Potential CB Options

bucky

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I'd prefer Kounde or Fofana, but whether those are likely, who knows. In my opinion Nico Elvedi would still be decent choice. I think he's better than Torres in every way. An excellent passer with good positioning, he could be better in the air though. Tapsoba is another one, who I think is an ounstanding prospect, but I think he prefers to play as the LCB. So unless he's as good on the right or whether he has played there, I wouldn't know. If we take a chance on someone I hope it's Loic Bade from Lens. I think, he's been mentioned here before, he looks very talented from the few times I've seen him.
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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Not a good look for Tuanazebe
Yeah, not good at all.

That being said, Ole may not purchase a defender, meaning he's happy with Lindelof/Maguire as starters, with Bailly/Tuanzebe as back up.

Personally, I'd loan Tuanzebe and go and get a young left-footed centre back.

Lindelof - Maguire
Bailly - Badiashile
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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I'm convinced he'll go to another PL club and will develop into a great CB. A shame.
Like everyone, he needs a run of games. Unfortunately, with Lindelof and Maguire as consistent as they are and Tuanzebe being so injury prone, it means he hasn't had that chance.

I personally don't think we should sell him yet. A season loan to a EPL and see how he develops.
 

Monger

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Yeah, not good at all.

That being said, Ole may not purchase a defender, meaning he's happy with Lindelof/Maguire as starters, with Bailly/Tuanzebe as back up.

Personally, I'd loan Tuanzebe and go and get a young left-footed centre back.

Lindelof - Maguire
Bailly - Badiashile
Tuanzebe loan will depend on Jones/mengi staying. Badiashile would be a likely choice.

Either way I'd be sure a CB will be purchased in summer.
 

Adnan

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Roy Keane says United play with two holding midfielders due to not having a CB with pace which would allow them to play higher up the pitch.

He's basically saying that Ole doesn't trust the CBs to play a more expansive way, without the added protection.
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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Roy Keane says United play with two holding midfielders due to not having a CB with pace which would allow them to play higher up the pitch.

He's basically saying that Ole doesn't trust the CBs to play a more expansive way, without the added protection.
Don't think that's true, though. We play the same when we play Bailly or Tuanzebe.

I just think it's down to the way Ole wants to play. Two holding midfielders with the onus on the full-backs and front four to create chances. Typically, that's how a 4231 should be played anyway.

That's not to say we don't need a centre back but the pace thing is a myth. Any centre back out there that has little protection will be exposed, regardless of pace. Just look at what happened to Van Dijk and Gomez against Villa, and that was with Fabinho holding.
 

Adnan

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Don't think that's true, though. We play the same when we play Bailly or Tuanzebe.

I just think it's down to the way Ole wants to play. Two holding midfielders with the onus on the full-backs and front four to create chances. Typically, that's how a 4231 should be played anyway.

That's not to say we don't need a centre back but the pace thing is a myth. Any centre back out there that has little protection will be exposed, regardless of pace. Just look at what happened to Van Dijk and Gomez against Villa, and that was with Fabinho holding.
It is true IMO and Ole himself has decided to play a more conservative brand of football. I've watched United and Leipzig play in every game this season and the difference between Nagelsmann's high risk approach compared to our conservative approach is very telling. And regards Axel and Bailly? Solskjaer did adopt a high risk approach against Spurs at home earlier this season with Bailly ìn the first 11, and it back fired spectacularly. Solskjaer has since reverted to type.

Regarding Liverpool and the 7-2 loss to Villa? That's one game in recent years where things went badly wrong. But apart from that, they've had the option of sacrificing defensive stability for goals and it's worked out very well for them. Even United under Fergie would occasionally lose heavily to the likes of Newcastle (5-0) Southampton (6-3) and a few others who escape me now.

Rio Ferdinand also mentioned the same thing earlier in the season that our defenders don't give us the option of playing with risk due their inability to defend the channels in a high line. It's that option of playing a certain way which we don't have at our disposable and it's not just pace but also pace with quality that is missing.

