Our Defence - Has it actually been fixed?

croadyman

Full Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2018
Messages
6,962
Isnt that the point? That people want us to sign a CB with pace, not play Bailly every week because he has pace? And obviously not sign a CB with a bunch of weaknesses despite his pace.

And obviously Tuanzabe has some growing pains, while having 1 great performance. We dont know what we have with him yet so only one way to find out... But like... He's 23 now. Wasnt Lindelof around 23 when we signed him and he first got consistent chances in the first team? So he needs to be given the chance and perform to a good level right about now else hes unlikely to be the solution.
Yeah how will we ever know if he can do it consistently until he is given a proper chance in this team
 

A-man

Full Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
3,227
Isnt that the point? That people want us to sign a CB with pace, not play Bailly every week because he has pace? And obviously not sign a CB with a bunch of weaknesses despite his pace.

And obviously Tuanzabe has some growing pains, while having 1 great performance. We dont know what we have with him yet so only one way to find out... But like... He's 23 now. Wasnt Lindelof around 23 when we signed him and he first got consistent chances in the first team? So he needs to be given the chance and perform to a good level right about now else hes unlikely to be the solution.
Is there any defence in the PL who wouldn’t benefit if they bought a CB who had everything they had today, be he was even faster?

The point is that people are so obsessed with a few physical qualities that they don’t see that other non physics qualities are much more important.

And it is still funny that the only goals we have conceded because of lacking speed, was when we played our fastest CBs instead of our best.


Yeah how will we ever know if he can do it consistently until he is given a proper chance in this team
Or until he can stay fit. I am worried about this. He has been injured during warmup and when not even playing. What would happen if he played many matches?
 

lex talionis

Full Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2017
Messages
2,328
I'd still like to see us give Tuanzebe and Bailly a run of matches before we commit a massive sum to bringing in a new CB this summer. We're not going to win the treble this season but I do think that even with the squad that we can scrape fourth place. Some argue a proper title run is within our reach.
 

Ekeke

Full Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2006
Messages
47,898
Location
Hope, We Lose
Is there any defence in the PL who wouldn’t benefit if they bought a CB who had everything they had today, be he was even faster?

The point is that people are so obsessed with a few physical qualities that they don’t see that other non physics qualities are much more important.

And it is still funny that the only goals we have conceded because of lacking speed, was when we played our fastest CBs instead of our best.



Or until he can stay fit. I am worried about this. He has been injured during warmup and when not even playing. What would happen if he played many matches?
It doesnt mean that those things are more important. It means that pace alone isnt a substitute for it. That you cant just have pace and be bad at those things. That someone who is pretty average at those things is going to do them better than a 15 year old Mengi who only has speed.

Bailly was rusty when he played and he messed up. Is that something that would still happen if he was playing every week for 2 months? We have no idea. But thats partly because he cant stay fit

Tuanzabe has barely played, 1 outstanding game the others not very impressive. We havent really had time to see whether he is just pace... Against PSG he was pace, composure and timing in the challenge. But thats 1 game. Even if he did that every 3rd game it would be better than Lindelof.
 

Bobski

Full Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2017
Messages
4,141
With a sample size of 12 where one of them is a huge outlier I could give you some fun statistics as well.

Do you think we we'll reach the 60 away goals we are on route to finish on?
Unlikely, and you are right about the sample size. Let us add the 6 CL games, another 10 goals conceded in 6 games, 29 in 18 in our 2 main competitions, a rotten record by any standards, at what point does the sample size go beyond that?

Maguire and Lindelof have never been part of a strong defensive unit at any level, I keep reading arguments for how good they are, but, and this is an overly simplistic question, if we have such good defenders, why are we(and the teams they have played in) so bad at defending.
 

Best Foot Forward

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
6
Supports
United
We only have one top defender in our back four, AWB. It definitely hasn't been fixed.
Agree. The number of goals we're conceding from corners is really worrying - every time the opponents get a corner I start to panic.
AWB is a great defender and tackler but positionally a little naive. Maguire is slow and Lindelof is too lightweight. I don't know why we bought Telles or what he brings to the team.
 

anant

Full Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2015
Messages
6,387
I don't think it's been 'fixed' but at the same time, I don't think it gets enough credit.

