mistakes and lost his place.

watching him chase his particular marker and get caught high does happen. Stats don’t show that. He just has the work ethic to do it again, again and again. Fair play to him - but he’s stillin my eyes not good enough if we want to compete on multiple fronts.
Whoever you put in Fred place in this first sentence, the answer is always NO. The second bolded part is true, that's why we need proper cover in midfield - a player who knows how to hold position and is difficult to go past. McTominay is not that player.
but If he is so good at his job, why do we need another DM in there? Or is it just Ole not trusting to try it out. We have the same midfield set up to play Sheffield United and PSG - it’s baffling.

Fred still as a lot to do to appease me. Playing out from the back, I don’t trust him - 4 goals from him making a hash of it this season with him facing our own goal and unaware of what is behind him.

there is a reason he is targeted when on the ball.
Why is that baffling? Many teams play the same setup against both best and weakest opponents. It actually means that you have the right balance.

Changing team is more about rotation than adjusting to the opponent. Fred and McTominay are clearly our no1 choice midfield.

Do the other 9 teams even play a 2 man midfield?
That is a good question.
 

MadDogg

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but If he is so good at his job, why do we need another DM in there? Or is it just Ole not trusting to try it out. We have the same midfield set up to play Sheffield United and PSG - it’s baffling.

Fred still as a lot to do to appease me. Playing out from the back, I don’t trust him - 4 goals from him making a hash of it this season with him facing our own goal and unaware of what is behind him.

there is a reason he is targeted when on the ball.
McTominay doesn't do any more defensive work than the average midfielder. The idea of him being a 'DM' is purely because he does even less than average when it comes to playmaking and creativity, so his defending seems to be his strength. Our other options (Pogba and Matic) are both below average defensively and easy to run past so it has to be Scott. In reality we should be looking for somebody who does at least as much defensively as Scott while obviously being a significant upgrade when on the ball.

Kante is seen as the gold standard for his role, but he regularly plays next to Jorginho who does FAR more defensively than McTominay. Even Kovacic arguably does a similar amount to Scott when he plays there. Do we ask why Kante has to play next to another DM? Kante's other best seasons have been next to Matic (when he was good) or Drinkwater. When he's had managers who have expected him to just sit and do the DM role himself has been when he's had his worst seasons. But all of them, bar probably Drinkwater, also provide a lot more on the ball than the guy we have playing that role next to Fred.

Players who play that high-pressing ball-hunting role should be partnered with another midfielder who is defensively solid. It's completely misreading their strengths to expect them to be the main one protecting the defensive line. But that defensively solid player should also be good at passing and controlling the team around. That's how you get the balance that we currently don't have.
 

Craig Ward

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I agree with most of your points except Donny van de Beek.

Ole has said that he uses McFred for balance in the team. It needs to be remembered that (the once great) Mourinho had belief in McTominay's potential and so does Solskjaer. At 24, he not young anymore either but still learning. Some are late developers. Solskjaer has almost no option but to presist with the pairing of McFred as higher management failed to buy any of the options that our manager wanted last summer. He probably will demand to buy a good midfielder - Declan Rice has been mentioned in the media but West Ham have placed a very high price that is not feasible. Perhaps, he'll look for a cheaper but comparable option abroad. But that all depends on Solskjaer's piorities: Striker? Winger? Central defender? Possibly a new goalkeeper?

There is no such thing as a perfect pairing. All players have their weaknesses but most of us do not watch other teams as much as we watch United. Naturally therefore, we will witness more mistakes from our midfield two than another top six teams.

McFred may not be the best but they've earned, at least, appreciation for their contribution in the success we've had this season. Oh, and I consider reaching the quater-finals of the League Cup, the semi-finals of the FA Cup, the finals of the Europa Cup and second in the league as success compared to the achievements of all the managers we've had post-Ferguson.

As far as Donny van de Beek is concerned I've not had the same faith in him as you have with what little I've seen of him. Most of the season though, he has been played out of position, in the midfield. I've never seen him play before United so I don't believe I have a right to judge him.
Appreciate the reply.

I understand the balance to the team, and i've been quite vocal about my dislike for Pogba playing DM as I believe it doesnt suit him and it causes damage to the team with him there. Likewise, Matic. Great player but no legs in that area. We are better off playing a McFred pairing than one of the two with Pogba.

So what I do like about McTom and Fred is they're application and what they bring to the team, as the both of them are doing they're best in playing that position.

I think Ole is a great coach and manager and he certainly helps players develops and puts faith in them, Mctominey is certainly in this bracket but i'll never be contect with these pair as regular starters, certainly not McTom who is weaker of the two.

Priority wise I hope CM/DM is looked at this coming window - with Matic no longer really useful and Pogba being used LW - it's vital we get quality there.

I'm a bit baffled by Donny, purely because he was such an influential central midfield player for Ajax. Not sure what's gone on there but he's certainly not getting a look in by Ole. He's far better technically than Fred and McTom. But we play him out of position - he was occupying LW against Roma? What a waste.

