Would you sack or keep Ole? (Poll reopened)

Sack or Keep OLE?


  • Total voters
    1,695

Irwin99

Full Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2018
Messages
2,527
Woodward is mostly to blame but I feel this was naivety/ weakness by Ole. We needed a strong manager to force transfers in the summer, but instead Ole was probably too nice about things.
Incredible naivety. In terms of the board or Ole, I initially thought Ed had screwed us but I think it might be bit of both. I still find it incredible to think that our stated objective this season (in Ole's own words) was top 4 and maybe a trophy. The trophy in the form of a league cup or FA cup is doable but only the most optimistic of outlooks looks at that squad depth and thinks it gets top 4. It really looks like terrible planning.
 

Member 119614

Guest
I voted keep.

Based on his 3 signings who have all 3 improved the team. He knows a good player when he sees one and that to me is very promising. I can't wait to see who he wants for the midfield. Preferably this winter but that may be unlikely.
For now Utd might struggle to finish top 10 but imagine just one very good technical midfield player. Such a player might transform the shot down self confidence. James, Martial and Rashford are capable enough to punish teams, provided someone feeds them good passes. I also think it will present options for McTominay to penetrate more. I think he is the type of player who can play like that, he has shown very promising glimpses of that.
I really think he is a beast, influential and very confident. It's the first time since the Fergie days I really support one of our players.
 

Class of 63

Full Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2017
Messages
7,307
Location
Still living next door to Alice ... in Wonderland!
-Building a young team, agree
-Playing direct attacking football with fluid strikers, high tempo passing, pressing, fast transitions, massively disagree. What you've just described requires a serious amount of coaching talent and I have no idea where people see that in Ole.

He does have great intentions but he lacks the acumen to see it through. He's mediocre to plain bad from a tactical and coaching standpoint. He's really just being given an A+ for having good intentions and buying decent because every other area has been a D to F. The good play isn't just going to come even if he buys 2 Sanchos. I feel like people don't even realise this. The mindset that a signing or 3 is going to unlock a team is really simplistic thinking from our fanbase. Such a signing has to be slotted into a preexisting system for that to happen and Ole doesn't seem to have a clue how to instill one. This is just really frustrating having to enlighten people about this. No doubt our CEO doesn't know this either. Our freaking CEO is a football casual
Yeah it must be a real bummer that not everybody is as clued up as you :lol:
 

Sky1981

Fending off the urge
Joined
Apr 12, 2006
Messages
23,893
Location
Under the bright neon lights of sincity
I voted keep.

Based on his 3 signings who have all 3 improved the team. He knows a good player when he sees one and that to me is very promising. I can't wait to see who he wants for the midfield. Preferably this winter but that may be unlikely.
For now Utd might struggle to finish top 10 but imagine just one very good technical midfield player. Such a player might transform the shot down self confidence. James, Martial and Rashford are capable enough to punish teams, provided someone feeds them good passes. I also think it will present options for McTominay to penetrate more. I think he is the type of player who can play like that, he has shown very promising glimpses of that.
I really think he is a beast, influential and very confident. It's the first time since the Fergie days I really support one of our players.
Any other manager can see that AWB and Maguire is a good player.

Question is whether they're 80M good?
 

M16Red

Full Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2011
Messages
1,956
Incredible naivety. In terms of the board or Ole, I initially thought Ed had screwed us but I think it might be bit of both. I still find it incredible to think that our stated objective this season (in Ole's own words) was top 4 and maybe a trophy. The trophy in the form of a league cup or FA cup is doable but only the most optimistic of outlooks looks at that squad depth and thinks it gets top 4. It really looks like terrible planning.
At the start of the season he had Shaw, Pogba, Martial all fit.

Then boom three players go down and replaced with Young, Fred.
Rashford not on the left side he only seems to play on.

I think he was also hoping for more players.

We all know our record of bring players in, there is something else that people over look Ole uses the term "Right Players" a lot.

Mourinho has said he got Fred because we was worried he'd not get anyone else, Sanchez was because he was a world class player, Fellaini as panic buy.

Weirdly people seem to think that players see the name Manchester United and think I must go, not the case anymore City, Liverpool are the number one picks in our League now.
 

b82REZ

Full Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2011
Messages
5,201
Location
Manchester
Again lots of made up stuff based on media rumours and I don't agree with your maths on budgets either

IMO Ole was absolutely right to prioritise defence - it was our weakest point last season. And he said he wanted creativity (which to me means a midfielder) and goals (a forward).

Again Woodward is to blame for delaying the Lukaku deal which meant Ole has to wait until next window to get the replacement, how anyone thinks the timing of all that is Ole's fault is beyond me.
Not a single thing he posted is made up, all direct from the horses mouth.

Your post feels a lot like the pot calling the kettle black.
 

b82REZ

Full Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2011
Messages
5,201
Location
Manchester
No, I don’t support Ole because he was a legend, yes to a small extent I will give more leeway to him than others but that is to be expected. However, I acknowledge the tough circumstances he has to operate under, the lack of apparent alternatives, but most importantly, for the first time in years I am able to relate to his vision for the club. Building a young team with committed players that show a strong spirit and have talent to match the commitment. Playing direct attacking football with fluid strikers, high tempo passing, pressing, fast transitions. It may not always be pretty on the eyes, will definitely not be football for the elites, but its football that I grew up loving and most associate with United. Most of it is not evident on the pitch yet, but I am willing to be patient based on the signings he has made, some of the football that we have played at times, and the vision he has spoken about. If tomorrow it turns out that he has the right intentions but not the skill set to implement his vision, then he will have to go. But I don’t think he has got enough time and support to make the changes yet, there are too many variables with regards to the ownership and the executives for me to say that the poor results are completely because of him.
I'd love some of what you're smoking if you see signs of fast attacking football.
 

Bobcat

Full Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
3,979
Location
Behind the curtains, leering at the neighbors
-Building a young team, agree
-Playing direct attacking football with fluid strikers, high tempo passing, pressing, fast transitions, massively disagree. What you've just described requires a serious amount of coaching talent and I have no idea where people see that in Ole.

