What am I not seeing in regards to McFred defensively?

RedStarUnited

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Honestly, I dont get it what they do defensively that Ole seems to think we need them to play?

Fred to me is really bad in 50/50s now, I dont trust him at all. Scott I find is also positionally awful, he is never where the danger is. I asked myself, how many times have I seen either of these guys stopping an attack?

Its not like they are great passers that we can forgive them being bad defensively. Id bet someone like Jorginho has more interceptions than Scott for example.
 

T00lsh3d

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Honestly, I dont get it what they do defensively that Ole seems to think we need them to play?

Fred to me is really bad in 50/50s now, I dont trust him at all. Scott I find is also positionally awful, he is never where the danger is. I asked myself, how many times have I seen either of these guys stopping an attack?

Its not like they are great passers that we can forgive them being bad defensively. Id bet someone like Jorginho has more interceptions than Scott for example.
Ole doesn’t trust Donny, Matic’s legs have stopped working and Pogba, almost as if it’s a skill, has become more useless in that position than the incumbents.
Hence Ole plays them
 

MadMike

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As opposed to what? Having Pogba back in CM?

I felt we controlled the midfield better against West Ham than we did in previous games and this was against better opposition too. In the first half in particular, our midfield played some lovely stuff.
 

Dinghy

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What do you see in Pogba and Matic defensively?
 

JJ12

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Fred is poor but he does break up play, press to a decent standard.

His passing can be fecking costly though.
 

Lentwood

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Look at the balance of the team yesterday - it was miles better than anything I have seen so far this season, including the comprehensive defeats of Leeds and Newcastle

McFred might not be great, but it gives the team the foundation it needs to play and prevents us getting counter-attacked constantly.

If we had even one world-class CM, we would have a world-class starting XI
 
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RedDevil@84

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So basically "we need a CDM" thread again. Unless of course the OP is suggesting that Matic-Pogba or Matic-Donny are a better combination to play, which will be so laughable.
 

bosnian_red

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As a pair they do OK defensively and cover a lot of ground with their work rate at least. But also they are far better defensively than any of the others, bar Matic who can only play in limited amounts.
 

Borys

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They are both very average players for their position (CM) if you analyze them on individual level, BUT somehow they create the only functional midfield we have and a good base for others to perform. This is even more significant now that we have Ronaldo.
Not great, not terrible, but the best we have. I've been saying all summer we should've sold Pogba and use the money for a proper midfielder. Not that we know of any clubs being interested. Selling any of Fred/McTominay makes no sense as their value, and salary, are not high.
 

Fortitude

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From what we have, it's McFred every time, for me. They work the best in tandem, understand each other, rectify each others mistakes - of which there a lot - they fight, are terrier-like and will run themselves into the ground to the best of their ability.

Every other combination has more flaws and vulnerabilities to it. What that means is that we need better midfielders, but everybody knows that.
 

M Bison

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I thought McT's passing was off yesterday probably because it was his first game back, but i do think he'll be a mainstay for us and be a top quality CM over the next few years. I've never been convinced by Fred personally so i do get the point you're making, it does seem as though he's the best of a bad bunch to partner McT. I was hoping Garner would make the step up this season personally, but thats not happening and Hannibal plays further forward so I think we're stuck with Fred in there for this season.
 

11101

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Because they're actually fairly good at what they're asked to do. When the team has time to settle we are very hard to break down. Our problem is how slow we are to react to transitions, which is the fault of the coaching, and how vulnerable we are when we lose the ball in a bad place, which is down to individual player' decision making.

Fred gets on the ball a lot and is very active in all situations, but he is loose with his passing and that can be a big problem for us. He tries a lot of forward passes he probably shouldn't. Scott on the other hand doesn't get on the ball enough which leads Fred into having to make those risky passes. Having said all that. McFred is still our best partnership. Matic is significantly worse than Scott for shying from the ball as he plays so far back now.

Somebody like Jorginho is similar to Fred but is much pickier on when to take risks, partly because he has Kovacic next to him who gets on the ball even more than he does. It's a lot easier to be safe with your passing when you have somebody sharing the job with you.
 

Wednesday at Stoke

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Fred has had a very poor start to the season while McTominay has been injured but that shouldn't really be used to judge how reliably good that partnership was in most games last season. They've been a constant presence in midfield during our current record setting unbeaten away run.
 

Bilbo

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They give us the shape to be able to dominate opponents in a way that any other combination we have cannot. We almost always looks a better team when they play together.
 

Chesterlestreet

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He presumably wouldn't favour them if we had better (consistent) alternatives. Matic is clearly a better player in theory/when he's anywhere near his old level (but he can't be relied upon). Pogba is clearly a better player too, but he isn't an ideal fit as a CM in our system (and only truly shines in that role on occasion, he's much better in a different role). Donny is not clearly a better player (to me, anyway) - but I'm not against giving him more minutes alongside either of the two to see if he can grow into the role.

