Our midfield....can it ever work?

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Are you actually joking we are garbage on the ball when Pogba isn't there and we simply have to stop playing 2 holding mids after this season because so many times it leaves Bruno totally isolated due to no connect
I'm 100% serious.


First People constantly overlook the real reason why we end up with a weakened midfield of 2 holding players in big games. Namely our obvious issue at center defence which necessitates the use of 2 holding players. Adding yet another midfielder, no matter how good they are at passing and defending WONT resolve that issue because it isn't a midfield one. Till we have a center defence that can operate in front of one holding player it isn't going away soon.


Second. We added DVB for a clear reason. He was brought into to solve the issue of when one of Pogba or Bruno is missing. Sadly for is he got injured. With him fit we are supposed to always have a deep playmaker to act as the second play maker behind the one at number 10 that is normally Bruno. The only reason we are currently over reliant on Bruno for midfield creativity is being forced to operate with 2 holding players thanks mostly to that center defence issue. If that issue wasn't there I'm certain we could have been able to even operate with Bruno at 8 and a Shoretire at number 10 without fear, even without our current injury crunch.


Third, our inability to fully stretch teams consistently on two flanks seriously dents our creativity. I find it quite strange that people go watch us every week and come out thinking that simply adding a( yet another midfielder and B) yet another striker will sort this out.


Yet without a consistent quality right winger our midfield will never get the consistent extra space to create more and neither will our center forwards get extra room to breathe and thrive better.
 

roseguy64

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In the last match McT got the ball at the top of our box and thought he could drive past a player and get to space. He couldn't and lost the ball and probably should have received a 2nd yellow and then red. He had two decent options to his right for a pass. It's just one play and it has happened over and over with McT. I love his drive, effort and heart, I just wish he were more talented.
And if I cared enough I could point to him being in a similar position in the same match and the move worked and he moved into space.
 

roseguy64

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What a BS, it's the latter two which lost the ball many more times wither driving forward or with their shambolic passing and inability to defend despite being considered as "DMs" rather than Fred manouevering out of midfield. When did that happen for the last time? Are you 80 years old senile senior who remembers 5 first games of a player in the league or what?

This stereotype must end. Same as Matic being DM and some sort of creative force he can't cover the ground to save his life, players glides past him, he often loses his player and takes ages to make anything with the ball which hardly makes him any sort of DLP either, he's just a CM who should play in a midtable club in Italy to match his tempo really.

McTominay on the other hand is praised for who knows what. He's considered good at taking the ball forward yet his first touch is very inconsistent, and he's getting disposessed very often too but hardly anyone blames him because of extreme bias towards some players.

Fernandes himself is absolutely wasteful and starts many dangerous counter attacks we have to defend but everyone easily forget when he scores his penalty but if we took him from the duty he would produce absolute average numbers too for the most risky taking and creative player in the biggest attacking force in the country, you expect him to do that simply.
Okay
 

Theo Cherry

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Why does Ole insist on this double pivot in games against low blocks?

He's just gone done it again!
 

Ace

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Why does Ole insist on this double pivot in games against low blocks?

He's just gone done it again!
Double pivot allows Bruno to play number 10. It’s been a long time since we’ve played with a three man midfield.

The problem with us is not the double pivot system as much as it is a lack of quality from the two midfielders playing in behind. McT isn’t known for threading decisive passes in behind and Fred is hardly capable of anything with the ball at his feet. Teams know this and can drop deep and overload their coverage on our front four.

If we had better midfield options, the double pivot wouldn’t be an issue. As long as Bruno is in the team, he’s going to be playing in that number 10 role which is going to require a midfield double pivot behind him.
 

TheRedHearted

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Everyone loves Fred...right? Mc Tominay is the next captain marvel. Even Pogba. He's world class. Dont forget the better than Cantona Fernandes. Yeah Ill add him to the mix even though he could be deemed more of an attacker. P.S. Matic and DVB

Problem is they are either not good enough or dont work together. Yeah against big teams on the counter we are brilliant. But when we need to control the midfield. Keep possession we cant do it. Even the likes of Brighton seem to have a better midfield than us.