Since the Spurs game, we've conceded 3rd least number of goals, xGA is the 3rd least and if we look at the goals in the league, I don't recall more than 1-2 goals that could have been avoided by better coaching or anything (in the league).

Listing the goals conceded below from the top of my memory:
- Shaw OG vs Newcastle - just unlucky
- Auba Pen - Stupid Pen to give way
- Everton - individual errors if I recall correctly with us losing 2 aerial duels
- JWP double vs Southampton- 1st goal was due to concentration lapse and 2nd due was a worldie
- Soucek vs WHU - That should have been avoided. No excuses
- SHU - Both the goals could have been avoided
 

3KDré

Full Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2015
Messages
5,826
I don't think it's been 'fixed' but at the same time, I don't think it gets enough credit.

Since the Spurs game, we've conceded 3rd least number of goals, xGA is the 3rd least and if we look at the goals in the league, I don't recall more than 1-2 goals that could have been avoided by better coaching or anything (in the league).

Listing the goals conceded below from the top of my memory:
- Shaw OG vs Newcastle - just unlucky
- Auba Pen - Stupid Pen to give way
- Everton - individual errors if I recall correctly with us losing 2 aerial duels
- JWP double vs Southampton- 1st goal was due to concentration lapse and 2nd due was a worldie
- Soucek vs WHU - That should have been avoided. No excuses
- SHU - Both the goals could have been avoided
If we want to win a title, these stupid mistakes have to be reduced. The margins are that fine.
 

A-man

Full Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
3,227
It doesnt mean that those things are more important. It means that pace alone isnt a substitute for it. That you cant just have pace and be bad at those things. That someone who is pretty average at those things is going to do them better than a 15 year old Mengi who only has speed.

Bailly was rusty when he played and he messed up. Is that something that would still happen if he was playing every week for 2 months? We have no idea. But thats partly because he cant stay fit

Tuanzabe has barely played, 1 outstanding game the others not very impressive. We havent really had time to see whether he is just pace... Against PSG he was pace, composure and timing in the challenge. But thats 1 game. Even if he did that every 3rd game it would be better than Lindelof.
Speed is a bonus. The only time we have been beaten for speed (mentioned here) was with fast CB. With our best CB it hasn’t really been a problem. Liverpool have often been beaten for speed lately because they play a higher line with worse CBs. Not slower CBs.

Tuanzebe might turn good but so far he is a few levels below the two starters. He wasgood in a game where he had a simple task without many decisions to make, and because we had 8 defensive players who also played well, he could concentrate on his task. We saw in the return that they didn’t score any goals because of us being outpaced.
 

Ekeke

Full Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2006
Messages
47,898
Location
Hope, We Lose
Speed is a bonus. The only time we have been beaten for speed (mentioned here) was with fast CB. With our best CB it hasn’t really been a problem. Liverpool have often been beaten for speed lately because they play a higher line with worse CBs. Not slower CBs.

Tuanzebe might turn good but so far he is a few levels below the two starters. He wasgood in a game where he had a simple task without many decisions to make, and because we had 8 defensive players who also played well, he could concentrate on his task. We saw in the return that they didn’t score any goals because of us being outpaced.
If we had faster defensive players Ole would likely be more willing for our CBs to play further up the pitch. Not just the CBs but the DMs. If you watch Southampton for example the CBs are further forward than Fred and McTominay get. Other than Maguire after he's seen some space and decided to bring the ball into midfield, our CBs dont get that far forward.

Maybe he'd pick other players too. AWB's pace is one of his assets, Fred's speed and running is one of his assets too. Now having said that AWB is the obvious pick at RB. We dont have someone who is better on the ball but doesnt have as much pace. For Fred we can play McTominay instead I guess.

