What is our problem ?

The_Midfielder

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We allowed 100+ shots in March and there was an International break.
The manager has to go. There is no way he is staying with us now that we will not get top 4.
What is our problem?
How do we fix it ?
 

Leftback99

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Clues in your username. We use the revolutionary tactics of playing without them.
 

Swearing Budgie

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I think we are really struggling with the football side of the game at the moment. Need to focus on that a bit more.
 

Krakenzero

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We allowed 100+ shots in March and there was an International break.
The manager has to go. There is no way he is staying with us now that we will not get top 4.
What is our problem?
How do we fix it ?
Maybe defining the problem first, then devising a possible solution, a finally executing that solution without immediately jumping to conclusions?
 

bosnian_red

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Horrible off the ball coaching, lack of playing as a team, basics not being implemented (massive gaps front to back rather than being narrow and less space between the lines).

Basically, coaching.
 

DJ_21

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Need to clear out the ones that either aren’t good enough or can only be bothered until they get a pay rise. Sign young hungry players, get some structure in place and name your style of play and bring in a manager to play it. Simple
 

Remember the geese

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Look at Brighton. They aren't half the team they were last season, having lost Caicedo and Mac Allister. Mitoma and Enciso out is also damaging. However, watching them today, they still resemble a football team. They cause problems due to a system that is ingrained. They play through the press with ease. Point being, we need to learn how to play football.
 

Andersons Dietician

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Humble the big names and remind players that effort is a minimum requirement. If people put energy and intensity in to the jobs they are asked to do it would revolutionise us as a team. Unfortunately some of them must see themselves as untouchable and if that’s the case they need to go in place of people that are actually hungry to try and succeed.

Too often just see people wondering about or worse just standing still. Watch the difference when Mainoo is off the ball and his movement compared to Bruno and McT. He is light years ahead of them.

Personally I think moving on ETH fixes nothing unless the people coming in realise that some of these guys don’t deserve a 4-5 th chance and need to go.
 

Gopher Brown

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No links between defence, midfield and forwards. Good teams play as a cohesive unit, we play like 3 different teams who have never trained or played together before.

Too many tactical mavericks in the team - Fernandes, McT, Rashford all refusing to follow any tactical instructions.

Players who lack fundamentals and can’t find a simple pass like AWB and Maguire.

A goalkeeper who can’t find anyone to pass to because the drop-off in ball playing from Shaw, Martinez and Varane is enormous
 

GazTheLegend

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Horrible off the ball coaching, lack of playing as a team, basics not being implemented (massive gaps front to back rather than being narrow and less space between the lines).

Basically, coaching.
I agree with much of what you've said but disagree here - at least insofar as our defensive play off the ball is concerned. I think we are pressing well and winning the ball high up the pitch very well.

I am sure there are plenty of statistics produced that prove that point - I'm sure I saw something suggesting that we win the ball off opponents high up the pitch more often than even the best pressers in the league.

For me it's our criminal play WITH the ball that kills us. A lack of passing options, slow and cumbersome possession, and abysmal decision making is destroying us.

But I'd say as well that defensively we are insanely porous and we have some extremely obvious weaknesses to exploit. Wan Bissaka is the worst professional footballer I've ever seen with the ball over or above head height, and has the least game awareness of any of our players. Martinez being easy to beat in the air too means all you need to do is get it in the box somewhere on our right and we are dead.

Dalot is average - he's improved a lot this season. Maguire has 1-2 game losing mistakes in him every 90 minutes.
 

mu4c_20le

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Look at Brighton. They aren't half the team they were last season, having lost Caicedo and Mac Allister. Mitoma and Enciso out is also damaging. However, watching them today, they still resemble a football team. They cause problems due to a system that is ingrained. They play through the press with ease. Point being, we need to learn how to play football.
Exactly. Some people keep saying its the players as if Martinez is absolutely required in order to play coherent football, despite clubs with 1/10ths of our budget somehow managing to do it for years.
 

Andersons Dietician

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Exactly. Some people keep saying its the players as if Martinez is absolutely required in order to play coherent football, despite clubs with 1/10ths of our budget somehow managing to do it for years.
But when you watch Brighton their players actually put effort in and play with intensity. They sprint to positions to give options. They are basically hungry where most of our players are not. Eventually this attitude will probably sift down to the ones that actually try like Garnacho, Rasmus, Amad and Mainoo and we’ll be screwed. We really need to either take the loss and move some of the supposed big names on.
 