Fred and McTominay are not good enough defensively as pure DM's and not good enough offensively. Oh and the passing and retaining of the ball!
Matic is just old and has got 0 pace.
Pogba. Now Pogba is class. There is the problem of him playing as a midfield 2 though. Sometimes he loses the ball needlessly. But still class player. But he does want out and he seems to have injuries all the time.
DVB - Seems nailed on what we need. Someone who can retain possession. But he must have sht in Oles trainers or something. It looks like he is not wanted so we might as well exclude him.
Now the hardest one - Fernandes. I am not going to go against his ability. The numbers speak for themselves but purely on the fact that he is a number 10. Is that a problem for our balance in midfield. There is a reason why number 10's are a dieing breed.

This is not an attack on the players per se. Just opening up to a discussion as to how do we get to a point where we have a midfield that functions correctly over a whole season against any opposition. Is it simply a case of bringing in a pure DM? Pogba--Rice and Fernandes? Can Rice and Pogba really hold the midfield and keep possession against normally 3 man midfields? Does Fernandes need to be deeper? Is it actually the fault of the defense - Not fast enough? Too deep? Is it the front 3?
To answer your question, yes. Many times it’s worked. It Martial had been performing half what he did last season and same with Greenwood where would we be?
Solskjaer stacked our midfield and I image next is our attack. He could stack the defense but we sit in second, is it cause of goals conceded or lack of attack. I would say both.
Either he could bolster the whole attack, the whole defense or a little of both. I honestly don’t know what’s best. Probably a high quality CF and a high quality CB. RW would still be open but Cavani or Greenwood would fit in there. To me the move is a RW, CF, CB. I would prioritize those three.
 

croadyman

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I'm 100% serious.


First People constantly overlook the real reason why we end up with a weakened midfield of 2 holding players in big games. Namely our obvious issue at center defence which necessitates the use of 2 holding players. Adding yet another midfielder, no matter how good they are at passing and defending WONT resolve that issue because it isn't a midfield one. Till we have a center defence that can operate in front of one holding player it isn't going away soon.


Second. We added DVB for a clear reason. He was brought into to solve the issue of when one of Pogba or Bruno is missing. Sadly for is he got injured. With him fit we are supposed to always have a deep playmaker to act as the second play maker behind the one at number 10 that is normally Bruno. The only reason we are currently over reliant on Bruno for midfield creativity is being forced to operate with 2 holding players thanks mostly to that center defence issue. If that issue wasn't there I'm certain we could have been able to even operate with Bruno at 8 and a Shoretire at number 10 without fear, even without our current injury crunch.


Third, our inability to fully stretch teams consistently on two flanks seriously dents our creativity. I find it quite strange that people go watch us every week and come out thinking that simply adding a( yet another midfielder and B) yet another striker will sort this out.


Yet without a consistent quality right winger our midfield will never get the consistent extra space to create more and neither will our center forwards get extra room to breathe and thrive better.
There is no doubt we need to have a threat down both the left and right flanks but worry we will take the cheap option again, would agree there is clearly a lack of leadership at CB and that's a big reason why we are forced into playing 2 holding players in most games. However in regards to your point about VDB there was a clear three weeks between him and Pogba getting injured where he could have been given a chance in that position.
 

Polar

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Sometimes I wonder if our strategy is to recover during our possession play. We often play safe and slow and use many touches on the ball.

I miss more offensive possession play: challenge opponent player, pass the ball, explode into another area and receive the ball back (offensive one and two touch play). Both McT and Fred have to challenge a lot more and be more explosive in the offensive play. The problem is perhaps that they spend to much of their energy in our defensive play and don’t have energy left to explode offensively:confused:
 
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There is no doubt we need to have a threat down both the left and right flanks but worry we will take the cheap option again, would agree there is clearly a lack of leadership at CB and that's a big reason why we are forced into playing 2 holding players in most games. However in regards to your point about VDB there was a clear three weeks between him and Pogba getting injured where he could have been given a chance in that position.
He is till settling in. But ideally that is where DVB is going to be used going forward. For me till we sort our right wing and center defence we will never be able to consistently field our strongest possible midfield line ups.. So adding another midfielder to the mix will not solve a thing
 

Steve Bruce

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Pulling up Harry Kane’s chances per game metric as a way to point a finger at Fred and McTominay is twisting stats to fit your agenda. Either that or complete idiotic. Pick one.
What is my agenda?

Use that brain cell of yours & try & comprehend the point I was making. We have two sitting midfielders that are poor at passing & have next to zero creativity. This means when we play against a low block we find it extremely difficult to break down. When we play top teams we've found it extremely difficult to score.