Anyway the point is pace would change several things, not just examples of goals where our CBs dont have enough pace to get back and help. If you want an example of one though there's RB Salzburg's goal where Maguire went forward and fell to the floor with his challenge. Bruno Fernandes is then taking a CB place in that move because Maguire isnt back in time. They score
 

justsomebloke

Full Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2020
Messages
429
I've always liked Bailly, but I think time's up for him. We can't spend 20 games letting him work off his rust and see if that fixes his decision-making issues. Even if we could, he probably wouldn't stay healthy for that long. Hopefully he'll get his chance somewhere else, and do well.
 

justsomebloke

Full Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2020
Messages
429
Speed is a bonus. The only time we have been beaten for speed (mentioned here) was with fast CB. With our best CB it hasn’t really been a problem. Liverpool have often been beaten for speed lately because they play a higher line with worse CBs. Not slower CBs.

Tuanzebe might turn good but so far he is a few levels below the two starters. He wasgood in a game where he had a simple task without many decisions to make, and because we had 8 defensive players who also played well, he could concentrate on his task. We saw in the return that they didn’t score any goals because of us being outpaced.
Point taken, but it's also about finding a top level CB who complements Maguire. Maguire is a very good CB, but also one with quite specific limitations - a type of player that needs to not be put outside his comfort zone too often. And while I agree that it doesn't help to have a player with speed if he's not otherwise a very good CB, speed and quickness is undeniably perhaps his most striking limitation. The effect of that isn't just visible in the number of goals allowed because Maguire got outpaced - it must really affect the whole of his game. To be effective, he has to ensure that he's positioned well enough to deal with quicker players - that affects his ability to take risks, for example. Also, it limits his ability to bail out defensive partners, and his operational radius. If he had a partner with speed, strong positioning and ball control and impeccable decision-making, it would allow him to play to his strengths much more.
 

adnando

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Mar 29, 2014
Messages
78
Location
Oslo
Unlikely, and you are right about the sample size. Let us add the 6 CL games, another 10 goals conceded in 6 games, 29 in 18 in our 2 main competitions, a rotten record by any standards, at what point does the sample size go beyond that?

Maguire and Lindelof have never been part of a strong defensive unit at any level, I keep reading arguments for how good they are, but, and this is an overly simplistic question, if we have such good defenders, why are we(and the teams they have played in) so bad at defending.
Well, I do agree with you that our record are atrocious. So many of the goals we let in is just simply ridiculous, and not always the defenders fault. Take the goals we conceded against Sheffield United, two freak goals that you don't see that often. If we could remove those freak goals I think we will have a title charge this year.

And I agree, after a certain amount of games it might not be coincidental, but we have all kinds of weird records at the moment, so I feel that alot of our results aren't representative.
 

remo

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Mar 8, 2017
Messages
94
Location
Big Apple
No, our defense was not fixed - even against weak teams we look vulnerable. That's why I think we will not challenge for title this season.
 

ghaliboy

Snitches on Tom Hagen
Joined
Apr 29, 2009
Messages
11,207
Location
Sydchester
This is shocking. Maguire has nearly 20 yards to get in position and force the attacker to the touchline, but stands there flat footed and lets the attacker play a ball straight through the middle.
The scariest part for me is as soon as pretty much the entire L shape realises that Fleck is in acres of space and will just shoot they all just resign themselves and pull up like "oh well" as a unit at least they're all on the same page when lurking to shed responsibility of something. The whole back four are mental midgets and they all know that issues like this have no consequence, even if the ball gets drilled into the back of the net. You can see it in the way they play and the way they react to things like this.
 

cyril C

Full Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2017
Messages
1,857
Is this based on goals allowed overall?
As we've conceded 10 and 9 we're in 2 games

I'm not saying were great either but the two games does skew it when looking at it analytically.

