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21 Jul 2020 08:15:50
There has been some fierce debate since the Chelsea defeat but maybe some perspective is needed.

Only a couple of weeks ago Chelsea lost to West Ham and Sheffield Utd and looked anything like convincing in a narrow victory over Crystal Palace. They have their own problems in defence and with another Spanish goalkeeper coincidentally so they have not suddenly become world beaters again overnight.

Utd now need to show some resilience and mental strength. We look a team showing signs of fatigue and some parallels can be drawn to last season when Ole went on a magnificent run only for it to fall apart once we'd dragged ourselves back into contention. The same excuses were rolled out then. Injury and fatigue bore the blame but this time history cannot repeat itself.

We need to exhibit a steely reserve, to win our next two fixtures and complete a remarkable turn around. There will be no trophy or even celebration for finishing 4th. It will still represent a poor season where we have finished over 30 points behind the leaders but maybe the seeds of recovery have been sown over the last few weeks. A return to Europe's elite competition will see us welcome Europe's best back to Old Trafford and hopefully the extra revenue generated will be reinvested back into the playing squad.

As for next season expectations should be tempered. Any talk of a title challenge is dangerously premature and once again we'll be in a fight for a top 4 finish with the likes of Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal, Leicester, Wolves etc

Progress has been made, the team is now capable of scoring more goals, is becoming more consistent, whilst the style and brand of football is slowly evolving. I think we've been treated to some fantastic, attacking football since the re start, scoring some memorable goals and perhaps we have seen the birth of our next academy superstar.

We've seen ourselves the difference that just one player can make to a team so with the right recruitment we do have cause for optimism. The prospect of seeing Rashford, Martial, Fernandes and Sancho not matter how unlikely is exciting and with Greenwood continuing to develop we have a core of good players capable of competing with the best.

We must now finish the job and look forwards not back. The Chelsea defeat is consigned to history and in some ways we have bigger business to take care of. It's a big week ahead for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the direction of his Man Utd team.


1.) 21 Jul 2020 10:27:48
Nice to see there are still some people on the site with a modicum of common sense and knowledge. 👏👏.

2.) 21 Jul 2020 10:28:57
Sensible post. I think the issue is most of us have become entrenched in our views either pro or against the manager. Them the most recent results become the basis of either proving your opinion right or wrong.

The reality is the unless Ole massively improves them he isn't the right long term manager for us. Yet in the short term he has shipped out the right players, brought in players with the right mentality, he has given youth a chance, improved most players in the squad and given the club back some of its identity. As a result whoever takes over will take over a club and a side in much better shape than it was when Ole took over.

Whether this summer, next summer or beyond is the right time to replace Ole remains to be seen and until he is will remain a hypothetical opinion only.

My view is we have a young side that is benefitting from having a manger who trusts them, regardless of who we sign we are too far off of Liverpool and City who have sides at their peak currently to realistically catch them next season.

They say a squad peaks with an average age between 26-29. That is where Liverpool and City are now. Our average age is 23/ 24 so we need more experience before we hit our peak.

For me next season would be a success if we are comfortably 3rd with a much smaller gap between us and 1st, anything below a 10 point gap would be a great improvement. I think we need to win a cup either the Europa League this season or a cup next season. Winning breeds a winning mentality and with so many young players in the squad winning a cup would be a huge growth experience for them.

Onwards and upwards. We need to refocus on the next game, forget Leicester. Win at West Ham, and try and win by a good margin. That would show a good bounce back mentality and would go some way to maintaining confidence levels. While also putting us in the best possible place ahead of the final day showdown.

3.) 21 Jul 2020 10:58:29
Agreed. If Ole can get us back into the top 4, playing some good football, maybe Europa League as a bonus, you have to after he’s done a sterling job and deserves another transfer window to continue his project. The atmosphere around our club is chalk and cheese to Jose’s reign. I for one am not complaining - yes he makes a few mistakes, but he’s learning all the time.

4.) 21 Jul 2020 11:20:01
Top post DLIB.

5.) 21 Jul 2020 12:07:37
Top post and well said DLIB.

6.) 21 Jul 2020 12:52:37
Good post dlib. City have lost a host of league games this year and are 20 points worse off than last year and have just been outplayed by arsenal. Do we see mass hysteria? Sack pep? players not good enough? No we don't. If I had said after the Burnley defeat that with 2 league games to go CL qualification would be in our hands I would have been laughed off this site. We are looking a little fatigued which is why the team and the manager need all our support not relentless criticism for losing a game which wasn't in the grand scheme of things particularly important.

7.) 21 Jul 2020 13:31:30
our inability to finish teams off is one of the issues we had early in the season which has cost us points.

we have drew 11 games.

lost the 2nd least amount of games and have conceded the joint second least.

i think with a few more players, especially a right winger, and another central midfielder regardless if pogba stays or not you will see a difference.

8.) 21 Jul 2020 14:02:34
Good post DLIB.

But I remain unconvinced that Ole has what it takes to take us forward next season and beyond. Still too many question marks hang over him and what he has achieved so far. I do hope I am wrong.




