Starting games negatively and lack of energy

Idxomer

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How many times did that happen now in the last 4 months?

It takes us ages to get into games even the ones we end up playing relatively well and winning.

We basically start every game on the back foot no matter the opponent or the formation/system.
 

lsd

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Its cowardly football and a disgrace that should not be tolerated any longer. Go out and defend with two holding midfielders look to give nothing away and just hope for a lucky break near the end of 90 mins
 

Superunknown

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The fact that this happens so often shows that we're not doing the right sort of mental preparation beforehand. We seem to be a very reactive team, hence why we play a counterattacking style and don't see too much of the ball. It's just not good enough if we want to go somewhere with this team.
 

Maciek

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It hurts much more when we're playing at Old Trafford - when we should finish the game after 45/60 minutes and then rest our most imporant players.

It could be difficult in two or three months' time, because the intensity needed to defend and trying to get back to the game could cost us too much and fatigue won't help.
 

Idxomer

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It could be difficult in two or three months' time, because the intensity needed to defend and trying to get back to the game could cost us too much and fatigue won't help.
Our players were chasing shadows against a midfield that has Elneny, Bruno was visibly tired before he was substituted. Pressing efficiently is surely more energy-saving than running around like headless chickens in our own half.
 

el3mel

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Supposedly the lineup was pretty good. I don't know what happened once the game started to be honest.
 
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It's a tactical issue.

We play back-foot, reactionary football. We have an absolutely broken 'press' that consists of one or two players at a time running at opponents because apparently that's what our coaching team thinks a press is. We have to play deep due to our £80m defender who can't run or turn. We have absolutely zero consistent attacking patterns.

If we get pressed semi-competently or can't just sit back and counter-attack we look 'negative' because the players are absolutely lost and undercoached.

We also frequently choose 'energy' players or 'good characters' over actual technically good footballers which doesn't help with the inability to beat a press, or with creativity.

It's inexcusable at this stage.
 
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Judas

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We don't stamp our authority on games, we wait and react. To play like that at home, with the players we have is shocking. I can't understand how anyone can excuse it.
 
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I'm sick of it. I just said in the post-match thread we have gotten into a habit of only going forward with any purpose when behind. Not good enough.
 

MikeKing

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It's a mentality issue this thing. When you start overcomplicating things and taking forever to pick a pass, you wont build any play even if you have the ball. It's slowing us down when we have one or two doing it, but when Shaw, Pogba, Maguire, Lindelof, Matic and McTominay all play like this it wont create any momentum.
 

Idxomer

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It's a tactical issue.

We play back-foot, reactionary football. We have an absolutely broken 'press' that consists of one or two players at a time running at opponents because apparently that's what our coaching team thinks a press is. We have to play deep due to our £80m defender who can't run or turn. We have absolutely zero consistent attacking patterns.

If we get pressed semi-competently or can't just sit back and counter-attack we look 'negative' because the players are absolutely lost and undercoached.

It's inexcusable at this stage.
Did we have any patterns at all attacking or otherwise today? The midfield looked clueless and the defense spent ages not knowing what to do with the ball. It's not just a reactionary football but also our reactions seem always half a second late which makes all the difference at this level.
 

Idxomer

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It's a mentality issue this thing. When you start overcomplicating things and taking forever to pick a pass, you wont build any play even if you have the ball. It's slowing us down when we have one or two doing it, but when Shaw, Pogba, Maguire, Lindelof, Matic and McTominay all play like this it wont create any momentum.
But doesn't that prove it's not just mentality?

Those players are out there playing at their own pace and this shouldn't be the case.
 

arnie_ni

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Its tacital.

The fullbacks must have been told to stay back and play narrow.

It was noticeably different right from the start of the 2nd half they were much wider and further up the pitch.

It was a flat bank of 4 with 2 dms in front all told to sit in. It doesnt allow for energy and postive thinking.
 

Bebestation

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The thing is Ole is defensive.