People complain that martial or cavani don't score enough, the reason is they get so few chances. No striker scores 1 in 2 chances on average yet ours are expected to score 1 in 1.6 chances. Kane gets nearly 3 chances per game.

I see the issue being our centre midfield & also our right side.

If you can't see that, that's your problem. The only agenda I have is I want United to win & with Fred & McTominay as our midfielders we'll never win leagues. (to be clear for you, I'm not saying they can't do a job in certain games, I'm also not looking rid of them, I like both but not as our first team regulars as a pair).

And to lay down my full "agenda" I believe we need a fast CB to pair with Maguire, a defensive midfielder that can pass the ball forward quickly & accurately on a consistent basis. A right winger & a rb to give competition & lastly CF as it looks like cavani might leave but even if he stays, he picks up 3 or 4 injuries a season.

So if you think I've some sort of agenda, you whack away with your conspiracy theories, but I've laid out exactly what I think the team needs.
 

roonster09

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People complain that martial or cavani don't score enough, the reason is they get so few chances. No striker scores 1 in 2 chances on average yet ours are expected to score 1 in 1.6 chances. Kane gets nearly 3 chances per game.
Why are you going with chances per game when Cavani and Martial played games as a sub? Why is shots per game even important when Kane takes so many shots from outside the box?

KaneMartialCavani
Shots
3.9​
2.6​
2.5​
Shots from outside the box
1.5​
0.5​
0.2​
Shots from inside the box
2.4​
2.1​
2.3​
Shots from the penalty area
1.9​
1.9​
1.9​
xG - Open play
8.92​
6.91​
5.58​
xG - Open play/ 90 mins
0.35​
0.42​
0.55​

Our attackers gets plenty of chances, much better than Kane. Difference is their quality, Kane drops deep and plays in #10 role and even deeper to link up the play, plays long passes when Son makes the run and works his socks off to get into goal scoring positions. He also shoots a lot from outside the box, he should be given how good his shooting is.

Their xG/90 mins from open play shows who gets more chances, it's not Kane.
 

Steve Bruce

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Why are you going with chances per game when Cavani and Martial played games as a sub? Why is shots per game even important when Kane takes so many shots from outside the box?

KaneMartialCavani
Shots
3.9​
2.6​
2.5​
Shots from outside the box
1.5​
0.5​
0.2​
Shots from inside the box
2.4​
2.1​
2.3​
Shots from the penalty area
1.9​
1.9​
1.9​
xG - Open play
8.92​
6.91​
5.58​
xG - Open play/ 90 mins
0.35​
0.42​
0.55​

Our attackers gets plenty of chances, much better than Kane. Difference is their quality, Kane drops deep and plays in #10 role and even deeper to link up the play, plays long passes when Son makes the run and works his socks off to get into goal scoring positions. He also shoots a lot from outside the box, he should be given how good his shooting is.

Their xG/90 mins from open play shows who gets more chances, it's not Kane.
I think we're losing the point I'm making. I used a crude stat of shots per game, i hold my hands up, however those stats you've provided don't show the quality of the chances our strikers have. But I also watch the game & our quality on the ball in midfield is lacking massively, our passing is poor & there's no creativity. This is my main point & stats or no stats doesn't change that imo
 

roonster09

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I think we're losing the point I'm making. I used a crude stat of shots per game, i hold my hands up, however those stats you've provided don't show the quality of the chances our strikers have. But I also watch the game & our quality on the ball in midfield is lacking massively, our passing is poor & there's no creativity. This is my main point & stats or no stats doesn't change that imo
General point I agree with that but you brought Kane into this to prove how many chances he gets, when he averages less than Cavani and Martial in quality chances he gets.

The stats I provided shows quality of chances. Martial and Cavani averages better xG/90 mins than Kane (which shows who gets better chances).

Then you have xg/Shot, which also shows Martial and Cavani gets better chances than Kane.

Again, I agree with the point that our midfield lacks creativity and skill but the midfield Kane plays with is even worse. Brining him into any comparison will only prove how poor our attackers are.
 

Zen86

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What is my agenda?

Use that brain cell of yours & try & comprehend the point I was making. We have two sitting midfielders that are poor at passing & have next to zero creativity. This means when we play against a low block we find it extremely difficult to break down. When we play top teams we've found it extremely difficult to score.

People complain that martial or cavani don't score enough, the reason is they get so few chances. No striker scores 1 in 2 chances on average yet ours are expected to score 1 in 1.6 chances. Kane gets nearly 3 chances per game.

