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17 Feb 2019 03:28:59
As our thoughts turn to Chelsea it will be interesting to see how Ole adapts without Martial and Lingard.

In my opinion Lingard is the bigger loss. His work rate, pressing ability and movement off the ball is vital especially in the bigger games. Without his energy we become more pedestrian. It's harder for us to press and win the ball back higher up the pitch and we don't transition as quickly.

As we've seen at certain times under Ole and certainly under Jose without energy, pace and movement we become pedestrian and easy to play against.

In my opinion Ole's biggest challenge will be to pick a team without losing those key ingredients. Sanchez and Mata both want the ball to feet. They both want to be the conductors and prefer to play laterally rather than vertically. Both are happy to make runs across the pitch and exchange short passes but neither make penetrating runs. When Lukaku plays upfront he rarely threatens in behind or runs the channels. When all three play together we seriously lack penetration and the ability to press from the front.

Conversely this lack of penetration and movement hinders one of our most potent attacking threats in Pogba. He has become a master under Solskjear at playing balls over the top for willing runners then making late runs into the box where he is hard to pick up. This penetrating movement also stretches defences meaning Pogba can pick the ball up and drive us forward from midfield.

I think Solskjear can address these problems in a couple of ways. Firstly he could use Sanchez as a false 9 and play with split strikers; Rashford to the left and Lukaku on the right. Sanchez despite his diminutive frame is decent at holding the ball up and very adapt at wriggling out of tight situations. With Rashford and Lukaku he would have willing runners ahead of him giving him options on the ball. Pogba will still have forward options in midfield and if he could also make runs ahead of Sanchez as he inevitably drops deep into midfield to get on the ball like he did against City last season he'd be an extra threat. It's obvious from recent games that if you can stop Jorginho dictating play and shackle Hazard Chelsea become a relatively predictable outfit. Sanchez has the ability to press from the front and playing centrally he could drop onto Jorginho preventing him dictating play. My concern with this formation is it leaves our full backs isolated where Hazard could become a real threat.

Alternatively Ole could play 3-5-2. By retaining two strikers it means Pogba has forward options and we are still able to stretch the game. The wing backs are able to provide the width and the extra defender provides better solutions to deal with Hazard.

I think we might have to be flexible and maybe switch between the two depending on how the game progresses.

I don't think we can afford a repeat of what happened against PSG where we seriously lacked pace and penetration in the second half. If we line up in a 4-3-3 formation I think we'll struggle with the players we have available.

DLIB

1.) 17 Feb 2019 07:10:53
I’ve said it several times but Sanchez shouldn’t be in the team, he has been completely dire. Rashford has been on fore as CF so we shouldn’t move him. Lukaku can play on the right, I think he has also been dire but he did ok there. That leaves a replacement for Martial and right now I’d go with anyone other than Sanchez. Gomes, Young, Dalot, ABS (anyone but Sanchez! ) .

Your alternative of playing 3 at the back and pushing the full backs right up is a better idea, it which us to keep the midfield and play 2 up front, or 4 in midfield with Pogba pushing right up. Rashford has been the difference laltely, let’s not move him to accommodate someone else.


2.) 17 Feb 2019 09:32:28
i had a dream last night we played fosu mensah on the right wing. it was only a team sheet so i didn’t dream about the game. But it got me thinking, wouldn’t this be the right time to play some of the academy lads, chong and greenwood could fight right in.


3.) 17 Feb 2019 10:49:28
Hmm, a disagree, does someone think Sanchez hasn’t been dire? Anyone?


4.) 17 Feb 2019 12:07:46
AJH - it wasn't me pal! I never hit that button if I don't agree with something I comment and give my reasons why. There is no right or wrong only opinions.

I can't argue about Sanchez he's been poor but I'm convinced if he's played through the middle we'll see a different player. Maybe I'm wrong and he's certainly approaching the last chance saloon.

I'm not convinced Ole will throw in Chong or Gomes especially after the PSG defeat one or both might make the bench though.


5.) 17 Feb 2019 12:30:27
AJH don’t be sensitive.
Maybe a scousers troll hit it? 🤣.


6.) 17 Feb 2019 13:26:59
I'd just like to welcome to the site Alexis Sanchez.


7.) 17 Feb 2019 21:17:23
Sure he has been poor. But when martial was poor it was because he wasnt getting a run of games
When rash was poor it was because he didn't get a run of games
If sanchez playes 5 or 6 games in a row in this Attacking team then he might just show a lot of improvement too.
Id like to see him given a run while the others are out injured. If he doesn't cut it still then he has no excuse. He is a better player than he has shown and he is a better player than chong or greenwood.
Id love him to do well between now and the end of the season.
Its not looking that likely i'd have to admit😂😂 but if he does hit a bit of form it would be great.