Now people will say, but look how many goals we've scored. But even counter attacking teams can score lots of goals and there's a number of examples that can be given. The below tweet provides the profile of player Solskjaer wants.

 

Isotope

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Who is this mythical CB who's strong and capable of dealing with counter-attack almost single-handedly?
 

Isotope

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The ones that play for clubs who successfully implement a high pressure game. RB Leipzig is one of those clubs.
Leipzig played high line against us, and their CBs got burned badly.

That requirement is just absurd. Not to mention we'll also penny pinching to spend on CB.

"So, Ole, what kind of CB are you looking for?"
"Oh, he has to be strong, and can deal with counter-attack almost single-handedly"

"Ok, so, other than strong, he must be fast, good tackler, excellent positioning."
"Don't forget! He has to be good passer, too. That's just my style."

"I assume, he has to have good record on staying fit, too?"
"Yes.. yes.. and not too old. I want to build something here."

"So, what kind of budget are we talking about? 70m? 100m?"
"Err... I only say what I want"
 
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Adnan

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Leipzig played high line against us, and their CBs got burned badly.

That requirement is just absurd. Not to mention we'll also penny pinching to spend on CB.

"So, Ole, what kind of CB are you looking for?"
"Oh, he has to be strong, and can deal with counter-attack almost single-handedly"

"Ok, so, other than strong, he must be fast, good tackler, excellent positioning."
"Don't forget! He has to be good passer, too. That's just my style."

"I assume, he has to have good record on staying fit, too?"
"Yes.. yes.. and not too old. I want to build something here."

"So, what kind of budget are we talking about? 70m? 100m?"
"Err... I only say what I want"
Leipzig played a higher line against us but threw the kitchen sink at us in the last 20 minutes chasing the game. There was a difference between the first 70 minutes and the last 20.
 

A-man

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It is true IMO and Ole himself has decided to play a more conservative brand of football. I've watched United and Leipzig play in every game this season and the difference between Nagelsmann's high risk approach compared to our conservative approach is very telling. And regards Axel and Bailly? Solskjaer did adopt a high risk approach against Spurs at home earlier this season with Bailly ìn the first 11, and it back fired spectacularly. Solskjaer has since reverted to type.
You say the difference between their high risk approach and our conservative is very telling. What do they win by their high risk approach, in your opinion?

I personally think it works better against weaker teams but is naive against stronger teams. The season is soon at its end and Leipzig have yet not won a single game against any top 5 teams in Bundesliga.
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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It is true IMO and Ole himself has decided to play a more conservative brand of football. I've watched United and Leipzig play in every game this season and the difference between Nagelsmann's high risk approach compared to our conservative approach is very telling. And regards Axel and Bailly? Solskjaer did adopt a high risk approach against Spurs at home earlier this season with Bailly ìn the first 11, and it back fired spectacularly. Solskjaer has since reverted to type.

Regarding Liverpool and the 7-2 loss to Villa? That's one game in recent years where things went badly wrong. But apart from that, they've had the option of sacrificing defensive stability for goals and it's worked out very well for them. Even United under Fergie would occasionally lose heavily to the likes of Newcastle (5-0) Southampton (6-3) and a few others who escape me now.

Rio Ferdinand also mentioned the same thing earlier in the season that our defenders don't give us the option of playing with risk due their inability to defend the channels in a high line. It's that option of playing a certain way which we don't have at our disposable and it's not just pace but also pace with quality that is missing.

Now people will say, but look how many goals we've scored. But even counter attacking teams can score lots of goals and there's a number of examples that can be given. The below tweet provides the profile of player Solskjaer wants.

So why didn't it work? After all, Bailly is fast and fits the criteria that Ole apparently wants.

Fact is, Lindelof and Maguire are doing a good job. I personally believe the lack of a fast centre back is slightly exaggerated by the media and something the fans have picked up and ran with. Would a faster centre back compliment Maguire/Lindelof more? Maybe, but its certainly not the be-all and end-all.

