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2023-24 Performances


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5.5 Season Average Rating
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TrustInJanuzaj

'Liverpool are a proper club'
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Always thought the talk of him being a poor finisher were premature. From what he’s shown in a Utd shirt so far he looks an exceptional finisher and the best part is he’s scored nearly every type of goal. That’s the sign of a potentially lethal striker. Clearly his lack of goals early in the season was leading to a microanalysis of his every move!
 

astracrazy

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Do we not give young players time anymore?

Surely moving to the biggest league in the world and the biggest team in that league demands a little bit of patience on our part, no? I feel it's the least we can do as supporters, something that seems to have been lost in these leaner years.

It's a good job the lad has mental strength or he could have bean added to the long list of players we have broken.
I don't know. Go look in the Antony forum. I'd be interested to know how many people jumping up and down in this forum about time and patience are also digging out Antony (not talking about you by the way).

Of course it does, but the nature of playing for Utd is always going to open a player up to criticism if they are the lead forward who wasn't scoring. I don't see anything wrong with that as long as you're prepared to praise when improvements are made (which I did).

"something that seems to have been lost in these leaner years"
Probably more to do with the shit show the clubs been.
 

sebsheep

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I think you're spot on and with the players young players you've highlighted in your post along with some of the young players that are yet to emerge from the youth teams, I absolutely feel the current regime will at the very least leave INEOS, Berrarda and the prospective new DoF a platform to build from that has the potential to propel the club to bigger and better things. I think from the squad left behind by Woodward to the one that will be left behind currently has big potential in the mid to long-term. And there's quite a few young players in the youth team that could also emerge as genuine options in the near future.

I find it remarkable that with all the money that we've spent over the years that we neglected the CF position for so long. But credit where credit is due and post Woodward/managers we seem to have nailed the CF position on the first attempt with the scouts replacing Bout and Lawlor.

The highlights below further display Hojlund's potential in open play where his ability to evade the press, utilise his acceleration and deliver the final pass from a deeper position is something that is already very good for someone so young but those attributes I feel will become more pronounced as he develops further.


Don't see him putting in many tackles there!

He could definitely improve his consistency with those type of situations but he has some quality link up play.
 

Doracle

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Pre summer I didn't want Kane said we should go for a younger striker, most disagreed. I was right.
This isn’t correct. This is a weak premier league season and we were well set up to challenge after a decent season last year. Instead we went backwards by signing a prospect who was always going to take time to settle in and a non-existent number 10 who was never going to be a starter in a position we needed.

I have no doubt that Kane would be worth 9-12 points so far this season, when you take into account the boost it would have given the rest of the team to have a world class CF and feel the club was really trying to push on. That should have been the purchase last summer, with someone like Hojlund then coming in in 2024/25 to learn from and support Kane.

As it is, Hojlund is doing a good job of producing in difficult circumstances. The transfer decisions in the summer though remain a key factor in the fact we are floundering in 6th and desperately playing catch up to even make the Champions League. That should never have been the case after last season.
 

Adnan

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Don't see him putting in many tackles there!

He could definitely improve his consistency with those type of situations but he has some quality link up play.
I'm not sure tackling would be a attribute I'd pay alot of attention to for a young centre forward. I'd look at pressures and interceptions as something I'd want from my striker out of possession in a more proactive approach to the game where we look to disrupt the opponent's first line in their build up.
 

The holy trinity 68

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This isn’t correct. This is a weak premier league season and we were well set up to challenge after a decent season last year. Instead we went backwards by signing a prospect who was always going to take time to settle in and a non-existent number 10 who was never going to be a starter in a position we needed.

I have no doubt that Kane would be worth 9-12 points so far this season, when you take into account the boost it would have given the rest of the team to have a world class CF and feel the club was really trying to push on. That should have been the purchase last summer, with someone like Hojlund then coming in in 2024/25 to learn from and support Kane.

As it is, Hojlund is doing a good job of producing in difficult circumstances. The transfer decisions in the summer though remain a key factor in the fact we are floundering in 6th and desperately playing catch up to even make the Champions League. That should never have been the case after last season.
That is just a load of nonsense though. It is like you have purposely ignored the fact that we have had an unprecedented amount of injuries to key players all season, thus the team being disjointed and underperforming. Kane wouldn't stop all the injuries and other players underperforming.

Look at Kane for Bayern, the team are underperforming and his goals can't paper over that. He isn't the saviour at Bayern, so I doubt he would be the saviour at United either.
 

Adnan

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That is just a load of nonsense though. It is like you have purposely ignored the fact that we have had an unprecedented amount of injuries to key players all season, thus the team being disjointed and underperforming. Kane wouldn't stop all the injuries and other players underperforming.

