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Manchester United 1:0 West Bromwich Albion

Post-match discussion


Sat, 21 November 2020

Wilt

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Seriously bad performance... I don't know what secrets of Woodward Ole is keeping to retain his job.
Perhaps Ole’s got some dodgy pics of Ed in compromising positions
 

tjb

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I've been trying for a while to figure out a) what changed between now and the end of last season b) why we are so stretched on the ball c) why it takes us ages to get our attackers on the ball.

It all comes down to one thing, our central midfielders play far too deep to connect with our attack or our wingers are far too high and disconnected from the midfield. Even with a creative DM like Alonso, you would still require creativity and interplay to come from all our attackers if our midfield is going to be as deep as that. It's almost a back 6 at times. Furthermore, Fred is not very good on the ball and struggles to distribute when we are in possession or transitioning. People who like him find it difficult to admit this, but the truth is he is very limited in possession, moreso than Mctominay even. Him harrying around, doesn't change that. Even when it comes to our defensive work in midfield, again it is ineffective unless we are sitting back because the centre midfielders are too far away from our attackers to press effectively in midfield. The opposition can literally play triangles around them due to the acres of space available to the opposition in that midfield area. Fernandes tries really hard to negate the issue, but he can't be expected to press both in attack and in midfield, yet having drop back to provide a way for us to bring the ball out of our 6 man defence, whilst still having to rotate with our attackers when they roam into different positions and make runs when a through ball is made by anyone other than himself. Essentially due to the positioning of Fred and Matic and the forward only mindset by the majority of our attackers, Fernandes is a one man midfield on the largest pitch in the country. This has nothing to do with the talent we have, but in the formation our manager has chosen to use and how he has chosen to deploy it.

Our centre midfielders are really aggressive, but not the best at passing through an opponent. If Mctominay/Fred/Matic were given the licence to press aggressively, higher up the pitch in positions closer to the attack, their pressing would allow them have the cover due to close proximity be effective. In our build up, if Fernandes was pushed a bit deeper, he could create a consistent passing option for our defenders, other centre midfielders and full backs to use in the build up play, which would allow us to get the ball to our front 3 much quicker, whilst also giving them the licence to focus on attacking. Even in today's game, Ole should have taken off one of Fred or Matic for VDB, as it was clear that we were struggling to close the gap between the our deep midfield and attack, as Bruno was recieving very little support from the combination of Fred and Matic. These are all tactical flaws that have been a problem in our team this season. We don't have playmakers on the flanks nor do we we have a creative playmaker in a deep midfield position. Our aggressive midfielders and defenders are not the best passers, yet we choose to build up as intricately as possible, when booting the ball up the pitch at least half the time would suffice. As at this moment, we have played the fewest long balls amongst the teams in the premier league since last season. If Ole wants us to us that system, it will continue to be impotent unless he recognizes what we have as a group.

We have an abundance of pace and combination play in attack, a couple of playmakers, an aggressive midfield, defensively solid full backs, a decent centre back partnership and a world class keeper, with heaps of depth. In a 433, it would allow Greenwood, Martial, Rashford, Cavani the licence to stay as high up the pitch as they currently do during the build up, without the consequence of our team not having enough interplay due to lack of numbers to get the ball up the pitch. Fernandes would provide an additonal and reliable passing option for us in our build up play. It would also allow Fred/Mctominay press closer to our attack, whilst having the cover in behind them and the assistance of Fernandes and the attacker on their side and in front of them. It would provide AWB more support on the right hand side as well. Even if we choose to use other systems, it needs to be with a premise that highlights our strengths and hides our weaknesses. We have a lot of good in this team, enough to challenge for a title even this season. What we haven't had is the on the pitch system that allows us to play well consistently.
 

JakeC

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Nice to see just how pathetic some people can be.

Was this a great performance? No. We looked tired at times and we shouldn't have, especially when half our team wasn't away for international duty, we also struggled to get out of third gear, which is ridiculously frustrating.

However... We had 17 shots, Johnstone had the game of his life, and we had a lot of nearly moments, that make the result look worse than the match most of us watched.

