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2019-20 Performances


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5.7 Season Average Rating
Appearances
47
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19
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1
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Ekeke

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Evans is like 10 years older so for me I would chose Soyuncu any day. But based only on performance, I will be honest, I haven’t watched them enough to evaluate who is the best. When I watch certain teams I pay extra attention to certain players. Soyuncu is not such a player. If you say he is much better I don’t have knowledge to agree or disagree.
At least in the first half of the season he was clearly the 2nd best CB after VVD.

He's still young and like Leicester in general his form has come down a bit since then. I've seen both Evans and Soyuncu make mistakes this season, just like I have Lindelof and the rest. But he's an aggressive ball winning CB with enough speed and comfortable on the ball so I'd imagine he'll have a lot of suitors this summer.
 

A-man

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I'm not the biggest fan of Lindelof but he has improved in the last 5 matches alongside the rest of our team.

He doesn't look weak but he doesn't particularly look strong on the eye the way Bailly does. Whilst Bailly has had his own problems as an individual- alot of those individual players have improved under ole when given time to adapt and if he is given that then I think he can easily over take Lindelof.

It's more to do with Maguire being so clearly better than every other defender at the club that the next step is to find that cohesive partnership of the centre backs where ones one's weaknesses is covered by another's strengths. For me Bailly's strengths like his physicality, aggression and speed cover Maguire's weaknesses in the same way that Rio &Vidic or Smalling or Blind covered some of each others other's weaknesses whilst making each others strengths stronger.

Lindelof and Maguire kind of seem to have similar weaknesses and similar strengths in comparison to Bailly who has different ones completely.

It's like playing two strikers upfront and kind of playing 2 target men upfront- you wonder maybe you should have two different types of striker instead to get the better use out of situations, because a single target man and a support striker has more variety to their attacking play than two target men doing the same thing.
In theory it sounds smart to have two CBs who can cover for eachothers weaknesses. Hiowever, some of Bailly's deficiences is not good match with Maguire.
One of Maguire's best features is to clear the ball high up with his head. Bailly also likes to move high up and attack the ball, just not in the air. Bailly often moves forward, leaving a large space behind him which the other CB (Maguire) needs to cover. Covering for someone else is not Maguire's strength and it neutralises his strength to be the one to go forward. Lindelof does not move forward but often cover behind Maguire. That is both Lindelof's strength and weakness and something he needs to develop: to be aggressive at times, and still be able to cover for Maguire at other times. Some say Lindelof is too slow to cover for Maguire but I can't recall any goals coming from that.

Definitely - its overrated on him in comparison to Maguire or Blind - hell I'm not even being rude but the ball against LSAK that Bailly did, Lindelof doesn't pull that off.
This is not true. Look at the clip and see how Lindelof anticipated what could happen before it even happened.

 

hmchan

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Before these couple of games with Bailly, I actually thought Maguire and Rojo was surprisingly good as well - it's for the same reason that Rojo defends in a different way to Maguire so when Maguire gets caught out, Rojo normally reads the game in a different, speedy but erratic way.

However- obviously Ole doesn't think Rojo is someone who can improve his game to a higher consistent level.

I'm okay with defenders needing the ability to beat a press - but both central defenders needing to be ball playing defenders has been a bit of an overrated tactic in football considering they play so close to each other in my opinion especially when you potentially risk that stable defensive partnership for a 5% increase in attack speed from the back that doesn't even happen against alot of teams that sit back against us.

Rio & Vidic, Smalling & Blind, are like ying & yang in their partnership's-
I get that more from Maguire and Bailly as a partnership than Maguire and Lindelof as you said because of the things like the weaknesses of speed, recovery, strength and just connection between the two.

I even feel Lindelof and Bailly are good as two to cover each others weaknesses but is only poor in partnership in terms of what we have as a squad because Maguire is too good not to be picked every game. Maguire has to be picked & we need to start thinking about his best partner.
Totally agree. The whole "ball playing defender" philosophy comes from Pep's obsession in possession football and complete dominance in games. However many teams just partially copy the concept which makes the whole idea meaningless, just like many teams tried to copy tiki-taka and failed. Their midfield is usually not good enough to control the game and provide options for the defenders, which lead to plenty of errors at the back. One example I always mention is the failure of England in the Nations League, it's totally down to the so-called "ball playing defender" philosophy.
 