As it stands, though, it's pretty obvious what Ole sees in the pair of them - they're the most stable/consistent alternative, even if it's somewhat underwhelming.
 

Floyd

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Fred to me is really bad in 50/50s now, I dont trust him at all.
Yes, I've noticed this as well. Has he gotten way worse at this? He used to win the ball back a lot, now he loses almost every duel he's in due to being small, slow and weak as a wet tissue.

As we all know he's erratic in possession and far from creative, so what's really left?
 

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Fred has become the caf whipping boy, also, but he's by far the best runner and haranguer we have and his presence is a nuisance to the opposition whilst buying us time to reorganise and for his partner, if a presser, to sweep up what slips through his net.

The problem, however, is Fred is weak in the tackle, weak in body-to-body contact and is losing 50-50's despite being right up on the play and in position to make the challenges he is.

On the ball, Fred's nowhere near the standard we need, either with his passing or his shooting, but taking him out of the team forces more conventional midfield play that demands more of each midfielder than we have in any of them, so pick your poison and be prepared for the fallout.

If Fred gets back to winning his duels, he, as our specialist runner, might earn more respect than given at the moment. We all know upgrades are necessary, but amongst what we have, you really have to select wisely. and making up for Fred's flaws serves us better than making up for the flaws of other midfielders we have.

Pogba should always be more focused on hurting the opposition than contributing to the defensive phases of play he'd rather not be involved with in the first place. Get better midfielders in there, and he can revert back to the centre of the pitch, but we're sieve-like, and it compromises us, and the player, in a manner that can be avoided for the time being (at least until Rashford is back).
 

LoneStar

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Yes, I've noticed this as well. Has he gotten way worse at this? He used to win the ball back a lot, now he loses almost every duel he's in due to being small, slow and weak as a wet tissue.

As we all know he's erratic in possession and far from creative, so what's really left?
Absolutely, he was much better at this. Seems to have regressed for some reason.
 

Bebestation

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How can people call Mctominay average and constantly hype up these players who play for shit teams and don't even do well for them.

People constantly assume these players that play for these outside foreign clubs are better than ours. These fifa boys pisses me off.
 

jem

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Ole doesn’t trust Donny, Matic’s legs have stopped working and Pogba, almost as if it’s a skill, has become more useless in that position than the incumbents.
Hence Ole plays them
But what I don't get is why he trusts Fred. The guy is a walking mistake, and other teams are certainly aware of it (as Deeney pointed out a while back.)
 

Pablo18th

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How can people call Mctominay average and constantly hype up these players who play for shit teams and don't even do well for them.

People constantly assume these players that play for these outside foreign clubs are better than ours. These fifa boys pisses me off.
Thank you. Mctominay may not be world class but he is very effective and will outshine and bench quite a few CMs apart from the top tier if they played for us. There is a reason he is rated by Sir Alex, Jose, Ole, Keane etc. The problem with our fans is there are too many of us and so we are loud such that when we criticise our own players it becomes the running narrative. A lot of players from lower teams look good because they are not under near the scrutiny that our players face.
 

jem

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Ole doesn’t trust Donny, Matic’s legs have stopped working and Pogba, almost as if it’s a skill, has become more useless in that position than the incumbents.
Hence Ole plays them
If what you are saying about Pogba is true, then it raises an interesting question: why are we working so hard to resign him, if his only viable position is on the left, a position in which we are already well-stocked (Rashford, Martial, Sancho)?
 

El Zoido

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Fred plays because he’s a constant nuisance to the opposition when we don’t have possession. Works better against teams that have the ball a lot, but is still effective in any game because every team will have the ball at some point. It’s just a shame he’s so limited on the ball. His main objective is to get in the face of the opponent and then make a short pass to a better player. He’s not good at advanced passing, or carrying the ball. He just does a job, and we are clearly a better team with him in it.
 

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They give energy and press, which is not enough for our level, no. But that’s better than the alternatives and that shows how weak we are in midfield.

He’s right in selecting them though, for the above reason. We get better results with McFred than when we don’t play them.

In the absence of an elite DM to partner Pogba with (which is what should be our ultimate plan for the team imo) then ‘it is what it is.’
 

Gandalf

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If what you are saying about Pogba is true, then it raises an interesting question: why are we working so hard to resign him, if his only viable position is on the left, a position in which we are already well-stocked (Rashford, Martial, Sancho)?
Well the easy answer is the standard "to protect his value" and not lose him on a free but I also do imagine that we still harbor ambitions to sign a dominant partner for him like Kante at the national level who is good enough to cover for his weaknesses. Paul does not work alongside any of our current options because none of them has the quality and/or physical attributes to support him, Matic was signed specifically for that reason by Jose but has unfortunately regressed physically. I am not going to get into the scouting aspects but presumably the plan is to sign someone like Rice next summer and then a pivot of Rice/Pogba or even a 4-3-3 with Rice behind Pogba/Bruno becomes possible.
 