Overall I see a few issues with our defence:

-playing from the back, it's a bit slow to begin with and the players aren't spread out. They are on top of each other allowing opposition to close down easier. Maguire and lindelof should spread when the keeper has the ball, the DM should be in between to collect the ball, and also the option to go long. I've seen us concede against Southampton(last season), spurs and now Sheffield United the same way

-defending crosses to the back post. This affects awb more. We're always vulnerable to this

-defending set pieces
I swear we concede from a corner nearly every game and it's not improving
Do we not play from the back when AWAY? or defend better crossing better or set piece better when AWAY?

If you say so on home games, then we simply flip this in CL - that we play better at home and terrible away.

Was there a tactical switch between Home and Away, and can we have the AWAY mindset at Home as well? I don't know because I am not a coach. When we do, or if we can perform 80% as good at the back at Home, then we are within touching distance of Liverpool. In fact, adding 6-8 points we should be right at the top.
 

G-MUFC

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Dec 3, 2018
Messages
82
I'm always amazed at how many United fans still haven't given up on Bailey. He's a terrible defender!
 

elmo

Can never have too many Eevees
Joined
Jul 14, 2008
Messages
8,820
Location
AKA: Slapanut Goat Smuggla
Well, I do agree with you that our record are atrocious. So many of the goals we let in is just simply ridiculous, and not always the defenders fault. Take the goals we conceded against Sheffield United, two freak goals that you don't see that often. If we could remove those freak goals I think we will have a title charge this year.

And I agree, after a certain amount of games it might not be coincidental, but we have all kinds of weird records at the moment, so I feel that alot of our results aren't representative.
It's not freak goals if it keeps happening.
 

noodlehair

"It's like..."
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Messages
13,423
Location
Flagg
Well, I do agree with you that our record are atrocious. So many of the goals we let in is just simply ridiculous, and not always the defenders fault. Take the goals we conceded against Sheffield United, two freak goals that you don't see that often. If we could remove those freak goals I think we will have a title charge this year.

And I agree, after a certain amount of games it might not be coincidental, but we have all kinds of weird records at the moment, so I feel that alot of our results aren't representative.
You see them quite often with us and they are very definitely someone's fault. The first one was Henderson's fault for losing the ball next to his own goal, and the second one was Lindelof's fault for whatever on earth he was doing (what WAS he doing?...I still can't figure it out).

I just think our back line lacks any real leadership or composure. It's all very reactive and panicky, and that inevitably leads to us doing stupid things. It's not a very easy thing to fix as there's not many great defenders about.

I think our results are quite representative as well. It's partly just the way the game's gone. Most teams seem more concerned with being able to play out from defence than with making their defence solid. So there are more errors and the general standard of actual defending is lower. Going a goal down isn't as hard to recover from as it has been in the past and is more likely to happen than in the past.

I think we have an outside chance of contending for the title because I think the same problems that apply to us defensively, apply to basically everyone else. Liverpool losing Van Dijk has made that apparent.
 

Snuffkin

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Mar 2, 2019
Messages
550
Heading is the thing. Only Maguire can do that. And its the only thing he does well. Doesn't help that De Gea stays on his line.
 

croadyman

Full Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2018
Messages
6,962
You see them quite often with us and they are very definitely someone's fault. The first one was Henderson's fault for losing the ball next to his own goal, and the second one was Lindelof's fault for whatever on earth he was doing (what WAS he doing?...I still can't figure it out).

I just think our back line lacks any real leadership or composure. It's all very reactive and panicky, and that inevitably leads to us doing stupid things. It's not a very easy thing to fix as there's not many great defenders about.

I think our results are quite representative as well. It's partly just the way the game's gone. Most teams seem more concerned with being able to play out from defence than with making their defence solid. So there are more errors and the general standard of actual defending is lower. Going a goal down isn't as hard to recover from as it has been in the past and is more likely to happen than in the past.

