The Deadwoods Assassinated by Babyface

dalriada

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I cannot remember a game, in recent times at least even against much lesser opposition and in fact going back to SAF's time, when we have made eight changes (usually to a winning team) and still looked capable of winning a game, quite often only scrapping through with some good luck (like opposition going down to ten), or more likely going down to inglorious defeat.

Fergie did it regularly and we came unstuck on a few occasions, similarly LvG, and Jose and now Ole. Whatever possess a manager to believe he can make eight changes with perhaps two or three days preparation and get the result. Surely they must know its a gamble changing a winning team? Of course there is an argument for rotation of players but not eight changes all at once! in any case players have just had three months off.

I suppose because there was no crowd there, in this case Ole didn't have to consider the fans, but when you've spent money to travel away especially, and to have such teams put out is to my mind a disgrace and an insult to the fans.

Ole must know he's only got maybe five or six really good players, the rest are squad level only and when introduced one or maybe two at a time they can hold the line, but this wholesale introduction is a nonsense, squad players need game time we know but not eight, all at once ffs!
The reason for so many changes is that, following the lockdown, players who haven't played yet need minutes because the number of games left (League, FA Cup ans EL) means these players will be used, much as some people on this forum won't like it. We can already see some teams in the EPL are struggling for lack of numbers in their squads.

The calculation is, can the manager get a result, with a changed team, against the bottom team, in a cup match? On this occasion it was a close run thing, and Ole won't be happy that he ended up haven't to play 120 minutes. The gain is that he could use his best players sparingly, with a couple of exceptions, and get some of the other players match fit - and you could see how some of them were huffing and puffing for lack of match fitness. They do surely know it's a gamble, but those gambles are part of a manager's lot.
 

Eckers99

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Get Rid:
Jones
Smalling
Sanchez
Pereira
Lingard

Probably Also Get Rid:
Mata
Matic
Dalot
Rojo

Could do with an upgrade:
Lindelof/Bailly
Shaw
James (dont sell him though)

Wouldnt be fussed if we sold and got an adequate replacement:
De Gea (to promote Henderson)
Pogba
Matic? He's currently one of our most important players.
 

dalriada

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Lingard is going to be gone and he's playing like he knows it.
Probably is going (depending how COVID affects the transfer market), and does have that downbeat look of a man who's played very little part this season, but I thought mostly he just didn't look match fit, like several other players. So don't know we can read too much into performances of players in their first game since the lockdown.

Out of necessity, I think he will still be used between now and the end of the season - unlike, say, Jones, who really has become Ole's player of last resort.
 

Wednesday at Stoke

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Probably is going (depending how COVID affects the transfer market), and does have that downbeat look of a man who's played very little part this season, but I thought mostly he just didn't look match fit, like several other players. So don't know we can read too much into performances of players in their first game since the lockdown.

Out of necessity, I think he will still be used between now and the end of the season - unlike, say, Jones, who really has become Ole's player of last resort.
Other than the Europa league return fixture against LASK, I cannot think of a single fixture that Lingard might feature in until the game is put to rest. Even the FA cup is in the semi final stage now and very likely will feature starters.
 

RashyForPM

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I don't think many people on here had that opinion. But a lot, including myself, was of the opinion that a sale of especially Lukaku was a risky move because of our lack of strikers in general. And I was no where near a fan of his. But selling him with no apparent replacement coming in was risky, because we had to rely on Rashford and Martial stepping up in a striker role none of them seemed comfortable in at the given time. Had we loaned Ighalo at the start of the season instead of midway through I would have been very happy.

Obviously everything is very much different now, when we are starting to see Martial and Rashford produce serious numbers up front, and we slowly are adjusting to a system where more players seem to contribute to goalscoring. But during the season (especially the fall) we were in desperate need of a striker that could hold up the ball and be a constant presence and noisance in the opponents penalty box. Had we kept Lukaku, I bet we could have swung a few more results our way which could have seen us closer to top 4.

Obviously, keeping Lukaku was not a guarentee of more goals and points, and maybe he wasn't too good for the dressing room. But we can't just neglect that we were crying out for more depth in the striker position, especially when Martial was out injured for about 10 games between August and October.
You’re right to say that we should have loaned Ighalo in at the start, but I firmly believe that Lukaku had to go.

