Van De Beek is not a Centre Midfielder

Bebestation

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But the vast majority of people don't give a damn about a double pivot, is there a rule stipulating that it's the only way to organize a midfield?
I know I don't either. The only other way we can is to play with Matic isn't it?

Mctominay doesn't work in a midfield 3?
 

BrilliantOrange

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Even if you include double pivot and starting in 4-2-3-1, he has played his best games for United in that position(forget about Ajax).. Very odd thread this.
This is true more than anything else said in this thread by anyone...
 

JPRouve

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Even if you include double pivot and starting in 4-2-3-1, he has played his best games for United in that position(forget about Ajax).. Very odd thread this.
I know but it seems easier to entertain that weird idea. Because in reality it's not as if Fred, McTominay and Pogba are DMs, they are also #8 and none of them is particularly good defensively.
 

Bebestation

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This is true more than anything else said in this thread by anyone...
I thought his best performances for Ajax came during that CL season. That is when everyone wanted to sign him. Guess his best season came when he played in a double pivot.
 

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He has played a total of 737 minutes as a CM and an additional 30m as CDM, I really don't understand how some of you can rush to conclusions when the guy never even had a proper run of games. We have average midfielder like McT and Fred get tons of game time despite being absolute shit, yet DvB can't play there just because the manager chooses not to give him a run of games there.
 

MrBest

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Anyone who says Donny is not a 6 has never seen him play before. He played this role at Ajax in his early days and was only durig his last season that he pushed up to a more attacking role. I wouldn't say his defensive work is at a peak Matic level, but he definitely has the ability to play deeper especially given he has added the strength to his frame in recent months.

The number 8 position is the role he played the most at Ajax. He would be quality there but would require a formation change which Ole is too scared to do.

To fit Donny in I would do:

Gk
Rb cb cb lb
Dm
Donny cm
Rf Cf Lf

Ole is famous for playing players in wrong positions. Pogba is not a LM, Fred and Mctominay are not holding midfielders, he hasn't figured out Martial and Jesse just plays wherever because he is a moments player.
 

JPRouve

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I know I don't either. The only other way we can is to play with Matic isn't it?

Mctominay doesn't work in a midfield 3?
No, you can use a flat midfield similar to what Liverpool used before the introduction of Fabinho or how Napoli played with Hamsik, Jorginho and Allan. Then you have Atletico Madrid who for years didn't use an holding midfielder since netiher Tiago nor Gabi were DMs but both were #8, the key being to limit the area they had to cover by using wide midfielders instead of traditional wingers/inside forwards.

There are many ways to do things with the players that we have or had but the coaching staff is seemingly stuck on a 4231 that suits no one. They are extremely lucky that we actually have good players.
 

devilish

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Ole believes otherwise.
 

telstar96

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It's never as simple to say VDB goes in this position or another position. It really depends on the other midfielders that he plays with.

We have the same issue now with McFred. They're both box-to-box midfielders so it often looks disjointed, as both want to get up and down the pitch, leaving us open on the counter. Change one of those players to a holding midfielder and the dynamic completely changes. The combination of midfielders is the most important aspect to building a well functioning midfield.

In the case of VDB, at Ajax he played both as a AM and a CM. Transfermarkt do a great job of recording the positions each player has played in and the number games (https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/don...verein=610&liga=&wettbewerb=&pos=&trainer_id=). So there is an argument that with the right personal, VDB could play in as a CM or a AM and that he's a pretty versatile in this regard.
 

Adam-Utd

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It's just kind of obvious though mate - when he is playing deep he is constantly trying to get forward.

He kind of does it so much and gets in to spaces behind the opposition like a raumdeuter that the midfielder he plays with can hardly pick him out and he kind of plays that midfield a bit by himself.

VDB plays these one two passes and goes on a run which is very hard to play in a double pivot.

He literally makes runs that cheats and gets behinds the opposition and wants his partner to pick him out. It doesn't really happen.
How is he not playing like a midfielder here? He barely gets ahead of the ball unless it goes wide and anticipating a cross etc.

It seems like you've made up something in your head and believe it as a fact.

