No Sancho, no Top 4... Really?

romufc

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The fact top 4 is the aim is embarrassing to be honest. The glazers ambitions are now accepted by the fans. It's utterly pathetic
Well, what is your solution?
 

bosnian_red

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I still think our squad is stronger in depth than Spurs and Arsenal.

But the most important point is out of the whole Arsenal team, only Aubamayeng threatens to get into our team.

From Spurs, only Son does. (I prefer Martial to Kane due to our style).

You honestly think Bergwijn walks into our starting eleven? Not a chance.

At the end of the day the core first team is what will get you to achieve anything. Ours is significantly better than the other two. An injury to their key players is much more critical than to them than it is to us.
Have to completely disagree on you saying the starting 11 will get you to achieve things. Fergie disproved that year after year. Take a look at next seasons schedule, a schedule that will likely be similar in the next 2 seasons due to the euros/world cup disruptions. Its the post lockdown schedule, but for an entire season. Midweek games every single week the entire season when you take into account cups (not exaggerating). A strong starting 11 with no depth can't survive that.

And yeah, like I said, our starting 11 is good (though I disagree, Aubameyang would get in of course but also Son would get in somehow, Tierney I'd probably take over Shaw since he knows how to cross (equally bad injury records), Reguilon now for Spurs will prove he is a quality LB, Bellerin/Doherty are arguably more useful to bigger sides because they are better going forward than Wan Bissaka is (depends on team balance though), Gabriel will likely show this season he is better than Lindelof (most of Spurs' CBs would get in ahead of him IMO as well). Not much between the goalkeepers for either of the 3. Our starting 11 is better, but they have decent enough teams as well where better depth and squad management can make the difference in busy periods (which the entire season will be).

Point is that they just have far deeper and far better depth than we do in both fullback positions and the front 3, while the actual players used in the starting front 3 you could argue for any of the 3 groups being better than the other (otherwise known as pretty much even). I wouldnt say the center backs for any of the 3 are anything to write home about. We are far better in central midfield starting and depth, which is our saving grace and why we're rated higher, but outside of that, starting front 3 and fullbacks wise, there isn't much to choose between them (probably a lot of neutrals would have us 3rd of that group).
 

Chief123

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Have to completely disagree on you saying the starting 11 will get you to achieve things. Fergie disproved that year after year. Take a look at next seasons schedule, a schedule that will likely be similar in the next 2 seasons due to the euros/world cup disruptions. Its the post lockdown schedule, but for an entire season. Midweek games every single week the entire season when you take into account cups (not exaggerating). A strong starting 11 with no depth can't survive that.

And yeah, like I said, our starting 11 is good (though I disagree, Aubameyang would get in of course but also Son would get in somehow, Tierney I'd probably take over Shaw since he knows how to cross (equally bad injury records), Reguilon now for Spurs will prove he is a quality LB, Bellerin/Doherty are arguably more useful to bigger sides because they are better going forward than Wan Bissaka is (depends on team balance though), Gabriel will likely show this season he is better than Lindelof (most of Spurs' CBs would get in ahead of him IMO as well). Not much between the goalkeepers for either of the 3. Our starting 11 is better, but they have decent enough teams as well where better depth and squad management can make the difference in busy periods (which the entire season will be).

Point is that they just have far deeper and far better depth than we do in both fullback positions and the front 3, while the actual players used in the starting front 3 you could argue for any of the 3 groups being better than the other (otherwise known as pretty much even). I wouldnt say the center backs for any of the 3 are anything to write home about. We are far better in central midfield starting and depth, which is our saving grace and why we're rated higher, but outside of that, starting front 3 and fullbacks wise, there isn't much to choose between them (probably a lot of neutrals would have us 3rd of that group).
If we are using Utd as a comparison against Arsenal and Spurs. Then you might as well use last season as a comparison because all 3 teams haven’t made significant investments.

Spurs start with the following which they didn't have at the start of last season:
Reguilon
Bale
Bergwijn
Doherty
Holberg

but lose Eriksen who is more important than all of them.

