The McFred midfield duo

MadDogg

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Scott was quite good today, but in general he obviously is one of the weakest spots in our team.

Fred isn't good enough to be our main deep playmaker (which is the position he's played almost his entire time at the club), but he is a good back-up for that position while also probably being our best in the role next to that player.
 

Mr PG

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McFred wasn’t bad today and Fred was probably our best plan along with Malacia. Would like to see James Garner in place of McTominay. Pellistri for Elanga and Bruno needs subbing at 65th minute on days like today. Eriksen will be sure starter… dude is soo good on the ball.
 

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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.
I watched the same games as you. People are cut 'n' pasting comments from previous games.
 

In Rainbows

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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.
I don't think McTominay has done anything wrong. The problem is that there are situations where he can turn possession into a chance to attack, but because he's not confident in his ability to get away from a defender, he chooses a safer option. I thought there were 2 instances before he was subbed out where he actually did well under pressure and which led to our attack putting pressure on Atletico. If he were to do this more consistently, I would not have a problem with him.

It just highlights how weak our midfield is. Like there isn't anything wrong, but they lack qualities that a midfield should have at United.
 

Josep Dowling

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The fact will go into the season with these two as near starters shows the ambition this club lacks. It’s as shocking as it is embarrassing. They are the core reason we are so bad and the fact we have lost Pogba, Matic, Lingard and Mata and only signed Eriksen should worry every United fan. It’s an appalling transfer window.
 

Tango80

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Fred doesn't deserve the abuse he gets just negate he's part of 'McFred'. He nearly got player of the season last year, seems to suit ETHs style, and there's not many out there that would be an upgrade on him when he's used correctly.

Wouldn't surprise me if he was one of our best players this season again.
 

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Fred doesn't deserve the abuse he gets just negate he's part of 'McFred'. He nearly got player of the season last year, seems to suit ETHs style, and there's not many out there that would be an upgrade on him when he's used correctly.

Wouldn't surprise me if he was one of our best players this season again.
Forget about upgrading Fred, the best we can do is to get him a competent midfield partner who will cover his back. I believe he'll be twice the player then - whether that will be enough? Time will tell.

Make Fred play as deep lying playmaker / sitting defensive midfielder and see our midfield being ragdolled.
 

mikeyt

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Neither should start for us if we want to be genuine competition for the top 4. Both are nothing players, poor on the ball and offer little in defence. We continue to try and justify something that they can offer and debate about a specific role they could do but the reality is neither are good enough in any role and if we did shift them on they'd end up at a mid table club.
 

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Sell Jones, Bailly and Tuanzebe. McTominay can be kept as a back up centre half, back up midfield when really needed but should never start in midfield. Move him on next summer. Fred is a decent squad member imo
 

FrankDrebin

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So, they will be the midfield pairing for our opening game then. :lol:

The FDJ deal isn't happening anytime soon, or any deal for that matter.
 

noodlehair

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The fact will go into the season with these two as near starters shows the ambition this club lacks. It’s as shocking as it is embarrassing. They are the core reason we are so bad and the fact we have lost Pogba, Matic, Lingard and Mata and only signed Eriksen should worry every United fan. It’s an appalling transfer window.
I'm not sure I'm that bothered about losing any of those players since if they were all still here, McFred would still be our only viable midfield. At least Eriksen potentially gives us a different option (just depends if he plays ahead of Mcfred or instead if one of them). I actually think he improves the situation slightly. In terms of Matic, Pogba, Lingard, etc....we still have VDB if we want to stick someone in midfield who makes our midfield magically disappear.

Midfield has been the weakest part of our team since before Jose left, but I think last season the defence actually gave them a good run for their money, and this season our forward line looks just as thinly stretched.

I also don't think there's much wrong with either Fred or Mctominay. Just that really they are both the third midfielder of a starting line up, not the only players in the squad who can actually play there.
 

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The term McFred thing is an absolute nonsense and since it’s origins on a fan channel seems to have stuck on forums and in the media. They are separate players in every way and I’d argue whilst there is an argument about whether they are ‘good enough’, you can add Bruno to the reasons why they get exposed too.

Part of the reason we lost games in midfield is often they are overrun playing against 3 in an already shite system with a keeper and CB’s playing deep leaving loads of space in front of them and Bruno playing like a false 9, leaving loads of space behind him. Two players can’t accommodate those 2 large areas of space and probably why Pogs or Matic couldn’t do it either.

Whilst Fred is never a CDM, is running covered up a lot of the issues but equally exposed his deficiencies…….
 
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JPRouve

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The term McFred thing is an absolute nonsense and since it’s origins on a fan channel seems to have stuck on forums and in the media. They are separate players in every way and I’d argue whilst there is an argument about whether they are ‘good enough’, you can add Bruno to the reasons why they get exposed too.

