Tackles by attacking players

DWelbz19

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I think these stats + our lack of pressures from the front 4 (less Bruno/Cavani/Lingard) show a mix of:
1. Sheer laziness from our attackers; and
2. Ole not particularly caring too much about pressing from the front.

As it stands, Ronaldo is currently in the 1st percentage for pressures per 90 mins (lol).
 

Champ

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It's pretty obvious it's a tactical ploy now not to tackle from the front.

The forwards press, they just don't engage, in fact we don't often engage until the ball enters our half.

Its not laziness as some have mistaken it for, but it is a reason why we are prone to quick counters as we don't engage high enough up the pitch.
 

Banana Republic

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I'm pleased this thread has been resurrected.
It highlights the biggest problem Utd have with the squad, other than lacking reliable, solid, highly mobile CDM's.
No team can challenge seriously and consistently, having so many midfield and forward players who cannot, or will not effectively put in a defensive shift.
It doesn't necessarily mean a high press. It has to be done wherever it's necessary, over the full length of the pitch.

I wouldn't just rely on the stats either.
The naked eye tells us that even when an effort to press, or tackle is made, it's mostly half-hearted, very weak, too late or a total failure.
How much is this on Ole and the coaching staff?
They haven't rectified these issues, so I can only assume they don't care or are blind to the problem.
Still, I think some of the players involved can take a lot off the blame, either through lack of effort or lack of ability in that defensive role.

Someone earlier pointed out how little, as a proportion of tackles and presses, City's defence has to do, as most of the defensive work is done ahead of them.
The same goes for Liverpool (apart from last season), peak Barcelona (of a few years ago), PSG, Bayern Munich, RM and others.
It's far easier for top defenders like VVD and Diaz to be in command at the back if the hard work has mostly been done in front of them and any attacks that break through are limited, stretched.or more easily defended.

We go on about our abundance of attacking players, all (or most, depending on your point of view) having great individual talent, but can we really have so many players in the team at one time, who are lacking in the defensive department?
Just as a hunch, I don't think we can accommodate more than 2 out of the 11 who don't, or who aren't particularly good at the task. Certainly not 4 or 5 in the line up.


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Dante

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What do you make of Grealish’s 9 tackles? Didn’t he go to City with a reputation as a player who makes zero defensive effort? Surely that’s proof that coaching can change the way footballers play?

Not that proof should be needed. It seems obvious and we’ve seen it happen loads of times before when a new manager takes over a team and changes the way they play.
That reputation was always unfair. He's averaging 1.3 tackles per game this season. Last season it was 1.2, before that it was 1.1 and before that it was 1.3.

The coaching obviously does make a difference. But you can't turn Dimitar Berbatov into Ji Sung Park (or vice versa by bad coaching). It's simply a case that United have more Berbatovs than Parks.
 

Pogue Mahone

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I think these stats + our lack of pressures from the front 4 (less Bruno/Cavani/Lingard) show a mix of:
1. Sheer laziness from our attackers; and
2. Ole not particularly caring too much about pressing from the front.

As it stands, Ronaldo is currently in the 1st percentage for pressures per 90 mins (lol).
Which really highlights the madness of adding Ronaldo to a team that is already woefully short of defensive effort from our attacking players.
 

Champ

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Which really highlights the madness of adding Ronaldo to a team that is already woefully short of defensive effort from our attacking players.
Adding one of the best goalscorers in the world for peanuts is madness now??
 

Pogue Mahone

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Adding one of the best goalscorers in the world for peanuts is madness now??
Paying an enormous salary to a 36 year old player who exaggerates an existing flaw in our team certainly isn’t an inspired decision, put it that way.
 

Tomuś

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I would somewhat ubderstand the lack of pressing from the front players if it meant great movement and energy.

As it stands they are like zombies on and off the ball. Even our counters went to shit.
 

Champ

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Paying an enormous salary to a 36 year old player who exaggerates an existing flaw in our team certainly isn’t an inspired decision, put it that way.
I can't agree with you there at all.

In fact I'd go so far as to say that is one of the strangest takes I've ever seen in here!

Its freaking Ronaldo, it's not just a '36 year old' :houllier:
 

Bobski

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It is a major problem and a key part(along with the lack of pressing) of why it is so easy to get through our midfield. That game against Villareal was a total shambles, not just from the front 3 but Bruno and Pogba in midfield as well, no discipline or structure, just names doing their own chaotic thing. Who are we prepared to sacrifice though, Sancho/Ronaldo/Greenwood as a 3 is pretty much unusable against a decent team.
 

Tyrion

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Well most of those managers are all about high press, defending from the front. Ole isn't. Not sure there's much more to it.

Martial is a disgrace but I don't for a second believe the likes of Rashford and Greenwood aren't putting the shift in if asked.
Agreed. Martial's one tackle is a joke.
 