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27 Sep 2020 09:56:43
A last gasp penalty probably halted a flurry of poisonous tweets on Social Media but the relief of a last minute winner only masks an ugly truth.

Utd were outplayed for the second week in a row by relegation fodder and despite some protestations that Palace and Brighton are in fact decent teams Utd will never progress beyond the shadows of mediocrity if they cannot win these games.

Utd's apparent red hot form after the re-start extended to just four games against Sheffield United, Bournemouth, Brighton and Aston Villa. It wasn't all sunshine and roses following the re-start and any talk of a revival or progress was surely premature. Draws against Southampton, West Ham and a fortunate win against Crystal Palace were far from convincing. A schooling by Chelsea in the FA Cup and defeat to Seville in the Europa League meant another season ended in bitter disappointment.

The warning signs were there before the end of last season that Utd had been found out. When pressed aggressively Utd can't play out from the back and give the ball away in dangerous areas. When teams defend narrow and allow the full backs possession of the ball Utd struggle to create chances. With a lack of pace and mobility at CB and in CM Utd are wide open to the counter attack and teams are able to progress up the pitch and into dangerous positions relatively unopposed.

None of this has been addressed during the transfer window yet the formation and tactics remain the same.

The use of a C.V. stricken Paul Pogba still recovering from a serious challenge and without a pre season is perplexing especially with the acquisition of VdB. Without wanting to make excuses for his poor performance he is obviously not fit and shouldn't be playing. To continue to deploy him in a deeper role is equally perplexing and as he enters the last year of his contract this only emphases the confused decision making at the Club.

Utd lined up with the extent same team that so convincingly beat Brighton less than two months previously. This further emphasises a disastrous transfer window with a team frozen in time and lacking ideas. It is plainly obvious to see which team has progressed since then and even a last minute winning penalty can't disguise the inertia and poor decision making that continues to plague the Club.


1.) 27 Sep 2020 10:27:19
DLIB, are you studying journalism with Shappy by any chance? 🤣🤣

We were rubbish again yesterday, no doubt. It still surprises me how Luke Shaw seems to get away without much criticism. Just because he does OK going forwards, doesn't absolve him from his defensive errors.
For a player playing in the top league, his positional sense and general lack of awareness is diabolical.
Just watch him during a game and see how often he is out of position, or not busting a gut to get back. And he constantly gets sucked into the middle. It's like a school kid getting drawn to the ball all the time.
Maguire and Lindeloff get all the flack, and rightly so to a large extent, but Shaw does then no favours at all because people are constantly having to cover for him.
Ok, he gets forward better than AWB in the other side, but let's not forget he is a defender. His job is, first and foremost, to defend.
You can kind 9f see why Mourinho made those comments about having to talk him through games. Maybe OLE should start having some input during games rather than doing his best mannequin impression.

2.) 27 Sep 2020 10:30:36
Agree with all of that DLIB. great post mate.

Pogba slows us down and should be sold plus I think his career owes more to his social media presence than his talent - but to be fair to him he's had C.V. and the effects can be long lasting. Ole should know this and manage him accordingly but then Ole is utterly inept and wildly out of his depth so it doesn't surprise me one bit that he keeps playing an obviously struggling Pogba.

We need to throw millions upon millions in the direction of Leipzig, whatever it takes to get Upamecano. The same for Telles. We have the worst Utd defence I've seen in 30yrs yet want to splash £100m on a winger!

Chasing Sancho is like shopping for a jacuzzi when your roof has blown off. only an idiot (or Ed Woodward) would contemplate it!

3.) 27 Sep 2020 11:06:17

I am glad you see the issues.

On the CB role, it was plainly obvious some time ago we need to recruit, it has been a subject discussed on here at length. However, is the club going to buy one when our manager said yesterday “ For me, we've got enough good centre-backs here at the moment”? Suddenly the club buy a CB and Ole will then say he identified the need. There is standing by players and then there is going into a season with a gaping hole and the manager in denial. Maybe they told him there was no money for a CB. Well, that is likely because of the Sancho pursuit, madness.

In my brief foray onto livechat yesterday, I asked why was DvB on the bench, why spend £40m for a substitute? What was he bought for? What was the plan? Why buy him when there is a need for a CB, a defensive midfield player? If he slotted in to the plan, fine, but it doesn’t look planned.

Why keep Pogba when we know he doesn’t want to be here? Is that Ole or someone who doesn’t want to lose money on him financially? We don’t have a good defensive MF player, playing Pogba deep is tactically nuts.

Our much vaunted forward line has no back up, we have no plan B, no forward of any type that can make a difference. Martial is not a true CF, the only one is Ighalo who is nowhere near good enough, yet we are going into a new season having chased a RW all summer. Ighalos loan is up in January, then what?

Frozen in time is a good point. We have a manager who is looking back at what SAF did in the distant past, trying to recreate that, yet the game has moved on, miles on. People said Mourinho was yesterday’s coach, the game had moved on, yet cheer for a coaching system that had its day in the 1990’s. We will not move upwards with Ole’s backward perspective. The fact the club seem set on this path is more destructive, they seem hell bent on being ordinary.

