Our Defence - Has it actually been fixed?

Dick Dastardly

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On yesterdays performance, AWB is anything but a world class full back.
 

lysglimt

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No defence in the P.L is fixed - but the last few years DDG had to make 3-4 supersaves each game to save us - this season he rarely needs to make more than 1-2 saves in the entire game. So of course it has improved a lot.
 

AltiUn

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The personnel has been improved, the tactics have not.
 

red woppit

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No defence in the P.L is fixed - but the last few years DDG had to make 3-4 supersaves each game to save us - this season he rarely needs to make more than 1-2 saves in the entire game. So of course it has improved a lot.
Can only remember one save he made yesterday, from H. Wilson, but the defence is certainly better, but would still like to see a bit more pace in there, so we can push forward more, always seems that they sit too deep.
 

flappyjay

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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?
Our midfield is bottom 10 level and that's the main problem. Without Pogba you can't point at anyone to get atleast 10 assists this season.
 

Jaqen H'ghar

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We have improved a lot in defense. Lindeloff seems to be the weakest link in a stronger chain.

Midfield, including defensive midfield, is a bigger issue.
 

Skills

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We play a flat back 4 which is covered by 2 defensive midfielders. Our backline also sits deeper than most top teams around today, because we have arguably the slowest CB pairing in the top 10.

It's why we don't concede a lot of chances and partly why we're so impotent up front. Lindelof gets shown up almost everytime he has to do some real defending, and Maguire also has looked shaky at times.
 

Sandikan

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We lost a game, so obviously everyone is average or crap. Standard forum junk.

The more reasonable view is both Maguire and AWB are a big improvement on what went before, but the other half of the defence still has Young playing, as Shaw is on yet another massive spell out, and Lindelöf is at best average for Premier league level.

bring a Chilwell in, and another centre back of Maguire's level - or hope Tuanzebe is that man, and it all looks a lot better.

Not to mention having a better midfield ahead. Tat makes a big difference too.
 

passing-wind

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Maguire is fundamentally a possession based centre half, we aren't a team that's massively useful in use of the ball so I think his profile as a defender doesn't suit the practicalities of Solskjaer management.
We are a poor team when in possession, that's both in the build up and attack.

AWB is world class going towards our goal but needs to be coached moving forward. The notion that he's poor down the right flank is also attributed by the fact we have no natural right sided winger. It's funny how perspective works because Shaw is mediocre defensively and "shy" going forward. Any criticism for AWB's attacking contribution should automatically be shared with Shaw because he's been here for 3+ years and has never had consistency in his position defensively or attacking wise.

Jury is still out with Lindlelof, one of the club's good signings out of the dross made in 10 years but it remains to be seen if he's going to be a reliant partner with Maguire. Overall the defence looks good on paper but is perhaps slightly overrated considering the performances.
 

davidmichael

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Wan-Bissaka and Maguire are big upgrades on Darmian, Valencia, Bailly, Jones and Rojo but because of injury we’ve not been able to play our best back four consistently and it doesn’t help that Lindelof has regressed from last season.

I really believe we’d be better served bringing Smalling back to play alongside Maguire as each players strengths mask the others weaknesses, Smalling is a pure defender with lots of pace whilst Maguire is a leader who’s good with the ball.

What’s really needed is a pure defensive midfielder who’s job is simply to shield the back four as McTominay is far better when allowed to rampage box to box and Pogba is far better in the opposition half.

I think once we sign a pure defensive midfielder (Rice is heavily linked for January) and we get to play Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof/Tuanzebe, Maguire, Shaw and a pure defensive midfielder we’ll be far better defensively on a consistent basis.
 

Treble

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Leicester have the best defensive record in the league this season after losing their best defender. Palace's defensive record is not really worse than it was with AWB. What does this suggest?

Not that Maguire and AWB are not good, albeit it might mean that they are a bit overrated.