He does have great intentions but he lacks the acumen to see it through. He's mediocre to plain bad from a tactical and coaching standpoint. He's really just being given an A+ for having good intentions and buying decent because every other area has been a D to F. The good play isn't just going to come even if he buys 2 Sanchos. I feel like people don't even realise this. The mindset that a signing or 3 is going to unlock a team is really simplistic thinking from our fanbase. Such a signing has to be slotted into a preexisting system for that to happen and Ole doesn't seem to have a clue how to instill one. This is just really frustrating having to enlighten people about this. No doubt our CEO doesn't know this either. Our freaking CEO is a football casual
His Molde side managed that, and were actually quite good to watch. And yes, i know the PL is an entirely different beast from the Norwegian League, but we also saw glimpses of that during his first months. He also had a Pogba in world class form, Herrera making everything tick, and Matic had not lost his legs completely by then

The problem now is that we dont have anything that resembles a functioning midfield. Fred is a decent ball winner, but looks like a deer in traffic with the ball, i love McTomminay and think hes going to be great one day, but right now hes way to naive and wasteful in possession. Pereira can have a decentish game now and then, but ultimately is nowhere near good enough for this level. Everything goes through midfield, and right now its not working, not as a unit and not on an individual level.

I re watched some extended highlights from some of our worse games this season and i saw the same thing over and over. We win the ball back, and then spend ages, moving it up the pitch for a couple of reasons.
a) The CB (or whoever) has the ball lacks passing options and is forced to play it out wide to Young/AWB, who then dribbles up along the sideline and is then forced to play it back or sideways again. By then, any chance of exploiting the pace of James/Rashford has gone since the opponent defense has settled, the reason for this is mostly down to b) which is:

b) This isnt a dig on Fred/Pereira, but they are utterly incapable at holding onto the ball when put under any kind of pressure. If they receive the ball with their backs turned towards the opponent goal they get their pockets picked 9 times out of 10. Scott is the only one with the strength to hold off opposing players sneaking up from behind and opposing teams know this by now and they double mark him. Our own players also know this, so they dont pass it to Fred/Pereria unless they are in acres of space, because passing to them while they are getting closed down leads to a dangerous turnover in possession 9 times out of 10.

c) What we then resort to is hopeful punts from defense or having any of Lindelof, Scott or Fred try a long range pass, and while they have shown they can pick them out from time to time, it becomes way to obvious so opposing defenders are ready for them

d) Having Martial back is also big, and while he by no means is the best holding CF in the world, hes much better at it than Rashford. Granted that Martial was pretty shite vs B'mouth along with everyone else, but having someone who can hold the ball up front is critical. That being said though, his consistency worry me. Since the day he arrived he has looked like a world beater one game, and then utterly disinterested and shite the next one.

On the rare occasions we have looked dangerous, its because the opponent fullbacks/CB's have fallen asleep and let James/Rashford sneak in behind them. Seriously. Without Pogba all of our decent attacking moves have gone though the wings in some capacity. We have been very reliant on Pogba for some years now, but right now its simply absurd how much we rely on him. Him getting back would mean that Scott is afforded much more space since they have to worry about Pogba as well. Pogba is not critical because of his passing ability and goal threat (well that too), but mostly because it means we can actually move the ball through midfield with some urgency

Getting Pogba back wont solve everything though, the player we miss the most is actually Herrera and i maintain that signing Sanchez on those absurd wages while simultaneously not meeting Herrera's demands and letting him go for free has been the worst decision the club has made since 2013. Imo, Herrera is one of the most underappreciated players we have had at this club under several managers, but he was absolutely vital for how Ole wanted to play. Just look at these stats (under Ole):
With Herrera:
Goals scored: 2.2
Goals conceded: 0.4
Win%: 89
Without Herrera:
Goals scored: 1.6
Goals conceded: 1.88
Win%: 50

Herrera never was or never will be a highlight reel kind of player, but he was very much the engine of our midfield both in attack and defense. Fred will look more impressive than he is because he will bust a gut and manage to tackle someone closing down on goal, much like Jones, where as Herrera was more of a Ferdinand compared to Fred/Jones because he would have sniffed out the danger long before if happened and either closed down the dangerous passing lanes or put pressure on the ball so they were forced to slow down play or simply won possession himself before it became dangerous. Herrera was also vital to our attacking play, because despite not being as strong/technical as Pogba, he had amazing awareness and almost never lost possession because he could move into space with it and then find a teammate who was better positioned.

I agree, we could buy 6 Sanchos and we would still look bad because that's not where our problems lie. Our problem since August has been midfield and even with Pogba back it wont be enough. And no amount of coaching or wonderful tactics is going to solve this. Pereira has been on loans to Valencia and Granada with options to buy and neither of them deemed him good enough so he is sure as hell not good enough for the PL. Fred is also a lost cause. I dont hate them i just dont think they are anywhere near good enough. Considering we lost sold/released two CM's last year and Mata/Matic who was already heading towards retirement had gotten a year older it was absolutely criminal not buying a CM, preferably two. People say Ole is to blamed because he spent so much money on Maguire/AWB, and while i see the point here, a new RB/CB was also needed albeit not as critical as a new CM. In any case though, considering the money we got for Lukaku our net spend was only 70 million this summer. If that is the reason we did not get a CM or two then we are doomed because this squad needs investment upwards of 500 million, not 100 million here and there.

We dont know the exact reasons why, but if it is the case that we had offers on the table and Ole denied them because he wanted to go forward with our current midfield, hes the most naive manager in existence and that alone is a sackable offense. Getting Pogba back will help no doubt, but even then we are 2-3 players short of having anything resembling a decent midfield unit

tl;dr: We looked good/decent under Ole in January-April because a midfield of Pogba, Herrera, Matic managed to pull their weight and play the way he wanted. We now look utterly clueless because a midfield of McTomminay, Fred and Pereria does not work at all-
 

VP89

Pogba's biggest fan
Joined
Dec 6, 2015
Messages
14,010
I find it so hilarious that people actually think he's still good enough to manage the club. It's worse than when we saw some of the David Moyes fans come out defending him till the end.
 

MikeKing

Full Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2017
Messages
3,685
Supports
Bournemouth
I find it so hilarious that people actually think he's still good enough to manage the club. It's worse than when we saw some of the David Moyes fans come out defending him till the end.
Hypothetical for you. If Ole manages to get a trophy, say a cup, and comes second in EL with this team. You'd still fire him first chance? You would think trophies is a lot to ask at the moment so if he did archive that it would be cause for reevaluation? Or at lest that's what I think.
 

HoustonRed

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Mar 14, 2010
Messages
18
Hypothetical for you. If Ole manages to get a trophy, say a cup, and comes second in EL with this team. You'd still fire him first chance? You would think trophies is a lot to ask at the moment so if he did archive that it would be cause for reevaluation? Or at lest that's what I think.
Winning or losing becomes a habit, it's not something you just turn on and off. It takes constant struggle to create a winning habit. And likewise to get away from losing. You talk as if we have been losing because of some external factors, like injuries, and with full team back we can just start winning. Never gonna happen, takes proper mentality- which we lack, and superior coaching- I see no reason to assume it is any good. As anyone ole-out has been saying, there is no clear pattern of play that players can get habituated in. So these struggles will remain, maybe a few more goals due to some individual brilliance but meh.
 