4.) 27 Sep 2020 11:18:26
Betty - you know I'm a massive fan of a snooze fest 😴🤣

Sadly I'm far to old to be a student 👨‍🎓

I obviously just have far too much time on my hands!

Inconsistency continues to be our nemesis both collectively and individually. Most of our players seem incapable of sustaining any kind of form for more than a few games.

5.) 27 Sep 2020 11:35:16
Betty, completely agree on Shaw. Apart from the foul on him that won us the free kick for our first goal he was woeful. He’s been average for a long time now and he’s just got away with it as we’ve not really had anyone to come in. With Telles being likely, the major issue is that Maguire is playing on that side. An attacking fullback exposes us too much due to Maguire being slow.

I want Maguire to do well but think ultimately we will regret spending 80m on a cb who requires extra spending around him to get the best out of him. He can be slow if he can lead the defence and control the box but so far he’s proven he has no leadership qualities and definitely does not know how to sense danger in our own box.

6.) 27 Sep 2020 11:41:41
Mannequin impression Betty. that's great. couldn't find a better way to describe Ole during the games. Perfect buddy. Brought a chuckle.

{Ed047's Note - you lot must be Arsenal fans and have an agenda talking like that! Shocking 😉

7.) 27 Sep 2020 11:51:55
Amz, I want all of our players to do well. Unfortunately, too many have been given far too long to improve, and failed miserably. There are too many that look decent when we are winning, but hide when our backs are to the wall.
Even players in like Martial are little more than fair weather sailors. Look OK when the going is good, but disapear when we really need then to dig deep.
Been saying it for years, we really lack leadership and personality on the pitch. We also lack it off the pitch now too.
OLE would have been ideal for the mural at the old Highbury. Would have fitted in perfectly.

8.) 27 Sep 2020 12:29:20
Ed, most of us know very well there is no agenda! It's just that some never take off the old rose tinteds.
Opinions vary, I know. But even the most loyal of United fans must realise deep down that we are actually not very good at the moment.
For some bizarre reason, some if our fans seem to think it makes them less if a fan to admit it.

{Ed047's Note - I know Betty, it’s like me trying to convince myself that Arsenal are title contenders and Ozil is the answer to my prayers!

9.) 27 Sep 2020 22:27:28
Betty, I said the other day, it's about time everyone accepts that there are no easy games in this league any more, and anyone can beat any other team, on any given day. The sooner some of us make peace with that, rather than praising to the heavens, or calling for sackings on a game by game basis, the happier everyone will be.

10.) 27 Sep 2020 17:58:46
I guess it depends what you're praying for Ed? You never know, he may answer thise prayers. Just as long as they aren't football related 🤣🤣.

{Ed047's Note - exactly Betty! 🤣🤣



24 Sep 2020 18:29:40
From reading different sources it would appear Utd are in a bit of a mess in relation to wages and a bloated squad.

The fact the Club has so far been able to move on the likes of Smalling, Rojo, Jones, Lingard, Pereria, Romero, Dalot and Mata means the Club just can't afford to sign more players at this time. Those players collectively take around £30m out of the Club each year in wages. When you consider that many of those players now hardly make the match day squad never mind the starting 11 it's obvious to see where the problem is.

I've seen Ed002 comment that the Club has priced out some of those players from moving on but what I can't understand is WHY?

Pereria and Lingard came through the academy. Jones and Smalling have been at the Club over a decade and by today's standard were relatively cheap. I think we signed Romero on a free. Rojo was bought for a relatively modest fee and whilst Mata was expensive he's now been at the Club a long time and well into his 30's!
I can understand the Club maybe being reluctant to take a hit on Dalot as he's young with potential and was considered a hot prospect when we signed him. As for the why don't we just take whatever we can get and get them off the wage bill? Why with only 10 days left in the window are all these players still at the Club? Even if we had to send them all out on loan and even pay some of their wages we'd still save a fortune which we could then use to fund the wages for players that might actually be able to make a contribution to the team.

Am I missing something because this all seems very simple and straightforward to me? Why are we keeping players at the Club that hardly play any football?


1.) 24 Sep 2020 19:04:44
Dlib. Good post mate. I think the combined outlay is a lout closer to 40m a year on that lot.
Smalling periera and dalot are at least looking to move and play. But clubs can't afford the fees and to match wages.
i'd imagine romero will also angle for a move unless a bid comes from nowhere for ddg. Rojo 160k a week will be happy to sit and take it so will jones 120k and mata 140k. Rojo and mata are ging into their last year. They will get better offers as free agents and can sign pre contracts from jan 1st. They would be mad to move.

Add to that we are paying our 2 1st team keepers henderson and ddg a combined 24m a year. 470k per week.
That's more than the Liverpool back 5 per week.
Its just nuts mate.

2.) 24 Sep 2020 19:20:58
If I can play devils advocate for a minute. it’s cheaper for the club to pay those players wages than pay a transfer fee and wages for a new signing. By keeping all the ‘deadwood’ the squad is too big and bloated, they can use it as an excuse then for lack of incomings as not all players can be registered to play.