I read an article that I found interesting about our defensive line.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s time in charge of Manchester United has been categorized by a high pressing system, which they have used meticulously well to win the ball and go on the counter attack. This high press also results in a high defensive line, which as we’ve seen with the likes of Leeds, Liverpool and Southampton this season, can lead to devastating issues when done incorrectly. I would perhaps argue though that United have been the most successful team in the league this season at deploying their high-line in defense, and using their press to their benefit before the opposition has any chance of exploiting the space in behind.


The Red Devils have caught their opposition offside more times this season than anyone else other than Leeds United (0.1 less per game). The fact that they are catching their opposition offside on such a regular basis is important and useful in stopping potential attacks from breaking anywhere on the field, not just at the halfway line. Studying United’s goals conceded, the potential space in behind their high line doesn’t seem to be a terrible problem for them, and they’ve been relatively successful with their offside trap. As we all know, even if teams are able to exploit space in behind United’s defense, Aaron Wan-Bissaka is particularly adept at getting back into position and making important tackles. But it will be a potential concern for them if their press is broken, and something Solskjaer will need to keep an eye on moving forward.


With regards to their press, United often look to trap their opposition on the left, and intentionally force them to that side through careful positioning and body shape. The average position of their right winger is often more toward the middle than the right, one indication of this left-sided desire to their defensive approach. This allows United to have the likes of Rashford and Bruno Fernandes firing together as a tandem duo once the Red Devils win the ball back. Their press is also more often guided towards forcing their opposition to the outside, rather than back towards their own goal, using the touch-line as another defender. Their man-oriented pressing shape most often resembles a 4-4-2 on goal kicks, with the striker more likely to be engaged in the press high up the pitch than in other areas of the field.

Bruno Fernandes also remains one of the team’s top tacklers, and the high press is one contributing factor. The fullback, one central midfielder, winger and Bruno will often form a tight diamond in the press, allowing their opposition little room to play out. When they win the ball and look to counter, Bruno is therefore always nearby. With his incredible mobility and durability, United always have their danger man as an outlet to pass to, because he always operates around the ball. This can be seen when United are both in and out of possession, and it’s one more reason why Bruno Fernandes is one of the most exceptional players in the league.
 

Adnan

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You say the difference between their high risk approach and our conservative is very telling. What do they win by their high risk approach, in your opinion?

I personally think it works better against weaker teams but is naive against stronger teams. The season is soon at its end and Leipzig have yet not won a single game against any top 5 teams in Bundesliga.
I can replace Leipzig with Bayern Munich if that helps.

Nobody said we should implement the high press in every game. But having your foundation (CBs) play with risk is a option we don't have and people like Roy Keane and Rio Ferdinand agree.
 

A-man

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I can replace Leipzig with Bayern Munich if that helps.

Nobody said we should implement the high press in every game. But having your foundation (CBs) play with risk is a option we don't have and people like Roy Keane and Rio Ferdinand agree.
I just don’t understand what it adds to our game? It was a question to you what you think Leipzig has benefited from it, or what we could benefit from it. It was not a question for any arguments sake, I was genuinely curious. Do you think we would score more goals, defend better...??

I have also watched Leipzig on and off and imo they have struggled with the better teams, like the results also show. Bayern is a level up, maybe the best team in the world.
 

Adnan

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So why didn't it work? After all, Bailly is fast and fits the criteria that Ole apparently wants.

Fact is, Lindelof and Maguire are doing a good job. I personally believe the lack of a fast centre back is slightly exaggerated by the media and something the fans have picked up and ran with. Would a faster centre back compliment Maguire/Lindelof more? Maybe, but its certainly not the be-all and end-all.

I read an article that I found interesting about our defensive line.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s time in charge of Manchester United has been categorized by a high pressing system, which they have used meticulously well to win the ball and go on the counter attack. This high press also results in a high defensive line, which as we’ve seen with the likes of Leeds, Liverpool and Southampton this season, can lead to devastating issues when done incorrectly. I would perhaps argue though that United have been the most successful team in the league this season at deploying their high-line in defense, and using their press to their benefit before the opposition has any chance of exploiting the space in behind.