I think we have an outside chance of contending for the title because I think the same problems that apply to us defensively, apply to basically everyone else. Liverpool losing Van Dijk has made that apparent.
Yeah we are definitely lacking leadership and composure at the back,like someone else said it doesn't help that De Gea won't command his box
 

A-man

Full Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
3,227
If we had faster defensive players Ole would likely be more willing for our CBs to play further up the pitch. Not just the CBs but the DMs. If you watch Southampton for example the CBs are further forward than Fred and McTominay get. Other than Maguire after he's seen some space and decided to bring the ball into midfield, our CBs dont get that far forward.

Maybe he'd pick other players too. AWB's pace is one of his assets, Fred's speed and running is one of his assets too. Now having said that AWB is the obvious pick at RB. We dont have someone who is better on the ball but doesnt have as much pace. For Fred we can play McTominay instead I guess.

Anyway the point is pace would change several things, not just examples of goals where our CBs dont have enough pace to get back and help. If you want an example of one though there's RB Salzburg's goal where Maguire went forward and fell to the floor with his challenge. Bruno Fernandes is then taking a CB place in that move because Maguire isnt back in time. They score
In theory, if everything else is being equal, and we just added more speed to th CBs, it would be easier to play a higher line. That would of course mean that the rest of the team could play a more possession based football.

In reality, it’s not just to replace a CB with a speedier one and think we can play a very high line in a competitive league. That’s probably why there aren’t many teams successfully playing a high line in the PL atm.

It’s impossible to say why the CBs don’t drive the ball forward more today. They have both shown to be good at it so it is probably be coming from instructions. Most likely it is because Ole doesn’t trust the others to cover for them (except Matic, when he plays they move more forward).

But again, if everythingelse equal, we would benefit by adding speed (to any player).
 

A-man

Full Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
3,227
Point taken, but it's also about finding a top level CB who complements Maguire. Maguire is a very good CB, but also one with quite specific limitations - a type of player that needs to not be put outside his comfort zone too often. And while I agree that it doesn't help to have a player with speed if he's not otherwise a very good CB, speed and quickness is undeniably perhaps his most striking limitation. The effect of that isn't just visible in the number of goals allowed because Maguire got outpaced - it must really affect the whole of his game. To be effective, he has to ensure that he's positioned well enough to deal with quicker players - that affects his ability to take risks, for example. Also, it limits his ability to bail out defensive partners, and his operational radius. If he had a partner with speed, strong positioning and ball control and impeccable decision-making, it would allow him to play to his strengths much more.
Yes absolutely. Maguire needs to compensate how he plays, to cover for his lack of speed. But to add a speedy defender on the other side, doesn’t solve that. The other CB who would need to cover for both sides all the way to the LB, I don’t see that would be possible. Maguire would still need to adjust his game to his own abilities. When we are in possession, maguires strength imo is that if we lose possession , Maguire will win all aerials coming at us. When he goes for it, Lindelof falls back. Lindelof is not super fast but pretty fast over a longer distance and he is good at taking the decision when to cover for Maguire. Normally he starts the run ahead of the forward.
 

Foxbatt

Full Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2013
Messages
8,171
Most of you are missing a very important point I feel. It is not only about pace or heading or tackling. Defending is team work. We need a leader in the defence as someone who can organize it. Maguire is zero in that. yes he is a very good header of the ball, he can block, can dribble a bit too but he cannot organise anything. This is one of the biggest problems we have along with the lack of pace. By being the Captain it makes it worse because he does not listen to Lindelof who is a much better organiser than Maguire.
To make matters worse we have a slow coach of a DM too. Fred and McTominay are simply not good enough to be a DM on their own.
If we can get two CBs and a DM who can defend on their own without much input from the other 2 midfield players and our three forwards we can be the champions. Our forwards and midfield are good enough to be creative and score goals on their own if only our defence can hold up on their own.
 

lex talionis

Full Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2017
Messages
2,328
I still believe we have a real prospect in Tuanzebe. We have to find a way to give him a run of matches to see if he can grow into the demands of the PL.