Jericholyte2

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We have:
  • A defence that’s had zero consistency in selection so far
  • No DM to cover the defence, just a group of ‘CMs’ who aren’t specialists in anything
  • A frustrated great creative player because…
  • Wide forwards don’t move enough to pull defences out of position or cause defenders to make mistakes
  • Those same forwards think ‘running back’ is an American Football Position and not a tactical instruction
  • A CF who relies on service, who doesn’t get any
 

Zed is not dead

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Look at Brighton. They aren't half the team they were last season, having lost Caicedo and Mac Allister. Mitoma and Enciso out is also damaging. However, watching them today, they still resemble a football team. They cause problems due to a system that is ingrained. They play through the press with ease. Point being, we need to learn how to play football.
Brighton have been objectively shite today though, and not for the first time this season. So yes, personnel matters when trying to implement specific system
 

MonkeysMagic

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We are 6th because we have good players, not world beaters but decent players, if we had average low quality PL players we'd be in the relegation dogfight due to the level of coaching! I'd almost go as far as saying, if there was no coach present, we'd be no worse off in games but you know, ETH won a trophy and all that!
 

Big Ben Foster

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What area do we need to improve in? Mainly that big green one out there.
 

kafta

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Its a mix of being very badly coached, and having players who can't be arsed more than half the time. So basically, everything.
 

Lu Tze

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The team has weaknesses in almost all areas.

Too many players that are either not good enough physically, not good enough decision makers, or technically deficient - AWB, Bruno, Casemiro, McTominay, Malacia, Amrabat, Lindelof, Eriksen, or just plain lazy bastards like Rashford and Martial.

That is without including players that, while competent, need to be accommodated due to obvious issues such as Martinez.

Or perma crocks like Shaw.

I reserve judgement on a few of the newer ones.

Most teams have a couple of pressing triggers against them. Half of our players are pressing triggers. It's abysmal.

When the stars align and our lazy bastards are motivated, we can produce moments, they are only that though, moments.

To me, yes, there is evidently a failure of coaching for us to produce a performance like Brentford.

But the most damning issue is squad construction.
 
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hobbers

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Getting a manager who knows how to set up a team to defend would help a bit.
 

mintyred

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It's a combination of a lot of things. Our midfield doesn't have much balance and doesn't seem to have good instructions. Then you have the fact we press high (if that's what you want to call it) and our defenders sit deep causing a huge void in the middle. Then you have some players who don't put the effort in off the ball. Injuries and lack of consistent players/approaches to games come into it too.
 

Zed is not dead

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Yet their system has still been evident today. The individual parts might not be as good as last season, but it's still there.
Tell me about their system today then?
What’s the use of their system that yields no offensive output and leaves them wide open at the back?
They had like 2 shots on target and being battered for most of the game.

I like to shit on the club as much as the next fan, but please at least use some good examples.
 

Ali Dia

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Look at Brighton. They aren't half the team they were last season, having lost Caicedo and Mac Allister. Mitoma and Enciso out is also damaging. However, watching them today, they still resemble a football team. They cause problems due to a system that is ingrained. They play through the press with ease. Point being, we need to learn how to play football.
Look at Luis Diaz here in the same game too. He’s up and down, unselfish and has a final ball/shot but it’s not his only function. If someone with Rashfords talent was game like that our left side would be so much more secure. I really feel like as the highest paid player he sets a terrible benchmark week in week out

Even look at Salah. He works way way harder. He’s all over the pitch helping out. You’d swear it’s impossible for a professional athlete to run up and down the pitch and still be productive. It’s stupid
 

caid

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Our defence drops too far, too fast when we lose the ball. If one / some of them push up then they get punished by the others sitting back and leaving acres of space. We need new defenders basically and to move on some who are far, far more suited to playing a low block. Just getting a vaguely consistent selection will help us address the problem. If we could select the same 4 every week you might be able to get them to hold a line.
Our forwards and midfielders are pretty lightweight and in a few cases not particularly enthusiastic about defending, having a 30+ yard sprint back to the edge of our box before they can engage a player is a ball ache. I dont blame them for looking frustrated, i dont particularly blame them for being ineffective, its just who they are.
 

