Strategies to get United out of this mess?

Jericholyte2

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So, looking at the absolute gulf in quality between the two sides this afternoon, we clearly still have a long way to go before we can conceivably be challenging for major titles.

What do we think is the best strategy for getting there?

My theory: as hard as this is to say, we need to build a team around talented workhorses in the way Klopp did with Henderson / Wijnaldum.

Summer ‘24:
- Plan: reinvigorate midfield
- Actions:
Sell Casemiro and Bruno to build a midfield three around Mainoo. Build Mainoo as the creative force in midfield and bring in two DM workhorses behind / next to him.

Funds from the Casemiro & Bruno should bring in two quality DMs (any suggested names?) and we can then look to use ‘regular’ funds for a CB and RB.

If PSG make an offer for Rashford then look to replace him, but plan for him staying this year.

24/5 starting lineup:

—————————————Onana
Frimpong———Diomande———Martinez———Shaw
—————————Thuram———Onana
—————————————Mainoo
Garnacho——————Hojlund——————Rashford

From this we need to build final defensive reinforcement and creativity / finishing. If offers are made for Rashford then accept them and look to replace with a genuine creative winger, rather than an inside forward.

25/6 starting line-up:


—————————————Costa / Maignan?
Frimpong———Diomande———Martinez———LB Upgrade
——————————Thuram———Onana
—————————————Mainoo
Garnacho————-——Hojlund——————LW Upgrade

Add another ST to the squad. And then build the rest of the squad from there, build around physical, press-resistant spine, overlapping FBs and creative wingers to support the main ST.
 

led_scholes

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Build a structure (scouting, medical etc)
Get a new manager
sell the senior players, especially those who are here for years, except Dalot, Onana, Martinez and (maybe) Varane. We can keep Lindelof and Casemiro for a year too.
Aim for a couple of years for top 8 till the young ones mature.
 

Licha-Vidic

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We need to change our main way of playing...

We will sign 50 new players but if we still play counter attack, transition football we won't achieve anything..

We need a good manager with modern playing ways.. Then scale it up, with new players in 4 windows. We will be alright by then
 

Waynne

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Get in Ashworth and other top tier executives to assess the squad and start formulating a plan.

Execute said plan to bring in whatever personell and manager to get the club to the top of English football.

We cannot say sell or sack this and that one until we have our house in order at the very top and we're only starting to do that now.
 

Laurencio

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If we want to go big this is the window to do it. We can spend 80% of our revenue on player related expenditutes . We can improve our ffp cap by selling academy graduates such as Greenwood, Rashford (PSG are keen) and McT, Martial is going, we can still get decent Saudi money for our real madrid lads, and a bunch of "fill" are going into their last year.

We have the academy graduates to step into the team in Garnacho and Mainoo, and could see more coming - Kambwala and Lacey looks promising. So with the objective of revamping the squad;

Contracts expiring in 2025

Maguire, McT, AWB, Varane, Lindelof, Diallo, Eriksen, Kambwala

Sell
Rashford if PSG come
Greenwood
Varane
Casemiro
Lindelof
Maguire
Antony (if we can)
Sancho to Dortmund

Who to buy is a tricky one, but we should aim for players costing 40-60M, on 200k a week contracts. We probably need two British players coming in for HG rules.

A complete revamp in the squad should be possible within two seasons.
 

RuudTom83

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The pressure to qualify for CL tends to result in every manager binning off their own plans and just resorting to counter-attack...which the players find easier to understand.

But controlling a football match should become the new holy grail for the club. Europe can wait.
 

Sandikan

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The plan seems to have started well with bringing in proper football people at management level.

The huge call is have we got the right manager.
But going forward we have to get more than 1 signing in 10 right. That's the major failing.
 

Telsim

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We need to change our main way of playing...

We will sign 50 new players but if we still play counter attack, transition football we won't achieve anything..

We need a good manager with modern playing ways.. Then scale it up, with new players in 4 windows. We will be alright by then
This counterattacking football needs to die in a fire and be banned from Carrington. Enough of this crap.
 