The Red Devils have caught their opposition offside more times this season than anyone else other than Leeds United (0.1 less per game). The fact that they are catching their opposition offside on such a regular basis is important and useful in stopping potential attacks from breaking anywhere on the field, not just at the halfway line. Studying United’s goals conceded, the potential space in behind their high line doesn’t seem to be a terrible problem for them, and they’ve been relatively successful with their offside trap. As we all know, even if teams are able to exploit space in behind United’s defense, Aaron Wan-Bissaka is particularly adept at getting back into position and making important tackles. But it will be a potential concern for them if their press is broken, and something Solskjaer will need to keep an eye on moving forward.


With regards to their press, United often look to trap their opposition on the left, and intentionally force them to that side through careful positioning and body shape. The average position of their right winger is often more toward the middle than the right, one indication of this left-sided desire to their defensive approach. This allows United to have the likes of Rashford and Bruno Fernandes firing together as a tandem duo once the Red Devils win the ball back. Their press is also more often guided towards forcing their opposition to the outside, rather than back towards their own goal, using the touch-line as another defender. Their man-oriented pressing shape most often resembles a 4-4-2 on goal kicks, with the striker more likely to be engaged in the press high up the pitch than in other areas of the field.

Bruno Fernandes also remains one of the team’s top tacklers, and the high press is one contributing factor. The fullback, one central midfielder, winger and Bruno will often form a tight diamond in the press, allowing their opposition little room to play out. When they win the ball and look to counter, Bruno is therefore always nearby. With his incredible mobility and durability, United always have their danger man as an outlet to pass to, because he always operates around the ball. This can be seen when United are both in and out of possession, and it’s one more reason why Bruno Fernandes is one of the most exceptional players in the league.
Bailly might be fast but in his time at the club he has yet to show consistency when it comes to performance and fitness. And the game against Spurs where we lost 1-6, he was coming back from injury and it was quite ballsy from Solskjaer to play in such a expansive way relying on a player coming back from injury. It was a risk that back fired. It's not just pace but quality on/off the ball that is required. Because if it was just pace, then Usain Bolt has been offering his services to us for a while.

It's also interesting that you provide the link to a article which I agree with, when it comes to the games where I myself have said I was happy with our performance going forward. But take the Leeds game for example, where I was very happy after the game due to the nature of risk that was applied in the game from Ole. But eventhough we won comfortably in the end, Leeds could've scored 4 or 5 goals themselves due to the huge chances they created. And this was against a team that had mostly journey men footballers.

So it's easy to see why Rio and Keane say our current starting CBs don't give us the option play with risk, especially against the better teams.
 

Adnan

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I just don’t understand what it adds to our game? It was a question to you what you think Leipzig has benefited from it, or what we could benefit from it. It was not a question for any arguments sake, I was genuinely curious. Do you think we would score more goals, defend better...??

I have also watched Leipzig on and off and imo they have struggled with the better teams, like the results also show. Bayern is a level up, maybe the best team in the world.
What would it add to our game? Firstly it will help our current manager who favours playing a high pressing game style, as witnessed by what he succesffully implemented at Molde. Secondly it will help us counter press more effectively and win the ball back higher up the pitch and maintain pressure, if the backline can maintain a higher line which hasn't been the case.

I could use Liverpool, Bayern etc to make my point and have even used performances from Virgil Van Dijk in the past to make my point about how Liverpool's back line maintain a higher line against players like Adama Traore, which has brought them great success.

So I could've easily have used Liverpool or Bayern to make my point, but used Leipzig because it would've been unfair to compare us to teams who have won league titles and Champions leagues in recent years.
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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Bailly might be fast but in his time at the club he has yet to show consistency when it comes to performance and fitness. And the game against Spurs where we lost 1-6, he was coming back from injury and it was quite ballsy from Solskjaer to play in such a expansive way relying on a player coming back from injury. It was a risk that back fired. It's not just pace but quality on/off the ball that is required. Because if it was just pace, then Usain Bolt has been offering his services to us for a while.