Part of the reason we lost games in midfield is often they are overrun playing against 3 in an already shite system with a keeper and CB’s playing deep leaving loads of space in front of them and Bruno playing like a false 9, leaving loads of space behind him. Two players can’t accommodate those 2 large areas of space and probably why Pogs or Matic couldn’t do it either.

Whilst Fred is never a CDM, is running covered up a lot a the issues but equally exposed his deficiencies…….
Agreed. Fred wouldn't be slandered if he was playing next to a De Jong or even better Carrick. While he is obviously not perfect, he is definitely a good player, we could improve on him with some expensive players but it's not a priority. Improving on McTominay is way more important and "easier".
 

Litch

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Agreed. Fred wouldn't be slandered if he was playing next to a De Jong or even better Carrick. While he is obviously not perfect, he is definitely a good player, we could improve on him with some expensive players but it's not a priority. Improving on McTominay is way more important and "easier".
…..and probably why we have only been linked with only him all pre season. Agree there are some expensive upgrades out there for Fred like arguably Rice but that’s for another window.
 

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The term McFred thing is an absolute nonsense and since it’s origins on a fan channel seems to have stuck on forums and in the media. They are separate players in every way and I’d argue whilst there is an argument about whether they are ‘good enough’, you can add Bruno to the reasons why they get exposed too.

Part of the reason we lost games in midfield is often they are overrun playing against 3 in an already shite system with a keeper and CB’s playing deep leaving loads of space in front of them and Bruno playing like a false 9, leaving loads of space behind him.
That is spot on, add to that minimal effort from Martial/Rashford/Sancho/Ronaldo and you have a contest 2 vs 3/4 opposition players. The setup we used last two seasons got them completely exposed, especially since Ronaldo joined it all went to pieces.

ETH has huge challenge ahead of him with current squad, that's for sure.

Regarding the "McFred" term, is got a nice catch in the media because this is the ONLY functional midfield in last few seasons.

…..and probably why we have only been linked with only him all pre season. Agree there are some expensive upgrades out there for Fred like arguably Rice but that’s for another window.
If we ever got Rice, I bet he would love to have Fred as his partner. It's unlikely they will ever compete for one position.
 

Shunty

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That is spot on, add to that minimal effort from Martial/Rashford/Sancho/Ronaldo and you have a contest 2 vs 3/4 opposition players. The setup we used last two seasons got them completely exposed, especially since Ronaldo joined it all went to pieces.

ETH has huge challenge ahead of him with current squad, that's for sure.

Regarding the "McFred" term, is got a nice catch in the media because this is the ONLY functional midfield in last few seasons.
agreed it was the only functional midfield we had but it’s no where near good enough for the top tier, I don’t think having people in front that can’tkeep the ball for a period of time helps either to be honest.
 

MalaysianRed7

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This Goldbridge-created, or at least popularised term has to go. McTominay, since Fred’s PSG sending off, has not even been close to Fred’s level. Fred offers everything McTominay does but better, maybe aside from aerial ability, which McTominay cannot really show anyway in open play considering his position.
 

Borys

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agreed it was the only functional midfield we had but it’s no where near good enough for the top tier, I don’t think having people in front that can’tkeep the ball for a period of time helps either to be honest.
That is not even up to a debate. I feel like Eriksen will give this team more structure than Bruno, making it easier for midfield duo.
But as things stand there's (want-to-leave) Ronaldo up front so yeah, prepare for a bumpy ride.
 

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Most times when I see McTominey play he does some nice stuff, good 1st touch and opens up his body to play the pass and I think lovely turn or touch then seconds later he makes wrong decision. Happens all the time with him. What's letting his game down big time is his decision making.
 

Litch

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That is spot on, add to that minimal effort from Martial/Rashford/Sancho/Ronaldo and you have a contest 2 vs 3/4 opposition players. The setup we used last two seasons got them completely exposed, especially since Ronaldo joined it all went to pieces.

ETH has huge challenge ahead of him with current squad, that's for sure.

Regarding the "McFred" term, is got a nice catch in the media because this is the ONLY functional midfield in last few seasons.


If we ever got Rice, I bet he would love to have Fred as his partner. It's unlikely they will ever compete for one position.
What is absolutely so funny when I think about it, conversely managers have come in and thought, these two are the only ones that I can trust in the position until I can sort it. Clearly even ETH has come in and thought, Christ that LB and CB position needs sorting first and I’ll wait for Frenkie till when he gets here rather than just getting anyone, even for free or one of those so called ‘better ones’ at the lower clubs?

