Neville - ‘’no style of play’’

Zlatan 7

We've got bush!
Joined
May 26, 2016
Messages
9,152
Finally we have a happy thread for all the moaners, lots of glee in this thread. Happy Monday.
 

GBBQ

Full Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Messages
4,541
Location
Ireland
Does anybody think he will be gone at the end of the season? I personally don't think so he's just got given three major world class players, he's just signed a new contract in the summer. The only way he will go is either he won't get top 4 (Which I think he will with these group of players) and the owners only care about top 4 and that's it so I expect this kind of rubbish football to continue for the forseable future.
If the owners only cared about top 4 then i don't think we'd have brought in 3 big signings like we just did. Its a minimum expectation of course (and mostly due to sponsorship implications) but I think they'll know well that this squad is one of the strongest in the game and should be capable of challenging for the league. If ole isn't in the mix for the title by the end of the season then serious questions will be asked.
 

frostbite

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Jun 28, 2021
Messages
231
I agree, I think that Ole is trying to do it the way that Fergie did it. But Ole isn't SAF. The way Fergie played had obvious downsides, particularly in Europe, even when SAF was in his pomp. But SAF had a supernatural talent for team building, motivation, judging opponent's weaknesses, buying players, and so on, that all comfortably outweighed any shortcomings. Ole may have the same style of play, he may even be relatively decent in the same areas, but he isnt on SAF's level. So he's unlikely to get anything like the same results.
Also, SAF could get really angry. And no player wanted to make him angry. That's quite a motivation for some players! We can say that this is a thing of the past and it wouldn't work now. Perhaps so, but if you don't have this then you should have some other advantage. Or else, Pep and Klopp with their "patterns of play" will always have an advantage over you. How can Ole compete with Pep and Klopp? What advantage does he have?
 
Last edited:

passing-wind

Full Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2013
Messages
2,966
Facts stated by Neville. Ole cannot dismiss this as he did to Rio as Neville has had experience in management and is clearly astute at understanding the game and observation in analysis.

The consensus is not to sack the manager, it's that if the team doesn't have a foundation to build from the manager being replace is inevitable because the results will always be influenced by the performances. I could count on one hand in three season how many games can be considered good performances. Of course that's my own biased opinion but if Ole doesn't improve things he's going to land himself in trouble.
 

LARulz

Full Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2009
Messages
15,886
I agree, I think that Ole is trying to do it the way that Fergie did it. But Ole isn't SAF. The way Fergie played had obvious downsides, particularly in Europe, even when SAF was in his pomp. But SAF had a supernatural talent for team building, motivation, judging opponent's weaknesses, buying players, and so on, that all comfortably outweighed any shortcomings. Ole may have the same style of play, he may even be relatively decent in the same areas, but he isnt on SAF's level. So he's unlikely to get anything like the same results.
Also he picked players who essentially had a great ability to read the game and have insane standards for themselves and others. It all resulted in a perfect combination

We don't have those players anymore so when Solskjaer's 'their quality will win it' approach doesn't work we are fecked.

But to be fair as well, Fergie knew how to read the game tactically and could see weaknesses and didn't like players being out of position/letting mistakes happen (the hairdryer to Evans vs Milan after we scored is in my mind). Ole does feck all, he just sits there and hopes for the best
 

horsechoker

Sailor vee, this is a right off.
Joined
Apr 16, 2015
Messages
27,106
Location
The stable
So when he said we should sign Varane, Sancho and Kane we'd win the league did he think Kane would implement a style of play?
 

#07

makes new threads with tweets in the OP
Joined
Oct 25, 2010
Messages
20,217
I think Gary's criticism is harsh, because I think you can see what United are trying to do. However, I think the problem is United are currently caught between two stools and our personnel adds another limiting factor.

Our plan A, what United is very good at, is counter attacking. When Ole plays against City, for example, it is very obvious what the team is trying to do. We've seen the gameplan executed enough times to know how it goes: Press aggressively on the front foot. If City beat the press, get compact, squeeze in, use transitions and pace on the flanks to get at their back line.

This was, effectively, what Ole did in his first year to year and a half as manager. Not just against City but against most teams. And, at the time, it was a legitimate criticism that United struggle to break down low blocks because they only know how to counter attack. You could kill us by just cutting off the space in behind.

Nowadays that isn't true. Ole has tried, over the past year or so, to evolve the team beyond pure transition football. However, and he's partly to blame for this because of some of the players he has signed, the personnel isn't quite there to move us away from plan A.

The balance of our midfield is off. We are only able to get ball progression through the middle when Pogba plays there. Pogba doesn't really like playing there though. Also, we don't have a partner who can cover for him when he plays there. Matic's legs are gone. Fred has shown, numerous times, that he can't really play the covering role. McTominay showed flashes in the Europa League final but he's also not a natural defensive midfielder. So it leaves our coaches unable to rely on midfield to advance the ball.

Ole's answer has been to get the ball forward via the fullbacks but we don't actually have that many good attacking fullbacks. Shaw is the only one who overlaps to any real effect. Wan-Bissaka has become a worse version of late stage Valencia when it comes to attacking intent. The lad's now full 'Turn back Tony.' Dalot doesn't really do anything effective. Telles, might be good but its not really been in evidence. So trying to make the pitch wide with the fullbacks isn't really working either. Once we lost Shaw, like we did at the end of 2019-20 and at the weekend, our ability to play through the flanks gets severely downgraded.

Its fairly obvious why Ole wanted Trippier and a defensive midfielder in the summer. To complete the team's evolution away from full counter attack he needs a right full back that can attack and a true defensive midfielder, one that can maybe allow someone like Pogba to play the part of midfield general. However, there's a chance he might not make it to the end of the season to have that chance.

