Why the reluctance to sign a defensive midfielder?

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Yeah, i'm sure De jong is more then capable of being disciplined if he has too.
Agreed. People seem to have forgotten he came through as a center defender. Before bring moved up yo midfield. He is far better defensively than he is given credit for
 

sherrinford

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I'm sorry, but he is not a holding midfielder. He is a #8, not a #6. He can play along side someone in a two but then we are back to the same old crap as before with Bruno in the #10. We need to play a 4-3-3 with a proper DM if we want to ever be challenging at the top again. The 4-2-3-1 is outdated and doesn't suit the modern game. Might as well play a 4-4-2
De Jong is certainly not a no.8. He was the deepest midfielder at Ajax and is for his national team and has shown that that is where he is at his best, and he has said as much in one of his recent post-match interviews. He has been playing as a no.8 in a 4-3-3 for three years now at Barcelona and it is clear that that is just not the best use of him.

Also, obviously, 4-2-3-1 is not outdated.
 

SadlerMUFC

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De Jong is certainly not a no.8. He was the deepest midfielder at Ajax and is for his national team and has shown that that is where he is at his best, and he has said as much in one of his recent post-match interviews. He has been playing as a no.8 in a 4-3-3 for three years now at Barcelona and it is clear that that is just not the best use of him.

Also, obviously, 4-2-3-1 is not outdated.
He is not a 6 though. He doesn't anchor on his own. And yes, a 4-2-3-1 is outdated. Top teams do not play that formation. Top teams play a 4-3-3. The key is having a true #6 who can anchor the midfield like a Rodri or Cassamiro
 

TheGame

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Agreed. People seem to have forgotten he came through as a center defender. Before bring moved up yo midfield. He is far better defensively than he is given credit for
Did not know he was a CB, seems small for that.
 

SparkedIntoLife

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My guess is that we go in with a midfield of De Jong and Fred as the double pivot with McTominay and Garner as backups, along with Fernandes and van de Beek as AMs with Eriksen as a utility man who can play wide, number 10 or deeper in midfield.

It's obvious the club absolutely love Declan Rice and it seems to me he's really keen on joining us. I suspect we get him in a year when he'll be much cheaper. This isn't what I want, by the way. I'd much rather us go in for someone like Sangare, Bennacer, Ugarte or Danilo this year alongside someone like De Jong.
 

Presto

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He played as the deep ,6 in Milan too. Infront of a flat back 4 with 2 ball winning runners ahead of him in midfield. For Italy he played it alongside a roaming ball winner in Gatusso, in a double pivot. There is literally no reason why a De jong can't replicate that for Ten hag. Besides de jobg is EXACTLY what we have missed since Carrick retired. Carrick never needed a number 6 alongside him so I marvel that many imagine a De jong would.
Not really, not only Carrick can dictate the play, can spray passes anywhere on the pitch, but also he can actually defense with a great reading of the game, very good at intercepting and blocking the ball, is quite tall for a midfielder (6'2'') that sometimes he even played as a CB, while De Jong doesn't actually have those defensive traits required for a single deep lying playmaker
 

KeanoMagicHat

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He is not a 6 though. He doesn't anchor on his own. And yes, a 4-2-3-1 is outdated. Top teams do not play that formation. Top teams play a 4-3-3. The key is having a true #6 who can anchor the midfield like a Rodri or Cassamiro
There's more than one way to play that position, De Jong's way is unique and on form very effective. He's like an old-school attacking sweeper and most importantly is able to beat the press.
 

jesperjaap

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last summer at the end of the window there seemed to be a split between euphoria at our signings and not being far off a title challenge and those concerned at no central midfield signings.

I dont think anybody would have forseen just how poor we were last season. I thought with our midfield we would be fighting for 4th place.

My worry and subsequent predittion currently. The manager is happy to start with Dalot as our right back and will sign a playmaking midfielder, but currently no clear signla a defensive midfielder is on the agenda. If that happens, for get the coaching, formations, other signings.....its poor.

I would have thought it is blindingly obvious we need to sign a defensive midfielder (that can be an all rounder that can defend not jsut an anchor man) alongside another signing liek DeJOng.....but I have seen loads of comment of people being happy with Fred or McTominay or VDB alongisde him for now and there are other prioirities.

Each to there own, all entiteled to opinions, but I am flabbergasted. Have people forgot jsut how open we were in the middle and how poor all of our midfielders were defensively especially, positionally etc etc.