First, his performances last season. Was it 12 goals in all competitions? What’s worse, half of those came in 3 games and none after March along with some truly useless performances when the top 4 battle truly heated up. From that, I already know this lad wouldn’t be the man to get us top 4 this season. A total bottler against the big teams too. Yes, we needed a striker in fall, but not this man. Also, I genuinely think this myth that he holds it up well just originated from the fact that he is 6’4 and around 95kg. His touch is so bad, and by that I mean even League 1 and League 2 players would laugh when seeing it. Tell me Akinfenwa doesn’t have a better touch :lol:. All he has going for him is his finishing, which is fantastic tbf.

Besides, what was with his off-field antics? Telling people to grow up? You’re the lad crying about players not listening to the manager. Saying he thought about leaving after his 2nd game? Ok. Revealing everybody’s top speeds? That’s just below the belt. Besides, whoever genuinely thinks that he’s quicker than Dan James needs to go to Specsavers. When Ole said the other day that he’d rather have a hole than an a**hole in the squad, I’m sure he meant Lukaku.

I thank him for 27 goals in 2017-18, but I’m happy that he’s been banished to Italy now.
 

dalriada

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I think most of this is academic discussion, in the sense that we can have opinions on games and performances but all the figures flying around concerning transfer fees and wages and who will be offloaded for how much are matters for the owners and the management. I guess we have an interest because we know we need to lose some players to make funds available for new ones, beyond that it's a matter of "I wish xxx wasn't here any more".

Most of the "deadwood" are on a list most supporters will agree on:
Sánchez, Smalling and Rojo have already been farmed out, and although Ole spoke as though there might be a role for Rojo, the player himself wants regular football and is now 30 years old. Smalling is the only uncertainty of these three - there is a case that he needed a season away from United to see how he performed, and on that count he has done well.

Jones is the one player still at Old Trafford who is very clearly out of favour (and currently injured again) - has anyone else seen what I thought was a pitch-side spat between him and Ole just after Dalot's goal against Tranmere? Still haven't figured what it was about. Whether he goes or not (and there doesn't seem to be a queue of buyers), he can only expect to get a game if everyone else is unavailable.

I suspect that Lingard is on "last chance" notice until the end of this season, but it's possible he's already been told his contract won't be renewed. The COVID situation has made the transfer market guesswork, but my guess is he will leave at the end of the season if he can find a club.

Pereira and Mata are now on many peoples' hate lists, now that Young and Fellaini have gone - I doubt if Pereira will go until someone else is bought or comes through from the second team, or his own form improves; he will he stay as a squad player. The antagonism towards Juan Mata I really don't understand, except that his form has fallen off. I thought there were good signs that Mata and Fernandes will work well together before the lockdown, and I think Mata's ability is still there. I also think he's been one of our most underused players since he arrived because of the changes in management. A creative and intelligent player, I think Ole will want to keep him and let him retire gracefully, and not just for sentimental reasons.

The rest can't really be described as "deadwood", more players who have had periods of poor form but have or can improve (Matić, Lindelöf), haven't played enough this season to know but could yet be useful (Bailly, Tuanzebe, Fosu-Mensah, Dalot) or are only just coming through from the second team (Chong, Garner).

You have to say that at various times Pogba, Martial, Matić, James, Lindelöf, Shaw and Williams have all been on peoples' lists of "not good enough" or "get rid of", some still are. I've had my doubts about Pogba and Martial (for reasons other than deadwood), but the only players I would definitely say should go at this point are Sánchez and Jones because we don't need them, Rojo because he wants to go and probably Lingard because his time is up and he needs to go for his own good as much as ours.
 

dalriada

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Other than the Europa league return fixture against LASK, I cannot think of a single fixture that Lingard might feature in until the game is put to rest. Even the FA cup is in the semi final stage now and very likely will feature starters.
Agree that at this stage of the FA Cup and EL (after Lask), Ole will want his better players. I can see Lingard being used against any of Bournemouth, Villa or West Ham, all of which are looking like easier pickings following the restart. The point is, he can't only use his top players in all our remaining EPL matches and FA Cup and EL (depending how far we progress), there are just too many games too close together, and potentially in hot weather - and possibly injuries.
 