 

 

13 Feb 2019 10:51:33
Morning guys, I've enjoyed reading the dissection of last night performance. I think many of us are agreed on where it went wrong and for what it's worth here's my interpretation.

Firstly we shouldn't be too disappointed. Around 6 weeks ago we sat 11 points behind Chelsea languishing 6th in the league having endured some of the most insipid football we've seen in years. Last season we were eliminated by a very average Seville side in one of the most ponderous and uninspiring European nights I have ever witnessed at Old Trafford. We were then told by our own manager that we lacked European pedigree and it wasn't unusual for us to be dumped out at this stage. Despite last nights result we haven't sunk to such depths just yet. Last night was a good learning opportunity for both the manager and many of our players. Moving forward I think it's important that we finish in the top 4 so we can continue to experience football at the highest level in order to help this team grow and improve.

It was disappointing last night but at least under Solskjear we have an identity. We'll never know but I firmly believe that if Lingard and Martial don't go off injured we'd still be very much in this tie. Both players are fundamental to how we want to play and the enforced changes took the belief out of the team. The first half was a proper European tie where both teams had to work hard for chances. We actually looked relatively composed and had some decent opportunities on the counter. With a touch more care we could have got in a few times. We shouldn't forget that the likes of Rashford and Martial are still very young and leaning their trade. Even Lingard is a late developer and has limited European experience. The same can be said of Lindelof, Bailly and Shaw at the back.

Last night just emphasised what I already knew about this Utd team. If you take away the pace, energy, intensity and fluidity it's bang average. The injuries to Martial and Lingard were critical. Under Ole we have essentially become a counter attacking team. We have been killing teams in the transitions. We've been successful in winning the ball higher up the pitch and breaking at pace. PSG are a savy and experienced team. They knew our strengths and limited our opportunities to counter. They even put Marquinhos on Pogba to track his runs from deep and to deny him time and space on the ball. Maybe the absence of key players and our resurgence in form sharpened their minds and they were well prepared.

The introduction of Mata and Sanchez robbed us of the ability to counter or transition at pace.

Solskjear has encouraged our attacking players to play further up the field but this leaves our full backs isolated. PSG were able to exploit the spaces out wide in the second half when Sanchez and Mata didn't have the ability to get back and defend or break forward with power and pace. They were essentially both caught in no mans land and we lost the game in the second half.

I was hoping Solskjear may have learned from his mistakes against Burnley and realised that we must keep the energy and intensity in the team for it to be successful. I posted last week that Sanchez must now play centrally in areas where he can effect the game but Solskjear appears reluctant to do this. I think tactically he got his substitutions wrong. I believe with the enforced changes he should have thought outside the box and come up with a solution to keep the energy, intensity and width in the team. Maybe reverting to a 3-5-2 formation may have helped?!

Moving forward if Lingard and Martial are injured then Solskjear will have to change the shape of the team. We can't afford to start Sanchez and Mata in wide areas again. Let's not forget this is still a relatively young and inexperienced Utd team with a new manager. Tonight was a good barometer to measure ourselves and we've learnt that without the pace, energy and fluidity upfront Pogba doesn't have the space in midfield and we are unable to transition quickly and break with pace. If Solskjear is the man to take us forward then this will need to be addressed in the summer.

Chelsea away and Liverpool at home now look daunting propositions all of a sudden and if the injuries to Lingard and Martial are serious Ole must come up with a solution and new style to suit the players he has available. Now is not the time to panic or to lose faith. European football is unforgiving and it took Fergi years to transform us into a consistent European force.

Hopefully we can bounce back quickly and last night has only reinforced what we already know.

DLIB

 

 

08 Feb 2019 09:45:14
Morning guys, I've read a lot about rotation recently and with the PSG game on the horizon many have speculated about what team Ole should play against Fulham.

I firmly believe that confidence and momentum are huge factors in football that shouldn't be underestimated.

When Ole took over finishing in the top 4 was a pipe dream and even the biggest optimists amongst us gave us little chance against PSG. Oh how times have changed.

I think it's important however that we keep our feet on the ground and however cliched this may sound take one game at a time.

Ole has introduced a bold new style. We play higher and press quicker. We are lethal on the counter and now kill teams in the transitions. The problem is we lack balance in the squad to play this type of football. Rest too many, tip the balance and we return to the slow, ponderous team we saw under Mourinho.