Utd start with the following extra:
Van Der Beek
Pogba
Ighalo
Henderson
Bruno fernandes

3 massive additions

Arsenal start with the following extra:
Gabriel
Tierney
Willian
Saliba

If anything, we have effectively strengthened from starting positions to either of those two teams and still finished significantly higher than them both.

There is still nothing to suggest they are stronger squad wise than we are. But we will have to agree to disagree.
 

bosnian_red

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Yes, we are bigger and stronger which is why we finished ahead of them. We didn't only catch up to Leicester though did we? We also caught up to Chelsea.

Well you can be prepared for injury but you are forgetting it was a transition season for us last. And no one can really prepare for Pogba being injured for most of the season can they?

You expect injuries yes, but we did get bad ones to our key players in Martial, Rashford and Pogba.

Any team, even Bayerm, Barca, Real, Liverpool would struggle without their 3 best players for large parts of the season.

City struggled with Laporte injured
If Salah misses 8 months, Liverpool struggle
If Messi misses 8 months Barca struggle
If Lewandowski misses 8 months they struggle
Rashfords injury was a direct result of being overplayed, which is entirely avoidable if you have depth to rotate. Was a blessing in a way as it made us cough up the money for Bruno instead of refusing to budge. Pogba getting a big injury at the start was bad luck, yes. But having 1 injury away from Pereira/Lingard starting is poor planning. Martial missed a pretty normal amount of time, I'd say its pretty fair to expect one of your front 3 to be out for a random 1 or 2 month period during the entire season (he wasn't out for that long).

Yeah, all teams will feel important players getting injured. The goal is to mitigate that impact with at least decent players (like we did with Van de Beek), not players who arguably wouldn't start for any other premier league side (or only the very bottom).
 

Paul_Scholes18

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I think we will get top 4, but a lot could change. Injuries, poor/good management, form factors etc can influence things either way.
We could challenge for the title with the right kind of luck, but also end in 5-6th if we get too many injuries.
 

Bastian

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There was another thread to bring down expectations recently, wasn't there?

If we prioritise according to the depth, or lack thereof, with regards to different competitions, we have a team that Ole can hopefully keep fit and not be as reckless with to secure top 4. That should be the expectation as things stand. If we buy 2-3 more players, which is looking less likely each day, we should be finishing comfortably in the top 4.

The target has to be 80 points and no repeat of the diabolical football we played pre-Bruno.

The owners should be criticised and loathed, Woodward is incompetent, but Ole should still finish top 4.
 

MrSingh2002

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They want to win for cheap I guess. Only going to work if you scout well and have world class management.
We can't negociate anything well too.
What the Glazers and Woodward are doing is undoing any good work the Manager and players did this season.

It came to the point in Jose's 3rd season that we understood winning wasn't the priority for them and if anyone needed further proof. Then this summer window even though they had all of lockdown to prepare for it too is all the evidence anyone would need.

To have only signed a good squad player in VdB is shocking performance and at the level of Aston Villas director of football last season who didn't have a clue. He was fired for his poor decisions. Woodward will probably get a payrise. The shit feck is never held accountable for his amateurish results.

I don't feel it's even hard for the club to do better in these windows. 1000s of scouts worldwide paid for seemingly nothing. They all get undermined anyway. Woodward didn't want Alfonso Davies regardless of glowing scouting reports.

Root cause of this is pretty much Eds inability to perform in the windows. We let Reguilon and Estupinan go who would've or should've been towards the top of our list of attacking left backs.

Who else do our scouts/transfer committee have lined up? Let's see.
 

Maureen-yo

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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.
Lingard and Pereira weren’t played that much though? Ole didn’t go to the bench/squad options because they are/were dire; that’s a big issue our squad depth isn’t title challenging.
 

bosnian_red

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There was another thread to bring down expectations recently, wasn't there?

If we prioritise according to the depth, or lack thereof, with regards to different competitions, we have a team that Ole can hopefully keep fit and not be as reckless with to secure top 4. That should be the expectation as things stand. If we buy 2-3 more players, which is looking less likely each day, we should be finishing comfortably in the top 4.

The target has to be 80 points and no repeat of the diabolical football we played pre-Bruno.

