The McFred midfield duo

Chief123

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If we do get FDJ, our midfield will be Frenkie De Fred.
 

NZT-One

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Both players will have their use for us in the coming years. And that is fine as long as we keep improving as a team. No team would get rid of a solid player like McTominay who is getting so little wages. And for Fred, I wouldn't be shocked seeing him thrive in a new system where the focus is more on controlled chaos in terms of pressing. He is a very modern player, he just doesn't really suited our team. Which made him look even worse than he probably is. Still massively overpaid for him and another warning sign, that bad scouting can lead to pay premium prices that will have absolutely no use for you whatsoever.
 

Levenstein

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If we can't get De Jong we might see 4-3-3 with Eriksen-Fred and Bruno in some games.
 

Varane around town

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I don't pay much attention to pre-season. However, I believe that McTominay could be in for a tough time under Ten Hag.

He's technically poor and hides from the ball which are two very big no-nos for a Ten Hag midfield player. He's main competition (Fred) is miles better on the ball and has a similar work ethic. I think we'll see Fred/ Van de Beek/Eriksen/De Jong (?) as our first choice midfield pair with McT playing the cup games.
 

NZT-One

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I don't pay much attention to pre-season. However, I believe that McTominay could be in for a tough time under Ten Hag.

He's technically poor and hides from the ball which are two very big no-nos for a Ten Hag midfield player. He's main competition (Fred) is miles better on the ball and has a similar work ethic. I think we'll see Fred/ Van de Beek/Eriksen/De Jong (?) as our first choice midfield pair with McT playing the cup games.
He might also flourish as ETH will deploy him in a way that suits his skillset. Overall, I agree with you about him, but I am pretty sure, we will see him way more often than just the cup games. PL is connected to physicality and you need something to hold against that. We are also pretty midget'y with your midfield - with our long honored weakness for set pieces, that is also a potential problem area. To be honest, I don't think, DVB will be able to assert himself to more than a benchoption to rest a player when a game is done. He isn't even a game changer. Eriksen will be used as Backup to Bruno, I don't think, he should be asked to participate in a midfield battle of some sort. Played as 10 for Inter and Brentford as well as far as I know.
 

reelworld

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I don't pay much attention to pre-season. However, I believe that McTominay could be in for a tough time under Ten Hag.

He's technically poor and hides from the ball which are two very big no-nos for a Ten Hag midfield player. He's main competition (Fred) is miles better on the ball and has a similar work ethic. I think we'll see Fred/ Van de Beek/Eriksen/De Jong (?) as our first choice midfield pair with McT playing the cup games.
This is correct. But Fred lack of composure is a problem too. It's obvious how much a player like de Jong would improve us. Instant composure and calmness in front of the back four.
Villa got wind and some momentum partly because nobody in our midfield could hold the ball and dictate tempo
 

mitchmouse

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Our CBs and CMs would all benefit from being paired with worldclass partners. It's not a shining endorsement they need world class partners to form a competent midfield. I actually like both as squad options with Fred being my favourite CM. They graft but the effectiveness of said graft is pretty low. I just don't understand how teams run through our middle so easily when we start with not one but two defensive CMs who graft. I've never seen a pair so inept at shielding the back four. I don't know if I'm doing enough to describe my sheer amazement by their joint ability to be constantly behind the play or somewhere else in no man's land when midfielders decide to make a beeline for our box. Two goddamn defensive CMs just somehow end up being in the wrong place and time to deter it and this happens a lot. This should be impossible if they had bare minimum positional sense for their role.

I'd keep Fred as a starter however, he's the one most likely to look good beside a Carrick. He is pretty decent in possession especially on the ball.
The problem may be playing them both. We should pick one! I'd go for McT but only on the grounds that I think he wins the ball back a bit more and doesn't mind doing the ugly stuff or taking a yellow card for the team. I know what you mean that a player shouldn't need a better player next to him but actually that often works. As I said, with Fletcher/Butt and, for instance, Milner and Henderson at Liverpool - nothing will convince me they have ever been world-class but boy they've benefitted from who they've played alongside. I'm sure the same is true at other clubs: maybe Pique at Barca?
 

Borys

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Our CBs and CMs would all benefit from being paired with worldclass partners. It's not a shining endorsement they need world class partners to form a competent midfield. I actually like both as squad options with Fred being my favourite CM. They graft but the effectiveness of said graft is pretty low. I just don't understand how teams run through our middle so easily when we start with not one but two defensive CMs who graft. I've never seen a pair so inept at shielding the back four. I don't know if I'm doing enough to describe my sheer amazement by their joint ability to be constantly behind the play or somewhere else in no man's land when midfielders decide to make a beeline for our box. Two goddamn defensive CMs just somehow end up being in the wrong place and time to deter it and this happens a lot. This should be impossible if they had bare minimum positional sense for their role.

