No Sancho, no Top 4... Really?

DRM

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Oct 8, 2017
Messages
3,013
No Sancho doesn't affect top 4. It affects that outside chance of a go at the top.
We hit top 4 having played like chumps half of last season with huge injuries to key players.
Only Chelsea have dramatically improved from below us
And you can bet your bottom dollar Ole 'I can't rotate' will run our front three into the ground again.
 

Machine Elements

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Oct 19, 2019
Messages
183
Smugness and cockiness are all good until you get hit by the harsh reality. How can anyone say “we’ll comfortably make top 3-4” is beyond me. Our league position last year was misleading and we could’ve easily finished 5th on the last day. And you can safely say all of City, Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal, Wolves and Everton (don’t know what’ll happen with Leicester but even they started with a win) will be stronger than last year while we only improved marginally in midfield. We’re basically a couple of injuries away from another mediocre season and I fear this will be another Moyes season.
 

laughtersassassin

Full Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2014
Messages
1,909
Without strengthening there is no guarantee of top 4. That is a fact.

But the point remains we should be trying to improve on last year and really push on.

Not maintain where we where. That is just a waste of a season
 

UnitedSofa

Full Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2013
Messages
491
And you can bet your bottom dollar Ole 'I can't rotate' will run our front three into the ground again.
Love it.

Ole Rotates

WHy is our squad crap why didn't he play a first teamer! !

*Raises fist*

First teamer gets injured

Why can't Ole Rotate the squad!?!

Rinse and repeat.
 

Bojan11

Full Member
Joined
May 16, 2010
Messages
29,797
And you can bet your bottom dollar Ole 'I can't rotate' will run our front three into the ground again.
Do you blame him when you look at the alternatives besides Ighalo in attacking areas?
 

TrustInJanuzaj

Full Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2015
Messages
3,490
Smugness and cockiness are all good until you get hit by the harsh reality. How can anyone say “we’ll comfortably make top 3-4” is beyond me. Our league position last year was misleading and we could’ve easily finished 5th on the last day. And you can safely say all of City, Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal, Wolves and Everton (don’t know what’ll happen with Leicester but even they started with a win) will be stronger than last year while we only improved marginally in midfield. We’re basically a couple of injuries away from another mediocre season and I fear this will be another Moyes season.
Nah we are stronger than all those teams. We had the best form in the league once Bruno came in and Pogba returned. Martial is turning into one of the leagues best strikers while the emergence of Greenwood has gifted us an elite forward for nothing, who would sell for over £100million in this market. I'm as frustrated as anyone by the lack of transfers as they could really push us to compete but make no mistake this Utd squad is capable of bigger and better than last season, even without Sancho. Chelsea are the ones with it all to prove while Liverpool really doesn't have that much more than us, especially when it comes to depth.
 

DomesticTadpole

Doom-monger obsessed with Herrera & the M.E.N.
Joined
Jun 4, 2011
Messages
74,743
Location
Barrow In Furness
Ole keeps saying this clubs history is about winning trophies, but the people behind the scene refuse or are not capable of building a squad to do that.
 

The_Midfielder

Full Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2006
Messages
2,336
We are not certain for top 4 .. Top 2 is liverpool, and City
However if Spurs get Bale, and he performs ..
 

Bilbo

Full Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2004
Messages
10,218
Without strengthening there is no guarantee of top 4. That is a fact.

But the point remains we should be trying to improve on last year and really push on.

Not maintain where we where. That is just a waste of a season
No point bothering to watch then. Cheers bud. You've just freed up a shitload of weekend space for me
 

Bojan11

Full Member
Joined
May 16, 2010
Messages
29,797
Ole keeps saying this clubs history is about winning trophies, but the people behind the scene refuse or are not capable of building a squad to do that.
Yeah and this seems like a repeat of 2018. Even last year fans weren’t convinced as we needed Bruno in the summer and it showed how costly it was.

It is pointless saying we only signed Carrick in 06/07, so it’s ok if we don’t sign anyone else. We also signed Evra and Vidic in January that year and they improved massively that season. We also had Scholes, Giggs, Ferdinand, Neville etc as well as two world class young players in Ronaldo and Rooney.
 