Brightonian

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I think most of this is academic discussion, in the sense that we can have opinions on games and performances but all the figures flying around concerning transfer fees and wages and who will be offloaded for how much are matters for the owners and the management. I guess we have an interest because we know we need to lose some players to make funds available for new ones, beyond that it's a matter of "I wish xxx wasn't here any more".

Most of the "deadwood" are on a list most supporters will agree on:
Sánchez, Smalling and Rojo have already been farmed out, and although Ole spoke as though there might be a role for Rojo, the player himself wants regular football and is now 30 years old. Smalling is the only uncertainty of these three - there is a case that he needed a season away from United to see how he performed, and on that count he has done well.

Jones is the one player still at Old Trafford who is very clearly out of favour (and currently injured again) - has anyone else seen what I thought was a pitch-side spat between him and Ole just after Dalot's goal against Tranmere? Still haven't figured what it was about. Whether he goes or not (and there doesn't seem to be a queue of buyers), he can only expect to get a game if everyone else is unavailable.

I suspect that Lingard is on "last chance" notice until the end of this season, but it's possible he's already been told his contract won't be renewed. The COVID situation has made the transfer market guesswork, but my guess is he will leave at the end of the season if he can find a club.

Pereira and Mata are now on many peoples' hate lists, now that Young and Fellaini have gone - I doubt if Pereira will go until someone else is bought or comes through from the second team, or his own form improves; he will he stay as a squad player. The antagonism towards Juan Mata I really don't understand, except that his form has fallen off. I thought there were good signs that Mata and Fernandes will work well together before the lockdown, and I think Mata's ability is still there. I also think he's been one of our most underused players since he arrived because of the changes in management. A creative and intelligent player, I think Ole will want to keep him and let him retire gracefully, and not just for sentimental reasons.

The rest can't really be described as "deadwood", more players who have had periods of poor form but have or can improve (Matić, Lindelöf), haven't played enough this season to know but could yet be useful (Bailly, Tuanzebe, Fosu-Mensah, Dalot) or are only just coming through from the second team (Chong, Garner).

You have to say that at various times Pogba, Martial, Matić, James, Lindelöf, Shaw and Williams have all been on peoples' lists of "not good enough" or "get rid of", some still are. I've had my doubts about Pogba and Martial (for reasons other than deadwood), but the only players I would definitely say should go at this point are Sánchez and Jones because we don't need them, Rojo because he wants to go and probably Lingard because his time is up and he needs to go for his own good as much as ours.
Very good round-up of the situation, I agree with the vast majority of that.
 

El Zoido

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I think most of this is academic discussion, in the sense that we can have opinions on games and performances but all the figures flying around concerning transfer fees and wages and who will be offloaded for how much are matters for the owners and the management. I guess we have an interest because we know we need to lose some players to make funds available for new ones, beyond that it's a matter of "I wish xxx wasn't here any more".

Most of the "deadwood" are on a list most supporters will agree on:
Sánchez, Smalling and Rojo have already been farmed out, and although Ole spoke as though there might be a role for Rojo, the player himself wants regular football and is now 30 years old. Smalling is the only uncertainty of these three - there is a case that he needed a season away from United to see how he performed, and on that count he has done well.

Jones is the one player still at Old Trafford who is very clearly out of favour (and currently injured again) - has anyone else seen what I thought was a pitch-side spat between him and Ole just after Dalot's goal against Tranmere? Still haven't figured what it was about. Whether he goes or not (and there doesn't seem to be a queue of buyers), he can only expect to get a game if everyone else is unavailable.

I suspect that Lingard is on "last chance" notice until the end of this season, but it's possible he's already been told his contract won't be renewed. The COVID situation has made the transfer market guesswork, but my guess is he will leave at the end of the season if he can find a club.