This could be a pivotal weekend. Chelsea have a tough away fixture at City and if we beat Fulham chances are we will be back in the top 4 come Sunday evening. I think we should play our strongest team tomorrow. Yes the PSG game is important, it's a glamour tie and we all crave to see Utd take on the best but we must return some stability to the Club. We must build on the good work Ole has undertaken. If we want to see this side progress and mature we must finish in the top 4. I really like the look of our front four. I believe the likes of Pogba, Martial, Rashford and Lingard can deliver great things in the years ahead and with some intelligent recruitment in the summer I think we have a lot to look forward to.

We have a relatively young team and a good victory tomorrow would have us full of confidence going into Tuesday. Playing at home makes things a little easier then we don't play again until the following Monday in the FA Cup. I think we should be able to handle that without making too many changes and risking a loss of momentum.

It's never seemed palatable to me that finishing in the top 4 is something to celebrate but I believe it's important for the development of this team. It needs to grow and be tested against the best and a year in the wilderness may result in stagnation. Play our best team they can handle it and whilst the FA Cup is important maybe that's the right time for rotation.

DLIB

{Ed025's Note - good post that DLIB, and dont forget the new contract for phil jones will give the team a massive boost mate.. :)


1.) 08 Feb 2019 10:11:23
Thanks Ed025 and of course it will give the team a massive boost that's the next Duncan Edwards your referring to 👀!

Have a great weekend pal!

{Ed025's Note - you too mate..


2.) 08 Feb 2019 10:25:49
Great post. Totally agree with all of that. Top 4 has always been the priority and I feel we should keep it that way. A year in the Europa League next year would be a big blow to the club and would be more of an obstacle than anything to the manager that comes in. Winning the CL is unrealistic and so for me anyway top 4 is the priority.


3.) 08 Feb 2019 11:34:50
No nuts to that, let's qualify for the UCL next season by winning it this season.


4.) 08 Feb 2019 12:01:00
Shappy I'm not saying we shouldn't try and win the Champions League of course we should I just think we should play our strongest team in the league as well. I think the players can handle it and the way the next few fixtures have fallen it shouldn't be a too punishing. Let's Maintain and keep building the momentum. Let's finish the season strongly and see what these players are capable of!


5.) 08 Feb 2019 12:20:34
It was supposed to be a little tongue in cheek.

I feel we will have to rotate, not to get results in the next couple of games but in order to get results over the next 20 or so. Matic and Herrera have tired around the 60 minute mark, while the team as a whole has looked pretty tired around 70 minutes.

A lot of that is to do with the new style of play and the need to improve overall fitness. While part of it will probably be due to longer being spent on the training ground to implement the new style of play.

Either way fitness is rarely a problem when your winning. Yet if we lose a game or two and the confidence drops the tiredness will really start to bite and that could lead to a downward trajectory in performances and results.

We need to protect our players for the game yet to come. Fulham might be on paper at least a good team to rest a couple of players. I think the trick to it is to follow what Sir Alex used to do. Rotate 1 or 2 players every game and only play your strongest possible 11 in the vital games.

However, that's easier said than done. For a man who was never going to be sacked he could afford to not play his strongest possible 11 90% of the time. He also managed to get the absolute maximum out of mediocre players so the team didn't suffer from not being the strongest possible 11.

That's harder to do when your long term job prospects are relient on results in every game.


6.) 08 Feb 2019 12:48:21
It comes back to that weak midfield and not having enough options to step in. Rotate too much and we risk dropping points. Don't rotate enough and we burn key players out and risk dropping points later.


7.) 08 Feb 2019 12:52:54
Yeah I assumed that pal I'm not sure why I felt the need to clarify my point to be honest. I agree 1-2 changes is fine it's when it's becomes 4 or 5 it may become a problem. Anyway an exciting few months ahead.


8.) 08 Feb 2019 13:44:00
I think some rotation is possible as long as it's the right combination of players. In Ole's reign the times we've not looked as good is where 2 or 3 players with lesser movement have been put in the team.

I feel Mata and or Lukaku can start but both of them slows down the play too much. Sanchez can adequately replace lingard without too big a loss of energy/ pressing. So for me I'd be happy for Mata to start ahead of Pogba or Lukaku ahead of Rashford but not both.


 

 

06 Feb 2019 11:11:16
What do we do with an enigma like Alexis Sanchez? Our most handsomely paid player is perhaps the biggest quandary of the post Mourinho era.

I can't confess to watching him that closely at Arsenal or even Barcelona but my perception of the player was that of flying winger/ inside forward capable of dribbling with the ball at pace, beating men and posing a significant goal threat. If I hadn't watched him more closely I'd have said he would have been perfect for Solskjear's new quick, powerful and fluid counter attacking revolution however my perception of the player doesn't match the reality. Maybe I miscalculated him or perhaps he has lost a yard of pace meaning he is unable to carry the ball over longer distances or capable of making penetrating runs in behind but whichever is the truth he's endured an alarmingly ineffectual and frustrating 12 months at Utd.