 

BrilliantOrange

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I thought his best performances for Ajax came during that CL season. That is when everyone wanted to sign him. Guess his best season came when he played in a double pivot.
I think individually both these seasons where quite comparable in terms of how good he was.. But he played in different positions, mainly because Ten Hag changed the whole midfield organization after Frenkie and Schone left. Ziyech became a 10 more often in stead of coming from the right and we started playing with Martinez/Alvarez more as more defensive midfielders. Donny had different roles in both seasons, but was very good in both of these roles..
 

matt23

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And Pogba isn't a left winger either.

While our other midfield options struggle to pass a football to each other I'd say it's probably worth a go.
 

Enigma_87

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I know but it seems easier to entertain that weird idea. Because in reality it's not as if Fred, McTominay and Pogba are DMs, they are also #8 and none of them is particularly good defensively.
Actually it depends really on the roles, but 4-3-3 can transition easily into 4-2-3-1 and vice versa. The mechanics of the midfield with a designated holder, B2B and attacking midfielder and a double pivot with one more attacking and one more defensive midfielders are not that far apart. You just need understanding between the players who will occupy which zones during the different phases of the game and the rest is zonal movement. Obviously the players / formations are never static so it blurs in transition.

Problem is - some are really obsessed with formations (as we had plenty of threads lately), but rather personnel and roles are more important of how you will structure a midfield, not how it will look on the chalkboard.
 

Hansi Fick

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Even if you include double pivot and starting in 4-2-3-1, he has played his best games for United in that position(forget about Ajax).. Very odd thread this.
This is true more than anything else said in this thread by anyone...
It's not really that odd as the motivation behind it is very transparent - to provide flank protection to the excuse that Solskjaer wasn't backed with a CM.
 

Hammondo

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"VDB is not a bloody midfielder" "Just because he can play as a CM doesn't mean he is good at it"

How can you say this when he's looked his best for us whilst playing in the double pivot? Making shit up :houllier:
Compared to what?
 

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At Ajax I only ever saw him play number 10. he was very good at it. He hasn't been very good in his few appearances for united but that is obviously a very small sample size.

Is he any good at a deeper role? no idea! I doubt many/if any people on this forum no for sure. I think a lot of people just want him to be good at something as we clearly have an issue in the midfield.

I would however be very surprised if he was the answer to our midfield issues, the biggest issue is that we don't have a defensive midfielder who can effectively screen then back 4. McFred working in tandem can just about do it, but neither of them is natural DM's. Matic just doesn't have the legs. Pogba is more of an attacking player and doesn't have the discipline.

The chances of Donny, the guy who has made his name as a number 10 being the answer seems a bit desperate to me
 

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As a football supporter, I was excited to see VDB arrive in the PL because he’s a fantastic young talent.
I also thought the £40M price tag was an absolute bargain for a player of his age with his trajectory.
I don’t think we had space for another AM but I’d have loved to see him in a blue shirt and I expected him to be mopping up plaudits from the sportswriter on a sickeningly regular basis, in a side like Utd, but it just hasn’t happened because he’s seemingly being shunned by Ole?
I honestly thought that he was a wanted by Ole and I didn’t expect that joining Utd would sideline him and put his career on the back burner.
I bet he’s absolutely gutted but maybe there’s something that we’re all missing, perhaps Ronaldo joined on the assurance that he’d be guaranteed to start the vast majority of the games played and it’s impossible to squeeze a lethal attacking midfielder with not so good defensive skills, like VDB, into the team alongside Ronaldo who doesn’t even attempt to defend?
It’s got to be something like that because if he was an Ole signing then surely Ole would have bedded him into your 1st 11 by now?

You’ve got an embarrassment of attacking riches and I suppose that something has to give but I’d be putting the old player out to pasture and playing the younger established talents with an eye to the future.
IMO there’s something odd going on and I can only surmise that Utd have agreed contracts that guarantee playing time to some players (Ronaldo in particular) and, by doing that, effectively placed restrictions on who Ole is able to select.

Maybe the tail’s wagging the dog and the dog’s getting blamed for it.
 