I dont think either Fred or McTom are awful players - they just dont work well together and McTom for me is too limited with the ball and off the ball he's a ghost. He'll never dictate a game in the way we need
 

Borys

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McTominay doesn't do any more defensive work than the average midfielder. The idea of him being a 'DM' is purely because he does even less than average when it comes to playmaking and creativity, so his defending seems to be his strength. Our other options (Pogba and Matic) are both below average defensively and easy to run past so it has to be Scott. In reality we should be looking for somebody who does at least as much defensively as Scott while obviously being a significant upgrade when on the ball.

Kante is seen as the gold standard for his role, but he regularly plays next to Jorginho who does FAR more defensively than McTominay. Even Kovacic arguably does a similar amount to Scott when he plays there. Do we ask why Kante has to play next to another DM? Kante's other best seasons have been next to Matic (when he was good) or Drinkwater. When he's had managers who have expected him to just sit and do the DM role himself has been when he's had his worst seasons. But all of them, bar probably Drinkwater, also provide a lot more on the ball than the guy we have playing that role next to Fred.

Players who play that high-pressing ball-hunting role should be partnered with another midfielder who is defensively solid. It's completely misreading their strengths to expect them to be the main one protecting the defensive line. But that defensively solid player should also be good at passing and controlling the team around. That's how you get the balance that we currently don't have.
This is one excellent post, that's exactly how I feel about McTominay and Fred.

The bolded part is why we should never consider Fred as a DM. He is a really good supporting midfielder, but can't do it alone in midfield even against weak opponents.

McTominay description is a bit harsh but I agree in general - he isn't a defensive midfielder either. He's just not particularly good at anything and is big and strong so people label him as one.

We don't play two DMs, we actually don't play any DM because we have none* - that's why Fred and McTominay give us the best balance, as they both are box2box conservative midfielders (as opposed to for example someone like Gundogan, they rarely join attack).
* we have Matic, who is very rarely used for reasons unknown to me
 

KikiDaKats

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This press resistance bull is getting on my nerves. Michael Carrick used to get accused of this same thing. All players struggle at some point if they are target especially in that role. It’s how you manage to assert yourself as the game goes on that matters.
It’s speaks volumes every match thread we all see it mentioned they were better 2nd half/as the game went on. All DMs make the same errors we are solely attributing to our guys. Watch the so called top guys you all going on about closely, you’d notice, 90% of them are no better.
Like everyone out there I believe there is always room to improve the team but singling out individuals with non existent claim is ridiculous.Bringing in competition should be the statement and the better players start.
McT is still young for the role, historically the very best in that position come into their peak 28-thru-32. Next season will be an extra year to his education, what more can we ask for. We all know if SAF was the manager McT will be part of the team. Fred I’m not a fan but he does no worse than the so called better players I’ve seen playing for the big clubs nor do they dominate him.
Ive noticed most fans desist from criticising their favourite players and blame other lesser fancy names for their shortcomings.
 

KikiDaKats

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@Craig Ward is it sure thing thing that Ole wanted Rice? Or just paper talk? Also, was it not understood to be a no go because the lad is destined for Chelsea all along. The situation might have changed now due to change in direction for Chelsea.
Coming into this season I’d dare argue Ole was expecting to use Matic+this midfield+VDB. Why our focus was on Sancho and whatever forward.
 

lost7

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Matic in the first half showed the exact type of performance that a DM who is good against the press and adept at progressing the ball from deep would provide us. I would love if Scott could learn the position from him as I reckon he has the ability to do so.

If not, we must get a top DM in the summer as a priority, but what are realistic options? Rice, Bissouma, Ndidi, they'are all decent but I'm not sure they're the right profile for what we need. Are there any young Matic's clones out there?
 

Bubz27

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Ideally I'd want Fred or Scott coming into this rotated team and an upgrade on them in the first team.
 

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"Press resistant" is that a new football term or just one invented on the caf?
it’s all because of something Troy Deeney said a few years ago

we are not winning a league with those as your midfield 2 its just not going to happen we all know they are not quite good enough. even their biggiest supporters can't say they look like a elite duo or a champions league winning duo
it’s our attack. Look at the attacking numbers of past CL and PL winning teams. We are miles off.
 

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Without McFred, we were just pinned in our own half for almost 80% of game. This thread is pathetic really.
 

tjb

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Without McFred, we were just pinned in our own half for almost 80% of game. This thread is pathetic really.
It shows how poor our options are rather than how good they are as a pair. Don't get me wrong, I think their decent players, but I don't think Mctominay in particular does enough to start.
 

Aouer-United

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People are delusional if they think McFred would improve us with defence in Williams, Bailly, Axel and Telles and upfront of kids. Matic was the one who dictates the ball and beat a press-resistant a couple of times. With Mcfred instead of Matic, we'd be much worse.

Against Leciester City, Matic shows what DM is supposed to look like, he was tidy on the ball and read the games so well without chasing like crazy and leaving positional. Fred and Mctominay look very busy because this is the kind of player they are, they don't read the game so well and always like to chase after the ball and foul. On the ball, they are useless and cannot progress ball without being pressed or holding on to the ball longer against them

Ugh, I wish we'd had younger Matic
 

Brexit_Brigade

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Without McFred, we were just pinned in our own half for almost 80% of game. This thread is pathetic really.
Useless post, and you know it. Might as well go ahead and say "Elanga contributed nothing for 90% of the game, no future at the club" if we're pretending we can draw conclusions from the last 90 minutes.