The greater need than buying a CB is a DM. Everyone else here correctly noted that Matic is breaking down and that McFred aren’t the answer. Bring in a proven DM and allow Tuanzebe to grow into the job, and if that fails then buy a CB. But if we buy a CB now we still need a DM and it’s unknown whether our transfer budget will allow purchases of both at this time.
 

united for life

Full Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
599
Most of you are missing a very important point I feel. It is not only about pace or heading or tackling. Defending is team work. We need a leader in the defence as someone who can organize it. Maguire is zero in that. yes he is a very good header of the ball, he can block, can dribble a bit too but he cannot organise anything. This is one of the biggest problems we have along with the lack of pace. By being the Captain it makes it worse because he does not listen to Lindelof who is a much better organiser than Maguire.
To make matters worse we have a slow coach of a DM too. Fred and McTominay are simply not good enough to be a DM on their own.
If we can get two CBs and a DM who can defend on their own without much input from the other 2 midfield players and our three forwards we can be the champions. Our forwards and midfield are good enough to be creative and score goals on their own if only our defence can hold up on their own.
Zero is harsh, but this statement in substance is not wrong unfortunately. We have a serious issue at the back. I think we only kept 3 clean sheets in the league this season which is a terrible return for a team trying to present a case to become champions. The main problem is, like you said, missing a leader at the back. Maguire, who for some reason beyond me is our captain, does not hold this attribute. He does not command authority at the back. I feel Lindelof is more vocal at times. The pair is fine, but not good enough. Probably we'd need 1 CB to replace Maguire/Lindelof. A CB that can show authority in the box and organise us at the back.

I also agree we need a DM. I like Matic, but I was shocked he got his last contract extension at that age. Clearly his best years are behind him. We need someone who can just sit there when our other 2 midfielders run forward. Someone than can sit nicely in front of the defence. A Kante/Ndidi sort of player. Fred and Mctominay have both been good and will be much needed for rotation/tactical changes. After all, we need depth. We've always had at least 2 good reliable players at each position. So having them would be essential and they will continue to play lots of games, especially when tactically we need 2 defensive midfielders.

I don't see an issue with Wan-Bissaka (who is young and developing) and Shaw/Telles. Probably sorting out our wingers situation would contribute positively to our full backs' defensive display (I'm sure Wan-Bissaka would be much relieved to have a proper right winger in front of him. He can then focus more on his defensive responsibilities and avoid running forward as much as he is asked now and then failing to track back at times).

The last piece in the puzzle, an important one though, is our goalkeeper. I don't think we need any signings there. Probably start introducing Henderson gradually to the first team. I love De Gea for all he's done for us, but his best days as past him. He's become too inconsistent. Henderson has shown that he is a very good goalkeeper playing for Sheffield. So it's not like we don't know what we have. His loan spell there made us realise that we have a good talented young goalkeeper at our disposal. I wouldn't give the blunder against Sheffield too much attention, he needs a proper run of games to get in form and reach his potential.

With that said, our defence has not been fixed yet. No.
 

Ekeke

Full Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2006
Messages
47,898
Location
Hope, We Lose
It depends what we consider "fixed"

The pace issue is probably never going to be a reason we concede loads of goals. However it could absolutely be the reason we lose in europe in a tight game or in a big match in the premier league

Its not likely to be lots of goals, but it could be an important and costly goal. Thats where your weaknesses will be shown up. Because lets be honest we've had some decent defensive records over the past 10 years despite having weaknesses in our backline. The majority of teams in the league dont quite have the quality to make you pay for it every week. Its not like every single team has a rapid forward they're playing passes through for and players very strong in the air in their attack, so they load up on crosses to Lindelof and AWB's side of the goal. I think its something that teams should do more often against us. But its not something we do always face, and im guessing its because those teams want to play to their own strengths and maybe they dont feel they have a decent crosser from the right and someone to come in at the back post with a header.

