What's your mid-season assessment?

sullydnl

Ross Kemp's caf ID
Joined
Sep 13, 2012
Messages
31,112
Now that we're (sort of) at the mid point of the season with the league breaking for the world cup, what's your assessment of ETH's time here thus far?

I'm particularly interested in knowing:

1) What were your expectations for the season before the season started and why?

2) What are your expectations for the season now and why?

Feel free to give the season thus far a rating out of ten too.
 

altodevil

requestign zogzob tagline
Joined
Oct 16, 2013
Messages
14,473
Better results than expected.

About what I expected in terms of playing style and improvement on the pitch, it was going to be a slow process and needs more suitable players.
 

TheNewEra

Knows Kroos' mentality
Joined
Jan 20, 2014
Messages
7,524
Need more players but infinitely better so far than any manager post SAF.

Back ETH to the hilt he will make United a top side again.
 

Massive Spanner

Thinks Geoff Shreeves has one
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
23,854
Location
Tool shed
I thought top four should be a reasonable assessment given the massive transfer outlay, now.. I’m not so sure. We have such a piss poor squad outside of our best XI. His signings have been great, though.

I think he’s done well but we are much more of a hard to beat team than a team that plays good football, and we probably all expected the latter from him. But he has plenty of time to bring that too.

Not convinced we will get top four but I’ve seen enough of the man and his signings to be convinced he’s the right coach for the foreseeable. Which I was never able to say about any of our previous four managers in their debut years.
 

HookedOnAPhelan

Full Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2022
Messages
1,733
Location
Norway
I'm happy considering where we were last season, and the fact that Martial has barely been available so far. Our results have been pretty good, and we're in a decent position for top 4 before the second half of the season. The performances are showing clear progress in terms of playing style and the general mentality of the squad, even if there's still a long way to go, and we unfortunately still are capable of dropping the occasional stinker.

I didn't think top 4 was realistic before the season (again, considering the state of us last season), but now I think we will finish in the top 4 provided we can keep our key players fit.
 

mav_9me

Full Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2009
Messages
9,760
Now that we're (sort of) at the mid point of the season with the league breaking for the world cup, what's your assessment of ETH's time here thus far?

I'm particularly interested in knowing:

1) What were your expectations for the season before the season started and why?

2) What are your expectations for the season now and why?

Feel free to give the season thus far a rating out of ten too.
1) Expected top 6, not quite top 4, did not think we had the squad for top 4.
My main expectation for season was to see a playing style develop.

2) Expectation now is involved in top 4 race, likely to just miss out due to lack of squad depth. Without a striker in Jan, no chance of top 4.

Rate the season so far at 7/10. Extremely impressed with the development of playing style. Last few weeks not as good but that's where lack of squad comes in.
 

NotQuiteManc

Full Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2014
Messages
1,783
Progress, but need better squad quality and depth. Most of them just look knackered.
 

MikeKing

Full Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2017
Messages
4,965
Supports
Bournemouth
Now that we're (sort of) at the mid point of the season with the league breaking for the world cup, what's your assessment of ETH's time here thus far?

I'm particularly interested in knowing:

1) What were your expectations for the season before the season started and why?

2) What are your expectations for the season now and why?

Feel free to give the season thus far a rating out of ten too.
My expectations was to see a gradually improvement in terms of playing style and commitment, but I had my doubts how that would pan out. While I'm happy with the manager in his efforts in turning this team around, I can also see that we have some cracks in our squad that we can't paper over anymore.

We had a chance to see how the team reacted under pressure today, and except for Garnacho, we bottled it. Even Casemiro got caught up in our typical team reaction when it really matters. That means to me, even if we might come close due to change of manager, we're not equipped to handle a semi final, a final, a last minute title chase, or top 4 battle if it came down to one game.

These problems can only be solved with shrewd in and outs in the market, and no other way is possible. Problem is, we take to long to fix these issues in the market, so new ones come up. If this manager doesn't get to fix the squad quick enough, we'll most likely regress and at best just continue like we're playing right now. I expect us to get better in some areas and worse in others, until we really fix the squad for this manager.
 

Di Maria's angel

Captain of Moanchester United
Joined
Mar 19, 2014
Messages
14,297
Location
London
Since SAF retired, at this stage of every season gone by, we've only once had a better record. 15/16 with 28 points.
 

2cents

Historiographer, and obtainer of rare antiquities
Scout
Joined
Mar 19, 2008
Messages
14,769
About what an optimistic me would have expected. I do think top 4 will be a struggle without any January transfer activity, especially if we go deep in the Europa. But there are definitely some encouraging signs and performances, some players with major question marks against them have clearly bought into the manager’s way of doing things. We need to back this manager and give him the time he needs.
 

foolsgold

Full Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2008
Messages
1,252
Location
Aotearoa
Slightly better than expected, I'm impressed with the manager, esp how he dealt with Ronaldo sulking and Maguires poor form. We have someone that's fully in charge for the first time since SAF.

