Tifo IRL: The Real Problem with Manchester United's Midfield

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sugar_kane

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I've said it a few times recently but the bigger problem with United's midfield is McTominay, not Fred.

McTominay has had a handful of games where he has been unreal but 90% of the time he is bang average or worse. He's pedestrian in his play most of the time and is as prone to a mistake as Fred. He gets away with it because he has 'the look' (think I'm talking rubbish? Keano cited him as having a 'proper haircut' once) and is an academy lad.

Fred's mistakes have been more high profile, but he has way more in his locker when on form and consistently works his arse off. We definitely need an upgrade at some point, but I'd be inclined to say that McTominay is where we should upgrade first, maybe even trying DVB in his position (oh god what have I become...)
 

Ole90+3

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McTominay doing his best Cleverley impression. It really does feel like we're playing a man down in most games, whether that's a lack of intensity or cowardly performances.
 

World Game

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Moving behind the pressing player "to mark that player in case he intercepts the ball" is a nice way of saying hiding from the ball when we are being pressed.
 

Dr Pavel

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The worst thing about this midfield is it can't stop counter attacks. Pogba can't. Matic can't. McFred can't. Anytime the ball is lost and the other team breaks we are fecked.
 

Ole90+3

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McTominay basically needs to be played as the 8 in a 3 man midfield. Not good enough as a DM nor good enough as the focal attacking midfielder. His best asset is making runs into the box as well as running with the ball outside the box. As long as Ole persists with the 4-2-3-1 I don't think he fits in at all.

He's like a poor man's Lampard or Gerrard - purely by style of play.
 

padzilla

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Let's be honest, neither Fred nor Tominay are helped by being asked to play so deep. For some reason we keep renewing Matic's contract even though he keeps costing us so they have play out of position to cover that.
 

Jev

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I've said it a few times recently but the bigger problem with United's midfield is McTominay, not Fred.

McTominay has had a handful of games where he has been unreal but 90% of the time he is bang average or worse. He's pedestrian in his play most of the time and is as prone to a mistake as Fred. He gets away with it because he has 'the look' (think I'm talking rubbish? Keano cited him as having a 'proper haircut' once) and is an academy lad.

Fred's mistakes have been more high profile, but he has way more in his locker when on form and consistently works his arse off. We definitely need an upgrade at some point, but I'd be inclined to say that McTominay is where we should upgrade first, maybe even trying DVB in his position (oh god what have I become...)
I'm inclined to agree. McTominay has had those few standout performances that make it seem like that's his actual level but really those are the exceptions to his usual averageness. Fred has had those few torrid performances that make it seem like that's his actual level but really those are the exceptions to his usual decentness.

One thing that's certain is that McTominay hides himself more. Maybe that's part of the reason why he rarely looks as atrocious as Fred has looked at times. But it's hardly a quality.
 

MvG

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Literally answered as soon as the term is used. Don't be a Luddite.
If finding internet expert terms like “cover shadow” ridiculous makes me a Luddite then so be it.

McTominay doesn’t know how to show for the ball. We know this. It isn’t rocket science.
 

Spoony

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He hides from the ball. Tifo football is great, better than a lot of football content on YT.
 

RUCK4444

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I've said it a few times recently but the bigger problem with United's midfield is McTominay, not Fred.

McTominay has had a handful of games where he has been unreal but 90% of the time he is bang average or worse. He's pedestrian in his play most of the time and is as prone to a mistake as Fred. He gets away with it because he has 'the look' (think I'm talking rubbish? Keano cited him as having a 'proper haircut' once) and is an academy lad.

Fred's mistakes have been more high profile, but he has way more in his locker when on form and consistently works his arse off. We definitely need an upgrade at some point, but I'd be inclined to say that McTominay is where we should upgrade first, maybe even trying DVB in his position (oh god what have I become...)
Same, I’ve also said a few times that Scott is mostly poor for us.

Fred has his dodgy moments but imo he largely gets tarnished with the same brush as McTominay.
 

TMDaines

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An interesting video, but I would have liked to see them delve into what our other players could offer in the double pivot. I'm also not necessarily convinced that McT is guilty of getting stuck in the "cover shadow", particularly in comparison to our other occupants of the double pivot. It's a different thing to measure, and not something that I have noticed anecdotally. I'll keep an eye out in future.
 

NWRed

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With that level of insight it's a wonder why he's peddling it on YouTube rather than challenging Guardiola and Klopp.
 

TMDaines

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If finding internet expert terms like “cover shadow” ridiculous makes me a Luddite then so be it.

McTominay doesn’t know how to show for the ball. We know this. It isn’t rocket science.
"Internet terms"

You think progressive football managers and coaches aren't using ever-evolving ideas, frameworks and terminology? It's a fair accusation to call someone out for using jargon to obfuscate a discussion, but the video literally uses the term "cover shadow" and then immediately explains what is meant by "cover shadow".
 

Superden

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so basically hes another one in our collection of midfielders who cant do the defensive side.
 

TMDaines

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so basically hes another one in our collection of midfielders who cant do the defensive side.
How did you draw that conclusion? The entire video was about showing for the ball and then playing it.
 