That's why he picked the 4231 and utelises 2 DM. Even if the player wasnt right he played them defensively.

Today again a diamond but what did we do? Play 2 defensive minded players.

In what way does a diamond equate to 2 defensive players - it's supposed to have one at the tip of the diamond, 2 free roaming CM in front and and one attacking player at the tip.

We played a 4222 today not a diamond.
 

Andycoleno9

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All that goes in description of manager's job. It is called match preparation.
Manager must prepare team and fill them with energy.

And the reason why we play defensive? Again manager. Do some people really think that players decide to sit deep?
 

MikeKing

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But doesn't that prove it's not just mentality?

Those players are out there playing at their own pace and this shouldn't be the case.
I just think it might have to do with something like that. It doesn't make sense for these players to be really efficient in their movement, playing one two's and moving around one game, then the next game when the pressure is on and they have to win, they can't even build any speed in their play. It's like there is too much focus on what is supposed to happen, than seeing whats actually going on in the game and take advantage of it. See what I'm saying? It's not the fact that we can't play ourselves out of pressure if we need to, it's more that we're inviting pressure to take advantage of it but we're not able to do it if we don't build tempo in our play. So instead of building tempo we just pass the ball slow to wait for the perfect opportunity. If you're in front of goal you don't start shielding the ball wanting to recycle the ball to keep possession. It's a bit like watching something stupid like that at the moment, and it might be that the pressure is getting to some of these players.
 

pocco

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The thing is Ole is defensive.

That's why he picked the 4231 and utelises 2 DM. Even if the player wasnt right he played them defensively.

Today again a diamond but what did we do? Play 2 defensive minded players.

In what way does a diamond equate to 2 defensive players - it's supposed to have one at the tip of the diamond, 2 free roaming CM in front and and one attacking player at the tip.

We played a 4222 today not a diamond.
He is, without doubt. He might not want to be, or claim that he isn't, but his whole tactics are cowardly. This isn't what we were promised when he came in. We might as well have backed Jose, at least he has the pedigree to win titles. Even when we win, it is built on a completely negative setup for the most part... exactly what Jose was criticised for.
 

Bebestation

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He is, without doubt. He might not want to be, or claim that he isn't, but his whole tactics are cowardly. This isn't what we were promised when he came in. We might as well have backed Jose, at least he has the pedigree to win titles. Even when we win, it is built on a completely negative setup for the most part... exactly what Jose was criticised for.
I dont think he ever talked about attack either tbh. What I heard first and foremost was 'high energy' from all his players.

What is energy as a component of football? Is it attacking or defensive?

To me its defensive because it requires energy to press, run and tackle, run back in to position to maintain a position in a formation etc.

He wants energy from his players and he sets us up defensively to try play for that defensive energy.

Consider Mctomminay, Fred, Bruno and Pogba vs Pogba, Bruno, VDB and Fred - what do we have in the first that we lose in the second? Energy in defensive areas. We can have more attacking freedom or creativity, not exactly attacking energy.

We see him using Daniel James out wide in a 4231 - for what? Defensive energy.

It's a shame that an ex player of ours doesnt have that attacking mindset when managing us.

The whole 1st half we defend trying to tire the opposition out ( with energy) and we become more creative in the second half is such a poor tactic. It can work but it's a toss of a coin.
 

calodo2003

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Its cowardly football and a disgrace that should not be tolerated any longer. Go out and defend with two holding midfielders look to give nothing away and just hope for a lucky break near the end of 90 mins
Exactly this. Starting on the defensive foot against teams that don’t deserve to have such a set up against them just puts us into a flawed mindset from the outset.
 

manunited1919

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The two players we are missing would have made a big difference. But it is a tactical issue 100%. As soon as you see McT & Fred, you know Ole is trying to rely on counterattacks. We have a good enough team to beat them handily, but we set up to play them as if they are fecking PSG.