So to say there's no style we're working to is not true. Its just the style we're working to will, arguably, never fit the set of players we have in the squad.

My suspicion is, the level of criticism Ole is getting, will drive him back towards plan A. Pure Mourinho style counter attacking with a deep back line and pace on the flanks. I imagine Rashford returning to the squad will be the catalyst for this. As Marcus' speed gives us more of an outlet than anyone else we have. It will be ugly and it will have to produce results or he'll be gone.
 

Green Arrow

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Jan 9, 2020
Messages
196
Location
Formally of Chorlton
If the owners only cared about top 4 then i don't think we'd have brought in 3 big signings like we just did. Its a minimum expectation of course (and mostly due to sponsorship implications) but I think they'll know well that this squad is one of the strongest in the game and should be capable of challenging for the league. If ole isn't in the mix for the title by the end of the season then serious questions will be asked.
True they wouldn't have bought those players if they only cared about top 4 but going by previous seasons I'm not too confindant about that. Ole should be challenging for all top trophies and he needs to implement a style/coaching abilities that show us that he knows what he is doing.

Easy CL group combined with the players he got this summer might cost him if we dont go through in the CL.
I just hope we get out that CL group becuase if we don't do you think the like s of ROnaldo, Pogba etc would want to play in the EL? I don't think so plus Ronaldo is not here for long.
 

Milo2035

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Jan 7, 2019
Messages
153
No it won't take years to build. All it takes is hiring one good manager.

City didn't play like they do now when Mancini and Pellegrini was in charge. You need manager to implement a style, not whole club. It took Tuchel few weeks to drill is ideas. City started to play like Pep team in the first few weeks. Liverpool started with high press football in the very first game they played vs Spurs.
Exactly. Chelsea becomes a different team within few weeks after they sacked Lampard and appointed Tuchel as their manager. All we need is a good/experienced manager who is tactically competent.
What ? Have you guys watched City since Mancini ? They had always been imposing a possession-based playing style with short passes and high pressing and favor technical players over strong ones. Each manager add their own twists tactically , but the core is always a team full of players who can make short and quick passes and have space awareness. Do you think Barcelona and Bayern Munich and Man City would ever hire an anti-possession football manager like Mourinho ? Never.
With Chelsea cases, their way of hiring coaches is more unstable than City, so they went up and down more. But same as City, from the first team to academy to the scouts, Chelsea always choose and train players suitable for modern possession-based football strategy. Meanwhile, our club has no philosophy or vision whatsoever. We're a club of individuals with old fashion football style. Most of our young players can't go to any good club like Chelsea kids. Tuchel or Pep would never come to United because there's no way they can train our players to play their way.
 

Giggsyking

Full Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2013
Messages
4,527
Its fairly obvious why Ole wanted Trippier and a defensive midfielder in the summer. To complete the team's evolution away from full counter attack he needs a right full back that can attack and a true defensive midfielder, one that can maybe allow someone like Pogba to play the part of midfield general. However, there's a chance he might not make it to the end of the season to have that chance.
Wow, we want Ole to get Ronaldo, Varane, Sancho, Trippier and a Fabinho in one window to play football?
 

Fortitude

TV/Monitor Expert
Scout
Joined
Jul 10, 2004
Messages
15,535
Location
Inside right
May I ask United fans, what was the style of play under Ferguson? I don't remember United playing out from the back in those days.

I think Solskjaer is trying to bring back Man Utds philosophy but he lacks proficient coaches at this level.
Contrary to coments saying Fergie had no style of play, every iteration who were seen as great sides had specific objectives and stuck to them like glue whilst Ferguson always made plans for what he saw as the biggest opposition threat or tactic - putting Park on Pirlo is probably the most famous one by now, but no means the only time.

Our greatest sides are as follows:

1993-1994: incredible pace and direction down either flank; always keep the opposition honest and mindful of being destroyed wide, which enabled the central core to really take control, firstly winning their individual battles (we nearly always had the best central midfields in the league under SAF) and then progressing the ball as they saw fit: hitting early and wide sometimes, but also having no hesitation in hitting early to Hughes, who was basically imbued with the power of hold up play and ball protection. Individual brilliance is always a thread in a Ferguson team, but it was always supplemented with a clear style of play or set of objectives. Cantona was the maverick inthat team who wasn't as tightly bound to a set of tasks outside of being his creative, talismanic self. You ask anyone who saw this side what they were about, and you'd be given very clear, decisive answers, very surely revolving around high octane, fast, overwhelming wing play and also lethal, rapid counter-attacking.

1998-1999: Again a side with very specific collective objectives and individual briefs. You knew what to expect of each player in the chain before the ball had even got to them and we had specialists across the whole midfield and attack (the best dribbler and carrier of the ball in the league; the best crosser and wide delivery of passes; the best two-midfielder and ball retainer in the league; the best goalscoring midfielder whose job was to ghost and affect play as he saw fit; the best #10 responsible for the intricacies of our final third play and the best off the ball runner in the league) it was an eclectic side capable of many styles of football from massive possession-based period, which led to insane goals like this:


To hard-running or battling football, as a game demanded.



2006-2009: again, individual job briefs married to collective ideals with individual brilliance interlaced into the team. Far more defensively aware and astute than the sides that preceded, but a total certainty of purpose to how we attacked, and if you put United in silhouette and were asked to point out which side that was just from the style of play and how they approached games, it would be easy.

If anyone believes the mantra of it was just go out there and play, under Ferguson, they've basically read half of a torn out sentence as the other part of that same sentence would be: 'go out and do the specific job briefs I've given you and stick to the collective objectives.'