DWelbz19

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It's pretty obvious it's a tactical ploy now not to tackle from the front.

The forwards press, they just don't engage, in fact we don't often engage until the ball enters our half.

Its not laziness as some have mistaken it for, but it is a reason why we are prone to quick counters as we don't engage high enough up the pitch.
If it’s not laziness then why are players like Fernandes and James in the 90th+ percentiles, whilst lazy players like Rashford and Martial barely scraping the 10th?
 

Champ

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If it’s not laziness then why are players like Fernandes and James in the 90th+ percentiles, whilst lazy players like Rashford and Martial barely scraping the 10th?
As a TEAM we have made the lowest amount of tackles on the premiership this season, either the whole squad is lazy or its tactical, I know what my money is on.
People claiming our forward line is lazy, when the most tackles and pressures in our team are happening in the opposition's defending third, suggesting it's the attacking players doing the bulk of the tackles and pressures.

Its tactical, pure and simple, rather than actually engage in the tackle the players look like they are drilled to play positionally and block passing lanes more passively.
 

Born2Lose

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If it’s not laziness then why are players like Fernandes and James in the 90th+ percentiles, whilst lazy players like Rashford and Martial barely scraping the 10th?
It's going to be interesting seeing if a fit Rashford puts a shift in defensively or the injury was just masking a general tardiness in defensive duties
 

Mickeza

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Paying an enormous salary to a 36 year old player who exaggerates an existing flaw in our team certainly isn’t an inspired decision, put it that way.
Completely devoid of context. You know as well as I do the club couldn’t let him go to City 2 months after fans literally stormed Old Trafford.
 

flappyjay

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If it’s not laziness then why are players like Fernandes and James in the 90th+ percentiles, whilst lazy players like Rashford and Martial barely scraping the 10th?
There is a difference in how we play when Ole 1st arrived and how we play now. December 2019 the same Martial was pressing against Newcastle won the ball and scored. Now we don't play like that. You can tell by how poor we are at pressing when we attempt it.
 

Brexit_Brigade

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As a TEAM we have made the lowest amount of tackles on the premiership this season, either the whole squad is lazy or its tactical, I know what my money is on.
Exactly.

Not to sound like a prick but it seems there are posters on this forum who take the "we have no coaching" thing way too literally. As if the entire forward line is told to press high up the pitch and simply can't be bothered to do it because they're lazy, and the manager is either too nice to give them a bollocking or doesn't realize that they're not following instructions.

The team is doing this by design. Whether it's the right approach or not is a different argument.
 

Mickeza

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As a TEAM we have made the lowest amount of tackles on the premiership this season, either the whole squad is lazy or its tactical, I know what my money is on.
People claiming our forward line is lazy, when the most tackles and pressures in our team are happening in the opposition's defending third, suggesting it's the attacking players doing the bulk of the tackles and pressures.

Its tactical, pure and simple, rather than actually engage in the tackle the players look like they are drilled to play positionally and block passing lanes more passively.
Bang on. Any stats on where we are in terms of interceptions in the opposition half?
 

Pogue Mahone

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Bang on. Any stats on where we are in terms of interceptions in the opposition half?
Dunno about interceptions in the opposition half but we’re 19th for interceptions overall. The other “big” teams are all in the bottom half too, presumably because they have loads of possession. Except Chelsea, who are all the way up in 5th place. Their forwards have relatively low tackled numbers too, so it’s possible they’re making up for that with interceptions. Not an excuse we can use.
 

CloneMC16

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If it’s not laziness then why are players like Fernandes and James in the 90th+ percentiles, whilst lazy players like Rashford and Martial barely scraping the 10th?
This is why I think it's not tactical. We have/had certain players that press quite hard. Bruno, Cavani and Lingard all press pretty hard. The rest of our attackers don't do it. If it was tactical decision, why do these players press and the rest don't? When our high press players do it, they're usually doing it alone. It's pointless and a waste of energy if we're not doing it as a team. You're not going to see Ronaldo, Martial, Sancho, and Mason pressing hard. Rashford's pressing stats were also very low last season. We will see what happens when he gets back on the pitch after the break. I don't know if his injuries were stopping him from pressing.
 
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Adam-Utd

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This is why I think it's not tactical. We have/had certain players that press quite hard. Bruno, Cavani and Lingard all press pretty hard. The rest of our attackers don't do it. If it was tactical decision, why do these players press and the rest don't? When our high press players do it, they're usually doing it alone. It's pointless and a waste of energy if we're not doing it as a team. You're not going to see Ronaldo, Martial, Sancho, and Mason pressing hard. Rashford's pressing stats were also very low last season. We will see what happens when he gets back on the pitch after the break. I don't know if his injuries were stopping him from pressing.
We don't even press as a team.