It means that defence is at least as much about organisation as it about individuals, if not more. Even Baresi and Maldini wouldn't look like world beaters in a badly organised team. The good organisation helps defenders show their best qualities and compensates for their weaknesses. But the organsisation in defence should facilitate the organisation in attack, and vice versa. This is why it is pretty difficult to get it right and the best managers are paid top dollar.
 

Raw

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It's absolutely better. This thread won't exist if our attacking players could actually score some fecking goals. I've mentioned it a lot but when we barely score more than 1 goal a game, our defence is under extreme pressure to keep clean sheets to win games. Every minute that goes by without us scoring more than 1 goal gives more belief to the opposition that they can nick a result. We very very rarely have 2+ goal leads, which itself demotivates opposing teams who know they have to do a lot more to get a result.

We've conceded more than once in 1 game this season (Palace at home) which is looking like a bit of a freak result. We don't keep many clean sheets for sure, and the defence isn't perfect, but it's much better than it was last season. Under a better coach with a better, more structured midfield, I believe we'd be conceding even less. And we don't need defensive tacticians like Allegri or Simeone to achieve that.
 

Ekeke

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Our midfield is bottom 10 level and that's the main problem. Without Pogba you can't point at anyone to get atleast 10 assists this season.
Uh

Which of Liverpool's midfielders are going to get 10 assists this season? Chelsea's? Arsenal's? Spurs?

And we're discounting a player, whereas they arent. So yeah wat
 

Zlatattack

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It's a team game. If we can't control the midfield, we can't keep the ball, can't pressure the oppo defence - it all results in our boys being under more pressure and more likely to concede.
 

Sultan

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Generally, the defence has been very good with the exception of Lindelof. I think he's the weakest link in our defence. Just gets bullied one on one and aerially very weak.
 

Mcking

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Dunno what is meant by fixed, but it is much better. We rarely concede chances and our goalkeeper is a passenger most games. We generally clear crosses convincingly and throughballs are just bread and butter. The problem is we are careless in possession, our forwards can't keep the ball, and we offer no threat whatsoever. When you can't score and can't control territory, then your opponent will take advantage.
 

Treble

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It's absolutely better. This thread won't exist if our attacking players could actually score some fecking goals. I've mentioned it a lot but when we barely score more than 1 goal a game, our defence is under extreme pressure to keep clean sheets to win games. Every minute that goes by without us scoring more than 1 goal gives more belief to the opposition that they can nick a result. We very very rarely have 2+ goal leads, which itself demotivates opposing teams who know they have to do a lot more to get a result.

We've conceded more than once in 1 game this season (Palace at home) which is looking like a bit of a freak result. We don't keep many clean sheets for sure, and the defence isn't perfect, but it's much better than it was last season. Under a better coach with a better, more structured midfield, I believe we'd be conceding even less. And we don't need defensive tacticians like Allegri or Simeone to achieve that.
The reason that the attackers struggle to score goals is partly due to the fact that the wholesome organisation of our play is disbalanced in favour of the defence. The key is to find a better balance, but that's not easy and might lead to less stable defence. Generally, it's easy to have a relatively good defence when the team is risk averse and organised to concede less chances at the expense of the attack.
 

Ekeke

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Is there something I'm missing with this Rice hype?
Probably just that he has decent defensive instincts so he can babysit an underpar CB a bit like Fellaini did last season. It didnt work out very well for us that time so I dont think its the play here either
 

Dick Dastardly

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I think Rice is very overrated. Has had a poor season so far. Overrated and overpriced, perfect MUFC material.
 

Machine Elements

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Why some people are comparing the defence with just last season which was an anomaly? Jose was on a mission to prove a point about his defenders and played the likes of McTominay & Herrera in defence. Last year was our worst defensive record in the last 40 seasons with 54 goals conceded. The year before we conceded 28 which was second best record in the league and just one goal worse than the record breaking City team. We were always going to score les this year no matter which manager or CB pairing we have.