If you look under the surface of most truly great 'freestyling' sides, they follow the same principles and are not just making it up as they go along: Zidane had peak Modric and Kroos killing the spirit of the opposition with infuriating ball retention and timely releases to any open man ahead of them with a DM behind them that enabled them to pass with abandon; the constant threat of blistering attacks down either flank; arguably the best ball-shielding forward in the world as a conduit for the whole attack to assuredly join the attack behind... that's a side who knows itself and precisely what to do at any given time: patterns of play is not just automation of skittles on a pitch: it's having a certifiable set of objectives each and every player knows and executes, which is what we don't have, and is, in totality, absolutely nothing like Ferguson era sides.

I think there's two distinct periods when you find out what teams are truly about: when they've got a puzzle to break down and a system or ideas have to break it down, and when they are discombobulated and under extreme stress, at which point, what they've been drilled to do has to take over in the chaos as there isn't the time to collectively make things up on the hop then. You will see in most cases that Ferguson's sides would then attempt to reestablish dominance through possession and composure to catch their collective breath and reset the tide, or, they would consciously engage in a firefight, backing themselves to win through in the ensuing chaos - nothing was quite as uncertain or left to chance, so for the calls of us not adhering to script or structure, it's clearly a false narrative.

If Ole is trying to emulate what we were under Ferguson, he's missing the mark by a long way as the only discernible style we excel at is counter-attacking with everything else looking uncertain and haphazard, which is why we tip to and fro from 15 minute period to 15 minute period let alone game to game.

Ferguson sides exerted control and dispirited the opposition with high retention numbers time and time again. We toyed with inferior teams after taking a 2-goal lead via possession and more often than not, the game would become a formality after we took the lead. That's very rarely us now. But that's why you never neglect midfield as it is responsible for so much of a games' flow and/or subsequent fallout.
 

roonster09

Hercule Poirot of the scouting world
Scout
Joined
May 10, 2009
Messages
31,031
What ? Have you guys watched City since Mancini ? They had always been imposing a possession-based playing style with short passes and high pressing and favor technical players over strong ones. Each manager add their own twists tactically , but the core is always a team full of players who can make short and quick passes and have space awareness. Do you think Barcelona and Bayern Munich and Man City would ever hire an anti-possession football manager like Mourinho ? Never.
With Chelsea cases, their way of hiring coaches is more unstable than City, so they went up and down more. But same as City, from the first team to academy to the scouts, Chelsea always choose and train players suitable for modern possession-based football strategy. Meanwhile, our club has no philosophy or vision whatsoever. We're a club of individuals with old fashion football style. Most of our young players can't go to any good club like Chelsea kids. Tuchel or Pep would never come to United because there's no way they can train our players to play their way.
Go and check who dominated possession stats before Pep took over, most importantly check their CL possession stats. Will be a real eye opener when you see City averaged less than 50% possession in few CL seasons.

Also check their possession when we won 4-2 and then drew 0-0 following season, we had 60% possession vs City with midfield of Fellaini, Herrera, Rooney.
 

Real Name

Full Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2020
Messages
2,405
What ? Have you guys watched City since Mancini ? They had always been imposing a possession-based playing style with short passes and high pressing and favor technical players over strong ones. Each manager add their own twists tactically , but the core is always a team full of players who can make short and quick passes and have space awareness. Do you think Barcelona and Bayern Munich and Man City would ever hire an anti-possession football manager like Mourinho ? Never.
With Chelsea cases, their way of hiring coaches is more unstable than City, so they went up and down more. But same as City, from the first team to academy to the scouts, Chelsea always choose and train players suitable for modern possession-based football strategy. Meanwhile, our club has no philosophy or vision whatsoever. We're a club of individuals with old fashion football style. Most of our young players can't go to any good club like Chelsea kids. Tuchel or Pep would never come to United because there's no way they can train our players to play their way.
Well that's just wrong. What's the purpose of coaches if they cant train some players to play their way. The way they're trained isnt set in stone..
 

Bobade

Full Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2019
Messages
357
I think Gary's criticism is harsh, because I think you can see what United are trying to do. However, I think the problem is United are currently caught between two stools and our personnel adds another limiting factor.

Our plan A, what United is very good at, is counter attacking. When Ole plays against City, for example, it is very obvious what the team is trying to do. We've seen the gameplan executed enough times to know how it goes: Press aggressively on the front foot. If City beat the press, get compact, squeeze in, use transitions and pace on the flanks to get at their back line.

This was, effectively, what Ole did in his first year to year and a half as manager. Not just against City but against most teams. And, at the time, it was a legitimate criticism that United struggle to break down low blocks because they only know how to counter attack. You could kill us by just cutting off the space in behind.

Nowadays that isn't true. Ole has tried, over the past year or so, to evolve the team beyond pure transition football. However, and he's partly to blame for this because of some of the players he has signed, the personnel isn't quite there to move us away from plan A.

The balance of our midfield is off. We are only able to get ball progression through the middle when Pogba plays there. Pogba doesn't really like playing there though. Also, we don't have a partner who can cover for him when he plays there. Matic's legs are gone. Fred has shown, numerous times, that he can't really play the covering role. McTominay showed flashes in the Europa League final but he's also not a natural defensive midfielder. So it leaves our coaches unable to rely on midfield to advance the ball.

Ole's answer has been to get the ball forward via the fullbacks but we don't actually have that many good attacking fullbacks. Shaw is the only one who overlaps to any real effect. Wan-Bissaka has become a worse version of late stage Valencia when it comes to attacking intent. The lad's now full 'Turn back Tony.' Dalot doesn't really do anything effective. Telles, might be good but its not really been in evidence. So trying to make the pitch wide with the fullbacks isn't really working either. Once we lost Shaw, like we did at the end of 2019-20 and at the weekend, our ability to play through the flanks gets severely downgraded.