Look at Kane for Bayern, the team are underperforming and his goals can't paper over that. He isn't the saviour at Bayern, so I doubt he would be the saviour at United either.
Agreed. I absolutely believe we made the correct decion in signing Hojlund rather than sign Kane for 120m. Even for Bayern it looks like that could be a waste of money with Leverkusen looking likely winners of the Bundesliga with Victor Boniface leading their attack. It only made sense to sign Kane if you then go on to win the UCL, which they still have a chance of doing. But losing the Bundesliga after dominating for a decade with Kane as their record signing is quite funny and also is a reason as to why they're struggling this season by their own standards.

For all the hype and fanfare of singing Kane and Kim Min jae for big fees. It's Leverkusen's Victor Boniface and Odilon Kossounou who have proved to be better acquisitions for a fraction of the price.
 

york_cole_99

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This isn’t correct. This is a weak premier league season and we were well set up to challenge after a decent season last year. Instead we went backwards by signing a prospect who was always going to take time to settle in and a non-existent number 10 who was never going to be a starter in a position we needed.

I have no doubt that Kane would be worth 9-12 points so far this season, when you take into account the boost it would have given the rest of the team to have a world class CF and feel the club was really trying to push on. That should have been the purchase last summer, with someone like Hojlund then coming in in 2024/25 to learn from and support Kane.

As it is, Hojlund is doing a good job of producing in difficult circumstances. The transfer decisions in the summer though remain a key factor in the fact we are floundering in 6th and desperately playing catch up to even make the Champions League. That should never have been the case after last season.
In an era of FFP and squad cost cap signing a 30yo striker for 100M on 400k + wages would be criminal.

We need to invest in young talent with high potential much like Madrid have done over the last few years.
 

Schmeichels pinky

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Did you miss the bit where I happily put my hands up? Or are you like the others where you only like to cherry pick.

There isn't literally posts above explaining how he has been listening to coaches and advice i.e he has improved and it shows.

I do feel some of his runs used to be poor or he used to miss clear opportunities where he should have scored. That was my opinion at the time and I'm entitled to it, the same as I'm entitled to update my opinion - which I have.
I just read the one post where you stated that he was poor the first half season. Then I asked you why you think that, and you’ve sort of answered it though not why you still think he was poor, but there’s no need to be defensive - I never claimed that you did not admit being wrong about him. I’ve definitely not claimed that you’re not entitled to your opinion, either.

Here’s what I think. A lot (maybe not you) of the posters who criticized his runs in the first half season did so mostly because he didn’t score. It’s really hard to know if he made excactly the runs that he was instructed to, but it was so obvious that he made himself available time and time again the first matches without getting the ball - and then he had a couple of matches where it seemed that he didn’t believe in his teammates playing him - quite understandably.
He also had so few opportunities that it’s not that hard to find them all - and it’s evident that he did not miss a lot of open chances.
 

Valencia Shin Crosses

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"Martial...He's isolated Skrtel here..."
I don't know. Go look in the Antony forum. I'd be interested to know how many people jumping up and down in this forum about time and patience are also digging out Antony (not talking about you by the way).

Of course it does, but the nature of playing for Utd is always going to open a player up to criticism if they are the lead forward who wasn't scoring. I don't see anything wrong with that as long as you're prepared to praise when improvements are made (which I did).

"something that seems to have been lost in these leaner years"
Probably more to do with the shit show the clubs been.
I mean I think the right answer is to be able to judge each player in isolation. Not every player deserves 2 seasons before being judged accurately, as any decent football watcher could see Antony 2 months in didn’t offer hardly any threat and there wasn’t an obvious path to improvement for the skills he had. In contrast, you could see on Hojlunds debut how physically gifted he was already and where he’d provide danger for a defense even if he was raw coming from Italy, thus I’m perfectly happy giving him time as a striker especially considering he was feeding off so pathetically few chances.
 

Ali Dia

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I think you're spot on and with the players young players you've highlighted in your post along with some of the young players that are yet to emerge from the youth teams, I absolutely feel the current regime will at the very least leave INEOS, Berrarda and the prospective new DoF a platform to build from that has the potential to propel the club to bigger and better things. I think from the squad left behind by Woodward to the one that will be left behind currently has big potential in the mid to long-term. And there's quite a few young players in the youth team that could also emerge as genuine options in the near future.

I find it remarkable that with all the money that we've spent over the years that we neglected the CF position for so long. But credit where credit is due and post Woodward/managers we seem to have nailed the CF position on the first attempt with the scouts replacing Bout and Lawlor.