AndySmith1990

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Complete the recruitment of the team overseeing football operations.
Sack Ten Hag and bring is a head coach whose vision aligns with the style of football Ineos want us to play.
Be ruthless in selling underperforming and overpaid players. Remove Sancho, Antony and Rashford.
Set a sensible salary structure and stick to it.
Remove any players who create a toxic culture.
 

DutchSerb

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We need to change our main way of playing...

We will sign 50 new players but if we still play counter attack, transition football we won't achieve anything..

We need a good manager with modern playing ways.. Then scale it up, with new players in 4 windows. We will be alright by then
Agreed. Although I would love a new CB if we're going to finally play attacking football, because teams will tear us apart if we're starting these same statues.
 

vanrooney

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we need our best players fit and 2-3 more players that can go straight into the first eleven, esp in mf and rw/lw. shaw varane martinez dalot would be a top back 4, mainoo with bruno and a new mf could be a top mf, hojlund garnacho rashford with one top rw could be a top front three. the biggest problem is that some of our most important players are often injured and the question is if you can trust them (eg shaw, licha). thats a big question the new management has to tackle. i am curious what they will do but i am sure they will make a decision after a good analysis and not just go into transfer windows unprepared
 

M Bison

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It'll take time, there's no quick fix. It starts at the top and with the senior management/DOF etc, until thats resolved we're nibbling around the edges of the problem(s). Thankfully it does look like we're working towards that but even that will take time to bed in.
 

Hugh Jass

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Every single time its always we have to get rid of A, B and C, and get in X, Y and D. And then we will be flying, or so the theory goes.

Its the manager that is most important. A lion leading sheep is much better than a sheep leading lions. The reason we were so good in the ferguson years was because of Ferguson.

So we have to get the manager right or else nothing changes regardless of who we sign for MF or whatever.
 

Licha-Vidic

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This counterattacking football needs to die in a fire and be banned from Carrington. Enough of this crap.
:D
The misery it has caused it's unimaginable.
Even people like Mainoo look lost on the pitch. People don't understand how dire this football is.

Transitional football is unscale-able.

No other team plays it, only us, yet we have never won anything big playing it. Not like it's some form of holy grail of playing football that is so hidden only for United to know about it. :D
 

Gopher Brown

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1. Sign nobody unless they have been extensively scouted for a long period of time
2. Sign nobody unless they are of the right character - no outstanding allegations etc
3. Don't sign crocks
4. Don't sign old players (over 26)
5. Don't sell anyone until we have replacements signed who are an upgrade (no Amrabat for Fred situations)
 

daba

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So, looking at the absolute gulf in quality between the two sides this afternoon, we clearly still have a long way to go before we can conceivably be challenging for major titles.

What do we think is the best strategy for getting there?

My theory: as hard as this is to say, we need to build a team around talented workhorses in the way Klopp did with Henderson / Wijnaldum.

Summer ‘24:
- Plan: reinvigorate midfield
- Actions:
Sell Casemiro and Bruno to build a midfield three around Mainoo. Build Mainoo as the creative force in midfield and bring in two DM workhorses behind / next to him.

Funds from the Casemiro & Bruno should bring in two quality DMs (any suggested names?) and we can then look to use ‘regular’ funds for a CB and RB.

If PSG make an offer for Rashford then look to replace him, but plan for him staying this year.

24/5 starting lineup:

—————————————Onana
Frimpong———Diomande———Martinez———Shaw
—————————Thuram———Onana
—————————————Mainoo
Garnacho——————Hojlund——————Rashford

From this we need to build final defensive reinforcement and creativity / finishing. If offers are made for Rashford then accept them and look to replace with a genuine creative winger, rather than an inside forward.

25/6 starting line-up:


—————————————Costa / Maignan?
Frimpong———Diomande———Martinez———LB Upgrade
——————————Thuram———Onana
—————————————Mainoo
Garnacho————-——Hojlund——————LW Upgrade

Add another ST to the squad. And then build the rest of the squad from there, build around physical, press-resistant spine, overlapping FBs and creative wingers to support the main ST.
We’re in a sticky place this summer. Squad wise there are probably 10-12 players in the current squad that are either not good enough or are past their peak and will not (or at least should not) be here in 2-3 seasons.

I know we can look at Chelsea and how their big overhaul has back fired in the immediate term, but I do think in 1-2 seasons they will be a strong outfit. I think we need a good gutting of the squad and from that I want us to buy young and buy smart. With the senior heads we look like we will have leading this, i am confident they will get it right.

