Our Defence - Has it actually been fixed?

The Bloody-Nine

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Why? At least half of the Caf knew he was an overhyped Defender. We should have spent 80 mil on a CM and right winger.

Instead we spent a record fee on a player whos harly better than Smalling.
I expected more from him. I wasn't expecting him to look so vulnerable.
 

Snafu17

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I don't think it's a coincidence that it has fallen of a cliff the minute our only midfielder with any defensive awareness got injured. A midfield of Pereira and Fred is completely useless positionally, you're always going to concede with an underbelly that soft.
 

VeevaVee

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A defence needs the whole team to be playing better. Another reason why you build from the front. Just get the team scoring enough goals, then sure up, because there's no suring up if the team is trying to attack but crap at it.
 

Bobcat

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I don't think it's a coincidence that it has fallen of a cliff the minute our only midfielder with any defensive awareness got injured. A midfield of Pereira and Fred is completely useless positionally, you're always going to concede with an underbelly that soft.
This. Williams had a bad game today, but the real problem is midfield. The amount of times Villa got to run unchallenged at our defense today was just insane.
 

The Bloody-Nine

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I don't think it's a coincidence that it has fallen of a cliff the minute our only midfielder with any defensive awareness got injured. A midfield of Pereira and Fred is completely useless positionally, you're always going to concede with an underbelly that soft.
If you can see it, it's a pity our manager can't.
 

TMDaines

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Gonna keep banging the drum that the defence will never be sorted until the midfield can offer some sort of solidity and real opposition. If you beat our press, it’s way too easy to progress down the field again us. Been saying it for years and said the same when signing Maguire and AWB.
 

AaronRedDevil

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Smalling or Tuanzebe. We don't need a new LB. We have Shaw and Williams.
Totay with Fred-Pereira-Mata we were playing without a midfield. We only have Pogba (until the summer) and McTominay. Unless we plan to give Garner a chance we have to buy there.
Oh Shaw and Williams? One who never plays and one who's just played a few matches, suddenly he's better then most players? Ok.......
 

Ed9

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Oh Shaw and Williams? One who never plays and one who's just played a few matches, suddenly he's better then most players? Ok.......
I agree they're not great but we should only invest there once we sort our abomination of a midfield. We could do both but Glazers won't pay for it so prioritirs first.
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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Every good defence needs a stable midfield in front of them, and we have anything but.

Look at the top three teams, they have great holding midfielders that are fantastic at sniffing out danger.
 

spiriticon

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Looks like that right winger has to be delayed for another year in favour of 2 more CBs :lol:
 

bosnian_red

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This is what we are with Ole tbh. Play pretty much even with 2 newly promoted sides back to back games. Itll be different with Pogba and McTominay, but 2 injuries shouldn't bring us down to relegation standard and not even being able to outplay newly promoted sides.
 

noodlehair

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it's disingenuous and slightly a form of denial to blame some of our defending on the midfield.

Fred actually bailed our defence out a few times today. Our midfield doesn't help at times and would be problematic even if the defenders were faultless.

The problem with trying to palm this off as the route of the problem is that some of the actual defending and play out from our defence, is absolutely embarrassing.

For example you cannot use the midfield to legislate for why Maguire stops playing and concedes a goal in order to claim a non existent handball...and then a week later instead of learning, tries to pull the same trick again. You can't put it at the midfield's feet when Jones gets bundled off the ball by someone breathing on him.

You can't put it in the midfield when Maguire and Lindelof consistently can't defend set piece or defend simple balls into our box. These are things they would have to do regardless of how good or bad our midfield is.

Our midfield is not up to scratch but our actual defending is also worse than it was even last season. It is amateur at best.

You cannot at the moment make a convincing argument that our 80m centreback is any better than what we already had (which was bad enough to convince us to spend 80m on a centreback. You can make a convincing argument that Leicester's defence has actually improved by selling Maguire. First and foremost he has to step up massively.
 

TMDaines

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Just seen the Villa disallowed goal on replay back home. We were millimetres from conceding twice today from our players stopping and failing to play to the whistle.

That’s not the fault of a lack of midfielders. That’s leadership.
 

