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06 Nov 2017 08:08:30
Rant? Not really, I’d call it an honest opinion of what we all say yesterday.

1. De Gea: Couldn’t do much the header, I think Morata connected with it beautifully, the culprit is the defense, they gave him far too much space. If the striker is between your two centre-backs, then he bound to score.

2. Valencia: I know you all love him here. I don’t. I think he is extremely one dimensional. While his defending and tracking back might be right up there, it’s his ability once he crosses the half-way line that really bugs me. The amount of time he will check back inside, or even hoof the ball upfield is just one too many. His delivery in the final third is questionable, and I’m not saying this because of the last match, but even in other matches, he seems to always strike the ball rather than whip it or even float it.

3. Chris Smalling: I don’t know what to say about this fellow. His defending is shambolic to say the least. His 10 yard passes wobble and bounce around. His arms always seem to like the opponent neck, back or shoulders more than them being at the right place.

4. Phil Jones: Improved as a player, yes. Does the odd mistake, but overall his game seems to be better. Obviously, the not being injured often part is good for him. Didn’t do much wrong last night.

5. Eric Bailly:

6. Ashley Young: I think he started the game pretty well, took on Zapacosta a few times, but failed to beat him or put in a quality ball. The moment we conceded, he started hoofing the ball upfield which was rubbish. He is probably one of the few players who deserve to be in the squad right now, based on the way he has been playing.

7. Ander Herrera: I was his biggest fan last season and I couldn’t stop talking about how good he was. This season has been another story altogether. I think his approach has changed a bit, his forward passing used to crisp and precise, now, he only manages to play those passes either sideways or backwards, which is not what you need from a defensive / box to box midfielder. I may be wrong here, but I don’t he and Matic are a good fit when played alongside the other.

8. Nemanja Matic: While he has brought the much-needed composure and calm to our squad, there are times, when the game sort of passes by him and yesterday’s game was a classic example of that. I think he was too slow on the ball last night, he failed to dominate the centre of the park and because Herrera wasn’t able to provide proper coverage, he was all over the pitch. Still, I think he’s been one of the standout players this season. He keeps the game simple and makes everyone tick. He was best when he was playing with Pogba. I think that combination worked best for us, not just in terms of the teams ticking, but also because Matic could concentrate on keeping the flow going and Pogba could run his magic in the opponent's half.

9. Rashford: He’s been disappointing, and not just yesterday, it’s been a few games now that he has been bang-average. His decision making in the final third is questionable, his set-pieces aren’t good enough. Yes, he is young and he has the speed to take on any defender, but I think that is not good enough, there has to be an end product to what he is doing. Again, he can be a good player, he has the ability. But cutting him slack by saying he’s just 20 and still learning is not the right way to go about it.

10. Mkhitaryan: What the heck is up with this dude? He was magnificent in the opening 4-5 games. He was pinging passes left right and centre and now it feels like he can’t even pass 5 yards without messing up. Is his game suffering because he has to track back? I don’t think so, he is not closing down the opposition, he is not putting in a tackle. Yesterday, Fabregas went past him with ease. It felt more like he was giving him a boost, rather than try and stop him. He is another player who is suffering without Pogba in the team. Maybe he could do with some time outside the starting 11, but who do you play if not him.

11. Lukaku: What’s the point of buying a striker who costs you 75 million quid and then starve him off the service that he needs. I mean, this is the third or the fourth game where is just trying to latch on to hopeful long balls. If I was a striker in the current squad, I’d honestly tell my mates to f**k off and play ball to feet. because he always running after long balls, he hardly gets the space to run at defenders. I doubt that if given the chance to take on a defender, he wouldn’t be able to.

Anyway, it’s been a while since United really kicked out of second gear and took the game to the opposition. While I know Jose will never give you swashbuckling football, but this is dross and not football.

I think, with Pogba coming back soon, it should help with getting that creativity into the squad, but then again, the others who are getting their chances need to really take them and not depend on one single player. Let’s hope the team improves post the international break.

Agree3 Disagree1

06 Nov 2017 08:37:53

Good post, i think Mourinho’s approach to the big games is an issue. Last season when we beat Chelsea we played two up top and used our pace against them.
Yesterday it was long balls are us. Half wit tactics that looked desperate. I think Mourinho won’t stay the full 3 years.

06 Nov 2017 09:04:32
So we need at least 9 new players then raghav?

06 Nov 2017 09:12:34
That's a pretty good assessment of where we are, I agree on Valenica, he's a top bloke but so predictable when he comes forward and he continually slows the play by stopping and turning back.

06 Nov 2017 09:49:08

No, I don't mean we need 9 new players. I don't think my post meant that. We need to get rid of a few, we all know that. But most importantly, we need to make the players play to their strength and not their weakness. We need players to attack the game, not defend, defend and defend. If that is the mentality, then play Blind instead of Rashford and Darmian instead of any creative player, get Lindelof instead of Mkhi, so that the opposition has no chance of scoring against you.

06 Nov 2017 09:51:19
Mad hatter:

I agree, against top teams Mou's set-up has been quite poor. He seems to shy away from the term 'take the game to the opposition. ' Till the time that doesn't change, I doubt the results would change.

It feels like he doesn't trust the players, but this is more or less the squad that he wanted. So he should be playing in a way that will make them use their skill.

06 Nov 2017 09:52:13
Ajh: Yeah, i agree. He's been a great player for the club, but the game has evolved and one needs players who can play at a high-tempo and that's not just running or defending, it's those one-two passes that help you gain a yard or two in the other half.

06 Nov 2017 14:47:40
Does anyone think maybe Toni is given instructions to play the way he does. I'm sure if José told him to run at fullbacks, then he would.

06 Nov 2017 16:54:41
Lvg same instruction? Moyes same instruction? Fergie same instruction. Toni get 3/ 4 way up the pitch and turn back or get a bit further on and whack it as hard as you can across goal?
Valencia does 2 thirds of his role as well as many right backs but he is hopeless as an attacking threat.

06 Nov 2017 17:24:40
raghav, madhatter I've got to agree with everything you both say.2 new fullbacks another box 2 box as cover for pogba clearly herrera doesn't work and I also think we need 2 wingers/ wide attackers that'll stay high and wide waiting for the full back to overlap to stretch the opposition defence or at least get rashford/ martial doing that as we bottleneck our attack.

06 Nov 2017 19:07:28
Ken, all those managers play a similar type of football in my opinion. Could you see Pep giving him the same instructions? Or any more attack-minded coach, to be fair.

06 Nov 2017 22:08:41
Lvg and jose play the exact opposite. Jose does not want to dominate possession lvg does.

06 Nov 2017 22:07:50



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