Squad wise, disappointed that Sancho hasn't kicked on, somewhat balanced off by the emergence of Garnacho.

There's going to be bumps on the road but we're definitely heading in the right direction.
 

Castia

Full Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2011
Messages
15,597
Decent start to the season

We have a way to go obviously but things are getting better. I still can’t get over the first 2 games if we had gotten even 4 points we would be right in the mix now.
 

SparkedIntoLife

Full Member
Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
930
I’m feeling very positive. Ten Hag took over a club in free fall and has steadied the ship, introduced a style we definitely needed to implement (although it’s variable in how it presents itself, which is to be expected) and the results have generally been ok. New signings are settling in well and it’s nice to see Garnacho break through with Amad and Hannibal in particular impressing on loan. Certain players have greatly improved.

Considering our striker situation, we’re doing pretty well. There’s very promising signs. Even though Ten Hag’s signings have been fairly decent, I hope we show more invention in the market and pick up a few bargains in future windows.

ETH has managed the media and difficult player situations very well so far. I’ve been impressed by his understated authority and calmness. Ronaldo needs to go ASAP. The discipline seems to be far better and the press leaks have died down. I hope Ten Hag continues to implement structural changes and that we don’t keep on overpaying players.

There’s flaws of course… Perhaps we could’ve had more of an overhaul in the Summer and the signings weren’t inventive (and somewhat expensive, bar Malacia). He makes subs too late, usually. Sometimes his style can expose us a fair bit.

I think we may well be challenging in a couple of years.

Expectations before - Between 5th and 6th, showing positive signs of improvement and building a style and strong platform for the future.

Expectations now - Fairly similar. Still think we’ll miss out on the top 4 and not get too far in the EL (I suspect Barca will knock us out). I’m hoping for a cup win though. Yes, it’s probably bad that these are my expectations but I thought we looked dreadful going into this season and feel ETH is taking us forward tactically, unlike Ole who was great with inculcating the ‘vibes’ but had us set up in a fundamentally limited philosophy of play.
 

Ted Lasso

Full Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2021
Messages
1,066
It's very noticeable progress with a long way to go and we are still lacking in personal. But I'm very hopeful.
 

Siorac

Full Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2010
Messages
21,829
So far, a very run-of-the-mill post-SAF season. We're generally unconvincing, pretty much every game is a 90-minute battle (we've yet to won a league game by more than two and even two only happened twice).

The new signings have looked decent so far and that's a positive but as a team there's a long, long way to go, especially in possession and in controlling games.
 

Neil_Buchanan

Cock'd
Joined
Nov 18, 2006
Messages
3,344
Location
Bolton
So far so good. Very close to top four whilst a few points ahead of the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea and came close to winning the group in Europe plus were still in the cup. Ten Hag has done very well for his first season in a new league with an unbalanced squad full of players short of confidence. His signings have been spot on and he has helped to rejuvenate plenty of out of form players. I don’t get upset by bad results like losing to villa last week as ups and downs are expected in the first season when he doesn’t have close to his ideal squad but I take great optimism from performances like against Tottenham which might be the best I have seen is play in a very long time. I feel righteously optimistic about out future.
 

Leftback99

Full Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2015
Messages
10,792
I didn't expect us to get top 4 and still don't because of our obvious lack of goals. Expected us to be better going forward but we create very little.

On the other hand the fixture list hasn't favoured us. No away games are easy but we have 12 of the 'bottom 13' (including Chelsea) still to play at home where you would expect some more comfortable wins.
 

groovyalbert

it's a mute point
Joined
Feb 14, 2013
Messages
7,867
Location
London
Massively improved since the season began. Impressed with how ETH has dealt with the bigger egos/problem players in the side.

New signings look very good and we are playing with more identity than we have in years. Players look committed to the cause, and we were unlucky not to top our Europa group.

It doesn't always come together but it will take time. Clearly heading in the right direction.
 

SAFMUTD

Full Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2018
Messages
9,014
We have a weak ass squad. As soon as Varane and Antony got injured we struggle.

We need 4-5 new players at least, a back up CB and RB, 2 midfielders and an striker urgently.
 

horsechoker

Sailor vee, this is a right off.
Joined
Apr 16, 2015
Messages
39,341
Location
The stable
Now that we're (sort of) at the mid point of the season with the league breaking for the world cup, what's your assessment of ETH's time here thus far?

I'm particularly interested in knowing:

1) What were your expectations for the season before the season started and why?

