Which players go automatically into our starting line-up?

simplyared

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What's the core of our team going into the new season? Obviously no player is guaranteed a place in the starting line-up. However to create some sort of stability, I believe you need those players who make up the backbone of the squad. Looking into our current squad (Sancho not included of course) who are those players who "walk" into the team when fully fit?
Not many imo! Not even our GK now Henderson is back. Bruno's place isn't guaranteed either now we've got VDB
For me we have only 2 to 3 players who are "unchallenged" going into 2020-21:
Maguire
Pogba
Controvertial as it may seem , I would add Greenwood to the list.
Thoughts on this!
Good or bad situation??
 

Bobade

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Greenwood definitely doesn't belong in that list. I want to see him rotating with Martial in his best position.

I don't really think this is a bad problem to have. It will sort itself out a couple of months into the season if it is an issue at all, as players will cement their place.

AWB belongs on your list though IMO. He will be chosen first time every time at RB.
 

The holy trinity 68

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Bruno starts every game unless he need a rest. Imagine saying he isn’t a guaranteed starter, he is our best player :lol:

Greenwood won’t be a guaranteed starter when Sancho signs.
 

11101

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If they are fit, they will play:

AWB
Maguire
Shaw
Pogba
Bruno
Martial
Rashford

De Gea is under threat from Henderson
Lindelof could be under threat from Bailly if he can stay fit
Matic should have an understudy to take over
Greenwood should be expected to have poor patches
 

Siorac

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Wan Bissaka, Maguire, Pogba, Bruno, Martial, Rashford. Shaw if we don't sign an LB. Lindelöf if we don't sign a CB.

There's no way Greenwood will be an automatic starter this season. He'll play a lot of games though.
 

GoalsGetGirls

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Ole would hardly deviate from the same 11 at the end of last season, so all of them....

but you are exactly right. Only the likes of Maguire, Bruno, Pogba and Martial would be instant names on the team sheet for me.
 

mad1max954

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If they are fit, they will play:

AWB
Maguire
Shaw
Pogba
Bruno
Martial
Rashford

De Gea is under threat from Henderson
Lindelof could be under threat from Bailly if he can stay fit
Matic should have an understudy to take over
Greenwood should be expected to have poor patches
It’s a pretty good 7t, 8 when you include either of the keepers. Really not that far away with the first team, obvs our backups especially in attack are a bit shite, van beek excluded. If we get sancho in and we’re in business!
 

diarm

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There will be rotation you would imagine but if we're playing City or Liverpool and everyone is fit, then:

Maguire
Wan-Bissaka
Shaw (unless we sign a left back)
Matic (unless we sign a DM
Pogba
Bruno
Sancho (if he signs)
Martial

are all pretty much guaranteed to start. Rashford as well if he can regain his pre-injury form, otherwise he will compete with Greenwood for a spot.

After Ole's words this week, I think we may see Mengi get more opportunities than expected this year and I fancy Henderson to have taken the GK spot by November.
 
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Right now

AWB
Shaw (I never want to see Williams LB again)
Maguire
Pogba
Bruno
Greenwood (solely because the alternatives are Jesse & James)
Rashford (see above)
Martial

It’s quite worrying that 8 of our starting eleven are essentially indispensable because of how big the downgrade is. I suppose you could remove Bruno since we have VDB now but I’ll reserve judgement til I see him play for us.

If Sancho comes remove Greenwood & Rashford
 

roonster09

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AWB
Shaw
Maguire
Bruno
Pogba
Rashford
Martial.
 

simplyared

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Wouldn't say AWB is guaranteed. Past the halfway line he's clueless. If Williams continues his progress and is already better than AWB going forward he could be a contender in that position. Why not?
AWB/Williams (as it stands)
If we don't change the MF to a diamand then I can only see VDB challenging Bruno for the AM role.
Bruno/VDB
All 3 front players cannot be guaranteed imv. Many putting Rashford in as starting games. Going on current form I don't believe he's done enough to guarantee a place. Martial can still blow hot and cold so not him either. Greenwood has got the tools and is along with Pogba definately our most gifted player. So I wouldn't argue if I saw his name on the starting sheet.
So imv only Pogba and Maguire go in automatically. Borderline Greenwood and Shaw.
 