Remember the geese

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Tell me about their system today then?
What’s the use of their system that yields no offensive output and leaves them wide open at the back?
They had like 2 shots on target and being battered for most of the game.

I like to shit on the club as much as the next fan, but please at least use some good examples.
No offensive output? They scored a goal. Adingra caused them no end of problems in the first half. Several examples of them playing through Liverpool's press to get into dangerous areas. They aren't particularly good this season compared to last, but it's still a lot more fluent and coherent than the shite I regularly watch from us.
 

mu4c_20le

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Tell me about their system today then?
What’s the use of their system that yields no offensive output and leaves them wide open at the back?
They had like 2 shots on target and being battered for most of the game.

I like to shit on the club as much as the next fan, but please at least use some good examples.
You realize they are playing Liverpool at Anfield, right?
 

Idxomer

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The manager and the players equally.

Anyone who thinks otherwise after all these years is a bit deluded trying to still believe that the next manager will get these guys play like a top team.
 

Zed is not dead

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No offensive output? They scored a goal. Adingra caused them no end of problems in the first half. Several examples of them playing through Liverpool's press to get into dangerous areas. They aren't particularly good this season compared to last, but it's still a lot more fluent and coherent than the shite I regularly watch from us.
Come on they had a grand total of 4 shots for 80 minutes of the game
 

christy87

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Well first and foremost the manager couldn't manage to open a bag of crisps, secondly our team had no structure, no composure, when you see players taking pop shots from range you just know they know the system doesn't work.
 

Remember the geese

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Look at Luis Diaz here in the same game too. He’s up and down, unselfish and has a final ball/shot but it’s not his only function. If someone with Rashfords talent was game like that our left side would be so much more secure. I really feel like as the highest paid player he sets a terrible benchmark week in week out

Even look at Salah. He works way way harder. He’s all over the pitch helping out. You’d swear it’s impossible for a professional athlete to run up and down the pitch and still be productive. It’s stupid
Fully agreed. Mentality is just as important as talent. Rashford can point to his head all he likes, but the willingness just isn't there.
 
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mu4c_20le

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Hence the part where I said it’s not the first game where Brighton have been shit in their game and proposed closed to nothing
Fair enough. Their DM has been a 19 year old in his first PL season this year as well. They lost a lot of core players last summer.
 

Acquire Me

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Horrible off the ball coaching, lack of playing as a team, basics not being implemented (massive gaps front to back rather than being narrow and less space between the lines).

Basically, coaching.
I listen to a podcast from two United supporters/journalists who sat a few feet away from Erik ten Hag vs Liverpool. They said he coached them perfect time after time, but most of the players either are not able to execute or not remotely good enough to make the right moves.

It’s all to easy to lay all the blame on EtH.
 

Gavinb33

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The team isn't joined up from back to front and play like it, we have no calmness on the ball and show no desire to take the sting out of the game, the way we defend is massively disjointed and the players have a football IQ akin to a banana
 

DrRodo

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I listen to a podcast from two United supporters/journalists who sat a few feet away from Erik ten Hag vs Liverpool. They said he coached them perfect time after time, but most of the players either are not able to execute or not remotely good enough to make the right moves.

It’s all to easy to lay all the blame on EtH.
Im inclined for this also.

Teams kill us with high pressure. Mctominay, Wan bissaka, lindelof, heck even Varane and Maguire are not players that are able to kill a ball with a silky first touch, turn away from 1 or 2 players pressuring them and give a clean ball to Bruno. We are relying only on Mainoo who is only 18 and will make mistakes. We improve this area a bit when eriksen comes in but he wont play every game.

Getting the ball out of our half is done via long balls which always be 50/50, our fullbacks carrying it from the sides (Only Dalot seems to be in form right now to do it ok) or by fluking bad passes with poor touches through the middle.

To relieve modern pressure in the league (Even fecking Brentford choked us succesfully) you need a Rodri type of player which are scarce in the market, or get better ball playing defenders
 

RuudTom83

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I would try to work on getting the players up for every game. They seem incapable of giving a shit more than twice a month.

That has nothing to do with talent or tactics, and should be the easiest thing to improve during a season.