Its fairly obvious why Ole wanted Trippier and a defensive midfielder in the summer. To complete the team's evolution away from full counter attack he needs a right full back that can attack and a true defensive midfielder, one that can maybe allow someone like Pogba to play the part of midfield general. However, there's a chance he might not make it to the end of the season to have that chance.

So to say there's no style we're working to is not true. Its just the style we're working to will, arguably, never fit the set of players we have in the squad.

My suspicion is, the level of criticism Ole is getting, will drive him back towards plan A. Pure Mourinho style counter attacking with a deep back line and pace on the flanks. I imagine Rashford returning to the squad will be the catalyst for this. As Marcus' speed gives us more of an outlet than anyone else we have. It will be ugly and it will have to produce results or he'll be gone.
I've been a defender of Ole in the past, but I'm losing patience. The problem with your post is that it might be pretty spot on in terms of the analysis of what we need etc, but it is on Ole to resolve this.

Our RB doesn't provide enough of an attacking outlet? Well, he is Ole's player. He signed AWB so it is up to him to get the best out of him.

We don't have a midfield that can advance the ball? Prioritise that over signing Varane then. I'm happy to have Varane here, he is a fantastic player, but I never thought that Lindelof and Maguire were a big problem. Yes, they aren't a perfect partnership, but with a stronger midfield , I don't think we would have a problem with those two playing.

We've made good signings this summer and I was happy with all of them. However, what we can all see when we play is a massive chasm in midfield, with a set of players who seem to struggle to cross that chasm and progress the ball to attack. That is something that Ole and the team should be seeing in training and signing players accordingly. If we've signed the wrong players we need to adapt the play style, which isn't happening either.
 

MrBest

Full Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2016
Messages
2,144
He blamed it more on the players being "unfamiliar" with each other and not the lack of coaching.

Point is, if there was coaching going on the new players may struggle, but you wouldn't have players who have been here for years still looking like headless chickens. it's on the coaching.
9 out of 11 are familiar, crazy excuses building again.
 

#07

makes new threads with tweets in the OP
Joined
Oct 25, 2010
Messages
20,217
Wow, we want Ole to get Ronaldo, Varane, Sancho, Trippier and a Fabinho in one window to play football?
Effectively, yes.

If you look at the replacement rate of both Klopp and Pep you'll see its much higher than Ole's. For some reason United dislike large changes in squad composition per summer. However, this summer was really the time to revolutionise the squad. Even if it meant a fire sale like we had under Van Gaal.

I have no doubt, whether Ole remains at United or not, that in one of the next two transfer windows United will strengthen in midfield and right back. Because its obviously necessary.

If someone like Zidane were to come into our squad. He'd compare what he had in Casemiro, Kroos and Modric to what we've got, or Wan-Bissaka to Carvajal, and he'd demand spending. And if the club is serious it would buy him adequate replacements.

The best coach in the world, Pep, couldn't make Zabaleta, Kolarov, Clichy etc play the way he wanted. Players have ceilings. Managers are wrong about players. I'm sure Pep thought Danilo and Bravo and Angelino and Eric Garcia would work out. But they didn't so he replaced them.

I've been a defender of Ole in the past, but I'm losing patience. The problem with your post is that it might be pretty spot on in terms of the analysis of what we need etc, but it is on Ole to resolve this.

Our RB doesn't provide enough of an attacking outlet? Well, he is Ole's player. He signed AWB so it is up to him to get the best out of him.

We don't have a midfield that can advance the ball? Prioritise that over signing Varane then. I'm happy to have Varane here, he is a fantastic player, but I never thought that Lindelof and Maguire were a big problem. Yes, they aren't a perfect partnership, but with a stronger midfield , I don't think we would have a problem with those two playing.

We've made good signings this summer and I was happy with all of them. However, what we can all see when we play is a massive chasm in midfield, with a set of players who seem to struggle to cross that chasm and progress the ball to attack. That is something that Ole and the team should be seeing in training and signing players accordingly. If we've signed the wrong players we need to adapt the play style, which isn't happening either.
Ole isn't the second coming of Johan Cruyff but, despite Ronaldo, our squad is not the Barcelona dream team. If we want better football the answer will be to get better players. I'm sorry, no coach is going to turn Wan Bissaka into Dani Alves. As I said, that's partly on Ole cos he bought the kid. However, as he's transitioned the team away from pure counter attack the limitations of players like that get more and more exposed.

Lindelof was a huge problem and needed replacing. The issue is that it shouldn't have been either/or it should've been both.

Manchester United has wasted at least half a billion since Fergie retired. Our hit rate on transfers has been garbage. That's why we've ended up with a garbled squad.

Why, oh why, for example did we buy Fred for like 50 mil when we had Ander Herrera already? There was no thinking there. None. Our current hotchpot squad could've been so much better if we'd have put a competent sporting director in place half a dozen years ago.

But you're right none of that helps us with where we are today. Ole has to manage the situation and, as I said, given the balance of our squad I suspect he'll pivot back to being defensive.
 

El Jefe

Full Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2012
Messages
2,304
All previous managers had a style they wanted the players to play, maybe not good ones but there was patterns. Ole is trying to copy sir Alex ” go out there and express yourself” style instead of bringing something to the table by himself…
It honestly makes me cringe when he talks about our style. Mourinho and LVG bored the shit out of me but at least they had an identity as coaches, Ole is just full of empty Fergie-isms. Ole's coaching philosophy can be summed up as WWSD, what would Sir Alex do.