Rista

Full Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2006
Messages
1,906
I find it so hilarious that people actually think he's still good enough to manage the club. It's worse than when we saw some of the David Moyes fans come out defending him till the end.
It's very telling that not many actually think he's good enough but "we have bigger problems than the manager" and "who could replace him now?". The argument is never actually "Ole is a good manager and the right man to takes us forward".

The reality is that after spending 150m he should be doing much better, no ifs and buts. If he can't do better than relegation form with these players, then he is not good enough, as simple as that.
 

Rista

Full Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2006
Messages
1,906
Hypothetical for you. If Ole manages to get a trophy, say a cup, and comes second in EL with this team. You'd still fire him first chance? You would think trophies is a lot to ask at the moment so if he did archive that it would be cause for reevaluation? Or at lest that's what I think.
Winning cups and EL wasn't enough for previous manager when it all went wrong in the league. We're currently doing even worse than that.
 

VP89

Pogba's biggest fan
Joined
Dec 6, 2015
Messages
14,010
Hypothetical for you. If Ole manages to get a trophy, say a cup, and comes second in EL with this team. You'd still fire him first chance? You would think trophies is a lot to ask at the moment so if he did archive that it would be cause for reevaluation? Or at lest that's what I think.
I care about the league more if I'm judging a manager in this context because it's about building consistency and showing sustained progress in playing style, stamina and mentality among other areas. A cup win is great and EL would be fantastic but its very far fetched and not exactly the best barometer to judge a manager for a rebuild (Emery won 3 in a row and is regressing Arsenal).

But its all moot, as its clear Ole isn't coming close to top 4 from what we have seen.
 

Rood

nostradamus like gloater
Scout
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
Messages
17,674
Location
@United_Hour
"Media rumors" :lol: I'm not bringing articles or news. I'm bringing direct quotes from our own managers. If you want to believe what's in your head rather than what our current manager is saying himself, it's really up to you I guess. I bought evidence and you are free to accept them or accept your assumptions instead.

He's free to prioritize his defense over midfield or not, it's his choice and he will have to live up with its consequences without all these excuses about how the board failed him etc. You prioritized signing Maguire over midfield, OK, your choice in how to build the squad and you will be responsible for the results. And no the quote was all talking about strikers and forwards.

As for Lukaku deal, beside the fact he didn't play a single minute in preseason and was always going to leave, it's actually a stupid transfer tactic to wait till you sell your player then go and sign his replacement. It's better to negotiate with a club over their player while you still have your own an holding all your cards in hand so that if the deal failed, you refuse to sell your player and keep him, thus the other club won't bully you, than to go the club after selling your main striker and is desperate to get their player rather let them bully you into overpaying for their player because they know you don't have other choice and will have to pay.
Well I agree but surely you dont think Ole is responsible for any of that? This is all on Woodward/the transfer team

That is where this discussion comes down to - I think everyone agrees that it was a bad decision to let Lukaku and Sanchez go without any replacement, but the question is who is to blame for that? For me its all on Woodward and his negotiation team, I am certain that Ole told Woodward before the summer that he didnt want either of them so the fact that neither left until very late in the window is not his responsibility.

and when i mention 'media rumours' Im talking on your points on Longstaff/Mandzukic etc which is all just speculation

It’s easy to blame Woodward. But Fellaini, Lukaku, and Smalling all left because it was made clear to them they didn’t fit the vision.
And do you have a problem with any of them leaving? I dont


Woodward is mostly to blame but I feel this was naivety/ weakness by Ole. We needed a strong manager to force transfers in the summer, but instead Ole was probably too nice about things.
Most of the current problems at the club have been caused due to internal conflict at the club - a lot of this is down to Jose of course but he is not entirely to blame.
Ideally I would like to see Woodward replaced but that doesnt seem like happening so then it is extremely important that we get harmony behind the scenes, we will not get back to success until that happens. This is why Ole keeps talking about 'culture' and everyone being on the same page with a vision of going forward. I would say that this summer was not the time for Ole to start being too agressive, however if he doesnt get 1 or 2 players in the next window then he's certainly within his rights to start making a fuss.
 

Greck

Full Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2016
Messages
3,587
Yeah it must be a real bummer that not everybody is as clued up as you :lol:
Yeah I'm a national treasure. I make sure to CC Woodward everytime I post. :) but seriously yes 'enlighten' because the notion that 1 or 3 signings will unlock Ole is almost ignorance of reality so pardon the seemingly patronising tone. Many of us who don't believe in him really are confused where the belief comes from
 
Last edited:

elánius

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Oct 17, 2019
Messages
123
Ole should have been sacked weeks ago. No results, no progress, no football system after 10 months in charge. Last season he used to blame Mourinho for lack of fitness, but he had a whole summer to fix that, he kicked some senior players like Alexis or Lukaku and he brought defenders for a lot of money but we are still the same team with same problems.

Our goal is probably top 4 and its 10 points away from us, maybe even more, because our goal difference is 2. It was a mistake to give him this job full time, but its even bigger mistake to hold him there for no good reason.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

midnightmare

Full Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
1,042
Location
Midian
Wanting something should not blind you to reality. Like every parent thinks their child is cute, good-looking and smart - until reality hits them really hard with report cards, rejections etc.

I loved Ole to bits as a player and was delighted with his early run; nothing would have pleased me more than his truly being the best manager in the world. I rooted so hard for him that I was willing to overlook the initial queasiness as results began to tank. You didn't even need "excuses" - they were true too; the players were clearly unfit and couldn't play high-intensity football for too long, they were getting tired, we had very poor squad strength etc. etc. All true, but all overlooked the fact that we showed very poor tactical flexibility, were showing a remarkable lack of thinking and game-by-game progress in style or intelligence and that we were not showing any signs of growing coherence and clear patterns of incisive play in the final third.

This season, it's so obvious where the issues are - but Ole's response has been to persevere with the same players and the same formation. He's kept making late substitutions to little or no effect and most crucially, our players seem to lack the nearly-arrogant self-confidence that defines winners. A group of players that believes they will win and combines that with a deep desire to win and a refusal to countenance defeat as an option will emerge victorious more often than not and can often overturn small deficits in quality to a superior yet less confident / less obsessed-to-win unit. Fergie's teams exemplified this - from the Arsenal (2-0) win playing 7 defenders to the Wolfsburg (3-0) win playing with no CBs and umpteen other times with players out of position or just plain cack (Cleverley, Gibson, Anderson, Bebe, Obertan all featured in wins and won PL medals; some even CL!).