The highlights below further display Hojlund's potential in open play where his ability to evade the press, utilise his acceleration and deliver the final pass from a deeper position is something that is already very good for someone so young but those attributes I feel will become more pronounced as he develops further.


We are starting to play some nice 1/2 touch football around the box too. The last time it clicked like that in an attacking sense was Ole during covid I think?
Rasmus has really good strength balance and vision. He will be more complete than someone like Haaland (who is a much better poacher than Ras) He’s a great player to bring the wingers into play. It’s a pity none of them can seem to hit top form together. If they can then we will start spanking teams again.
 

Oranges038

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Yeah sorry I wanted to edit my post within two minutes of posting it. Silly me. I should have known you'd be on it like a hawk. Averaging just under 10 posts a day, you must live on here.

I don't care for people calling me out for comments I made, I'll happily back them up or accept I was wrong, but don't try and make me look like a prat by only cherry picking ones that suit your agenda.

Hojlunds starting to prove me wrong....great. Why would I have a problem with that? Why would I not be happy to hold my hands up, as I did? I support Utd, if he is doing better then its better for the club. He deserved criticism for a poor first half of the season and he deserves praise now.

Grow up.
No need to take it so personal, I just grabbed a load of posts and added them to a quote.

The only part of his game that was worthy of criticism really was the number of goals he was getting. Everything else you could see he was improving every game and always working hard, making runs, trying to link up play etc. In the CL you could see what he was capable of, part of it might have been that those games were more open. Yet, people were willing to write him before giving him time and declare that Martial still offered more, you know a player who's done shag all for 3 years.

It's not just a case of not giving players time to settle in, it's people just writing off a player due to expectations being set higher because of the price paid even though he was just 20 and starting over with a new club, a new country etc. No thoughts that he might need a half a season to bed in and acclimatise. Nope, just write him off after a handful of games, that's how it goes.
 

CasaStreets

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Don't taze me, bro
Man is absolutely on fire but One thing that people should probably prepare for is for his goals to dry up.

Personally I've always backed him and defended him even when not scoring but if we look at the numbers his shot conversion rate is completely unsustainable.

I have every faith in him that if we increase the number of chances he gets per game he can continue a really good rate of goals.

However if we continue with our current chance creation then it's likely the goals will dry up but it really won't be his fault just like it wasn't really his fault earlier this season.
Good post. I honestly think he’s playing almost exactly as he was earlier in the season (which I thought was quite well) but just a few more things are falling his way and people always bottom-line strikers’ performances to goals.

Just consider that most of his goals on this scoring run aren’t coming from good possession play or being well picked-out by a teammate. Lots of goals from fortunate positioning and making his own luck. Usually isn’t the sort of thing that’s sustainable.
 

Valencia Shin Crosses

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"Martial...He's isolated Skrtel here..."
I don't know. Go look in the Antony forum. I'd be interested to know how many people jumping up and down in this forum about time and patience are also digging out Antony (not talking about you by the way).

Of course it does, but the nature of playing for Utd is always going to open a player up to criticism if they are the lead forward who wasn't scoring. I don't see anything wrong with that as long as you're prepared to praise when improvements are made (which I did).

"something that seems to have been lost in these leaner years"
Probably more to do with the shit show the clubs been.

I mean I think the answer is every situation should be treated differently. It’s stupid to “give every new young player time” just like it’s stupid to hammer everyone of them instantly if they aren’t immediately hitting the ground running. Antony never showed near the potential of Hojlund with his performances. The best thing we saw from him early on was a few nice curlers. Hojlund from the moment he came on against Arsenal looked dangerous and absolutely a threat against defenders. And then he scored a brace against Galatasaray with one being a dribble from the halfway line carrying it past a CB and dunking the keeper. So there were always moments that made it obvious he had potential even if the goals weren’t consistently coming. And that’s not even counting the fact that he basically never had anything created for him.

On the flip side, someone like Antony would lead us in shots per 90 consistently while basically being the least threatening winger in the league with fullbacks daring him to go past them.
 

Tony247

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Good post. I honestly think he’s playing almost exactly as he was earlier in the season (which I thought was quite well) but just a few more things are falling his way and people always bottom-line strikers’ performances to goals.

Just consider that most of his goals on this scoring run aren’t coming from good possession play or being well picked-out by a teammate. Lots of goals from fortunate positioning and making his own luck. Usually isn’t the sort of thing that’s sustainable.
Actually a CF creating goals out of nowhere is a damn good sign. It's the indication of he can work on his own when supply dry up.

