The disrespect of Nemanja Matic

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I’ve seen it all over social media for the entire lockdown, “who starts with Bruno & Pogba - McTominay or Fred?” I’ve seen people saying DM is the position that we most urgently need to strengthen along with RW & I highly disagree.

The majority of fans have Matic on their “sell” list when discussing our squad, like he’s a Pereira, Jones or Lingard level player. May I ask why? He is our best (and only natural) DM by a country mile, rarely misplaces a pass, keeps it simple, tackles & intercepts well. What is the issue with him? Why is he so often disrespected & disregarded by our fans?

He hasn’t had a poor game since last season, so the only thing I can think of is that a lot of fans just don’t actually watch the games & judge him on being shit on FIFA perhaps? Or is it because he’s in his 30’s? The number of people who rate McTominay higher than him is astounding to me.

In my humble opinion, upgrading our GK, CB, LB, RW & CF are all more of an urgent priority than upgrading on Matic. This myth that Fred & McTominay are better suited for playing with Bruno & Pogba needs to die. Would Ndidi & Partey even be the giant upgrade fans seem to think? Because I don’t see it. Getting a top quality left back, centre back & right winger post season is far more important.
 

izec

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He is not a fancy name or player, and people have written him off mid to long term. he is good for a year or two as a rotation player and i see him vital currently, but i think we need to plan his replacement soon. He can't play every game in a season or for a few weeks in a 3 day rhythm.

Big mistake to not start him yesterday. The only player who can take the ball from the defense and bring/pass it forward in a good manner without losing the ball every second time. He brings structure to our chaotic game and is good at the basics in football that many don't see, like positioning and decision making. With our fullbacks being not great at attacking and Lindelöf not doing anything, it is on him and Maguire to bring the ball forward most of the time.
 

Nickelodeon

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His drop in form during Jose’s final days plus his age (30 is the new 60) has been the sole reason why people refuse to objectively judge him based on actual performances.
 

GlasgowCeltic

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Clear hesitancy to acknowledge his importance because he’s undoubtably a Jose man
 

Judas

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Can't play twice a week, has to be managed or he'll get burnt out as we've seen. When fully fit and fresh, obviously the best DM we've got by miles.
 

Eckers99

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He's certainly the best (maybe only) pure DM we've got, so is still an important important cog if we're playing a 3 man midfield. Plus, he's hardly put a foot wrong since being recalled, so should definitely be playing games between now and the end of the season.
 

Web of Bissaka

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You guys are too negative. Why is it "disrespectful"? just because it's not "praises"?

Yeah, he's still good in that midfield stuffs, the best overall at doing the many center-midfield roles. The best we've got as purely holding CM or CDM. Yet we can't ignore his shortcomings. He's no longer in his prime and weaknesses are clear.
1) Defensively is his only weaknesses now, specifically can be beaten by pace too easily. Bear in mind how our CBs can be beaten by that too easily and it's a risky option. Players can easily run past him by (happened a lot already, forgot?). Our midfield tend to get over run by if he's not partnered with "midfield legs" eg. Fred or McT.​
2) His combination with Pogba is usually/normally so bad. Poor chemistry. Which is funny really, when he first joined us, he is said to be the players that can "release" Pogba's potential or what not.​
3) Play him too much and his form likely will get worse, as past games showed. So he cannot be the main starter CDM.​
4) Which players didn't get worse as they age circa 30, especially for midfielders? There are some, very rare and it depends on systems and roles eg. Pirlo as deep-lying playmaker. Majority of normal midfielders (or players in general) gets worse. So we need to start and look for better.​
 

Buster15

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Clear hesitancy to acknowledge his importance because he’s undoubtably a Jose man
Bingo.
He is extremely good at executing his role. Nothing flash and nothing fancy. Just does his job.
And yes. He was a Mourinho player. Who cares as long as he does his job.
 

The Original

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Yep.

Against a team that's sitting back and playing physically, if you want to take the game to them you need to have your most technical players on the pitch.

That ought to have meant starting with Pogba, Matic, and Greenwood. I was one of the few who consistently called for Matic ahead of McTominay and Fred.
 

Sandikan

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Like G Nev said, we've gone from a position you wondered if we'd ever have a decent centre mid again, to suddenly having 4 or 5 who can rotate.
 

SATA

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He’s a brilliant player. For a player of his size, he has fantastic technical ability. I only wish he was 25 and anchors our midfield for the next half decade
 

el3mel

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He's weirdly hated for no reason. Great player and character, and very, very useful to have in the squad. Maybe not starting every game but some games he's just very needed in.