I'd keep Fred as a starter however, he's the one most likely to look good beside a Carrick. He is pretty decent in possession especially on the ball.
I don't think it's that complicated. First of all they are not natural-born defensive midfielders, they "do the job" by running and hustling, but they are not DMs. Fred is just a CM who is quite useful when we're on the ball, and McTominay is a Centre Back playing in midfield because he's strong and tall, to be fair he's useful in running in straight line with the ball and has a good shot on him. In current United squad, that makes you first choice midfield option.
Secondly, our forward line doesn't put a lot of defensive effort. Ronaldo, but also Martial and Rashford don't like defending. Therefore, our CMs have an awful lot to do. Because of that, they are told to stay back and focus on getting the ball back and recycling possession, and going back to point 1, they are called "double DM". In reality I think it's pretty uncommon that two midfield players have to do all the defensive work.
 

Kostov

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Our CBs and CMs would all benefit from being paired with worldclass partners. It's not a shining endorsement they need world class partners to form a competent midfield. I actually like both as squad options with Fred being my favourite CM. They graft but the effectiveness of said graft is pretty low. I just don't understand how teams run through our middle so easily when we start with not one but two defensive CMs who graft. I've never seen a pair so inept at shielding the back four. I don't know if I'm doing enough to describe my sheer amazement by their joint ability to be constantly behind the play or somewhere else in no man's land when midfielders decide to make a beeline for our box. Two goddamn defensive CMs just somehow end up being in the wrong place and time to deter it and this happens a lot. This should be impossible if they had bare minimum positional sense for their role.

I'd keep Fred as a starter however, he's the one most likely to look good beside a Carrick. He is pretty decent in possession especially on the ball.
It's very simple, they are absolute dog shit that is why. Zero defensive instinct, no tactical nous and they are not even that physically capable, especially Fred who you can often see beaten for pace or strength.
 

sunama

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I don't pay much attention to pre-season. However, I believe that McTominay could be in for a tough time under Ten Hag.

He's technically poor and hides from the ball which are two very big no-nos for a Ten Hag midfield player. He's main competition (Fred) is miles better on the ball and has a similar work ethic. I think we'll see Fred/ Van de Beek/Eriksen/De Jong (?) as our first choice midfield pair with McT playing the cup games.
You are right that he is technically poor and hides from the ball. He does well against poor sides, though.
The reason why he gets chosen is that he has a professional attitude, which puts him above most of our current batch of players.
What would you rather have a technically poor player with an excellent work ethic OR a technically good player with a poor attitude? That's the conundrum that our managers have had in the past few years.
 

sunama

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This has definitely been discussed here, but if the PL teams' midfield had to be ranked, where is McFred? Realistically?

11/20?
Lower. Probably near the bottom.
When these 2 played, we lost the midfield battle in virtually every match.
 

Blood Mage

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I think Eriksen will be a CM for Ten Hag, so even without FDJ I think the McFred era is nearing it's end.
 

Lee565

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Injuries aside, Fred and mctominay are worse version of past partnership of anderson and fletcher or cleverley.
 

Borys

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I think Eriksen will be a CM for Ten Hag, so even without FDJ I think the McFred era is nearing it's end.
That is extremely unlikely.
Firstly, with current United squad CMs need to do a lot of dirty defensive work.
Secondly, Eriksen is pretty much useless defensively.
McFred looks like our first, second and third option for next season.
 

Raptors887

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It’s terrible that we have to go another season of watching this midfield again. Bringing in 2 starting midfielders should have been priority #1 even going back 2 years ago.
 

Jeppers7

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It’s terrible that we have to go another season of watching this midfield again. Bringing in 2 starting midfielders should have been priority #1 even going back 2 years ago.
It’s unbelievable, we’ve also lost the likes of Pogba and Matic who regardless of what people thought of them, could/would/did improve the midfield.

We’ve played those two together because together they do one midfielders job to a decent standard at best, possibly better than any other combination although I’m not sure because Fred is erratic and rash and McT is positionally terrible and his defensive awareness is as bad as Pogba’s was. Players run off him for fun. He’s clueless.

Maybe ETH is a true magician and can get them playing like Xavi and Iniesta if we don’t sign anyone else.
 

ayushreddevil9

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This has definitely been discussed here, but if the PL teams' midfield had to be ranked, where is McFred? Realistically?

11/20?
I dont believe that there are 9 worse PL midfields. The approach to find this out would be to start naming teams who might have worse midfields than McFred.
 

Santoryo

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The day Fred will stop overcommitting or at least timing his challenges better as to not easily get past by and leave the midfield wide open to fit an entire truck in it, is the day I'll be comfortable with him in midfield.
 

Trequarista10

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De Jong plus one of Fred, Garner, Eriksen, McTominay, Van de Beek, Iqbal (in rough likely pecking order by mid season).
 

Mainoldo

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I don’t see why we can’t sell McTominay to Leicester. He’ll be perfect there.
 

OrcaFat

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Of all the combinations we could play, McFred is the least bad. That tells you how thin we are in CM and is why so many of us have been saying we need to recruit two elite midfielders to play together.

If we get FDJ it will be him and one of McFred which is still lacking. We would need to recruit an intelligent, physical, defensively astute CM to get the best out of FDJ.