Yes, Leicester have arguably got a better starting 11 with our injuries; yes, we can blame Ed for the summer; yes, we can blame Jose and LvG for the dross and deadwood...but really, is this team worse than Sheffield? Forget who we beat or who we've lost to. Over a period of nearly a third of the league season, we're trailing Sheffield, Bournemouth, Palace and Brighton.

There are also some decisions that belie belief. Mason for example, has done well in most of the games he's started - but is yet to be given the chance in PL, while being hailed all along as "the best finisher at the club". So, a team and manager struggling for goals leaves their "best finisher" on the bench for months, in the middle of an injury crisis while playing one, several or all of Lingard, Mata and Andreas in attacking roles, all the while wondering why we can't seem to score. Go figure. Similarly, Williams has proven adequate and even good in the games he's played - but Young remains first-choice (in Shaw's absence) in the PL. While Axel is injured as of now, it was also excruciating at the start of the season to see Lindelof start ahead of him. Surely if we can see the gaffes that he makes every game, Ole can too? Perhaps Lindelof is better on the ball - but what evidence has there been of even that in the season thus far?

PS: I also wonder what this says about the coaching staff besides Ole. We have Carrick and McKenna - who have now seen a horror season under Jose-Ole and now a similar (or worse) second season. McKenna excelled with the U18s, but is this a step way too soon or too high for them?
 

el3mel

Full Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2016
Messages
30,377
Location
Egypt
Well I agree but surely you dont think Ole is responsible for any of that? This is all on Woodward/the transfer team

That is where this discussion comes down to - I think everyone agrees that it was a bad decision to let Lukaku and Sanchez go without any replacement, but the question is who is to blame for that? For me its all on Woodward and his negotiation team, I am certain that Ole told Woodward before the summer that he didnt want either of them so the fact that neither left until very late in the window is not his responsibility.

and when i mention 'media rumours' Im talking on your points on Longstaff/Mandzukic etc which is all just speculation
Yes, what I mentioned re Lukaku is on Woodward. However the midfield problem is on Ole as I explained.

I'm not defending Woodward in general but I don't think Ole has been blameless for how the window went on either.
 

Bobcat

Full Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
3,979
Location
Behind the curtains, leering at the neighbors
Wanting something should not blind you to reality. Like every parent thinks their child is cute, good-looking and smart - until reality hits them really hard with report cards, rejections etc.

I loved Ole to bits as a player and was delighted with his early run; nothing would have pleased me more than his truly being the best manager in the world. I rooted so hard for him that I was willing to overlook the initial queasiness as results began to tank. You didn't even need "excuses" - they were true too; the players were clearly unfit and couldn't play high-intensity football for too long, they were getting tired, we had very poor squad strength etc. etc. All true, but all overlooked the fact that we showed very poor tactical flexibility, were showing a remarkable lack of thinking and game-by-game progress in style or intelligence and that we were not showing any signs of growing coherence and clear patterns of incisive play in the final third.

This season, it's so obvious where the issues are - but Ole's response has been to persevere with the same players and the same formation. He's kept making late substitutions to little or no effect and most crucially, our players seem to lack the nearly-arrogant self-confidence that defines winners. A group of players that believes they will win and combines that with a deep desire to win and a refusal to countenance defeat as an option will emerge victorious more often than not and can often overturn small deficits in quality to a superior yet less confident / less obsessed-to-win unit. Fergie's teams exemplified this - from the Arsenal (2-0) win playing 7 defenders to the Wolfsburg (3-0) win playing with no CBs and umpteen other times with players out of position or just plain cack (Cleverley, Gibson, Anderson, Bebe, Obertan all featured in wins and won PL medals; some even CL!).

Yes, Leicester have arguably got a better starting 11 with our injuries; yes, we can blame Ed for the summer; yes, we can blame Jose and LvG for the dross and deadwood...but really, is this team worse than Sheffield? Forget who we beat or who we've lost to. Over a period of nearly a third of the league season, we're trailing Sheffield, Bournemouth, Palace and Brighton.

There are also some decisions that belie belief. Mason for example, has done well in most of the games he's started - but is yet to be given the chance in PL, while being hailed all along as "the best finisher at the club". So, a team and manager struggling for goals leaves their "best finisher" on the bench for months, in the middle of an injury crisis while playing one, several or all of Lingard, Mata and Andreas in attacking roles, all the while wondering why we can't seem to score. Go figure. Similarly, Williams has proven adequate and even good in the games he's played - but Young remains first-choice (in Shaw's absence) in the PL. While Axel is injured as of now, it was also excruciating at the start of the season to see Lindelof start ahead of him. Surely if we can see the gaffes that he makes every game, Ole can too? Perhaps Lindelof is better on the ball - but what evidence has there been of even that in the season thus far?

PS: I also wonder what this says about the coaching staff besides Ole. We have Carrick and McKenna - who have now seen a horror season under Jose-Ole and now a similar (or worse) second season. McKenna excelled with the U18s, but is this a step way too soon or too high for them?
Tactical flexibility entirely depends on having players with different skill sets who can come inn and offer something else and then you restructure according to that. Joses go-to move for example was throwing Fellaini up front and then hoofing it up in hopes that someone could snatch the falling fruit that came down. It was something different, but i think its worth noting that everyone hated that shite. Spurs do it at times with Llorente and AFAIK Spurs fans hate that as well.

And we have shown some flexibility. Switching to 343 vs Liverpool worked wonders and stopped a side that has being running riot from barely creating a chance all game. The reason we could do this though, is that we are actually well stocked in defense and both Young and AWB can play wingbacks and do fairly well. Midfield and attack though, we dont have that luxury. Our bench now is basically Lingaard, Mata and a bunch of kids from the academy. Who there is going to come in and make an impact or offer something different?

Playing some players out of position works some times when your team is a well oiled machine and those players have loads of individual quality, and we lack both right now. That being said though, Ole clearly deserves criticism for reverting back to 4231 vs B'mouth since its been shite from day 1 and unless they have seen something completely different in training i cant fathom why we stick with that formation. Scott and Fred are alright at best as a CM pairing, but we dont have a single player in our squad that can play #10 and look decent so it completely ruins all of our chances to play down the middle and at the same time gives us an unbalanced midfield

When Pogba gets back i would like to see 343 again. Maybe we can stick Pogba in that #10 role in a 4231, but i sincerely doubt that would be much better

------------------DDG---------------
----Lindelof--Maguire--Tunazebe--
AWB-----Pogba---Scott---Williams
---James----Martial----Rashford---

His comments about Greenwood is just the kind of "empty" praise managers throw around about young kids to boost their confidence. It might even be true, and that Greenwood in fact is the best finisher hes seen, but even he should not really be ahead of either Rashford or Martial in the pecking order for CF. I do hope Williams gets more time though, because despite him being just a kid too, he cant be much worse than Young
 

Forevergiggs1

Full Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2019
Messages
1,139
Location
Barcelona
Supports
United
Again lots of made up stuff based on media rumours and I don't agree with your maths on budgets either

IMO Ole was absolutely right to prioritise defence - it was our weakest point last season. And he said he wanted creativity (which to me means a midfielder) and goals (a forward).