It's also interesting that you provide the link to a article which I agree with, when it comes to the games where I myself have said I was happy with our performance going forward. But take the Leeds game for example, where I was very happy after the game due to the nature of risk that was applied in the game from Ole. But eventhough we won comfortably in the end, Leeds could've scored 4 or 5 goals themselves due to the huge chances they created. And this was against a team that had mostly journey men footballers.

So it's easy to see why Rio and Keane say our current starting CBs don't give us the option play with risk, especially against the better teams.
They also did the same thing to Liverpool - the team that you said conceding 7 goals against Villa a one-off. Again, with a defensive duo of Gomez and Van Dijk, they were caught out time after time against these "journey men footballers".

Fact is, I think regardless of speed, we have seen on so many occasions, that any centre back can be caught out, and it's not just about the individual.

Stones and Diaz aren't necessarily quick but the pressing as a unit makes life so much easier for them. Yes, they can get caught out from time to time but who doesn't?
 

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They also did the same thing to Liverpool - the team that you said conceding 7 goals against Villa a one-off. Again, with a defensive duo of Gomez and Van Dijk, they were caught out time after time against these "journey men footballers".

Fact is, I think regardless of speed, we have seen on so many occasions, that any centre back can be caught out, and it's not just about the individual.

Stones and Diaz aren't necessarily quick but the pressing as a unit makes life so much easier for them. Yes, they can get caught out from time to time but who doesn't?
You're using one game against the Liverpool back line that has won the biggest trophies in club football in recent years playing a very attack minded play style with their CBs playing a key role both defensively and offensively. But if they hadn't won the Champions League and leagùe title then you'd possibly have a point. But there CBs have been there and worn the tee shirt, ours haven't.

Your second point I completely agree with, hence why I and many others refer to the high press as a high risk approach. But Solskjaer's favoured style of play requires that as witnessed in his time managing Molde along with his words describing his favoured play style whilst United manager. So I want him to succeed in implementing his favoured style of play. If it was Mourinho still managing us, then I wouldn't be having this conversation due to the reactive nature of the Portuguese coach.

Stones and Diaz play under a coach that has been heavily influenced by the Dutch philosophy where controlling the game via possession is key. Guardiola himself admitted that while he was Barca head coach he played a high line with a back line that was very vulnerable against players who who could transition play quickly. So he off set the threat by dominating offensive/defensive zones in possession and also heavily focusing on counter pressing which more often than not won the ball back. But that was only possible due to him having some of the greatest players at his disposable to carry out his vision which protected his back line which he admitted was vulnerable. Sadly we don't have that luxury and neither do we have the luxury that a Guardiola has at City where he's backed by a oil state.
 
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A-man

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What would it add to our game? Firstly it will help our current manager who favours playing a high pressing game style, as witnessed by what he succesffully implemented at Molde. Secondly it will help us counter press more effectively and win the ball back higher up the pitch and maintain pressure, if the backline can maintain a higher line which hasn't been the case.

I could use Liverpool, Bayern etc to make my point and have even used performances from Virgil Van Dijk in the past to make my point about how Liverpool's back line maintain a higher line against players like Adama Traore, which has brought them great success.

So I could've easily have used Liverpool or Bayern to make my point, but used Leipzig because it would've been unfair to compare us to teams who have won league titles and Champions leagues in recent years.
I agree it could be beneficial in some matches, but overall I don’t think we have the (non defending)players who suit playing a high line. We have high risk players like Bruno and a midfield that give away the ball in vulnerable positions quite often. I also don’t think our attacking players are strong enough in the box to benefit from it. AWB does not have the attacking skills. But that’s just my opinions.

Liverpool took some risks but they knew they had the best CB in the world at the back, plus several midfielders who always put in a shift defensively. At the same time a deadly trio up front served by two of the best offensive full backs in the world. They could risk a goal as they always scored more.