This seems a recurring issue with Ole: make a tactical mistake, and then keep making the same or similar mistake for 10 games. Then when we are in a deep hole, finally correct the mistake and go on a tear. We will never win anything like this, he needs to learn quickly.
 

Ollie Derbyshire

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We now play as the under dog in every game, sit back, side ways passing, no urgency to do anything. Just pathetic really.

But at least we know they are working on it in training. Haha, yeah right!
 

Leroy The Red

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It’s seriously annoying right now. It’s literally been every game this season bar PSG. Roy Keane says the players shouldn’t need the manager to motivate them etc and whilst to an extent I see where he’s coming from you do also have to look above and at the bigger picture .
The biggest problem we have and it’s been said countless times is we basically have no style of football. This makes it very very difficult to impose ourselves on a game. We’ve gotten into a really bad habit of letting the opposition dictate how the games going to go.
We never ever start a game quickly and were so reactive it’s untrue.
 

Idxomer

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I just think it might have to do with something like that. It doesn't make sense for these players to be really efficient in their movement, playing one two's and moving around one game, then the next game when the pressure is on and they have to win, they can't even build any speed in their play. It's like there is too much focus on what is supposed to happen, than seeing whats actually going on in the game and take advantage of it. See what I'm saying? It's not the fact that we can't play ourselves out of pressure if we need to, it's more that we're inviting pressure to take advantage of it but we're not able to do it if we don't build tempo in our play. So instead of building tempo we just pass the ball slow to wait for the perfect opportunity. If you're in front of goal you don't start shielding the ball wanting to recycle the ball to keep possession. It's a bit like watching something stupid like that at the moment, and it might be that the pressure is getting to some of these players.
Your description about the state of our play is perfect and I get what you're saying but that's what I'm arguing against that it doesn't change much from game to the next except in extreme cases and some exceptions like against PSG.

Against Leipzig, I saw the same issues, for the 1st half at least the game was at a walking pace and there was a lack of urgency till the changes happened and they opened up massively. You can go back to the Villa game back in July and watch the 1st half and you'll see similar issues. It seems to me like it takes the players some time to realize they actually need to go and win the game and that it's not gonna be handed to them.
 

Idxomer

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The two players we are missing would have made a big difference. But it is a tactical issue 100%. As soon as you see McT & Fred, you know Ole is trying to rely on counterattacks. We have a good enough team to beat them handily, but we set up to play them as if they are fecking PSG.

This seems a recurring issue with Ole: make a tactical mistake, and then keep making the same or similar mistake for 10 games. Then when we are in a deep hole, finally correct the mistake and go on a tear. We will never win anything like this, he needs to learn quickly.
He goes from one extreme to another but at this point, I'm not sure he'll ever be to find and implement a good and sustainable balance in this team.
 

lsd

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We start every game with 7 defensive players. Its absolutely disgusting for United to do this.
 

Web of Bissaka

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Starting 11 = good.

So gee... what're the problems?

1. Players themselves should prepare themselves. After spanking PSG and RBL, seems like they think they're that good and expecting easy game vs Arsenal.

2. Maybe it would help a lot having the manager actually managing on the touchline barking orders trying to motivate and drive his players, instead of chilling lazy sitting on his laps playing with his ipads. Only once we concede, the manager finally felt initiative enough to stand up on the touchline.

Clearly there are more urgency by both players and manager once we chase the game. Embarassing.
 

Valuedrug

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I think it must have something to do with the players belief in the chosen approach.

Look at the Leipzig game. Everyone looked focused and ready, and we played very well almost all over the pitch. But a compact, counterattacking approach was also perfect for that game, given how Leipzig set up to play. But if you chose the same approach for Arsenal, and the players quickly feel like it's not working, it's quite natural for them to either switch off, or have a difficult time remaining focused on the game plan. That's where a managers connection with his team really shows I think. If the players believe in his ideas, they will keep going in that situation - especially with team leaders as a proxy for the manager on the pitch. And when they don't really buy into the ideas being communicated, heads will drop.
 