3.) 24 Sep 2020 19:35:40
Tim i'd agree if they are turning down offers but nobody wants them, we have only had 1 offer and that was for smalling.

4.) 24 Sep 2020 20:11:36
DLIB, I think the simple fact that those who are in charge of the transfers are simply not up to the task.

We would all like to see a couple of new additions in to strengthen the team but the reality is that without parting ways with the names above, we can get the desired players.

It's just down to our transfer team being terrible. Simple.

5.) 24 Sep 2020 20:45:18
Agreed Ken. maybe we can do a bundle, picker style 🤣.



23 Sep 2020 11:00:32
With less than two weeks left of the transfer window remaining and the Sancho pursuit looking increasingly unlikely I just wonder if it's time to re-assess the squad and re-prioritise our transfer options.

I think it's unlikely we'll see VdB, Pogba and Fernades line up in the same team unless Ole changes formation. I think serious consideration should be given to changing formation from Ole's favoured 4-2-3-1 to a 4-3-1-2 or diamond formation which would allow Ole to play all three of our best midfielders in the same team and in their favoured positions.

Pogba has always played his best football from the left of a midfield three where he is allowed to get forward with the insurance of a defensive midfielder behind him.

Fred and Mctominay are both more box to box midfielders and are better when used to get around the pitch using their energy and industry to put opponents under pressure and win the ball back in midfield. Neither have the positional intelligence to play deeper and lack the quality in possession to move the ball forward accurately through the lines. They would be better utilised playing to the left and right of a midfield trio or midfield diamond, providing good cover for the likes of Pogba and VdB.

Martial, Rashford and Greenwood are not wingers and could be better used playing as split strikers where they could operate in the pockets off the left and right interchanging with the ACM and being overlapped by the full backs.

Obviously this formation can lack width but links with a more attacking LB make sense &'would go along way in solving this problem.

With Matic being the only defensive midfielder in the squad and at the age of 32 we'd need cover in that position.

So to make this formation work we'd probably need a LB and DCM before the window closes!

LB - Telles
DCM - Thomas Partey

Players we've been linked with and from what I've read certainly available for transfer this summer.

I appreciate this is pure fantasy football and to secure both players in the next two weeks would be difficult but I'm just not convinced 4-2-3-1 is the right formation for us. I just think we lack depth and quality in the wide areas and when Greenwood and Rashford don't play the drop off to James, Mata or Lingard is significant and we just don't look like scoring!

Pogba is not a holding midfielder and if he doesn't play alongside Matic we look so vulnerable through the middle of midfield.


1.) 23 Sep 2020 11:39:30
DLIB, I agree with some of this, I like the 442 diamond shape as like you say it gets our three best midfielders on the pitch. However, with Fred and McTominay in the squad as well as Matic I don't see us going for a CDM this summer.

I'd propose a similar system but with a tweak. We could play 3412 replacing a dedicated holding midfielder with a CB. This might make sense as we have loads of CB's on the books. While if we were to sign someone like Alex Telles for LB then a very offensive fullback would also make sense in this shape.

I would think for a 3412/ 343 type system we probably would want to either change one of the central midfielders for one of either Fred or McTominay as a roaming defensive force in front of the defence.

The other option I think would be important with a 442 diamond or a 343 variation set up would be to sign a right winger who can hold the width and offer a different option to a front 2. Seeing as AWB isn't the most offensive of fullbacks having a player who could come in and stretch teams down our right hand side in the final third could be key in unlocking some teams.

While I agree with signing a player like Alex Telles to give us a top level offensive full back, I think the other area needs to be a right winger. If we are ruling out Sancho then maybe Ismailia Sarr could be a good option as a strong wide player who can stay wide and stretch teams down our right hand side. He is EPL proven and wouldn't cost the earth.

2.) 23 Sep 2020 12:18:42
We seem like we want to try and keep possession but the team all round isn’t the best for that. We would need both Matic and VDB to play if that’s what we’re going for. Using a diamond can work if the full backs stay wide and attack with the left and right centre midfielders providing adequate cover when they do. I don’t think Pogba is disciplined enough to play that role and AWB is not the best technically when he does get forward. Shaw seems to have forgotten how to cross a ball also.
At this moment, without further acquisitions, we’re probably best suited to 433. Our midfield options make it a bit difficult for opposition managers to guess how we will set up also.
I really like how Greenwood operates on the right. He finds good pockets and has the ability to shoot before the defender or keeper has set themselves. The three up top also allows Bruno and Pogba more options to pick a pass when they get it right. VDB looks like he’s best when he’s in and around the box so I’m not sure if it’s best we move Bruno back slightly. It does give us a good mix when using a 3 man midfield.

3.) 23 Sep 2020 13:01:50
Shappy - I agree I don't think we'll sign another CDM and unfortunately I don't think we'll alter the shape.