We start with Dalot and one of those three, we dont finish in the top four, that is how strongl I feel about it, its that simple in my eyes. Ten Hag isnt superman, if he doesnt see it now he soon will, if he doesnt see it soon he worries me
 

croadyman

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There's more than one way to play that position, De Jong's way is unique and on form very effective. He's like an old-school attacking sweeper and most importantly is able to beat the press.
So you don't think Barca activating these financial deals kiboshes the deal then?
 

sherrinford

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He is not a 6 though. He doesn't anchor on his own. And yes, a 4-2-3-1 is outdated. Top teams do not play that formation. Top teams play a 4-3-3. The key is having a true #6 who can anchor the midfield like a Rodri or Cassamiro
He is, and he does - De Jong plays (when used correctly) as the deepest midfielder. Operating in a double pivot doesn't change that.

There is no 'correct' formation. A 4-2-3-1 can't be outdated (since I've started watching football anyway, there's been no changes to the laws significant enough to render any particular established shape obsolete). That's a particularly strange stance to take with your assertion that it has to be a 4-3-3 - the difference can be extremely negligible, and the former matches up perfectly against the latter. Bayern Munich were the best team in Europe playing a 4-2-3-1 a few years ago (and the winners of the last World Cup did so playing a 4-4-2, to object to the idea that that is another formation unusable in the current football world). And of course, designated formations are extremely simple descriptions of a teams shape, and can't tell you a whole lot.
 

Ekeke

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There's more than one way to play that position, De Jong's way is unique and on form very effective. He's like an old-school attacking sweeper and most importantly is able to beat the press.
Where has it proven to be effective over a league season?
 

NoPace

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My guess is that we go in with a midfield of De Jong and Fred as the double pivot with McTominay and Garner as backups, along with Fernandes and van de Beek as AMs with Eriksen as a utility man who can play wide, number 10 or deeper in midfield.

It's obvious the club absolutely love Declan Rice and it seems to me he's really keen on joining us. I suspect we get him in a year when he'll be much cheaper. This isn't what I want, by the way. I'd much rather us go in for someone like Sangare, Bennacer, Ugarte or Danilo this year alongside someone like De Jong.
I do think Rice could be really special in the role Edson Alvarez plays for Ajax shielding the defence but being not so involved in the buildup compared to say Timber and De Jong if we sign them this year and next. It's basically an aggressive CB role so it's perfect for him.
 

croadyman

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Shouldn't be any reluctance whatsoever when you consider we haven't one in the whole squad now Matic has gone
 
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Not really, not only Carrick can dictate the play, can spray passes anywhere on the pitch, but also he can actually defense with a great reading of the game, very good at intercepting and blocking the ball, is quite tall for a midfielder (6'2'') that sometimes he even played as a CB, while De Jong doesn't actually have those defensive traits required for a single deep lying playmaker
I seriously doubt you have watched De jong for very long. Because game reading, intercepting, blocking channels is not something he lacks. In addition to the fact that unlike Carrick. He was an actual center half who was converted into a midfielder. Rather than a natural midfielder who could also play at the back. And where Carrick beats him in height he beats him in shear ability to bamboozle an opponent with dribbling. Both are visionary passers.

No to mention the irony of saying he supposedly lacks those traits you mentioned in a deep lying play maker yet Pirlo, an apex example of the position literally had none of them defensive ones beyond game reading.
 
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He is not a 6 though. He doesn't anchor on his own. And yes, a 4-2-3-1 is outdated. Top teams do not play that formation. Top teams play a 4-3-3. The key is having a true #6 who can anchor the midfield like a Rodri or Cassamiro
You can't be serious. 4-2-3-1 is literally 4-3-3 with the tip of the center diamond behind the 3 attackers rather than infront of the 4 defenders. With the right coaching and players it yields identical results.
 

SadlerMUFC

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He is, and he does - De Jong plays (when used correctly) as the deepest midfielder. Operating in a double pivot doesn't change that.

There is no 'correct' formation. A 4-2-3-1 can't be outdated (since I've started watching football anyway, there's been no changes to the laws significant enough to render any particular established shape obsolete). That's a particularly strange stance to take with your assertion that it has to be a 4-3-3 - the difference can be extremely negligible, and the former matches up perfectly against the latter. Bayern Munich were the best team in Europe playing a 4-2-3-1 a few years ago (and the winners of the last World Cup did so playing a 4-4-2, to object to the idea that that is another formation unusable in the current football world). And of course, designated formations are extremely simple descriptions of a teams shape, and can't tell you a whole lot.
And you won't find another top team outside of Bayern who still plays a 4-2-3-1, and I suspect that once Muller retires, they won't play it either. The #10 is a dying position.
 

