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12 Dec 2017 17:21:48
I'm going with a slightly controversial idea here. I don't think we need a winger. Which for a club with such a rich history of wide men seems a little off beat.

I've been considering wingers our lack of wingers for a long time. I have also troved through all the players we could sign for such a position, and fo you know what I found? There are very few wingers who could be considered world class. Robben and Ribery were the last two imo. Sure there are other players who play wide. But how many are creative and a goal threat consistently? I think all the players who play that sort of role are in the bracket below world class. Very good players but you can't rely on them consistently to get you out of a jam. Nearly all the best wide players now are full backs. It's easier to teach a winger who isn't world class how to defend than to teach them how to become world class. So they become full backs. Valencia and Young are cases in point.

I think to solve the lack of creation in our side we need to look for more creative midfielders. We can all see what happens when Pogba isn't around. I don't think a winger would have helped against City. They play too far forward and without a link man in midfield to link the midfield to the forward line having a winger would have just meant we would have had another player isolated and not really contributing. Martial has been pretty good this season, as has Rashford. Lingard came into some excellent form this month too. But without someone in midfield supplying them then their impact on the game is always going to be fairly limited.

We have some good creative forward players, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Martial, Rashford and Lingard. Andreas Pereira is out on loan and we have the young Angel Gomes coming through the academy.

But what we lack is someone to give them the fire power from midfield the moment Pogba is absent. We are also lacking some dynamism in midfield even when Pogba plays. Oh how we could do with Kante. Pretty sure we wouldn't lose any midfield battles then. Matic does a superb job of shielding the defence, but he hasn't the legs to do the running. Add to that Pogba isn't the most disciplined and teams can get hold of midfield. I think we could do with ideally a player who is creative and makes things happen in midfield but also a work horse who'll cover every blade of grass and make sure we don't lose the midfield battle. A Roy Keane or a Robson. I don't think there are many if any I can think of, maybe Verratti or maybe Saul Niguez. So we might have to look for a couple of players, one who can create in midfield and one who'll destroy.

Agree9 Disagree3

12 Dec 2017 17:37:28
Shappy we need a creative midfielder to open up defences but we do need a genuine winger who can play across the park as needs bve on the left or right wings. Having a fast winger who can cross well will open up the game and allow our forwards more space to cause havoc. Such a player also offers an outball when we are under severe pressure and lastly a top winger will always weigh in with a few goals.

{Ed002's Note - Someone like Sergej Milinkovic-Savic?}

12 Dec 2017 18:03:36
Shappy, see my post below, I agree with you. We need to start to dominate in the middle. Despite what people say we do have creativity but we haven’t been able to boss games lately and that is driven by losing the midfield battle. How much would Bryan Robson be worth today? Is there anyone playing that his his mix of stamina, route force, and silky skill? I can’t think of anyone.

12 Dec 2017 18:04:10
Hes be a fantastix signin ed if it happens .

{Ed002's Note - Milinkovic-Savic is the first choice and what the club wants - but the asking price is well over the odds.}

12 Dec 2017 18:12:33
I have been saying it for weeks but does out midfield do?
It's all in the the opposition on our own last third.

Teams just play 3 passes and they are up against our back 4 .

If we need a creative cm what did we break the transfer record for pogba for?
What is his role?

If we start to control games again press and make the opposition play in there own half or not give them a chance to attack the back 4 every time they get the ball . We might look a bit better.

12 Dec 2017 18:23:42
Agree jred. Inn or current formation we are effectively playing with 1 central midfielder. Pogs vacated the territory a lot due to the nature of his game leaving matic home alone.

12 Dec 2017 18:45:34
Hendonred, If a world class winger was available then fine, but I can’t see any world class wingers around at the moment. So we would be left paying a world class fee for a player who at best occasionally displays world class form. Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t that how you could describe Nani? I think our budget would be better spent on a player who will make the difference 9/ 10 rather than 4/ 10.

Tony, I could only imagine. Hopefully Pogba becomes that player.

Jred, Pogba does bring the creative side, but I think our formation leaves us with a lack of numbers in midfield. Most teams play with three in the middle, with Pogba having licence to roam and us only playing two that often leaves Matic home alone.