The owners should be criticised and loathed, Woodward is incompetent, but Ole should still finish top 4.
So you're saying play the reserves in the Champions League, FA Cup and the Carabao cup just so we have the freshness to go for top 4 in the league? Because that's the state of our squad. Otherwise we're playing twice a week for the entire season.
 

Hammondo

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I think we will get top 4, but a lot could change. Injuries, poor/good management, form factors etc can influence things either way.
We could challenge for the title with the right kind of luck, but also end in 5-6th if we get too many injuries.
I don't think the other teams are that good tbh.
 

Sparky Rhiwabon

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I think as it stands we're firmly the fourth best team in the PL. We'd then have to hope that another team like Arsenal, Wolves or Everton doesn’t have a stormer and pip us to 4th.
 

Renegade

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Serious Fred & Dalot vibes this window. Our 1st 11 is very capable of a comfortable top 4 finish. I worry we have no other options as all eggs were in the Sancho basket. Here’s hoping Pogba,Martial and Rashford have career defining season’s.
 

Paul_Scholes18

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I don't think the other teams are that good tbh.
Us at the worst under OGS has been really dire. At our best we have been brilliant.
I guess it will average out over a season, but hopefully Bruno can carry our attack for most of the season.
If he has the legs for that then we can have a really good one.
 

Bastian

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So you're saying play the reserves in the Champions League, FA Cup and the Carabao cup just so we have the freshness to go for top 4 in the league? Because that's the state of our squad. Otherwise we're playing twice a week for the entire season.
Come come, I'm saying play our squad players and youth in both the cups. Preferably in a selection that's balanced so people are playing in their correct positions, otherwise the youth is not served too well.

We should be able to cope with the league until January and see where we are with that. If we avoid a very hard CL group, we can maybe rotate a bit for a couple of home matches.

But yes, I'm saying prioritise the feck out of these competitions because we can't run them into the ground.

If Ole is super unhappy with his options, now is the time to step up and put some pressure on. If he's happy, then so be it.
 

DJ_21

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We really need to get Sancho over the line, spurs are signing bale and reguilon so that’s made them stronger to reach top 4, we’ve signed 1 player that shouldn’t of been a priority position!
 

bosnian_red

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Come come, I'm saying play our squad players and youth in both the cups. Preferably in a selection that's balanced so people are playing in their correct positions, otherwise the youth is not served too well.

We should be able to cope with the league until January and see where we are with that. If we avoid a very hard CL group, we can maybe rotate a bit for a couple of home matches.

But yes, I'm saying prioritise the feck out of these competitions because we can't run them into the ground.

If Ole is super unhappy with his options, now is the time to step up and put some pressure on. If he's happy, then so be it.
That's fair, maybe im looking into it too much but I think we'll struggle to juggle even just CL and PL. Need to pretty much kill off the domestic cups to stand any chance, which i just don't think is something Ole will do. Annoying part is we don't need that much to be able to handle multiple comps, we just aren't doing even that small bit.
 

Bastian

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That's fair, maybe im looking into it too much but I think we'll struggle to juggle even just CL and PL. Need to pretty much kill off the domestic cups to stand any chance, which i just don't think is something Ole will do. Annoying part is we don't need that much to be able to handle multiple comps, we just aren't doing even that small bit.
Yeah, I agree. 3-4 players is what we needed. I worry that Ole will not have learned his lessons when it comes to playing players too much, too soon after injury, while they are injured, or when they are in dire need of rest. And I worry too that he won't prioritise the competitions.
 

bosnian_red

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Yeah, I agree. 3-4 players is what we needed. I worry that Ole will not have learned his lessons when it comes to playing players too much, too soon after injury, while they are injured, or when they are in dire need of rest. And I worry too that he won't prioritise the competitions.
Yep. His hand is being forced, but I think he's almost too proud to rotate and prioritize, especially early on and will live and die with his mentality of going for every trophy, and then the shortcomings will just highlight our requirements (but he can say we tried, but lack this this and this). Its admirable, and what I almost always want a United manager to do, but its a fecked up schedule that any team in Europe shouldn't even be involved in the Carabao Cup at the bare minimum.
 