In our fresh, youthful, vibrant and exciting front four Rashford provides the pace and penetration, Martial the width and dancing feet, Lingard the perpetual motion and intelligent movement; Pogba is the maverick conductor and powerful runner. Within that quartet we possess every ingredient required to forge a dangerous and potent attacking threat.

Sanchez's most prolific season came playing as a CF and having watched him over the past 12 months I can see why. I now see Sanchez as more of a box player. He has good mobility and movement. His low centre of gravity means he can turn quickly and manipulate the ball in tight areas. Despite his diminutive stature he first touch and hold up play is often consistent and assured. He possess a great leap and is deceptively good in the air. Whilst he may have lost a touch of pace, he's still sharpe and his acceleration over short distances hasn't degraded. I no longer think that he's suited to his wide left position. Nor do I think he'd perform any better than Lingard if he was moved to right like some have suggested. Moving forward I think Sanchez is now best suited (certainly under Solskjear) to playing more centrally either on his own or slightly deeper at 10. I think he could provide the creativity if Pogba was unavailable and his greater mobility and movement might be more suited to Solskjear's style than Lukaku should Rashford be unavailable. Whatever the truth maybe I think Sanchez will now have to settle for a supporting role than than a staring one. Unfortunately we haven't acquired the world class talent we all envisaged and his astronomical wages perhaps pose the biggest challenge when it comes to renegotiating the contracts of our established world class talent in De Gea and Pogba! Maybe China can come to our rescue once again! I think we've seen the best of Alexis Sanchez unfortunately it wasn't in a Utd shirt.

DLIB

{Ed001's Note - he has never been a fast paced dribbler mate. He was more of a pinpoint delivery creative player when out wide. Rather than banging a cross in hoping someone gets to it, he would pass it into the box to a forward, or slip inside and hit a shot. Very much tight areas dribbler rather than a flying winger.}


1.) 06 Feb 2019 11:36:17
Yeah I misjudged him Ed001. I think he plays too deep out wide and occupies the same space as Pogba. As we don't have a dribbler wide right it all becomes too narrow and we lack penetration especially when Lukaku plays as well. Maybe if we had that balance on the right he might be more effective. He reminds me a bit of Mata when he plays on the right. On the periphery of the game without the necessary pace or drive to really effect the game and the balance of the team just isn't there. I still think he's a very good player but needs to play more centrally at Utd in my opinion.


2.) 06 Feb 2019 12:32:16
His physiology best explains the type of player he is.

Short and stocky, strong with a low centre of gravity, quick over short distances but his stride length isn't big enough to be quick over a longer distance.

He is not a player who can play deep, that is why his best season was when he played as a striker. The closer you get him to the opposition penalty box the more dangerous he is.

He would be a huge hit at City, their style means they are camped outside the opposition penalty box for 60% of the game. Sanchez would be in his element. Yet in our system starting 20 yards deeper and wide of the goal means there is too much ground between him and the goal for him to be at his most effective.

I think like you he would be a good rotation option with Rashford in the central striker role. Probably more suited to that role under Solskjaer than Lukaku is to be honest.

Which brings me to the real conundrum, what do we do with Lukaku if Ole gets the job full time?


3.) 06 Feb 2019 12:38:09
More of an inside forward than a winger. Lots of energy, excellent close control, and good passing ability. However, he is at his best when given a free role, and unlimited licence to cut inside and shoot. I don’t think he is a good fit for the club with Pogba in the team, and his confidence seems to be absolutely shot.

For me, he’s a player who performs in accordance with his role in the team - if he is central to the attacking strategy he will perform, if he isn’t he’ll just drift by on the periphery. If we can sell him, it will be an achievement.


4.) 06 Feb 2019 13:13:03
Snappy, I’d be interested to know what you would do with Lukaku also?

My decision would be to recoup as much as possible on Lukaku and Sanchez. That would raise in excess of £100m which would cover the Varane/ Koulibaly purchase. They would need replacing of course, but by younger more dynamic players like Pepe and Werner.


5.) 06 Feb 2019 13:22:06
I said it ages ago its either him or Pogba in the team. They both want a free role and play very similar.

Id stikl get rid of Sanchez and keep Lukaku if he accepts to be second choice .


6.) 06 Feb 2019 13:22:30
Back up striker to rashford (which pushes lukaku further out of the door) or back up to pogba in a second striker/ number 10 sort of role.

Sanchez problem is that at arsenal where he played his best everything went through him, he was their talisman. At united that player is pogba, whether people like it or not, our best attacking play goes through him. Plus under solskjaer we prefer to hit teams on the counter and attack at speed which doesn't suit sanchez at aged 30+.