We defended well for the most part, Cavani looks sharp, Bruno was his usual self, and our bench has options again. 5.75/10 game, nothing to panic over, WBA done the same thing to Spurs.
 

Drz

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Starting Mata and Matic together in the same 11 is a mistake. Does any one remember a game they started for us and we won? Not that I don't think they can contribute each, but together in the same 11 it makes us quite weak in terms of athleticism.
 
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tjb

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Nice to see just how pathetic some people can be.

Was this a great performance? No. We looked tired at times and we shouldn't have, especially when half our team wasn't away for international duty, we also struggled to get out of third gear, which is ridiculously frustrating.

However... We had 17 shots, Johnstone had the game of his life, and we had a lot of nearly moments, that make the result look worse than the match most of us watched.

We defended well for the most part, Cavani looks sharp, Bruno was his usual self, and our bench has options again. 5.75/10 game, nothing to panic over, WBA done the same thing to Spurs.
The issue is, we've had a rough start to the season and have completely scrapped the system we used at the end of last season that gave us optimism. We are in a really open division this year, in which one really good run could see us surpass expectations. We now have a team that have the depth and first xi quality to go toe to toe with most teams ( we lacked the depth at the end of last season), yet we still don't have a new system in place and no real signs that one is coming. The lack of a system is the reason why despite both Arsenal and Chelsea being there for the taking, we did not win either game, and these are the games and teams we need to surpass to get on the same level as City and Liverpool. I would be happy with the 1-0 if our team demonstrated how we intend to build up, create chances and defend. All I saw today was an overly defensive midfield, that were too far away from the attack to be effective offensively, yet not effective enough for WBA not to create chances. It showed our weaknesses rather than our strengths, and despite poor performances from Martial and Rashford, it made me take a harder look at Ole, 8 games in, that is not what I should be thinking.
 

RazorOz

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I don't get it.

Not much has changed personnel wise compared to the end of last year but we look completely bereft of ideas or cohesion.
I don't think it's too difficult when you look at how the players are playing. Pogba was in good form at the end of the season, has either not been playing or not good when he has played this season. The form of Greenwood was a factor in that end of season form, he's been a total non-factor this season. Martial was in great form at the end of last season, has been terrible this season. You take all that into account and I don't think it's surprising at all our form has dipped.

What surprises me the most tbh is that Solskjaer seemed to have a favoured 11 at the end of the season, which has he even used this season?

The way things are atm the next crisis is always around the corner, we're simply playing too poorly for it not to be. It's hard to see us going on any good run of wins, and the upcoming fixtures looks full of pitfalls tbh.
 

lex talionis

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Yes, job done and three points. Yes, Johnston turned in a Heatonesque game-raising performance. And yes, it was the first match after the international break.

But my God how many more abysmal performances are we supposed to endure before the excuses are no longer convincing? There’s something seriously wrong and it needs to be addressed soon.
 

adamwest

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The issue is, we've had a rough start to the season and have completely scrapped the system we used at the end of last season that gave us optimism. We are in a really open division this year, in which one really good run could see us surpass expectations. We now have a team that have the depth and first xi quality to go toe to toe with most teams ( we lacked the depth at the end of last season), yet we still don't have a new system in place and no real signs that one is coming. The lack of a system is the reason why despite both Arsenal and Chelsea being there for the taking, we did not win either game, and these are the games and teams we need to surpass to get on the same level as City and Liverpool. I would be happy with the 1-0 if our team demonstrated how we intend to build up, create chances and defend. All I saw today was an overly defensive midfield, that were too far away from the attack to be effective offensively, yet not effective enough for WBA not to create chances. It showed our weaknesses rather than our strengths, and despite poor performances from Martial and Rashford, it made me take a harder look at Ole, 8 games in, that is not what I should be thinking.
A very balanced, and in my view bang on statement. There isn't an identity to our plan in any shape way or form. We have excellent players, but not the glue to knit them together.
 