But still, if I was the manager of a team playing against us the first thing I would do is look for a good crosser and a couple of players who are good in the air and load them up. We have a keeper who doesnt come for crosses, a CB with a weakness in the air and a RB who isnt particularly good at it either. What more could you ask for?
 

devilish

Juventus fan who used to support United
Joined
Sep 5, 2002
Messages
54,021
The only way for our defence not to leak goals is to have both McT and Fred covering for them. That means 7 players out of 11 whose job is mostly defending. That hurts our creativity big time. Even with such a defensive setup our defence is prone to regular brain farts. That's because our CBs are poor defenders, who lack leadership, positioning and pace.

I believe that the defence had been made worse by Ole. We spent 80m on a slightly better then average CB whose unsuited for the modern game. Whoever is manager (Ole or someone else) will have to build the defence around such CB as it would take the club years to accept that they had been sold a dud. That's the reason I didn't want Maguire in the first place, not on those fees. If we spent 30m on him then the manager would have no problem forcing him on the bench if needs be. You simply don't put an 80m rated CB on the bench.
 

devilish

Juventus fan who used to support United
Joined
Sep 5, 2002
Messages
54,021
It depends what we consider "fixed"

The pace issue is probably never going to be a reason we concede loads of goals. However it could absolutely be the reason we lose in europe in a tight game or in a big match in the premier league

Its not likely to be lots of goals, but it could be an important and costly goal. Thats where your weaknesses will be shown up. Because lets be honest we've had some decent defensive records over the past 10 years despite having weaknesses in our backline. The majority of teams in the league dont quite have the quality to make you pay for it every week. Its not like every single team has a rapid forward they're playing passes through for and players very strong in the air in their attack, so they load up on crosses to Lindelof and AWB's side of the goal. I think its something that teams should do more often against us. But its not something we do always face, and im guessing its because those teams want to play to their own strengths and maybe they dont feel they have a decent crosser from the right and someone to come in at the back post with a header.

But still, if I was the manager of a team playing against us the first thing I would do is look for a good crosser and a couple of players who are good in the air and load them up. We have a keeper who doesnt come for crosses, a CB with a weakness in the air and a RB who isnt particularly good at it either. What more could you ask for?
Pace is indeed an issue but it's not the only thing. Our CB lack positioning, they lack communication, they lack brains.....in few words they aren't good enough. Take the goal Henderson suffered against Sheffield United. We had two CBs who couldn't come out with better option then that of passing the ball to a young goalkeeper, putting him under unnecessary pressure. Maguire in particular should have distanced himself from Henderson which would have then given him better options to pass the ball to. Instead he had no option but to pass it to an inexperienced goalkeeper with opponents knowing exactly what was going to happen.

The manager know that very well which is why he keeps stocking the midfield with the likes of McT and Fred thus creating a 7 men defence (2 DM, 4 defenders inc 2 defensive FBs and 1 keeper). Even with such defensive setup United are prone to the regular brainfart. United need to rethink their defence again. It won't be easy as no club likes to hear that they spent 80m in cash on a CB that is not good enough
 

Zlatans Knee

New Member
Newbie
Joined
May 24, 2017
Messages
250
The scary thing towards the end of the match against Sheffield United was that we seemed to lose out on every single long ball. I mean normally you would expect us win a couple but we could not win a header.
Then, opposition teams know that we are particularly vulnerable at set pieces now. If we can’t rely on winning the header or our keeper coming to claim it from a corner then we should at least have a man on each post.
In summary, I would say no, our defence has not been sorted. I wish that Tuanzebe would come in, stay injury free and start dominating but I can’t see it happening unfortunately.
 

Foxbatt

Full Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2013
Messages
8,171
The scary thing towards the end of the match against Sheffield United was that we seemed to lose out on every single long ball. I mean normally you would expect us win a couple but we could not win a header.
Then, opposition teams know that we are particularly vulnerable at set pieces now. If we can’t rely on winning the header or our keeper coming to claim it from a corner then we should at least have a man on each post.
In summary, I would say no, our defence has not been sorted. I wish that Tuanzebe would come in, stay injury free and start dominating but I can’t see it happening unfortunately.
This is where you do not understand. Tuanzabe for all his skills is the worst in the air of our CBs. So if the we cannot head the ball he is the last man whom we need. Maguire is the best in heading the ball. why we should mostly have a player on each post is exactly the opposite. If our keeper keeps coming out. The players on each post is the insurance just in case he misses it.
 