You get 1 guy like Bruno running at them like mad, then you've got the rest jogging along behind. Midfield are sitting deep protecting the back 4 who aren't squeezing up and they just pass around us easily then counter.
 

CloneMC16

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We don't even press as a team.

You get 1 guy like Bruno running at them like mad, then you've got the rest jogging along behind. Midfield are sitting deep protecting the back 4 who aren't squeezing up and they just pass around us easily then counter.
Yup. It's frustrating to see Bruno or Cavani pressing alone. You see them regularly gesturing and asking for other players to support them, but they rarely get any help.
 

Bilbo

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I think it's pretty clear by now that we are not trying to play a high press and are just incredibly bad at it. Its strategy. The front three are, at best, trying to be a nuisance but the plan seems to be to win the ball back nearer to our own defensive line, with a view to releasing the forward players when they have more space around them. It makes sense when you look at the strengths of our individual players.

Does it work? Not always no. It's a problem. As a team, we should be running more. We have a manager taking every opportunity to talk about the importance of energy, work-rate & passion. Those message are not for the fans. They are for the players.
 

Mickeza

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Dunno about interceptions in the opposition half but we’re 19th for interceptions overall. The other “big” teams are all in the bottom half too, presumably because they have loads of possession. Except Chelsea, who are all the way up in 5th place. Their forwards have relatively low tackled numbers too, so it’s possible they’re making up for that with interceptions. Not an excuse we can use.
Interesting that Chelsea average 7% lower possession than us at 53%. We’ve been poor off the ball this year - we’re playing a higher line and not stopping the transition at source which both makes us vulnerable to the counters but also stops us sustaining attacks - something City are incredible at. We’re far too easy to play against - the Villarreal keeper literally studding the ball and pausing still for 5 seconds still sticks in my mind. He did that twice.
 

Pogue Mahone

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Interesting that Chelsea average 7% lower possession than us at 53%. We’ve been poor off the ball this year - we’re playing a higher line and not stopping the transition at source which both makes us vulnerable to the counters but also stops us sustaining attacks - something City are incredible at. We’re far too easy to play against - the Villarreal keeper literally studding the ball and pausing still for 5 seconds still sticks in my mind. He did that twice.
Yeah, all the patterns of play moaning is triggered by how ponderous we look in possession but there’s something fundamentally broken in how we function when we lose the ball too. And there are many much lesser teams who seem way better organised than us in this regard but don’t have the calibre of players we have to paper over the cracks.
 

mav_9me

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Yeah, all the patterns of play moaning is triggered by how ponderous we look in possession but there’s something fundamentally broken in how we function when we lose the ball too. And there are many much lesser teams who seem way better organised than us in this regard but don’t have the calibre of players we have to paper over the cracks.
I think both are related and the result of lack of coaching and lack of proper patterns of play imo.

What I mean is we rarely keep the ball well enough, nor do we probe a parked defense with intricate pass and move. So we end up essentially waiting for someone on the ball on the wings to do something.

And of course when that doesn't happen, the opposition is well set and compact and can easily counter (particularly given how we don't press) and how bad the CM is in recycling the ball properly. Everton's goal was a good ex of that. Fred originally lost the ball trying to nick it off, should have clearly done better.
 

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Side note. Manchester United have made fewer tackles than any other PL club so far this season.

19th place for interceptions. Chelsea are in 5th place. All the other big teams are bottom half (which you’d expect) but that might explain why Chelsea forwards making relatively few tackles.
This is abysmal. Goes some way to explaining how opposition teams carve through the midfield like it doesn’t exist. Pressing is non-existent at the moment, too.
 

SirReginald

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Yup. It's frustrating to see Bruno or Cavani pressing alone. You see them regularly gesturing and asking for other players to support them, but they rarely get any help.
So for those saying it’s a tactical decision, would the players who do try to press gesture and get angry when no one else participates do that it if it was tactical? Sounds to me as if it’s just a mentality issue and that’s down to the coach for allowing that to manifest.
 

Daengophile

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I remember the days when we all collectively wished Scholes didn't make any tackles!
 

::sonny::

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We started to lose games after the signing of Ronaldo

Could depends by the fact that he can’t press or tackle and this put even more pressure on already weak midfield?
 

acnumber9

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We started to lose games after the signing of Ronaldo

Could depends by the fact that he can’t press or tackle and this put even more pressure on already weak midfield?
Could be that you can only get away with shit performances for so long. We were every bit as bad against Southampton and Wolves.
 

flappyjay

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So for those saying it’s a tactical decision, would the players who do try to press gesture and get angry when no one else participates do that it if it was tactical? Sounds to me as if it’s just a mentality issue and that’s down to the coach for allowing that to manifest.
All those players you mentioned have always plays like that, high energy players who are always on the move. Are pressing is haphazard. Sometimes our front presses and you see the fullbacks who are crucial in pressing hang back.