sunama

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I can't see us getting results without Bruno and if he gets injured, I think Ole will be sacked.
If I was an opposing manager, I'd put 2 players to mark Bruno and give MUFC the ball to prevent a counter attack.
Relying on penalties to beat WBA (a team which will almost certainly get relegated) is sad.
 

tjb

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If Bruno gets injured, I think Ole will be sacked.
I can't see us getting results without Bruno.
If I was an opposing manager, I'd put 2 players to mark Bruno and give MUFC the ball to prevent a counter attack.
No offence to Fred or Matic, as they may simply being doing what they've been tasked to do, but Bruno is actually a one man midfield. it looks more like a 6-1-3 than a 4231. Fred and Matic are way too deep, so unless Bruno drops deep, they can't connect with our attackers at all, yet we expect Bruno to rotate with Mata and Rashford, make creative and incisive passes, shoot and make runs in behind, with no support from any other players as they are either too far behind or too far forward.

Which leads me to criticize our front line. It makes no sense to be that far up the pitch if you can see that we are struggling bring and keeping the ball in midfield. Sure we had 63 percent of possession, but if most of it is coming from slow passes amongst our defenders and deep midfielders and not getting up the pitch, it is pretty pointless. You constantly see Neymar Di Maria and Mbappe come deep to support their own flailing centre midfield, why do our front men find that so difficult to do?
 

Lash

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Thought West Brom defended for their life and were unlucky not to get a point.

Cavani has to start for me, I also think rashford needs benching. Watching Telles was far better than seeing Shaw turn out for us every week, I think he'll struggle to get that spot back.

Was grim watching, but a win is a win. Roll on Tuesday!
 

Ibrahimorich

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I know we were rubbish but West Brom were dressed up as Norwich, so that probably confused the lads
 

r0663664

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In the next game, move Martial to the left and start Cavani on top. Martial isn't a striker to lead the lines. 90 mins and he got like 3-4 shots? I think Cavani had about the same attempt in 30 mins. We don't need a lazy player leading leading the lines. Drop Mata for VDB and Matic for Pogba (Fred to stay back and protect the back 4). Let's go at team from the get go instead of struggling to break them down. We either drop Martial or Rushford. Make a statement Ole!!! Stop trying to prove to the fans that you have a idea how to win by sticking to your principles.
 

GGT

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Winning like that brings no pleasure, except the 3 points.
As a fan if those 2 var were reversed I would be devastated. Feel for the Albion fans.
 

noodlehair

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DDG - He's started saving things again. Always a bonus

Telles - We finally find someone that can take corners well, so obviously the logical thing to do is get someone else to take the corners instead, then take them to him so he can try to volley them in from 30 yards out. Definitely the sensible thing to do.
Maguire - Thought he was ok but I reckon his average position was literally higher up the pitch than Matic. The pair of them are slower than a one armed man trying to solve a rubix cube so I'd prefer one stayed back and the other just didn't play, really.
Lindelof - Was fine. Just the sort of player where whenever the ball comes near him you worry until it isn't anymore.
Bissaka - Is he useless at marking the far post? Or is it that we play Mata on the right and Maguire always runs off to the left wing instead of marking the six yard box, so he ends up having to pick up 3 players by himself?

Matic - I have no problem with his effort or commitment, the problem with him was summed up when he tackled a West Brom player, but he was so slow the West Brom player just ran (well, jogged) back round him and took the ball away again.
Fred - Fred without McTominay is like putting one trainer on then going for a run and expecting not to notice.
Fernandes - Even when he has an absolutely shite game he's still the best player on the pitch.

Mata - I don't understand what the point in him is in games like this? We can't attack down the right when one plaer there is scared to cross the ball and the other either isn't there or is only there to pass the ball away from there again.
Rashford - Does he still have a broken back?
Martial - Turned up for the last 10 minutes. Been given one too many penalties for his creative way of falling over and now does it by default half the time he gets in the area.

