I think that a lot of people dont seem to value when a player improves defensively - other than maybe a CB. Ander didnt get a lot of credit when he developed defensively instead of as an attacking player when Pogba came in and they played together. Likewise McTom is improving in this way, going more towards an Ndidi type of physical ball winner in the middle while early on his best quality was shooting around the box. While Fletcher was more of an all rounder and developed going forward as well. So I think that might be why people are slow to give McTom credit.
The more he gets bigged up, the higher the fall once it happens. There is a lot of correct things in what you are saying, but to say he is developing into an Ndidi role after what is like 3 or 4 games is borderline optimistic. Lets see how he deals with opponents who will be prepared to our style of play. Once they are sitting back, isolating Eriksen, leaving moving the ball to McTominay. He always had the occasional good performances in him - question is will he be able to finally make the next step.For someone who I genuinely felt was out of his depth, he has not just surprised me, he’s shocked me. The level of improvement is drastic. Against Brighton he was embarsssing. And then his cameo appearance against Brentford was shocking to the point he was shot to bits.
But his performances since Liverpool compared to the last 12/18 months have been absolutely brilliant.
He actually gives genuine hope that he can be a big part of the team. ETH has to get massive credit as coaching is having a huge impact not just on him but the whole team.
Fair play to McTom, he’s been brilliant and deserves all the praise he’s getting. Long may it continue.
What I love the most is it has kept Casemiro on the bench. Not because I don’t want Casemiro to play. But because it sends an extremely strong message from ETH to the rest of the squad that even if you’ve won 5 UCLs, it doesn’t guarantee you start if someone else is playing better.
Under Ole, RR and Jose, Casemiro would have gone straight into the lineup and McTominay barely seen.
Completely agreeThat's something I'm not sure I could disagree with more. My single biggest issue with Scott has been that he's still basically the exact same player he was when he first broke through. Maybe slightly better defensive positioning, but otherwise I don't think he's improved at all. Still makes the same mistakes, still has the same strengths and weaknesses. In fact I would say that his longest run of actual good form was in the latter part of 18/19 and early part of 19/20.
In his defence though, I think a big reason for that is that the management and coaching teams we've had since he broke through have been atrocious at developing players. I've mentioned that in other posts about other players, and I think Scott is another good example of it. He has the occasional good period where it looks like he's finally going to come good, but after a month or so he drops back off. He's had a promising start to life under ETH so I do hope that this time it's the real deal, but I can't help but remember that he did the same when Rangnick took over where he was very good for the first month before losing all form again. ETH is the first I have faith in to develop players properly though so fingers crossed.