07 Feb 2021 03:52:32
Ole’s game management’s strikes again. Why put a player on, particularly in those circumstances, who’s had so little game time recently. Off the pace. Free-kick conceded unnecessarily.

Also why Fred for Pogba? That’s not a like-for-like and questions original tactics. Why not VdB, who is a closer match. We lost 3-1 after Pogba went off. First time for a while I can remember Pogba’s absence posing a problem. That’s a silver-lining.

Looking forward, Ole has to grow a pair and drop De Gea. There’s no justification for letting this continue. At fault for two goals. Clearing doesn’t like the physical challenge, which has always been a concern.

I’m not sure what chapter in the book game management is, but Ole needs to skip to it.

1.) 07 Feb 2021
07 Feb 2021 05:05:12
I don’t think Ole can be blamed for how the game ended. Everybody on the live chat was bemoaning his lack of substitutions and now here he’s being criticized for making one. Bringing a defender on the see out a game is common practice and I refuse to hold that against him.

You can certainly argue that he should have made changes earlier on to help us push for a fourth, but ultimately, with 30 seconds on the clock and a free kick in our own half the players are to blame for not seeing out the game. De Gea for his poor distribution and failure to come out and smother the ball, Axel (? ) for the pointless foul and HM for playing their entire forward line inside.

2.) 07 Feb 2021
07 Feb 2021 08:19:20
I can and I will because:

1. Defensive line comes down to coaching. City (for example) would have played a higher line while the majority of teams would have had a solid line. It’s not a one-off. AWB did something similar in the first half, it’s a regular occurrence suggesting poor defensive coaching not overcoming individual mistakes. You have to go down to Southampton (simply because we just put 9 past them) to find a team that has conceded more goals than us. That’s a disgusting stat.

2. Tuanzebe should not have been put on. Off the pace. Has been continually messed about by Ole since a world-class performance against PSG. Why is that? Sometimes things happen in games that are symptomatic of a longer term problem. This is one.

3. Again the game ended as it did because we failed to turn significant possession in to more goals. Why? Because Ole needs two defensive midfielders to cover for his preferred lethargic combination of central defenders. Fred is a headless chicken whose distribution is woeful. His main asset is to get the ball back. Well Ole, try playing players that keep the ball better in the first place. VdB should have replaced Pogba. His continued omission is insulting to him in so many ways. Better chance of it not being 3-2 in the closing minutes had he come on.

4. Closing the game out. Well, again mindset, game management, communication from the dugout, substitutions and the score from the previous 90-minutes are all factors influenced by the manager that lead to such a position. I would suggest proactive management reduces the likelihood of such an event occurring.

At the end of the day every organisation’s output and persona is a reflection of its leader. Football clubs especially. I think we’re getting a random hotch--potch of outputs that reflect the mesmerising (even stupid, such as not subbing Fred in CL) decisions made by our leader. He’s simply not right for us. Indeed I’m not sure he’s right for anybody. He may have a vision, which helps to be a leader, but I doubt his ability to turn that in to strategies and game-to-game decision making. While recruitment improvements are visible, I’m not convinced they are entirely down to him. I certainly don’t believe we should be waiting years for Ole to attempt to learn on the job - which is our only hope if he remains.

I’ll end with a question. What is it about Ole that means he’s the right man for the job? Because I have no idea once you get past the idyllic ref-tinted romantic notions of ‘99, DNA, blah-bla-blah. Strip that nonsense away as Stam, Giggs, Sheringham, Beecham and many more all fit that criteria. I could find plenty of managers more deserving and better equipped that would have won last night’s match. Including the guy in the opposing dugout. Another trophy-less season fighting for top-four awaits.

3.) 07 Feb 2021
07 Feb 2021 10:40:58
Great post GRD. Spot on for me.

4.) 07 Feb 2021
07 Feb 2021 11:29:51
GRD I’m glad you spotted Wan Bissaka playing the onside in the first half.

Exactly the same thing happened against Fulham and Lookman scored. Herrera and Ed001 argued that it was HM’s fault and then yesterday an identical situation.

AWB switches off and I don’t see how that is anyone’s fault but his own. He’s looking right across the line and other defenders have their back to him. He needs to wake up as it very nearly cost us again. He’s an excellent 1 vs 1 defender but I don’t think he’s the sharpest tool in the box.