Again Woodward is to blame for delaying the Lukaku deal which meant Ole has to wait until next window to get the replacement, how anyone thinks the timing of all that is Ole's fault is beyond me.
100% agree Ole was right in signing a RB but at CB I don't think we needed to go out and spend 80m on Maquire. In the 2016/17 season we were the second team with less goals conceded, only behind Spurs. In the 2017/18 season we once again were the second team with less goals conceded, only behind City. The reason we conceded so much last season was Mou being a prick and setting us up to fail.

With all that money spent our CB pairing still doesn't look much better. Lindelof was showing signs of improvement playing as LCB before Maquire came in but as soon as Maquire was signed lindelof was moved to RCB and he's looked a bag of nerves ever since.

Getting rid of Smalling was another big mistake from the club/Ole. He was comfortably our best CB ahead of lindelof, Jones, Bailly and Rojo. Even with positions being filled obvious mistakes are still occurring.
 

midnightmare

Full Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
1,042
Location
Midian
Tactical flexibility entirely depends on having players with different skill sets who can come inn and offer something else and then you restructure according to that. Joses go-to move for example was throwing Fellaini up front and then hoofing it up in hopes that someone could snatch the falling fruit that came down. It was something different, but i think its worth noting that everyone hated that shite. Spurs do it at times with Llorente and AFAIK Spurs fans hate that as well.

And we have shown some flexibility. Switching to 343 vs Liverpool worked wonders and stopped a side that has being running riot from barely creating a chance all game. The reason we could do this though, is that we are actually well stocked in defense and both Young and AWB can play wingbacks and do fairly well. Midfield and attack though, we dont have that luxury. Our bench now is basically Lingaard, Mata and a bunch of kids from the academy. Who there is going to come in and make an impact or offer something different?

Playing some players out of position works some times when your team is a well oiled machine and those players have loads of individual quality, and we lack both right now. That being said though, Ole clearly deserves criticism for reverting back to 4231 vs B'mouth since its been shite from day 1 and unless they have seen something completely different in training i cant fathom why we stick with that formation. Scott and Fred are alright at best as a CM pairing, but we dont have a single player in our squad that can play #10 and look decent so it completely ruins all of our chances to play down the middle and at the same time gives us an unbalanced midfield

When Pogba gets back i would like to see 343 again. Maybe we can stick Pogba in that #10 role in a 4231, but i sincerely doubt that would be much better

------------------DDG---------------
----Lindelof--Maguire--Tunazebe--
AWB-----Pogba---Scott---Williams
---James----Martial----Rashford---

His comments about Greenwood is just the kind of "empty" praise managers throw around about young kids to boost their confidence. It might even be true, and that Greenwood in fact is the best finisher hes seen, but even he should not really be ahead of either Rashford or Martial in the pecking order for CF. I do hope Williams gets more time though, because despite him being just a kid too, he cant be much worse than Young
You're missing the point mate. Ole has nailed most of his "big" matches thus far. It's the small ones that we have uniformly fluffed our lines in - and that's the thing. We haven't needed to "adjust" our tactics for the big games. It's been constant. Right from the first game against Spurs that we won with the Rashford goal. Keep it tight and hit them hard on the counter. So, no adjustments needed as the gameplan has largely been successful in all but a handful of games - and those were ones in which the gulf in quality was ridiculous (Barca, City).

But now look at the ones against teams playing a low block. We haven't adjusted. We stick to a 4-2-3-1 with the cack #10s we have. No invention and no creativity. We throw on Mason with 80' gone knowing that he's not the impact sub kind of player. We then wonder why we fail. This is where you have to wonder why nothing changes. No early subs, no formation shifts etc.

On Mason, who said anything about him starting ahead of Rashford or Martial? We have 4 forwards in a 4-2-3-1... We have 3 forwards we can even think of as being good enough - Martial, Rashford and James. Can we really not think of playing Mason at all? Is it better to persist with proven failures like Andreas, Mata and Lingard (varying degrees of cack) than taking a punt on a player who could provide something different? It's not like he's been horrid in EL or Carabao. We just don't give him a start in the PL.
 

Massive Spanner

Thinks Geoff Shreeves has one
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
14,802
Location
Tool shed
it's funny how Mourinho and LvG get absolutely slated for their transfer dealings on here yet those same people completely absolve Ole from blame for weakening the squad and lay it all on Woodward instead.
 

Foxbatt

Full Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2013
Messages
4,768
This is all on hope rather than on facts. Would you also give him that much faith if he was not a playing legend? Up to now he has shown nothing that makes me believe me that he is capable of challenging for any trophies or to get us going.
I do not accept this blame on Woodward on the thinning of the squad. From the time he came he made it perfectly clear that he does not want Fellaini or Lukaku. That is fair enough but to get rid of them and not to get any replacement is criminal. This is not on Woodward. If you sell your players who have been in the starting eleven then you better line up replacements for them before the transfer closes. Ole has repeatedly said that he only wants certain players and not anyone. Sure he is right in that too but by not getting players who are better than what he had he is entirely responsible for this fiasco.

As other OPs have said, this is not the Manchester United of SAF. This is a mid table club being managed by an incompetent manager who has not done anything of significance as a football manager. He is like Moyes going after Bale, Ronaldo and Fabregas. They never were going to come to be coached by Moyes. Even though at that time that team was the Champions of England. What hope does Ole really have to get those kind of world class players, to be coached by him and United out of the CL and more close to the relegation zone? Face up to the facts my fellow Manchester United fans.
 

midnightmare

Full Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
1,042
Location
Midian
100% agree Ole was right in signing a RB but at CB I don't think we needed to go out and spend 80m on Maquire. In the 2016/17 season we were the second team with less goals conceded, only behind Spurs. In the 2017/18 season we once again were the second team with less goals conceded, only behind City. The reason we conceded so much last season was Mou being a prick and setting us up to fail.