I see the issue being our centre midfield & also our right side.

If you can't see that, that's your problem. The only agenda I have is I want United to win & with Fred & McTominay as our midfielders we'll never win leagues. (to be clear for you, I'm not saying they can't do a job in certain games, I'm also not looking rid of them, I like both but not as our first team regulars as a pair).

And to lay down my full "agenda" I believe we need a fast CB to pair with Maguire, a defensive midfielder that can pass the ball forward quickly & accurately on a consistent basis. A right winger & a rb to give competition & lastly CF as it looks like cavani might leave but even if he stays, he picks up 3 or 4 injuries a season.

So if you think I've some sort of agenda, you whack away with your conspiracy theories, but I've laid out exactly what I think the team needs.
You could use the same stats to argue that Bruno isn't doing his job properly. That isn't to suggest that Bruno is to blame, rather your bullshit use of statistics ;)
 

Steve Bruce

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General point I agree with that but you brought Kane into this to prove how many chances he gets, when he averages less than Cavani and Martial in quality chances he gets.

The stats I provided shows quality of chances. Martial and Cavani averages better xG/90 mins than Kane (which shows who gets better chances).

Then you have xg/Shot, which also shows Martial and Cavani gets better chances than Kane.

Again, I agree with the point that our midfield lacks creativity and skill but the midfield Kane plays with is even worse. Brining him into any comparison will only prove how poor our attackers are.
That's fair enough, bad example to use.

It was the point I was making which what I wanted to air rather than debate agendas & stats.

Hopefully the majority like yourself get my point although agreeing with it or not is everyones right to decide
 

Steve Bruce

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You could use the same stats to argue that Bruno isn't doing his job properly. That isn't to suggest that Bruno is to blame, rather your bullshit use of statistics ;)
Well that would be plain stupid.

But I take it by your agenda the midfield is spot on, or do you have an agenda against our front line
 

MadDogg

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I think we're losing the point I'm making. I used a crude stat of shots per game, i hold my hands up, however those stats you've provided don't show the quality of the chances our strikers have. But I also watch the game & our quality on the ball in midfield is lacking massively, our passing is poor & there's no creativity. This is my main point & stats or no stats doesn't change that imo
The problem with the point you are trying to make is that Spurs also play with two deeper midfielders and ours create more chances than theirs do. Looking purely at the passes that they make that lead directly to shots, Fred makes 1.02 a match, McTominay 0.73, Hojbjerg 0.5, Ndombele 0.32 and Sissoko 0.25.

Fred comfortably beats any of their three in pretty much every creative stat - Key Passes, Expected Assists, Actions leading to a shot, more long passes and better pass accuracy. Hojbjerg makes a few more passes and is slightly more likely to pass it forward, but that's it.

McTominay is a closer comparison. He also has more Key Passes and Expected Assists. Ndombele and Hojbjerg have more Actions leading to a shot (fractionally for Hojbjerg), and the two of them also make more passes in total (Hojbjerg by a significant margin).

Fred is surprisingly one of the highest in the league (for the deeper midfielders) for creating goal scoring opportunities if we look at the statistics. I'm not saying he's actually one of the best at it, but there is a significant 'grass is always greener' thing going on with it and thinking there are many who are better.
 

Steve Bruce

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The problem with the point you are trying to make is that Spurs also play with two deeper midfielders and ours create more chances than theirs do. Looking purely at the passes that they make that lead directly to shots, Fred makes 1.02 a match, McTominay 0.73, Hojbjerg 0.5, Ndombele 0.32 and Sissoko 0.25.

Fred comfortably beats any of their three in pretty much every creative stat - Key Passes, Expected Assists, Actions leading to a shot, more long passes and better pass accuracy. Hojbjerg makes a few more passes and is slightly more likely to pass it forward, but that's it.

McTominay is a closer comparison. He also has more Key Passes and Expected Assists. Ndombele and Hojbjerg have more Actions leading to a shot (fractionally for Hojbjerg), and the two of them also make more passes in total (Hojbjerg by a significant margin).

Fred is surprisingly one of the highest in the league (for the deeper midfielders) for creating goal scoring opportunities if we look at the statistics. I'm not saying he's actually one of the best at it, but there is a significant 'grass is always greener' thing going on with it and thinking there are many who are better.
I've already admitted it was a bad example, my point doesn't change. That midfield will never be good enough to win the league.
 