And yeah, as the poster above me said, Matic was actually quite good today. McTominay would be a quality player if he had the same positional sense but he just doesn't.
 

Cast5

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People are delusional if they think McFred would improve us with defence in Williams, Bailly, Axel and Telles and upfront of kids. Matic was the one who dictates the ball and beat a press-resistant a couple of times. With Mcfred instead of Matic, we'd be much worse.

Against Leciester City, Matic shows what DM is supposed to look like, he was tidy on the ball and read the games so well without chasing like crazy and leaving positional. Fred and Mctominay look very busy because this is the kind of player they are, they don't read the game so well and always like to chase after the ball and foul. On the ball, they are useless and cannot progress ball without being pressed or holding on to the ball longer against them

Ugh, I wish we'd had younger Matic
What the feck does “beat a press-resistant a couple of times” mean?

“Press resistant” is just a new term describing a player who doesn’t often lose possession when he’s under pressure..

People used to say “he never loses the ball under pressure” or “he keeps the ball well“ or “he’s difficult to get the ball off” why there’s new terms come around that sound cooler I don’t know, people act like it’s a new special thing though.

Beating the press is a different thing.
 
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hobbers

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If McFred is the Ford Focus of midfields, Matic and VdB is the Austin Allegro.
 

Ali Dia

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Like to see what the haters make of that.....
They’ll surely just ignore it and say stats aren’t everything even if they are as enlightening as the above. It’s great he’s started to notch up a few assists, something a little more tangible. I don’t think his whole being a one man midfield in the second best team in the country is enough for these supposed fans of ours but according to all the football experts replacing Fred with Rice will get us first place and the CL. I have more than a bad feeling it’ll just be Schneiderlin all over again. We need a steady passer/tackler: Tried it with Matic and Morgan. Offers us very very little in games we need to attack. More technique at the expense of graft: Pogba- Disaster on the counter. I think people have forgotten what a combative box to box player looks like. The only midfielders we have had who have been a success recently are Herrera and Fred who’s an even better all rounder than Ander.
 
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Litch

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They’ll surely just ignore it and say stats aren’t everything even if they are as enlightening as the above. It’s great he’s started to notch up a few assists, something a little more tangible. I don’t think his whole being a one man midfield in the second best team in the country is enough for these supposed fans of ours but according to all the football experts replacing Fred with Rice will get us first place and the CL. I have more than a bad feeling it’ll just be Schneiderlin all over again. We need a steady passer/tackler: Tried it with Matic and Morgan. Offers us very very little in games we need to attack. More technique at the expense of graft: Pogba- Disaster on the counter. I think people have forgotten what a combative box to box player looks like. The only midfielders we have had who have been a success recently are Herrera and Fred who’s an ever better all rounder than Ander.
I think when you watch a player forensically, negatively watching for when he makes a mistake, inevitably they will see whatever they want. I'm for one not saying he can't be upgraded but the players people are talking about, are no upgrade. Rice in a West Ham and an England shirt, is no barometer of whether he'll be good in a Utd one. There is no category that suggests that and he is better nor has he any European experience either. The irony is, Fred's best games have been against the best teams. How can a player that's only attribute is running around, works against the best players. Surely that would be the best attribute against the worst teams?
 

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I think when you watch a player forensically, negatively watching for when he makes a mistake, inevitably they will see whatever they want. I'm for one not saying he can't be upgraded but the players people are talking about, are no upgrade. Rice in a West Ham and an England shirt, is no barometer of whether he'll be good in a Utd one. There is no category that suggests that and he is better nor has he any European experience either. The irony is, Fred's best games have been against the best teams. How can a player that's only attribute is running around, works against the best players. Surely that would be the best attribute against the worst teams?
The thing is our attack is so hot and cold that people have started to blame the midfield for our creativity issues. Look at Fred and McT. They are doing fine for goals and assists. All our midfield needs to do in a functioning team is set the tempo and the press, screen the defence well and get the ball to the forwards as fast as possible. It’s simple enough. If anyone knows a player like that who can also score and assist much more regularly then I am all in. I just don’t think that player is actually out there currently at the level we are looking for. Maybe Bellingham eventually but that ship has sailed for now.
 

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Forrest Gimp
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Jan 2, 2013
Messages
9,486
Location
Location, Location
Weird feeling they will nail this game. The sort of matchup they could arise to.

At the same time, awaiting the reactions at 9.45 saying how wrong I was :lol:
 

Castia

Full Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2011
Messages
13,242
These 2 are as average as it gets but to make it worse because Ole won’t drop them we play others out of position. Rashford should be on the left and Pogba in centre midfield it’s a mess.
 

OleBoiii

Full Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2019
Messages
4,425
They have not been the issue in that first half. Made lots of interceptions. Rashford and Cavani have been invisible. The former in particular.