2) What are your expectations for the season now and why?

Feel free to give the season thus far a rating out of ten too.
1) That we'd get top 4 but not challenge for the title. We'd look good in some parts but bad in others and we still needed more players

2) the same

6.5/10 signs of progress are there but we could ve setting ourselves back another season if we don't get top 4
 

TMDaines

Full Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
12,428
The results are about where I expected them to be after the transfer window, but better than where I expected them to be after pre-season and then the first two matches. I predicted 6th at the start of the season and thought ETH would do well just to keep his job for a couple of reasons, despite thinking he was the right appointment. The manager was backed more than I expected in the transfer market and I thought those signings would help a lot.

I would probably predict 5th now. If we can finish above Spurs and Newcastle, we will very likely be in the CL next year, but they are grinding out results right now. Hopefully we can go on a run similar. It’s gonna be a terrible look if we finish behind Howe’s Newcastle with our comparative squads. There’s no positive way to spin that.

Cups are difficult to predict. I still think we can compete for silverware and hopefully we will.

Performance wise, I am happy defensively, but I expected a lot more going forward. That said, the second half against Villa and Fulham today was quite exciting to see how much we are creating all of a sudden. If we carry on like this after Christmas, we have a great chance to deliver on our goals and have a good season.

Personally, I think some are downplaying our squad and it is one of the best in the league. City and Liverpool have better starting XIs for sure, but when everyone is fit, we have good comparative depth to the competition. I really don’t know what others are seeing on the benches of the other clubs to malign our lack of depth. We need another CF, and we need another RB if ETH is writing AWB off, but all the clubs need something or other.
 

spiriticon

Full Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2013
Messages
6,274
Above expectations. Doing well in the league and won all our European matches except one.
 

Dannn411

Full Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2022
Messages
623
A top 4 spot is up for grabs but as it stands we will not make it. Need to sign one or two players that can help us gain control of the midfield and finish chances up top if we want to make the top 4.
 

DWelbz19

Correctly predicted Portugal to win Euro 2016
Joined
Oct 31, 2012
Messages
30,752
1. A (somewhat) comfortable a top 6 finish, showing some signs of improvement, removing problem areas of the team.

2. A hobble to top 4, and at least one deep cup run (hopefully a win)! Maybe more if he gets some backing in Jan.

I think ten Hag is doing the right things, isolating the wrong players, believing in the right ones. Not super happy with his in game management, but once we’ve got our team fully fit, I think we’ll play well for a decent stretch of form.

A fully fit Martial, Varane, and Antony will add so much to this XI.
 

Sandikan

aka sex on the beach
Joined
Mar 14, 2011
Messages
48,499
All the signings have in general made an improvement to the team and squad.
We have a very small amount of options if any of the first 11 are out.

Sancho's lack of form again is a worry, almost 18 months in, and we still need to see what happens with Ronaldo.
For people's moans about him, Rashy and Martial will certainly have to step it up if they're going to be the force of our attack.
 

Siorac

Full Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2010
Messages
21,829
I still expect us to finish 6th, as I did before the start of the season. 7th if Chelsea pull themselves together but that looks unlikely.
 

Irwin99

Full Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2018
Messages
6,925
I'm pretty happy with EtH so far. Very happy in fact. The squad is still massively in transition, the attack is struggling a lot in terms of getting a settled rhythm and putting teams to the sword (0 goal difference :() but the midfield and defence have improved and will keep doing so. I like that EtH has a sense of pragmatism too which has probably surprised me the most and I like it. The Spurs game is clearly the way we want to play but we can't always do that at this early stage.

Top 4 and a trophy is pretty realistic I feel. Just got to keep going, hopefully sort the front three out and avoid injuries/fatigue. A January signing or two would be very welcome but probably wont happen.
 

red woppit

Full Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2017
Messages
1,942
Location
Buchebi
Supports
Northampton Town
1/- We are in a better position than I thought we'd be, also due to both Liverpool and Chelsea not having great seasons so far.
The football has improved somewhat, and we have shown a resilience in defence not to give goals away, mind you, that was after the first two games, and the last three or four games we seemed to have struggled a little, possibly because Varane has got injured.
Dalot, Rashford, Martial, De Gea and Shaw have all improved through the first half of the season.
Disappointed that ETH has played pretty much his strongest team in every EL match, I felt that several players should have been rested.
We still miss loads of chances. 6/10.

2/- I thought the second half of the season would be stronger than the first due to players getting used to the system that ETH plays, and also the manager realising which players can't adapt to his system, therefore not playing them, and, hopefully, moving them on in January/ Summer.
Also thought we could have a good run in FA cup, still being in the League cup is a bonus.
Not sure we will buy anyone in the January window, but I don't think Tottenham and Newcastle will sustain their starts to the season, and if we can keep free of major injuries to our main players, then we could squeeze into top four, and hopefully win a cup.
 