Zen86

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Well that would be plain stupid.

But I take it by your agenda the midfield is spot on, or do you have an agenda against our front line
About as stupid as your original point. I'm glad you got there in the end.

Edit: In all seriousness though, I think the midfield can work if we have a stronger forward line. There's more than one way to solve our creativity issues; more playmaking ability in the middle is one way (as you suggest), but I don't think that's the direction we are going to head in as it requires more upheaval than simply upgrading our CF and RW options. I appreciate I'm nitpicking at your argument a bit too much here though so apologies for that. I'll stop being a dick now.
 
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Steve Bruce

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About as stupid as your original point. I'm glad you got there in the end.

Edit: In all seriousness though, I think the midfield can work if we have a stronger forward line. There's more than one way to solve our creativity issues; more playmaking ability in the middle is one way (as you suggest), but I don't think that's the direction we are going to head in as it requires more upheaval than simply upgrading our CF and RW options. I appreciate I'm nitpicking at your argument a bit too much here though so apologies for that. I'll stop being a dick now.
You see if you'd just given your opinion rather than being a prat about it, we could at least have a decent debate.

I also hope in future we can have a debate without agenda talk. I've no agenda, I give my honest opinion and if there's players I don't rate in the team and they ultimately prove me wrong I'm more than happy to hold my hands up.

I disagree with your opinion but I hope you save this post and may 2022 you throw it up in my face and say I told you so. I wouldn't do that back if I'm right because I want to be proven wrong because at the end of the day all I want is united winning major honours.
 

romufc

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Double pivot allows Bruno to play number 10. It’s been a long time since we’ve played with a three man midfield.

The problem with us is not the double pivot system as much as it is a lack of quality from the two midfielders playing in behind. McT isn’t known for threading decisive passes in behind and Fred is hardly capable of anything with the ball at his feet. Teams know this and can drop deep and overload their coverage on our front four.

If we had better midfield options, the double pivot wouldn’t be an issue. As long as Bruno is in the team, he’s going to be playing in that number 10 role which is going to require a midfield double pivot behind him.
This. Last season / beginning of this the narrative was why play 2 defensive full backs and a double pivot. Now that Shaw and AWB are advancing, people have issues with the pivot only now.

The issue we have is neither Fred / McTominay can create things and are very slow in finding that pass into the forwards. There has been many times a ball to the forwards is on but they take the extra touch which means the pass is gone forcing us to pass back and sideways.

There is no injection of pace with the passing from them two, they give away sloppy passes and are not at the level required.

Alot of teams play the double pivot well, you need a DLP.
 

Multatuli

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Rice isn’t going to happen though with Moyes talking him up as a 100+ million transfer.

Otherwise your template looks good on paper, I just don’t trust Pogba to stay fit and consistant which we’d really need to make this work. An injury to Pogba and we’re back to having no playmaker in midfield.

That’s why I think we need a Carrick-style DPL to make us more sustainable. Koopmeiners would be a sensible target for us right now, attainable, puts up good defensive numbers (albeit in a weak league) whilst also being a fantastic passer of the ball.

This way when Pogba is rotated you’re not stuck without a playmaker in the side.

Bruno - Pogba/ Mctominay
Koopmeiners/Mctominay
Because I am an AZ fan, I see all games of Koopmeiners and he is great. He is good in defense, short passing, long passing, good penalty kicker, good distance shot and really mature for his age. Yesterday he scored a good goal against PSV. I hate to see him leave, but this summer its time for him to go abroad. Would be nice if MU would pick him up.
 

croadyman

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Because I am an AZ fan, I see all games of Koopmeiners and he is great. He is good in defense, short passing, long passing, good penalty kicker, good distance shot and really mature for his age. Yesterday he scored a good goal against PSV. I hate to see him leave, but this summer its time for him to go abroad. Would be nice if MU would pick him up.
Sadly for us that won't ever be happening because Ole is utterly blind to our CDM issue, for some utterly ludicrous reason he has this idea that Fred & McTominay are the answer there even though neither can pass the ball well at all
 

troylocker

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Because I am an AZ fan, I see all games of Koopmeiners and he is great. He is good in defense, short passing, long passing, good penalty kicker, good distance shot and really mature for his age. Yesterday he scored a good goal against PSV. I hate to see him leave, but this summer its time for him to go abroad. Would be nice if MU would pick him up.
Koopmeiners is on top of my wishinglist for that DM spot, at less than half the cost of Rice as well.
 