It might be Ole’s favourite style. However he is not really a Guardiola or Klopp who has transformed teams with a philosophy to win great titles. I don’t think he is the genius of a coach to transform players in that way, and a pragmatic way to play to their strengths would give better results.
 

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I agree it could be beneficial in some matches, but overall I don’t think we have the (non defending)players who suit playing a high line. We have high risk players like Bruno and a midfield that give away the ball in vulnerable positions quite often. I also don’t think our attacking players are strong enough in the box to benefit from it. AWB does not have the attacking skills. But that’s just my opinions.

Liverpool took some risks but they knew they had the best CB in the world at the back, plus several midfielders who always put in a shift defensively. At the same time a deadly trio up front served by two of the best offensive full backs in the world. They could risk a goal as they always scored more.


It might be Ole’s favourite style. However he is not really a Guardiola or Klopp who has transformed teams with a philosophy to win great titles. I don’t think he is the genius of a coach to transform players in that way, and a pragmatic way to play to their strengths would give better results.
You could be right mate. I can't really disagree with too much say here. But I am fully behind Ole and hope he can steer us to glory. But I fully understand people who have reservations.
 

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You could be right mate. I can't really disagree with too much say here. But I am fully behind Ole and hope he can steer us to glory. But I fully understand people who have reservations.
Time will tell how we move on.
For me Leipzig’s and Liverpool’s ways of playing football are two of the most interesting things that have happened in world football the last years. Especially Leipzig who stubbornly continued to play high risk brave football even after the 0-5 defeat against us. If they played better as a unit at the back it would probably work even better.
 

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Time will tell how we move on.
For me Leipzig’s and Liverpool’s ways of playing football are two of the most interesting things that have happened in world football the last years. Especially Leipzig who stubbornly continued to play high risk brave football even after the 0-5 defeat against us. If they played better as a unit at the back it would probably work even better.
I agree mate. The high risk element is what draws me in to watch teams like Leipzig. But we have to remember is that both defense and offense are intertwined and are one body. The attack is incomplete without a foundation (CBs) and the foundation is incomplete without the midfield and forwards. So finding the balance is very important. And when the balance is wrong things can go very wrong.
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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You're using one game against the Liverpool back line that has won the biggest trophies in club football in recent years playing a very attack minded play style with their CBs playing a key role both defensively and offensively. But if they hadn't won the Champions League and leagùe title then you'd possibly have a point. But there CBs have been there and worn the tee shirt, ours haven't.

Your second point I completely agree with, hence why I and many others refer to the high press as a high risk approach. But Solskjaer's favoured style of play requires that as witnessed in his time managing Molde along with his words describing his favoured play style whilst United manager. So I want him to succeed in implementing his favoured style of play. If it was Mourinho still managing us, then I wouldn't be having this conversation due to the reactive nature of the Portuguese coach.

Stones and Diaz play under a coach that has been heavily influenced by the Dutch philosophy where controlling the game via possession is key. Guardiola himself admitted that while he was Barca head coach he played a high line with a back line that was very vulnerable against players who who could transition play quickly. So he off set the threat by dominating offensive/defensive zones in possession and also heavily focusing on counter pressing which more often than not won the ball back. But that was only possible due to him having some of the greatest players at his disposable to carry out his vision which protected his back line which he admitted was vulnerable. Sadly we don't have that luxury and neither do we have the luxury that a Guardiola has at City where he's backed by a oil state.
Well, I haven't. I spoke about the Villa game and when you said Leeds could have scored 4/5 against us, I then said they could have also done the same against Liverpool.

My initial point, which has been totally lost, was that I didn't agree with the fact that Ole plays with two holding midfielders because of a lack of pace at centre back. You only have to look at the protection Liverpool's centre backs had with Henderson, Wijnaldum and Fabinho - three players you'd probably say who are better at defending than attacking. Regardless of pace, you need protection.