Snafu17

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There's no way anyone can argue that Fred has actually "bailed out" our defence today. He has never been particularly good with his positioning but he was virtually non existent today. The amount of times Villa just waltzed through our midfield was infuriating.

It's not that any of our defenders had an incredible performance today, but you can only do so much if you have literally no protection in front of you.

As cliche as it is, defending actually starts from the front. You can throw in as many superb defenders as you'd like, if you're not defending as a unit, you are going to concede chances. And you can't defend as a unit if your midfield is made up of two players that have no idea where they should be at any given moment.
 

RedWat

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it's disingenuous and slightly a form of denial to blame some of our defending on the midfield.

Fred actually bailed our defence out a few times today. Our midfield doesn't help at times and would be problematic even if the defenders were faultless.

The problem with trying to palm this off as the route of the problem is that some of the actual defending and play out from our defence, is absolutely embarrassing.

For example you cannot use the midfield to legislate for why Maguire stops playing and concedes a goal in order to claim a non existent handball...and then a week later instead of learning, tries to pull the same trick again. You can't put it at the midfield's feet when Jones gets bundled off the ball by someone breathing on him.

You can't put it in the midfield when Maguire and Lindelof consistently can't defend set piece or defend simple balls into our box. These are things they would have to do regardless of how good or bad our midfield is.

Our midfield is not up to scratch but our actual defending is also worse than it was even last season. It is amateur at best.

You cannot at the moment make a convincing argument that our 80m centreback is any better than what we already had (which was bad enough to convince us to spend 80m on a centreback. You can make a convincing argument that Leicester's defence has actually improved by selling Maguire. First and foremost he has to step up massively.
Even though the Midfield is one of the weakest United have ever had, the whole team as a unit is malfunctioning if the team is not playing as a unit then results like today and last Sunday will keep on happening. The coaching staff by now should know the strengths and weaknesses of each player, and should by now be coaching the team to play to the best of their ability, but they seem unable to do that. Man Utd, one of the biggest clubs in the world being dominated in most parts, by promoted teams in consecutive games.......something is very wrong.
 

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Our defence is appalling.

They routinely give away silly chances and do dumb shit pretty much every game.
 

el3mel

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We will need to splash more cash again on a CB and a LB to replace Lindelof and Shaw /Williams, while having a 80m defender who isn't performing to the standard. That's all you need to know about our mythically improved defense.
 

Lash

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The equaliser was down to inexperience from Williams, which is going to happen when a young lad is learning his trade. The real issue is the constant turnover of possession on the halfway line by either lack of movement or Pereira's shite touch. We know Maguire and Lindelof aren't exceedingly fast, so when theyre getting run directly at, we know there's a solid chance we'll concede a good chance for our opponents.

Not only that, there were other points where lindelof and Maguire trying to pass out, people are just expecting them to hoofing it and they just ended up forcing some dumb pass. You could see they were throwing their arms up in the air at points, they have to sort that out somehow.
 

Cassidy

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it's disingenuous and slightly a form of denial to blame some of our defending on the midfield.

Fred actually bailed our defence out a few times today. Our midfield doesn't help at times and would be problematic even if the defenders were faultless.

The problem with trying to palm this off as the route of the problem is that some of the actual defending and play out from our defence, is absolutely embarrassing.

For example you cannot use the midfield to legislate for why Maguire stops playing and concedes a goal in order to claim a non existent handball...and then a week later instead of learning, tries to pull the same trick again. You can't put it at the midfield's feet when Jones gets bundled off the ball by someone breathing on him.

You can't put it in the midfield when Maguire and Lindelof consistently can't defend set piece or defend simple balls into our box. These are things they would have to do regardless of how good or bad our midfield is.

Our midfield is not up to scratch but our actual defending is also worse than it was even last season. It is amateur at best.

You cannot at the moment make a convincing argument that our 80m centreback is any better than what we already had (which was bad enough to convince us to spend 80m on a centreback. You can make a convincing argument that Leicester's defence has actually improved by selling Maguire. First and foremost he has to step up massively.
He isn’t capable
 

manunited1919

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No, we still need a left back and a DM to shield properly
And get Smalling back...he is a better defender than what we have. With OWB, a proper DM and left back, we would have never needed to “fix” our defense with the £80m man.
 

