The need for creativity in our squad

Aloysius's Back 3

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This is not a reaction to any result but this is getting more & more obvious - we have a severe lack of creativity across the squad.

  • Centre midfielders - PSG marked Pogba out the game and not a single player could create a chance. Is Andrea's pereira the only player we have after Pogba that can even attempt a cross field pass? Even that it seems more on paper than in reality. I saw wolves doing that all game today.
  • False 9 or AM - Apart from centre midfield we need an Am or false 9 as well that is better than Lingard because apart from his intelligent movement - he doesn't create enough for our strikers. Mata is not good enough anymore.

  • Fullbacks We hardly have fullbacks that are consistent with their crossing atleast not enough to create a chance or 2 a game.
  1. Look at PSG first game - draxler, Di Maria, verrati
  2. Vs arsenal - Ozil, Ramsey, Xhaka
  3. Vs Wolves - Moutinho, Neves, Jota"s crosses
What do we have? Just Pogba and nothing else?

We got to be intellectual with who we buy - box to box players are not what we need, we need fullbacks playing more attacking, need playmaker which every top 6 club has.
 

Bubz27

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It starts from the back, and we don't have a single CB with a pair of balls. Lindelof looked good for 10 games, the same thing we've seen from Smalling and Jones for nearly 10 years now. Bottom line, none of our back line is good enough, Shaw is passable but would need much better quality around him.
 

Random Task

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We weren't great tonight, that much is obvious, but there are mitigating circumstances in that we had a lot of players returning from injury so we inevitably looked disjointed/off the pace.

Plus Wolves were as organised as any team we have faced this season. Rock solid at the back and devastating on the counter - that Jota lad was particularly impressive.

Bottom line, try not to read too much into that performance.
 

abdo99

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why Fred was dropped I don't know. his passing is always forward thinking and he doesn't take more than 2 touches.
 

Aloysius's Back 3

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It starts from the back, and we don't have a single CB with a pair of balls. Lindelof looked good for 10 games, the same thing we've seen from Smalling and Jones for nearly 10 years now. Bottom line, none of our back line is good enough, Shaw is passable but would need much better quality around him.
That's fair but do we have enough players like Eriksen, Silva, Bernard silva, De bryune, Ramsey, Ozil, Jorginho, Widjnaldum, William, Hazard etc

Forget the individual quality of these players but it is what they are able to do - to dictate tempo and passes across the pitch that we lack.

Its irritating. Pogba even on his best days should mot be our main dictator of passes.
 

Hoof The Ball

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We lack players all over the field who are comfortable playing in tight, small spaces. It's that simple. When we are pressed our passing becomes erratic and sloppy, and mostly due to the personnel having trouble operating in tighter spaces under constant pressure. Sometimes the oppo overcommits and we do our counter-attacking thing well, but if they press well against us, we struggle.
 

Spielmacher

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I think it's more a systemic issue rather than our personell. Ball circulation is the most important thing for top sides who have most of the ball against many teams, moving the opponent around to create spaces and tire them out, we're not very good at it IMO.
 

Sandikan

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why Fred was dropped I don't know. his passing is always forward thinking and he doesn't take more than 2 touches.
Football is a funny game.
Fred has been panned all season yet somehow he's become some sort of answer?
 

Bubz27

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That's fair but do we have enough players like Eriksen, Silva, Bernard silva, De bryune, Ramsey, Ozil, Jorginho, Widjnaldum, William, Hazard etc

Forget the individual quality of these players but it is what they are able to do - to dictate tempo and passes across the pitch that we lack.

Its irritating. Pogba even on his best days should mot be our main dictator of passes.
Yeah, I've just made the point in his thread, we rely on Pogba to make us tick and then cut teams open. Of course we need a deeper playmaker type, but even with that, our defenders would need him to drop in line with them so they can actually pass to him. Everything would drop deep, become slow, predictable so on and so on.
 

Wheato

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Dalot was in acres of space tonight. Countless times. And every single time Pogba and Matic tried to play it down the middle into a wall of Wolves defenders. All they had to do was look up and pass it early, but we went sideways, backwards and into cul de sacs. Pogba was rotten.
 
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Not sure if a coach outside of Guardiola can get away with that kind of midfield.
Eriksen is very good off the ball in terms of positioning and tracking runners. For it to work you would need a solid DM like kante.
 
