I'm pretty sure our coaching team know what a press is. If everyone else who watches football knows it's unlikely that a team of professional football coaches don't. The whole fantasy world some of our fans live in where we only lose games because Ole has the footballing knowledge of a 6 year old is exactly that, fantasy.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.
The problem is getting a group of players to do it effectively is quite difficult when your two centrebacks are too slow to step up and close the space, and you keep drifting back to relying on midfielders who are also either too slow or don't pay enoigh attention to the game.
If the players don't have confidence in it they aren't going to put as much effort into it because they'll be more wary of tiring themselves out. Which is what I think happens with us. The forwards kind of press half heartedly because they know the rest of the team is going to be too slow to react behind them, and that even if we do win the ball back they're highly unlikely to get it played to them quickly enough for it to matter.
Pogba, Maguire, Lindelof and Matic must spend more time per game holding onto the ball too long each than most of our opponents do as an entire team. and as a bonus we have Shaw who also likes to join in. That's half the outfield players in the team. You're not going to get an effective press with half a team of players who can't do it and can't use the ball quick enough to stop the opposition doing it to them.