MyOnlySolskjaer

Creator of Player Performance threads
Joined
Nov 27, 2014
Messages
18,824
Location
Player Performance Threads
Yet if United sign a relatively unknown player, the club is scorned.

The club cannot win.
Scorned by who? Transfers shouldn’t be for ego, they should be the betterment of a club. If we had quality scouts that found a solution who gives a crap what someone who formulated a 5 minute opinion from a YouTube video thinks.
 

Pavl3n

Full Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2015
Messages
1,165
I think everyone needs to chill on the notion that the prospects of the team in the coming season are negative if we don't get Sancho.

Last season was no doubt a lucky escape but you have to remember the context: the likes of Pereira and Lingard were among the most played players last season and that damn well isn't happening this time round. Fred will be a squad player, likewise McTominay and James. Greenwood will be starting games rather than taking 6 months to be eased in like last year and Bruno will be here the whole season. Hopefully Pogba, Martial and Rashford will be more resilient as well.

Above all, I think what we have to remember is that the best elements of our best starting XI/squad are almost all very young, or are yet to hit their individual peaks, and who will naturally improve in their consistency and decision-making as they progress. They've had one season together starting consistently and we saw the marked improvement by the end of that season and it'll be a similar story this year as well, except it'll start from a much better base line than last year.

I think we'll improve on last year irrespective of whether Sancho comes, but the margin of our improvement would increase significantly if Sancho came. That is why the inertia surrounding the deal is so frustrating to me. He could be a further catalyst to the progression of this young and very exciting team that Ole is building here, just like Bruno was, and if we didn't get him, it would be a massive missed opportunity. However, if we don't get him, it doesn't mean that the team is a write-off. This team we have right now is very exciting even without Sancho.

With the squad as is, I'd have us comfortably 4th, challenging Chelsea for 3rd.

With Sancho, I'd have us easily 3rd and with luck giving 2nd a run for its money.

Irrespective however, I'd have us playing CL footy next season.
Fair points, however we need to have a look at the bigger picture here. We aren't looking to challenge once again for 3rd, but rather close the gap on Liverpool and City. We do that by bringing quality in depth. Sure, if we play a game a week and injuries were only existent in parallel universe - I wouldn't worry too much, I'd even say we could challenge for the title.

Question is what do we do when Martial or Greenwood is unavailable? Or God forbid both. We go to James and Lingard again. It's not a satisfying option. And above all there should be a healthy competition for the starting spots - which I believe means two quality players fighting for one spot, rather than a quality player and an average player.

With the squad as it is, we should pick another 10/15 points on top of last season's tally (optimistic statement that one), but we shouldn't expect a deep run in Europe - CL is not EL.

We need depth in our attacking department to compete on all fronts.
 

Stacks

Full Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2015
Messages
6,807
Location
Between a rock and the Nou Camp
Oh I didn't know we were arsenal and top 4 was seen as a good season?

I thought we were Manchester United and winning the title was the goal every year.



We'll cling to top 4 without him but the outside chance of even a title challenge is dead without a player of his quality.
I dont feel he is the difference between a title challenge. he hasn't been for Dortmund and most likely wont be for us. Whether we get him or not I feel we will finish 3rd/4th
 

flappyjay

Full Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2016
Messages
3,467
We've still got a great squad. Even with Chelsea's shiny new players, I'd still take our starting 11 any day of the week.
The main positive for us is that we have a settled starting 11 and we know their capability. Chelsea are still to find out which of their new signing will settle inn easy and which ones will take time.
 

Zlatattack

Full Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
Messages
5,318
Oh I didn't know we were arsenal and top 4 was seen as a good season?

I thought we were Manchester United and winning the title was the goal every year.



We'll cling to top 4 without him but the outside chance of even a title challenge is dead without a player of his quality.
Exactly. This is how Arsenal became what they are. Slowly lowering expectations. I don't think it all rests on Sancho though. Any competent RW would help. We're short of numbers in attack.
 

flappyjay

Full Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2016
Messages
3,467
Whether we get him or
My view of him was that it meant we would have great competition in the forward line. The oldest of the forward line is 24 and I would bank on them growing together and spearheading us to a title within 3 years. For those hoping to win it this season it would have to be bringing Sancho plus Martial, Pogba and Bruno having world class seasons.
 