With all that money spent our CB pairing still doesn't look much better. Lindelof was showing signs of improvement playing as LCB before Maquire came in but as soon as Maquire was signed lindelof was moved to RCB and he's looked a bag of nerves ever since.


Getting rid of Smalling was another big mistake from the club/Ole. He was comfortably our best CB ahead of lindelof, Jones, Bailly and Rojo. Even with positions being filled obvious mistakes are still occurring.
Lindelof looked good by comparison to his partners. He's been weak in the air for ages and always makes that one massive error per game. We desperately needed a CB and did well to buy (debatable if Maguire is the best, but he was the best option available).

On Smalling, the issue was clear; he wasn't going to be first or second choice. Axel was ahead in the pecking order. Now, we needed (desperately) to offload in order to manage the squad. Who else was there that we could ostensibly have offloaded? Who'd go for Rojo, Jones or Bailly?
 

Untd55

Full Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2018
Messages
601
It is completely pointless to continue with Solskjaer; there are absolutely no positives to his tenure as a permanent manager. I would prefer we lost to Partizan and Brighton if it meant the end of Solskjaer as manager.

People will say I am not a fan, but grinding out results from terrible performances is only delaying the inevitable. It is just dragging out this awful and pointless period, which could potentially be made to be, at least, more exciting by a temporary manager.

A new temporary manager will bring some hope of a manager bounce and, in all likelihood, he will be superior to Solskjaer on top of that. Let's face it, we were really scraping the bottom of the barrel when choosing Solskjaer; he is as bad as you can get.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In his last 28 competitive games, he has managed to win less than a quarter. The performances are dire with zero entertainment value and, on top of that, the results are also diabolical. What is there to be excited about when these two things are absent?

On average, in those 28 games, we have scored less than 1 goal per match. We have also conceded around 1.4 goals per match. How can people see promise in a manager who has the team conceding more than they score? We are fatally flawed in the area that is most important to the game: scoring goals.

The supposed positive of his transfer window was riddled with stupid decisions, also. Why would you prioritise a defender who can pass when you only have one midfielder who can pass? Maguire being able to pass has had zero effect on the team because we have players like McTominay in midfield who have zero ability in terms of passing. On top of that, we failed to sign any replacements for outgoing players, which is a diabolical decision. Solskjaer must have known he wouldn't be getting any replacement after selling Lukaku, which was done right at the end of the window.

The signings are still questionable as to whether they are good. It is far too early to judge whether these players will be a success:
- I think Bissaka will be a good signing, but he has massive issues with his attacking play that could be troublesome in the future if he doesn't improve. Aside from that, I feel that he has had by far the most impact on the team in terms of defence.

- Maguire is no better than Smalling defensively. I actually think he has had very little impact on the squad so far. For a player who cost £80m (the most expensive defender ever), he really hasn't lived up to that price tag as of yet. I think he has been an average signing so far.

- Daniel James looks a decent player, but there are still massive question marks about him. Is he really good enough for the first team? Will he be able to improve or is this his level? It is too early to say he has been a good signing. He might or he might not be, but he was just a cheap punt.
 

midnightmare

Full Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
1,042
Location
Midian
- Maguire is no better than Smalling defensively. I actually think he has had very little impact on the squad so far. For a player who cost £80m (the most expensive defender ever), he really hasn't lived up to that price tag as of yet. I think he has been an average signing so far.
Sorry, what? Maguire is brilliant on the ball. There have been multiple games where Maguire has literally done the midfield's job because of how cack Fred was ahead of him. The number of times we've had to rely on him making the forward pass is shocking (and an indictment of our midfielders barring Pogba). As for defending, he's made a few errors, but he's been by far our best defender this season. Smalling made errors too - and contributed nothing barring last-ditch defending. His defensive prowess is unquestioned and not the reason for his falling down the pecking order. You need to look at all that is expected of a defender in the modern game though. Smalling ticks only a few of those boxes (similar way to how DdG's stock has been falling as the expectations from keepers are increasing).
 

Forevergiggs1

Full Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2019
Messages
1,139
Location
Barcelona
Supports
United
Lindelof looked good by comparison to his partners. He's been weak in the air for ages and always makes that one massive error per game. We desperately needed a CB and did well to buy (debatable if Maguire is the best, but he was the best option available).

On Smalling, the issue was clear; he wasn't going to be first or second choice. Axel was ahead in the pecking order. Now, we needed (desperately) to offload in order to manage the squad. Who else was there that we could ostensibly have offloaded? Who'd go for Rojo, Jones or Bailly?
Just because it's harder to offload Rojo, Jones and Bailly doesn't mean we offload our best CB at the time. Axel breaking through is an obvious plus for the club (even if he does seem a little injury prone) so who's to say a pairing of Axel and Smalling wouldn't be as good as what we have now? Axel is an obvious talent so maybe it would of been better to wait to see how a partnership was formed before blowing all our transfer money on Maquire.

Like I said before, our defence had some of the best numbers in the league until the implosion last season which was mainly due to Mou setting us up to fail and Ole not having the tactical awareness in organising the defence so it shouldn't have been our main priority. If we had of signed Maquire and /or a midfielder/forward then we wouldn't be having this conversation but as we didn't here we are.

It's true we're in the middle of a rebuild but the squad never should of been left so unbalanced. It's like putting 10 people in a dingy and telling them all to go over to one side and hoping the boat doesn't capsize but the way it's looking now is everyone of them are going to get wet.

Let's say instead of signing Maquire we signed someone like Ndombele. He's very good defensively and can actually run with the ball, great passer and can link with our forwards, something we don't have at the minute so then we'd have a player who could play in a multitude of positions instead of Maquire who only plays one and would automatically make us a more balanced team.
 

Untd55

Full Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2018
Messages
601
Sorry, what? Maguire is brilliant on the ball. There have been multiple games where Maguire has literally done the midfield's job because of how cack Fred was ahead of him. The number of times we've had to rely on him making the forward pass is shocking (and an indictment of our midfielders barring Pogba). As for defending, he's made a few errors, but he's been by far our best defender this season. Smalling made errors too - and contributed nothing barring last-ditch defending. His defensive prowess is unquestioned and not the reason for his falling down the pecking order. You need to look at all that is expected of a defender in the modern game though. Smalling ticks only a few of those boxes (similar way to how DdG's stock has been falling as the expectations from keepers are increasing).
What impact has that passing had on the team, though? I said earlier in my post that signing a defender who can pass is pointless when you have only one midfielder who can pass. In regards to what you expect from an £80m defender, he has been average for me.