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What’s damning about Ole’s treatment of VDB is that he continues to play Pogba who has shown no real intention of signing a new deal with us. As expected, Pogba has also been poor recently despite a very good start. Ole has now put us in the position where now risk losing both VDB and Pogba next season. Ole should incorporate VDB into the squad and try him in a midfield pivot. At this stage with the knives out, what does he have to lose?
 

tomaldinho1

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It's just the thread title. I said he can play CM in the first post -however that I think he is better further up the pitch.
We've not seen him have a run in any position so how do you know? Issue is Bruno isn't really a midfielder, he's basically a SS so the pivot are always up against it, add in we don't use the midfield for offensive possession.

Personally, I'd think for balance you have Fred sitting and just accept he's going to be erratic with Donny as an 8. Donny as 10 is pointless in our system.
 

Bebestation

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It's not really that odd as the motivation behind it is very transparent - to provide flank protection to the excuse that Solskjaer wasn't backed with a CM.
I want Ten Hag in so he actually plays VDB more like his CL ajax days.

Not in a double pivot hopefully.
 

Borys

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It's just kind of obvious though mate - when he is playing deep he is constantly trying to get forward.

He kind of does it so much and gets in to spaces behind the opposition like a raumdeuter that the midfielder he plays with can hardly pick him out and he kind of plays that midfield a bit by himself.

VDB plays these one two passes and goes on a run which is very hard to play in a double pivot.

He literally makes runs that cheats and gets behinds the opposition and wants his partner to pick him out. It doesn't really happen.
I can see your point, but if I remember correctly that was when he played in AM position for us. His impact on the game was very limited as he either passed in backwards/sideways or made a run in behind, which as clever as it was, didn't result in any dangerous situation as he was totally out of sync with the teammates.

However, if you have seen the last 5 games he played for us in midfield you must see how much better he is in that position. Looks a proper midfielder to me, at the very least he has some awareness both on and off the ball which is something I think neither of Fred, McTominay and Pogba possess.
Okay again if you look at my original post - I said he can play CM. Nothing new there.

However, do you think he can play deeper better or further forward better?

Ie does he have the same problems with Pogba?


This started because people said we bought VDB but VDB is not a player for a double pivot for United is he? Do you think he is?
Let's leave aside whatever role he played for Ajax, based on the posts in this forum I think the vast majority think he's much better in deeper midfield than further forward. This is also my opinion on VDB after watching him play for us in those few games he was given a run.
I think he can do a job in midfield no worse than all our other options, only Matic is better (but he has other issues unfortunately).
Is van de Beek the answer to our midfield problems? Personally I don't think this will be fixed with buying one player, but we also need to take under consideration there is no way to tell at this point as Donny has never been given a chance to prove himself (even after decent - to - good performances he was never picked). I don't know how can you judge a player based on such limited game time.
 

luke511

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Compared to what?
You mean compared to when he hasn't played in the double pivot? His appearances as no.10 (there hasn't been many of them either) has been covering for Bruno in utd's B team essentially, so his performances haven't been great there. The B team games have always lacked coherence which doesn't suit him in that no.10 role at all.
 

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He has played a total of 737 minutes as a CM and an additional 30m as CDM, I really don't understand how some of you can rush to conclusions when the guy never even had a proper run of games. We have average midfielder like McT and Fred get tons of game time despite being absolute shit, yet DvB can't play there just because the manager chooses not to give him a run of games there.
Level-headed analysis, this. We've lost every game in which VdB started in midfield, except for a meaningless game at the end of last season, but our most consistent midfield duo, which has a higher winning percentage than any of our other midfield partnerships, is "absolute shit".

If we want to stop our midfield from being bypassed as if it doesn't exist, like it was against Leicester, we have to play McTominay and Fred. However, since they're not very good on the ball and their passing is generally poor, they're not very good at breaking down low blocks. That's always going to be a problem until we buy midfielders who are good on the ball but not complete defensive liabilities like Pogba, VdB, and an elderly, exhausted Matic.
 

Hammondo

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You mean compared to when he hasn't played in the double pivot? His appearances as no.10 (there hasn't been many of them either) has been covering for Bruno in utd's B team essentially, so his performances haven't been great there. The B team games have always lacked coherence which doesn't suit him in that no.10 role at all.
Yea exactly, we are making judgement with crap data.
 