Bebestation

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In theory it sounds smart to have two CBs who can cover for eachothers weaknesses. Hiowever, some of Bailly's deficiences is not good match with Maguire.
One of Maguire's best features is to clear the ball high up with his head. Bailly also likes to move high up and attack the ball, just not in the air. Bailly often moves forward, leaving a large space behind him which the other CB (Maguire) needs to cover. Covering for someone else is not Maguire's strength and it neutralises his strength to be the one to go forward. Lindelof does not move forward but often cover behind Maguire. That is both Lindelof's strength and weakness and something he needs to develop: to be aggressive at times, and still be able to cover for Maguire at other times. Some say Lindelof is too slow to cover for Maguire but I can't recall any goals coming from that.



This is not true. Look at the clip and see how Lindelof anticipated what could happen before it even happened.

I'm talking about the pass to Chong that set up Greenwood.

I'm sure Lindelof has done this too but we kind of expect that from him once in a while which we don't usually see as much as wish. Bailly did that more due his speed as a footballer both on and off the ball - his little tricks and step overs on the balls may not seem as much but it shows that he has a confidence to find space more than necessarily find a pass.

The passing element isn't all that important great in my opinion. I might be wrong here but is there a use to having two pirlos in midfield or is it better to have a pirlo and a gattuso? Couldn't gattuso get the ball to pirlo anyway and it's not like gattuso is a cricket player either.

Same for me in defence. The two ball playing defender thing is a bit unnecessary. Not complaining about Lindelof since out unbeaten run - but before that both our team and him and and Maguire as individuals and as a partnership had alot to be desired. Bailly and Maguire so far may have started off in a team on form but look cohesive either in a different manner.
 

A-man

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I'm talking about the pass to Chong that set up Greenwood.

I'm sure Lindelof has done this too but we kind of expect that from him once in a while which we don't usually see as much as wish. Bailly did that more due his speed as a footballer both on and off the ball - his little tricks and step overs on the balls may not seem as much but it shows that he has a confidence to find space more than necessarily find a pass.

The passing element isn't all that important great in my opinion. I might be wrong here but is there a use to having two pirlos in midfield or is it better to have a pirlo and a gattuso? Couldn't gattuso get the ball to pirlo anyway and it's not like gattuso is a cricket player either.

Same for me in defence. The two ball playing defender thing is a bit unnecessary. Not complaining about Lindelof since out unbeaten run - but before that both our team and him and and Maguire as individuals and as a partnership had alot to be desired. Bailly and Maguire so far may have started off in a team on form but look cohesive either in a different manner.
Sorry my mistake.

I think it is a little bit a matter of taste and how you believe football should be played. I personally believe, that with the intense pressure on the ball holder and especially on the 4 at the back, it is necessary that they all are good with their feet. It has been problems sometimes, but in most matches where the opponent has tried to put strong pressure on United, they gave up, because they didn’t manage to win the ball. The United defenders are too good with their feet. This is something that has worked pretty well this season. I think especially AWB, Lindelof and McT have been succesful at playing through the press and Maguire is particularly good at protecting the ball even under pressure.

Lindelof has hit occasional long balls to Martial and Rashford. Some have been very good but they have never been able to control it. I watch 3-6 PL matches every round and must say it is relatively rare that teams score from CB longballs. And I agree with you, they are not that important. More important are the fast passes that start the counter, like Bailly’s ball to Chong.
 

MikeKing

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That is a great block. Important moment. There is only one thing to do there though. Lindelof's problem is to act assured when there is more than one way to deal with a situation. Too often he becomes passive and afraid of committing to a choice. I mean, it works quite often but it also leads to others having to cover for him. You could argue it's better for him to make up the numbers and for others to do the business, rather than him committing and making mistakes and I wont argue back due to United having decent numbers defensively. However, it's not unreasonable to assume that we could improve further with another defender, it could potentially make a difference for the whole team to be more proactive. We're certainly not at a point where we shouldn't look to improve.
 

TwoSheds

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So you could have Soyuncu or Evans for £30 million this summer and you wouldnt choose Soyuncu?