But either way, yes, there will be ups and downs as with any striker.
 

In Rainbows

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I mean I think the right answer is to be able to judge each player in isolation. Not every player deserves 2 seasons before being judged accurately, as any decent football watcher could see Antony 2 months in didn’t offer hardly any threat and there wasn’t an obvious path to improvement for the skills he had. In contrast, you could see on Hojlunds debut how physically gifted he was already and where he’d provide danger for a defense even if he was raw coming from Italy, thus I’m perfectly happy giving him time as a striker especially considering he was feeding off so pathetically few chances.
Yep. Apart from Antony being 2 years older at the time than this year's Hojlund, it's about the flashes that they show. Additionally what is their ceiling, what is their floor, how young are they, what physical gifts do they have, etc... It's completely different from Antony. You could tell he was more of a floor > ceiling kind of prospect in that it doesn't look like much improvement can be made, but at the same time he is going to consistently give you certain qualities that can be useful, but ultimately not good enough for a United winger.
 

justsomebloke

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Have you considered that he's an all rounder and at neither extremes of the players in bold? Someone has already mentioned it before but there was a very good compilation on twitter, which showed a lot of his through balls and lay-offs to our wide attackers, which surprise surprise ended up with most of them wasted. Here's one from youtube:


Of course any highlight can make anyone look like Messi but for such a small sample size, I and many here would say it's a 'fair' reflection of the type of plays he has been contributing all this time. This is not the compilation of a forward, who just builds his game around goal scoring. That's not taking into context the fact, he gets so little service, we play ping pong football and there is no rhyme or reason to our general and attacking play. Your stats to say 'he doesn't add much' should actually be used to say 'look at what he does with his hold up play, being the focal point and his mature all around general play to lay it off to the next best progressive area/player with the minimal amount of ball usage we have as a team and himself individually'.

The idea that it's 'completely obvious' to you to categorise him as one of those two example forward types is exactly where you're 'wrong' and why many people have issue with it especially with what we've seen of his play. He has a well rounded skill set. Perhaps you should take it from himself of how he plays the game when it comes to getting into a goalscoring position:


Of course he still needs to score goals but to reduce his contribution as not impactful or enough considering how shite we play as a team, how selfish/wasteful our wide players are or how little we actually create for Hojlund is a bit myopic.
Again, I am really only taking issue with the view that his contributions are such that he doesn't need to score to be a big factor. I don't agree with that. And it's not a big criticism, it is something he has in common with almost every other striker.

I didn't intend to "categorise" him as anything. My point with regard to the stats comparison Oranges posted was just that of the three players he was compared with, he's most similar to Haaland. Which does look pretty obvious to me, if you look at the comparison.
 
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justsomebloke

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It’s getting ridiculous now, really.

You asked for things he does that contributes aside from goals, I gave them.

Then you say that he doesn’t do things that often, which isn’t true - when he gets played he is usually under pressure and manages to lay off the ball or turn most of the time.

Then you conclude that you’re right in claiming that he doesn’t contribute much aside from goals - but he has a very clearly defined role as target man in the build up and contributes both with his hold up play and his presence and runs in the box. McT wouldn’t have scored half the goals he has if not RH had drawn the attention of both center backs.

That said, you’re right that there are things he doesn’t do often enough, which until recently was scoring goals - that’s because the wingers and Bruno don’t pass to him.
It's getting to ridiculous to you because you're having the discussion you prefer to have - "Is Rasmus Højlund a good striker"? Rather than the one I'm actually making, which is "is Rasmus Højlund making tangible contributions beyond scoring to such an extent that he'd justify his place even if he wasn't scoring"? On the first question, which is what almost all of your above points pertain to, there is nothing to discuss. We both agree the answer is "yes". On the second, I don't think so. Which really isn't saying much. Because the same is true for virtually all other strikers in the PL.
 

justsomebloke

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Well that's exactly the point, he does in fact contribute a lots of other things.
Well, the question then is what exactly does "a lot" mean, and how much does it need to be to be enough without the scoring? Layoffs, good runs, hold-up play, through balls to the wingers, pressing actions that force mistakes - if you're doing one or two of those in the course of a game, is that a lot? Or does it need to be 3 or 4? 6 or 7? And that's not semantics - the point is it doesn't just matter what a player can do, it matters much more how frequently he does it.