Born2Lose

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The real problem with the midfield is we depend on a young academy player of average ability because our other overpaid midfielders can't string any consistency together.

If we'd replaced Pogba with Tielemans or Neves in the summer then McTominay would now be a bench option as his ability dicates.

I suspected once Dan James left the hive mind on here would eventually target McTominay.

Fred's energy is great, but his haphazard distribution in possession is truly shocking for a £50m player.
 

Chipper

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Moving behind the pressing player "to mark that player in case he intercepts the ball" is a nice way of saying hiding from the ball when we are being pressed.
Doesn't really make sense as a thing to do either does it? He's the wrong side of the player and will either have to make a very good recovery tackle or just foul the player in question if a pass gets intercepted.

The olny way I think you do it on purpose could be seen here I suppose:


If Lindelof does go to Maguire and Maguire does go to Fred and Fred does go To McTominay successfuly there then he has quite a bit of space to drive into and may be running onto the ball rather than receiving it on the turn/half turn like he might if making himself available for a pass from one of the central defenders, plus we've then beaten the press of their front 2. That's a few ifs though! Still, if a team was good at passing they could look to make it work I feel. He might also be there to receive from Wan-Bissaka if Lindelof goes there instead.

So in a way, not making yourself available for the first pass can put you in a better position to receive a subsequent one if the team can pull it off. Not sure that's the plan though.
 

Jacob

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McTom is very lethal in the final third. I think everyone would agree he's better offensively than defensively.
 

Dante

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I fecking hate these kind of videos. It doesn't help that he's chatting shit as well. Like a schoolkid trying to explain to his mates how sex works.
 

MvG

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"Internet terms"

You think progressive football managers and coaches aren't using ever-evolving ideas, frameworks and terminology? It's a fair accusation to call someone out for using jargon to obfuscate a discussion, but the video literally uses the term "cover shadow" and then immediately explains what is meant by "cover shadow".
Aye. I can definitely see Klopp screaming at his players to get out of the cover shadow. “You’re in the cover shadow, Hendo ! Get the feck out of there !”
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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I've said it a few times recently but the bigger problem with United's midfield is McTominay, not Fred.

McTominay has had a handful of games where he has been unreal but 90% of the time he is bang average or worse. He's pedestrian in his play most of the time and is as prone to a mistake as Fred. He gets away with it because he has 'the look' (think I'm talking rubbish? Keano cited him as having a 'proper haircut' once) and is an academy lad.

Fred's mistakes have been more high profile, but he has way more in his locker when on form and consistently works his arse off. We definitely need an upgrade at some point, but I'd be inclined to say that McTominay is where we should upgrade first, maybe even trying DVB in his position (oh god what have I become...)
Keano only mentioned that McTominay has better potential than Fred as he is younger. Not like he praised him that he is good enough or had done good enough.

McTominay and Fred are two different midfielders honestly. The only similar thing in them is that both are not holding midfielder and both have great stamina and work rate. But Fred is more fluid while McTominay is more physical. McTominay probably gave less cheap possession in comparison to Fred. While Fred has more killer passing than McTominay. McTominay has better shooting technique while Fred can't shoot.
 

TwoSheds

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The real problem with the midfield is we depend on a young academy player of average ability because our other overpaid midfielders can't string any consistency together.

If we'd replaced Pogba with Tielemans or Neves in the summer then McTominay would now be a bench option as his ability dicates.

I suspected once Dan James left the hive mind on here would eventually target McTominay.

Fred's energy is great, but his haphazard distribution in possession is truly shocking for a £50m player.
Neves is shite. Can barely manage a game for Wolves.
 

TMDaines

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Aye. I can definitely see Klopp screaming at his players to get out of the cover shadow. “You’re in the cover shadow, Hendo ! Get the feck out of there !”
You don't think teams, such as City and Liverpool, work on their midfielders moving out the space that is being successfully covered by the opposition forwards and midfielders, so they are free to receive the ball and move it on? The term, which for some reason you have taken massive umbrage with, is kind of irrelevant, no? You are shouting at the clouds here.
 

EyeToldYou

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With that level of insight it's a wonder why he's peddling it on YouTube rather than challenging Guardiola and Klopp.
Agree.

I used to enjoy Tito videos - now they're just unbearable.

Stop dressing it up with fancy shit terms like "cover shadow" in an effort to appear more knowledgeable than they actually are, and just call it what it is. An inability to find space.

fecking cover shadow. :rolleyes:

Cover shadows.
Pivots
XG
Ball spinning
Inside outs


I'm well getting into it.
What? :lol: I've never heard of those, shows how out of touch I am I guess.
 
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tomaldinho1

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Cover shadows.
Pivots
XG
Ball spinning
Inside outs

I'm well getting into it.
xG is a real thing, I rate it and it has a clear use, the rest is just people trying to categorise everything.

Double pivot doesn't even make sense when you think of what a pivot is, someone just thought it sounded good and its stuck.
Cover shadow just makes it sound like we need a Nazgul in DM