Time will tell but I don't think it's the end of the world if we don't get a quick centre back, and even if we do, I don't think it will change the way we play much. Think Ole will always want that solid midfield base, especially against the more challenging sides. We've even seen Pep slightly adjust his midfielder, favoring two holding players, at times, rather than his traditional 6 and two attacking 8's.
 

A-man

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I agree mate. The high risk element is what draws me in to watch teams like Leipzig. But we have to remember is that both defense and offense are intertwined and are one body. The attack is incomplete without a foundation (CBs) and the foundation is incomplete without the midfield and forwards. So finding the balance is very important. And when the balance is wrong things can go very wrong.
Yes absolutely and that balance has gone wrong a few times. But also Leipzig’s CBs tend to get isolated quite often and don’t protect space very well. That’s not only because of them, it’s also the drawback of this way of playing (even Liverpool 2020 was vulnerable in this sense). Then it should be added that they have many very young players who will improve over time. Sad to see that they seem to be selling off some of those players.
 

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A faster centre back, who's comfortable in a higher line with other good defensive attributes is a better player, period, than the likes of Lindelof. Therefore, it's not about whether Ole can coach a certain system to exploit a high/counter press, it simply means he will have a better player on his hands, who can bring other qualities.

Having a 'faster centre back' doesn't automatically mean we will start playing gung-ho high pressing football but it will certainly help us and the team. Yes we have Bruno and Pogba, who are fairly high risk ball players but you think they enjoy having to zonally track runners deep into their own half a lot of the time? That's a direct result of the fact that we play two DMs to protect the backline, who are in a fairly low defensive line because they're vulnerable in open space. Part of the reason of why they are so 'high risk' is because we're slow to press high as a team so their passing choices and timings are limited because the opposition has regrouped or that we're not able to sustain pressure. There's a gap between the defensive line that is conservative and the attacking line, which wants to be expansive.

It's completely idiotic to argue against having a better player and then extrapolating how it's going to be detrimental to our current team/style of play.

Well, I haven't. I spoke about the Villa game and when you said Leeds could have scored 4/5 against us, I then said they could have also done the same against Liverpool.

My initial point, which has been totally lost, was that I didn't agree with the fact that Ole plays with two holding midfielders because of a lack of pace at centre back. You only have to look at the protection Liverpool's centre backs had with Henderson, Wijnaldum and Fabinho - three players you'd probably say who are better at defending than attacking. Regardless of pace, you need protection.

Time will tell but I don't think it's the end of the world if we don't get a quick centre back, and even if we do, I don't think it will change the way we play much. Think Ole will always want that solid midfield base, especially against the more challenging sides. We've even seen Pep slightly adjust his midfielder, favoring two holding players, at times, rather than his traditional 6 and two attacking 8's.
Even if Ole decides to stick with two DMs, depending on the calibre of the player but then yes, a faster centre back will change 'much' as long as you're being realistic. 5-10 yards higher in the pitch is a massive difference defensively and offensively.

I'm not a fan of two DMs and neither am I of Lindelof, who prefers to drop 30 yards into his own half than engage at the source but people will always quote stats about how great we are defensively and therefore it doesn't need addressing. If that's the case then you can argue the same that we don't need a right winger or a centre forward considering how 'prolific' we've been. It's meaningless stats because we defend and attack as a team. Wherever there is a weak link, we need to consider what impacts it has.

Of course if it was a choice then a centre forward, right winger, centre back and then centre midfielder would be my order of priority but we shouldn't underestimate the subtlety of individual quality.
 
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Adnan

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Well, I haven't. I spoke about the Villa game and when you said Leeds could have scored 4/5 against us, I then said they could have also done the same against Liverpool.

My initial point, which has been totally lost, was that I didn't agree with the fact that Ole plays with two holding midfielders because of a lack of pace at centre back. You only have to look at the protection Liverpool's centre backs had with Henderson, Wijnaldum and Fabinho - three players you'd probably say who are better at defending than attacking. Regardless of pace, you need protection.