Rilz

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AWB is not guaranteed for me either but for different reasons: I feel like his stamina is a big issue, he's always leggy after the 65-70 min mark from what I've seen, always seems to get drawn to close to the CB leaving an easy switch for the opposition across the field.

Backbone of the team for me would be:

-Maguire
-Shaw (When fit)
-Pogba
-Bruno

...that's it, in terms of core. I think the others still have to show more consistency (Rashford, Martial) and development (Greenwood - which is completely normal to be fair he's only a kid), as well as the issues in GK that we all know about.
 
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Adam-Utd

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maguire, pogba, fernandes are the only guarantees IMO
 

bosnian_red

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We still have a lot on this list. If we sign Sancho and Reguillon, it becomes a lot more difficult as then we have competition everywhere. As of now:
  • Wan Bissaka
  • Maguire
  • lindelof
  • Shaw
  • Pogba
  • Bruno
  • Rashford
  • Martial
De gea for now as well, but Henderson will challenge and get his game time. These are all automatic, unquestionable starters. Sign Reguilon and Shaw is off this list (but Reguilon not on), as well as Williams maybe developing more and being more natural at right back to challenge Wan Bissaka before long. Sign Sancho and the front 2 are off the list, as then you'd have any 3 of the main attacking 4 starting but you couldn't say who would be on the bench from one game to the next (Greenwood not on here because he's 18 still).

That leaves the centerbacks, who IMO should always be steady, just we need an upgrade there anyway, and then Pogba and Bruno. Yeah we signed Van de Beek, but he isn't Bruno level as a 10 nor is he Pogba level as an 8, though I think Pogba will still leave next summer and next season Van de Beek will step in as the main box to box guy with us signing a holding mid.
 

Santoryo

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Wouldn't say AWB is guaranteed. Past the halfway line he's clueless. If Williams continues his progress and is already better than AWB going forward he could be a contender in that position. Why not?
AWB/Williams (as it stands)
If we don't change the MF to a diamand then I can only see VDB challenging Bruno for the AM role.
Bruno/VDB
All 3 front players cannot be guaranteed imv. Many putting Rashford in as starting games. Going on current form I don't believe he's done enough to guarantee a place. Martial can still blow hot and cold so not him either. Greenwood has got the tools and is along with Pogba definately our most gifted player. So I wouldn't argue if I saw his name on the starting sheet.
So imv only Pogba and Maguire go in automatically. Borderline Greenwood and Shaw.
This is absolutely not true at all. He's literally our MOST consistent player and one would have thought that this narrative of hot and cold who have died by now after months of consistent performances from him while everyone else didn't manage to do so.

Also in no way should Greenwood be an automatic starter. He's young and actually who you should describe hot and cold. He hasn't got the consistency in him yet and it's been shown plenty already that he can get shut down on that right side and have quiet games.

AWB, Maguire, Lindelof(if no new signing), Shaw, Pogba, Bruno, Rashford and Martial are all clearly automatic starters in Ole's eyes if fit and available.

maguire, pogba, fernandes are the only guarantees IMO
Wait Pogba and Bruno are guaranteed in an area where we actually have depth(midfield) but Martial and Rashford aren't guaranteed in an area where so far we only have 3 competent and genuine options? :lol:
 

TheRedDevil'sAdvocate

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Maguire because he's a constant in our defence which has been plagued with injuries and it's filled with players who are neither good on the ball nor possess the intelligence that is required of defenders nowadays. He rarely gets injured, he's strong in the air and he can pass the ball adequately. He's not perfect and his price tag will always be used as a stick to beat him with by some but we can build a well-functioning defence around him.

Pogba because he's the alpha and the omega in our build-up plays. Like Maguire, he's not perfect. He's overconfident which makes him dilly-dally with the ball in dangerous areas and despite being 27 to 28, his proclivity towards the extravagant still hasn't been toned down in favour of a more balanced game. But both his vision and his passing range are incredible and he's also very capable of carrying the ball through the lines. In a team that basically deploys three forwards who all thrive on open spaces and on 1v1s (preferably while running with the ball at defenders), Pogba's ability to quickly transition the ball to the final third is very important.