There're some players here that they get hated and slaughtered all the time whether their performance is. Matic, Lindelof, previously Fellaini..etc. I criticized them whenever they were poor when they play well they need to get credit. Some just slaughter them regardless.
 

jamesjimmybyrondean

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He's weirdly hated for no reason. Great player and character, and very, very useful to have in the squad. Maybe not starting every game but some games he's just very needed in.

There're some players here that they get hated and slaughtered all the time whether their performance is. Matic, Lindelof, previously Fellaini..etc. I criticized them whenever they were poor when they play well they need to get credit. Some just slaughter them regardless.
Really
 

charlenefan

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I like Matic, he's was really good for the majority of his first season, up and down like everyone in his second and has been good when played so far this season. I do expect next season to be his final one at the club though
 

mu4c_20le

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Because he's done and the occasional decent cameo shouldn't change the fact that we should be looking to move on players like him if we are to progress as a club.
 

edcunited1878

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It's because he's slower and people can get caught up in the energy and running around.

Many times, defensive players do well and go under the radar. It's only when they make clear mistakes or showcase sheer physicality or this mythical ball playing skill that translates into dozens of chances to they get hyped up.

Matic has composure, reading of the game, and passing that McTominay does not have. But like people who questioned Bruno for being MOTM yesterday because he's the shiny new toy, people anoint McTominay as this next best shiny new toy from the academy who cannot pass, read the game nor have the composure like Matic.

Matic and Fred were the undisputed best double pivot before the lockdown because they complemented each other very well but most Importantly, they can both pass the ball well, recycle the ball, and play off each other. One is calm and composed, the other is moving consistently with quality on the ball to connect with forward players.

McTominay's goal against City was a complete false positive in terms of his impact and play as a central midfielder. He has a lot to improve upon and until his passing gets to a good level, he'll never be better than Matic. Luckily he has age on his side.

Allow Matic to play 60 to 70 minutes and have McTominay close out matches. If United go with a midfield diamond, it has to be Matic, Pogba, Fred, Bruno. All can pass at levels higher than McTominay.
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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I’ve seen it all over social media for the entire lockdown, “who starts with Bruno & Pogba - McTominay or Fred?” I’ve seen people saying DM is the position that we most urgently need to strengthen along with RW & I highly disagree.

The majority of fans have Matic on their “sell” list when discussing our squad, like he’s a Pereira, Jones or Lingard level player. May I ask why? He is our best (and only natural) DM by a country mile, rarely misplaces a pass, keeps it simple, tackles & intercepts well. What is the issue with him? Why is he so often disrespected & disregarded by our fans?

He hasn’t had a poor game since last season, so the only thing I can think of is that a lot of fans just don’t actually watch the games & judge him on being shit on FIFA perhaps? Or is it because he’s in his 30’s? The number of people who rate McTominay higher than him is astounding to me.

In my humble opinion, upgrading our GK, CB, LB, RW & CF are all more of an urgent priority than upgrading on Matic. This myth that Fred & McTominay are better suited for playing with Bruno & Pogba needs to die. Would Ndidi & Partey even be the giant upgrade fans seem to think? Because I don’t see it. Getting a top quality left back, centre back & right winger post season is far more important.
You should start questioning yourself whether you actually watch the right things. If you actually watch him prior January 2020 or prior the Burnely away game, the guy has been lazy & ball watching. Players went pass him so easily and instead of tracking back, he was jogging back & ball watching. It's unacceptable especially when he is in the category of defensive mid.

He's been very poor since last season to half of this season and he already started to decline in his 2nd half of his first season. He only started look good again this year which to me it has deluded your judgment.

It's either now he started care more or it was down to fatigue since he can't play too many games anymore. But if you really think he's been anything good or decent before 2020 then I completely disagree.
 

limerickcitykid

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Certain posters here have always been a joke when it comes to Matic. Even during his dip in form you couldn’t have an actual objective view of his performances. He was the worst player in the world and that was that, even though in a few matches he was actually decent.

Not the only player, as soon as you’re in the bad books people just refuse to acknowledge anything else. Largely I believe due to many people not having any fecking clue about how football actually works so they just parrot what they’ve previously heard and read and continue to throw the same book no matter the actual performance.
 

red woppit

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Well that’s just simply not true.
I'm afraid it certainly was true before this sudden resurgence in form, it's as if he didn't believe in the football we were playing under Jose, and consequently his performances were poor to say the least, but he seems to believe in this team/squad, so we are seeing much better performances from him. His lack of pace is a worry, and he will need only one game per week, but he still looks a class act on the ball. One more season from him, and I think we will say goodbye,but he has been a decent player for us, hopefully one of the academy lads can fill that gap when he finally goes.
 

red thru&thru

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Matic is a very good player. Fred and McT can learn a lot from him. He should start next game.
 