croadyman

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Koopmeiners is on top of my wishinglist for that DM spot, at less than half the cost of Rice as well.
Yeah exactly and if the toy story puppet and his yankee bosses are all about saving money then this is just the kind of deal that would suit them down to the ground perfectly
 

Multatuli

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Koopmeiners is on top of my wishinglist for that DM spot, at less than half the cost of Rice as well.
The only downside with Koopmeiners is that he has to adjust to the premier league, that will take some time. Rice dont need time to adjust.
 

troylocker

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The only downside with Koopmeiners is that he has to adjust to the premier league, that will take some time. Rice dont need time to adjust.
I think he'd be worth that time. He offers so much more than just hard work in the midfield.
 

BrumTown87

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If only their was a player out there with a great defensive mindset that can also play the ball... if only. We need a top class defensive midfielder for sure, but who is available? Championship winning quality. No more average signings ffs.
 

Bastian

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I know that is absolute top shelve. But it would be nice to have midfielders who can actually pass and play football. I like McTominay, but it's more that I'm rooting for him, than thinking he'll actually be good enough to be a first XI player. Fred is even further from that. The are functional as a double pivot but our play is extremely limited, and we tend to play a low tempo and clogging up play on the left.

I think we need two, not one.
 

Rozay

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Been saying for over a year - this is the weakest area of our team. Not in terms of personnel, but to me, it is easily the lowest functioning department from a top side perspective.

Anything we do in transfer market this summer will get a ‘meh’ reaction from me unless we look to revamp our midfield. Structurally, it is shite with this 1972 4-2-3-1 formation that leaves us outnumbered in the middle of the park, and technically, there is little to no short or one touch passing ability in there. Our midfielders only seem to be able to pass a ball 15/20 yards or further. Now when we do NOT have the ball, well that’s when they come alive. They know exactly what to do then.

It is that middle three that dampens my hopes for major trophies. It is midtable level on the ball. I’d happily bin all of them and start again.
 

Pickle85

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Been saying for over a year - this is the weakest area of our team. Not in terms of personnel, but to me, it is easily the lowest functioning department from a top side perspective.

Anything we do in transfer market this summer will get a ‘meh’ reaction from me unless we look to revamp our midfield. Structurally, it is shite with this 1972 4-2-3-1 formation that leaves us outnumbered in the middle of the park, and technically, there is little to no short or one touch passing ability in there. Our midfielders only seem to be able to pass a ball 15/20 yards or further. Now when we do NOT have the ball, well that’s when they come alive. They know exactly what to do then.

It is that middle three that dampens my hopes for major trophies. It is midtable level on the ball. I’d happily bin all of them and start again.
Agree with most of this. When you compare us with other top four teams this is the one area that we're weaker than all of them. Fairly comfortably in the case of City and Chelsea imo. We're very industrious and decent at winning the ball back in the middle of the park but are very loose with it. We also don't use it progressively enough when we have it - I don't think that's necessarily because Fred or McT are cowardly (a la Cleverly). I just think they don't have the vision to make those kinds of passes or the technique to pull them off if they did. I think eitger one would be fine alongside a more technically proficient D/CM but together they don't cut it at this level. Not press resistant enough to do it against the best on the regular (I know we've an excellent record against city but looked terrible against pool) and not really creative enough against lower teams that are happy to sit back against us.
 

Silverman

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A central midfielder that can pass the ball is what we need the most imo.
Forget about CB, RW, ST, RB until we sort that position out.
 

Rozay

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Agree with most of this. When you compare us with other top four teams this is the one area that we're weaker than all of them. Fairly comfortably in the case of City and Chelsea imo. We're very industrious and decent at winning the ball back in the middle of the park but are very loose with it. We also don't use it progressively enough when we have it - I don't think that's necessarily because Fred or McT are cowardly (a la Cleverly). I just think they don't have the vision to make those kinds of passes or the technique to pull them off if they did. I think eitger one would be fine alongside a more technically proficient D/CM but together they don't cut it at this level. Not press resistant enough to do it against the best on the regular (I know we've an excellent record against city but looked terrible against pool) and not really creative enough against lower teams that are happy to sit back against us.
I don’t even need amazing super technical passes. Just high level ball control/close control, movement and positioning in and out of possession and patience to build play rather than urge to create a goalscoring chance when one isn’t on.

