What is wrong with the way we play?

OleTheGreat

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Let's get this straight, we've changed 6-7 managers and our style of play frankly hasn't changed. Brighton outplayed us and it was very evident that only Bruno wanted to press everywhere and in the end he was part of the defense pairing.

What's the flaw in our gameplay? Why aren't we effective in breaking teams? Why can't we press or score goals like all the teams do? What's the fundamental issue?

Please do not say Glazers! I understand where you're coming from but frankly we've overplayed that card. I think we have bigger issues with mentality.
 

spiriticon

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I feel that all the managers eventually succumb to the club DNA of this wild cowboy counterattacking style. Is it fan pressure? Media expectation? I don't know.

The only one who managed to resist and visually change the way we play was LvG, even if it wasn't perfect at the time he got sacked.
 

Harry190

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We can't develop a proper system of play. With a real system, your team doesn't fall apart when you replace a player. Such is the case with City and Brighton.
 

Yagami

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Because we don't put enough emphasis on a players general play when signing them.

Swap managers today and the result is probably the same. Brighton have so many players that excel in tight spaces and are strong under pressure, which gives De Zerbi the platform to implement his style in terms of dominating opposition.

He couldn't do that here because we don't have any midfielders or attackers (bar potentially Amrabat) who possess these attributes. They're all impact players who look for the Hollywood pass or shot because they're too weak, slow, technically deficient to play in tight spaces and with someone pressing them.
 

bosnian_red

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Ten hag panicked and changed systems today unnecessarily and we got comprehensively outplayed as a result of a system which didn't suit us and they fully took advantage of. I don't know why he did this. It was a dumb decision.
 

Rozay

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United DNA needs to be overridden by a manager’s DNA, which has never happened. One coach tried it, we said he was boring and sacked him. So we are who we are until our house is built upon different principles, which has been clear for years.
 

Dannn411

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Same problem for the last 10 years. No midfielders good on the ball. Football is a simple game. If you have more of the ball, your chances to win increase because the more you have the ball, the more chances to score a goal with the ball and win the game. Those who play without the ball have a razor thin margin of error every game to get anything out of the game.

I judge managers based on what they do with their midfield. The best managers also have the best midfields. It is no coincidence.
 

ayushreddevil9

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United DNA needs to be overridden by a manager’s DNA, which has never happened. One coach tried it, we said he was boring and sacked him. So we are who we are until our house is built upon different principles, which has been clear for years.
This utd DNA shit needs to get fecked. I remember ETH talking about it and was so worried that he will get wrestled into respecting it. Think thats happening.
 

Rozay

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This utd DNA shit needs to get fecked. I remember ETH talking about it and was so worried that he will get wrestled into respecting it. Think thats happening.
It will get us nowhere in this day and ageX and even if we managed to perfect it, it still wouldn’t be good enough to win us major trophies.
 

FerociousCorgis

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We have stars suited for a deep sitting counter attacking team that want to just go 1v1 repeatedly with a fan base that expects to see a supposed top team attack with a systemic approach that you usually see from top teams
 

Telsim

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No meaningful structure above the manager leading to no vision, no culture, and no continuity. The club adjusts to the manager, who is expected and also allowed to do everything, which is no longer viable, or indeed possible, in today's game. If you want to compete at the very top, that is. This leads to a squad of players from many different styles trying to play yet another different style, which is what you see, or I guess don't see, on the pitch. There's also no safety net to make up for the manager's shortcomings, which in turn magnifies them.

The situation on the pitch simply reflects the situation in the club. That's just all there is to it.

Take Brighton, for example. Lost their manager weeks into the new season and they managed to carry on under a different manager as if nothing happened. Today, many of their starters were missing, and they also lost some important players over the summer, but they still had the correct players waiting in reserve to continue executing their style of play without much difficulty. City do the same for that matter. In fact, I guess most clubs do. We are so-so when all of our starters are available, but immediately fall apart as soon as some of them are missing.
 

Thom Merrilin

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Our best players aren't suited to playing the way many of us want to play, Ten Hag included I think.

It's like we're caught in the middle of being a counter attacking team but also pressing high and being good in possession. It sounds great in theory, like Liverpool at their best, but I don't know if it'll work out with this group.
 

BluesJr

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Midfield. It’s crazy that I’m by default a better manager than all of them for realising this.
 
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Team full of players that want to shine as individuals, seems to go with the territory especially in attack. Rashford a great example.

Players that do the basics and play consistently well aren't valued as highly as those with a supremely high ceiling, even if they only reach that ceiling in a handful of games each season (if we're even that lucky!)

We also insist on handing off recruitment to the new manager and then scratching our heads when they can't get it sorted within 2-3 years.
 

siw2007

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At the moment I’m not seeing a style of football, it looks like a team with an identity crisis. Back in January it looked like we had kicked on, there was a clear style of football and it was working. But now, it’s like we’ve lost that.
 

Murder on Zidane's Floor

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Players we play are of all different types and ideals.

We also seem to have zero clue how to play triangles or pass and move.

I blame LVG and his "zones" which players couldn't leave.
 

RuudTom83

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It takes time. The enormous pressure at a United doesn’t help and only makes the task even more difficult.

Now the easy response to saying that, is always…but but look at De Zerbi!!! Which I would say is basically a continuation/improvement on what Potter setup. Plus doing it at a small club like Brighton is always going to be easier in general.

Separate point for this season in particular would be injuries! and having to play Arsenal, Spurs and Brighton (3 clubs challenging for a Top 6 finish) has meant for a difficult start to the season
 

Jazz

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It's mental. All mental.

The pressure of United is off the scale. it's not the 'usual' expectations that we're used to. It's gone far beyond that.

If they don't score when they should, the team starts panicking and doubting themselves and no doubt worrying what fans and the stupid press will be saying.

Plus all these external issues.

We have to find a way around this.
 

Jazz

Just in case anyone missed it. I don't like Mount.
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It takes time. The enormous pressure at a United doesn’t help and only makes the task even more difficult.

Now the easy response to saying that, is always…but but look at De Zerbi!!! Which I would say is basically a continuation/improvement on what Potter setup. Plus doing it at a small club like Brighton is always going to be easier in general.

Separate point for this season in particular would be injuries! and having to play Arsenal, Spurs and Brighton (3 clubs challenging for a Top 6 finish) has meant for a difficult start to the season
Very good comment.

I also wish people would stop with De Zerbi - the guy does not have an ounce of the pressure that ETH has to deal with. Put him in charge and watch what happens. Some fans are so unrealistic - which imho is also hurting us.
 

fergiewherearethou

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Let's get this straight, we've changed 6-7 managers and our style of play frankly hasn't changed. Brighton outplayed us and it was very evident that only Bruno wanted to press everywhere and in the end he was part of the defense pairing.

What's the flaw in our gameplay? Why aren't we effective in breaking teams? Why can't we press or score goals like all the teams do? What's the fundamental issue?

Please do not say Glazers! I understand where you're coming from but frankly we've overplayed that card. I think we have bigger issues with mentality.
Well, our style of play changed, quite a lot actually, during each manager we've had, few of them were similar.
That's one problem that we had no cohesive idea of what we wanted to do and we didn't plan ahead. Always tried to find short term solutions and once a manager failed, we started from scratch.
Our issue? Never the right manager, rarely the right players and not the right people in the board to dictate things in the Man Utd way. Or at least in a winning way.
 

Von Mistelroum

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It's because there's no real idea of what to do from anywhere in the club. We have no ethos or style so we just buy whichever players look decent. We need a DoF and scouting team, but that requires organisation.
 

Hammondo

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Because we don't put enough emphasis on a players general play when signing them.

Swap managers today and the result is probably the same. Brighton have so many players that excel in tight spaces and are strong under pressure, which gives De Zerbi the platform to implement his style in terms of dominating opposition.

He couldn't do that here because we don't have any midfielders or attackers (bar potentially Amrabat) who possess these attributes. They're all impact players who look for the Hollywood pass or shot because they're too weak, slow, technically deficient to play in tight spaces and with someone pressing them.
This. Though I think we don't lack much strength or speed, aggression yes.
 

Hammondo

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It's mental. All mental.

The pressure of United is off the scale. it's not the 'usual' expectations that we're used to. It's gone far beyond that.

If they don't score when they should, the team starts panicking and doubting themselves and no doubt worrying what fans and the stupid press will be saying.

Plus all these external issues.

We have to find a way around this.
Such a crap nonsense excuse.
 

kaku06

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Same problem for the last 10 years. No midfielders good on the ball. Football is a simple game. If you have more of the ball, your chances to win increase because the more you have the ball, the more chances to score a goal with the ball and win the game. Those who play without the ball have a razor thin margin of error every game to get anything out of the game.

I judge managers based on what they do with their midfield. The best managers also have the best midfields. It is no coincidence.
Yep, agreed with all of that especially the bold bit.
 

matherto

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We're the easiest team in the world to run through.

We seem incapable of being stable.

Somehow last year we managed a respectable number of goals conceded but we give away far too many chances regardless. This year we're being punished repeatedly for it.

Failure to address this will cost another manager their job whilst we refuse to do anything else, just rinse and repeat, failure after failure, insanity.
 

TheNewEra

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Our play is punt a ball to rashford who doesn't see any other players and sees only the goal.

He will literally shoot from any angle instead of passing to people in better positions.

I'd argue Garnacho would link up better with Hojlund
 

STYLOISRED

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Let's get this straight, we've changed 6-7 managers and our style of play frankly hasn't changed. Brighton outplayed us and it was very evident that only Bruno wanted to press everywhere and in the end he was part of the defense pairing.

What's the flaw in our gameplay? Why aren't we effective in breaking teams? Why can't we press or score goals like all the teams do? What's the fundamental issue?

Please do not say Glazers! I understand where you're coming from but frankly we've overplayed that card. I think we have bigger issues with mentality.
Severe lack of Tactical intelligence that no manager has been able to fix despite the vast amount of signings. Add the fact that there always seems to be lack of leadership in the dressing room. the closest we have ever been to a disciplined side was in Jose's first season when we had Zlatan and Rooney. Doesn't matter what tactics the manager tries to implement, or the amount of progress being made, one slight bump and it all crumbles to square one.
Now it's ETH but if we sack him we will be back here in two years no matter who we sign as manager.
 

STYLOISRED

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Our best players aren't suited to playing the way many of us want to play, Ten Hag included I think.

It's like we're caught in the middle of being a counter attacking team but also pressing high and being good in possession. It sounds great in theory, like Liverpool at their best, but I don't know if it'll work out with this group.
They are too weak mentally. Look at Rashford out there today. Good player but when the team is struggling you can't count on him to keep is head and not try to hero every ball. Same with Bruno and Casemiro. The lack of leadership is clear.
 

lilcurt

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Fundamentally we don't have 11 players that suit a single type of football. The squad is just a mish mash of different styles that make it hard for any coach to put out a consistent and identifiable brand of football.

From players like Rashford and Bruno, moments players who don't retain the ball.

To Eriksen, Martinez and Onana who want to retain as much of the ball as possible.

Then we have players who can get about the pitch with explosive energy, but a midfield who can't keep up.

Player intelligence also subpar, beyond Onana, Martinez, Varane, and Bruno, I don't think the rest of the squad have too good football intelligence.

Finally, Rashford is becoming a big problem, refuses to pass and seems to be untouchable.
 

BBer13

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We never have a clear plan as a club and while that is the case we will have seasons like the one we will witness this season. The clubs structure cant rest on one persons shoulders(the manager). The way we play is a byproduct of years of poor recruitment in both players and staff. I honestly dont think ETH is the problem, i think he is yet another manager who has been dealt a poor hand and is making the best of it.
 

El Zoido

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You say don’t say Glazers, but we’ve got a completely different set of players and multiple different managers and it keeps happening. The Glazers are the only consistent part of this whole equation.
 

Red-17

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We still clearly lack a single vision. As much as Casemiro was a huge signing for us last season, it is becoming pretty clear that EtH doesn't know how to use him in building out from the back. How our thought process last year could have gone from De Jong to him is actually quite baffling when you really think about it. Hard to find two midfielders less alike. Our approach seems to just be patching up wholes in a faulty foundation and then realizing the patch creates a new problem somewhere else that we didn't forsee. We signed Eriksen to help our build up but he became a liability defensively, we sign Mount then to fix that and we lose our ability to build up from the back. Hopefully Amrabat is a long term solution in our midfield, because currently I don't see any plan to build effectively from the back in a consistent way.
 

Zen86

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You say some say Glazers, but we’ve got a completely different set of players and multiple different managers and it keeps happening. The Glazers are the only consistent part of this whole equation.
That’s the thing, the Glazers are the one constant in all of this.
 

Pronewbie

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Fundamentally we don't have 11 players that suit a single type of football. The squad is just a mish mash of different styles that make it hard for any coach to put out a consistent and identifiable brand of football.

From players like Rashford and Bruno, moments players who don't retain the ball.

To Eriksen, Martinez and Onana who want to retain as much of the ball as possible.

Then we have players who can get about the pitch with explosive energy, but a midfield who can't keep up.

Player intelligence also subpar, beyond Onana, Martinez, Varane, and Bruno, I don't think the rest of the squad have too good football intelligence.

Finally, Rashford is becoming a big problem, refuses to pass and seems to be untouchable.
Yup. We needed a rich owner to overhaul the squad in the summer but instead it turned out to be a farce. Also, it's clear we had an awful pre-season.
 

avgp_1

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Because we don't put enough emphasis on a players general play when signing them.

Swap managers today and the result is probably the same. Brighton have so many players that excel in tight spaces and are strong under pressure, which gives De Zerbi the platform to implement his style in terms of dominating opposition.

He couldn't do that here because we don't have any midfielders or attackers (bar potentially Amrabat) who possess these attributes. They're all impact players who look for the Hollywood pass or shot because they're too weak, slow, technically deficient to play in tight spaces and with someone pressing them.
Agree with that last bit. It shows the lack of confidence in our ability to keep hold of the ball and look for the easier glory ball option we keep going with.

It leaves us vulnerable if the key players dont show up, as the rest of the side has no real structure to control games and keep creating openings. It also means we are not flexible enough to work around problems when we face teams who are well prepared. For instance, we tried with a focus on forward pressing this season but when Arsenal and then Spurs and now Brighton adapted in our games we just didnt have any way to play around them and resorted to lazy Hollywood passes.
 

bosnian_red

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0 width. Narrow attacking, narrow defending. How do we plan on creating quality chances when we left so much space for Brighton to dominate the wings? Eriksen had to cover massive yardage every time they switched the play, as did McTominay. It was so painfully evident that the narrow system wasn't working.
 

Murder on Zidane's Floor

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It's mental. All mental.

The pressure of United is off the scale. it's not the 'usual' expectations that we're used to. It's gone far beyond that.

If they don't score when they should, the team starts panicking and doubting themselves and no doubt worrying what fans and the stupid press will be saying.

Plus all these external issues.

We have to find a way around this.
Absolute hogwash. Madrid has huge pressure. Barcelona has huge pressure.
 

BuzzKillington

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I think it’s down to the managers we’ve had.

We’ve had imposing managers like LvG and Jose who managed to imprint what they wanted on the squad, but it was shit on a stick football and we hated it as fans, the players hated it and I’m sure the board hated having to watch it every week. The others have all been mentally weak and have not been in sufficient control of the dressing room to be able to impose their will on it.

Pep and Klopp are both successful due to being larger than life and having a good grasp of football and a plan. Not a one of our managers since Fergie has ticked both of those boxes and I don’t see anybody out there who could do it.

We’re a big club and turning this shit around at this stage is on a whole different level to getting Brighton making pretty little passing triangles.