The reality is the club either sold him a pipe dream that we would build the team around him or he made an extraordinarily daft decision to come to us and reject man city.

Like shappy said Imagine him playing up front in guardiolas system with sterling, sane, kdb, b silva, d silva and even ben mendy laying it on a plate for himself. Would be scoring for fun.


7.) 06 Feb 2019 14:48:50
Fresh, Lukaku is a tough one.

On one hand he is a model professional, works hard and is dedicated. While his goalscoring record speaks for itself. One of the youngest players ever to score 100 EPL goals, and most of them coming for West Bromwich or Everton so sides that don't always have the upper hand in games. So he is clearly very talented and actually produces an end product.

While on the other hand his movement and his first touch isn't very good. His movement could be improved with training, yet his first touch is unlikely to at this stage. I think he has made a mistake in putting on too much muscle, power isn't his forte, that extra weight slows him down and will make his first touch worse. He has never relied on power, he has always been strong, but that comes from core strength, the extra muscle doesn't improve that. I don't see how he fits into how Ole wants to play. His movement, hold up play and link play just isn't good enough as a lone striker. Which leaves him as second or even third choice striker for us. Which for a 75m striker in his prime isn't where he will want to be.

I would be tempted to sell him this summer, recoup as much as we can from his sale. I feel if we keep h for another season and he doesn't play much then that will only decrease his value.

However, I wouldn't look to directly replace him. I'd look to keep Sanchez for another season as back up to Rashford along with Martial. Then at the end of next season move Sanchez on with Greenwood stepping up. I would look to sign a dynamic and creative wide player to give us more options. Hirving Lozano, Nicolas Pepe or look closer to home with players like David Brooks or James Maddison.

Lozano would probably be my pick.


8.) 06 Feb 2019 15:21:26
Shappy, I think Lukaku can improve many areas of his game with training focused on it. You’re right about the muscle, and he has admitted as much. Bad advice from coaches trying there. He is very hard working, and is obviously going through a tough time this season. However, I still think he can be a key part of our squad. He has show a willingness to adapt, and do a different job for the team.

You have to remember that for much of his career he has been used as an outball for teams looking to sit deep and break quickly (including here under Jose) . Give him some time to adapt, and see how he performs.


9.) 06 Feb 2019 15:24:41
Sanchez looks to of lost a yard but he needs a run of games. Struggled as did many under jose and had a injury hit stop start season so far.
But i think a run of games will do him the world of good as will a different manager . I would expect him to improve over the coming months.


10.) 06 Feb 2019 16:40:56
I agree with jred.
But a run of games at who's expense?
I think sanchez could play nearly every week. As a rotation player for any of our front 4 as he could play any of the roles well.


11.) 06 Feb 2019 16:50:54
Id look to sell both. It frees up almost 700k in wages. That covers a top class centre back and right back and a young midfielder as well. Bring up greenwood and chong/ gomes and look for another player who could step in.


12.) 06 Feb 2019 17:05:41
Danny, I wouldn't be against keep Lukaku for another year and seeing if he can adapt. My concern is that I don't think he will be able to. There is a difference between learning a new way of playing and learning/ improving skills. At 25 very few players I prove their basic skills, they just learn how to best use the skills they have.

Jred, it's clear he needs a run of games, yet I don't think we will see a huge improvement in Sanchez if played in the wide positions. He needs to be closer/ in the box.

His best form at Arsenal or at any time in his career for that matter was while he played as a No.9.

Which means dropping Rashford and Lukaku to play Sanchez there. I don't see that happening. So I doubt a run of games in a wider position will allow us to see the best of Sanchez.

One of Lukaku or Sanchez needs to move on this summer as neither will hit their peak if Ole gets the job.


13.) 06 Feb 2019 17:50:30
Sanchez will be difficult to shift- age and current wages and Lukaku :unless he improves I cannot see a great return on the price we paid with the kicker being if, IF he improves then why look to shift him? His goal record isn't attrocious after all and he has been asked to change his style of play already.
My biggest concern will be the pogba enigma- when he wasnt performing as well as of late many wouldn't of lost sleep if he was gone and reportedly he was offered/ touted as being available. Another player that if he continues in his current vein of form is invaluable to the team but no doubt may attract the very clubs who have recently resisted bidding, Juve, PSG, Barcelona etc.
Dilemma for all concerned but at least we are watching better play.


14.) 06 Feb 2019 19:40:59
I would sell both, Lukaku because he simply doesn’t fit to what we need, and Sanchez because he has been dire from day 1, I don’t remember one good game. The odd moment perhaps but that’s it. Their salaries will be immense and I think we will still get decent money for them, invest it and but the necessary reinforcements, a top class CB and CM, a Matic replacement or back up, and possibly a full back.