Ole has a general idea of what he wants, the problem is it isn't nuanced enough and lacks the intricacies and specialism that other top coaches have. I watch in awe when Pep, Tuchel and Klopp talk about football, you can see why their teams are the way they are especially Pep. When Ole talks, it always seems to be about the individual player and them having the personality of a Manchester United player, so its no surprise that we overly rely on moments.
 

roonster09

Hercule Poirot of the scouting world
Scout
Joined
May 10, 2009
Messages
31,031
Contrary to coments saying Fergie had no style of play, every iteration who were seen as great sides had specific objectives and stuck to them like glue whilst Ferguson always made plans for what he saw as the biggest opposition threat or tactic - putting Park on Pirlo is probably the most famous one by now, but no means the only time.

Our greatest sides are as follows:

1993-1994: incredible pace and direction down either flank; always keep the opposition honest and mindful of being destroyed wide, which enabled the central core to really take control, firstly winning their individual battles (we nearly always had the best central midfields in the league under SAF) and then progressing the ball as they saw fit: hitting early and wide sometimes, but also having no hesitation in hitting early to Hughes, who was basically imbued with the power of hold up play and ball protection. Individual brilliance is always a thread in a Ferguson team, but it was always supplemented with a clear style of play or set of objectives. Cantona was the maverick inthat team who wasn't as tightly bound to a set of tasks outside of being his creative, talismanic self. You ask anyone who saw this side what they were about, and you'd be given very clear, decisive answers, very surely revolving around high octane, fast, overwhelming wing play and also lethal, rapid counter-attacking.

1998-1999: Again a side with very specific collective objectives and individual briefs. You knew what to expect of each player in the chain before the ball had even got to them and we had specialists across the whole midfield and attack (the best dribbler and carrier of the ball in the league; the best crosser and wide delivery of passes; the best two-midfielder and ball retainer in the league; the best goalscoring midfielder whose job was to ghost and affect play as he saw fit; the best #10 responsible for the intricacies of our final third play and the best off the ball runner in the league) it was an eclectic side capable of many styles of football from massive possession-based period, which led to insane goals like this:


To hard-running or battling football, as a game demanded.



2006-2009: again, individual job briefs married to collective ideals with individual brilliance interlaced into the team. Far more defensively aware and astute than the sides that preceded, but a total certainty of purpose to how we attacked, and if you put United in silhouette and were asked to point out which side that was just from the style of play and how they approached games, it would be easy.

If anyone believes the mantra of it was just go out there and play, under Ferguson, they've basically read half of a torn out sentence as the other part of that same sentence would be: 'go out and do the specific job briefs I've given you and stick to the collective objectives.'

If you look under the surface of most truly great 'freestyling' sides, they follow the same principles and are not just making it up as they go along: Zidane had peak Modric and Kroos killing the spirit of the opposition with infuriating ball retention and timely releases to any open man ahead of them with a DM behind them that enabled them to pass with abandon; the constant threat of blistering attacks down either flank; arguably the best ball-shielding forward in the world as a conduit for the whole attack to assuredly join the attack behind... that's a side who knows itself and precisely what to do at any given time: patterns of play is not just automation of skittles on a pitch: it's having a certifiable set of objectives each and every player knows and executes, which is what we don't have, and is, in totality, absolutely nothing like Ferguson era sides.

I think there's two distinct periods when you find out what teams are truly about: when they've got a puzzle to break down and a system or ideas have to break it down, and when they are discombobulated and under extreme stress, at which point, what they've been drilled to do has to take over in the chaos as there isn't the time to collectively make things up on the hop then. You will see in most cases that Ferguson's sides would then attempt to reestablish dominance through possession and composure to catch their collective breath and reset the tide, or, they would consciously engage in a firefight, backing themselves to win through in the ensuing chaos - nothing was quite as uncertain or left to chance, so for the calls of us not adhering to script or structure, it's clearly a false narrative.

If Ole is trying to emulate what we were under Ferguson, he's missing the mark by a long way as the only discernible style we excel at is counter-attacking with everything else looking uncertain and haphazard, which is why we tip to and fro from 15 minute period to 15 minute period let alone game to game.

Ferguson sides exerted control and dispirited the opposition with high retention numbers time and time again. We toyed with inferior teams after taking a 2-goal lead via possession and more often than not, the game would become a formality after we took the lead. That's very rarely us now. But that's why you never neglect midfield as it is responsible for so much of a games' flow and/or subsequent fallout.
Great post.
 

Real Name

Full Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2020
Messages
2,405
Effectively, yes.

If you look at the replacement rate of both Klopp and Pep you'll see its much higher than Ole's. For some reason United dislike large changes in squad composition per summer. However, this summer was really the time to revolutionise the squad. Even if it meant a fire sale like we had under Van Gaal.

I have no doubt, whether Ole remains at United or not, that in one of the next two transfer windows United will strengthen in midfield and right back. Because its obviously necessary.

If someone like Zidane were to come into our squad. He'd compare what he had in Casemiro, Kroos and Modric to what we've got, or Wan-Bissaka to Carvajal, and he'd demand spending. And if the club is serious it would buy him adequate replacements.

The best coach in the world, Pep, couldn't make Zabaleta, Kolarov, Clichy etc play the way he wanted. Players have ceilings. Managers are wrong about players. I'm sure Pep thought Danilo and Bravo and Angelino and Eric Garcia would work out. But they didn't so he replaced them.

Ole isn't the second coming of Johan Cruyff but, despite Ronaldo, our squad is not the Barcelona dream team. If we want better football the answer will be to get better players. I'm sorry, no coach is going to turn Wan Bissaka into Dani Alves. As I said, that's partly on Ole cos he bought the kid. However, as he's transitioned the team away from pure counter attack the limitations of players like that get more and more exposed.
Our team is in transition but I dont see what is that transition exactly. Ok its due to players but then again why was exactly AWB bought or Sancho while we're at it.
Not to mention VDB. Ok you're making a transition but until that's transition is over you play with the players you have at your disposal and it seems to me Ole doesnt have an idea how to do it.
Klopp had a poor team compared to the one he has now but it was evident from the day one how he wants his team to play. Ole is no Klopp but after 3 years its pretty damning that we're not really sure how Ole wants the team to play other than counter attacking.
 