I think this summer - regardless of what happens with the manager - we need to revitalise both our defence and midfield and ensure we have depth across the pitch (eg. Striker):

- Defence, we need minimum two new CBs who are athletic, can play a high line, are comfortable and progressive on the ball.
- Midfield, Casemiro will go I think so he needs replacing with a proper DM. Add to that a 6/8 hybrid player that can cover both the new DM or Mainoo.
- Striker, either go for an experienced head who will be happy to rotate with Hojlund, go for a young up and coming 9 (at €40m or less) who again can rotate with Hojlund. Or go for a flexible forward who can either play wide or behind Hojlund, as well as a 9. There are benefits to all options, really depends on who is available.

However, I do disagree with a couple of your suggestions. Firstly, I think we should hold on to Bruno another season. He’s so reliable, he can produce incredible numbers in the right system and he is a leader. In a rebuild we need these characteristics. Secondly I disagree with making Mainoo the most advanced midfielder of a 3. I almost want to see the opposite, with him sitting deeper alongside a DM as more of a roaming playmaker, getting on the ball as much as possible, showing his composure and controlling the game.

Here is what I would do over the next couple of seasons if I was calling the shots / playing FM:

2024 Out: Martial (free), Lindelof, Maguire, AWB, Casemiro, Amrabat (end of loan), Eriksen, Sancho, Greenwood, Antony (loan) + Rashford (is an £70m offer comes in from PSG) = £150m (excl. Rashford)

2024 In: Todibo, Lucumi, Frimpong, Thuram, Andre, Zirkzee, Bardghji = £250m

2025 Out: Bruno, Varane (free), Evans (free), McTominay, Malacia = £90-100m

2025 In: Alex Scott, Arda Guler (can see him getting frustrated and sold at RM), Jorrel Hato = £180m

If we change from ETH to a manager that plays 3 at the back (eg. Amorim) then that would change things slightly though.
 
Last edited:

didz

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Get really good at counter attacks.

Also, avoid signing players with the letter 'M' in their name, as well as Frenchmen, lefties, or people who can play at left back. Stop fielding left backs - just have two fullbacks on the other side or something. This recruitment strategy shift is as much a welfare issue as it is anything to do with us playing better.
 

Marwood

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Sign good players who naturally complement each other.

That's really what football success is. Everything else is fine tuning.
 

Laurencio

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Every single time its always we have to get rid of A, B and C, and get in X, Y and D. And then we will be flying, or so the theory goes.

Its the manager that is most important. A lion leading sheep is much better than a sheep leading lions. The reason we were so good in the ferguson years was because of Ferguson.

So we have to get the manager right or else nothing changes regardless of who we sign for MF or whatever.
In the era of DoF led football, it's less important. Just do the same as in any other high performance industry - three year rolling contract with set targets after two years, if those aren't reached - bin them. Such as

Year one: grace period
Year two: challenging for CL, clear direction, clear progress
Year three: trophy challenges

With one year remaining on their contracts it doesn't become too expensive to get rid of them in their second year. Targets obviously change based on the level of performance and the quality of the squad at any given time.

The same should be done with players, but 4 year contracts rather than 3 due to potential Bosman issues.

Ie.

Player A signed for £100M on a 4 year contract on 200k. £25M per annum amortised. If the player hasn't performed after two seasons, move him on for £50M - perhaps with clauses attached for potential profit. At worst you would take a loss of £15M on wages over the rest of their contract covering 50% of their wages.

Using Maguire as an example:
Fee 80M - amortised over 4 years, 20M per annum. Wage of 200k per week.

Sold after 2 seasons for £40-45M, covering 80k of his wages, with West Ham paying 120k. Loss of £8-3M over two seasons.

Turnover of players would then be higher and we could sell players much easier. Losses could be covered by sale of academy graduates.
 

Red00012

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Ten Hag out
In the next 18-24 months phase out all that 1st team squad with the exception of Onana , Dalot , Martinez , Mainoo , Garnacho and Hojlund. Perhaps Mount if he shows some form.
 