That would send out a clear message that reputations count for nothing, do it on the pitch or move on.


15.) 07 Feb 2019 09:51:17
I'm still adament that there's a superb player hiding somewhere inside sanchez. If we agree that his best positions would be central striker or creator, then he's perfect backup to Rashford and Pogba. Having 1 player to cover those two positions is perfect, as he'll get the game time with two spaces to cover and he has the quality to actually do the Job. I'd much rather keep him and sell lukaku, purely in terms of how they could fit into the team.

That said, I could see lukaku going to a other team and banging in 25 goals a season and us regretting letting him go. He's undeniably a good player, I just don't feel he suits our style. But I'm also almost certainly guilty of viewing sanchez through rose tinted glasses, and lukaku through sh*t smeared ones.


 

 

26 Jan 2019 18:46:00
I don't know what's happened at Utd but I like it! In fact I don't just like it I bloody love it.

When I think back to our best teams over the last 30 years vintage 96, 99 and 2008 they could all counter with devastating pace and power.

There is nothing more thrilling than to see a team go from one end of the pitch to the other with lightning speed and accuracy.

For me this a quality that defined our best teams. The ability to transfer defence into attack in the blink of an eye. To travel from one end of the pitch to the other and score a goal with breathtaking speed and simplistic genius is what made us box office. Of course I can appreciate possession based football but nothing gets you up off your chair like a team than can break with pace, power and precision.

The sight of Pogba marauding forward with Rashford, Martial and Lingard darting ahead of him like the red arrows is a sight to behold. When we win the ball and break in those transitions it's a joy to watch. Those 4 playing together, interchanging positions and breaking into space really is something special at the moment.

I thought we had no chance against PSG but if teams commit men forward and leave space in behind we become a very dangerous opponent.

I'm trying not to get carried away, we have obvious deficiencies in defence and we could also do with someone to put their foot on the ball and control the midfield at times but I must confess I'm loving watching our games at the moment long may it continue.

DLIB

1.) 26 Jan 2019 19:36:30
Inviting the other team to attack you is a great tactic just as long as you don't keep conceding goals while you wait for the opportunity to attack with that lightening speed and accuracy.


2.) 26 Jan 2019 20:33:33
If we play like that against PSG we will lose. The amount of chances we gave to Arsenal if we do the same against PSG we will get punished.


3.) 26 Jan 2019 21:10:44
How should we play then Singh? Maybe we should get Mr Mourinho on the phone to tell us! Just relax and enjoy the football it's the best we've seen in ages.


4.) 26 Jan 2019 21:44:52
We will beat psg.


5.) 26 Jan 2019 23:06:24
To be honest I'm not bothered about the psg result. If we lose then we lose. i'd rather lose having a go an getting at them than parking the bus, being scared to play an losing anyway.

If we win then we win. i'd rather win by having a go an getting at them than parking the bus an trying to nick a goal.


6.) 27 Jan 2019 01:04:13
I don't know about Mourinho because i didn't mention him but if we play open football with PSG we will get toasted.


7.) 27 Jan 2019 08:36:58
What have PAG ever done in the CL to deserve such faith? PSG will always struggle because of the lack of quality teams in their league. They have to psychologically raise their game every season in the knockout stages as domestic matches are dead rubbers by this point.

Whilst in some ways a shame for the match they are also minus ( or not match fit ) Verratti and Neymar. I think you overlook the fact that we have an attacking quartet of equal danger to PSG. Match will be won and lost by our willingness to press them in the home match and counter attack in the second

I genuinely see no reason to fear them and believe we can win without it being a miracle. This isn’t Moyes taking United to Bayern Munich. This is a genuine student of Sir Alex with nothing but respect for the club and its culture taking an extremely talented squad of now hungry players to any ground without fear.

Genuine optimism, and a wonderful throwback to playing big European teams. It will be close. It could go either way. But that’s how these matches should be. I do believe that PSG are under more pressure than ourselves to win.

All I can say is bring it on. These nights are well overdue. No supporter should be speculating defeat, if nothing else in respect of what Ole has (and my God has he) achieved.


8.) 27 Jan 2019 09:45:48
Singh I'm not sure what game you watched on Friday night but I would hardly describe it as open football.