Whilst there are some plausible reasons why we continued with them under other managers, there is absolutely zero why under this one. If he thought they were the problem, we would have signed one midfielder whilst waiting for Frenkie….
 
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Oranges038

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They both need to go. Personally I've seen enough to know that neither of them, individually or as a pairare good enough, technically, physically or mentally. I'd even have doubts about whether they would be any way decent as the third man in a 3, even if you put FDJ and Eriksen in there.

It's been 4 years and people still see reasons to defend them and excuse them. These guys are a massive part of the reason this Utd side for those years can't keep possession. They don't pass, control the ball or dictate the play well enough to be able to create sustained pressure and drag opponents around the pitch to create openings.

If players in front of them aren't doing their jobs they need to have the authority and presence to pull them up on that and make sure they do it. It's never happened, because they have no presence or authority. They just accept it and go running all over the place to try and get the ball like 5 year olds.

I look forward to the day neither of them is on the starting 11.
 

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Our midfield has not improved this season, so far. We will get scourged again in this department, if we don't bring in a midfielder who can dictate matters. We leave a big hole in our midfield in most games.
 

Borys

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What is absolutely so funny when I think about it, conversely managers have come in and thought, these two are the only ones that I can trust in the position until I can sort it. Clearly even ETH has come in and thought, Christ that LB and CB position needs sorting first and I’ll wait for Frenkie till when he gets here rather than just getting anyone, even for free or one of those so called ‘better ones’ at the lower clubs?
I am not so sure about that, I don't see any transfer strategy so far but this is to be judged when the window closes.
Buying another CB and another LB is fine as long as you can address the main pain points in the squad, and this task is still pending.
 

noodlehair

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He wont, not unless he completes significant minutes today.
He's got another week after today yet, but yeah we'll have plenty of games where it'll be Mcfred. And we'll still be fecked if either get injured, which isn't great. Unless Garner can step up.

At least Ten Hag has identified it as an issue and I actually think its a slightly better situation than last season with Eriksen, Garner and Ten Hag willing to give youngsters a chance. Compared to last season when we just kept pretending Matic wasn't about 8 yards too slow or pretending him or pogba could actually play in a two man midfield when the opposition had 3 much more mobile and harder working midfielders against them.

I also think actually having tactics that are coached will help as hopefully there won't constantly be gaping holes for the opposition to just easily play into and effectively render our midfield pointless anyway.
 

Litch

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I am not so sure about that, I don't see any transfer strategy so far but this is to be judged when the window closes.
Buying another CB and another LB is fine as long as you can address the main pain points in the squad, and this task is still pending.
One thing about transfer windows, you generally see of the direction the positions/signings are going in even if you don’t agree with them. For example, no consistent link to a RB even though most of us would think we need one.
 

dutchred

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One thing about transfer windows, you generally see of the direction the positions/signings are going in even if you don’t agree with them. For example, no consistent link to a RB even though most of us would think we need one.
I don't think that a left back was planned but when someone like Malacia is available at that price you act which is what I think ETH did
 

NZT-One

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The term McFred thing is an absolute nonsense and since it’s origins on a fan channel seems to have stuck on forums and in the media. They are separate players in every way and I’d argue whilst there is an argument about whether they are ‘good enough’, you can add Bruno to the reasons why they get exposed too.

Part of the reason we lost games in midfield is often they are overrun playing against 3 in an already shite system with a keeper and CB’s playing deep leaving loads of space in front of them and Bruno playing like a false 9, leaving loads of space behind him. Two players can’t accommodate those 2 large areas of space and probably why Pogs or Matic couldn’t do it either.

Whilst Fred is never a CDM, is running covered up a lot of the issues but equally exposed his deficiencies…….
I agree. I think, it is one of this seasons biggest "hopes" that at the very least, ETH will be able to identify that as an issue and will be able to deal with it. Seeing Brunos form in pre-season, his connection to unhappy Ronaldo and the introduction of Eriksen, he might be in for a rough time - at least he should. He is a great footballer, instrinctively playing vertical passes but as long as he isn't able to frame that ability with some sort of reasonable'ness, his benefits might even be egalized by the downsides. Bringing in Martinez, who is supposed to be a front-foot-defender with an aggressive style will also help closing the gaps, having more energy down the left side with Malacia could also help.

But, as pointed out, my biggest pain points in this matter, is the defensive contribution of the forward line. Seeing the Community Shield Match (don't know if it is a fair representation) showed how far behind we are there. I hope, with some success there will be confidence and confidence will lead to higher energy levels.