Pereira and Mata are now on many peoples' hate lists, now that Young and Fellaini have gone - I doubt if Pereira will go until someone else is bought or comes through from the second team, or his own form improves; he will he stay as a squad player. The antagonism towards Juan Mata I really don't understand, except that his form has fallen off. I thought there were good signs that Mata and Fernandes will work well together before the lockdown, and I think Mata's ability is still there. I also think he's been one of our most underused players since he arrived because of the changes in management. A creative and intelligent player, I think Ole will want to keep him and let him retire gracefully, and not just for sentimental reasons.

The rest can't really be described as "deadwood", more players who have had periods of poor form but have or can improve (Matić, Lindelöf), haven't played enough this season to know but could yet be useful (Bailly, Tuanzebe, Fosu-Mensah, Dalot) or are only just coming through from the second team (Chong, Garner).

You have to say that at various times Pogba, Martial, Matić, James, Lindelöf, Shaw and Williams have all been on peoples' lists of "not good enough" or "get rid of", some still are. I've had my doubts about Pogba and Martial (for reasons other than deadwood), but the only players I would definitely say should go at this point are Sánchez and Jones because we don't need them, Rojo because he wants to go and probably Lingard because his time is up and he needs to go for his own good as much as ours.
Good post. The problem is that a lot of fans seem to think that running a football club is a videogame, where you can just bin off 6 players overnight and then sign 6 world class replacements just as easily. Changing a club and a culture takes years. It took Man City four years of doing almost everything right before they finally won the league, and they had a bottomless pit of money at their disposal.
 

Maticmaker

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The reason for so many changes is that, following the lockdown, players who haven't played yet need minutes because the number of games left (League, FA Cup ans EL) means these players will be used, much as some people on this forum won't like it. We can already see some teams in the EPL are struggling for lack of numbers in their squads.

The calculation is, can the manager get a result, with a changed team, against the bottom team, in a cup match? On this occasion it was a close run thing, and Ole won't be happy that he ended up haven't to play 120 minutes. The gain is that he could use his best players sparingly, with a couple of exceptions, and get some of the other players match fit - and you could see how some of them were huffing and puffing for lack of match fitness. They do surely know it's a gamble, but those gambles are part of a manager's lot.
Eight changes, all at once, when there is no need?
 

Maticmaker

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I don't see the problem so long as it works, at least in the current circumstances of getting players back up to match fitness for the remaining games, which are many and close together.
Our top players, who were supposedly being 'rested' had to go on eventually, then they had to work hard to win a game that was more than half over when they came on, it was now also against a team who had found its confidence as the game progressed, mainly through our ineptitude, they then had to play an extra half an hour on top of that, some rest that was! We also needed Norwich to go down to ten, to enable us eek our way through.

Yes....make changes, save legs, give players minutes on the pitch, etc. all that I agree with, but taking a risk with eight changes, all at once, in a sudden death competition, which also is the only domestic silverware still available to us this year, has me worried about Ole's lack of experience. I would back his style and methods of play, but some choices he makes worry me, the sooner we have a DF the better.

Why not start with the winning team from the Sheffield game, or if you want make changes to start with, start with two changes. Go on then and secure the win, then bring on up to five subs... to give game time, to some, to save legs etc. its not rocket science really.
 

ReddBalls

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Why not start with the winning team from the Sheffield game, or if you want make changes to start with, start with two changes. Go on then and secure the win, then bring on up to five subs... to give game time, to some, to save legs etc. its not rocket science really.
I really have no idea, but it might be less demanding to play against tired legs than fresh ones. Also, if you start with your best players, you can't really take them off until the game is won, and you don't have the firepower on the bench to change the game if it goes south.
 

OleTheGreat

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With the news of Smalling going on loan to Roma, it seems as though Ole is the one who finally clears out our deadwood. The following have been sold/loaned out since Ole arrived:

Fellaini
Herrera
Valencia
Lukaku
Sanchez
Smalling

To follow:
Jones
Rojo
Darmian

Are you happy with the clear out? Are you happy the players are leaving but annoyed with the lack of incoming players?
You're forgetting Blind
 

Tibs

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Dalot - it's not going to happen for him here
Lingard - had a fair shot
Tuanzebe - always injured
Mata - Lost any pace he had and the balance of the team goes with him on the right.
Smalling - Will stay in Italy, good luck to him

If we get that done this summer, and bring in Sancho and a defender, we will be back in the game
 

dalriada

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Our top players, who were supposedly being 'rested' had to go on eventually, then they had to work hard to win a game that was more than half over when they came on, it was now also against a team who had found its confidence as the game progressed, mainly through our ineptitude, they then had to play an extra half an hour on top of that, some rest that was! We also needed Norwich to go down to ten, to enable us eek our way through.