Alfie092

Full Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
868
Give us Tuchel and see the transformation at our club. Obviously it won't happen but look what he did in such a short-time at Chelsea, no excuses of Tuchel coming to a new league, the current squad not being his players or the players needing some time to adjust to his philosophy!

Lampard, like Ole can only take you so far due to their limitations. Top coaches like Tuchel have a much higher ceiling who properly coach! Ole can only maybe get majority of the players to play at 80% of their potential but a manager like Tuchel can get them playing closer to their true ability.

If there is 1 manager I want to succeed at this club then it's Ole but unfortunately, like the title of the thread says... no style of play. After almost 3 years at the charge! I know people keep saying time and that he needs to build his own squad but I've seen many top managers come in like Tuchel and make changes straightaway. I never expected Ole to make changes within a year even but 3 years and no change?? Sorry, that isn't acceptable.
 

ROFLUTION

Full Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2009
Messages
5,248
Location
Denmark
Thing is, Fergie was the best in adapting and wasnt playing just one way like @largelyworried and @ROFLUTION said here. Adaptation and changing things on the pitch depending on circumstances isnt one of Ole's strengths, on the contrary.Not using VDB for instance or not knowing how to use him for instance. Insisting on Fred and McTominay nearly every game.
Similar with Sancho, he had a slow start but I dont know what's the idea with him, how will he be used.
I do think adaptation and changing is his strength - Ole's played defensively against big teams, with quite good results actually and also slowly developed the team quite nicely overall.

It's always been the lower to midteams we don't just put to the wall. Probably because of lack of quality (2 last years) but also a system. Liverpool have a patient ball playing system where they usually get results, and City/Chelsea does too.
 

Giggsyking

Full Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2013
Messages
4,527
What ? Have you guys watched City since Mancini ? They had always been imposing a possession-based playing style with short passes and high pressing and favor technical players over strong ones. Each manager add their own twists tactically , but the core is always a team full of players who can make short and quick passes and have space awareness. Do you think Barcelona and Bayern Munich and Man City would ever hire an anti-possession football manager like Mourinho ? Never.
With Chelsea cases, their way of hiring coaches is more unstable than City, so they went up and down more. But same as City, from the first team to academy to the scouts, Chelsea always choose and train players suitable for modern possession-based football strategy. Meanwhile, our club has no philosophy or vision whatsoever. We're a club of individuals with old fashion football style. Most of our young players can't go to any good club like Chelsea kids. Tuchel or Pep would never come to United because there's no way they can train our players to play their way.
So we are still blaming the world class team players for the poor football our manager is serving us. I thought people would shy away from this after all the players he has been handed in the last 3 years.
 

Real Name

Full Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2020
Messages
2,405
I do think adaptation and changing is his strength - Ole's played defensively against big teams, with quite good results actually and also slowly developed the team quite nicely overall.

It's always been the lower to midteams we don't just put to the wall. Probably because of lack of quality (2 last years) but also a system. Liverpool have a patient ball playing system where they usually get results, and City/Chelsea does too.
Yeah, agree about that.
As for the development of the team he's done a good job. But as I said in the post above he doesnt know how to use the team properly. Sure we can beat City on the day but on the other hand we get outplayed by a lower team on the other. Its not just lack of chances its being outplayed and it is pretty worrying.
 

El Jefe

Full Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2012
Messages
2,304
Wing attack, overload the wings, commit more players to attack. We used to have good wingers to stretch the teams which created lot of gaps in defense. Also midfielders like Scholes, Carrick who were superb in creating 1v1 situation for wingers with their passing range.
And most importantly we always moved the ball quickly under SAF until his last few years here. We weren't as good as Arsenal at passing but as a team we could really make quick passing moves to open up teams at ease, with both long and short passing. Out of possession we were just as good at winning 50 50 balls and pressing as a team, even though it could leave us open at the back at times especially when everyone went forward.

The team that reminds me the most of us under SAF is Klopps Liverpool team of 2017/18 that scored for fun.
 

roonster09

Hercule Poirot of the scouting world
Scout
Joined
May 10, 2009
Messages
31,031
And most importantly we always moved the ball quickly under SAF until his last few years here. We weren't as good as Arsenal at passing but as a team we could really make quick passing moves to open up teams at ease, with both long and short passing. Out of possession we were just as good at winning 50 50 balls and pressing as a team, even though it could leave us open at the back at times especially when everyone went forward.

The team that reminds me the most of us under SAF is Klopps Liverpool team of 2017/18 that scored for fun.
Yeah, we moved the ball quickly. One of the reason why we used to open up teams easily. Quick passing mixed with direct wing play, committing more numbers to attack all helped too.

Also like Ole himself said, SAF team always worked hard and matched or bettered the effort of opponents. That's the attitude and mindset from manager.
 

#07

makes new threads with tweets in the OP
Joined
Oct 25, 2010
Messages
20,217
Our team is in transition but I dont see what is that transition exactly. Ok its due to players but then again why was exactly AWB bought or Sancho while we're at it.
Not to mention VDB. Ok you're making a transition but until that's transition is over you play with the players you have at your disposal and it seems to me Ole doesnt have an idea how to do it.
I think Ole is kind of trying to copy Klopp. Klopp's midfield is very hardworking and his fullbacks provide all the attacking impetus.