Thats pretty crazy
I have no opinion about Soyuncu's potential particularly as I don't watch him enough, but if I needed a player to win the title next year and I wasn't thinking further than that then it would be Evans all day.

Soyuncu looks a bit like if Lindelof was more up for a scrap. No particularly outstanding features but decent all round. More prone to fouling though.
 

Foxbatt

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Lindelof has been good lately. I would also agree with Bebestation that this is a nonsense from Pep. Cruijff never had two ball playing defenders and he actually had one who is a hard man and a stopper. The fact that the stopper can play a bit of football is not relevant.
 

A-man

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That is a great block. Important moment. There is only one thing to do there though. Lindelof's problem is to act assured when there is more than one way to deal with a situation. Too often he becomes passive and afraid of committing to a choice. I mean, it works quite often but it also leads to others having to cover for him. You could argue it's better for him to make up the numbers and for others to do the business, rather than him committing and making mistakes and I wont argue back due to United having decent numbers defensively. However, it's not unreasonable to assume that we could improve further with another defender, it could potentially make a difference for the whole team to be more proactive. We're certainly not at a point where we shouldn't look to improve.
I fully agree with that observation, but I see it a bit differently (as always :smirk:)

There are many defenders at the same level as Lindelof who are much better individually, but football is not an individual sport. What other defenders at same level have individually, he make up for in terms of cooperation and anticipation. A typical 1-1 situation is that he follows the attacker without attempting to tackle, but trying to stall the attacker and avoid the attacker from moving in to the centre.He either stalls enough to get help from a team mate or pushes him out for DDG to make an easy save. This is the positive way of seeing it, I understand that, but I believe it is true. He is a 98% a team player and 2% an individual player. He understands how to defend efficiently as a team and he is good at anticipating what Maguire is about to do, and I believe Maguire also is confident in trusting that Lindelof will cover for him.

That said. There are situations where he really should tackle instead. Especially when they need to win back the ball high up the pitch. He solves the situation by the tactics mentioned above and defensively it is fine, but if the defenders can win back the ball fast, the pressure can be maintained. That is his biggest weakness imo, that he needs to work. In that situation there should be 0% team and 100% aggressive individual, and the difficulty is to evaluate the situation: when should one be aggressive and when play calm and safe?

Again, he is one of my favourite players in United and I might see it overly positive...
 

MikeKing

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I fully agree with that observation, but I see it a bit differently (as always :smirk:)

There are many defenders at the same level as Lindelof who are much better individually, but football is not an individual sport. What other defenders at same level have individually, he make up for in terms of cooperation and anticipation. A typical 1-1 situation is that he follows the attacker without attempting to tackle, but trying to stall the attacker and avoid the attacker from moving in to the centre.He either stalls enough to get help from a team mate or pushes him out for DDG to make an easy save. This is the positive way of seeing it, I understand that, but I believe it is true. He is a 98% a team player and 2% an individual player. He understands how to defend efficiently as a team and he is good at anticipating what Maguire is about to do, and I believe Maguire also is confident in trusting that Lindelof will cover for him.

That said. There are situations where he really should tackle instead. Especially when they need to win back the ball high up the pitch. He solves the situation by the tactics mentioned above and defensively it is fine, but if the defenders can win back the ball fast, the pressure can be maintained. That is his biggest weakness imo, that he needs to work. In that situation there should be 0% team and 100% aggressive individual, and the difficulty is to evaluate the situation: when should one be aggressive and when play calm and safe?

Again, he is one of my favourite players in United and I might see it overly positive...
I totally get what you are saying here. I agree he is a team-player, and I'm not taking that for granted. It makes him ideal as a reliable, valuable squad-player if he can function like that even when not featuring regularly in the team. I'm not overly positive about him but that's one of the few things I'm pleased about, with him. Not much else he has going for him to keep him in the side.
 

Grande

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And I agree, in my opinion- Lindelof like Shaw, Fred, Matic, Martial has improved his game on an individual level due to Ole's 'freedom hardworking tactics' and this has made our whole team improve a level due to our individual improvement first.