We could possible play another CB in a back 3 and I think Shaw has looked excellent in that position. He has the pace and acceleration to cover for Maguire and was also very accomplished at bringing the ball out from defence and actually provided the team with a useful attacking outlet!

I think Maguire and Lindelof benefit from playing in a back 3 but I also think Bailly now deserves a chance to re-establish himself in the team.

If we sign Telles he'd be a good attacking option on the left and would help us switch systems more easily.

Anyway we'll see what happens and I suppose we played 4-2-3-1 after the re-start where we looked very exciting for a short period! I just think that system is very unforgiving and exposes the weaknesses in our squad when Ole can't select his first choice 11!

4.) 23 Sep 2020 13:24:23
Amz, for me when looking at our players the way a midfield diamond would work best would be to have the player at the base to sit deep and to have to full backs tuck in rather than bomb forward. Giving you a 2 centre backs with 3 players (LB, CDM and RB) narrow in front of them. This shuts out any space centrally to counter in to. Meaning the only way to counter us would be wide, but the full backs just need to stand them up and stop the ball back inside.

While the three other midfielders could operate in a slightly freer way within a structure. With the furthest forward central midfielder acting as a false 9/ No.10. The strikers start wide and drift in field and the two wider midfielders start narrow and drift wide giving you 5 in attack. Pogba has the attributes to overlap Rashford on the left (good dribbling skill, quick, good crossing) . While Bruno could do the same on the right with Greenwood. That then leaves DvdB to play centrally, although Bruno and DvdB could switch positions. I just think Donny plays better as that nominal second striker.

5.) 23 Sep 2020 14:17:50
I get the idea Shappy and that would make us better defensively for sure. Maybe something for the big games. I think Bruno and VDB could rotate the false 9/ number 10 role and create space for the wide attackers.
I feel we need to stick to a 433 however in the main, as generally that seems to be the most successful formation if you look around Europe at the top teams. They’re also not afraid to stick to a 433 regardless of who they come up against in the CL (City, Liverpool, Bayern for example) . This should be our aim.
I have to say, I like Arteta’s 532 defensive shape which then turns in to a 343 when they attack. It requires very hard working individuals and if he gets the players he wants for that system they could be really dangerous.

6.) 23 Sep 2020 17:23:41
I am in favour of Pogba staying at the club if no decent offer comes in and he wants to play. But I am looking forward to seeing an attacking 433 with Bruno and Donny and
There would be so much energy and skill the front 3 would have a field day.

7.) 23 Sep 2020 21:04:34
Unfortunately Ole plays a 4-2-3-1 and seems stuck to it, until he realises that’s not the only formation you can play with 4 at the back we are stuck with too many players for a position where we only play 1 player.



22 Sep 2020 06:35:00
The debate around the current managers C. V, experience, man management skills, tactical acumen and footballing philosophy is almost redundant whilst the football Club is being led by investment bankers and hedge fund managers.

The sense of dejarvu is unnerving and should serve as a stark reminder to any supporter who believes that success can be delivered without significant change at board room level.

If rumours are to be believed a RW and principally Jordan Sancho have been the Clubs No1 transfer priority. Utd have seemingly spent the summer ignoring Dortmund's assertions that Sancho will not be sold and if he does not arrive in the next two weeks the Club will have failed yet another manager. Any alternative will now surely reek of panic and there can be no hiding place for the negotiators who will have failed to deliver their principle target. Other areas of the squad have been neglected whilst the Club have engaged in a very public, protracted and frustrating transfer saga which looked destined to failure from the outset.

Rewind two short years and Jose Mourinho having finished a distant 2nd to Man City found himself embroiled in a similar transfer stalemate. Desperate for a new CB he attempted every trick in the book to put pressure on the board to deliver. Such was his desire to see the centre of his defence strengthened he ultimately burnt bridges with Ed Woodward and even undermined his own players. Despite the Club insisting they were working on deals they could find no value in the market and Mourinho was left incandescent. Understanding a title challenge was now little more than a pipe dream and as the realisation that the Clubs ambition did not extend beyond a top 4 finish began to sink in his mood darkened and the rest is history.

The Chosen One also endured his own mid summers nightmare as Ed Woodward jetted off from the pre season tour on urgent transfer business. That summer the Club were seduced chasing shadows in their failed pursuit of Gareth Bale and Cesc Fabregas. In a deadline day panic stricken frenzy Utd signed Maureen Fellaini paying almost £10m more than his release clause which expired two weeks previously. Little did we know then that this would set the precedent for yet more transfer ineptitude in the years to come.

Whilst some may continue to argue that Ole lacks the knowledge, tactic ingenuity or experience to be the coach of such an illustrious Club, surely even the most enlightened supporters will understand that a team that finished 3rd and so far behind their rivals could not improve or close the gap without significant investment in the squad. A more talented manager could conceivably have the team playing better football or even producing more consistent results and performances but to close the gap on Liverpool and City the squad requires both intelligent recruitment and significant investment. Those that yearn for a change in manager seek a miracle worker and how long will it be before the atmosphere turns toxic when another manager is hung out to dry.