Jericholyte2

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We’re in a sticky place this summer. Squad wise there are probably 10-12 players in the current squad that are either not good enough or are past their peak and will not (or at least should not) be here in 2-3 seasons.

I know we can look at Chelsea and how their big overhaul has back fired in the immediate term, but I do think in 1-2 seasons they will be a strong outfit. I think we need a good gutting of the squad and from that I want us to buy young and buy smart. With the senior heads we look like we will have leading this, i am confident they will get it right.

I think this summer - regardless of what happens with the manager - we need to revitalise both our defence and midfield and ensure we have depth across the pitch (eg. Striker):

- Defence, we need minimum two new CBs who are athletic, can play a high line, are comfortable and progressive on the ball.
- Midfield, Casemiro will go I think so he needs replacing with a proper DM. Add to that a 6/8 hybrid player that can cover both the new DM or Mainoo.
- Striker, either go for an experienced head who will be happy to rotate with Hojlund, go for a young up and coming 9 (at €40m or less) who again can rotate with Hojlund. Or go for a flexible forward who can either play wide or behind Hojlund, as well as a 9. There are benefits to all options, really depends on who is available.

However, I do disagree with a couple of your suggestions. Firstly, I think we should hold on to Bruno another season. He’s so reliable, he can produce incredible numbers in the right system and he is a leader. In a rebuild we need these characteristics. Secondly I disagree with making Mainoo the most advanced midfielder of a 3. I almost want to see the opposite, with him sitting deeper alongside a DM as more of a roaming playmaker, getting on the ball as much as possible, showing his composure and controlling the game.

Here is what I would do over the next couple of seasons if I was calling the shots / playing FM:

2024 Out: Martial (free), Lindelof, Maguire, AWB, Casemiro, Amrabat (end of loan), Eriksen, Sancho, Greenwood, Antony (loan) + Rashford (is an £70m offer comes in from PSG) = £150m (excl. Rashford)

2024 In: Todibo, Lucumi, Frimpong, Thuram, Andre, Zirkzee, Bardghji = £250m

2025 Out: Bruno, Varane (free), Evans (free), McTominay, Malacia = £90-100m

2025 In: Alex Scott, Arda Guler (can see him getting frustrated and sold at RM), Jorrel Hato = £180m

If we change from ETH to a manager that plays 3 at the back (eg. Amorim) then that would change things slightly though.
I respect your points and your argument for Mainoo as a deeper lying midfielder, I just don’t believe he has the discipline (yet) to do it.

Like you though I’d have him given free license to roam, just the the structure of two DMs behind him to keep that midfield presence, to stop teams from being able to run 30-50yrs without facing a tackle.
 

Hugh Jass

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In the era of DoF led football, it's less important. Just do the same as in any other high performance industry - three year rolling contract with set targets after two years, if those aren't reached - bin them. Such as

Year one: grace period
Year two: challenging for CL, clear direction, clear progress
Year three: trophy challenges

With one year remaining on their contracts it doesn't become too expensive to get rid of them in their second year. Targets obviously change based on the level of performance and the quality of the squad at any given time.

The same should be done with players, but 4 year contracts rather than 3 due to potential Bosman issues.

Ie.

Player A signed for £100M on a 4 year contract on 200k. £25M per annum amortised. If the player hasn't performed after two seasons, move him on for £50M - perhaps with clauses attached for potential profit. At worst you would take a loss of £15M on wages over the rest of their contract covering 50% of their wages.

Using Maguire as an example:
Fee 80M - amortised over 4 years, 20M per annum. Wage of 200k per week.

Sold after 2 seasons for £40-45M, covering 80k of his wages, with West Ham paying 120k. Loss of £8-3M over two seasons.

Turnover of players would then be higher and we could sell players much easier. Losses could be covered by sale of academy graduates.
I agree. and another thing as well, get rid of the manager buying the players. Get ashworth and people below him to identify the players to play the particular system, along with a manager who will play such a system.

What is so disappointing with Ten Hag is that we all thought he would play possession football and now he has reverted back to counter attacking tactics.
 

Skills

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I don't have much hope anymore. The biggest problem at this club is the fanbase - it's just not one that belongs to an elite club. Maybe in 20-30 years time, there'll be a new generation of fans but I think we'll be a much smaller club by then.
 