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abdo99

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Football is a funny game.
Fred has been panned all season yet somehow he's become some sort of answer?
he demonstrated in his brief matches enough to stay in the team. at least to distribute the football and inject pace into the middle. that's why we bought him for 50m to add to the team.
 

Yagami

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Not sure if a coach outside of Guardiola can get away with that kind of midfield.
Alongside a Herrera i think it'd be fine as long as the playmaker (Eriksen or whoever) can contribute defensively, too. A player like Cazorla would be perfect. Helped defensively, could keep the ball under pressure, and could take some of the burden of playmaking off Ozil which we need for Pogba.

Eriksen wouldn't be my first choice but I think that's the type of CM we should be looking at. Fred demonstrated these things against Arsenal so I'd like to see him get a run in the team at some point to see if he can establish himself here.
 

abdo99

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eriksen won't fit because his game depend on balls into the box for which we aren't planning to use a target man. we need a mobile and positive DM to replace Matic- that's it.
 

Physiocrat

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I actually think we need a LW. Without an attacking full-back on the left a wide left forward is always going to have a hard time especially when they have no left foot (looking at you Martial). The choice for me then is between more of a left winger and Shaw, or an attacking LB and Martial.
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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I think if we look at Liverpool, its the same problem they have. If their front three are not quite on it, they fail to break teams down because they have no real creative threat in their midfield.

Thankfully we have Pogba who, when he's on it, is fantastic. However, when he's not quite on it, we really struggle to create.

Going forward, we need to drop Herrera into the holding role and get a playmaker in the 8 role. Not too sure who that player is, but I look at City and how they have the two Silva's, De Bruyne and Gundogan in the advanced midfielder roles and cant help but think we need some of that creativity.

Martial Rashford Winger
Pogba Herrera Playmaker


This would completely transform our right side, which at the moment is pretty non existent.
 

Devil may care

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Agree with the OP and it's been obvious for a while that we are way too reliant on Pogba, for starters this obsession some have with playing a flat front 3 needs to go as none of our strikers have the game to be the central pivot in that system. We need to refine the 4-4-2 diamond, let our strikers be what they are which is runners, get a top false 9/#10 and add a DLP who can get around the pitch and feed it through the lines with consistent accuracy. Basically 2 creative players added to the midfield diamond is required.
 

POF

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why Fred was dropped I don't know. his passing is always forward thinking and he doesn't take more than 2 touches.
Because the midfield 3 of Herrera, Matic and Pogba is the undisputed first choice based on their performances and they were all available for a must win game.

It's hardly a head scratcher.
 

abdo99

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Because the midfield 3 of Herrera, Matic and Pogba is the undisputed first choice based on their performances and they were all available for a must win game.

It's hardly a head scratcher.
there was too many players returning back at once. between us not having any available strkker on the bench and fred doing well in two big matches it was the logical choice. United's issues is mainly lack of depth and fitness problems. ogs has constantly asked for aggression but I think players coming back from injury have been pushed too much and it's affected our fluidity. scott should also have stayed in the team. transitioning is too slow which means teams can set, get people behind the ball and counter us.
 

Aloysius's Back 3

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Agree with the OP and it's been obvious for a while that we are way too reliant on Pogba, for starters this obsession some have with playing a flat front 3 needs to go as none of our strikers have the game to be the central pivot in that system. We need to refine the 4-4-2 diamond, let our strikers be what they are which is runners, get a top false 9/#10 and add a DLP who can get around the pitch and feed it through the lines with consistent accuracy. Basically 2 creative players added to the midfield diamond is required.
This is what I think too but with a back 3 to allow the fullbacks more space up the pitch even before the attack begins.
 

POF

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there was too many players returning back at once. between us not having any available strkker on the bench and fred doing well in two big matches it was the logical choice. United's issues is mainly lack of depth and fitness problems. ogs has constantly asked for aggression but I think players coming back from injury have been pushed too much and it's affected our fluidity. scott should also have stayed in the team. transitioning is too slow which means teams can set, get people behind the ball and counter us.
Why is Fred the logical choice because there is no striker on the bench? I do agree that having no striker on the bench was an issue today because the forwards didn't produce and Ole had no options to change things.

The front 6 that played today were the players that played in all of Ole's most fluid attacking performances.
 