He very rarely runs forward with the ball, which is supposed to be a major asset of his. Passing for a defender is massively overrated; it only has worth when you have a set of midfielders that can pass, which we do not have. In the absence of such a midfield, it is his defensive contributions that need to be assessed the most. This side of his game is not really an improvement on Smalling, which makes him an average signing.

The improvement from Maguire is minimal and, at the moment, has not been worth anywhere near the investment. I feel Bissaka has more to do with our defensive improvement than Maguire does.

The Bissaka improvement is massive in defence. Bissaka has made more tackles this season than Young made in the whole of last season.
 
Last edited:

midnightmare

Full Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
1,042
Location
Midian
Just because it's harder to offload Rojo, Jones and Bailly doesn't mean we offload our best CB at the time. Axel breaking through is an obvious plus for the club (even if he does seem a little injury prone) so who's to say a pairing of Axel and Smalling wouldn't be as good as what we have now? Axel is an obvious talent so maybe it would of been better to wait to see how a partnership was formed before blowing all our transfer money on Maquire.

Like I said before, our defence had some of the best numbers in the league until the implosion last season which was mainly due to Mou setting us up to fail and Ole not having the tactical awareness in organising the defence so it shouldn't have been our main priority. If we had of signed Maquire and /or a midfielder/forward then we wouldn't be having this conversation but as we didn't here we are.

It's true we're in the middle of a rebuild but the squad never should of been left so unbalanced. It's like putting 10 people in a dingy and telling them all to go over to one side and hoping the boat doesn't capsize but the way it's looking now is everyone of them are going to get wet.

Let's say instead of signing Maquire we signed someone like Ndombele. He's very good defensively and can actually run with the ball, great passer and can link with our forwards, something we don't have at the minute so then we'd have a player who could play in a multitude of positions instead of Maquire who only plays one and would automatically make us a more balanced team.
Ummm... Most fans saw the issues at CB the summer before (2018) and the only question asked was about the quality of target. Sorry, but Smalling was good only for playing a low-block style and even there, having him at CB ensured we'd not be able to play out of defence. If you differ, that's your opinion - but I think the vast majority of people will tell you the same - that United desperately needed to upgrade CB and that Smalling's shortcomings on all but "aerial duels" and "last ditch tackles" meant that he should just not have been a first 11 player heading into the season.

On the midfielder - why is this is a trade-off? We aren't Arsenal. Also, we clearly just botched that in the market. Ole spent all summer telling the Press that we'd replace all outgoing players. Said it right until it started becoming apparent that we were struggling to even close the most obvious deals (Maguire for example) which is when he said we may not sign a midfielder, but would replace outgoing attackers...and we all know how that ended too.

Bottom line - we absolutely did need a new CB. We needed to upgrade on Smalling for sure. Our not signing a midfielder has nothing to do with Smalling leaving. Or should not have had anyway (a policy of "one signing will be worked on at a time" is bizarre and not something any professional organization should be planning for).
 

midnightmare

Full Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
1,042
Location
Midian
What impact has that passing had on the team, though? I said earlier in my post that signing a defender who can pass is pointless when you have only one midfielder who can pass. In regards to what you expect from an £80m defender, he has been average for me.

He very rarely runs forward with the ball, which is supposed to be a major asset of his. Passing for a defender is massively overrated; it only has worth when you have a set of midfielders that can pass, which we do not have. In the absence of such a midfield, it is his defensive contributions that need to be assessed the most. This side of his game is not really an improvement on Smalling, which makes him an average signing.

The improvement from Maguire is minimal and, at the moment, has not been worth anywhere near the investment. I feel Bissaka has more to do with our defensive improvement than Maguire does.
Different point, surely? If Maguire has not had an impact (debatable), that's probably down to one or both of:
1. Coaching / tactics
2. His own confidence in his partners

His success or failure / impact are not connected with the point of "did we need a new CB?"
We needed a new CB. Whether the one we signed is the right one - or whether he is succeeding is a different point altogether.

PS: Interestingly, some fans have slated him for missing some of our highest-xG chances to score. He's also come up with some field-splitting passes forward. For our CB to be expected to do it at both ends says a lot about the expectations he's carrying and how cack we are in midfield.
 

Lynty

Full Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2014
Messages
1,598
What impact has that passing had on the team, though? I said earlier in my post that signing a defender who can pass is pointless when you have only one midfielder who can pass. In regards to what you expect from an £80m defender, he has been average for me.

He very rarely runs forward with the ball, which is supposed to be a major asset of his. Passing for a defender is massively overrated; it only has worth when you have a set of midfielders that can pass, which we do not have. In the absence of such a midfield, it is his defensive contributions that need to be assessed the most. This side of his game is not really an improvement on Smalling, which makes him an average signing.

The improvement from Maguire is minimal and, at the moment, has not been worth anywhere near the investment. I feel Bissaka has more to do with our defensive improvement than Maguire does.
It's like people have forgotten how bad our defence has been the last few years - especially considering not even Jose himself could sort it out. Maguire's leadership at the back was worth the money - and will definitely be worth the money over the course of his contract. The alternative was what? Lets say £40m on Ake and £40m on Longstaff? Would we really be any better? We certainly wouldn't have leadership.
 

passing-wind

Full Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2013
Messages
1,593
Ralf Rangnick as a caretaker until the end of the season. Then appointed Director of Football. Hire Paul Mitchell as Head of Recruitment.

In the summer, Pochettino, Rose or Nagelsmann appointed as manager. The latter two are quite risky as they're both inexperienced. Who knows if they can handle the pressure of the United job? But it's only a matter of time until a big club takes a punt on them. I hope it's us.

Bayern are looking for a manager. Arsenal will be soon. And I can't see Valverde lasting that much longer at Barca. We need to have a plan in place otherwise will miss out again on potentially great managers.
This is very important, it will be an utter disaster if we lose the potential to get a viable manager in the hope that Solskjaer can miraculously transition from a poor coach into a good one. I think Ole being sacked is the most realistic outcome it's more a question of when not if.
 

Bobcat

Full Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
3,979
Location
Behind the curtains, leering at the neighbors
You're missing the point mate. Ole has nailed most of his "big" matches thus far. It's the small ones that we have uniformly fluffed our lines in - and that's the thing. We haven't needed to "adjust" our tactics for the big games. It's been constant. Right from the first game against Spurs that we won with the Rashford goal. Keep it tight and hit them hard on the counter. So, no adjustments needed as the gameplan has largely been successful in all but a handful of games - and those were ones in which the gulf in quality was ridiculous (Barca, City).