Greck

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Well that’s just simply not true.
It's true alright. Matic was always a couple consecutive starts away from reverting to power saving mode and picking when to give effort. He's lost his legs and his languid style didn't help because it gave the optics that he just didn't care. He can't be a constant starter anymore. I don't even know how we're going to accommodate him and Maguire when we want to push up and attack.

edit: oh and that's without factoring starting Lindelof and Pogba in what might be the least agile least mobile defensive quartet.
 
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hmchan

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Kante has revolutionized the way people look at defensive midfielder, now everyone considers mobility and coverage as the top priorities for a DM. Unfortunately Matic is not good in those areas and hence he is not rated by many.
 

Lennon7

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He’s had plenty of poor games. He’s extremely slow, average in his attacking abilities and we could just do a lot better in general.
 

Tom Cato

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I’ve seen it all over social media for the entire lockdown, “who starts with Bruno & Pogba - McTominay or Fred?” I’ve seen people saying DM is the position that we most urgently need to strengthen along with RW & I highly disagree.

The majority of fans have Matic on their “sell” list when discussing our squad, like he’s a Pereira, Jones or Lingard level player. May I ask why? He is our best (and only natural) DM by a country mile, rarely misplaces a pass, keeps it simple, tackles & intercepts well. What is the issue with him? Why is he so often disrespected & disregarded by our fans?

He hasn’t had a poor game since last season, so the only thing I can think of is that a lot of fans just don’t actually watch the games & judge him on being shit on FIFA perhaps? Or is it because he’s in his 30’s? The number of people who rate McTominay higher than him is astounding to me.

In my humble opinion, upgrading our GK, CB, LB, RW & CF are all more of an urgent priority than upgrading on Matic. This myth that Fred & McTominay are better suited for playing with Bruno & Pogba needs to die. Would Ndidi & Partey even be the giant upgrade fans seem to think? Because I don’t see it. Getting a top quality left back, centre back & right winger post season is far more important.
Matic has been phenomenal in 2020, and I think most fans will admit that. He's not a long term solution due to his age but he is certainly good enough for the club at present.

With the squad healthy, Ole has some very though choices to make for the lineup, because in reality no one deserves to be benched.
 

Falcow

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We certainly missed his composure last night that's for sure. The tempo wasnt good last night and we didnt have control over the game partly why we looked so open at times.

I think a stark example of the contrast in our play this season with and without Matic in the side was V City at home in the league cup, 3 nil down when he came on at half time and we won the second half 1-0 (acknowledge city may have taken foot off a little but still). We were also much better in the return leg with him when we beat city away.....again I might add.

I think he is the best midfielder we have in terms of dictating the tempo of our play and bringing composure. Perhaps Mctominay looked sharper in training during the week and that's why he started, which is fine. I would however like to see Matic start most of our remaining games.
 

ivaldo

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Well that’s just simply not true.
I don't know how many times I've watched opposition players literally jog past him when they are on the attack. It's really quite incredible.

The long and the short of it is he's simply not mobile enough anymore. Play him next to Pogba and we would be utterly overrun. He really is the flavour of the month right now.
 

forevrared

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I don’t dislike him myself, but I think a lot of the hate comes from when Ole came in and dropped him in an attempt to get more energy and athleticism into the midfield, then solidified with Pogba’s injury.

He is older, slower, less athletic, and doesn’t contribute as much overall. That much I’ll agree with. When Pogba was out and we hadn’t signed Bruno yet, his shortcomings were more apparent and it was tougher to see what he brought to the table. Now that Bruno’s come in and Pogba’s coming back, he’s not only able to only do the simple things he’s good at, but it’s exactly what we need out of a third midfielder. It’s obviously very early days, but I think he may get a good run in the team now.
 

11101

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We're learning to manage him better. He was genuinely shocking a year or two when we were expecting him to be running around like he was 25, but hes found a place in the team now.

However, let's not forget that he costs two places in the team as we need somebody next to him who can focus on doing all his running and pressing.
 

Adamsk7

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Personally, if we are going to play Bruno and Pogba in a three, Matic is the player I would have with them.
I really like Fred, I’ve praised his improvement quite a lot and McTominay is becoming a great all action midfielder with a competitive streak BUT Pogba and Bruno, whilst both better defensively than they get credit for, will definitely need a more defence minded central player who can read the game well, mop up loose 50/50 challenges and headers and be tactically astute enough to know when to cover and play high percentage balls to our two match winning midfielders.
I feel like both Fred and McTominay are too risky in possession and are not skilled enough at DM to sense the counter when Bruno and Pogba are upfield. Let’s put it this way - of Matic, Fred and McT, there’s only one player I’d count on to get a tactical yellow card when the opposition catches us on the break!
 

