Manchester United banter 78396


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26 Feb 2018 11:08:03
I've been thinking about all the talk about our demise and how we have declined since Sir Alex retired. However, I like many others agree that the decline happened before SIr Alex retired and I think I have pinpointed where and why we had started to decline and why we haven't as yet bounced back.

I think the decline in our ability matches up exactly with the decline in Paul Scholes. Scholes was a once in a generation player who somehow was never fully appreciated until later in his career/ when he retired. He was shunted around by England rather than building the team around him as typical England doesn't appreciate technical ability and likes to focus on pace, power and work rate.

There are very few games can I say I have watched us totally control a game since Scholes was at his peak. Carrick was vital in glossing over our loss, but in truth as good as he was he was never in the same bracket as Scholes.

You can trace all of our poor performances to a lack of control of a game, we just don't dictate them anymore. Against Chelsea yesterday was a prime example. We got an excellent result, but anyone watching the game would have thought Chelsea was the home side. This Chelsea team also isn't anywhere as good as previous ones. I read one reporter refer to us and Chelsea this season as "United having a excellent squad performing averagely, and Chelsea having an average squad performing excellently", and I kind of agree with that.

What I think we lack is that player who controls the tempo of a game, many have said watching United this season it looks like we are playing with the handbrake on. I have spent the last 18 months waiting for the team to move up a gear and yet we never manage it. I think this is because we don't have a player to shift us into the higher gear.

Or in fact slow us down. When we are in front in the final 15 minutes we don't have that player who can slow things down and allow us to keep hold of the ball and take the sting out of the game. Instead its backs against the wall while we get hit with wave after wave of attack from the opposition.

We seem to always have to play at the pace the opposition dictate we play at. Lukaku said something in his post match interview that stuck a cord. He said they need to move the ball quicker between the lines to open up chances for themselves. Which is so true, how often have we seen this season forwards make good runs only for the ball to be played a second too late or sometimes not at all.

I think the player we are looking for is a genuine replacement for Paul Scholes.

Agree14 Disagree6

26 Feb 2018 11:35:51
There is no one point in time that you can pin this to. The decline of the team was down to an inability to replace key players with the same quality, Scholes was one for sure but there was also the failure to replace what was a fantastic back four (Neville, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra) I don't think any of those guys have properly been replaced.

26 Feb 2018 11:43:26
The French were always vocal in that they were confused about why England didn't consider Scholes the greatest play in generations. They had a lot of respect for him and still talk off him in the same way they do Zidane.

As for the current state of the team. I think Mourinho is a lot to blame. The players seem constrained by his orders and restrictions. I think it has to do with us having a subpar defence and Mourinho relying on his midfield and attackers to support them a lot. I think with a stronger defence, he could just handle defensive duties to Matic and let the others roam and do their thing.

Lee Dixon pointed out that no one was making runs yesterday, that seems more tactical than the players skill, Martial definitely is one who enjoys making runs and running at defences, yesterday he wasn't. I think the players can only take so much blame, and if Pogba did question Mourinho's tactics, I think he has every right to do so.

26 Feb 2018 11:53:16
I made a post about this the other day shappy. I think it will be next to impossible to replace him, there’s nothing similar coming out of any academies in England, and the only player similar in Europe is Kroos (who I’m not sure if we still hold an interest in) . I feel like if Scholes played in a midfield 3 with Matic and pogba we would have strolled through that game yesterday, but he was something else. One of the best I’ve ever seen.

26 Feb 2018 12:27:32
TOT66, I kind of agree that there is more than just one thing wrong atm. But I think losing that midfielder who could control a game and never replacing them has cost us more than any other.

Yes the defence needs sorting out, but will a new defence allow us to control the tempo of the game? No. All the top teams win via controlling the game, Pep has been very clever in creating a system where the tempo is primarily controlled by the system and not reliant on individual players. Sure they don't look as dangerous without De Bruyne, but they are able to control the game no matter who they have in their line up.

Ludwig, I agree yesterday the players looked more restrained than usual, and that needs to lighten up. I do feel that if we could control the tempo better then we wouldn't have to be so rigid in our play. Scholes was a classic example of the very British notion of not appreciating what you have until its gone.

Caolan, If our team had Scholes in his prime now, I think we would be pushing City for the title. I don't think we will see another English youngster come through with Scholes ability for a long time, academies are continuing to put physicality over technicality. Remember Scholes made his debut as a striker then gradually moved back as they were concerned if a player his size could handle the midfield battle in England. I think to look for that sort of player we need to look abroad for now, Verratti, Weigl, Jorginho or Leandro Paredes could fulfil that role for us.

26 Feb 2018 12:29:18
There were, verrati, Iniesta and xavi, none of which would come here. Schweinsteiger and kroos were/ are poorer imitations in their prime. Just my opinion in a replacement for scholes.