Berbasbullet

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Playing out from the back doesn’t help, we’d be better off pushing the team forward and trying to win the second ball.
 

manunited1919

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Ole’s comments after the game he is saying players didn’t show energy, and more rotation is needed. That is very concerning for several reasons: 1) He picks the team, and he knows Fred ran his socks off for the Leipzig game, does he expect the same 4 days later? 2) McT and Fred pairing is a defensive pairing, doesn’t he realize that tactics may have been wrong? 3) Once the game started, why doesn’t he make changes early, perhaps even change formation. 4) More energy is not the solution every game, specially if tactics are wrong, but if he does want more energy, why isn’t he in the sidelines showing some real fire?
 

lsd

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Maybe because this is a big game, and our actually fragile defense is in need of the +2 protection?

Also Telles is injured, and our other FBs are not even that good in attacking.

There is no excuse for having 7 defensive players starting every game. It is unforgivable, you can have one holding midfielder if your defence is so poor despite having spent 80 million on a centre back but to always go with 2 is disgraceful from an united manager.

We are supposed to be an attacking team with 4 players every week ?
 

Morpheus 7

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Comes from training and coaching, lack of preparation and focus. A well drilled team in a system has standards, if them standards aren't met the coaching staff are on the touchline. Ole, Carrick, Mc Kenna are just sitting there. Phelan is out occasionally. It's tempo set through mentality driven in by staff. Anyone can have an off day but it's addressed the next game. Not under this staff.
 

Irwin99

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I'm not really seeing a lack of energy like it was when Jose was here (I think you have to give Arsenal credit for outfighting us today) and we're usually a very fast and powerful team. I am seeing a lack of ideas when up against a team that doesn't wan't to play into our hands by throwing men forward and being exposed on the counter.

I thought Arsenal and Chelsea last week were pretty harmless in the final third but their overall technique on the ball seems generally better than ours, and the coaching just looks better to be honest. I think we're a team that just loves to play as the plucky underdog and that's not a good foundation or mentality going forward.
 

RedStarUnited

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For me its not just on the ball. Little things like when there is a throw in, or a freekick. How quick we want to restart the game tells me everything about where we are. Most of the time? Its slow and laboured and just seems careless.
 

manunited1919

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I'm not really seeing a lack of energy like it was when Jose was here (I think you have to give Arsenal credit for outfighting us today) and we're usually a very fast and powerful team. I am seeing a lack of ideas when up against a team that doesn't wan't to play into our hands by throwing men forward and being exposed on the counter.

I thought Arsenal and Chelsea last week were pretty harmless in the final third but their overall technique on the ball seems generally better than ours, and the coaching just looks better to be honest. I think we're a team that just loves to play as the plucky underdog and that's not a good foundation or mentality going forward.
It’s as though if our opponents don’t play into our game plan, we are unable to do in game tweaks or even changes of formation. They should go into each game with a plan A, plan B, and even plan C. But it’s static management once the game starts.
 

drunkmonkmeth

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Klop and pep would win the league and chl with our squad. Alot of klops players werent even highly rated until they became his players. Jordan henderson went from a meme to a mainstay in england midfield and captain of a title winning and chl winning side. Thats the kind of manager we need. Poch is this. All those tottenham stars were nobodies until he made them some of the best players in the prem.

Ole isnt this type of quality. No one has improved under him. Giving him the job may have been one of the single biggest mistakes since fergie retired. I think even moyes was a better manager than he is. But itll be an even bigger mistake ifwe lose out on poch to another club.. with zidane struggling he may get picked up by real.
 

Gazza

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Did we have any patterns at all attacking or otherwise today? The midfield looked clueless and the defense spent ages not knowing what to do with the ball. It's not just a reactionary football but also our reactions seem always half a second late which makes all the difference at this level.
Yep. Arsenal had us pinned back in our defensive half after fifteen minutes, struggling to get out. We looked like we had no clue how to adjust.