GameOn

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I think the problem is that Liverpool and City are still the two top teams, who probably are just too far ahead.

That leaves only two remaining CL spots for a number of teams.

Chelsea are looking promising. Once they click, watch out.

At least one of the likes of Tottenham, Arsenal and Everton could also easily have a really good season.

Then you always have that one possible wildcard a la Leicester, Wolves etc.

Add the fact that our squad depth really isn't the best (one injury away from the likes of Lingard etc. starting) and that the schedule is going to be brutal (basically a match on Sat/Sun and Tue/Wed all season long)...

This will be a very rocky path towards a CL spot.
 

Bastian

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Yep. His hand is being forced, but I think he's almost too proud to rotate and prioritize, especially early on and will live and die with his mentality of going for every trophy, and then the shortcomings will just highlight our requirements (but he can say we tried, but lack this this and this). Its admirable, and what I almost always want a United manager to do, but its a fecked up schedule that any team in Europe shouldn't even be involved in the Carabao Cup at the bare minimum.
He shoulders some of this too IMV. He's said we're a fantastically well run club (honeymoon period), never put any pressure on the owners, whilst maintaining he'd never think of himself ahead of the team. Now, I like the guy, I think he's done alright, considering. But if you select your key players in every single game, even when they're past knackered, play them injured or half-injured, you are not thinking about what's best for the team (nor the players, individually). And if your second string is so poor that you don't have any faith in them, you have to speak up.

Again, I think the owners are scum with no sporting ambitions and Woodward is way way way out of his depth, but that doesn't absolve Ole of all responsibility.
 

bosnian_red

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He shoulders some of this too IMV. He's said we're a fantastically well run club (honeymoon period), never put any pressure on the owners, whilst maintaining he'd never think of himself ahead of the team. Now, I like the guy, I think he's done alright, considering. But if you select your key players in every single game, even when they're past knackered, play them injured or half-injured, you are not thinking about what's best for the team (nor the players, individually). And if your second string is so poor that you don't have any faith in them, you have to speak up.

Again, I think the owners are scum with no sporting ambitions and Woodward is way way way out of his depth, but that doesn't absolve Ole of all responsibility.
True. We can only go off of what's in the public eye but I think for stuff like that its fair to assume he's making his feelings known in private about what we need. Can understand managers wanting to put a nice spin on things in public in case things don't pan out, even though it might shoot themselves in the foot.
 

dannyrhinos89

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Jesus Christ! We had literally 0 creative players for half the season and when we did, with Pogba and Bruno, we were the best and undefeated team in the league after lock down (and a bit before).

Where the Hell is all this negativity coming from?

The impact of bruno got us top 4 not pogba, if either get injured then what?

Also those teams around us have all strengthened their squads.
 

Jonesno.8

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Top 4 is very possible, I don't see us getting Sancho but our CM options are good with the ability to play more formations, and not reliant on Bruno and Pogba with DVB in the mix. Yes were missing a CB and could do more options up top but our first 11 is top 3 undoubtedly. We need some luck with injuries, and maybe go easy in the domestic cups in the early stages but I still think the club are working on outgoings before incoming. We were never going to challenge this soon, thats the spoilt supporters we all are due to seeing so much success. Progress is key, trimming the fat is a part of that too.
 

Bilbo

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The impact of bruno got us top 4 not pogba, if either get injured then what?

Also those teams around us have all strengthened their squads.
Buying new players does not always equal the strengthening of a squad. We've bought plenty of players ourselves in recent seasons that haven't done so for us.

Time will tell how well these new players all perform for their clubs. People are going way over the top with the doom and gloom. This team won 32 out of 42 points since Bruno joined. We havent suddenly become shit, and VDB is more than capable of ensuring that we still have that link between attack and defence should Bruno be unavailable.
 

Forevergiggs1

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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.
I agree with this. It's almost as if the last 7 years have beaten people into submission and they're almost afraid thinking what we could do with the squad we have. Psychologically they're preparing themselves that we can't even make top 4 and then if we do scrape in for them it will have been a brilliant season. That's not the Manchester United I know.
 

