What am I not seeing in regards to McFred defensively?

city-puma

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Ole is persisting with it because it's getting him results more often than not. The truth is it does offer us more solidity whether we choose to see it or not. Ole clearly just wants the 2 in front to protect the defence and let the 4 in front do all the attacking with assistance from the full backs.

For now McFred are our only viable options who can do that job.
I don’t think that’s what Ole wants to implement. Use the westham game as an example, our team play has change a lot. Our CB and fullbacks played high line a lot more in a very solid way during possession. During the defensive phase, the back line and midfield shift and move more significantly. It’s kinda like how pool normally does. McFred, Bruno, Pogba, and our back line did very well together. It’s still a work in process apparently, but the westham game in my opinion, is one of our best performances against a low-block opponent.
 

SadlerMUFC

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If I hear one more person say "McFred do the work that a world class DM can do alone" I'm going to rip my hair out. So Many people want to see us play a 4-3-3 but I've got news for you. It's not going to happen. Even with a new midfielder. We can bring in Rice or any other DM and all they will do is play along side either Fred or McTominay. And do you know why? Because of Bruno. I'm not saying Bruno can't play in a #8. Ole won't play him there though. Bruno plays in a #10. So for that, he has two guys behind him. Ole has tried it with Pogba, but Pogba doesn't put in the defensive work. The only way we will ever see us play the 4-3-3 that so many crave is if Bruno is either out of the starting 11 or on the wing. So as it stands, McFred "seems" to be our best option. I wish Matic was younger, and I'd like to see VdB given a real shot at playing in the midfield, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. So keep moaning about McFred. I doubt it will change...
 

Raven

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Because he's a player who opened up on how his team viewed, and targeted, Fred. Seems pretty valid to me.
A shite team that's now been relegated... clearly they knew what they were doing.
 

Kag

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They’re both terrible when it comes to sniffing out danger in and around our own box. See the West Ham goal on Sunday: McTominay got sucked in to the box and left Benrahma spare. Completely at fault.

Their best defensive work takes place in the opposition half. They’re good at pressing and harrying, which is why some folk subscribe to the delusion that they are any good defensively. They’re not. Not in their own half, anyway.

With that said, they’re our most balanced pairing and I’d start them together in most of our matches. Speaks volumes about the midfield situation, doesn’t it?
 

noodlehair

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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.
They are more effective at pressing and holding their ground higher up the pitch than the alternatives we have, and mobile enough to still get back when needed.

I wouldn't say they are perfect defensively by any means. Especially Fred who players often literally just run through due to him being the size of a small child, but they allow the team to actually function as a unit. This doesn't happen when we play Matic and Pogba there for example as Matic sits too deep to compensate for his lack of mobility, and Pogba ends up making desperation lunges where he's caught behind the play. We spend most of the game under pressure and unable to set up attacks quick enough to exploit any space.

I was getting annoyed at the amount of 50/50s Fred was losing on Sunday mind. Some of them its generous to even call 50/50. He'd be twice as near the ball but somehow wading towards it through a swamp while the west ham player seemlessly broke into a sprint. Mctominay I thought was alright apart from some extremely strange passing.
 

Lentwood

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Right, but it again begs the question: can we really justify pushing so hard to resign a player who seemingly can only be trusted in one position at the moment (a position we are already well-stocked in), particularly given that using him in his natural position would require a monumental outlay on a player like Rice (I haven't watched much of Bellingham, but I can't imagine him being bought to complement Pogba.)
Yes, because as much as I have been very critical of Pogba in the past, I think when he is on form and playing in a position which suits him, he is one of the most uniquely effective footballers on the planet
 

Nicolarra90

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Even so, still makes Pogba somewhat superfluous given that Rashford is rightfully nailed on as the RW and Sancho can provide cover there should it be needed. Mason is no doubt the future at 9, but that's several years down the road, and the Pogba situation is an immediate concern.
If Bruno misses a game or gets an injury we can also try a midfield of Matic Pogba and vdb/mctominay.

Pogba is a very versatile player, not compromised enough to be a 6, but can be an 8, 10, or play to the left wing, and can use those spots almost always as our second best option (probably our best 8 but we aren't really playing with an 8 at this moment)
 

Dante

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It's not a defensive formation.

United effectively play a 2-2-6 in attack because McFred allows us to protect the middle of the goal with bodies, whilst everyone else bombs forward.


(against West Ham attacking to the left)

By way of comparison, Guardiola plays a much more old fashioned lineup with fewer DMs on paper, but a more conservative lineup in reality.


(against Southampton attacking to the right)
 

TheMagicFoolBus

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It's not a defensive formation.

United effectively play a 2-2-6 in attack because McFred allows us to protect the middle of the goal with bodies, whilst everyone else bombs forward.


(against West Ham attacking to the left)

By way of comparison, Guardiola plays a much more old fashioned lineup with fewer DMs on paper, but a more conservative lineup in reality.


(against Southampton attacking to the right)
Completely agreed that it isn't defensive but surely this is part of the problem? The issue with going 2-2-6 in possession is the massive amount of space behind the fullbacks - especially down the left as for all his qualities you'd scarcely want Maguire defending large swaths on his own. Fundamentally I think the issue is you are trying to compensate for a lack of creativity in midfield by pushing bodies forward. Somewhat ironically (and this isn't intended to derail the thread), this is exactly what Lampard was doing in the 19/20 season - in possession we were often 2-2-6 with both fullbacks pushed up, and we got countered to death on a regular basis (and also granted at times we were genuinely 2-1-4-3 which was ludicrous). Right now United are giving up the most counters in the league - I don't think this is a coincidence.