JPRouve

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Actually it depends really on the roles, but 4-3-3 can transition easily into 4-2-3-1 and vice versa. The mechanics of the midfield with a designated holder, B2B and attacking midfielder and a double pivot with one more attacking and one more defensive midfielders are not that far apart. You just need understanding between the players who will occupy which zones during the different phases of the game and the rest is zonal movement. Obviously the players / formations are never static so it blurs in transition.

Problem is - some are really obsessed with formations (as we had plenty of threads lately), but rather personnel and roles are more important of how you will structure a midfield, not how it will look on the chalkboard.
I kind of disagree on that bolded point, the roles and space that players occupy during transition are more important to me and they are not blurred at all. I should have made it clear but in the case of a flat 433 I'm more interested in the space that our midfielders would occupy and for example I would have Bruno as RCM, VDB/Pogba as LCM and McTominay/Fred as CCM, so in transition in both directions the field is divided in thirds and each player as to strictly follow that principle which can only be broken when we are set in possession in the attacking third in that case they can switch and move a bit more creatively.

Now of course I simplified it because there are rules when you switch which dictates how players are supposed to transition when out of position which relates to boundaries and the position of the ball.
 

Enigma_87

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I kind of disagree on that bolded point, the roles and space that players occupy during transition are more important to me and they are not blurred at all. I should have made it clear but in the case of a flat 433 I'm more interested in the space that our midfielders would occupy and for example I would have Bruno as RCM, VDB/Pogba as LCM and McTominay/Fred as CCM, so in transition in both directions the field is divided in thirds and each player as to strictly follow that principle which can only be broken when we are set in possession in the attacking third in that case they can switch and move a bit more creatively.

Now of course I simplified it because there are rules when you switch which dictates how players are supposed to transition when out of position which relates to boundaries and the position of the ball.
I meant that they are blurred in terms of strict position on the pitch because you have to cover the opposition player and sometimes the midfield defends in line, other times the CDM drops in the hole or goes wide to cover for the full back. Of course the roles have to be defined both off and on the ball and each player should have the understanding of which zone to cover.
 

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It's the first time that I see someone suggest that Van De Beek is a raumdeuter and judging by the 712 views in 2 years, I'm not the only one.
I certainly saw that (the suggestion, not the video) and generally I tend to agree that his best role at Ajax kinda resembled Müller’s interpretation of an attacking midfielder. That doesn’t mean that he can’t or didn’t play in other roles though and he developed into this role from midfield while Müller adapted his game as a forward, even though the eventual result was similar.
 

JPRouve

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I certainly saw that (the suggestion, not the video) and generally I tend to agree that his best role at Ajax kinda resembled Müller’s interpretation of an attacking midfielder. That doesn’t mean that he can’t or didn’t play in other roles though and he developed into this role from midfield while Müller adapted his game as a forward, even though the eventual result was similar.
Are we talking about young Muller or current Muller? Because they are vastly different and I would say that Van De Beek has more in common with current Muller which is not a Raumdeuter. On a side note Muller's transformation over the years is amazing and not enough mentioned.
 

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Yea exactly, we are making judgement with crap data.
Judgement that he can in fact play as a centre midfielder? You've just got to look at his attributes, going off his games here and at Ajax.
 

harms

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Are we talking about young Muller or current Muller? Because they are vastly different and I would say that Van De Beek has more in common with current Muller which is not a Raumdeuter. On a side note Muller's transformation over the years is amazing and not enough mentioned.
I'm talking about a younger one but it's always hard to compare players of different quality — Müller was so much better that it always makes it a different role. But the thing is that both had played as a number 10 but not in the conventional way, making the most out of the space around them & their outstanding movement (again, Müller's was on another level) instead of relying on a more traditional ball-playing skills as an orthodox number 10 does.

To be fair a better comparison that I also used when he was coming to us is Lingard as it doesn't distract from the point with an obvious gap in quality. But while Lingard is a forward converted to raumdeuter, like Müller, van de Beek grew into that role starting from deeper positions.
The Athletic said:
So Lingard is a No 10 who does nothing on the creative front that is required from someone in that position. Similarities here could be drawn with Thomas Muller for Bayern Munich, who once labelled himself as a raumdeuter (space interpreter) who pops up wherever the open spaces are between or across the lines. The similarity ends with movement though — Muller has registered double-digit goal and assist totals in each of the last 10 seasons.

https://theathletic.com/1719405/2020/04/04/jesse-lingard-manchester-united-no-10-transfer-raiola/
To say that he's not a midfielder is wrong though.
 