Infra-red

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I agree with this. It's almost as if the last 7 years have beaten people into submission and they're almost afraid thinking what we could do with the squad we have. Psychologically they're preparing themselves that we can't even make top 4 and then if we do scrape in for them it will have been a brilliant season. That's not the Manchester United I know.
The senior management at the club is devoid of ambition. That filters down to the fans eventually.

Under SAF, I began most seasons wondering which team was most likely to challenge us for our Premier League title that year.

I haven't thought about us being involved in a title race in over seven years now - you have to adjust expectations eventually, or face continual disappointment.

The truth is, if we end this season in fourth place and trophyless, we will have done pretty well.
 

Forevergiggs1

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The senior management at the club is devoid of ambition. That filters down to the fans eventually.

Under SAF, I began most seasons wondering which team was most likely to challenge us for our Premier League title that year.

I haven't thought about us being involved in a title race in over seven years now - you have to adjust expectations eventually, or face continual disappointment.

The truth is, if we end this season in fourth place and trophyless, we will have done pretty well.
I don't think any of us are naive enough to think we'll be fighting for the title this season even if we do sign Sancho but all I keep hearing is if any of our key players get injured we're screwed. It certainly won't make the job any easier but other teams get injuries to key players as well which seems to be forgotten and when I hear (more than once) that teams like Wolves and Leicester and even Arsenal and Spurs have better squads than us it makes me think what United team have I been watching for the last 6 months? Personally I'm expecting a comfortable top 4 with the squad we have and I wouldn't expect a lot more with Sancho in our ranks but when we sign Haland in 2023 that's when I'll expect us to be pushing for the title :D
 

The Irish Connection

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The senior management at the club is devoid of ambition. That filters down to the fans eventually.

Under SAF, I began most seasons wondering which team was most likely to challenge us for our Premier League title that year.

I haven't thought about us being involved in a title race in over seven years now - you have to adjust expectations eventually, or face continual disappointment.

The truth is, if we end this season in fourth place and trophyless, we will have done pretty well.
Yeah it’s sad. We’re basically 3 good players from challenging for the league, but instead we’re looking like slipping backwards again.
 

Paul_Scholes18

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The senior management at the club is devoid of ambition. That filters down to the fans eventually.

Under SAF, I began most seasons wondering which team was most likely to challenge us for our Premier League title that year.

I haven't thought about us being involved in a title race in over seven years now - you have to adjust expectations eventually, or face continual disappointment.

The truth is, if we end this season in fourth place and trophyless, we will have done pretty well.
I am always hoping for a title race every season. Under Moyes I had hopes and it lasted longer than people could think.
Chelsea game after christmas and our horrible exit from the league cup killed my hope fully.
Under LVG it died after 3 games in season 1. Football so bloody dull, but I got new life with our good run near the end.
In the second season the title hope died around christmas when we had awful form.
Under Mourinho it died with defeats to Chelsea and City.
His third year I had almost no hope at all though, but it died pretty early vs Spurs I should say.

I still hope we can do it this season, but the lack of transfers makes it look very hard to do.
 

SAFMUTD

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Our starting XI looks decent but we are one injury away to being useless, if Bruno, Pogba or Martial get injured we are going to struggle big time. I hope VDB can fill the whole in the middle but last season we saw how it went when the full first XI wasnt available and fit.
 

cyril C

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No Sanchez, no Top 4... Really?

I hope no-one publish this thread before. Why would someone tie our success with the signing of a certain player? The essence is improvement on right wing, whether we are going to do that, and whether the new recruit is good enough.

The assessment is that since Chelsea has made substantial improvement on their squad, and assume City and Liverpool won't drop too much without significant improvement, then we would probably fall behind these 3, unless we further improve our squad beside VDB. Sort out the CB situation or retain Smalling, improve on right wing, should be our priority this window.
 

Cman

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We are 5 signings away from challenging for the title imo. We are also only a couple of bad injuries away from struggling for 4th spot if we don’t sign Sancho or somebody else that will play a lot of games and make a difference. In a very congested season it will be very easy to pick up injuries too. We need to buy!