Cavani - Looked sharper, though still liked passing the ball to no one.
Mctominay - Couldn't play because he's too used to playing or something. When the alternative is that we play like shite just put him in the fecking team.
VDB - I mean, he definitely wouldn't be as pointless as Mata...nothing against Mata, but if we're going to play someone hopelessly out of position and in a role that is completely unsuited to them, it may as well be someone who covers a lot of ground and doesn't get tired 30 minutes into the game.

Commentary waffle:
"Fred hasn't scored in over 2 years" - yes he has, and you were the commentator on the fecking game as well.
"He's maybe a tiny bit off his line there" - He literally leapt half a metre forwards! If he'd managed to get any further off his line in one movement he'd be in the olympic long jump team.
Glen Hoddle - Enjoyed his random rant (or whatever it was) about how teams should be allowed 5 subs because having so many games is the way they like it because if you're a team you want to be in all the competitions but there are too many competitions for all the teams but it's good to be in them, or something. There should be the option to switch Glen Hoddle off when you watch. Not as in mute him, as in you actually switch him off and the maids take him back to his bed.
 

MyBloodIsRed

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Shocked how off Martial and Rashford both looked. I hope he sits bit of them next match. Thank feck for Bruno and VAR

let’s see DVB and Cavani both start the next match.
 

NewGlory

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We have attackers like Martial, Rashford, Greenwood, Cavani. Dan James scores goals in national team and provides assists, but the only goal we could find against fecking West Bromwich Albion is Mata's questionable penalty that took Bruno two attempts to convert?

Feck this!
 

Verminator

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Telles - We finally find someone that can take corners well, so obviously the logical thing to do is get someone else to take the corners instead, then take them to him so he can try to volley them in from 30 yards out. Definitely the sensible thing to do.
I thought I was in an episode of the fecking Twilight Zone or something.

Confirmed when an unchanged team came out for the second half.
 

Marcus

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Van de Beek could have started ahead of Matic.
Absolutely this. But I guess we should maximise our squad and saving some of our better players by wheeling out our less talented ones is actually a good strategy. Since we won, I have nothing to say.
 

Marcus

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Starting Mata and Matic together in the same 11 is a mistake. Does any one remember a game they started for us and we won? Not that I don't think they can contribute each, but together in the same 11 it makes us quite weak in terms of athleticism.
This game.
 

peridigm

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Great save. And seeing him charging off his line to clear a through ball was unreal!
adjective: unreal
  1. so strange as to appear imaginary; not seeming real.
    "Great save. And seeing him charging off his line to clear a through ball was unreal!"
 

Marcus

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Such an odd game. We did have enough chances to win comfortably. But still had to rely on a re-taken penalty. I suppose if we had converted our chances, who know the game may have sprung more to life. But given our players are tired from international duty and WBA probably had less players travelling, this was a good win.
 

noodlehair

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No matter how obvious the issue of Matic in midfield becomes he always ends up back in the team 2 games later.

I don't particularly dislike him but he's been passed it since a year before we signed him. It's just stubborness to keep playing him at this point. He doesn't have the athleticism unless we sit our midfield 2 yards in front of our centrebacks, and our centrebacks are so slow they'd then need to be only 6 yards in front of our goal line...and even then McTominay and Fred are far more effective at winning the ball back and being aggressive in closing down space.

If we try and sit Matic higher up the pitch teams literally just run past him and the game becomes a struggle.

If it doesn't work it doesn't fecking work. You don't need to keep finding out again every 3 fecking games.
 

boxykronikle

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Mata and Matic shouldnt start together. Ole fecked up again with his lineup selection. Shouldn't have started Rashford and Martial as well. Could have benched them and start James, VDB, Cavani and McTom.

Substitutions were also late and usual like clueless. Fred was running his socks off to cover for Matic as well. Matic and Mata were truly passengers.

Our finishing was bad and it was very apparent. As many have mentioned there were no links between the top and mid.
 

ken11

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I'm so happy I don't plan my days around watching Utd these days.
 

cyberman

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Sorry, I am unclear on your point. Do you think we are doing well and going in the right direction?