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He isn't on as much money as Pogba so there's no fuss if he doesn't play. It's ludicrous at this stage with how terrible our midfield is that he hasn't been given a run of games to try and stake a claim to a first team place, instead he gets the odd game here and there and is thrown under the bus when he doesn't perform. Meanwhile Pogba jogs about with no positional discipline and goes missing for long periods of most games and keeps getting picked because Solksjaer is blinded by reputations.
Or because Ole actually asks him to play that way. I’ve seen Pogba play disciplined in midfield, keeping it simple. But I think Ole just wants as many players with individual talent as close to the goal as possible. He recognises this unbalanced the team so then he compensates by sticking McFred in front of the back 4. Job done.
 

JPRouve

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I'm talking about a younger one but it's always hard to compare players of different quality — Müller was so much better that it always makes it a different role. But the thing is that both had played as a number 10 but not in the conventional way, making the most out of the space around them & their outstanding movement (again, Müller's was on another level) instead of relying on a more traditional ball-playing skills as an orthodox number 10 does.

To be fair a better comparison that I also used when he was coming to us is Lingard as it doesn't distract from the point with an obvious gap in quality. But while Lingard is a forward converted to raumdeuter, like Müller, van de Beek grew into that role starting from deeper positions.


To say that he's not a midfielder is wrong though.
I really don't see it, I'm probably missing something but for example I can see the parallel between Müller and Griezmann with both players even moving to a more traditional AM role. If I try to find a player that he could remind me is a young Dejan Stankovic.
 

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Yeah ehich
I think again though this is primarily due to our lack of CDM. We only have Matic who can do a proper CDM work.

If we had one who is young and fit then VDB could be used as a CM with even Pogba.

I just don't see VDB being this trick to getting this squad work - like how people say we should use him now and we haven't used him in a double pivot or something.

I do not think he is good enough that deep especially when his partner is not good enough also.
Yeah which begs the question, why did we not get a CDM instead of sancho when we already had Greenwood, Rashford, Amad, Lingard, Pogba, and even Elanga who could play there? Dumb decision making, which pretty much sums us up post Fergie.
 

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He might not be a good CM but:
  1. He thinks he can play there, and I'd like to think he knows more about himself than we do
  2. We never really gave him a shot there even when the alternatives were terrible.
 

#07

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I actually agree with the OP and that, in retrospect, makes the signing of Van de Beek a bit puzzling.

I figure that we signed Van de Beek because Ole wanted to be able to rotate Bruno without losing match winning ability at #10. However, that plan fell apart at West Ham last season and since then the lad's just been floundering.

We should've used the money we spent on Van de Beek on a proper replacement for Carrick. Shoulda, woulda, coulda, eh? Oh well.

Yeah ehich

Yeah which begs the question, why did we not get a CDM instead of sancho when we already had Greenwood, Rashford, Amad, Lingard, Pogba, and even Elanga who could play there? Dumb decision making, which pretty much sums us up post Fergie.
Absolutely. We have spent hundreds of millions of players on either the wrong players or players who aren't good enough.

There has been no thought put to the composition of the squad as a whole under any coach that came after Ferguson.

We have basically lucked out a couple of times by finding ways to get a few key combos together.

If you were starting from zero and were given hundreds of millions to spend. Our squad is not what you'd want to end up with. Yet somehow that's where we are.
 

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The Sancho signing is looking like a disastrous bit of business so far, money was spent on another expensive attacker the area of the team needing least work, with no central defensive midfielder purchased as a result.
 

Hammondo

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Judgement that he can in fact play as a centre midfielder? You've just got to look at his attributes, going off his games here and at Ajax.
Being able to play a role and that role being the best for him, or he plays it well enough are different things.
 

MattofManchester

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Didn't someone already debunk this nonsense from OP with an actual Tactical analysis not a fancy YouTube video?

Nevermind that VDB himself said he can play centrally.
No, no, no, what the player himself says about his own role is definitely irrelevant.