A better manager may keep us in the top 4 but as Poch came to realise if the ambition of the Club doesn't extend beyond the riches of Champions League participation then everything's is built on a house of cards and destined to implode.

The Club have two weeks left to demonstrate their commitment and ambition to bring the top honours back to Old Trafford. If significant investment is not made in the squad and the Club fails to deliver its principle transfer targets then yet another manager is destined to fail and the whole process starts again. This may please some but for me it's just another example of history repeating. The manager might be the symptom but he's certainly not the cause. Tick tock, tick tock!


1.) 22 Sep 2020 07:57:41
While Ole may have his faults, our current problems cannot be solved by changing manager, the problems are too deep.
Honestly I am more worried about Bruno's lack of form. He looked shattered towards the end of last season when he was carrying the team. Now with two weeks rest and a new child he still looks like he hasn't recovered properly and when Bruno struggles, so does this United team.

2.) 22 Sep 2020 07:57:47
The Manager always get the blame its a results business 😁😁.

3.) 22 Sep 2020 08:22:47

Let me update your statement, I think it should say “our current problems cannot ONLY be solved by changing manager” . Other things need to happen but why bumble along with someone inadequate as well, only makes matters worse.

4.) 22 Sep 2020 09:07:21
We all know the club is rotten from top to bottom. Nothing will change until the club is restructured. But come on how many of this current bunch of players are really worthy to put the famous red shirt on. NOT MANY. Most are so overrated it’s laughable.

5.) 22 Sep 2020 09:08:34
DLIB. Good post but the truth is that we actually do have a very talented bunch of players who should be performing better. A manager / coach should have a vision of how a team should play and be flexible during games so as to alter tactics as and when required. Ole seems to have only one mode of playing. Counter attack at pace. When teams sit deep they blunt his plan easily.

George Graham at Arsenal drilled his defence so they were always in the right positions to defend. We have international class defenders who are consistently caught out of position. So yes the management structure above Ole has a lot to answer for but ultimately is Ole good enough to get us back to where we need to get! I don't think so. We need a really strong manager who has the strength of character to make the board/ upper management realise they have to change and act professionally.

If I was in a job and was not able to do it properly because I was hamstrung by my employers I think I could justifiably claim constructive dismissal. That's maybe what needs to happen and a full disclosure in the media by a manager or ex manager might make those in charge finally accountable for their amateurism.

6.) 22 Sep 2020 09:55:18
If and that is a big if, we were looking at a change in manager. I would personally like to see Allegri rather than Poch in the hot seat.

7.) 22 Sep 2020 09:56:27
Red Man/ Salford - your concerns regarding our current manager are well documented and in many ways your arguments make sense however after nearly 8 years of Woodward control I now think there is compelling evidence that despite several managerial changes the real problem lies at board room level.

I don't think we even need to debate that there are numerous mangers available with superior credentials to Ole and could probably do a better job however to challenge the consistency of City and Liverpool the team requires significant and more importantly sustained investment.

I have absolutely no confidence that if Ole was sacked the Club would appoint the right manager and whilst they may be initially supported with a injection of cash once performances began to improve the purse strings are predictably tightened.

Unless the Club has the desire and ambition to strive for more than merely Champions League qualification then the same mistakes will continue to happen. We are not actually seeking a new manager but a miracle worker, who can somehow construct a team capable of challenging but without the ambition or support of the Club. Of course Utd have money to spend but the recruitment process appears complicated, convoluted and confused. The negotiators have no sense of urgency or don't appear to exhibit any kind of understanding or have any regard to timing nor understand the consequences of not delivering on their targets.

In my opinion it would take a very special kind of manager to work within the confines of this current regime and deliver any kind of meaningful or long term success. I think we are all sensible enough to realise that a managerial change is unlikely to deliver any success unless accompanied with significant change at board room level.

8.) 22 Sep 2020 10:19:37

It’s a bit of both, I have said for 10 years on here about my thoughts on the ownership and structure (and before that elsewhere) . There was no value in the market in SAF days under this administration and we failed to buy well then. Ole is a symptom of the malaise and mismanagement higher up, but is still part of the problem.

I do wonder if they look at the manager and don’t believe that whatever they buy he can make work, so why spend too much. There is likely a financial balance, the owners will have little input but will likely set financial parameters such as dividends must be paid and the financial gurus have to deliver from there.
Your assessment is good, Mourinho had the same issue, the hierarchy seem to think get top 4 and now the manager should be good enough to keep us there, after all SAF did.

It’s a sad position, I can’t see a change in ownership as yet, therefore the decision makers will bumble on but we can get a better coach. That is within even their ability, although they saw the vitriol to Mourinho and that may have made them choose the sentimental emotional heart string tugging choice to enable them to continue for two more years as they were and it worked.

9.) 22 Sep 2020 10:22:24
Red Man, would you trust the merchant bankers to pick a new manager again?

The Glazers need to be put under pressure so they move their bankers to the finance department and let them get on with what they are good at. Yes Ed can still be VP or whatever but he is not a football man and neither is his mate Matt.