Jacckk1985

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Defence isn't on 4 deffenders and a GK.. It's a teams effort, specially with current setup when we miss Mctom & Pogba together, it's withouth a midfield.
 

noodlehair

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Even though the Midfield is one of the weakest United have ever had, the whole team as a unit is malfunctioning if the team is not playing as a unit then results like today and last Sunday will keep on happening. The coaching staff by now should know the strengths and weaknesses of each player, and should by now be coaching the team to play to the best of their ability, but they seem unable to do that. Man Utd, one of the biggest clubs in the world being dominated in most parts, by promoted teams in consecutive games.......something is very wrong.
Wouldn't say Villa dominated today but the problem is we are so easy to score against. You don't need to dominate, just get the ball up the pitch a few times and we'll heap the pressure on ourselves by failing to deal with it.

I mean I get that we'reshort in midfield, but you get what you expect there. A lack of control in the middle third and at best a fighting attempt to get into the game. When Mctominay has played we've actually even managed to do better than this in some games.

The defence though. We've spent over £100m on it in the summer. We already had over £100m worth pf defensive signings here before that. We have more than enough players there of a level of ability to expect consistent, competent performances. Yet it is nearly always the worst performing part of our team.

Whenever our defence has been put under pressure, it has almost immediately crumbled.

I don't like to pick on new players but Maguire in particular needs to sort his shit out. He needs to can the needless prancing around on the ball, standing still with the ball, fancy but pointless balls out to the left, etc. and actually concentrate on his defending, because it simply isn't very good. He is not organising or dealing with situations. His strength in the air is nullified by his inability to mark players or position himself effectively or read the game. He is obviously capable of better.
 

Craig Ward

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Our defence is better, but its far from perfect either.

The issue is, we don't attack as a team, we don't defend as a team.

We treat every area of the pitch as a separate entity, which will always lead to problems. A bit concern for me, is our players aren't tactically aware enough to work a game plan through 90 minutes, individual errors are massive in our squad.

I feel for the coaches to some degree, because they are instructing the team to work a certain way and lapses of concentration let us down constantly. We always seem to be last ditch defending which isn't sustainable long term. Look at how we "dealt" with grealish - we simply jus thought "might as well foul him" - just highlights players aren't up for winning they're duals or being aware enough to mark him tighter or double up on him. The best players would be aware of this and act accordingly. Our players just look absolutely lost when challenged or when faced with making in-game decisions.

Maguire looks ok, but when exposed he looks as shaky as anything we currently have. He's got a lot more to give that's for sure.

LB is still a massive issue - Shaw is again going to have to prove himself when fit. Young is done at this level and Williams is young but half decent, but far from what we need.

Its been noted Midfield is the cause of the defences frailties - it's certainly not helping but signing a DM wont make Maguire or Lindelöf better players - they're capable of playing better all on they're own. Vidic was always capable of winning his duels, as was Ferdinand, Johnson, Bruce, Pallister....you get my point. Don't rely on other players to make your job easier - win your own duals and account for your own performance levels.

So are we better? Maybe, but we leak goals so we need to do better.

We are still in transition - a lot of players need to be sold and new coming in.

I think we should highlight a new LB and look for more depth in midfield.

The biggest concern for me with our defence has been Lindelöf. Hasn't looked upto it this season
 

RedRonaldo

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Our defence is not great, but its least of our biggest issues.

Maguire is good in the air and decent in bringing the ball forward, but he is slow as feck and shaky sometimes. We've overpaid massively for him. Funny Leicester defence and league position has improved after selling him to us. Still our most reliable CB though. 7/10

Lindelof is ok only, but he is a joke in the air, and rather soft. I'd rather have Smalling back. 6/10

Shaw is always injured 6/10

Williams is still too raw and not reliable defensively. Good support when attack though. Still believe in his potential. 6/10

AWB is the best defender we've got, one of the best tackler in the league, but as wing back he is not good enough when going forward. 8/10
 
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Leroy The Red

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Feel after 21 games its an appropriate time to bump this.