But now look at the ones against teams playing a low block. We haven't adjusted. We stick to a 4-2-3-1 with the cack #10s we have. No invention and no creativity. We throw on Mason with 80' gone knowing that he's not the impact sub kind of player. We then wonder why we fail. This is where you have to wonder why nothing changes. No early subs, no formation shifts etc.

On Mason, who said anything about him starting ahead of Rashford or Martial? We have 4 forwards in a 4-2-3-1... We have 3 forwards we can even think of as being good enough - Martial, Rashford and James. Can we really not think of playing Mason at all? Is it better to persist with proven failures like Andreas, Mata and Lingard (varying degrees of cack) than taking a punt on a player who could provide something different? It's not like he's been horrid in EL or Carabao. We just don't give him a start in the PL.
I posted another post about our midfield problems, and i am not going to bother quoting it, but basically smaller teams dont afford us any space whatsoever and for various reasons that makes our midfield utterly toothless. Mostly because without Pogba we cant transition fast enough from defense to attack and we lack someone who can unlock defenses. Against better teams we can pretty much bypass our midfield woes since James/Rashford is afforded plenty of space to operate in

I agree that we need to try something new though, but i dont think Greenwood is the answer, regardless of where we place him
 

Abhinav

Full Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2017
Messages
299
Its funny that people are now claiming that our defence didn’t need improving that much as it had the best numbers in the league in 2017/18. I remember most of the posters at that time not crediting the improvement in defensive stats to Jose and claiming it was all due to David’s heroics. So which one is it? Or is it ok to change your tune just to vent against the manager ? Because from what I can see our keeper is worked much less than he used to be under LVG and Jose.
 

midnightmare

Full Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
1,042
Location
Midian
I posted another post about our midfield problems, and i am not going to bother quoting it, but basically smaller teams dont afford us any space whatsoever and for various reasons that makes our midfield utterly toothless. Mostly because without Pogba we cant transition fast enough from defense to attack and we lack someone who can unlock defenses. Against better teams we can pretty much bypass our midfield woes since James/Rashford is afforded plenty of space to operate in

I agree that we need to try something new though, but i dont think Greenwood is the answer, regardless of where we place him
Oh, I've read that post and like I said before, there is no doubt in my mind that we have issues of quality. But that bolded part is the disappointing thing for me. Ole has known since last season about this issue. He had the whole of pre-season to see that too. And yet, even with a third of this season gone, we're not changing anything. We have no clear pattern of play in the attacking third, our passing makes even teams below us look better than us and our formation and tactics remain the same game after game after ruddy game. Nothing new at all is tried. Even more damning is how we fail to react even when opponents change formation / players. We stay stagnant and stubborn - which is why we suddenly stumble in the second halves of games even if we've dominated the opening 45. It points towards poor tactical / strategic thinking.

As for Mason not being the answer, that's still speculation, isn't it? He's not been tried at all - so who's to say? Don't think too many were clamouring for Brandon Williams to be pushed up either, but he's proving his worth (and still not making the PL first 11). For all you can say about Mason's youth / inexperience, how good has Pereira, Mata or Lingard been to deserve to continue being picked ahead of him?
 

Forevergiggs1

Full Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2019
Messages
1,139
Location
Barcelona
Supports
United
Ummm... Most fans saw the issues at CB the summer before (2018) and the only question asked was about the quality of target. Sorry, but Smalling was good only for playing a low-block style and even there, having him at CB ensured we'd not be able to play out of defence. If you differ, that's your opinion - but I think the vast majority of people will tell you the same - that United desperately needed to upgrade CB and that Smalling's shortcomings on all but "aerial duels" and "last ditch tackles" meant that he should just not have been a first 11 player heading into the season.

On the midfielder - why is this is a trade-off? We aren't Arsenal. Also, we clearly just botched that in the market. Ole spent all summer telling the Press that we'd replace all outgoing players. Said it right until it started becoming apparent that we were struggling to even close the most obvious deals (Maguire for example) which is when he said we may not sign a midfielder, but would replace outgoing attackers...and we all know how that ended too.

Bottom line - we absolutely did need a new CB. We needed to upgrade on Smalling for sure. Our not signing a midfielder has nothing to do with Smalling leaving. Or should not have had anyway (a policy of "one signing will be worked on at a time" is bizarre and not something any professional organization should be planning for).
I do agree that Smalling had very little composure on the ball but as a defender he was always pretty solid. I'm not denying we needed to sign a CB. What I'm saying is it shouldn't of been our main priority, especially the state our midfield was in, not having a productive RW and not having a proper number 9.

The club obviously knew in the summer exactly how much money they had to spend on transfers and at the time CB wasn't an obvious priority with us signing AWB to help shore up the defence and Axel coming through. All summer we were hearing of AWB and Maquire but not once was a midfield player mentioned and the only forward mentioned was Dybala. So it looked like the club had no intention of signing in these areas after spending that much on Maquire. It's not even a question in hindsight but if we went back to the summer who would you have preferred to have signed? AWB, James and Maquire or AWB, James and Ndombele? Knowing we had Axel coming through.

I'm not a great fan of Pogba but I can just imagine how he felt knowing that we didn't make any signings to help take the pressure off of him which signing a player like Ndombele would of done. It would of showed a sign of intent but ended up leaving us in the position we're in which is deep shit.
 

Forevergiggs1

Full Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2019
Messages
1,139
Location
Barcelona
Supports
United
Its funny that people are now claiming that our defence didn’t need improving that much as it had the best numbers in the league in 2017/18. I remember most of the posters at that time not crediting the improvement in defensive stats to Jose and claiming it was all due to David’s heroics. So which one is it? Or is it ok to change your tune just to vent against the manager ? Because from what I can see our keeper is worked much less than he used to be under LVG and Jose.
I suppose that's for me? And no I'm not venting against the manager. I'm just giving my opinion on why I think CB shouldn't of been the priority when we were weaker in other areas of the park.

You may be right about DeGeas heroics but what didn't help was having Darmian or Dalot or Young or valencia playing at RB the last few seasons and having Matic sitting in front of the back 4. It's not always because our CBs are shite.

We strengthened well in signing AWB so that obviously helps our defence and imo if we had of signed a player similar to Ndombele we would of been far better off in keeping with Smalling/Axel and Lindelof if the choice was between Ndombele and Maquire.

Signing both would of been perfect but as always with this club we do things in half measures.
 

SteveTheRed

Full Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2009
Messages
2,470
It's a funny old game isn't it.

Looking at the season in 6 game intervals.
W-D-L
3-2-1 - pretty average start, not the worst
0-4-2 - terrible 6 games.
3-0-1 - things possibly changing?

We are very fickle fans sometimes. I think Ole needs to stay to keep going - we can't just keep changing managers.