26 Feb 2018 13:10:15
I agree shappy.
We desperate need 2 good full backs and that tempo setting midfielder. Kroos veratti jorghino all would fit the bill.
Full backs playing well and properly make a huge difference in any side. They provide balance width and shape to the team we are sorely lacking without proper full backs.

26 Feb 2018 13:13:04
Couldn't agree more shappy we rarely have control of midfield in big games, matic solid, pogba athletic but I'd love to see someone dictate tempo, keep possession or take the sting out of opponent's by making them chase the ball . Scholes was my fav utd player and him and xavi of Barcelona were difficult opponent's for anyone, there have been many more skillfull players individually but these guys made there whole team tick . My knowledge of tempo setting players around the world isn't as good as yours but the guy who wins most things that can be won is kroos. I know he's played for teams that will normally be successful but he has an impressive medal collection of the biggest prizes, I have no idea what kind of man he is tho or what motivates him just a footballer I find good at what he does on the pitch.

26 Feb 2018 13:25:59
agree shappy when was the last time we completely dominated the midfield and dictated the tempo of the game against a big side? you can argue we did it in the second half yesterday but not to the level we used to with scholes in the side. I like paredes he looks a very good player and I think Ed002 said Real were interested in signing him in the summer. Price doesn't seem to steep either. Veratti is a very good player but near on impossible to sign. For me jorginho is the player who could be that missing link. Very classy and technically sound with a very good passing range. I feel we just need that player to get us ticking and can unleash the attacking talent we have. That will allow pogba to get right up into the attacking third and showcase those attacking talents that we have seen fair too rarely for my liking. I think Jose knows this and will sort this out in the summer.

Oh what i would do to have scholes in him pomp. The greatest midfielder this league has ever seen and perhaps right up there with the best ever. Was a pleasure to have had the opportunity to watch him in his prime.

26 Feb 2018 13:32:04
Kroos is clearly a talented player, but for me the issue he has is he is lazy and not interested if things aren't going his way.
Also for me Modric is far more important in how that Real Madrid side play. If Modric wasn't on the move making triangles and creating passing options then Kroos wouldn't look like half the player.

In Matic we already have one static midfielder, I don't think a midfield of Matic and Kroos would work unless they had someone buzzing about and doing the job Modric does in making passing options to move the ball quickly and efficiently.

26 Feb 2018 13:42:42
Pogba at is best is a good Scholes type player and then Alexis can do the job. Both have been brought in as Rooney replacements (number 10). I hate to say it but De Brunye is the Scholes replacement everyone wants. 😆😆.

26 Feb 2018 13:59:30
I understand modric is important, but modric didn't play for Bayern and he duznt play for Germany and kroos was and is still excellent at controling tempo . If wherever he goes and whoever he plays with he still looks good it's harsh to say but it's because of his midfield partner why he looks good . He plays with good players around him but Germany, Bayern and Madrid have all reaped huge rewards having him.

26 Feb 2018 14:18:44
Spot on slate. Kroos is the best in the world at what he does.
Shappy no point modric buzzing around if he doesn't have someone like kroos to keep feeding him.
Shappy i reckon that kane fella is lazy its just eriskson making him look good by setting him up over and over again . that's how ridiculas your rationale is above😂😂.

26 Feb 2018 14:24:44
I am just completely shocked about the amount of sloppy passes we give away. Even just simple 5-10 yard passes forward, backwards and to the side seem to get intercepted by the opposition. This is one of my big gripes this year, we just don't take enough care of the football when we get it back.

26 Feb 2018 14:26:17
Slate, no doubt Kroos is an very very good player. Playing alongside great players as also helped him immensely. I think against 95% of teams he would be great. But against certain sides unless he has a couple of mobile midfield partners he will struggle to grab the game by the scruff of the neck. Real Madrid are happy to let him go in the summer, and Bayern didn't fight all that hard to keep him. That tells you something too.

26 Feb 2018 14:33:17
Interesting points shappy but Bayern were champs league winners, Germany are world champions and Madrid have dominated the champs league recently he's the common denominator that should tell u something to .

{Ed001's Note - such as he is lucky to be a part of great teams?}

26 Feb 2018 14:41:26
Odd someone says de bruyne, Silva would be more like scholes imo but not as good. i'd say he's more like Beckham. Modric was a good shout and we had several meetings to sign him but needed him to push for a move and he wasnt that type of person.

26 Feb 2018 14:47:48
Spot on Shappy. Didn't we go 6 or 7 years and not buy a midfielder? This was when Fergie was there and he gave us the "no value in the market" rubbish when David Silva was being bought by City for £20m! I actually think we need two midfielders, a player like Kroos and a midfielder i the Naingollan mold who can drive us on.

26 Feb 2018 15:24:16
I agree AAA. we most definitely need two more midfielders in the summer. Savic from Lazio would be my first pick.

26 Feb 2018 16:01:51
I'm not sure we need two. Yeah two will leave in Fellaini and Carrick, but one of those has hardly played this season.