The club desperately needs a DoF, to run the football side of the business, as football is what the business is.

10.) 22 Sep 2020 10:29:50
Dlib. Of course there is issues in lots of areas. But the question remains for all managers. Is he getting the best out of what he has?
Leaving all other issues aside. Is ole getting the best from his players?

11.) 22 Sep 2020 11:40:19
All i can say about this Mou flashback is that he did spend to sign 2 CBs and then wanted to sign another? Whereas Ole hasn't signed a RW.



17 Aug 2020 10:38:34
In analysing last nights performance it depends if you view Utd as a work in progress or a European giant slain by Spanish minnows!

At times Utd cut through Seville with breathtaking speed and precision. For a team that couldn't create a chance only a few short months ago the football was unrecognisable. Utd now carry a genuine goal threat and on another night Seville would have been dead and buried. The fact that they will contest the final had more to do with Utd's profligacy and If this were a boxing contest Utd were hit with the classic sucker punch.

If Utd want to improve they will have to do better at both ends of the pitch. At the highest level if you don't take your chances and defend poorly you get punished. Utd can have no complaints and were the masters of their own demise. The fact that Utd created so many chances will no doubt comfort and worry Ole in equal measure but for a young attacking trio still learning the game there is cause for optimism. They won't always be so wasteful.

The main concern must now be the defending. De Gea gifted Chelsea a two goal start in the Fa Cup semi final and tonight Lindelof and AWB conspired to undermine all of Utd's attacking intent. Mistakes are inevitable in football but for the best players they remain a rarity and especially in the biggest games!

Utd make too many individual errors and I think some are quickly running out of lives. Ole will recognise that such basic mistakes cannot continue if Utd are to improve.

Utd are not secure enough at the back to take on the better teams punch for punch and Ole must fix this either by a change in personnel or formation. Perversely Utd have kept the most clean sheets in European football yet I don't think anybody is fooled by that statistic. It does however illustrate that the defending over the course of a season has been solid yet plagued by individual errors.

The January acquisition of Bruno Fernandes probably saved Ole's job yet serves as a encouraging reminder how the right players can transform the team. Summer recruitment will now be vital and Ole will need to pull a few more rabbits out of the hat if he wants to survive another season and continue the rebuild.

The Club will no doubt view this season as a success and feel vindicated for appointing Ole as full time manager. Revenue and sponsorships opportunities have been safeguarded by a return to Europe's pinnacle competition. Maybe we are about to see the extent of the Clubs ambition. Roll on next season!


1.) 17 Aug 2020 11:23:10
If players keep making individual errors then they are not good enough. Rafael is the perfect example he was making the same mistakes the month he was sold as he was making the month he made his debut. Good players don't consistently make individual errors or consistently fluff their lines when the pressure is on.




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03 Sep 2020 12:36:10
Was Donny VDB not also touted as a Pogba replacement?




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25 Aug 2020 19:43:57
Well Pep can't win the Champions League without him!

I'd be amazed if he left Barcelona but at 33 maybe now is the time for a new challenge! I hope he moves would love to see him at another Club.




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22 Aug 2020 21:05:00
Gifting ageing players big long term contracts is a recipe for disaster.

He might be worth a gamble on loan or a rolling one year contract but otherwise we should steer well clear in my opinion. His form hasn't been anywhere near good enough to warrant signing him on a long term deal and as he ages it's unlikely to improve. A move like this would reek of desperation and a return to the flawed transfer strategy of the past. I'd include Douglas Costa in that bracket and we must resist the temptation to get lured into these types of deals.




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04 Aug 2020 14:15:53
With Jones, Bailly and Tuanzebe perpetually injured maybe there is still a place for Smalling at Old Trafford. If Utd don't intend to sign another CB this summer then keeping Smalling might not be such a bad idea.

Could he make a decent partner for Maguire? He's certainly stronger, quicker and better in the air than Lindelof, watching him play out from the back however, especially under pressure might need to come with a health warning!




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03 Aug 2020 19:39:01
Fair play to Woodward if he gets €15m for Sanchez. I'm sure most of us would have accepted a slice of pizza and a Limoncello!





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25 Oct 2020 13:07:56
Good post pal. I think Ole was a touch pragmatic but recognised the quality Chelsea have in attacking positions.

I think he tried to win the game from the bench which almost worked with Cavani and Pogba both having decent half chances.

If we win 1-0 he's a tactical genius where a draw or defeat exposes him for being negative. Football at the highest level is often decided by the finest of margins.

A draw isn't the end of the world in a game we never really looked in trouble sandwiched in the middle of some very difficult fixtures. Our next few games will probably determine if a point was a decent result or not.




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25 Oct 2020 12:57:31
Amz - Football is all about opinions mate but I also think it's a touch disingenuous to suggest we didn't try to win that game.

We brought on Cavani, Pogba and Greenwood all three attacking substitutions.

I accept 'haters' is a strong word but there are several posters just waiting for Ole to fail and to be the first to say I told you so. I can see both sides of the argument but I don't think a divided fan base is good for the Club. From a personal perspective Ole is doing just about enough to hang onto his job and whilst I didn't like his team selection I can maybe see why he choose that team. I fully accept that by choosing that team he invited criticism if we didn't win the game.