Yes....make changes, save legs, give players minutes on the pitch, etc. all that I agree with, but taking a risk with eight changes, all at once, in a sudden death competition, which also is the only domestic silverware still available to us this year, has me worried about Ole's lack of experience. I would back his style and methods of play, but some choices he makes worry me, the sooner we have a DF the better.

Why not start with the winning team from the Sheffield game, or if you want make changes to start with, start with two changes. Go on then and secure the win, then bring on up to five subs... to give game time, to some, to save legs etc. its not rocket science really.
It's the manager's call, and manager's often do this in cup matches against lower teams. I admit it was a gamble and nearly didn't come off, but I suspect a calculated one that doesn't tell us anything about Ole's tactical acumen. In the normal way of things it wouldn't be necessary, but the need to get as many players as possible up to speed following circumstances we haven't had since WW2 I think was driving the decision. I'd rather take a gamble against Norwich in the FA Cup than wear too many players out with two games a week and the chance of a ECL spot, plus the Europa League games after that if we continue to progress.
 

fps

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I think and hope Mata will still be around next season. Useful for coming in and playing when needed, kicks up no fuss, excellent influence.
 

Web of Bissaka

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Jones and Lingard are still here....
Contract
Jones - until 2023
Lingard - until 2021

Jones is staying, let's just accept it. Can't see him leaving permanently or for loan either, doubt any club is interested in getting a player who won't play.
Would be interesting to see how the club deals with Lingard's. But then it won't surprise me if his get extended just because..
 

anant

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Alright but he was deadwood nonetheless :P
Wasn't his biggest fan, but he definitely wasn't deadwood. Intelligent, versatile, technically better than any defender we were having. I agree he wasn't the most consistent of players, but I felt he was pretty useful
 

Maticmaker

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It's the manager's call, and manager's often do this in cup matches against lower teams. I admit it was a gamble and nearly didn't come off, but I suspect a calculated one that doesn't tell us anything about Ole's tactical acumen. In the normal way of things it wouldn't be necessary, but the need to get as many players as possible up to speed following circumstances we haven't had since WW2 I think was driving the decision. I'd rather take a gamble against Norwich in the FA Cup than wear too many players out with two games a week and the chance of a ECL spot, plus the Europa League games after that if we continue to progress.
I agree it certainly is the managers call, you are quite right about that, but I do think it tells us a whole lot about Ole's tactical acumen... which is precisely what worries me. Clearly the FA Cup is Ole's third priority, in which case its fair enough to gamble on the Norwich game... but it was still a reckless gamble with eight changes made at the same time. The worry for me is not so much Ole valuing the league or Europa above the FA Cup, but his obvious belief that those eight changes he made could achieve a result.
 

fps

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Excellent? Agree only if we did not get better replacements.

Before Mata, there are 2-3 more players we should get rid first, priority-wise.
Excellent influence on the squad I mean. Professional, friendly, positive.
 

bsCallout

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Our top players, who were supposedly being 'rested' had to go on eventually, then they had to work hard to win a game that was more than half over when they came on, it was now also against a team who had found its confidence as the game progressed, mainly through our ineptitude, they then had to play an extra half an hour on top of that, some rest that was! We also needed Norwich to go down to ten, to enable us eek our way through.

Yes....make changes, save legs, give players minutes on the pitch, etc. all that I agree with, but taking a risk with eight changes, all at once, in a sudden death competition, which also is the only domestic silverware still available to us this year, has me worried about Ole's lack of experience. I would back his style and methods of play, but some choices he makes worry me, the sooner we have a DF the better.