Teams that have highly skilled midfielders don’t even get pressed very often, as opponents are scared to leave their shapes, knowing an Iniesta or a David Silva will just spin away from them and move in behind. Positionally, our midfielders are also so far away from each other, which makes ball retention difficult, at least without turning backwards. I can’t think of a top team that doesn’t try to get as many bodies as they can in the middle of the park. City have the likes of Cancelo and KDB dropping in, Liverpool have Firmino, Chelsea Mount and Havertz. We often have Fred and McTominay, and Fernandes 15/20 yards in front.
 

Rozay

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A central midfielder that can pass the ball is what we need the most imo.
Forget about CB, RW, ST, RB until we sort that position out.
Agree, most important area for me. Tbh, I even think we need two of them.
 

Andersons Dietician

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Positionally, our midfielders are also so far away from each other, which makes ball retention difficult, at least without turning backwards. I can’t think of a top team that doesn’t try to get as many bodies as they can in the middle of the park. City have the likes of Cancelo and KDB dropping in, Liverpool have Firmino, Chelsea Mount and Havertz. We often have Fred and McTominay, and Fernandes 15/20 yards in front.
On this can anyone remember a Wolves game where the midfield 3 was Matic, Pogba and Bruno? This game is a classic example of what is wrong with our midfield . We played Telles at LB and Matic was used to protect him a lot. Ended up playing most the night at LCB so this left Pogba and Bruno in midfield. The problem here was Bruno doesn’t play in midfield and instead played all night up front leaving Pogba alone in midfield with no one to pass to or work with and he was getting dominated. Now eventually Ole brought on Shaw and freed Matic which in turn turned the tide of the game for us.

Now we are all quick to blame Fred and McT who granted aren’t the best but it’s made doubly harder when there aren’t options infront of you to work with to create angles and opportunities other than Hollywood passes. The whole team needs to learn to play at a better tempo when moving the ball around which will be achieved by players being in positions to receive the ball. Also learning not every pass has to be a killer pass would help many of them.
 

NoLogo

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On this can anyone remember a Wolves game where the midfield 3 was Matic, Pogba and Bruno? This game is a classic example of what is wrong with our midfield . We played Telles at LB and Matic was used to protect him a lot. Ended up playing most the night at LCB so this left Pogba and Bruno in midfield. The problem here was Bruno doesn’t play in midfield and instead played all night up front leaving Pogba alone in midfield with no one to pass to or work with and he was getting dominated. Now eventually Ole brought on Shaw and freed Matic which in turn turned the tide of the game for us.

Now we are all quick to blame Fred and McT who granted aren’t the best but it’s made doubly harder when there aren’t options infront of you to work with to create angles and opportunities other than Hollywood passes. The whole team needs to learn to play at a better tempo when moving the ball around which will be achieved by players being in positions to receive the ball. Also learning not every pass has to be a killer pass would help many of them.
Totally agree. If you look at other teams, their attacking wide players are always involved in build up plays, dropping deep and offering passing options, while deeper players push up. We on the other hand are way too often super static. It actually has become somewhat of a hallmark of our play that a midfielder or defender has the ball and has no one to pass to up the pitch for miles. Granted we have improved a fair bit in that regard over the last two years but it's still not good enough. Funnily enough, old man Cavani seems to be the only one of our attacking players actually willing to drop deep to support the midfield or defense in build up, and he is still our most dangerous attacking player.
 

Andersons Dietician

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Totally agree. If you look at other teams, their attacking wide players are always involved in build up plays, dropping deep and offering passing options, while deeper players push up. We on the other hand are way too often super static. It actually has become somewhat of a hallmark of our play that a midfielder or defender has the ball and has no one to pass to up the pitch for miles. Granted we have improved a fair bit in that regard over the last two years but it's still not good enough. Funnily enough, old man Cavani seems to be the only one of our attacking players actually willing to drop deep to support the midfield or defense in build up, and he is still our most dangerous attacking player.
Actually just saw a goal from the season. Think it was Dan James who scored it but yeah it involved Cavani dropping in to the space where arguably you’d want Bruno to be. But all he does is pass it back to VDB,just 5 yards, but this one movement has been enough to open up the passing channel for VDB to play the ball forward to Greenwood who is now running in to space. He lays it across to James. It was all just a simple bit of passing and movement.

Sometimes just the simplest of passes or movements will do more damage than a 40yard pass pinged over the top in to a channel.