However, there are some obvious flaws to this. Pogba probably doesn't offer the off the ball things Klopp wants to get into Liverpool's midfield, and as for our other midfielders...If we're honest would any of them start above Thiago, Fabinho, Henderson or Naby Keita? IMO, besides Pogba, none of our midfielders would even make the Liverpool bench. Liverpool have four midfielders better than what we have.

And while you can argue that Shaw offers you the kinda things Robertson gives Liverpool, Alexander-Arnold is giving Liverpool an attacking impetus none of our right backs can even get close to.

Coaching is not going to bridge this gap. I don't disagree that it has a role. Wan-Bissaka needs to find his guts and start crossing instead of chickening out in good positions. Fred just needs to pass over distances with more consistency, as does McTominay. However, at the end of the day these players have a ceiling.

Whether by its Ole or a new coach, the likelihood is that all of these players will be replaced over the next two or three seasons.
 

Real Name

Full Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2020
Messages
2,405
I think Ole is kind of trying to copy Klopp. Klopp's midfield is very hardworking and his fullbacks provide all the attacking impetus.

However, there are some obvious flaws to this. Pogba probably doesn't offer the off the ball things Klopp wants to get into Liverpool's midfield, and as for our other midfielders...If we're honest would any of them start above Thiago, Fabinho, Henderson or Naby Keita? IMO, besides Pogba, none of our midfielders would even make the Liverpool bench. Liverpool have four midfielders better than what we have.

And while you can argue that Shaw offers you the kinda things Robertson gives Liverpool, Alexander-Arnold is giving Liverpool an attacking impetus none of our right backs can even get close to.

Coaching is not going to bridge this gap. I don't disagree that it has a role. Wan-Bissaka needs to find his guts and start crossing instead of chickening out in good positions. Fred just needs to pass over distances with more consistency, as does McTominay. However, at the end of the day these players have a ceiling.

Whether by its Ole or a new coach, the likelihood is that all of these players will be replaced over the next two or three seasons.
Yeah, good post. That's why he should have been more ruthless with the squad. I dont understand why hasnt a midfielder been signed last year, not to mention this. Shame Trippier deal didnt work out.
Basically if it isnt going with this players try something else.
Also VDB situation is completely bizarre. He's keeping him to play in League cup or FA cup games and never lets him play in the Premier league. He couldnt be much worse than Fred.
We had a truly great transfer window but still have a huge hole in midfield and it seems a minor one at RB too.
Wan Bissaka needs to be replaced in the long run and for now we have Dalot as his backup.. A players who was on loan last year. He didnt suddenly become a lot better.
It's all a big mess in other words.
 

SuperiorXI

Full Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2012
Messages
9,217
Location
Manchester, England
Villa at home looks to be the straw that broke the camels back for many fans (me included) and now even Neville.

For me, we could just hope that Ole comes good but that doesn't make any sense. We now have a bunch of top top players and they deserve to win things right away. Ronaldo didn't come here for progress. The pressure is mounting on Ole.
 

#07

makes new threads with tweets in the OP
Joined
Oct 25, 2010
Messages
20,217
Yeah, good post. That's why he should have been more ruthless with the squad. I dont understand why hasnt a midfielder been signed last year, not to mention this. Shame Trippier deal didnt work out.
Basically if it isnt going with this players try something else.
Also VDB situation is completely bizarre. He's keeping him to play in League cup or FA cup games and never lets him play in the Premier league. He couldnt be much worse than Fred.
The Van de Beek situation is a bizarre example of United's scattergun approach to transfers, and partly shows Ole's fears about this United team. Van de Beek is better than Fred as a footballer. However, he gives you less energy and work rate in midfield and does the dirty work less effectively than Fred. Him not playing shows you what Ole thinks about how vulnerable we our defensively.

As for why we don't make the changes to the team that we need, what's been briefed to the press is that United don't like a high turnover of players in any one summer. To me its bizarre. However, this is the way the people that run the club want to run the club.
 

Rozay

Master of Hindsight
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
21,663
Location
...
Like to hear what the snobs who chose to ridicule so-called hipsters with the whole ‘patterns of play’ shite everytime we manage to complete a few passes think now.

It’s been clear as day for years that we are an outdated team reliant on individuals and some sort of ‘spirit’ that we convinced ourselves was something patented exclusively to us. And by years, I mean the Sir Alex years even.
 

largelyworried

Full Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2021
Messages
1,200
I think Ole is kind of trying to copy Klopp. Klopp's midfield is very hardworking and his fullbacks provide all the attacking impetus.

However, there are some obvious flaws to this. Pogba probably doesn't offer the off the ball things Klopp wants to get into Liverpool's midfield, and as for our other midfielders...If we're honest would any of them start above Thiago, Fabinho, Henderson or Naby Keita? IMO, besides Pogba, none of our midfielders would even make the Liverpool bench. Liverpool have four midfielders better than what we have.

And while you can argue that Shaw offers you the kinda things Robertson gives Liverpool, Alexander-Arnold is giving Liverpool an attacking impetus none of our right backs can even get close to.

Coaching is not going to bridge this gap. I don't disagree that it has a role. Wan-Bissaka needs to find his guts and start crossing instead of chickening out in good positions. Fred just needs to pass over distances with more consistency, as does McTominay. However, at the end of the day these players have a ceiling.

Whether by its Ole or a new coach, the likelihood is that all of these players will be replaced over the next two or three seasons.
Dont know if Id agree with that, mainly because of the way we play Bruno. Liverpool's approach works because they have three true midfielders, who offer lots of cover for their fullbacks to get forward. In our case Bruno has never played like that, even if we have McFred in the other two positions. We're always going to need more cautious full backs.
 

