We lack basic technical ability

Walrus

Oppressed White Male
Joined
Aug 25, 2008
Messages
10,437
Yes Redcafe, its another thread of complaints and negativity.

To make my own positions clear; I am Ole-in, Pogba-out, and think our #1 priority this summer should be to try to sign Haaland.

Now the actual point - I am watching the game against Brighton and the thing that stands out to me is that - compared with virtually every other team in the league - we seem to have a lot of players who simply lack basic technical competence.
I am defining technical ability as things like first touch, ball control and passing. Things that you should pretty much take for granted in any professional footballer. We have too many players who are deficient in these areas. This isnt a thread about naming names or trying to blame specific players because I believe it is a problem with the entire squad, but there are certainly some more culpable than others. Fred and AWB come to mind - but again, they arent the only ones.

The result of this is that we rarely seem to score goals from well worked pieces of play. Most of our goals are either counterattacks, set pieces or individual brilliance. We struggle to maintain possession and to beat the press, because too many of our players simply arent comfortable on the ball.

If you look at basically any other team in the league, especially the midfielders and forwards, they are technically sound players, comfortable on the ball and able to do the basics with a 90%+ success rate. It isnt about being able to play a killer pass or take on 5 players, its about the basics;

* Simple 10-yard passes are too often sloppy/imprecise. This invites pressure and often kills any momentum.
* First touches when recieving the ball. Again, these are often sloppy, leading to the classic "second touch is a tackle" syndrome.
* Holding the ball under pressure. This makes us too easy to play against and spoils a lot of opportunities to counterattack - you beat a press by either crisp short passing, or by beating a man - we dont reliably do either.

I think there are some significant holes in the squad that need addressing, but in order to strengthen as a team, we need our players to be comfortable on the ball. This doesnt mean a £60m playmaker, this simply means players who can do the basics (and then presumably have some key strengths on top of this - we dont want a squad of Tom Cleverleys). Dont look at the other team teams in the league, look at the mid table sides. Look at the ~6th place sides in La Liga. You will not see so many players who are so uncomfortable on the ball as ours.
 
Joined
Jul 31, 2015
Messages
14,380
Location
Somewhere out there
Nar, technically we're better, some of the first touches from us tonight have been superb. Other sides, like Brighton are just drilled to feck, we aren't and any who thinks we are has their heads in the clouds.
 

Bwuk

Full Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
14,012
Yep. Fred and AWB both being 50m players and utterly rubbish technically is ridiculous.
 

Hugh Jass

Shave Dass
Joined
Apr 16, 2016
Messages
7,370
People have been saying this for a while. We rely on individual brilliance rather than collective brilliance to score.
 

Bubz27

No I won’t change your tag line
Joined
Aug 17, 2009
Messages
17,997
We're technicalky rubbish. Sell one of our best technical players?
 

Kag

Full Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2013
Messages
16,581
Location
United Kingdom
Fred and Wan-Bissaka do stand out. The more I watch Cavani the more I think he has a touch of elephantitis, too.

And Pogba, for all his talent, is a horribly sloppy midfielder.
 

thegregster

Harbinger of new information
Joined
Nov 4, 2009
Messages
11,310
Location
24 hours behind the transfer muppets
Rashford,Cavani,Martial and Greenwood is all we have for 3 positions.

They cost us nothing bar Martial 6 years ago and they arent title winning forwards.

Cbronic lack of investment in strikers and wide players is our problem. We need better players and more depth up top.
 

Idxomer

Full Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2014
Messages
3,213
Talking about players now is kinda pointless, it's obvious where the problems are when teams with much worse players look more cohesive and better coached than Manchester United.
 

Kag

Full Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2013
Messages
16,581
Location
United Kingdom
How does ‘coaching’, whatever some of you actually mean by such a word, solve the fact that the likes of Fred aren’t remotely good enough at controlling and passing the football?

You don’t seriously think another bloke walks in and solves the fact that this halfwit keeps blasting the fecker out of play? Get real, lads.
 

AgentSmith

Full Member
Joined
May 13, 2019
Messages
845
It doesn’t make sense that Brighton and Leeds are able to get technically proficient performances out of their cheaply assembled squads while we label our multi-million pound team a selection of amateurs. The contrast goes deeper than that.
 

Martialfc

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Aug 19, 2019
Messages
207
I hate watching us half the time. We don’t know what we are doing. Greenwood always looks lost and it isn’t his fault. Oles tactics are “you play for Man United go have fun, this is the best time of your life”. That just doesn’t cut it at this level we will never challenge with this Norwegian PE teacher in charge.
 

thesheriffjw

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Sep 29, 2018
Messages
190
The basics are very poor.

was it not alexis agent who said that training was embarrassing?

Top 2 is only possible due to how poor everyone else has been and not how good utd have been
 

arnie_ni

Full Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
6,575
We can't play against teams that don't allow us loads of space.

We don't know how
 

Lentwood

Full Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2015
Messages
3,925
Location
West Didsbury, Manchester
I do think we lack a bit of quality in attacking positions.

I’ll never be convinced by Rashford, so poor technically. Apart from a little purple patch when he first came into the team Cavani has looked like a 34yo on his way down.
 

Leftback99

Full Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2015
Messages
6,867
How does ‘coaching’, whatever some of you actually mean by such a word, solve the fact that the likes of Fred aren’t remotely good enough at controlling and passing the football?

You don’t seriously think another bloke walks in and solves the fact that this halfwit keeps blasting the fecker out of play? Get real, lads.
This.
 

Bojan11

Full Member
Joined
May 16, 2010
Messages
33,114
How does ‘coaching’, whatever some of you actually mean by such a word, solve the fact that the likes of Fred aren’t remotely good enough at controlling and passing the football?