Why not start with the winning team from the Sheffield game, or if you want make changes to start with, start with two changes. Go on then and secure the win, then bring on up to five subs... to give game time, to some, to save legs etc. its not rocket science really.
The changes were justified. He fielded basically the same team as in the last round. We have a packed schedule and need to rest certain players and give others game time against our weakest opponent.

The players that came on hardly had to exert themselves much, we camped round their box for the last 75 minutes or so.
 

fps

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Only problem he isn't good at football anymore which negates all the positives you have mentioned
He is a squad player, and happy to be one. I think that's useful in that he can play cup games or if injuries are really severe, won't do anything silly, he is essentially a third choice and I agree that there are other players who need to go before we worry about him.
 

alexthelion

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I agree it certainly is the managers call, you are quite right about that, but I do think it tells us a whole lot about Ole's tactical acumen... which is precisely what worries me. Clearly the FA Cup is Ole's third priority, in which case its fair enough to gamble on the Norwich game... but it was still a reckless gamble with eight changes made at the same time. The worry for me is not so much Ole valuing the league or Europa above the FA Cup, but his obvious belief that those eight changes he made could achieve a result.
Well, they were winning even with those 8 changes.

The equaliser came after he'd made subs.
 

Svartzonker

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This summer
- Lingard or Pereira
- Jones
- Alexis
- Smalling (Replacement needed)
- Rojo

Next summer
- Mata
- Matic (replacement needed)
- Lingard or Pereira
 

LoneStar

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This summer
- Lingard or Pereira
- Jones
- Alexis
- Smalling (Replacement needed)
- Rojo

Next summer
- Mata
- Matic (replacement needed)
- Lingard or Pereira
I don’t think we can sell all of Mata, Periera and Lingard at once. One of them should stay if they are content to be a squad player. Every successful team needs a big rooster of players and some fringe players for rotation.

Also I’d keep Matic for more than one season, with his potential replacement to be targeted this summer window. He’d be great to mentor young players as well.

agree with rest. Think Ole has done a good job of moving out deadwood so far, and I’m hopeful most of the names you mentioned will be moved on at some point.
 

Eli Zee

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Jones and Lingard are still here....
More worried about mata and lingard... Mata absolutely needs to go. He is way too slow. It’s like playing with 10.5men when he plays.

I like him as a person but if Manchester United wants to be the best, they need to be more ruthless. They can’t just give these players a free salary to be garbage/barely play.
 

dalriada

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I agree it certainly is the managers call, you are quite right about that, but I do think it tells us a whole lot about Ole's tactical acumen... which is precisely what worries me. Clearly the FA Cup is Ole's third priority, in which case its fair enough to gamble on the Norwich game... but it was still a reckless gamble with eight changes made at the same time. The worry for me is not so much Ole valuing the league or Europa above the FA Cup, but his obvious belief that those eight changes he made could achieve a result.
I guess the selection he's put out tonight against Brighton is an indication of his thinking, as this is the game with most potential to trip us up and we need the momentum in the EPL - he has all his players from the Sheffield match available to start and a strong bench.
Personally, I think he was entitled to expect the team he had against Norwich to win that match - Bailly, Dalot and Lingard were the obvious risks, the rest are players who were regulars up to the lockdown. The fact it went almost down to the wire had as much to do with lack of match fitness for me, and I thought that was the gamble.
Incidentally, Sammy McIlroy agreed with you on MUTV, there are legitimate differences of opinion on this. He got away with it, so I'm not getting too worked up.
 

Sandikan

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I don’t think we can sell all of Mata, Periera and Lingard at once. One of them should stay if they are content to be a squad player. Every successful team needs a big rooster of players and some fringe players for rotation.

Also I’d keep Matic for more than one season, with his potential replacement to be targeted this summer window. He’d be great to mentor young players as well.

agree with rest. Think Ole has done a good job of moving out deadwood so far, and I’m hopeful most of the names you mentioned will be moved on at some point.
The thing with some of these players is that they're adequate as squad players, when you're making a couple of changes.

It's when we have 4-5 of them in the first eleven you really suffer.

You wonder who will take Mata, Lingard and Jones when they're all on huge wages.