RedSky

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Irrespective of our form or results, please stop rushing players back from injury and throwing them in the deep end. That'd be a good start.

Also stop with the counter attacking shite. We should be controlling games.
 

Irwin99

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I was going to say build around the following players- Onana, Dalot, Martinez, Mainoo, Garnacho and Hojlund but I wonder if a new manager would be happy with some of those players, depending on their style. The first 4 are very press resistant players but the rest of squad is not good enough for that type of football and i get the feeling Garnacho and Hojlund perhaps suit counter attacking football better, but we'll see, maybe i'm wrong.

It's a hell of a task to rebuild this team...again. Yet again! :(
 

MonkeysMagic

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We can make a start by hiring a manager which isn't so cowardly to say having 2 attempts against City with 28% possession is 'playing well' and then hopefully there is enough talent in the squad with better tactics and coaching to get the team passing so we can at least challenge for top 4. With some shrewd signings (hasn't happened for 10 yrs) we may even get close to Liv/City but winning the title is a distant dream.
 

diarm

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Who to buy is a tricky one, but we should aim for players costing 40-60M, on 200k a week contracts. We probably need two British players coming in for HG rules.
Why 200k?

Arsenal have 5 players earning 200k or more and 2 of them are Havertz and Partey who aren’t crucial for them.

200k should be for proven ability and output. Get players in who want to play for Man United - then make big wages achievable but performance based.

Proven elsewhere? Come in on 100k, win a league title and achieve some targets - get a bump to 150k. Make the team of the year or score a set amount of goals / clean sheets, chances created etc - get a bump to 200k. Make a mark in Europe and get nominated for Balon D’Ors or CL teams of the year - get a bump to 250/300k.

We’re giving Champions League superstar wages to Carling Cup pretenders
 

Alex99

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There's literally no point any of us saying "build around this player and sign these players".

It's Football Manager nonsense.

About the only thing I can say is let the new people at the top do their jobs, and get a manager in that's going to stick with the style of football we want to see.

This will quickly expose those who aren't suitable, and we won't be in situations where it's obvious the likes of Maguire and McTominay respectively end up performing as one of our better defenders in an adapted system, and banging in some goals while completely vacating the midfield.

Results might be crap for a bit, or very hit and miss, but at least we'll start seeing who's up for it and who's not.

Unfortunately, I think a fair number of our squad will fall under the latter category.
 

Laurencio

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I agree. and another thing as well, get rid of the manager buying the players. Get ashworth and people below him to identify the players to play the particular system, along with a manager who will play such a system.

What is so disappointing with Ten Hag is that we all thought he would play possession football and now he has reverted back to counter attacking tactics.
The manager has to have input on recruitment, but the manager can't be untouchable and ultimately decide everything from who to target, scout and how hard they should push for that one player. It has to be a fluid conversation though.

Ultimately a good DoF recruits a manager based on how they want the club to play and how they want to recruit. His decisions on what type of player, and which of the preferred targets will fit his tactical style best, has to be taken into account. Recruitment should be a cooperative conversation where a number of experts agree to go in a specific direction - the manager and his coaching team being among those experts. Buying a player that the manager will never play is equally as silly as letting the manager decide targets with no input from others. There must be a balance and mutual trust in place. When recruitment and marketing say "Antony is worth £20M, and we shouldn't go above £40M, because there are better alternatives - and those are x, y and z", the manager actually has to trust that these experts know what they are talking about.

That trust comes from building structures and routines that enable the best possible collection and interpretation of data, and building a backroom team that work well together. Which is probably why INEOS are desperate for Ashworth who has a proven track record of doing just that.

You also need a manager that is willing to work within such an environment. Through that lense, it is clear that the idea of club and manager veto power is counter-productive. If you need to use a veto, you've already failed at building a good structure for cooperation.

If you are at the point where you no longer trust the manager's judgement on which players to keep and their ability to work with recruitment and the rest of the team, you are probably at the point where you need to consider their future. If shouldn't be an either/or as we're seeing with the conversation about Ten Hag.
 

Phil

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Please Lord start with some technical players who can escape a press, have a decent touch, can play a 1-2 etc. If they could be midfielders that’d be great.

In fact, just a team of 11 Mainoos will do