Resounding answer to the thread question IMO is an emphatic no which when you think about it, is actually quite scary. The decision was made in the summer to invest 150 million on this defence and give De Gea a bumper new deal. The club decided our midfield and attack required less work. So as part of Ole's long term plan, the rebuilding etc etc. It starts with the back four, how is it then that we look almost as bad at defending as we did for the first half of last season when players had down tooled and it didnt include Maguire and Wan Bissaka. I'm struggling to get my head around this. We still dont defend properly and we still dont build any attacks from defence.

This is the one area where the current management and coaching team have to take a lot more responsibility for because it's the one where most of our investment has gone, they also made the decision to get rid of our best defender.
 

Machine Elements

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The "our defence is fixed" or "we have improved in defence" bullsh*t which is based on the comparison of "goals against" or whatever stat with the last year (which was an anomaly because Jose constantly undermined his defenders and played the likes of Herrera & McTominay in defence to prove a point) needs to stop. Until last year, we conceded the least goals in the league starting with LVG's first season.

If you want to compare our defensive record this year, you should do it not just with last year but also the previous ones where the defenders were more or less the same personnel (Smalling, Jones, Rojo, Bailly etc.). We had the best (or joint best with Spurs) or second/third best defensive record in the league starting from 2014-15 season with Van Gaal until last year. And some are talking about our defence which conceded 25 goals after 21 games and is the 6th best in the league as of now as an improvement. It's not.

2014-15 (Van Gaal's first season): 37 goals conceded (fourth best in the league after champions Chelsea with 32, 7th placed Southampton with 33 and 3rd placed Arsenal with 36)

2015-16 (Van Gaal's second season): 35 goals conceded (joint best record in the league with 3rd placed Spurs; champions Leicester & 2nd placed Arsenal conceded 36 goals)

2016-17 (Mourinho's first season): 29 goals conceded (2nd best record in the league after second placed Tottenham with 26; champions Chelsea conceded 33, 3rd placed City 39, 4th placed Liverpool 42)

2017-2018 (Mourinho's second season) : 28 goals conceded (2nd best in the league after record breaking champions City with 27 and 3rd placed Spurs with 36, 4th placed Liverpool & 5th placed Chelsea with 38)

Now that's what I call improvement in the defence. The number of goals conceded getting lower each year. Not to mention the fact that measuring how solid a defence is not just about the "goals against" stat. We concede less than we'd normally do this year because we play defensive, counter attacking football. When we intend to attack this year, there is goals conceded too softly for a good defence it's simple as that. We spent a small fortune on our defence and didn't fix anything. I don't trust either of our CBs now.
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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We have 4 defenders, can't call it fix if we only did halfway. Shaw is just dead to me, offers nothing going forward, looks lazy & defensively he commits fouls rather than win tackles. Lindelof is just not good enough for PL standard, he has no pace that's fair for a weakness but if you have no pace, easily bullied, scare of marking players & not good in the air then that's just too much.
 

ShinjiNinja26

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The defence isn’t actually as bad as it seems I don’t think, if we actually had good ball playing midfielders in front of them who could collect the ball and pass and move forward instead of getting it and passing it back to the defence which just invites pressure. The longer the ball spends in our defensive third the more likely we’ll lose it or give it away in dangerous areas and opposition are straight in on our goal which happens a lot therefor making the defence look really poor, obviously it isn’t perfect and can be improved upon but with simply a better midfield I think the back line will be more solid also.
 

Paul_Scholes18

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The "our defence is fixed" or "we have improved in defence" bullsh*t which is based on the comparison of "goals against" or whatever stat with the last year (which was an anomaly because Jose constantly undermined his defenders and played the likes of Herrera & McTominay in defence to prove a point) needs to stop. Until last year, we conceded the least goals in the league starting with LVG's first season.

If you want to compare our defensive record this year, you should do it not just with last year but also the previous ones where the defenders were more or less the same personnel (Smalling, Jones, Rojo, Bailly etc.). We had the best (or joint best with Spurs) or second/third best defensive record in the league starting from 2014-15 season with Van Gaal until last year. And some are talking about our defence which conceded 25 goals after 21 games and is the 6th best in the league as of now as an improvement. It's not.