RedRonaldo

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They are our only options who is willing to run and press throughout 90 mins.

Otherwise we are left with Matic who is very slow and has lost his legs, or Pogba who doesn't care about defending and would rather dribble his way out of trouble from his own half, which usually ends up losing ball back in dangerous position.
 

Sandikan

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Look at the balance of the team yesterday - it was miles better than anything I have seen so far this season, including the comprehensive defeats of Leeds and Liverpool

McFred might not be great, but it gives the team the foundation it needs to play and prevents us getting counter-attacked constantly.

If we had even one world-class CM, we would have a world-class starting XI
Think you might have dreamt the comprehensive defeat of Liverpool mate.
 

T00lsh3d

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But what I don't get is why he trusts Fred. The guy is a walking mistake, and other teams are certainly aware of it (as Deeney pointed out a while back.)
because he runs like feck. His passing isn’t improving though, if anything it’s getting worse
If what you are saying about Pogba is true, then it raises an interesting question: why are we working so hard to resign him, if his only viable position is on the left, a position in which we are already well-stocked (Rashford, Martial, Sancho)?
Ah Pogba. Absolute match winner on his day….invisible on off-days….can’t place him in a team….can’t build a team around him. Would we be better off with a word class DM? Yes. Do I still want to see Pogba strolling around, pinging outside of the foot passes around nonchalantly….also yes
 

FerociousCorgis

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Not sure last game was a time where we can judge pretty much any of our defenders. West Ham weren't interested in playing any sort of attacking footy and pretty much just had 10 behind the ball for about 85 minutes defending. Cowards.
 

Lentwood

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But what I don't get is why he trusts Fred. The guy is a walking mistake, and other teams are certainly aware of it (as Deeney pointed out a while back.)
I doubt Ole does trust Fred, it's just that Matic is near-useless at preventing counter-attacks due to his complete lack of mobility.

Again, this goes back to what I keep saying about building a team. United are cash-rich, but we're still a business. We can only spend what we earn. Therefore, we have to address positions one at a time, and the manager has to prioritise. Also, the manager has to squeeze something useful out of generally limited players, until they can be replaced. Every time we make a bad transfer, it set's us back at two-fold, because we then have to get rid of the problem player before we can realistically try again.

This is not an issue if you are Chelsea or City (more City really, but it's also how Chelsea became relevant again from 2005). They can just keep burning through cash and players until they hit a winning formula. When they eventually do get to the point where the squad is in good shape, they can steady the spending down and add one of two quality players a year in key positions.
 

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Relentless, hard work.

Something the rest of our midfielders lack.
 

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The main problem is that it takes two of them to do the job that one top class defensive midfielder would be able to, but there's no doubt that right now having them both in the team makes our attackers play better, even if neither are really good enough for a club with our aspirations long term (Scotty is good enough to be a squad player, though).
 

TheRedDevil'sAdvocate

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We have a defensive line that is hesitant to push higher up the pitch because there's a lot of space they have to cover in-behind and in the wide channels. We also have an attacking line that doesn't offer much when it comes to collecting second balls and applying pressure on the first attacker (although there was a slight improvement yesterday in that area). At full stretch, Solskjaer's system wants Ronaldo, Bruno, Pogba (or Rashford), Mason (or Sancho) and the FBs in good positions between the lines. This leaves a lot of space for the midfielders to cover, both in front of them and behind. Since the defence picks itself and Solkjaer doesn't seem willing to sacrifice any attacking talent to bolster the centre of the park, the number one prerequisites for our midfielders are energy, dynamism and grit. It would be nice if we also had someone good at passing/carrying the ball through the lines, but these are rare and fairly expensive nowadays. Thus, Fred and McT. The others, Matic/Pogba in a deeper role/Beek etc. will play their part in some fixtures, but they'll always be deemed liabilities as long as the main plan remains the same. Which, kind of, explains the indecision to give 433 a go. It can potentially alter the desired structure and the relationships between certain players on the pitch that our staff see as crucial. I still think that 352 will be our alternative option formation-wise.
 
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kps88

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No coincidence we put in our best away performance of the season with them in midfield. Even if it wasn't by any means a perfect performance, it was miles better than what we managed against Southampton and Wolves
 

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We play our best football when both are playing. They aren't great, but it's obvious that they're the best options.
 

TrustInOle

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Think it was clear Scott wasn't ready yesterday, game passed him by for large parts, but for most games where we expect not to hold the ball for long periods, they are our best combination as they break up attacks and work together well.