Without risk there is little reward and Solskjear cleverly positioned Lukaku and Sanchez as split strikers to exploit the space in the channels when Arsenal's full backs attacked. Lingard pressed from the front and dropped deeper to bolster our midfield when we conceded possession. He made runs ahead of the ball when we broke and his energy and intensity were vital to our game plan. Yes it left us exposed at times with Herrera and Matic being pulled into wider areas to cover our full backs but it meant we posed a genuine threat on the counter. Under Mourinho our wide players we're dragged so deep they played as auxiliary full backs. We ended up defending our own box and when we did eventually win the ball back we had no option of a forward pass. Lukaku was isolated up front, his hold up play was inconsistent at best meaning we could rarely transition between defence and attack or keep sustained possession of the ball. Mourinho invited pressure without any plan to attack.

I thought we defended well against Arsenal. Whilst they got into some decent positions they didn't create too many clear cut changes and we managed the game comfortably in the second half. Arsenal are a good team especially at home and have well beaten Chelsea and Spurs in recent weeks. Make no mistake this was a tough examination which we passed with relative ease.

PSG will hopefully be without some vital players. They will probably still start as favourites but I think we have suddenly become a very dangerous opponent on what they probably thought was a relatively straightforward tie when our name was plucked from the hat.

Part of me can understand the caution and even scelticism of some posters recently. We all know there are areas in our squad that need improving and the attitude of some of our players has been questioned however results speak for themselves and with Ole placing his trust in our talented youngsters and seemingly getting the best out of arguably our only real world class outfield player in Pogba let's just enjoy the remaining games for what they are and get behind the team.


9.) 27 Jan 2019 10:35:12
I am totally behind the team but not 100 percent convinced we will bewt PSG as i think Mbappe will be the difference.


10.) 27 Jan 2019 15:34:09
And so he might. If we lose to individual brilliance from one of the best young players currently around then so be it. As long as we give it a go. I think you may be surprised.


11.) 28 Jan 2019 07:12:42
Without Neymar, PSG may loose some psychological edge.
Added to that, they hardly have any fit midfielders.
And finally I feel that the pace of our attackers can trouble the great Thiago Silva.


12.) 28 Jan 2019 09:11:07
Missing good players that normally feature in your best 11 is often a great leveller.
When you consider our new found confidence it’s a dangerous mix for PSG.


 

 

 

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31 Dec 2018 17:32:37
I've not seen much of him but he's very well rated from what I've read.

We definitely need a RW but I'd like to see Chong given a chance. I'm surprised he's not been included since Ole's appointment does anybody know if he's been injured?!

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08 Oct 2018 13:08:24
Yeah your probably right Ed001. Pie in the sky talk really just thinking out loud thanks for your reply!

DLIB

{Ed001's Note - it is difficult because you don't want to push out a legend like Fergie, but sometimes you have to.}


 

 

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08 Oct 2018 10:24:18
Ed001 - I think that is superb reply and I totally agree with you about SAF. It is my understanding that as his career progressed he took a step back and became a brilliant delegator. He regularly changed his assistants and coaching staff to freshen things up, implement new ideas and keep the players motivated. He became more of an observer which gave him the advantage of being able to assess exactly what was going on at the football Club.

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said any new DOF will become the most important person at the Club most certainly from a footballing perspective anyway. They will drive the footballing strategy and vision.

I was always slightly curious why we couldn't have adopted this approach when SAF retired. I think he could have remained in post for a couple of seasons as a figurehead whilst Moyes took control of the team. He would have been a valuable asset and maybe he could have been more actively involved in player recruitment aiding both Moyes and Woodward through a difficult first window. I'd have liked to have seen a slower more measured transition where Moyes was approached and offered the job as head coach ultimately taking the main role the following season or even the season after. It might just have given the Club time to find its feet and put measures in place to fill the massive void when SAF eventually retired. Of course this is all just pie in the sky reasoning but ultimately the great man was always going to retire and maybe his biggest legacy could have been overseeing the next step and ensuring the Club continued to dominate rather than just leaving a vacuous hole they have been unable to fill. Johan Cruyff left Barcelona with a footballing philosophy which has endured for decades even after his untimely death. He has provided the Club with a blueprint and recipe for continued success. I'd have like to have seen Utd follow suit with SAF engineering and planning his own retirement and legacy rather than just leaving suddenly. Of course this all sounds great in theory but I appreciate in reality it's easier said than done. Maybe he just couldn't commit any more of his time and things happened suddenly which we're out of his control. Its all ancient history now anyway.

DLIB

{Ed001's Note - I think the problem you had was that Fergie was still around and it never works out when the previous, legendary, manager is still around. Busby stepped upstairs and it didn't help at all. Shankly was causing a similar issue at Liverpool after he quit, so he was asked to stay away. Cruyff went off to rebuild Ajax (if I remember correctly) so he was not there overshadowing his successors. Fergie is too strong a character to just put him to one side, unlike Paisley, for example, who acted as advisor when Dalglish was first appointed up until he fully retired in 1989 and then it all fell apart for Liverpool without him. When you have someone as strong as Fergie, it has to be a clean break or his shadow is over everything.