2014-15 (Van Gaal's first season): 37 goals conceded (fourth best in the league after champions Chelsea with 32, 7th placed Southampton with 33 and 3rd placed Arsenal with 36)

2015-16 (Van Gaal's second season): 35 goals conceded (joint best record in the league with 3rd placed Spurs; champions Leicester & 2nd placed Arsenal conceded 36 goals)

2016-17 (Mourinho's first season): 29 goals conceded (2nd best record in the league after second placed Tottenham with 26; champions Chelsea conceded 33, 3rd placed City 39, 4th placed Liverpool 42)

2017-2018 (Mourinho's second season) : 28 goals conceded (2nd best in the league after record breaking champions City with 27 and 3rd placed Spurs with 36, 4th placed Liverpool & 5th placed Chelsea with 38)

Now that's what I call improvement in the defence. The number of goals conceded getting lower each year. Not to mention the fact that measuring how solid a defence is not just about the "goals against" stat. We concede less than we'd normally do this year because we play defensive, counter attacking football. When we intend to attack this year, there is goals conceded too softly for a good defence it's simple as that. We spent a small fortune on our defence and didn't fix anything. I don't trust either of our CBs now.
Yeah we had a better defense then. Smalling was good for most of that time and was very underrated here. De Gea was way better than he is now too so that is a factor. The other defenders we had did alright too like Blind, Jones, Bailly, Rojo. Our main problem was in attack during these years. We actually got a better defensive midfield at the moment with Fred and Mctominay, but it is not helping enough.
I still think our main problem is in attack, but we are defending worse this season no doubt about it.
 

RedWat

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it's disingenuous and slightly a form of denial to blame some of our defending on the midfield.

Fred actually bailed our defence out a few times today. Our midfield doesn't help at times and would be problematic even if the defenders were faultless.

The problem with trying to palm this off as the route of the problem is that some of the actual defending and play out from our defence, is absolutely embarrassing.

For example you cannot use the midfield to legislate for why Maguire stops playing and concedes a goal in order to claim a non existent handball...and then a week later instead of learning, tries to pull the same trick again. You can't put it at the midfield's feet when Jones gets bundled off the ball by someone breathing on him.

You can't put it in the midfield when Maguire and Lindelof consistently can't defend set piece or defend simple balls into our box. These are things they would have to do regardless of how good or bad our midfield is.

Our midfield is not up to scratch but our actual defending is also worse than it was even last season. It is amateur at best.

You cannot at the moment make a convincing argument that our 80m centreback is any better than what we already had (which was bad enough to convince us to spend 80m on a centreback. You can make a convincing argument that Leicester's defence has actually improved by selling Maguire. First and foremost he has to step up massively.
That was arguably Maguire’s worst game for Utd last night. Compare him to the first few games he had for Utd and he has gone backwards, as seemingly has all our recent signings.

And this is mainly down to a lack of proper coaching, and a lack of a proper system being in operation for the team.

As a defensive unit the team is at fault. Coupled with the fact with the lack of quality elsewhere in the team i.e a lack of a proper defensive midfielder yesterday.


And the fact we played with 10 men yesterday if you constantly play a number 10 whose primary role should be to create and score goals and he hasn’t done either for over a year , then what is the point of Lingard, even AWB has better assists stats than him.
 

Amerifan

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With our midfield you can’t tell how our defense is. No one operates in isolation.
 

Kag

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Defence hasn’t been the issue for years. We have, up until last season, consistently conceded goals in line with (and sometimes better than) our rivals. But blaming the Chuckle brothers was nice and easy, so...

Our problem is, has been and will in all likelihood continue to be that we don’t score enough goals. Less than our rivals, sometimes less than Bournemouth and Wolves.

Some of us have been saying this for a very long time, sadly. But I’m sure some will choose just to blame Maguire and continue missing the wider issues impacting upon the team.
 

TRUERED89

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3 clean sheets in 21 games in the league.. Absolutely hasn't been fixed! We look worse.
 
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Sweet Square

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Even if we fix the midfield, I don't think anyone would be happy with the defence, we've at best only got two world class defenders - Maguire(Although for a 80 million pound player, he has been shite) and Wan-Bissaka. Lindelof isn't showing any signs of being truly a great centre back(He barely showing signs of a competent one)and Shaw needs moving on in the summer.

Williams and Tuanzebe both need to start getting some more game time, just to see if there's any potential.