Our Defence - Has it actually been fixed?

bosnian_red

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It's a solid defence. When you can't score and create consistently and push teams back consistently in games, unfortunately you'll eventually concede chances in games. Teams have been clinical against us and our defence isnt perfect by any stretch (Lindelof is a bit shit), but it's not our problem (very clearly). If we concede 1 goal a game, that's not that awful. You just assume your team can score more than 1 goal a game over a long enough period (which we can't).
 

RedDevilRoshi

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It’s our midfield/attack that is letting us down more than our defence.

Our problem is creating and scoring goals. We are struggling to break down teams that have all 11 men behind the ball.
 

Lee565

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Best form of defence is attack and we didnt strengthen that.
 

AneRu

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I think we are doing well enough defensively and if we had Axel instead of Lindelof that goal doesn't happen. He and AWB were terrible for the goal but to see Lindelof stuck in no man's land when Aaron naively went for the ball was sickening cause if he had just moved across King as the ball was in the air he would have been in a position to disrupt the striker.

I think without Lindelof who is an error waiting to happen we can improve but I doubt if the improvement was enough for the money we spent at the expense of other areas.
 

Paul_Scholes18

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I think Maguire is worse than Smalling in terms of defending. We pass it so poorly and he is not helping much in the buildup.
 

Machine Elements

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The baffling thing for me was people saying "it looks a very good defence" after we bought Maguire. It was never a good looking defence in the first place. Our defending is so passive. The number of goals we concede is down to the fact that we park the bus and try to counter. We are too conservative in our playing style and hardly create chances. A bit like 15-16 season (Van Gaal's second year). That season, we also conceded the fewest goals in the league (35) along with Spurs.

You can't have a reassuring defence with passive players like Lindelöf in it. I really prefer Rojo to him. At least he doesn't get bullied by his opponents every single week. For the huge investment we made in defence this summer, we only improved the defending of our RB position, a bit of ball playing of one CB and that's it. Maguire is also a worse defender than Smalling in terms of pure defending and there's also that. I'm not really sure if it means our defending has improved this season. Amateurish goal to concede today.

I maintain that buying Maguire has been a mistake. We should have gone for right winger.
I agree with that. I think we needed a right-back, but I do not see us being much worse had we kept Smalling in place of Maguire.

That £80m should have been invested further up the pitch.

I have certainly not seen £80m worth of improvement in the centre-back position.
Agreed. Said the same thing in Maguire thread. It was a wrong purchase for crazy money.
 

Isotope

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Also, don't see how it can be sorted when our fullbacks give us feck all creativity?
That's been my concern. All of us were crying for attacking input from Valencia when he was here, a fullback who was defensively solid but zero in attacking.
And still, most in here were cheering when we bought a known defensive fullback with zero attacking skill.

Now we are back crying for our fullback to be able to help attack. Just mind blowing.
 

Isotope

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Best form of defence is attack and we didnt strengthen that.
Tell that who thought the reason our attack was toothless because of Smalling. Just silly.
 

El Jefe

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It has been improved but still has its deficiencies. Lindelof and Shaw's positions should be upgraded in my opinion but its still a good back for.

One thing that's understated is because our attack is very average as is our midfield, the opposition have less fear in attacking and committing players forward. If he had a better attack or midfield our defence would look so much better for it for the simple reason we'd control the ball more and teams would be scared to take risks.
 

bosnian_red

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Tell that who thought the reason our attack was toothless because of Smalling. Just silly.
No it was just that our bigger problem was our defence (which it was). Then we got rid of our best midfielder not named Pogba who could balance it, got rid of our only proven goalscorer and got rid of overpriced attacking depth without replacing Herrera and Lukaku. Not to mention our only creative player in midfield has been injured basically all season.

Add it all up and you get a team that can't break down teams consistently and every game turns into a grind.
 

hn4manunited

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Just buying good defenders won’t fix our problems if we don’t have good manager and coaches. They will still be average in this setup. Leicester supposedly lost their best defender, yet they still defend well.
 

el3mel

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Nope it didn't. AWB has been good but Maguire and Lindelof haven't been as good as I predicted.
 