Zoo

Full Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2010
Messages
22,842
We have enough for top 4 but 1 signing and no outgoings (as it stands) is just making the job more difficult for Ole and is simply not good enough.
 

Lee565

Full Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2019
Messages
1,604
And it's this pathetic attitude of being fine with a top 4 finish that led to teams like arsenal and spurs becoming europa league sides now
 

flappyjay

Full Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2016
Messages
3,467
Smugness and cockiness are all good until you get hit by the harsh reality. How can anyone say “we’ll comfortably make top 3-4” is beyond me. Our league position last year was misleading and we could’ve easily finished 5th on the last day. And you can safely say all of City, Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal, Wolves and Everton (don’t know what’ll happen with Leicester but even they started with a win) will be stronger than last year while we only improved marginally in midfield. We’re basically a couple of injuries away from another mediocre season and I fear this will be another
Are you going to ignore the main reasons why we struggled in the first half of the season?
 

Machine Elements

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Oct 19, 2019
Messages
183
Yet if United sign a relatively unknown player, the club is scorned.

The club cannot win.
It didn’t happen when we signed Martial 5 years ago did it? No point in blindly defending the club when we’re not doing what we got to do which is strengthening our squad to push on.
 

glazed

Full Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2012
Messages
3,115
Stunning lack of realism on this thread. We scraped top four last season.

And our squad rotation problems aren't just about player quality. They are also about a lack of coherent playing system for rotating players to quickly coalesce around.
 

jackal&hyde

Full Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2018
Messages
1,856
A small step in the right direction but nowhere near enough to bridge the gap for a title push.
Just having Pogba, Bruno and DVB from the start is a huge improvement over half of last season; we will reduce the gap no doubt. Question is by how much.
 

Smores

Full Member
Joined
May 18, 2011
Messages
20,655
Do you blame him when you look at the alternatives besides Ighalo in attacking areas?
Are you saying our squad is so poor that the manager can't rotate a single player in? That's obviously not true and Ole will need to be cleverer this season in using our squad to give certain players a week off.

Ole in his desperation last season decided to run them into the ground but it paid it's toll on their legs and he can't do that again.
 

Bojan11

Full Member
Joined
May 16, 2010
Messages
29,797
Are you saying our squad is so poor that the manager can't rotate a single player in? That's obviously not true and Ole will need to be cleverer this season in using our squad to give certain players a week off.

Ole in his desperation last season decided to run them into the ground but it paid it's toll on their legs and he can't do that again.
Yes, we should rotate in Lingard and James more often. Maybe Mata too, so they can do a combination of feck all. Our squad is awful besides the starting 11 and Donny.
 

groovyalbert

Full Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2013
Messages
3,645
Location
London
We'll be in for top 4 with or without Sancho, and will certainly benefit from a whole season of Bruno. Hopefully he and Pogba can stay fit.

But what we'll miss from last season is playing in midweek European comp that enabled to play our second strings throughout. Not going to have that luxury this time around.

It's obvious to anyone watching how much of a drop in quality there is once we go beyond the first XI. We need to rectify this before the season starts.
 

dannyrhinos89

OMG socks and sandals lol!
Joined
Nov 24, 2013
Messages
10,532
I think you're in for a huge shock. Says everything about the state of the club when people are happy with scraping top 4 each season, the frustrating thing is with the correct few players added we would be title challengers This season.

But it seems the club and some fans accepts the mediocrity of finishing top 4.
 

Smores

Full Member
Joined
May 18, 2011
Messages
20,655
Yes, we should rotate in Lingard and James more often. Maybe Mata too, so they can do a combination of feck all. Our squad is awful besides the starting 11 and Donny.
Squad players are just there for numbers not to win you matches. Our team isn't so shit that it needs our best 11 against bottom half teams, playing James rather than Rashford against those at the bottom isn't going to lose us the game.