Tuchel's first action was to change our attacking setup so that we had 5 in attack and 5 behind the ball - generally we are 3-2-5 but quickly change to 2-3-5 as needed to counter-press or offer a different angle in attack.

What sticks out to me is the decision to push AWB up down the right - he should be moving into more of a RCB role with Maguire moving a bit wider on the left.
 

city-puma

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It's not a defensive formation.

United effectively play a 2-2-6 in attack because McFred allows us to protect the middle of the goal with bodies, whilst everyone else bombs forward.


(against West Ham attacking to the left)

By way of comparison, Guardiola plays a much more old fashioned lineup with fewer DMs on paper, but a more conservative lineup in reality.


(against Southampton attacking to the right)
Spot on!
This game we played a lot differently than before as a team. 2-2-6 when we started building up the offensive. Once we pinned them back, we played 1-3-6 quite a bit. Varane showed us what he can offer and join the mcfred on right. I remember he approached near the final third quite often. This might be the mentioned “expanded” attacking play Ole wants to implement?
 

Borys

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First of all this video doesn't show any clip of van de Beek playing in midfield. I do agree about the general comments on his style of play, but one thing is for sure, we're not adjusting the "system" to Donny anytime soon, that's why I see his future in midfield where he's quite decent. Certainly much better suited to that deep role than attacking midfielder - at United it has to be someone who forces things to happen, not waits for movement.
 

Raven

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Yeah they were clearly wrong about Fred’s ability with the ball…
He's not as bad as you're making out but he is generally a little erratic with the ball. Could we upgrade on him? Yes (although not as easily as most people think). Do we have anyone better right now? No.

It wouldn't actually surprise me at all if when we do bring in a new midfielder that it's Fred partnering him the majority of the time.
 

Bestietom

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Will be interesting to see where Pogba plays when Rashford is fit again. Will Ole stick to the Fred and McTominay pivot or play one of them with Pogba.?
 

largelyworried

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Will be interesting to see where Pogba plays when Rashford is fit again. Will Ole stick to the Fred and McTominay pivot or play one of them with Pogba.?
I only think Pogba in the double pivot works if you're up against a team that will simply give up the midfield & defend the box, the way that Newcastle did against us. If the opposition either try and control midfield themselves, as the big clubs will, or they just try and disrupt our midfield with their tactics the way Wolves did, I think Pogba isn't a viable option. So I expect Fred and McT to be the most common midfield pair this season, even when Rashford is back.
 

Bestietom

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I only think Pogba in the double pivot works if you're up against a team that will simply give up the midfield & defend the box, the way that Newcastle did against us. If the opposition either try and control midfield themselves, as the big clubs will, or they just try and disrupt our midfield with their tactics the way Wolves did, I think Pogba isn't a viable option. So I expect Fred and McT to be the most common midfield pair this season, even when Rashford is back.
So Pogba on the bench then.?
 

Bestietom

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Pogba with McT might just work in a double pivot.

McT offers much more defensively compared to Fred and is a better passer too. We might be able to see Pogba play further ahead with McT behind him.
Yes, I would agree. Will be Interesting to see what Ole does.
 

RedStarUnited

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It's not a defensive formation.

United effectively play a 2-2-6 in attack because McFred allows us to protect the middle of the goal with bodies, whilst everyone else bombs forward.


(against West Ham attacking to the left)

By way of comparison, Guardiola plays a much more old fashioned lineup with fewer DMs on paper, but a more conservative lineup in reality.


(against Southampton attacking to the right)
Thanks for this, it tells me that Wan Bisaka has no business being that high up the field considering how bad he is in attack.
 

CloneMC16

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Our best away performance this season has been with McFred. We finished 2nd with them last year. They're the best we have and will continue to play. When one doesn't start in a tough game, we look wide open. I don't know how anybody could have watched each of the away games this season, and not see an improvement in the West Ham game. We were far more solid at the back, and actually created a decent amount of chances. This was also our toughest game on paper so far.

If I hear one more person say "McFred do the work that a world class DM can do alone" I'm going to rip my hair out. So Many people want to see us play a 4-3-3 but I've got news for you. It's not going to happen. Even with a new midfielder. We can bring in Rice or any other DM and all they will do is play along side either Fred or McTominay. And do you know why? Because of Bruno. I'm not saying Bruno can't play in a #8. Ole won't play him there though. Bruno plays in a #10. So for that, he has two guys behind him. Ole has tried it with Pogba, but Pogba doesn't put in the defensive work. The only way we will ever see us play the 4-3-3 that so many crave is if Bruno is either out of the starting 11 or on the wing. So as it stands, McFred "seems" to be our best option. I wish Matic was younger, and I'd like to see VdB given a real shot at playing in the midfield, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. So keep moaning about McFred. I doubt it will change...
Yeah, I don't get why people say that. It's a huge dismissal of the work McFred put it. The problem isn't just Bruno, but he is part of it. There are a lot of people in our fanbase that think signing a world class CDM will mean that we can play Bruno and Pogba in the same midfield. No player in world football can hold the midfield with those two players and do the defensive work for all three. Pogba is not a deep lying midfielder that a lot of our fans want him to be. He can do it, but he will be inconsistent. When he's not defensively solid, our fans will complain and say he's not consistent, even though he's not playing in the position he's world class in.

As you said, if we bring in a CDM, they will play with Fred or McTominay. In an ideal world, we would sign two players to take them both out of the starting XI. No idea if I can see us buying two in one summer, though.
 

jem

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He's not as bad as you're making out but he is generally a little erratic with the ball. Could we upgrade on him? Yes (although not as easily as most people think). Do we have anyone better right now? No.

It wouldn't actually surprise me at all if when we do bring in a new midfielder that it's Fred partnering him the majority of the time.
God I hope not.