SadlerMUFC

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You can't be serious. 4-2-3-1 is literally 4-3-3 with the tip of the center diamond behind the 3 attackers rather than infront of the 4 defenders. With the right coaching and players it yields identical results.
If you think a 4-2-3-1 and a 4-3-3 are anywhere close to being the same then you should probably never make another post ever again. They are completely different in the way you attack and the way you defend...
 

jamesjimmybyrondean

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Feel like us loaning Henderson to N.Forrest means Garner is staying and Garner staying will fill in that spot Matic left :)
 

Blood Mage

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Because Scotty McT is a great young prospect guys! Even though he's 25 and in his prime years, he still needs time okay? A DM signing would stall his development!
 

Sandikan

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My guess is that we go in with a midfield of De Jong and Fred as the double pivot with McTominay and Garner as backups, along with Fernandes and van de Beek as AMs with Eriksen as a utility man who can play wide, number 10 or deeper in midfield.

It's obvious the club absolutely love Declan Rice and it seems to me he's really keen on joining us. I suspect we get him in a year when he'll be much cheaper. This isn't what I want, by the way. I'd much rather us go in for someone like Sangare, Bennacer, Ugarte or Danilo this year alongside someone like De Jong.
Love that you're factoring in 2 players we don't own, plus DVB who hasn't shown a thing for us or Everton.
 

SparkedIntoLife

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Love that you're factoring in 2 players we don't own, plus DVB who hasn't shown a thing for us or Everton.
Not sure why the need to be sarcastic/antagonistic (had a bad day?). Eriksen has been heavily heavily linked to United and tier 1 sources have confirmed we've bid for him. Since my post, it has come out that he's likely to re-join Tottenham - fine. Everything's speculation at this point in general so not sure why you're casting shade for me following suit (pretty much every post about the squad next season is speculative right now). Also, if you don't feel we're seriously interested in both Rice and De Jong, there's not really much I can say to you. As for van de Beek, our new manager got excellent performances out of him for Ajax and last year said something akin to 'it's a travesty that United have wasted VDB'. If you don't think ETH's arrival gives his prospects a huge boost, you're mistaken. Literally none of my post is especially a hot take or a big call and is consistent with the noises that the most reliable journalists have reported - interest in Eriksen, retained interest in Rice (but likely next year), ETH wanting to use Donny... Strange snidey post on your part and unnecessary.
 

Bigfoot2

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The only people who (hopefully) know what's happening regarding transfers are in the upper echelon of the club, We all hope to see a clear improvement in quality and strategy next season but transition takes time so unless we hit pay dirt on this dig we should expect to at least improve on last season. Brighton on our first game should tell us a thing or two. I'm hopeful if a little tentative.
 

Presto

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I seriously doubt you have watched De jong for very long. Because game reading, intercepting, blocking channels is not something he lacks. In addition to the fact that unlike Carrick. He was an actual center half who was converted into a midfielder. Rather than a natural midfielder who could also play at the back. And where Carrick beats him in height he beats him in shear ability to bamboozle an opponent with dribbling. Both are visionary passers.

No to mention the irony of saying he supposedly lacks those traits you mentioned in a deep lying play maker yet Pirlo, an apex example of the position literally had none of them defensive ones beyond game reading.
OK if De Jong doesn't lack "intercepting, blocking channels" why his defensive stats over a season are this low compared to Carrick? (Stats generated by Squawka, provided by OPTA, sorry I'm newbie so I don't have permission to insert image here, but if you want to check legit these stats you can check Squawka comparison matrix)
Carrick (Premier League SS 2016/2017)De Jong (La Liga SS 2021/2022)
Clearances3715
Interceptions4120
Blocks75

Regarding Pirlo, as other members had already mentioned in this topic, at Juventus he played alongside Vidal and Marchisio, he's not the lone deep lying playmaker and other midfielders did help him perform the defensive duty while Carrick often did it on his own, and thus what do you expect assuming we sign De Jong, let him play alongside the like of McT and Fred who are both #8 and none of them are actually good at defending / covering?
 