And for the other previous seasons; we conceded 29 goals in Jose's first year which was second best again in the league after Spurs' 26. The year before with Van Gaal, 35 goals were conceded and that was joint best defensive record with Spurs again. In 14-15 we also conceced 37 goals in the league which was the third best record that year. So if you compare our defensive record this year with previous years and not just last year, we're not better off now despite playing defensive football and spending a fortune. Maybe our playing out from the back has imroved a bit with Maguire but that's it. We don't have a better defence than previous seasons imo.
 

davidmichael

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Is there something I'm missing with this Rice hype?
I’m not saying myself that Rice is the player we should be chasing for that specific role and simply that we’re constantly linked with him ahead of any other player so I think that’s who we're targeting as first choice, I’m happy we’re addressing a major problem position and at least Rice has mobility which is what Matic lacks.
 

11101

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Our defence is good without being great. As a unit they work well and complement each other and they link fairly well with the midfield. We no longer need the midfielders to drop back level with our centre backs if we want to move the ball past the halfway line.

The big problem now is that our midfield is significantly weaker with no Herrera, Pogba and even Fellaini. Defence gets the ball to midfield but once its there it gets stuck.
 

Ekeke

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I actually do not get the hype on him. Its as if West Ham are playing well and he is a standout player in their team.
I mean, they were last season - 1 place behind Leicester and he was their double player of the season.
 

romufc

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I mean, they were last season - 1 place behind Leicester and he was their double player of the season.
Watford were 8th last season.. your point?

For a £75m player he has been relatively poor and I dont think he will improve this team like people think.

We need creativity. not more of the side ways passing
 

Ekeke

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Watford were 8th last season.. your point?

For a £75m player he has been relatively poor and I dont think he will improve this team like people think.

We need creativity. not more of the side ways passing
I dont think hes worth anywhere near that. The point is he was exactly what you just asked.
 

Nikelesh Reddy

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I know people say that our defence has improved, but is it good enough? We are currently conceding on average 1 goal per game

We have conceded in 9 of 11 games so far in the league this season. After spending £130m on defence, we have only been able to get 2 clean sheets in 11 games.

I feel that player-wise, we are good enough. However, I think our defensive structure is a mess unless we are able to sit back and clog up the holes up with sheer numbers.

Currently, we are on course to concede 38 goals this season. Funnily enough, we have a worse defence record than Leicester, who we bought Maguire off.

With £130m invested, we seem to be very easy to play through. Currently, I do not see £130m worth of improvement.
The lack of quality in midfield is brutally exposing our defence.I actually think we”ve got a good defence right now...De Gea is world class,Maguires a good Premierleague defender(not worth 80 million),Lindelof is beginning to find his feet and Wan Bissaka will be a top RB after 2-3 years.Now if we can somehow bring the best out of Luke Shaw,our defence will be sorted out...

But our lack of quality in front of the back 4 is completely exposing our defence.Thats a major problem...
 

Paul_Scholes18

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I think we are defending well as a team at times, but our defenders have not been great. Magurie is worse at defending than Smalling. Lindelöf has been average. Wan Bissaka is not that good going forward. We have spent too much money on defenders when we needed to boost our attack.
 

Tom Cato

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I know people say that our defence has improved, but is it good enough? We are currently conceding on average 1 goal per game

We have conceded in 9 of 11 games so far in the league this season. After spending £130m on defence, we have only been able to get 2 clean sheets in 11 games.

I feel that player-wise, we are good enough. However, I think our defensive structure is a mess unless we are able to sit back and clog up the holes up with sheer numbers.

Currently, we are on course to concede 38 goals this season. Funnily enough, we have a worse defence record than Leicester, who we bought Maguire off.

With £130m invested, we seem to be very easy to play through. Currently, I do not see £130m worth of improvement.
38 goals conceded is usually around 3rd stingiest team in the league. So if that's our starting point I'm pretty happy about that.

The 17/18 version of Man United let in 28 goals on the season with Joses park the bus squad.