Theres something kind of non complex about the way Ole plays football - the same reason alot of us were talking about how we looked uncoached, but I believe the players get an ability to play to their strengths more in doing so by maybe not playing football the way a club like City or Liverpool play in such a super cohesive but mind boggling complex way.

I just see it as Bailly's turn to now individually improve now & if he does do that - he makes our team stronger because he covers some of maguires weaknesses more than Lindelof does.
Good point. I don’t see it as a more/less complex question, but more of a question of how to best handle the complexity that football presents eternally. Guardiola’s high level of prepared movement patterns is a wayof simplifying this complexity to reduce the number of choices for each of his players in each situation. Rinus Michels and Cruyff also believed in this approach. Fergie on the other hand, believed more in a few organizing principles and more individual freedom for his players to use width, use speed, use players individual strengths and establish relations. One gives efficiency and demands disciolin, the other gives freedom and demands crestivity from olayers. These tendencies seem to go back and forth through history.

solskjær has shown himself very adept on organization on the pitch, but he clearly is more on the side of Fergie as regards structuring particular movement patterns. Some see that as ‘having no attacking plan’, but it’s more a case of it depending on time to build relations, and good enough, creative enough, creative enough players to exploit the freedoms. It’s like jazz vs classical, surfing vs figure skating.
 

Bebestation

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Good point. I don’t see it as a more/less complex question, but more of a question of how to best handle the complexity that football presents eternally. Guardiola’s high level of prepared movement patterns is a wayof simplifying this complexity to reduce the number of choices for each of his players in each situation. Rinus Michels and Cruyff also believed in this approach. Fergie on the other hand, believed more in a few organizing principles and more individual freedom for his players to use width, use speed, use players individual strengths and establish relations. One gives efficiency and demands disciolin, the other gives freedom and demands crestivity from olayers. These tendencies seem to go back and forth through history.

solskjær has shown himself very adept on organization on the pitch, but he clearly is more on the side of Fergie as regards structuring particular movement patterns. Some see that as ‘having no attacking plan’, but it’s more a case of it depending on time to build relations, and good enough, creative enough, creative enough players to exploit the freedoms. It’s like jazz vs classical, surfing vs figure skating.
Yeah exactly.

Its not that I'm hyping up Ole as the second coming of SAF but it's clear that hes a disciple of his and theres a freedom in our ability to be as good and as creative as we ourselves can be with the players we have and Ole wont put much tactical restrictions on our play.

Personally that's why I think players like Lingard & Pereira have struggled this year. There doesn't particularly seem to be too much of a 'system' where we play 100% possession or 100% park the bus counter like the last couple years where some weaker players can still be useful because ultimately it was the system that helped us, not really them.

Mctomminay is the best example for me- looked nothing special under Jose to me but under Ole he has the ability to play box to box, bits of DM and dribbles up to CAM constantly because the team is completely and utterly unrestricted. This is what we saw when we went on the unbeaten run after the Jose sack aswell, an unrestricted type football where it felt the opposite to Jose's.

Now, the weak ones like Lingard and pereira struggle to show off their talent on the pitch a lot of the time - because everyone has that freedom to show in the first place.

It feels like the players are coming every Saturday or Sunday for hard work just like any other person in society and that's actually something I've not seen possibly since the Tevez, Hargreaves, Ronaldo, Rooney, Carrick, Rio days.
 

criticalanalysis

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Maguire and Lindelöf atm has formed the core of one of the most stable defenses in Europe recently. That is with one and a half not that experienced full backs either side, and a very good but not too commanding GK behind them. Their similar strengths seems to have a synergic effect for the increasing well functioning of the team.
I would credit Ole's tactics and in terms of individual performances the likes of Maguire, AWB, Fred, Matic, McTomminay and Shaw in that kind of order before I would laud Lindelof here. He's done well to be fit and a constant mainstay in the team but he's 6/10 placeholder with occasional very good performances. I'm serious when I say this but right now (because of the stability Ole has instilled) in terms of overall ability, pretty much every other defender in the team would be able replace Lindelof's spot without seeing any negative performance in they were fit; in fact like many here, I'd argue we'd see an improvement.