Isotope

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No it was just that our bigger problem was our defence (which it was). Then we got rid of our best midfielder not named Pogba who could balance it, got rid of our only proven goalscorer and got rid of overpriced attacking depth without replacing Herrera and Lukaku. Not to mention our only creative player in midfield has been injured basically all season.

Add it all up and you get a team that can't break down teams consistently and every game turns into a grind.
If we had Maguire instead of Smalling last season, I don't think we'd be better off. At least, not 80m better at the back. And that's without AWB who play like a centerback now.
 

elmo

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It's still shit.

The statistics says it's good because smaller teams are content to let us have the ball and watch us do feck all with it while they try to get lucky to nick a goal to win the game.
 

Lentwood

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I think we are being quite harsh on the defence here tbh.

Yes it’s not perfect but I can’t remember the last time we conceded more than once in a game so surely the onus has to be on the attack to do better?
 

siw2007

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The defence isn’t perfect but it’s certainly not weak. Like all positions it can be improved but it’s not the weakness in the team.

The defence is too easily exposed by our weak midfield. Our midfield doesn’t control the game well enough whether we have the ball or not. It doesn’t break up the game enough and it doesn’t create enough. When we don’t have the ball, the defence can be overworked and it’s why we eventually crack and concede.
 

mu4c_20le

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I think we are being quite harsh on the defence here tbh.

Yes it’s not perfect but I can’t remember the last time we conceded more than once in a game so surely the onus has to be on the attack to do better?
You're not wrong, but maybe we'd be better off if that 80-90m was spent on an attacker or two.
 

Kostur

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Well given we've managed to keep a clean sheet 6 times only (against mighty Astana, Partizan, Alkmaar and Rochdale), I'd say it's far from 'fixed'. Truth be told, the only valuable addition so far is AWB because he's class, jury is still out for Maguire but we've definitely overpaid for an overrated player. One that's overrated only in England because he is English too.
 

Jonno

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Our defence has massively improved. We have always and will always concede goals, difference is we don’t have the ability to break average teams down and outscore them which is a big concern
 

bosnian_red

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If we had Maguire instead of Smalling last season, I don't think we'd be better off. At least, not 80m better at the back. And that's without AWB who play like a centerback now.
Yes we would be. Maguire is a quality CB on and off the ball. Just because we have countless other problems throughout the team doesn't mean that the signings we made weren't absolutely necessary. Wan Bissaka, Maguire and James are all quality signings and I'm delighted with all 3. Problems lie elsewhere, primarily in the midfield 3 and having no depth.
 

Isotope

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Yes we would be. Maguire is a quality CB on and off the ball. Just because we have countless other problems throughout the team doesn't mean that the signings we made weren't absolutely necessary. Wan Bissaka, Maguire and James are all quality signings and I'm delighted with all 3. Problems lie elsewhere, primarily in the midfield 3 and having no depth.
No it's not. DDG would still be like Taibi, conceding easy goals. And Lindelof would still be Lindelof who doesn't look like a good partner for Maguire. Then that team didn't have AWB who is like a 3rd CB this season. Maguire wouldn't do much to improve that team.
 

A-man

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But we only have 2 clean sheets in the PL. How does what you say make sense when we have barely any clean sheets?

I will be very honest, Maguire has been wank in my opinion, considering the money we paid. The only game he seemed worth it was his debut against Chelsea, which earned him the MotM, if I'm not mistaken. He is a liability when we are counter-attacked and gets dragged out of position so easily by opposing players. Doesn't really strike me as the leader people talk about as well.
The clean sheets aren’t the problem, it is the lack of goal scoring. Liverpool only have two clean sheets but they score more goals. Of last years top teams, only City have more clean sheets than United.
 

Fussmeister

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We are shit going forward to be honest. Back four is not as bad as everyone says. I rate Maguire but the money should have been on other positions. Chris and VNL actually looked better then Maguire and VNL
 

Cassidy

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It's still shit.

The statistics says it's good because smaller teams are content to let us have the ball and watch us do feck all with it while they try to get lucky to nick a goal to win the game.
Pretty much
 

Romez

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I don’t see any difference defensively to last year.

Only improvement is, on the ball we’re more composed.
 