You don’t seriously think another bloke walks in and solves the fact that this halfwit keeps blasting the fecker out of play? Get real, lads.
Well coaching is going to make AWB amazing going forward.

There’s a reason why Southgate doesn’t pick him even when he drops Trent.
 

Kag

Full Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2013
Messages
16,581
Location
United Kingdom
I do think we lack a bit of quality in attacking positions.

I’ll never be convinced by Rashford, so poor technically. Apart from a little purple patch when he first came into the team Cavani has looked like a 34yo on his way down.
Of course we lack quality. We haven’t bought a proper forward in years and that was Lukaku, who has all the finesse of a dump truck.
 

UnofficialDevil

Anti Scottish
Joined
Aug 5, 2006
Messages
15,015
Location
I'm not anti Scottish, I just wanted Moyes out.
Here we go again.. Nothing to do with coaching, tactics, the manager.. Before the game everybody was pleased with the starting 11 and expected a win along with a good display, rightfully, because our starting eleven is miles better than Brightons and we have both Bruno and Pogba starting, and Pogba in the pivot. Now after being outplayed by Potter for 45 minutes with slow motion football here comes the thread with the excuse, we dont have good enough players..
 

marktan

Full Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2017
Messages
3,650
It's both coaching patterns of play, and the players.

Against tight defences like Brighton you need players that can beat a man, create something. Neither Rashford nor Greenwood are natural dribblers. Stick a Grealish or Saint Maximin out there, they can stretch the defence and create something.
 

Cheimoon

Best Newbie Promoted 2020
Scout
Joined
Jun 22, 2020
Messages
3,426
Location
Canada
Supports
no-one in particular
Yes Redcafe, its another thread of complaints and negativity.

To make my own positions clear; I am Ole-in, Pogba-out, and think our #1 priority this summer should be to try to sign Haaland.

Now the actual point - I am watching the game against Brighton and the thing that stands out to me is that - compared with virtually every other team in the league - we seem to have a lot of players who simply lack basic technical competence.
I am defining technical ability as things like first touch, ball control and passing. Things that you should pretty much take for granted in any professional footballer. We have too many players who are deficient in these areas. This isnt a thread about naming names or trying to blame specific players because I believe it is a problem with the entire squad, but there are certainly some more culpable than others. Fred and AWB come to mind - but again, they arent the only ones.

The result of this is that we rarely seem to score goals from well worked pieces of play. Most of our goals are either counterattacks, set pieces or individual brilliance. We struggle to maintain possession and to beat the press, because too many of our players simply arent comfortable on the ball.

If you look at basically any other team in the league, especially the midfielders and forwards, they are technically sound players, comfortable on the ball and able to do the basics with a 90%+ success rate. It isnt about being able to play a killer pass or take on 5 players, its about the basics;

* Simple 10-yard passes are too often sloppy/imprecise. This invites pressure and often kills any momentum.
* First touches when recieving the ball. Again, these are often sloppy, leading to the classic "second touch is a tackle" syndrome.
* Holding the ball under pressure. This makes us too easy to play against and spoils a lot of opportunities to counterattack - you beat a press by either crisp short passing, or by beating a man - we dont reliably do either.

I think there are some significant holes in the squad that need addressing, but in order to strengthen as a team, we need our players to be comfortable on the ball. This doesnt mean a £60m playmaker, this simply means players who can do the basics (and then presumably have some key strengths on top of this - we dont want a squad of Tom Cleverleys). Dont look at the other team teams in the league, look at the mid table sides. Look at the ~6th place sides in La Liga. You will not see so many players who are so uncomfortable on the ball as ours.
Sorry, but I just find that completely unbelievable. These players have come out on top after gruellingly competitive years of youth football, and now play for one of the biggest clubs in the world. There is just no way that they come short in the most basic of things, like their first touch or short passing. I'm not disputing that it may not be coming out right now (I'm not watching the match), but that must be down to the circumstances of their play - or at least, as I said, I really can't believe that they wouldn't have mastered these basics.
 

RORY65

Full Member
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
3,233
The coaching does seem to be clearly sub standard but it's also on recruitment and team selection, at home to average teams you can't be picking multiple players who are limited technically (Fred and AWB tonight, Dan James has been in a lot lately) because the focus is on work rate and energy.
 

Abraxas

Full Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2021
Messages
128
It's not coaching that stops players controlling a football or making simple passes with the correct weight. He might instill tactics and style but within that style are certain fundamentals of the game at this level that are expected regardless of everything else.

Our great players of the past would have trapped the ball with me in charge. It's absolutely nothing to do with any of the manager's we've had of late in terms of coaching, it's to do with recruitment so if there is a criticism to be had, maybe that's where it should be directed. To state otherwise beggars belief to be honest, you'd think Ole and Phelan are some kind of puppet masters the way the management is massively overemphasised in all areas of the game and the players themselves seem devoid of responsibility for basic parts of their job description.

Then these very strange comparisons are made to teams like Brighton or whatever other team that is miles below us as some kind of "evidence" for how their manager has excellent coaching in comparison to ours. Despite the idea that if they had to sit down and watch X team misplacing passes all game as befits a lower league side they would be absolutely outraged. Completely disingenuous comparisons in my humble opinion.
 

Sylar

Full Member
Joined
May 15, 2007
Messages
27,585
We did the basics very well under LVG with worse players, make of that what you will.
What we did well under lvg was pass it sideways or backwards a lot under no pressure and no desire to shoot and get it forward at risk of losing the ball with a different set of players against teams that didn't press as much as they do now (compared to 2015)
 

cyberman

Full Member
Joined
May 26, 2010
Messages
22,225
I actually thought we played well in the second half. Moved the ball well, pushed up and pegged Brighton back.
I sometimes wonder what fans on here thinks coaching actually entails