Chelsea were determined to be well organised and hard to beat yet retained quality and pace in the forward positions. Ole was sensible enough not to get caught on the counter attack and be easy to play through like we were against Palace and Spurs.

It's a frustrating result because of our poor start but maybe there are signs that we are slowly returning to some kind of form following the international break.

After the next few games we'll be in a much better position to judge how our season may pan out.

Like I said earlier I think the next run of 6-7 fixtures after the international break could probably be the end of him. Two wins and a draw is a decent start with Leizpig, Arsenal and Everton to come it could still go either way and he's been fortunate that it's been a strange start to the season with a lot of teams dropping points.




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25 Oct 2020 12:10:48
Shappy - I think that's a very astute post mate. The Ole haters will always dissect any game which we don't win and some won't be happy until he's sacked.

Perspective is a good word and I honestly believed that this next run of 5 or 6 fixtures might just be the end of Ole. Three games in and its two wins and a draw. A decent start but with more very difficult games to come.

It's hard to analyse yesterday's performance and we shouldn't forget Chelsea are a good team that invested over £200m in the summer.

In many respects both teams are similar, littered with attacking talent but defensively vulnerable and struggling to find the correct balance.

From a defensive perspective both teams were well organised and worked hard. I think Utd probably shaded a relatively cagey affair where chances were few and fair between.

The midfield pivot of Fred and Mctominay undoubtedly provides the team with a better defensive shape. They both provide excellent defensive cover for the CB's and FB's where they bring energy, industry and positional discipline to the midfield. Unfortunately neither are progressive enough with the ball and both are guilty of playing far too many safe sideways or backwards passes. On the occasions when they do try to be move adventurous they invariably give the ball away.

There has been huge debate surrounding the CB pairing but I think getting the balance of the midfield correct is vital for the function of the team.

I think it's time Ole abandoned his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation and moved predominantly to a midfield diamond or 4-3-1-2 formation. This shape allows us to keep the industry of Fred and Mctominay or the defensive experience of Matic whilst getting Fernandes and Pogba in their favoured positions. It would also enable us to play an extra CF.

I think if Pogba and Cavani or Greenwood had started yesterday in a diamond or 4-3-1-2 formation in place of James and Mata the team would instantly have had more of a goal threat whilst maintaining the defensive discipline of two more defensively proactive midfielders.

I accept the formation lacks width but all our strikers are comfortable in wide areas and the signing of Telles should help in that regard.

We saw evidence of the diamond working very well against PSG where it enabled us to go on and win the game during a period where PSG looked like taking control.

I think Ole can be more creative and innovative with his team selections but for the reasons you so eloquently explained I can understand why he went with that team.

The win against PSG probably affords him some leeway to experiment against Leizpig in midweek and make a few changes. Let's see what the next game brings!




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22 Oct 2020 14:11:18
Jred - it's two very important games though and games you need to win if you want to win trophies.

I think we're talking at cross purposes pal because if we want to compete with the likes of Liverpool, City dare I say Bayern then yes we really do need to improve the starting 11.

If we are content on finishing in the top 4 every season then we might just be ok but I certainly wouldn't bet my mortgage on it.

Anyway I've really enjoyed the last couple of games and long may it continue. Let's see where we are after this very tough run of fixtures mate.




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22 Oct 2020 13:07:12
Jred - Results definitely improved once Fernandes signed but we can't ignore that we fell short in both the FA and Europa Cup semi finals.

We needed a big summer to kick on and improve but we didn't strengthen in the right areas. I think it can be argued that we didn't sign a single player that significantly improves the starting 11. Whether Telles starts over Shaw remains to be seen and there doesn't appear to be a plan for VdB other than deputy to Fernandes. The two youngsters obviously aren't ready and Cavani doesn't strike me as a player that significantly improves our starting 11 due to his age and injury record. Other teams have invested which makes the window even more frustrating and our position precarious and uncertain.

That being said we still have some very good players and if Ole can find a system that is able to get the best out of them then maybe he can still make the most out of an underwhelming situation.

I think Ole must find the balance between defensive solidarity and attacking intent. Fred and Mctominay have added energy, mobility and industry to the midfield which has stiffened the defence and given a platform for our attacking players to perform. How long Ole can resist picking Pogba remains to be seen but he clearly doesn't work as an holding midfielder.

I like the look of a midfield diamond which I think could be used for the majority of the games which gives us both defensive security and enables us to get most of our best midfielders on the pitch at the same time which is our strength in my opinion.

In the bigger games I think we could revert to a back three and look to play on the counter which has proven to be really effective.

Ole clearly has plenty of options and if he can choose the correct one for the right games we could even surprise ourselves. Let's wait and see it's been a fantastic start to a really challenging period and if you had asked me during the international break I'd have said Ole was under real pressure. The last two games have given us some much needed confidence and Ole has made the correct decisions let's hope it lasts!