Of course the need to rotate was a given not so long ago and what we've done for decades but what did Sir Alex know.
 

bosnian_red

Worst scout to ever exist
Joined
Aug 13, 2011
Messages
38,744
Location
Canada
We should play the second XI in the domestic cups anyway. No reason to risk first teamers in those, regardless of who we sign or don't sign.
Why can't we throw away FA Cup and Carabao?
I agree we should, I just don't think Ole will. He will go hard to win a trophy which I 100% support the majority of of the time, but given this seasons schedule, I think it'll hurt us. Champions league as well though, we don't have the squad to handle 2 important competitions. Europa League you can rotate for most of the tournament and then gauge how your season goes what you want. Champions League we don't have that luxury, and with our current lack of depth, it'll hurt us.
 

Bojan11

Full Member
Joined
May 16, 2010
Messages
29,797
Squad players are just there for numbers not to win you matches. Our team isn't so shit that it needs our best 11 against bottom half teams, playing James rather than Rashford against those at the bottom isn't going to lose us the game.

Of course the need to rotate was a given not so long ago and what we've done for decades but what did Sir Alex know.
What? Without a squad, we don’t win the treble or double in 2008.

They not just there for numbers. You need people coming off the bench or starting when someone is injured ready to make a impact. Not just do nothing ffs. And yes, I wouldn’t be confident if James or Lingard started against any team because both are devoid of any quality.
 

bosnian_red

Worst scout to ever exist
Joined
Aug 13, 2011
Messages
38,744
Location
Canada
How do we have less depth than those teams?
Tottenham have a single striker of any note.
Kane gets his yearly injury and who comes in?

Arsenal have numbers but so do we. It's about quality and very few teams have much outside the main 14 or so in the squad.
Spurs for their wing/striker positions have Son, Kane, Lucas, Bergwijn and are adding Bale, who at least is depth. We have Martial, Rashford, Greenwood and then James and Ighalo. I would happily take any of their 5 to compete with Greenwood as 3rd choice or be 4th choice for us at the very least. Arsenal have Auba, Lacazette, Willian and Pepe, and then Martinelli, Nketiah, Saka if they want to use promising youngsters. Again, we are using our promising youngster as one of our main 3, and have nothing behind, while both of these clubs have at least 2 players past their starting 3 who would walk in as depth for us.

Then look at fullback. Spurs have Doherty and Aurier for RB, Davies and now Reguilon for LB. Arsenal have Bellerin and Cedric/Maitland Niles for RB, Tierney and Kolasinac/Saka for left back. We have Shaw and Wan Bissaka as starters, 20 year old Williams, and then useless depth like Dalot, Fosu Mensah or even younger players like Laird who aren't ready to come in. And all are right footed meaning we effectively have nobody for left back.

The only position where we have sufficient quality in both starting 11 and depth, is the midfield 3. CB we at least have the numbers to survive the season for now, might become an issue if we sell Smalling with no replacement, but generally you don't rotate CBs much anyway.
 

Machine Elements

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Oct 19, 2019
Messages
183
Are you going to ignore the main reasons why we struggled in the first half of the season?
No, of course we’re also better than this time last year with Bruno, van de beek etc. but as others have said we are a couple of lengthy injuries away from having to play mediocre players like James, Williams etc.

What happens if we don’t sign anyone for our RW or LB and Greenwood/Shaw/Rashford gets injured for a long period? With Champions League football it’s definitely gonna hurt us.

We improved from the start of last season so maybe the gap between us and the top team will be lower than 33 points but I fear it will be greater than 2 positions this time as the teams I mentioned improved significantly compared to us. We could well be finishing 5th-6th with 20 points behind the champions this year and I’m sure there would be some who will still portray it as “progress”.
 

bosnian_red

Worst scout to ever exist
Joined
Aug 13, 2011
Messages
38,744
Location
Canada
I honestly don't understand the notion that Spurs have a stronger squad than us. A few have mentioned it here now. I absolutely disagree. In fact, lets have a look at both squads:

Spurs
Lloris
Gazzanigga

Alderweireld
Sanchez
Foyth
Aurier
Davies
Tangana
Doherty
Reguilon

Winks
Lamela
Dier
Sissoko
Sessegnon
Alli
Ndombele
Fernandes
Holjberg
Lo Celso

Moura
Son
Kane
Bergwijn


Utd
De gea
Henderson

AWB
Lindelof
Maguire
Shaw
Bailly
Williams
Tuanzebe
Jones
Laird/Mengi

Matic
Pogba
Fred
Mctominay
Bruno
Peirera
Mata
Van Der Beek
Lingard

Martial
Rashford
Greenwood
James
Ighalo

I've left out any potential signings as I still think we'll be adding Sancho to that and Spurs possibly Bale. But the difference in quality and depth is very noticeable to me. Spurs don't even have any players of quality to construct a midfield.

Yes we can argue we are one or two injuries to the front players from being in trouble. But Spurs and Arsenal both have the same problems. If you take Kane and Son out of that squad, you have a bang average group of players to work with. If Arsenal lose Aubamayeng for any length of time they are in serious trouble. I think we are hyping other squads up too much and putting our own squad down. We absolutely need to get rid of deadwood and bring in quality replacements. But we can't ignore the fact other teams have a lot of deadwood that are having to go straight into their starting elevens. We just have them as squad depth problems.
Spurs have all but signed Reguilon and Bale on loan, whereas every report says unless Sancho throws a strop, he isn't going anywhere (and thats assuming we pay what we refused to pay before August 10th when Dortmund was actually willing to listen). We aren't signing Sancho.

But if you look at the front 3, Spurs can choose between Kane, Son, Lucas, Bergwijn and soon to be Bale. I dont rate Bale much, but as depth he is better than James and Ighalo. They also have Bergwijn as a squad player who would likely walk into our starting 11 on the right (or at the very least, rotate with our front 3). They also have the Europa League where its easier to rotate than for us being in the Champions League.

Then look at their fullbacks. Doherty, Reguilon, Aurier and Davies. Much more quality on the ball, more attacking quality equaling more suited to bigger clubs. Good backups for both sides, while we have good defensive fullbacks starting, a 20 year old Williams as first backup to both sides and then random trash behind that. We have no fullback depth.

Like I've said, all we have is midfield depth, and then a bunch of injury prone players as CB depth. Left back, right back, right wing, left wing, striker... all positions that you generally need to rotate more to maintain freshness, especially the way we play, is literally unusable depth. Its just a shockingly bad position to be in. You take out Son and Kane for Spurs, they can still start a front 3 of Bergwijn, Lucas and soon to be Bale. Take out Martial and Rashford and our front 3 becomes Ighalo, James and Greenwood. Take out Aubameyang and Lacazette from Arsenal and they still have Willian, Pepe and Nketiah, Martinelli or Saka.

Its so painfully obvious that we're going to have an injury crisis. Only it won't be an injury crisis in terms of numbers, it'll be a crisis due to a lack of planning. Last season we similarly had a "crisis" when Martial and Pogba got injured. 2 players shouldn't throw you in a crisis. Its just a lack of planning. Injuries will happen, but they'll happen more frequently and more severely if you don't have depth to rotate your players, and then going further they'll have a bigger impact as those exact players you avoided playing to rest a starter here and there now has to play multiple games from the start.
 

Powderfinger

Full Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2015
Messages
799
Supports
Arsenal
I think United are still better than Arsenal and Spurs and should be favorites for the last top four slot. But if you aren't proactive in this window you're not going to make the necessary steps toward achieving more than that and you're really at a point in the squad building process when that is what you should be looking to do. Outfield players on average peak between ages 23-28. You have some great younger players like Greenwood and Rashford but most of the team's core is right within that peak range - Pogba (27), Bruno (26), Martial (25), Maguire (27), Lindelof (26), Shaw (25), Fred (27), DVB (23). The age profile of the squad is pretty comparable, for example, to United's age profile in 98-99 or 06-07 (maybe even older than those teams, depending on how you add things up). You should be trying to win the title this season and continuing to peak over the following 2-3 years. The future is bright but the time to get out of a rebuilding mindset and really compete for the top should begin this year, not next year or the following.