Our next games are against Southampton and West Ham, so I personally would not be sure of closing the gap.
I think its a shitshow of a season as a whole and we are working our way up the table, yes.
Top of the CL group when most on here said no chance, win our game in hand and we are 4 off the top. Hell we would be two off the mighty Chelsea that a lot are praising on here. Thats from our base of the first 3 games when we came in seriously undercooked.
Look around. Liverpool are way off the boil and even then they needed Jota to score late against weak sides to even get where they are now. We are already above City. We arent in a bad situation as a whole.
 

Feed Me

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I think its a shitshow of a season as a whole and we are working our way up the table, yes.
Top of the CL group when most on here said no chance, win our game in hand and we are 4 off the top. Hell we would be two off the mighty Chelsea that a lot are praising on here. Thats from our base of the first 3 games when we came in seriously undercooked.
Look around. Liverpool are way off the boil and even then they needed Jota to score late against weak sides to even get where they are now. We are already above City. We arent in a bad situation as a whole.
We are doing terribly but are lucky that other better sides are off the boil. I do not share your optimism that we are competent enough to take advantage because that would require us to do something we never have under Ole which is to put wins together consistently.
 

cyberman

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We are doing terribly but are lucky that other better sides are off the boil. I do not share your optimism that we are competent enough to take advantage because that would require us to do something we never have under Ole which is to put wins together consistently.
We have done that, just in streaks.
There are too many sides around Europe playing like shit with this schdule to put it down to luck. If they are unlucky then why aren't we?
 

Borys

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We should just watch the score and stats at the end. What's the point wasting 2 hrs time, watching the actual game then?
Well yes, the stats give you a good overview of the game. If you watch the game, you can also see how good are those chances. But looking at the result without context ("I didn't watch the game but we were lucky to get 3 points") is pointless. We were actually unlucky not to score more.

You're presuming that those two won't continue missing these chances.
Yes. But if we expect them to miss chance after chance after chance, might as well stop playing football and just hoof it into the box.
Easy to justify a lack of scoring when you make up imaginary goals i suppose.

Keepers make saves, strikers miss chances. Not every shot goes in.
I'm not the one saying "but if it wasn't for the penalty...".
 

Isotope

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Well yes, the stats give you a good overview of the game. If you watch the game, you can also see how good are those chances. But looking at the result without context ("I didn't watch the game but we were lucky to get 3 points") is pointless. We were actually unlucky not to score more.


Yes. But if we expect them to miss chance after chance after chance, might as well stop playing football and just hoof it into the box.

I'm not the one saying "but if it wasn't for the penalty...".
West Brom, one of the worst team in the League, could also have two goals, and potentially a penalty.
And that's against United, who had (bar McTom and maybe Shaw) full team. At home.

But yeh.. stats.
 

Player Ratings

5.7 Total Average Rating

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Compiled from 227 ratings.

Score Predictions

224,7,16
  • Man Utd win
  • West Brom win
  • Draw

Detailed Results

  • 32% Man Utd 3:0 West Brom
  • 23% Man Utd 2:0 West Brom
  • 12% Man Utd 4:0 West Brom
  • 9% Man Utd 3:1 West Brom
  • 5% Man Utd 1:0 West Brom
  • 4% Man Utd 2:1 West Brom
  • 4% Man Utd 1:1 West Brom
  • 3% Man Utd 5:0 West Brom
  • 2% Man Utd 0:0 West Brom
  • 1% Man Utd 4:1 West Brom
  • 1% Man Utd 1:2 West Brom
  • 1% Man Utd 4:2 West Brom
  • 0% Man Utd 5:3 West Brom
  • 0% Man Utd 1:3 West Brom
  • 0% Man Utd 0:1 West Brom
  • 0% Man Utd 0:2 West Brom
  • 0% Man Utd 0:5 West Brom
  • 0% Man Utd 4:4 West Brom
  • 0% Man Utd 2:2 West Brom
  • 0% Man Utd 5:1 West Brom
Compiled from 247 predictions.
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Match Stats

  1. Man Utd
  2. West Brom
Possession
64% 36%
Shots
17 7
Shots on Target
7 2
Corners
8 2
Fouls
12 17

Referee

David Coote