Shaw, despite his injury/fitness issues. Firstly, his underlaps (when Rashford hugs the sideline) are one of the few viable options we have from the second line of attack. Secondly, he can tuck in and operate as a natural CB either in a three-men defence or when we shift to three at the back during the build up (which allows both Matic and AWB to move forward and subsequently create pockets of space for Pogba and the RW easier). Lastly, he's the second player we have who can carry the ball through the lines.

Bruno because he always aware of what's happening around him and he's always willing to create situations for the forwards to do their thing by moving close to them to set them up with a neat one-two, by taking defenders away from them with his passing/shooting skills and creating spaces in behind. Without him, things can become static upfront because we have players who are much better at creating opportunities for themselves than for others and Bruno's presence balances that.

As things stand, Martial belongs in this category too. With Rashford's back problems and with Ighalo and James being the first players in the rotation for the attacking trident, Tony is the only one who can actually lead the line for us. More importantly, he's the best finisher the club has and in tight games he can make the difference between zero, one or three points. If we get Sancho and thus create the option of utilizing Greenwood upfront (without the quality on the right being dropped considerably), we'll put ourselves in a much better position but until then, an injury to Martial can prove once more to be destructive for our season.
 

romufc

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If they are fit, they will play:

AWB
Maguire
Shaw
Pogba
Bruno
Martial
Rashford

De Gea is under threat from Henderson
Lindelof could be under threat from Bailly if he can stay fit
Matic should have an understudy to take over
Greenwood should be expected to have poor patches
Pretty much this. Comes to show how far we have come from when Jose didnt know his best team.

The only one I would amend is Bailly, I feel that Tuanzebe can challenge in that position.

Other than that, the ones you mentioned, if fit they have to play most of our games.
 

11101

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Pretty much this. Comes to show how far we have come from when Jose didnt know his best team.

The only one I would amend is Bailly, I feel that Tuanzebe can challenge in that position.

Other than that, the ones you mentioned, if fit they have to play most of our games.
I'd like to think Tuanzebe could come in but between fitness and some shaky performances i'm not as confident as i once was...
 

The Original

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Wouldn't say AWB is guaranteed. Past the halfway line he's clueless. If Williams continues his progress and is already better than AWB going forward he could be a contender in that position. Why not?
AWB/Williams (as it stands)
If we don't change the MF to a diamand then I can only see VDB challenging Bruno for the AM role.
Bruno/VDB
All 3 front players cannot be guaranteed imv. Many putting Rashford in as starting games. Going on current form I don't believe he's done enough to guarantee a place. Martial can still blow hot and cold so not him either. Greenwood has got the tools and is along with Pogba definately our most gifted player. So I wouldn't argue if I saw his name on the starting sheet.
So imv only Pogba and Maguire go in automatically. Borderline Greenwood and Shaw.
Williams may look better running with the ball but don't equate that with being effective. I can't remember him as much as putting in a cross.
 

bosnian_red

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De Gea
Wan Bissaka Lindelof Maguire Shaw
Matic Pogba
Greenwood Bruno Rashford
Martial

Henderson
TFM Bailly Smalling Williams
Mctominay Fred
Lingard Van de Beek James
Ighalo
Romero, Dalot, Jones, Tuanzebe, Pereira, Mata

Looks like that's our squad for the season. Midfield trio at least has depth and health competition (just need to be used properly and trusted), and we have numbers at CB if not quality. The rest is rough though, nothing much at fullback, on the wings or up top, but given that lack of depth i can see those exact guys being used loads since we'll get injuries in all the positions we can't afford to get them.

Starting lineup probably 3rd place level (similar to Chelsea), backup lineup is bottom half of table level for the most part.
 

DRJosh

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Ole would hardly deviate from the same 11 at the end of last season, so all of them....

but you are exactly right. Only the likes of Maguire, Bruno, Pogba and Martial would be instant names on the team sheet for me.
and apart from Bruno, none of them are what you'd consider consistent performers.
 

Bondi77

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The ones that played really well in the previous game and train well during the week.
 

He'sRaldo

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and apart from Bruno, none of them are what you'd consider consistent performers.
Bruno was inconsistent last season as well. I'm not yet sure of his level of consistency apart from his workrate which is usually top notch.
 