Aloysius's Back 3

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I think if we look at Liverpool, its the same problem they have. If their front three are not quite on it, they fail to break teams down because they have no real creative threat in their midfield.

Thankfully we have Pogba who, when he's on it, is fantastic. However, when he's not quite on it, we really struggle to create.

Going forward, we need to drop Herrera into the holding role and get a playmaker in the 8 role. Not too sure who that player is, but I look at City and how they have the two Silva's, De Bruyne and Gundogan in the advanced midfielder roles and cant help but think we need some of that creativity.

Martial Rashford Winger
Pogba Herrera Playmaker


This would completely transform our right side, which at the moment is pretty non existent.
I know it might seem a tad overrated - but one of the things I noticed the most was how Liverpool's season is different this season in comparison to when chamberlain was playing in that CM/AM role.

Nothing to write home about but had a level of some creative forward passes alongside his tenacity and accerelation.

They had Firminho, Chamberlain being central quick passers of the ball that season and now they just have Firminho.

He went away and the best they have is widjnaldum. There midfield is him, Henderson, milner or Fabinho - a severe lack of creativity happens if Firminho isn't given the time or the space.

Liverpool's midfield is not much different to ours - I agree.
 

cyril C

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Eriksen is very good off the ball in terms of positioning and tracking runners. For it to work you would need a solid DM like kante.
2 AMF will never work, you end up sacrificing either a winger or an attacker. Don't look at Silva - KDB to assume it will, because KDB does (when in form) a lot of defensive work, and City often sacrifice an attacking player.
 

Devil may care

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This is what I think too but with a back 3 to allow the fullbacks more space up the pitch even before the attack begins.
I'm not a big fan of the back 3 to be honest and I think we'd need to buy 3 more CB's to make it work as we only have one that can play it out and not enough cover to keep the 3 CB positions fresh in a system that requires more ball players in the backline. I'm also not keen on Pogba playing deeper in that system, I prefer the diamond as it takes less buys to refine, benefits the strikers and keeps Pogba in that advanced LCM position.
 

VeevaVee

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Yep. And we're still short of both quality and grit. As soon as we win a few games people make out as if we obviously aren't, every time.
 

Aloysius's Back 3

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I'm not a big fan of the back 3 to be honest and I think we'd need to buy 3 more CB's to make it work as we only have one that can play it out and not enough cover to keep the 3 CB positions fresh in a system that requires more ball players in the backline. I'm also not keen on Pogba playing deeper in that system, I prefer the diamond as it takes less buys to refine, benefits the strikers and keeps Pogba in that advanced LCM position.
Its not a back 3 but as you said a diamond shape.

The CDM in the diamond guards the 2 defenders making a back 3.

The CAM on the other side of the diamond plays as a false 9 providing creative runs and passes to a front 2 making a front 3 overall.

The diamond as you say is what's important - what they do when defending or attacking will cause changes in their position anyway.
 

Devil may care

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Its not a back 3 but as you said a diamond shape.

The CDM in the diamond guards the 2 defenders making a back 3.

The CAM on the other side of the diamond plays as a false 9 providing creative runs and passes to a front 2 making a front 3 overall.

The diamond as you say is what's important - what they do when defending or attacking will cause changes in their position anyway.
That sounds like the old Ajax concept, I dunno mate, keep it simple I think, maybe as the squad matures we could try this but for now I'd not try to be too clever with it as what you're suggesting is something that would be great for a team drilled in it for a long time and with a lot of cultured players, we'd need more windows to build to it IMO.
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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Splash money on Eriksen, top class RW, De Ligt & cover for Shaw. The midfield needs more control & creativity not just side way passes and slow build up. Needs another top attacker.
 

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Who was it that said only City has a better squad than us? Yes, someone actually said this!
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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Who was it that said only City has a better squad than us? Yes, someone actually said this!
In the EPL? If so, I wouldn't say they're wrong. I don't think many teams would be able to cope with 10 players out and still field a half decent side.
 

Janson

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In the EPL? If so, I wouldn't say they're wrong. I don't think many teams would be able to cope with 10 players out and still field a half decent side.
Our squad reflects our position imo. No way do we have a better squad than Liverpool nor Spurs. I would say we're on par with Chelsea and Arsenal. I think people who think we have better players than that probably do because they overrate the likes of Martial, Rashford and even Pogba.