Time will tell but I don't think it's the end of the world if we don't get a quick centre back, and even if we do, I don't think it will change the way we play much. Think Ole will always want that solid midfield base, especially against the more challenging sides. We've even seen Pep slightly adjust his midfielder, favoring two holding players, at times, rather than his traditional 6 and two attacking 8's.
You used 3 games to put forth your claim that we aren't a reactive team. One of those games against Leeds which you mention doesn't help you but hinders your point because it further demonstrated our vulnerabilities defensively without a set defensive stŕucture from the forwards to midfield all the way to our foundation which is our CBs. Liverpool's back line has proven over the last few years that they can defend space and play with risk even against the very best in Europe as demonstrated by their success both domestically and in Europe. So using their heavy loss to Villa in comparison to our game against Leeds is a moot point because we're comparing CBs that have won all and sundry to ones that have done nothing of note in the grand scheme of things. It's like pointing out Bayern's heavy defeat against Hoffenheim earlier this season. So the point is that Liverpool's CBs have proved that they can greatly help their team to implement a high press with great success, ours haven't and Roy Keane is of the opinion that Solskjaer doesn't trust them and Rio Ferdinand has said similar.

Below is one example of Van Dijk completely dominating the channel against Wolves away from a couple of years ago. He had no midfield protection countless times against Adama Traore who is one of the quickest players in the league. So what transpired was that Van Dijk completely nullified him whilst maintaining a high line which meant Liverpool had Wolves pinned in their own half and ended up winning the game at a canter. None of our starting CBs has the attributes to defend in such a way with Lindelof probably better in that regard compared to Maguire who would be toast in such situations. But it will be Lindelof who will end up paying for Maguire's complete lack of mobility/agility. And I've been a critic of Lindelof.



Not just a quick CB, but rather a quick CB who has the correct profile and is calm and composed also. We don't have that CB at the club with all those ingredients that has established himself at first team level.

Ole having two deeper midfield options isn't the problem I actually like seeing two deeper midfielders play in a double pivot. The problem is the lack of ability of the personnel playing in those positions, which is the problem. Guardiola has adjusted his personnel but once again, he has superior players on the ball in comparison to ours. Those players don't just help defensively but also help with transitioning play to a very good level.
 
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sideshow_bob

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Cristian Romero maybe?

Fast enough, great in the air, decent passer, definitely aggressive
 

kafta

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I'm not really enthusiastic about most of these potential CBs. I hear Kounde is supposed to be an upgrade to what we have, but i haven't seen it when i've watched him.

Problem is after seeing VVD at Liverpool and Dias at City, i was hoping we could get someone who would improve our whole unit and be that missing piece. But the potential options seem to be more in the Bailly and Lindelof class.

Pau Torres seems to be the one with the most potential, but i'm not sure if he is the answer.

So if we can invest in a proper DM, maybe there's some value in sticking with the same back four.
 

gajender

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I'm not really enthusiastic about most of these potential CBs. I hear Kounde is supposed to be an upgrade to what we have, but i haven't seen it when i've watched him.

Problem is after seeing VVD at Liverpool and Dias at City, i was hoping we could get someone who would improve our whole unit and be that missing piece. But the potential options seem to be more in the Bailly and Lindelof class.

Pau Torres seems to be the one with the most potential, but i'm not sure if he is the answer.

So if we can invest in a proper DM, maybe there's some value in sticking with the same back four.
Thing is VVD and Dias at their previous Clubs weren't what they Became at their Current Clubs,
Dias wasn't even that highly rated by most of Portugese posters who watched him regularly some even Rated Lindelof time with Benefica more favourably.
Some times things just come together you have to take leap of faith.
 

A-man

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Thing is VVD and Dias at their previous Clubs weren't what they Became at their Current Clubs,
Dias wasn't even that highly rated by most of Portugese posters who watched him regularly some even Rated Lindelof time with Benefica more favourably.
Some times things just come together you have to take leap of faith.
Some seem to believe that City are so good at scouting who could find a CB that good! But Guardiola has splashed out half a billion since on defenders. Of course some will turn out to be world class.