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If you think a 4-2-3-1 and a 4-3-3 are anywhere close to being the same then you should probably never make another post ever again. They are completely different in the way you attack and the way you defend...
You have just confirmed you really know nothing about what you are talking about. Ajax under in LVG consistently played 3-4-3 and 4-3-3 with the center of the diamond forward instead of behind. The possession and postional play total football it produced was no different from what Cruyff's dream team produced in the early 90s nor what Pep's teams currently produced. Ten Hag literally replicated it at Ajax during his stay there. So did Hansi Flick whilst he won a treble for Bayern.
 
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OK if De Jong doesn't lack "intercepting, blocking channels" why his defensive stats over a season are this low compared to Carrick?
Super easy to answer:
1. At Barcelona he has not been employed as the pivot player. In Barca's system that's the player who does the most defensive work in midfield and protects the defence the most. Not the player who fill up the double 8 roles.


2. At Ajax it was a very different story. His defensive contribution was as high as you'd expect a pivot player to be. Go to squawka and directly compare his defensive statistics to Carrick 2016/20016 to see it for yourself

Don't be deceived by his Barca statistics. De Jong is top quality as a defensive player.
Regarding Pirlo, as other members had already mentioned in this topic, at Juventus he played alongside Vidal and Marchisio, he's not the lone deep lying playmaker and other midfielders did help him perform the defensive duty while Carrick often did it on his own, and thus what do you expect assuming we sign De Jong, let him play alongside the like of McT and Fred who are both #8 and none of them are actually good at defending / covering?
This is thing people constantly have a mid comcenption about.At Juve Pirlo didn't play alongside ANYBODY. He was in the base of a diamond ALONE. Always deepest. Ahead of him on the left was Pogba, on the right Marchcio or Vidal. With the two often squeezing together to form a double pivot ( double pairing) ahead of him when juve had no possession. Then in the hole Vidal or a Tevez would operate furthest forward I n the diamond.

He literally operated in the same zones the likes of Carrick did for United or Busquets does for Barca without having even half their defensive ability. Only godly passing and game reading.
 

Charles Miller

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Ten Hag had Edson Alvarez at Ajax. He may not be a Casemiro type, but isn't also a soft flair player. Its possible that initially ETH could try to implement a pure version of the Ajax game, but with time he is going to end up with some Fernandinho or Rodri in the midfield, because its need in the Premier League.
 

Paul778

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It's amazing how year by year you learn to appreciate Carrick more and more. One of the most underappreciated players ever.
Not only Carrick. What about Chicarito? Never stopped running, always looking to cause problems for defenders... wish we had those sort of forwards now instead of guys just standing still next to their markers
 

Lee565

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Still can't believe we ignored kamara, yes he may have not been the transfer muppet big shiny high profile defensive midfielder that fans these days demand of our club to sign in every position because football is now viewed as a game of fifa ultimate team but we will be moaning again just like last season when we see an Aston villa, brighton etc.. midfield dominate ours because they have the balance right in that area of the pitch
 

VorZakone

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It's amazing how year by year you learn to appreciate Carrick more and more. One of the most underappreciated players ever.
He really is. After joining United in '06, the club won 3 titles in a row and reached 2 CL finals. All because of Carrick? Of course not, but it's hard to ignore his impact when he was the only major signing in the summer of 2006.
 

SadlerMUFC

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You have just confirmed you really know nothing about what you are talking about. Ajax under in LVG consistently played 3-4-3 and 4-3-3 with the center of the diamond forward instead of behind. The possession and postional play total football it produced was no different from what Cruyff's dream team produced in the early 90s nor what Pep's teams currently produced. Ten Hag literally replicated it at Ajax during his stay there. So did Hansi Flick whilst he won a treble for Bayern.
So here I am saying no top team plays a 4-2-3-1 other than Bayern and you "prove me wrong" by talking about LVG at Ajax and Cruyff? Boy oh boy you really showed me up there :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

miked99

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Carrick was brilliant, but it mustn't be forgotten that he wasn't the most press resistant. It was well known that the best way to reduce his inflluence was to put him under pressure.

That's not to denigrate his quality though, he was a fantastic player who was criminally underused at international level. His passing through the lines was majestic and he was really good at the defensive side of the game as well.
 

OrcaFat

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De Jong is certainly not a no.8. He was the deepest midfielder at Ajax and is for his national team and has shown that that is where he is at his best, and he has said as much in one of his recent post-match interviews. He has been playing as a no.8 in a 4-3-3 for three years now at Barcelona and it is clear that that is just not the best use of him.

Also, obviously, 4-2-3-1 is not outdated.
I don’t think he can play as a single no6 in the prem. He would have to be one of two in a “double pivot” or one of two no8s in a 433. I think I would prefer the latter.