On the supposed midfield transfer, if FDJ is identified as the primary solution, I'll be fine with chasing him until the very end. But for me there just is no scenario, where bringing in a defensively sound midfielder isn't a good idea. Doesn't even have to be in the bracket of FDJ. Or even in the bracket of Martinez, if we could bring in either a young talent like Malacia or a veteran like Eriksen we'd gain so much. Be it flexibility (by being able to switch formations in game or close up shop in a tight game in the 80th minute). I don't accept that there isn't supposedly one player in football world, who fits that bill.
 

paulscholes18

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As a combination they are bottom half standard in the Premiership, we have Fred who is a headless chicken, craps himself when pressed and has no spatial awareness and McTominay who is an average box to box midfielder who has the amazing ability of making a simple 5 yard pass look hard.
They don’t complement each others game at all, and despite finishing in the bottom half last season I would take Leicester’s Ndidi and Tielemans and Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse & Romeu over those two.

If we can sign a player who can read the game well and is a good tackler then we can partner them with Eriksen who is quality on the ball, then that partnership will do till Barcelona pay de Jong what’s he owed then get that deal over the line, but that’s about as close to happening now as it was 3 months ago.
 

Blood Mage

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Neither of them are in a team that wins the PL.
Fred is a mid-table player, McTominay is a bottom table/borderline championship player. It will be another season of losing countless midfield battles unless we get De Jong in.
 

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One thing about transfer windows, you generally see of the direction the positions/signings are going in even if you don’t agree with them. For example, no consistent link to a RB even though most of us would think we need one.
I don't follow transfer gossip. In this situation we've found ourselves (thin squad), most business can be done in last few days. I'm fine with it, because we're building for the future.
We can live with RB options we have this season, but we won't survive with that midfield and attacking options.
Like I said, slighlty worried with our transfer window so far. Happy with CB and LB addition, but if that's the only spending we do this summer we will look like muppets (#novalueinthemarket).
 

Litch

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I don't think that a left back was planned but when someone like Malacia is available at that price you act which is what I think ETH did
To a degree you are right but not if you are happy with what you have irrespective of what comes available. I guess my point is if Fred and Scott are that bad, why didn’t the club go for the lad from Brighton for example before he ended up at Spurs on the cheap? Maybe he doesn’t think they are as bad as others do….in fairness he’s not been the first one?
 

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It’s embarrassing and cringeworthy to see how United fans constantly are trying to find excuses for average to shit midfielders like Fred and McT. It’s Bruno and the CBs fault they have the defensive instincts of a cucumbers? Fred you can see constantly beaten in duels, outpaced, dribbled through, caught in possession, MCT at least has the balls to get the card now and then, yet you can see him 10m outside the danger zone, forgetting a runner and generally zero awareness for the position he should be playing. Top that with their burnley level of quality on the ball and you get those two.

Now Fred scored a nice goal and a couple of nice passes, McT will probablydo the same in a month time, yet in the same games their general quality is evident for those who want to see. Squad players at best, it’s embarrassing that we are going to start the season with those two.
 

SirReginald

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It’s embarrassing and cringeworthy to see how United fans constantly are trying to find excuses for average to shit midfielders like Fred and McT. It’s Bruno and the CBs fault they have the defensive instincts of a cucumbers? Fred you can see constantly beaten in duels, outpaced, dribbled through, caught in possession, MCT at least has the balls to get the card now and then, yet you can see him 10m outside the danger zone, forgetting a runner and generally zero awareness for the position he should be playing. Top that with their burnley level of quality on the ball and you get those two.

Now Fred scored a nice goal and a couple of nice passes, McT will probablydo the same in a month time, yet in the same games their general quality is evident for those who want to see. Squad players at best, it’s embarrassing that we are going to start the season with those two.
To be fair, your last decent midfielders were Scholes and Carrick. But even then, midfield was neglected as you had to resign a retired Scholes to add some quality to it.

Since then you have signed utter garbage. So mediocre can seem fine to some people.
 

dubplate warrior

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I get attacked regularly for being negative but it's OK to blame Scotty McT with starting WWII, being patient zero for monkeypox and a Putin spy (oh and maybe even a Liverpool fan). OK, so he is never going to be Keano or Robbo but I still think he can do the job that the likes of Fletcher and Nicky Butt did over the years.

If we can get (and, you know, actually sign) a major upgrade fine but I think McT would be help enormously by having world-class players alongside him as Butt and Fletcher did. he can possibly interchange with Fred - having both on the field is, I agree, far from ideal. But I think you need to be at a game to see the work McT (and to an extent fred) does. Shame Sky binned their player cam.

Cut being attacked for being too positive...
Anyone can look better when they have a world class player next to them to compensate their weaknesses though. Nick Butt and Darren Fletcher had far more about their game than just physicality by the way. McTominay should not be at the club, in my opinion a bottom half player who it indicative of our decline and drop in standards. When did it get to a point where United were fine with players who had such poor technique and ability?