Red Devil 26

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Since joining United, I've been more impressed by his composure and ability to pick a forward pass between the lines over his defensive work. Technically very sound.
 

BenitoSTARR

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I'm afraid it certainly was true before this sudden resurgence in form, it's as if he didn't believe in the football we were playing under Jose, and consequently his performances were poor to say the least, but he seems to believe in this team/squad, so we are seeing much better performances from him. His lack of pace is a worry, and he will need only one game per week, but he still looks a class act on the ball. One more season from him, and I think we will say goodbye,but he has been a decent player for us, hopefully one of the academy lads can fill that gap when he finally goes.
He absolutely does not just let people waltz past him. His defensive game is more about positional dictation over being tight to the player. Shepherd the ball possessor into less threatening areas. More experienced players tend to do this as they realise it’s less effort and eliminates the threat. It’s often why you see experienced quality CBs rarely dive into a tackle and just jockey unless a good opportunity presents itself for a ball win.

Added to this sometimes players get passed onto the next player etc.

Having watched pretty much every televised game and an awful lot of these live in the past seasons I know this to be untrue. I completely agree he’s slow but he positions himself well most of the time and like any player eventually someone will get past him.

He may not be the quickest but he is an excellent recycler of play and very difficult to dispossess things you want in a DM or more holding double pivot player.

He also is one of our better line breaking passers.

I agree a game a week would be perfect for him to manage fitness so rotating with McTominay is probably the way forward this season. I love Fred but I think he’s perfect for a double pivot just not with Pogba.

It's true alright. Matic was always a couple consecutive starts away from reverting to power saving mode and picking when to give effort. He's lost his legs and his languid style didn't help because it gave the optics that he just didn't care. He can't be a constant starter anymore. I don't even know how we're going to accommodate him and Maguire when we want to push up and attack.

edit: oh and that's without factoring starting Lindelof and Pogba in what might be the least agile least mobile defensive quartet.
Except it’s not. Every player (except AWB) gets passed easily from time to time. It’s happened lots with Fred and McTominay and in midfield you are right at the heart of those situations.

Matic is a good DM.

You know Matic is one of our most progressive passers and line breakers when he plays. He also carries the ball into the midfield very well. Not every player has to be rapid to be effective.

Carrick wasn’t quick, Scholes wasn’t quick so speed isn’t everything. Not even in the modern game. He does however need managing correctly. Weekly games shouldnt be an issue but not sure about midweek and weekend.


I don't know how many times I've watched opposition players literally jog past him when they are on the attack. It's really quite incredible.

The long and the short of it is he's simply not mobile enough anymore. Play him next to Pogba and we would be utterly overrun. He really is the flavour of the month right now.
Would love to see these examples. I’m not saying it never happens of course it does but I think people are vastly overstating the occurrences and at the same time not also considering the context of where that player ends up.
 

Cloud7

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Ahh footballs back and so is the drama!
I did miss this :lol: The infighting among the fanbase about different players, labels of agendas and hyperbole, not understand football. Oh how I'm glad to have it back.
 

RUCK4444

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Bit of an overreaction in the OP to be fair, he’s had good spells and some bad spells.

I think the major factor is we all expect his legs to fully go and his impact on the pitch to drop off a cliff. That said he had poor spells that heightened that concern among many including myself.

But a fit and sharp Matic starts in this team, definitely.
 

BenitoSTARR

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Bit of an overreaction in the OP to be fair, he’s had good spells and some bad spells.

I think the major factor is we all expect his legs to fully go and his impact on the pitch to drop off a cliff. That said he had poor spells that heightened that concern among many including myself.

But a fit and sharp Matic starts in this team, definitely.
Really valid point. At what point does expectation turn into confirmation bias?
 

RUCK4444

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Bingo.
He is extremely good at executing his role. Nothing flash and nothing fancy. Just does his job.
And yes. He was a Mourinho player. Who cares as long as he does his job.
I don’t think the Jose connection has anything to do with it to be fair.

He had a bad spell and that coincided with Fred finding his feet here and McTominay kicking on.

Also I posted earlier saying it’s also related to the fact most of us expect his legs to go completely at any time and it looked that way during his poor spell.
 

Yagami

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I'm one of the bigger Matic fans on here, and have defended him for the majority of his time here, but I definitely think he needs upgrading on.

I still love watching him play, and still think he's better than Fred and McTominay, but his immobility is a big issue, and will become an even bigger issue when Pogba starts playing full time again.