Khalifa711

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On today performance having paid £80M for Maguire, Ake would be worth a world record fee, easily £200M. Basically we've been mugged. That was a Jones level performance.
Our defence other than AWB hasn't been improved and even that's debatable. If we'd had Dalot fit for this season we'd be far better going forward from RB. Williams for LB is a must, hes very promising. Rojo has played well at CB this season and Tuanzebe looks the part.
To be honest with the players in defence that we've bought we haven't improved. We've loaned Smalling, even with his shortcomings with the ball, hes a better defender than Maguire. He would not be making mistakes like were seeing Maguire making.

I like AWB but we've wasted £80M on Maguire. Having said that with having Dalot and Laird looking promising what was the point in buying AWB, they are both better at attacking and that's what were about.
At CB if we didn't buy Maguire, kept Smalling and got rid of Jones, we would be in the same position as we are now.
 

Bestietom

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Why does AWB stop and look to pass the ball to someone instead of crossing it quickly. He is often clear to cross the ball and waits for someone to pass it to. It looks like he is afraid to cross it. Has anyone else seen this.
 

Drainy

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Shaw is okish most of the time, but has been injured (as he frequently is)
Maguire is a very good defender but just isn't that quick and isn't in tune with his colleagues yet, IMO
Lindelof is easily bullied, weak in the air and also not that quick
AWB is god-tier in 1 on 1s but only decent to good at everything else, and is also quite inexperienced and naive in his positioning at times.
 

Lee565

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I think Maguire is worse than Smalling in terms of defending. We pass it so poorly and he is not helping much in the buildup.
It's not even the fact that we would barely be worse of had we kept smalling and not brought maguire but we had Tuanzebe coming back from a very good loan spell from Aston villa, why couldn't Solskjear have shown faith in him as starting centre back like Lampard has with tomori.

Tuanzebe and lindelof would have been a better partnership as they are a better balance when it comes to their strengths and weaknesses as defenders, rather than sticking Maguire and lindelof together as a partnership that together creates a slow and immobile central defence.
 

Treble

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The very notion of fixing defence by buying players is daft. Both defending and attacking are a matter of the wholesome organisation of the team. Individuals are important, but organisation is no less important.

In a word, the defence is not fixed. The team does not concede many goals and chances, but it is partly due to playing defensive football, i.e. at the expense of the attack. If/when Ole decides to play more offensively, the team will start to concede more chances/goals.
 

Ziggy Starduster

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I think our defence will regress as the season goes on. Maguire looks a shadow of the player that arrived - less confidence, more errors and poor positioning at times. AWB looks less effective with each league game - take out his tackling and he’s looking pretty average.
Like all players, the coaching at United isn’t improving players. What’s the point is splashing out world record fees for players who’s value will plummet as the season progresses?
 

AFC NimbleThumb

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Best way to improve our defence is being able to posses the ball & being more efficient in attack.

Yesterday like so many games the defenders lose their heads because they know that conceding generally means defeat.

Whilst I’m not as big a fan of some of our defenders as some; they’d look a lot better not being challenged so frequently/directly.

By the time AWB is facing King yesterday it’s already too late imo, you don’t concede chances like those if you’re in possession of the ball/it’s in their final 3rd.
 

RedRonaldo

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Lindelof - poor in the air
Maguire - too slow
AWB - best right back we have for years/decade
Shaw/Young/Williams - injured/too old/too young
De Gea - recovering his form, but no exactly God-like anymore.

But to be fair, our defence is least of our problems, we've got more issues in midfield and up front.
 

0le

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Its incredible the crap Maguire gets just because of his price tag. Its very similar to the crap Martial got by the papers for his price tag.

A major issues with fans these days is that they expect every defender to make zero mistakes. Rio in his early years was prone to the odd mistake. I'm sure if the past games during Fergies time were analysed in the detail they are now, we would find a lot more mistakes. The problem is that we are not creating enough chances and scoring goals. This puts a huge pressure on our defenders to not concede goals. Therefore when we draw or lose, questions are asked of our defence as well as the attack.

Some people just need to accept players are human, mistakes will happen. Less mistakes will happen when the team is playing well, when we are scoring more goals and players are more confident.