Jeppers7

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and apart from Bruno, none of them are what you'd consider consistent performers.
Strange narrative around Bruno, great player but almost like it doesn’t matter how he plays....the narrative is he was man of the match
 

RashyForPM

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Strange narrative around Bruno, great player but almost like it doesn’t matter how he plays....the narrative is he was man of the match
The thing is even when we lost and he personally hadn’t played well, he was still MOTM for us on those days. It helps that he was always the goalscorer from the spot in those games too. He’s been the best player in almost all his games here, if you think about it.
 

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At this moment and if all fit; 10 players are safe. Only dilemma is dmc. Matic and Fred for bigger games and away games in general and VDB for games where we are huge favourites.

People are desperate to throw out DDG and Lindelof but they are 100% in first 11. Only thing with them is that they have less credit than others. They can't afford few bad games.
Others are nailed starters despite form because they don't have rivals for their position. When you are fighting for place with James, Lingard or McT your spot is pretty much safe.
 

Web of Bissaka

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Right now, rough estimations,
100%Maguire
99%Bruno
95%Rashford
90%VDB, AWB
80%Martial, Pogba, Shaw
70%Greenwood, Lindelof
50%Lingard

Ole has favorites, clear as day, like it or not. Maguire shall always play, as does Rashford bar few games. Lingard will always be around, 50-50 chances of playing every game.

GK situations now is complicated, with Dean likely to stay and "maybe" competing with De Gea for the place in the starting 11. Whoever impress may get to keep his place. Difficult to estimate if Ole will gamble on Dean or play safe with De Gea.

Very minuscule chance Bruno will get dropped, with VDB joining but majority of games Ole needs him the most.. always even if his form is bad. VDB is a new player and will regularly play, to be dropped only when in bad form, he is also still uncertain if he can adapt to the epl. Matic is also uncertain to play with VDB around... even when he's not around, Matic is not confirm to play every game with Fred and McT.

Pogba, Martial, AWB, Shaw, Greenwood and Lindelof shall play because their other competitions lacks the talents (and/or fitness) to outdo them. Ole like to gave chances to other players instead of them at few times.
 

Web of Bissaka

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What's the core of our team going into the new season?
Martial
Left Winger --- Bruno --- Greenwood
DM 1 --- DM 2
Shaw --- Maguire --- Centre Back --- Wan-Bissaka
Goalkeeper
Those core 6 are our "core" players in my opinion to be honest. If none of them are playing then I'm just not confident at all we can reach top 3 convincingly and/or win trophies.

Just my opinions.

CF: Martial is the only top striker than can play this role, the best we've got. The improved 2020 version of Martial mind. Without that 2020 Martial, our attacks are just toothless lacking presence.

CAM: Only Bruno can play here the most and the best. Still question mark over VDB but then seriously we've seen the great impacts Bruno can do here, no one else can provide what he can, idiotic if manager drop him.

RW: Greenwood, same reason, kid is good and save us plenty of times already. He's the only one that can do something right for our right attacks. The. Only. One.

LW: Ole's core is Rashford, but for me he's not anymore, after the emergence of the improved Martial, Greenwood and Bruno. James at LW is a good 2nd choice. We were fine without Rashford playing. Rashford also need Shaw to help him play better. Now with VDB, putting Pogba here may not be a bad choice. Martial tend to drift at times to the left wing from centre for his trademark flowing dribbles. LW is no longer a core position nor player.

DMs: Now we have too many players for two positions. Very good quality midfield depth, each players are useful for different roles and abilities to the team.

  • Pogba for consistent assisting and chance creations, but double edge defensively. His goals input also get worse unfortunately. Double edge.
  • Matic is the best in build-up and breaking low blocks, but declining and a risks against high pressure and quick counter attacks.
  • McT is absolutely useful vs the top teams and add physical bodies to our teams, but generally useless vs the weak to mid-table teams.
  • Fred adds absolute energy and can do everything except scoring but not the best, and often give risks. So basically a jack-of-all trade with high energy.
  • VDB is still a question mark.
LB: No Shaw and our possession play, composure, build-up and left attacks are shit. Our defense is weakened too when he's missing. Williams is always a risk and can't provide all of those consistently per match even when he's in good form.

RB: Obvious really. AWB is the best one we've got. He's the most useful vs the top teams, so very important in cups competitions. Lacking in attacking department but Dalot is still inconsistent even when attacking so can't provide any competitions. Williams seems to be much better on the left.