Unfortunately, that hasn't been that the case but time will tell.
 

hmchan

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Good point. I don’t see it as a more/less complex question, but more of a question of how to best handle the complexity that football presents eternally. Guardiola’s high level of prepared movement patterns is a wayof simplifying this complexity to reduce the number of choices for each of his players in each situation. Rinus Michels and Cruyff also believed in this approach. Fergie on the other hand, believed more in a few organizing principles and more individual freedom for his players to use width, use speed, use players individual strengths and establish relations. One gives efficiency and demands disciolin, the other gives freedom and demands crestivity from olayers. These tendencies seem to go back and forth through history.

solskjær has shown himself very adept on organization on the pitch, but he clearly is more on the side of Fergie as regards structuring particular movement patterns. Some see that as ‘having no attacking plan’, but it’s more a case of it depending on time to build relations, and good enough, creative enough, creative enough players to exploit the freedoms. It’s like jazz vs classical, surfing vs figure skating.
The way I see it, most of the top coaches in the world take the "high level of prepared movement patterns" approach. This does not only reduce complexity but also uncertainty and variables in the game, which could lead to more consistent and reproducible results.

Fergie wasn't really one who provided loads of freedom to his players. He had just kept tweaking the tactics over the years, but the details were more or less the same over a specific period of time. If you had watched the video about all our 2000 league goals, you would find it boring as most of the goals came from similar plays.

The reason why we perform better in big games this season is pretty clear: we have a clear plan and a very organized structure against bigger sides, but we find it difficult to break down smaller sides as Ole struggles to design a plan for these situations.
 

Adam-Utd

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First a Samporia top... now his wives dress! good job we've got a few months before the team get back together :lol:
 

poleglass red

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The way I see it, most of the top coaches in the world take the "high level of prepared movement patterns" approach. This does not only reduce complexity but also uncertainty and variables in the game, which could lead to more consistent and reproducible results.

Fergie wasn't really one who provided loads of freedom to his players. He had just kept tweaking the tactics over the years, but the details were more or less the same over a specific period of time. If you had watched the video about all our 2000 league goals, you would find it boring as most of the goals came from similar plays.

The reason why we perform better in big games this season is pretty clear: we have a clear plan and a very organized structure against bigger sides, but we find it difficult to break down smaller sides as Ole struggles to design a plan for these situations.
I think we can't underestimate the role injuries and personel played in that inability to break down smaller teams earlier in the season. Right now we are starting to score against these types of teams. We've played a large chunk of this season minus Martial, and now Rash. We've essentially had our creative mid out the whole season in Pogba- that's our 3 main goalscorers. Players like Shaw and McT are back and playing as well as ever. We've added creativity in Fernandes, we've brought in a centre forward. Not saying Ole is a tactical master or anything, but it's no coincidence that he's starting to get results after a bit of help in the transfer market and a full squad. We add in another bit of creativity into that team with say a top class right winger and a Grealish or Pogba comes back, I think we will start to see of those stubborn park the bus teams wit h a lot more ease.
 

Grande

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The way I see it, most of the top coaches in the world take the "high level of prepared movement patterns" approach. This does not only reduce complexity but also uncertainty and variables in the game, which could lead to more consistent and reproducible results.

Fergie wasn't really one who provided loads of freedom to his players. He had just kept tweaking the tactics over the years, but the details were more or less the same over a specific period of time. If you had watched the video about all our 2000 league goals, you would find it boring as most of the goals came from similar plays.

The reason why we perform better in big games this season is pretty clear: we have a clear plan and a very organized structure against bigger sides, but we find it difficult to break down smaller sides as Ole struggles to design a plan for these situations.
Football has undoubtedly changed since 1992/93. I still think if you look at United’s play at the time, they had more of a ‘toolbox of main strategies’ and less of a ‘manual of a thousand rules for movements and combinations’. The attacks are similar, but not complicated patterns. It’s combo’s of long throw towards wing, often with cross, or long kick towards Hughes to head back towards advancing midfielders, or behind the lines for speed merchants. Or quick combos through the middle. Not a lot of automated specific moves with rules, triangles and set positions like Pep uses much more of. For Fergie, it depended on players who knew each other (relations) or got a bit of the extra (skill, confidence, creativity. Without that, it didn’t work as well.