Different players contribute in different ways, and the truth of it is strikers generally tend to give you a lower volume of impactful actions besides scoring than players in other positions, simply because they tend have the ball less than others and are for obvious reasons not as heavily involved in defensive actions. You could ask what then is the point of playing them, and there is only one good answer to that question: Because they score or assist goals considerably more frequently than players in other positions do. The same applies to Højlund (whose non-scoring contributions are not bad, but also by no means remarkably large, for a striker): The goals are what makes it worth it. Without them, it wouldn't be enough. That doesn't mean he's not a good striker, or that he doesn't do anything other than score. The same would be true for most other good PL strikers. This is hardly a very drastic claim.
 

Schmeichels pinky

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It's getting to ridiculous to you because you're having the discussion you prefer to have - "Is Rasmus Højlund a good striker"? Rather than the one I'm actually making, which is "is Rasmus Højlund making tangible contributions beyond scoring to such an extent that he'd justify his place even if he wasn't scoring"? On the first question, which is what almost all of your above points pertain to, there is nothing to discuss. We both agree the answer is "yes". On the second, I don't think so. Which really isn't saying much. Because the same is true for virtually all other strikers in the PL.
What a redundant point, then.
Then it’s just a discussion about whether or not you can criticize a cf for not doing attacking midfielder-stuff as well as attacking midfielders or for not contributing enough to the team even when they don’t get the chance to do that?

It’s a bit like not rating a keepers performance because he only saves a few shots, even if that’s all of the shots he’s faced and that he also played a part in build up play etc.
 

criticalanalysis

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Again, I am really only taking issue with the view that his contributions are such that he doesn't need to score to be a big factor. I don't agree with that. And it's not a big criticism, it is something he has in common with almost every other striker.

I didn't intend to "categorise" him as anything. My point with regard to the stats comparison Oranges posted was just that of the three players he was compared with, he's most similar to Haaland. Which does look pretty obvious to me, if you look at the comparison.
I've looked back at the original conversation and it's such an odd comment to make within the context, which was originally 'he was performing well enough in his games when he wasn't scoring' and then you're making a really pedantic point of 'if he doesn't score goals, his overall performance is not good enough'. If that is your single point, then yes you're correct but it's a comment made within a vacuum and again without context. Which player in the team is objectively performing without their most 'vital' contribution? Which defender with our goals conceded, which midfielders with our pathetic lack of control, which attackers with our lack of goals scored are performing well enough? None would be the answer but it's such a reductive observation.

As for the stats comparison, no it is not obvious because again you're looking out of context. You were saying he's most similar to Haaland to justify your original point of 'he's not doing enough without his goals' but not taking into account the wasteful/selfish play of his teammates, which why I posted that compilation. Without looking at the stats, I'm sure you could frame Mainoo as some average midfielder, who doesn't do much of anything defensive, progressive or creative, which if we wanted to pedantic about is true. Again though, it's such a pointless comment.
 

RepardReece

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It's getting to ridiculous to you because you're having the discussion you prefer to have - "Is Rasmus Højlund a good striker"? Rather than the one I'm actually making, which is "is Rasmus Højlund making tangible contributions beyond scoring to such an extent that he'd justify his place even if he wasn't scoring"? On the first question, which is what almost all of your above points pertain to, there is nothing to discuss. We both agree the answer is "yes". On the second, I don't think so. Which really isn't saying much. Because the same is true for virtually all other strikers in the PL.
Going with that logic, goalkeepers aren't justifying their place in net as they're letting in on average 1-2 goals every game.

Rasmus has had about as much impact as he could've under the circumstances.
Only firmino has really got away with it when not scoring imo, but if you're saying virtually all other strikers in the pl aren't justifying their place if not scoring, then perhaps you're overstating what impact they should have.

To properly answer the question like yours, you need to also consider how the team plays; such as if we dominate, press high up field, passes Hojlund receives and then also if the Hojlund is getting a lot of chances each game. Taking these into consideration your answer should be completely different, as in, he can't do much more under the circumstances.
 

Mike Smalling

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Muscle injuries are the worst. Hope this doesn't become a recurring thing.

My confidence in a win against Fulham just dropped significantly.
 

kafta

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Fecking hell. Thats our momentum gone now. Jesus, Marcus up top again is gonna be brutal.
 

DJ_21

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Great just as he was in form and the team was doing alright. Who starts upfront then? Rashford with Garnacho and Antony either side. Ruins our whole front line that. I’d go Garnacho, Rashford and Amad
 

bosnian_red

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Oh for fecks sake.
So if it's 3 weeks, that's:
  • Fulham
  • Forest (cup)
  • City
  • Everton
  • Possibly Sheffield utd
Basically out til the international break if we are cautious with him. Not sure when the next round of the fa cup is if we get past Forest
 

Ayoba

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feck sake, this season is just cursed.
With him, Martinez and Shaw out we're fecked