We have Matic, Pogba, Herrera, McTominay, TFM and Andreas Pereira, that's 6 players for what will most likely continue to be 2 positions for most games. I expect Mourinho to stick to 4231 on the most part, he has Martial, Sanchez, Rashford, Lingard and Mata to keep happy. I see us using a three man midfield against certain teams but not every week.
So to sign 2 more midfielders taking our roster up to 8 for predominately 2 positions seems excessive, even for those who feel Pereira may be sold or TFM won't get games in midfield.

For me a choice of say Matic, Pogba, Herrera, McTominay and say Verratti or Jorginho would be excellent.

26 Feb 2018 16:08:38
Exactly ed1 I don't get the love in with Kronos, I get he is really good with the ball but that is only half of the game. He is terrible without the ball. The CL he won at Bayern he wasn't a vital cog in that machine and Bayern didn't even fight to keep him there. And Germany are strong team with or without him no matter. Real compensate his zero defensive contribution by playing Casemiro.
The trophies he has won have mostly been inspite of his not due to him I'm my opinion. But this is all just that, PERSONAL OPINION.

{Ed001's Note - I am not a big fan, he was supposed to replace Xabi Alonso but he is not even half the player Xabi was. Actually even now I would rather have a retired Alonso than Kroos, he has a lot more mobility on a pundit's chair than Kroos shows on the pitch!}

26 Feb 2018 16:19:28
Kroos is a half-arsed midfielder who needs other players to do his running for him. He'd be a liability in our team.

Good passer, good at tempo setting. But like has been said above, got away with it by the teams he was in.

26 Feb 2018 20:30:45
I don't even know where to start with that deependra . Kroos and the team he plays for have been in 5 of the last 6 champions league finals . He was in the FIFA team of the 2014 world cup and the 2016 euro championships, Germany didn't win the world cup despite him, he was the leading assist maker in the whole world cup and I'm not privy to knowing how hard Bayern tried to keep him but keeping real at bay isn't easy as we have found out with Ronaldo, Beckham and ruud . Casimiro plays irrespective of whether kroos is in the real team not just because he plays . For all that it is always about opinions you can think Germany Bayern and Madrid would have or could have without him but what we know is no ifs or buts they did with him .

26 Feb 2018 21:03:16
Slate, how often have you watched him? He is very lazy and seriously lacks mobility. There is a very real chance he would struggle in the EPL. He makes Pogba look like Kante. He moves around the pitch like RMS Titanic.

26 Feb 2018 21:18:19
You can't post saying u want a great playmaker then dismiss the most successful one in world football . I've heard an awful lot about how he creates an unbalanced midfield and yet whoever he plays for dominates possession and wins things . We all start competitions equal but how often is his team the last one standing, anyone can have a lucky tourney but if the same man wins the same big prizes time and time again perhaps it's not a fluke or his teammates.

26 Feb 2018 21:19:52
The only way you could play Kroos in our midfield is if you replaced matic with someone like Kante. Kroos’ passing range is fantastic but we lack serious energy in our midfield and with him and matic together we would lack dynamism. I feel we need someone who has the passing ability but is also agile and energetic. Matic although reads the game brilliantly, lacks serious legs in midfield which is why him and Kante together was a great blend. Chelsea effectively miss a matic in midfield and we lack a Kante. Vidal would provide that in midfield as would Paredes and Jorginho. Even seri would be a decent signing. If we didn’t have matic I would be all for signing Kroos but with our play already slow and ponderous I’m not not he would be the best fit for us. Would do wonders at a spurs or city though.

27 Feb 2018 02:08:43
Great discussion

I think we mostly agree a central midfielder is needed as some have said for a while. Everyone says a Scholes replacement but Kroos would not do for me. I understand this Savic may be the target, haven’t seen enough but heard he is very good. One name I didn’t see up there is Erickson from Spurs, maybe plays too far forward but seems to impress.

Add a central defender Alderweireld and perhaps Savic to our spine and it will make a big difference.

27 Feb 2018 02:41:21
Our midfield is crying out for a player like Kante.

We need a sly little fox in the mid field centre of 4-3-3 controlling the play with the quick triangle passes and then running at pace when required such as Modric, Veratti changing the game.

That single guy will solve half of our team's problem imho.
Pretty sure there are multiple available talents we can sign.


27 Feb 2018 09:51:15
Keylor Navas has been in the last four of five CL finals too Slate but that doesn't change my opinion about him being barely above average. And the fact Kroos made the 2014 WC team just means nothing concrete because that same tournament Messi won the Golden Ball having not scored in the latter stages not even been that great. James Rodriguez also made that same team still it doesn't make him great.
I just don't think Kroos is well rounded enough. He is great with the ball I agree but his defensive contribution is nearly zero.

27 Feb 2018 10:33:49
I was sort of hoping Herrera would be that type of player for us, surz, but it would seem Jose doesn't fancy him.

27 Feb 2018 14:48:48

Perhaps Herrera has been affected by off field issues?



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