Solskjær evidently has many strategies to break down established defences, like quick goal directed passing, turning of play side-side, setting up backs/wings two against one, periodic high press with fast transitions. Equally obvious he hasn’t a) made the players capable of doing all this yet (constant issues of confidence/slwness on the ball, overly careful backs, and irregularities in collective press) and b) the players to pull it off well enough to outsmart PL level teams regularily (one swallow doesn’t make a summer, but with Rash, Martial, Bruno and Pogba or the likes, we should expect to see it a lot more consistently).

Since December, we’ve done quite well to break down lesser sides, so it’s reasonable I think, to see it as a process in the making, but we’ll see next year.

Real Madrid have done well in th CL with ‘cruder’ tactics. Mourinho is also a more strategical than micro-tactical coach in my view, but his strategies are staling a bit and his man management has taken a big dip. Different playing styles To Fergie, Zidane, Solskjær and Mourinho, but similar on the scale of macro vs micro management of tactics, I think.
 

yan man utd

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Let’s get back to basics - if you have played as a centre forward or forward then you judge a defender on how much you would enjoy playing against him. I rate lindelof as a decent all round footballer but as a striker I would be rubbing my hands. He is neither fast nor intimidating. As shearer and Wright say on match if the day who would you rather play against. For some unknown reason we didn’t keep smalling. I would much rather play against lindelof. Honestly is lindelof such a good footballer / distributor from the back that it makes up for his lack of defensive ability? It’s a ‘no’ .. players with movement or physical presence - which therefore represents 2 categories not just 1 category that are therefore a threat. Harry Maguire is without doubt a player who has most ticks in the box aside from pace. How can anyone possibly justify telling me that we can have 2 players at centre half with lack of pace, especially when we don’t have a dynamic physical / fast DM?
 

izec

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Didn't really notice him, good or bad, as 90% of the time. Was gassed as a CB after 70 minutes though.
 

Ekeke

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I remember people saying one of his strengths is that hes fast. He's not as slow as Maguire but he certainly didnt look like speed is a strength when he came across for the Spurs goal
 

Skills

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He's just a passenger. Doesn't do anything, he's just there for the ride.
 

Andycoleno9

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Didn't really notice him, good or bad, as 90% of the time. Was gassed as a CB after 70 minutes though.
It is a good sign when you don't notice defender. Means that he is doing his stuff good and simple.
Man, i wish that he is playing in pair with Smalling. Me and @Ekeke would be fighting after very match. ;)
 

jesperjaap

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In all honesty our whole defence were poor today, positionally for sure, no cohesiveness some moving up and some staying back, understanding wasnt there.

Lindelof simply isnt good enough to be a Manchester Untied player. Postionally and covering runners he is poor, defending crosses he is poor, flick ons he is poor. He is also so the wrong partner for Maguire style wise. The rest of his game he is really average, see people saying he is fast and is a good ball player....no he isnt.

If Bailly and Tuanzabe could stay fit and get consistency he wouldnt or at least shouldnt be starting, Thought he as a poor purchase when we made it and nothing has changed my mind since he has been here
 

Kostov

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He has no business starting for Manchester United, weak in duels and shits his pants at the sight of Kane. Despite the mistake for the goal Maguire was miles better.
 

elmo

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Honestly if he never plays for us again, it wouldn't affect us at all because he's just not very good and just never contributes to anything meaningful on the pitch most of the time.
 

elmo

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It is a good sign when you don't notice defender. Means that he is doing his stuff good and simple.
Man, i wish that he is playing in pair with Smalling. Me and @Ekeke would be fighting after very match. ;)
You're deluded. A good centre back covers for his partner, Lindelof just watches as Macguire gets beat. This has been happening all season long.

There's a reason why he's the only defender hauled off this game.
 

roseguy64

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I remember people saying one of his strengths is that hes fast. He's not as slow as Maguire but he certainly didnt look like speed is a strength when he came across for the Spurs goal
I've never heard that said about him.
 

Andycoleno9

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Croatia
Honestly if he never plays for us again, it wouldn't affect us at all because he's just not very good and just never contributes to anything meaningful on the pitch most of the time.
Yeah, feck the fact that he didn't get dribbled once in the game and that Spurs with Kane and Son had one decent chance in whole game (except goal). He needs to do flashy box to box runs with the ball
 
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