Surely this is the plan but it’s not that simple. Even if we put up the money we can’t be confident a player will come. And so the unthinkable scenario looms: another season of McFred.
 

wolvored

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Im reading another 3 players and 4 if ronaldo goes, so the 4th would be a striker. One at least will be a cm. A RB and LF RW will probably the other 2.
This surely will mean the end of McFred. We have won feck all with them as a midfield 2 and you know what the first sign of madness is.
 

Leethal

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Im reading another 3 players and 4 if ronaldo goes, so the 4th would be a striker. One at least will be a cm. A RB and LF RW will probably the other 2.
This surely will mean the end of McFred. We have won feck all with them as a midfield 2 and you know what the first sign of madness is.
Firstly. Don't believe anything you read.

Secondly, read first again.
 

Borys

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Fred was our best player against Atletico, red card or not.

I trust ETH, but if on September 1st McTominay is still our second midfield option, I will question my understanding of football, life, and universe in general.
 

FatTails

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This has definitely been discussed here, but if the PL teams' midfield had to be ranked, where is McFred? Realistically?

11/20?
I’d have them over Xhaka and Elneny personally. Of the top of my head, City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs, Leicester, and Aston Villa possibly have better midfields. Teams like west ham have midfielders who do great in their system (Soucek), but would look horrible elsewhere. Some of the teams not mentioned have one standout midfielder (like Bruno at Newcastle), but they’re overall weaker.
 

Mcking

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Their partnership will be crucial if we don't get De Jong. All our managers before Ten Hag have had little clue on what to do when both weren't on the pitch, and it hasn't been promising in the last two games.

Ten Hag today thought it was a good idea to hide Eriksen and Van de Beek up the pitch and leave Fred all on his own in midfield. Couldn't believe what I was watching, and he set up the same way against Villa too. Hopefully he was just experimenting and won't be too stubborn to ditch it early if it doesn't work.
 

Rozay

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I’d have them over Xhaka and Elneny personally. Of the top of my head, City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs, Leicester, and Aston Villa possibly have better midfields. Teams like west ham have midfielders who do great in their system (Soucek), but would look horrible elsewhere. Some of the teams not mentioned have one standout midfielder (like Bruno at Newcastle), but they’re overall weaker.
Any combination of Moutinho, Dendoncker and Neves is better too. Souceck and Rice is better. And Xhaka and Elneny are not the best two Arsenal have. Guimares and Joelinton is better.
 

JPRouve

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Maybe I watched totally different games but outside of the first game I think that they have been good and a lot better than before. McTominay is a bit questionable without the ball because he somehow lacks aggression but I don't really have a strong negative opinion after this preseason.
 

FatTails

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Any combination of Moutinho, Dendoncker and Neves is better too. Souceck and Rice is better. And Xhaka and Elneny are not the best two Arsenal have. Guimares and Joelinton is better.
Agreed on Wolves, forgot about them. I don’t think Soucek and Rice, as a pair, work at a big club playing more expansive football. Disagree on Joelinton, but Guimares would walk into our team, yes.

For Arsenal, the other midfielder might…not be available. I guess there is also Zinchenko who is pretty good
 

Rozay

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Agreed on Wolves, forgot about them. I don’t think Soucek and Rice, as a pair, work at a big club playing more expansive football. Disagree on Joelinton, but Guimares would walk into our team, yes.

For Arsenal, the other midfielder might…not be available. I guess there is also Zinchenko who is pretty good
McFred don’t work at a big club playing more expansive football either. The West Ham pair are better than them.
 

Phil Osophy

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I see both players as good 3rd/supportive midfielder, eating miles, bitting ankles around and attacking the box at times with a deep playmaker and a more advanced distributor adding control and creativity. The thing is I'm not sure if we'll employ this formula under ETH which will leave them both in a pretty weak position, as they lack the defensive reading and positioning to play as the anchor alone.

To be fair I appreciate some of the games they've played as a pair, but I think this double pivot is destined to disappear under EtH as soon as he gets his materials, and as individuals I see them a bit of a square peg in a round hole in what he wants to build, so we'll see what happens.

If we signed a more positional midfielder who distributes from the back and keeps position like a Carrick, Xabi Alonso type, I think both could be useful complementing him in a midfield two, but (as I expect) if we get De Jong or a similar profile who drives forward and plays with certain freedom leaving one guy at the back, that holding player needs to be better tactically and closer to Matic in terms of profile more than Fred and Scott.

I reckon they will have a chance to show if they can adapt to the new demands but I see them pending on a very fine thread. Actually I expect a difficult season ahead because there's many players that ETH will fully know and evaluate throughout the season, and in some cases I guess he'll conclude that they're not what he needs, like these two or the keeper to name some, so I wouldn't expect any miracles neither in terms of results or performances but more like a 'trial and error' kind of season.

Nothing would make me more happy than being wrong and these guys playing brilliantly, us achieving quick success and so on, but we better get ready to be patient because I think transforming us into an ETH side from our current point it's going to take time, many changes and polishment.
 

Godfather

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Fred is fine. It's McTominay that needs benching. For quite some time now. Hard though with a lack of other options (I don't consider VdB one he looks hardly a footballer for us)