Zlatans Knee

New Member
Newbie
Joined
May 24, 2017
Messages
250
This is where you do not understand. Tuanzabe for all his skills is the worst in the air of our CBs. So if the we cannot head the ball he is the last man whom we need. Maguire is the best in heading the ball. why we should mostly have a player on each post is exactly the opposite. If our keeper keeps coming out. The players on each post is the insurance just in case he misses it.
1) I said I hoped that Tuanzebe would become a dominating centerhalf. I did not say that he is.
2) If Maguire is so good in the air, why does he not score more goals and why do we concede so many goals from set pieces?
3) Our keepers stay firmly on their lines, especially Dave. Which means that we need the extra insurance.
 

croadyman

Full Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2018
Messages
6,962
Would say we need to see more of the Maguire & Bailly partnership,you only need to look at Chelsea away last season and last night to see that.

Unfortunately I can't see it happening as Ole is probably concerned that Eric will break down again if he plays too often.
 

RkkMan

New Member
Newbie
Joined
May 16, 2019
Messages
789
Agree. The number of goals we're conceding from corners is really worrying - every time the opponents get a corner I start to panic.
AWB is a great defender and tackler but positionally a little naive. Maguire is slow and Lindelof is too lightweight. I don't know why we bought Telles or what he brings to the team.
Ridiculous statement utterly ridiculous statement. If Shaw gets injured who would you rather have? Williams? Whatever you think of Telles he`s MILES and I mean MILES better than Williams and an actual left footed LB which offers us balance not a right footer at LB that alone made him worth a gamble at a mere 15m considering he was the best attacking LB from the same league we signed our best player from. He can do better but he`s shown solid moments of quality and dependability
 

UNITED ACADEMY

Full Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2018
Messages
7,259
Would say we need to see more of the Maguire & Bailly partnership,you only need to look at Chelsea away last season and last night to see that.

Unfortunately I can't see it happening as Ole is probably concerned that Eric will break down again if he plays too often.
Injury isn’t just his problem. We saw enough against spurs. Bailly is just not good enough, playing him is like flipping coin. We will either get his 2/10 performance or 9/10 performance, you don’t know which side of the coin we will get. That’s why the manager prefers Lindelof and Maguire partnership at the moment over him, not gamble option.
 

Pablo18th

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Jun 23, 2020
Messages
60
I think it has been fixed as much as we can fix it. I do not think the defenders being touted will be better than the ones we have. It's just much harder to defend these days. Ole just needs to find a system that reduces shots at our goal.
 

Bobcat

Full Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
4,854
Location
Behind the curtains, leering at the neighbors
Injury isn’t just his problem. We saw enough against spurs. Bailly is just not good enough, playing him is like flipping coin. We will either get his 2/10 performance or 9/10 performance, you don’t know which side of the coin we will get. That’s why the manager prefers Lindelof and Maguire partnership at the moment over him, not gamble option.
This. Baily can look like a world beater one match, then the next he plays like a weasel on cocaine. If he was consistent he would be one of the best CB's in the world, but unfortunately hes not
 

A-man

Full Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
3,227
Injury isn’t just his problem. We saw enough against spurs. Bailly is just not good enough, playing him is like flipping coin. We will either get his 2/10 performance or 9/10 performance, you don’t know which side of the coin we will get. That’s why the manager prefers Lindelof and Maguire partnership at the moment over him, not gamble option.

This. Baily can look like a world beater one match, then the next he plays like a weasel on cocaine. If he was consistent he would be one of the best CB's in the world, but unfortunately hes not
I agree with you that he is much more up and down than the other defenders, but it is also a little exaggerated. Most of the games he is not a 2/10 nor a 9/10, but more a boring 5-7/10. However he is very inconsistent, which is not a great attribute for a bench CB.