CB: No Maguire and our centre defense is shit. At times even with him, our defense is horrible but hey, he's the best one we've got. He does provide more stability majority of the times. Few of those times though, he's the main cause of destabilize it. Still our core player at the centre.

GK: Still question mark with De Gea's inconsistent performances and Dean's possible contention.
 

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Martial
Left Winger --- Bruno --- Greenwood
DM 1 --- DM 2
Shaw --- Maguire --- Centre Back --- Wan-Bissaka
Goalkeeper
Those core 6 are our "core" players in my opinion to be honest. If none of them are playing then I'm just not confident at all we can reach top 3 convincingly and/or win trophies.

Just my opinions.

CF: Martial is the only top striker than can play this role, the best we've got. The improved 2020 version of Martial mind. Without that 2020 Martial, our attacks are just toothless lacking presence.

CAM: Only Bruno can play here the most and the best. Still question mark over VDB but then seriously we've seen the great impacts Bruno can do here, no one else can provide what he can, idiotic if manager drop him.

RW: Greenwood, same reason, kid is good and save us plenty of times already. He's the only one that can do something right for our right attacks. The. Only. One.

LW: Ole's core is Rashford, but for me he's not anymore, after the emergence of the improved Martial, Greenwood and Bruno. James at LW is a good 2nd choice. We were fine without Rashford playing. Rashford also need Shaw to help him play better. Now with VDB, putting Pogba here may not be a bad choice. Martial tend to drift at times to the left wing from centre for his trademark flowing dribbles. LW is no longer a core position nor player.

DMs: Now we have too many players for two positions. Very good quality midfield depth, each players are useful for different roles and abilities to the team.

  • Pogba for consistent assisting and chance creations, but double edge defensively. His goals input also get worse unfortunately. Double edge.
  • Matic is the best in build-up and breaking low blocks, but declining and a risks against high pressure and quick counter attacks.
  • McT is absolutely useful vs the top teams and add physical bodies to our teams, but generally useless vs the weak to mid-table teams.
  • Fred adds absolute energy and can do everything except scoring but not the best, and often give risks. So basically a jack-of-all trade with high energy.
  • VDB is still a question mark.
LB: No Shaw and our possession play, composure, build-up and left attacks are shit. Our defense is weakened too when he's missing. Williams is always a risk and can't provide all of those consistently per match even when he's in good form.

RB: Obvious really. AWB is the best one we've got. He's the most useful vs the top teams, so very important in cups competitions. Lacking in attacking department but Dalot is still inconsistent even when attacking so can't provide any competitions. Williams seems to be much better on the left.

CB: No Maguire and our centre defense is shit. At times even with him, our defense is horrible but hey, he's the best one we've got. He does provide more stability majority of the times. Few of those times though, he's the main cause of destabilize it. Still our core player at the centre.

GK: Still question mark with De Gea's inconsistent performances and Dean's possible contention.
I’d agree with your lineup
 

Santoryo

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The thing is even when we lost and he personally hadn’t played well, he was still MOTM for us on those days. It helps that he was always the goalscorer from the spot in those games too. He’s been the best player in almost all his games here, if you think about it.
That's not remotely true. Martial been more consistent than Bruno since his time here. When was Bruno MOTM in the last 6-7 games. Previous poster is right, there is a certain narrative around Bruno which has him as best player regardless of how he'd actually played. He was actually poor toward the tail end of the season yet there is still talk about his consistency when that isn't true at all.
 

Jev

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With no further signings:

AWB
Maguire
Shaw
Pogba
Greenwood
Martial
Rashford

We don't have the competition up front to threaten the front-three. I could see Bruno hitting a rough patch and losing his place to van de Beek. Thought some of his performances post-corona were quite overrated with some erratic passing and questionable decision making, although we'll see how much of that was down to fatigue.
 

Jev

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The thing is even when we lost and he personally hadn’t played well, he was still MOTM for us on those days. It helps that he was always the goalscorer from the spot in those games too. He’s been the best player in almost all his games here, if you think about it.
Disregarding the penalties, this just isn't true. He had a lot of very poor games towards the end of the season where he lost the ball constantly. Hopefully that was just tiredness.