Reditus

Lineup Prediction League Winner 2021-22
Joined
Aug 10, 2019
Messages
4,077
A c+

We have seen progression but inconsistent and a couple of awful results.
 

hsbajwa316

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Oct 10, 2022
Messages
29
Like said above, we have made progress, and you can see further progress being made with a few more additions. Solid 8/10 start for ETH for me.
 

fergiewherearethou

Full Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
747
Location
Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubuna
Supports
Erik ten Hag
Well regardless of how bad we were in the past season, I still expected a top 4 finish before the season start and we are in the race still, so I'd say ETH is doing a good job. We have been better than expected in some derbies vs Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs even Chelsea away but disappointing against teams like Brentford, Brighton or Villa.

I don't see a clear style implemented yet but there are signs here and there about what he wants and those sings are good enough for me.
Some players have improved under ETH and with that I'm happy: Dalot, De Gea, Shaw, even Rashford to some extent.

There's a lot to play after the World Cup and I really can't see being satisfied with anything less than a 4th place.
 

Livewire1974

If it moves, report it.
Joined
Jul 14, 2009
Messages
7,392
Location
Dublin
Very positive. ETH is stamping his authority on the club. His dealing with Ronaldo has been brilliant. He also named a very light bench today, which is a message to the clowns that own the club that need to get the cheque book out.
 

100

binary bot
Joined
Jul 14, 2010
Messages
10,523
Location
HELLO
The drop off from the first team to squad players is massive. We’re potentially a very good team with everyone fit, but that’s going to be 1 in every 5 if we’re lucky.
 

Boondog

New Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2022
Messages
699
1. Our starting back line (Shaw / Martinez / Varane / Dalot) is as good as any out there. With Casemiro in front of them and DDG behind them they are even better.

2. Midfield is good but not great. Plan was obviously to have Frenkie running the attack and I am thankful we have Ericksen but we still lack a ball carrier and that keeps us from having one of the better midfields. They are still tooled to favor counterstriking with Ericksen and Bruno but the lack of striker quality works against it.

3. Forwards have been subpar due to availability. Nacho boosts things considerably on the left side. Antony should be back after the break. But we desperately need strikers. Plural. Ronaldo needs to go. We have a nice speed group when Martial is fit but EtH needs more tools for the toolbox to support a crosser and corner gameplan. Ideally one striker added will have some size and air threat to him. The other should be great defensively but still have a speed threat to him on the attack (Martial redundancy due to his lack of fitness).

4. Keeper is good enough for now. Upgrading from DDG will be pricey as he has been excellent, so that's a summer move if then.

Overall I feel like things have gone exceptionally well. Very happy with this team and where we are sitting. Was not thinking top 4 is a certainty prior to the season but now it definitely is possible.
 

siw2007

Full Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2014
Messages
2,065
Generally happy with how the team is progressing. We are playing good football, we have got some really good results this season. I predicted we’d finish in 5th before the season started, we are in 5th now and I still think that is where we will finish. As good as the results have been at times this season, we aren’t the finished article by a long shot, we don’t have the squad behind the first 11 so I think there will still be plenty of slip ups along the way and can see 4 teams capitalising on it.
 

RedDevilRoshi

Full Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2017
Messages
10,988
Satisfactory. Been very good although still a few grey areas lingering. I’m happy with ETH and the direction we are going under him
 

Danish Wizard

Full Member
Joined
May 18, 2005
Messages
1,390
You can see there is a plan now.
The team is going in the right direction.
As expected, we will get some heavy ups and downs this season.
The squad still needs strengthening. We are relying too much of a few players. And we are looking a bit tired. So 3-4 quality signings more, and we will be there. Combined with more patience and time.
I'm still 100% convinced, this project will succeed.
 

Ali Dia

Full Member
Joined
May 10, 2013
Messages
12,732
Location
Souness's Super Sub/George Weahs Talented Cousin
Since SAF retired, at this stage of every season gone by, we've only once had a better record. 15/16 with 28 points.
Really? That’s mad. Good to know.

I think his signings have been great. I shudder to think where we’d actually be without them.

playing and promoting youth

our loans are going much better

Football so so but that takes time

man management seems fairly spot on with almost everything kept behind closed doors again. He’s getting a lot out of most the players at his disposal maybe with the exception of Sancho but I fancy him to work really hard and come good now with the competition in the squad for his best position.

We still need more top class long term central midfielders, GK and a striker talisman. RB is looking bare too obviously. There’s still so much work to do but we are heading in the right direction. Great to see us fighting till the end and playing for each other again.
 
X