Your biggest problem was that he was in control of pretty much everything at the club. Great while he was there, but the minute he went it left a massive power vacuum that Eddy Woodwouldward could never hope to fill and Moyes had no intention of getting involved to that degree of micro-management. So you were left with a lot of people who no longer knew who to report to.}


 

 

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26 Jul 2018 16:25:54
Shappy - The exotic name thing wasn't aimed at you pal. In hindsight I should have omitted that. I just think Maguire is universally underrated on here but by no means am I saying he's the finished article. I think he'd be a decent signing but I understand your reservations and take your point about him maybe not being a major upgrade on we've already got. Anyway this site would be a boring place if we all had the same opinion.

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26 Jul 2018 12:01:27
I take your point Shappy but I think McGuire has come in for some undue criticism to be honest.

It remains to be seen if he's a viable target but I think he'd be a solid addition to our team. From what I've seen he's big, strong, very good in the air and good with the ball. He maybe lacks a yard of pace and I've heard people criticise his positioning at times but that's something that can be worked on and will prove with experience. I think he's better than what we've got (maybe Bailly apart) . He's got good pedigree and actually played in the FA youth Cup final against us with the likes of Pogba and Lingard. He's continued to improve at both Hull then Leicester and maybe he deserves a chance to play at a higher level. Sometimes we get seduced by more exotic names but I think he's a good solid player, at the right age that will continue to improve.

I think Lindelof was signed for the right reasons but I just think he lacks the physicality for the Prem League. If Jose isn't going to play him then maybe now is the time to cash in. He's had a good World Cup and I'm sure we'd get our money back at least. I'd definitely cash in on Rojo. He's perpetually injured and apart from a 15-20 game spell where he looked half decent playing next to Jones he's been pretty unspectacular to say the least. I think both Smalling and Jones are solid squad players and have served the club well. I fully agree about Tuanzebe but I'm not sure he's ready just yet.

In relation to the Martial saga just let the boy move on. It's obvious he isn't going to flourish under Mourinho and I see little point in keeping a player that is unhappy and isn't going to help the team. He may develop into a very good player but at the moment he's just not quite there and has shown little interest in fighting for his place. His next move will be crucial and if he's hankering for a move to the likes of Real or Bayern I'm certain he'll find himself in exactly the same position.

Maybe some kind of swap deal with Spurs for Son Heung-Min would interest all parties. He works tirelessly, he can play in any position across the top three including striker and scores goals.

Utd need to start getting creative if we want to see some transfer activity this summer.

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19 Feb 2019 21:21:18
I'd be absolutely gutted if he left this summer. Hopefully he'll give us at least another year, see we're building towards something and he can be persuaded to stay. I would imagine any deal will be difficult considering his current form the asking price must be outrageous.

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19 Feb 2019 21:07:07
Absolutely no chance Pogba will be sold in the summer! We don't need a replacement we should be looking to build the team around him. He's our best player by a mile.

DLIB

{Ed002's Note - He wants to leave.}


 

 

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17 Feb 2019 12:07:46
AJH - it wasn't me pal! I never hit that button if I don't agree with something I comment and give my reasons why. There is no right or wrong only opinions.

I can't argue about Sanchez he's been poor but I'm convinced if he's played through the middle we'll see a different player. Maybe I'm wrong and he's certainly approaching the last chance saloon.

I'm not convinced Ole will throw in Chong or Gomes especially after the PSG defeat one or both might make the bench though.

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16 Feb 2019 19:36:46
Does Lozano not predominantly play from the left Shappy?!

In my opinion we need to prioritise a RW and LCB in the summer. In a perfect world we probably need another CM and cover at full back.

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13 Feb 2019 18:17:00
Good post Shappy, it's always easier to comment with hindsight. I fully agree about Lingard and my only slight criticism of Ole is he must have known that we'd struggle with Sanchez and Mata out wide.

I think he could have played Sanchez as a false 9 and split the strikers like we saw against Arsenal and Spurs. He maybe should have introduced Lukaku instead of Mata at HT. Could he have played 3-5-2?! It was obvious we regressed badly in the second half yet he didn't try to change it as our game crumbled before his eyes. It's all ifs, buts and maybe's now but I think if we'd have retained more of a threat on the counter we might have seen a different second half.

The top managers have the ability to analyse the game and make tactical alterations. That's not me being critical just giving my honest opinion and in fairness Ole has to give players a chance and trust them to perform. Mata and Sanchez are probably two of the most experienced players in our squad after all. It didn't work and we paid the price. What will be fascinating to see now is how Ole adapts if he's without Lingard and Martial for any length of time.

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