I'm not really concerned about 1 GAA. I'm more concerned about not having a 2GFA.

Also, we didn't SPEND £130m on defense, our net spend is way below that.
 

romufc

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I dont think hes worth anywhere near that. The point is he was exactly what you just asked.
Sometimes some of these players are rated highly over a season. We need to see consistency. signing a £75m player to sit alongside McTominay who is similar.

It is clear we need a new look midfield. Pogba will be gone, Lingard has to be dropped to 4th choice, Andreas dropped. We need to sign 2 CM minimum and a CAM.
 

Maticmaker

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Certainly its improved, but never think any part of the team of as being fixed, always room for improvement.

Maguire and AWB two of the best defensive purchases by the club for a long time and Ole deserves credit. The arrival of these two and Tuanzebe's return also the emergence of Brandon Williams are all positive elements in strengthening our defence. These factors also it seems to have fired Rojo as well, his last appearances have been better, but he's nowhere near first choice.

Its midfield where we require a good DM, like Matic was in his first season. Matic has fallen away now and Fred's not really up to it, at least not yet, think he might get better, but it needs to be quick! Pereira is just not good enough; McTomany our one bright light, but cant do it all on his own. Pogba when he is fit needs to play offensive not defensive (if he stays) either way the main improvement to be done is midfield, especially to counter quick break-aways and stop our defence getting overrun and a strong AM to push up behind the front three.

Up front it has to be James on the right, Martial CF and Rashford down the left. With serious attempts, but as Ole sees fit, to 'bed' Mason Greenwood in, but gradually.
 

Alfie092

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Would a back four of: AWB - Tuanzebe - Maguire - Williams improve us defensively?
 

SadlerMUFC

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This year we have 11 goals against so far and our keeper has made 32 saves. So we have conceded 43 shots against in 11 games which is good for 3.9 shots against per game. Last year we had 54 goals against and our keeper made 122 saves. So that's 176 shots against in 38 games which is good for 4.6 shots against per game. Our keeper last year was 7th in the league for saves made and the only other "big team" who had more saves was Arsenal. We have the 5th lowest goals against in the league this year (1 per game). Last year we had the 11th most goals against (1.4 per game). So to sum it up, yes our defense has improved. Significantly. The big difference is that last year our offense was pretty bad only scoring 1.7 goals per game. This year it is even worse scoring just under 1.2 goals per game...
 

Withnail

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This year we have 11 goals against so far and our keeper has made 32 saves. So we have conceded 43 shots against in 11 games which is good for 3.9 shots against per game. Last year we had 54 goals against and our keeper made 122 saves. So that's 176 shots against in 38 games which is good for 4.6 shots against per game. Our keeper last year was 7th in the league for saves made and the only other "big team" who had more saves was Arsenal. We have the 5th lowest goals against in the league this year (1 per game). Last year we had the 11th most goals against (1.4 per game). So to sum it up, yes our defense has improved. Significantly. The big difference is that last year our offense was pretty bad only scoring 1.7 goals per game. This year it is even worse scoring just under 1.2 goals per game...

Good post. I'm not sure why it's even up for debate. It's very clear our problem is lack of creativity in midfield.
 

FrankDrebin

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Yes,the defence has improved, though it can get better.

What is the fundamental issue,though, is the play infront of them. The midfield currently is average and the forward players are annoyingly erratic.
It doesn't take much for the opposition to break through our midfield,leaving our defence somewhat exposed.
 

Bestietom

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Yes,the defence has improved, though it can get better.

What is the fundamental issue,though, is the play infront of them. The midfield currently is average and the forward players are annoyingly erratic.
It doesn't take much for the opposition to break through our midfield,leaving our defence somewhat exposed.
Yes, our midfield is weakest part of the team, when it should be the heartbeat.
 
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ash_86

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We haven't conceded more than a goal in almost all of our fixtures but two in which we've played likes of Livepool, Arsenal and Chelsea (twice) . It definitely has improved.