12 Dec 2017 18:50:58
Tbf jred said for over a month straight our midfield is the issue.

12 Dec 2017 19:23:12
I've been saying the same pal.

12 Dec 2017 19:46:08
Guys imo its part of the issue. Service from wide areas and us threatening the by line are practically zero. Imo that's because we don't have good intelligent full backs. Notwithstanding young being in good form and valencia being solid. All the top teams offer a much bigger threat from wide areas much mire consistently than we do.

5 years since we have had a top pair of full backs 5 years since our last title.

12 Dec 2017 20:06:57
Young has just had 2 man of match performances along side a mom for Shaw.

12 Dec 2017 20:14:52
Yeah is what I mean jred tbf on you you’ve been saying it for a while.

12 Dec 2017 20:56:23
Sorry pal I read it wrong.

12 Dec 2017 21:12:23
No worries mate.

12 Dec 2017 21:45:32
Agree with this we won’t win anything if we cannot win the midfield battle. Games and win and lost here and us playing two in there has not worked all season. Not sure why Jose hasn’t stuck an extra man in there as he was doing it last year.

13 Dec 2017 00:04:25
I understand people saying top fullbacks are needed and I agree. Similarly I agree and have been advocating the need for a midfielder who is both creative and can boss a match but that does not preclude the need for a top winger. In matches against the very best teams the fullbacks first job will be to defend and nullify opponents like eg Neymar. I would like to have the option of attacking quickly with a flying winger like we had with Giggs and Kanchelskis and with Ronaldo. It's no coincidence our greatest success came with wingers. Purely on the basis of probabilities if there are thousands of people playing professional football worldwide there have to be several top quality wingers or quasi wingers Shappy. Utd scouts are paid to find them.

13 Dec 2017 09:29:58
Hendonred, that's the problem mate there isn't that many out there. Certainly not of a high enough level to justify their place in the team.

We spent most of the summer chasing Perisic. He is a good player, but is he really world class?

People have rose tinted glasses when looking back on past teams.

Beckham was probably the best crosser of the ball we have had, certainly in my life time. Do you know he never had more than a 30% success rate with crosses. That means he gave the ball away 70% of the time he crossed the ball.

The game has moved on, defenders are much better on the ball now than they used to be. 20 years ago giving the ball away to someone who was probably going to hoof into row Z thus giving you back possession was fine. But now if you give the ball away to a defender he is just as likely to start a counter attack against your team. You can't afford to have a player who gives the ball away 70-80% of the time. It just doesn't work in modern football. Why do you think no top team does it now?

You still need width, but it's not to cross a ball in but to drag a defender out. If you look at most wide players, be it a winger type player or a full back they more often than not either stay out wide and just provide an option thus pulling the defending full back out or they try to create an overlap then cut back in and more often than not look for a pull back rather than a cross. The best way to create an overlap is with a player playing between the lines rather than out wide. This works better with a No.10 type player playing in the traditional winger area. This player then moves in-between the lines creating space for the full back to overlap. The full back would then look to play the ball back to an on rushing player quite likely the No.10 who played him in behind.

This is how all top teams play, because it is the most successful way of playing.

As United fans we have romantic notions about wingers, but for all of Sir Alex's success his lack of UCL titles stand out. I think a big reason for that was the persistence of playing wingers long after most top European teams had dropped the idea. Our most successful spell in Europe came when we had Queiroz as assistant manager, the team played 433 with Rooney, Tevez, Berbatov and Ronaldo fighting it out for one of the top three positions. Only Ronaldo comes close to being a true winger, our width came from our full backs. Giggs who was still around more often than not played in the midfield three rather than out wide.

Playing without traditional wingers we made it to three UCL finals in four years.

That's why I feel this idea that a winger will make a huge difference to be false. We are creating enough chances and scoring enough chances when Pogba is on the pitch. We need back up for him and someone to make sure we don't lose the midfield battle against the best teams.

13 Dec 2017 18:21:50
I said about two months ago we're lacking in midfield and we need another box to box midfielder and even another number 10. Someone spent two days shooting me down.

Now he says our midfield is lacking. Lol, no sh! t.

13 Dec 2017 18:32:11
Jose wanted a LB, another midfielder or two, a right forward and a CB. He will be looking to replace Ibrahimovic. Problem is we are not PSG or City we cannot buy them all in two summers, it was always going to take at least three summers for him to rebuild. Jose wasn't happy with last summer, despite what he said in the media. He wanted the club to do more and next season we will be near the end of the Jose rebuild (Fingers crossed) . Next season we will have a much more balanced squad. More to the manager's liking. If he's still our manager Lol!



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