Classical Mechanic

Full Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2014
Messages
33,372
Location
xG Zombie Nation
I think Ole is kind of trying to copy Klopp. Klopp's midfield is very hardworking and his fullbacks provide all the attacking impetus.
He's not trying to copy Klopp. Klopp plays a 4-3-3 with a 6 and two 8s. This kind of system is eactly what Ole said he doesn't like in his interview. He said that he wants his midfielders to be like Roy Keane and do a bit of everything on the pitch rather than being specialists. Liverpool's forwards also have great movement and are hit with long balls constantly. Our build up play against compact teams is very pedestrian in contrast. If Ole wanted to play like Klopp's Liverpool then signing AWB for £50m was remarkably stupid.
 

#07

makes new threads with tweets in the OP
Joined
Oct 25, 2010
Messages
20,217
Dont know if Id agree with that, mainly because of the way we play Bruno. Liverpool's approach works because they have three true midfielders, who offer lots of cover for their fullbacks to get forward. In our case Bruno has never played like that, even if we have McFred in the other two positions. We're always going to need more cautious full backs.
He's not trying to copy Klopp. Klopp plays a 4-3-3 with a 6 and two 8s. This kind of system is eactly what Ole said he doesn't like in his interview. He said that he wants his midfielders to be like Roy Keane and do a bit of everything on the pitch rather than being specialists. Liverpool's forwards also have great movement and are hit with long balls constantly. Our build up play against compact teams is very pedestrian in contrast. If Ole wanted to play like Klopp's Liverpool then signing AWB for £50m was remarkably stupid.
I never said he wants to do exactly the same thing. However, the general idea of progressing the ball via the fullbacks instead of centre midfield is what he's aiming for. We'll still play 4-2-3-1. However, we won't be looking to have someone in our 4-2-3-1 who does what Kimmich does for Bayern.

At the time Ole signed AWB our gameplan was to play on the counter. AWB was, in effect, a like for like replacement for Valencia.

As I said before, Ole's gameplan was the counter attack. He only started moving away from that after his first full season. This is where the limitations of players like Wan Bissaka, and to some extent, Maguire, become more obvious. Cos our back line has advanced up the field a lot.
 

Real Name

Full Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2020
Messages
2,405
The Van de Beek situation is a bizarre example of United's scattergun approach to transfers, and partly shows Ole's fears about this United team. Van de Beek is better than Fred as a footballer. However, he gives you less energy and work rate in midfield and does the dirty work less effectively than Fred. Him not playing shows you what Ole thinks about how vulnerable we our defensively.

As for why we don't make the changes to the team that we need, what's been briefed to the press is that United don't like a high turnover of players in any one summer. To me its bizarre. However, this is the way the people that run the club want to run the club.
Yeah that turnover part is bizarre. But even if you dont release some players in one summer then you do it the next. Yet we still have Mata, Lingard, Pereira and others on our books.
 

#07

makes new threads with tweets in the OP
Joined
Oct 25, 2010
Messages
20,217
Yeah that turnover part is bizarre. But even if you dont release some players in one summer then you do it the next. Yet we still have Mata, Lingard, Pereira and others on our books.
Our squad management is very strange.

The Manchester press pack is repeatedly briefed that we cannot sign a new midfielder because we have too many on our books. However, why do we have so many on our books? I really like Juan Mata. I've sat in the stands singing 'it you Juan, Juan, Juan.' However, why did we give him a new contract? Apparently its because we want him to become a club ambassador someday. Well why didn't we offer him that last summer instead of a new deal? Same with Andreas Pereira. When he was coming to the end of his last deal, I think, most of us expected he'd become a free agent. New four year deal instead? Why. His loans at Granada and Valencia were okay but nothing special. Even Matic. I was expecting him to get maybe another year. We roll out with the three year extension to his existing deal.

Even Jesse, who I love cos he's one of our own, despite his recent purple patch, I'd still have let him go.

If the issue really is what they tell the Manchester journalists. That they need space on the wage bill. Simple. Don't keep clogging it up with players you don't need.
 

ROFLUTION

Full Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2009
Messages
5,248
Location
Denmark
Yeah, agree about that.
As for the development of the team he's done a good job. But as I said in the post above he doesnt know how to use the team properly. Sure we can beat City on the day but on the other hand we get outplayed by a lower team on the other. Its not just lack of chances its being outplayed and it is pretty worrying.
I'm not jumping the gun quite yet on him. He's developed our team slowly, so I think he shouldn't get the sack - He might be a "slow developer" of the squad but eventually he has progressed us as a team and I think he's capable of getting us there with the system of play too. It's just that we want results here and now after actually having a really good team on paper.

Slowly he has overall turned us into a better team, and I think for that reason we should give him time, as he is adaptive of nature and could well learn to make us play a certain style against mid to lower teams too. It's not like Van Gaal / Mourinho who plays a certain way and dies by the sword. Ole's pragmatic, adaptive and learning of nature if you ask me. So it's possible that he will adapt and learn this trait too so we'll play cohesive football against mid to lower teams in the future like the other top clubs.
 

passtheball

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Sep 27, 2021
Messages
161
.
The Van de Beek situation is a bizarre example of United's scattergun approach to transfers, and partly shows Ole's fears about this United team. Van de Beek is better than Fred as a footballer. However, he gives you less energy and work rate in midfield and does the dirty work less effectively than Fred. Him not playing shows you what Ole thinks about how vulnerable we our defensively.

As for why we don't make the changes to the team that we need, what's been briefed to the press is that United don't like a high turnover of players in any one summer. To me its bizarre. However, this is the way the people that run the club want to run the club.
I would question this. In Varane, Maguire, and Shaw, three of our back four are one of the best in their respective positions in the world. They don't need any exceptional protection, just very basic screening, which Fred fails to provide anyway. Couple that with a bad first touch and poor passing, there is no excuse to play Fred over VdB, especially not at home against mid table sides.
 
Last edited: