What's our best centre-back partnership?

romufc

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He was back in late december, played reserve games right before new year, and then for the first team vs Chelsea in february. And then only Europa league games.
Look up the info for which game he has been on the bench and you'll see for yourself. He has been fit and on the bench or in the stands. Could've played around 25 games, but has been choosen for 5 or 6 and most of the games has been europa league.

Brought back with caution ... I laughed at this tbf
This post made me laugh. It is clear you have no clue about football and injuries.

Yes, he was back in late December, 11/1/20 is when he was playing for the reserves.. you have your dates wrong.

He had a Knee surgery btw, and you do not bring back a player whos been out for 6/7 months and straight into the xmas run of games. The player needs to train, get fit, play reserves to get match fit.

Then he played against Chelsea, and Ole after said he cannot be rushed so sat couple games out and played Europa.

I will give you examples of players rushed back.. Pogba - look what happened.

Laporte.. look what happened.
 

Andersonson

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This post made me laugh. It is clear you have no clue about football and injuries.

Yes, he was back in late December, 11/1/20 is when he was playing for the reserves.. you have your dates wrong.

He had a Knee surgery btw, and you do not bring back a player whos been out for 6/7 months and straight into the xmas run of games. The player needs to train, get fit, play reserves to get match fit.

Then he played against Chelsea, and Ole after said he cannot be rushed so sat couple games out and played Europa.

I will give you examples of players rushed back.. Pogba - look what happened.

Laporte.. look what happened.

I dont have the dates wrong. Jul 25, 2019 he had a surgery, and was back late december. But not match fit of course. He played vs Chelsea two months later. 90 min. But didnt feature much in the premier league after that, but played in Europa. If he can play in Europa, he can play in the premier league. Atleast injury wise.

But even months after that, he doesnt feature in games that really matter, just cup games. How can you then say he's not fit?

And btw, thats only this season. The seasons before that, he hasn't featured much either, even when fit. Because? He is 4th choice...

And he is 4th choice because there are 3 others who are better... You can argue whatever you want, but it doesnt change the fact that when fit, he isnt starting games and is seen as a 4th choice. Every stat, minutes played,bench time etc back this up.

It's not even a discussion. A player who nearly never plays and is mostly in the stands or sometimes on the bench is a backupplayer = Bailly is a backup player.
 

romufc

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I dont have the dates wrong. Jul 25, 2019 he had a surgery, and was back late december. But not match fit of course. He played vs Chelsea two months later. 90 min. But didnt feature much in the premier league after that, but played in Europa. If he can play in Europa, he can play in the premier league. Atleast injury wise.

But even months after that, he doesnt feature in games that really matter, just cup games. How can you then say he's not fit?

And btw, thats only this season. The seasons before that, he hasn't featured much either, even when fit. Because? He is 4th choice...

And he is 4th choice because there are 3 others who are better... You can argue whatever you want, but it doesnt change the fact that when fit, he isnt starting games and is seen as a 4th choice. Every stat, minutes played,bench time etc back this up.

It's not even a discussion. A player who nearly never plays and is mostly in the stands or sometimes on the bench is a backupplayer = Bailly is a backup player.
He played a reserve game in Mid January.. then we had a winter break. Clearly, when you have come back from such a serious injury you cannot expect a player to play Thursday, Sunday?
He also has to earn his place back in the team.

So how is he 4th choice? behind which CB's?

No, the problem is Bailly is that he is injury prone, and I will back it up.

16/17 - He played 25 Prem games and 11 EL games - Injured for 5 PL games and was also on Africa cup of nations.

17/18 - played 13 PL games - at the start of the season he started first 6 games then got injured from Sept to Feb.

He is a backup player because he is never fit. I dont know what stats you are looking at.
 

Andersonson

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He played a reserve game in Mid January.. then we had a winter break. Clearly, when you have come back from such a serious injury you cannot expect a player to play Thursday, Sunday?
He also has to earn his place back in the team.

So how is he 4th choice? behind which CB's?

No, the problem is Bailly is that he is injury prone, and I will back it up.

16/17 - He played 25 Prem games and 11 EL games - Injured for 5 PL games and was also on Africa cup of nations.

17/18 - played 13 PL games - at the start of the season he started first 6 games then got injured from Sept to Feb.

He is a backup player because he is never fit. I dont know what stats you are looking at.
I expect a player which is claimed to be of use, atleast plays Thursdays....
Yes, he is injury prone, have never disagreed with that.

But even when fit, and playing matches( mostly cup ) he's on the bench.

And backing up your argument with stats for his two first years says nothing. What about last season? What when he lost his place to Smalling? And then to Jones?

Maguire and Lindelof is before in him in the pecking order, so is Axl under Ole. Even Jones has been getting more minutes. Even when Bailly has been fit. Jones starting and Bailly on the bench says it all really
 

romufc

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I expect a player which is claimed to be of use, atleast plays Thursdays....
Yes, he is injury prone, have never disagreed with that.

But even when fit, and playing matches( mostly cup ) he's on the bench.

And backing up your argument with stats for his two first years says nothing. What about last season? What when he lost his place to Smalling? And then to Jones?

Maguire and Lindelof is before in him in the pecking order, so is Axl under Ole. Even Jones has been getting more minutes. Even when Bailly has been fit. Jones starting and Bailly on the bench says it all really
You do understand that you cannot get fit from a knee injury within days or weeks? It takes time, plus why rush a player back when you have a CB (Lindelof) doing well?

Okay, so 2 years of him playing is not backup but 3 months of him being dropped is? Well done mate. Smalling got shipped, shows who is higher up in the pecking order.

Tuanzebe - Could have started 14 PL games this season but started 2.
Bailly - Could have started 6 but started 2.

So much for being ahead of him in the pecking order.

Yes Lindelof and Maguire are because they are fit.

Phil Jones? the one who doesnt get into the squad? No injuries to note and he started 2 PL games? Are you serious?

Do you come here and make stuff up or what?
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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Maguire & Lindelof at the moment and also for next season. However, we are aware that's unlikely be the long term, it'll either be Tuanzebe coming in step up or a new centre back will be brought in.
 

Andersonson

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You do understand that you cannot get fit from a knee injury within days or weeks? It takes time, plus why rush a player back when you have a CB (Lindelof) doing well?

Okay, so 2 years of him playing is not backup but 3 months of him being dropped is? Well done mate. Smalling got shipped, shows who is higher up in the pecking order.

Tuanzebe - Could have started 14 PL games this season but started 2.
Bailly - Could have started 6 but started 2.

So much for being ahead of him in the pecking order.

Yes Lindelof and Maguire are because they are fit.

Phil Jones? the one who doesnt get into the squad? No injuries to note and he started 2 PL games? Are you serious?

Do you come here and make stuff up or what?

I get it, you're a big fan. But making up arguements is just weird.

If you're fit enough to be on the bench for months you're fit enough to play. He has even played in Europa league games, more than once, but when its Premier League its straight back to bench or stands.

If he was needed he would play, but he isnt seemed valueable enough, hence why Phil Jones has started games and he has been on the bench. Its been seasons mate, where he hasnt been one of the two choices for CB. Get over it.
 

romufc

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I get it, you're a big fan. But making up arguements is just weird.

If you're fit enough to be on the bench for months you're fit enough to play. He has even played in Europa league games, more than once, but when its Premier League its straight back to bench or stands.

If he was needed he would play, but he isnt seemed valueable enough, hence why Phil Jones has started games and he has been on the bench. Its been seasons mate, where he hasnt been one of the two choices for CB. Get over it.
Are you completely ignorant or something? Bailly had an INJURY. He had a knee operation. Players dont come back straight into the team. They are slowly brought back in.

Tuanzebe has spent more time on the bench than Bailly, played less games for United than Bailly and he is above him in the pecking order? How? just because you think so?

I can name you players this season who have been slowly brought back. Laporte, CHO after similar knee injuries. They CANNOT be risked.

Again, it has been seasons? I will give you the stats again.

16/17 - He played 25 Prem games and 11 EL games - Injured for 5 PL games and was also on Africa cup of nations.

17/18 - played 13 PL games - at the start of the season he started first 6 games then got injured from Sept to Feb.

Clearly 16/17 he was the first choice CB. He has been injury prone. If he stays fit he could easily be our 2nd defender.
 

Relfy

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Right now it has to be Maguire and Lindelof, but that is more down to the fact we've had an unfit Bailly and Tuanzebe most of the season. I would like to see Tuanzebe get a run of games ahead of Lindelof. We keep hearing that we are looking for a centre back so I would expect some movement there as and when the window does open.
 
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Maguire and Bailly. Maguire hides Bailly’s weaknesses, Bailly hides Maguire’s. Lindelof is a bit lightweight & is poor in the air, and he isn’t pacey enough to hide Maguire’s weaknesses.

Ideally we’d bring in a fast CB who can head the ball in the next window.

Tuanzebe is poor in the air too but has pace which would make me go with him over Lindelof as a long term option, but he’s still raw & has serious injury problems.
 

Craig Ward

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It has to be Maguire and Lindelof - no questions.

Tuanzebe and Bailly are adequate back ups and could push Lindelof if they stay fit long term and show good form when used.

It's safe to assume there is no future for Smalling and Rojo with both being loaned out. Jones has had limited game time this season and looks to have little to no future around out 1st team.

It's an area of the pitch we could certainly improve, in particular Lindelof. But it's by no means a desperate area of the pitch we need to recruit in.

Maguire is very good, Lindelof is good. Neither are elite CB's but they are few and far between these days.

Best case scenario for us is Tuanzebe and Bailly remaining fit and really pushing Maguie and Lindelof for a starting spot, the best way for players to improve is to have they're place threatened
 

SambaBoy

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Maguire is the only cert in the CB position, he's came in and made a difference straight away.

I'm still unconvinced by Lindelof. He really struggled when he arrived and looked out of his depth, he's improved but he still has the same problems in terms of not being aggressive enough and getting bullied by more physical CF's.

Bailly on his day can look like the best CB in the world, but he's too rash. He's overeager to defend sometimes, trying to win headers or tackles that are nigh on impossible when it would be better to jockey, and it leads to big mistakes. He's also suspect aerially. I know he's not exactly young, but I do feel he can iron out some of the flaws of his game and be one of our CB's.

Jones is Jones. We should have give up on him 5 years ago. Injury prone and can never put a consistent run of games together.

Axel is a tough one to rate, we haven't seen him enough. He did well at Villa but Mings looked the more impressive CB so that's not much to be taken from that. He hasn't stayed fit enough in the first team but he's looked half decent in his fleeting appearances.

Rojo is not a natural CB. He is prone to silly mistakes and can't play for a top club.

Smalling is a good natural defender, strong in the tackle, good in the air but he's a confident player and knows he can't pass the ball. He will go from great runs of form to being cowardly when it comes to defending. He's had a proper chance here now and hasn't really established himself as a good enough defender for over 6 months. He will leave in the next window.
 
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Maguire and Smalling are the best CBs at the club.

I can’t imagine there is anyone who thinks Jones or Rojo should be playing - so we don’t need to even discuss those two, and we know they need to go.

Bailly is a liability. Can’t stay fit, and is unreliable when he’s actually on the pitch. Would you trust Bailly when our backs are against the wall? I wouldn’t - he doesn’t have the right mentality to play for Utd. Needs to be sold.

Axel is a good prospect, but can he stay fit? You would be mad to hang your hat on him. If he comes good, then great, but chances are he won’t.

Lindelof - never rated, average in everything he does. He does however seem to stay fit, which is more than you can say for most of our CBs.

Smalling - our best defender not called Maguire. He got sent out on loan because there was no one interested in taking Rojo, Bailly or Jones off of our hands, and someone needed to go. He’s the only one of them with any value. He clearly has limitations and is never going to be one of the top “top” Centre Backs, but gets unfairly treated by some Utd fans.

Maguire/ Smalling is our best partnership.
 

DCP

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Maguire and Bailly. Easily if Bailly keeps fit!
 

Man-United

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Maguire and Lindelof
 

Isotope

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Maguire, Smalling, Lindelof, and Tuanzebe are a very good mix already. Keep them and we are set for another 3 years at least. Just sell other CBs.
Spend the money on other pressing positions.
 

Buster15

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I am still of the view that Bailly can come good as long as he can stay injury free.
He has pace and tenacity.
But needs to play with a cool head.
 

Cathy Ferguson

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Lindelöf and Bailly are both poor in the air. Smalling is a giant and is almost as pacy as Bailly. Smalling is weak under pressure and so is Bailly, wheareas this is Lindelöf's strongest asset. Overall Smalling should play together with Maguire who can push forward if we have a lot of possession. Bailly and Lindelöf are both improving but are still weak links in our XI together with RW and LB.
 

King Andow

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Do you believe he's our long term regular centre back though?
No and I'm not sure about Maguire too, they were performing at the same level this season but one gets the hype and the other, who was our best defender last season, playing alongside the not good enough and overrated Smalling, gets shitted on. The only notable thing Tuanzebe did in the club so far was gift Arsenal a goal and Bailly can't stay fit and has one good game all season.
 

Bebestation

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The thing is, Ole has nearly managed to improve individual performance up by 10-25% in certain players so brushing apart Bailly isnt the best idea in my opinion. Let's see how he progresses & for all we know, he might be another Fred like improved player who stagnated a bit under Jose.

Lindelof is good enough for a subs role but for me, not good enough for a starting position because between a mixture of both him and de gea lies a massive weakness in physicality and ability in corners.

Tuanzebe I've not seen much of & hopefully we can see a good pre season alongside Gomes where they settle in.


For me its Bailly & Maguire. Lindelof is back up. Tuanzebe competing to make the step up from everyone. Maybe get an left footed cb soon for our 3CB games.
 
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simonhch

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I think if Bailly is fully fit and can stay fit, this would be our best CB partnership.

I know Lindelof has done well but I feel Bailly compliments Maguire better with his aggression, pace and composure. We could be better defensively from set pieces too.
Composure? Bailly is one of the most rash centre backs I’ve seen at OT. And his aerial presence is appalling.

This. Lindelof is a bit physically weak and not great in the air. Bailly when he's not on a mad one is a much better defender.
Bailly is terrible the air. What in the world? He ends in half when he jumps.

No chance. If Bailly was even close to Lindelof he would've played already. He's 4th choice for a reason.

The hype around this guy is weird
Agreed on the last part. One of those players who gets better when he doesn’t play. He’s a last ditch defender, can make heroic blocks but he doesn’t do the simple things well at all. He’s more often than not a liability. We need a new CB.

Bailly - Rash, wildly inconsistent, poor in the air. Made of glass.
Lindelof - Physically weak
Jones - Always injured.
Smalling - Horrendous technical ability. Has been poor for 3 years+. Needed the move, should be sold.
Tuanzebe - Potential, unproven, injury prone.

Lindelof is our best bet until we can sign another CB. Bailly, Jones, and Smalling should all be sold.
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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No and I'm not sure about Maguire too, they were performing at the same level this season but one gets the hype and the other, who was our best defender last season, playing alongside the not good enough and overrated Smalling, gets shitted on. The only notable thing Tuanzebe did in the club so far was gift Arsenal a goal and Bailly can't stay fit and has one good game all season.
You don't spend 80m on a player, make him a captain for not be part of this rebuilding project. Maguire did make improvement in our defense, one often makes mistakes per game while the other doesn't
 

Robbo 7

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To answer the original thread title "What's our best centre back partnership", the obvious answer is Maguire and Lindelöf. These are the only 2 that have built a partnership this season, due to injuries to Tuanzebe and Bailly. Until they get a sustained run in the team it's all guess work, as we don't know how the other potential partnerships will work. We've also changed to 3 at the back on occasions this year, sometimes with Shaw adequately filling in.
 

OnlyTwoDaSilvas

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I'm surprised many still seem to think Bailly's only drawback are his injuries. He's the worst header of the ball I think I have ever seen from a centre back. He's got an outrageous leap, yet mistimes his jump every time, ends up going over the ball and trying to head it downwards. If he hasn't learned how to win the ball in the air now, I doubt he ever will. He's rather good at many other things, but a centre back not being good in the air is like a centre forward who can't finish. It's a primary attribute.

I'm not a huge fan of Lindelof, but he's a more well rounded player than Bailly, and generally more reliable. He's still weak physically though, and even though he has the reputation of a ball playing defender, his passing isn't really all that great. There's still a big improvement to be made at centre back. Despite the sums of money invested in the position, we only have one quality and dependable centre back to show for it.
 

Sea-Cow

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I haven't read the entire thread yet, so I apologize for repeating a vote that I am certain has been made many many times already, but the correct answer is Big Phil Jones and X.

If Big Phil Jones is left out of any of these responses, the poster should probably be banned.

As a newly promoted Full Member of the board, I would like this rule to be considered at the next monthly meeting. Thank you.
 

Van Piorsing

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Sadly despite slight improvement we're still far from possessing something remotely close to optimal central lineup in defense. The lineup itself changes every three to five games, more than half of our defenders have simply weak legs to be like Bruce or even Pallister.

With all respect to Harry, club like Manchester United can do way better than him. Quality over quantity, sell the forever breaking parts and put some work into that car or it will break like it always does near christmas.
 

Sea-Cow

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Maguire and Smalling are the best CBs at the club.

I can’t imagine there is anyone who thinks Jones or Rojo should be playing - so we don’t need to even discuss those two, and we know they need to go.

Bailly is a liability. Can’t stay fit, and is unreliable when he’s actually on the pitch. Would you trust Bailly when our backs are against the wall? I wouldn’t - he doesn’t have the right mentality to play for Utd. Needs to be sold.

Axel is a good prospect, but can he stay fit? You would be mad to hang your hat on him. If he comes good, then great, but chances are he won’t.

Lindelof - never rated, average in everything he does. He does however seem to stay fit, which is more than you can say for most of our CBs.

Smalling - our best defender not called Maguire. He got sent out on loan because there was no one interested in taking Rojo, Bailly or Jones off of our hands, and someone needed to go. He’s the only one of them with any value. He clearly has limitations and is never going to be one of the top “top” Centre Backs, but gets unfairly treated by some Utd fans.

Maguire/ Smalling is our best partnership.
Strong disagree. And how DARE you sir.
 

Infra-red

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Maguire plus A N Other.

Maguire's partner would ideally be someone who compliments his skillset (and covers for his weaknesses). Maguire is great in the air and strong on the ball, but isn't particularly quick or nimble and, consequently, isn't always great in 1v1s either

So, what we're looking for is someone fast and aggressive - unbeatable in duels on the ground and capable of covering Maguire in behind. A fit Bailly is probably the best option, but the problem is that he can't stay fit consistently (or head the ball, if we're honest).

Smalling isn't good enough on the ball, and Jones/Rojo/Lindelof simply aren't good enough.

It's a mess. We really need a new CB.
 

Sea-Cow

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go on then. Make me laugh and tell me which one of Rojo or Jones should be playing for us?
We're on the same page regarding Rojo.

But Big Phil Jones is an absolute badass and he has the ability, both physical and technical, to dominate the sport. All he needs is a run of games, some TCL from the manager and fans, and some luck with injuries. He's also in the prime age for a CB. He will be great if he gets those things. I promise.
 

FrankWhite

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We're on the same page regarding Rojo.

But Big Phil Jones is an absolute badass and he has the ability, both physical and technical, to dominate the sport. All he needs is a run of games, some TCL from the manager and fans, and some luck with injuries. He's also in the prime age for a CB. He will be great if he gets those things. I promise.
I was sure you're joking in your initial post but now I think you may just be serious.
The pj experiment should have ended 7 years ago, end of story.
What is clear from these discussions is that no one has made a strong enough case to partner Maguire so ideally, we need a new cb.
I think there are 5 positions that we should consider upgrading. CF, RW, DM, CB and LB.
In terms of priorities I think it should be RW then CB this summer, wait to see how martial, Greenwood and fred develop to decide whether or not to upgrade cf and dm next summer.
 

Sea-Cow

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I was sure you're joking in your initial post but now I think you may just be serious.
The pj experiment should have ended 7 years ago, end of story.
What is clear from these discussions is that no one has made a strong enough case to partner Maguire so ideally, we need a new cb.
I think there are 5 positions that we should consider upgrading. CF, RW, DM, CB and LB.
In terms of priorities I think it should be RW then CB this summer, wait to see how martial, Greenwood and fred develop to decide whether or not to upgrade cf and dm next summer.
Haha I was not entirely serious with my first post, but I am 100% of the opinion that Phil is an excellent footballer. I sincerely hope he gets a move this summer, because I admit that maybe it hasn't worked out here with us and he should probably move on.

But I guarantee if he gets a move, to a Sheffield United for example, he will be great. If he gets some luck with injuries of course. It will be very similar to Johnny Evans.