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28 Nov 2018 14:32:20
Right can we talk about Matic?

In my opinion he is the single biggest obstacle blocking us from playing well other than the managers tactics.

His lack of mobility is really hitting us this season. I've seen paint run off him never mind any player under 65. Yes he is often isolated by other midfielders wandering out of position or not putting in enough work along side him.

Yet considering we have the same defence as last season, it is almost entirely down to Matic's drop off in form that we have gone from the second best defence in the league to only the six teams conceding more goals than us so far, and only three of those teams have had more shots at goal against them than us.

He is exposing our less than spectacular defence, he is limiting our midfielders from impacting the game, and that is limiting our ability to get hold of a game and thus create chances.

Obviously If he was dropped we wouldn't play different tactics, but I feel we would be better placed to play the tactics Jose wants better.

Either way it is unlikely Jose will be our manager next season, so finding a replacement for Matic will fall to his successor. Depending on how that manager wants to play will very much shape the kind of player we might go for. Either a deep-lying playmaker or a out and out destroyer. Options within the EPL could be Ruben Neves or Wilfried Ndidi depending which way the new manager wanted to go.

Agree11 Disagree7

28 Nov 2018 14:49:55
Grossly unfair to blame Matic alone Shappy. On that basis, you could turn it round and saying that having the 2nd best defensive record last season was entirely down to Matic. Its a team game, and a team is only as good as the sum of its parts. Currently, the parts at United don't add up to much - not all down to Matic.

Matic has not been playing his best football, but name one player who has.

Matic is in the team to do a specific job. Ha may not be playing his best, but he is disciplined in what he does, and that is one very important factor that too many of our players don't seem to have. Discipline. Its ironic that he gets so much grief for being a 'Jose favourite', as does Fellaini, but don't all managers pick the players that can trust to do what is asked of them?

28 Nov 2018 15:18:29
I agree with you both. I've seen ships turn quicker than him (Matic) and loss of form doesn't make you less mobile in my opinion finished at the top. Pogba cannot play midfield in our league and is more suited to Spain or Italy, her tries to be clever and loses possession then strolls back which is unforgivable in a team game so get rid and buy someone who is suited to our league. Fred has not had much of a chance and deserves more time. Herrera a good squad player. Fellaini although our saviour last night and a few other occasions shouldn't be at a top team either. So I would say our midfield is still an issue and why we concede goals and lack creativity.

28 Nov 2018 16:04:21
Betty, I would place the majority of the plaudits for our defensive record last season on Matic.

He was majestic between August and late March/ early April last season. Then he started to run out of steam and it was from that point our defensive record started to decline. Up until that point we had the best defensive record last season.

He always struggles with maintaining fitness throughout a season, every year at Chelsea was the same, he was arguably their best player for the first half of the season then declined until the end of the season. In the years where he doesn't get a summer break he struggles.

The issue with Matic is he isn't a playmaker, so when the defensive work he does isn't good enough he offers very little other than as a statue in the middle of the pitch for the opposition to avoid running in to.

Slow to turn, lacking pace and without enough energy to get around the pitch he offers very little.

Most of the attacks we suffer are actually coming straight through the middle.

Now while it is in vogue to blame Pogba (and he certainly isn't blameless) I feel the real problem is Matic. For at least Pogba does offer quality going forward and he produces more often than not.

28 Nov 2018 16:35:44
Your right in that pogba has quality but wrong when you say more often than not. Since he’s been back you could count on one hand stand out games, and how often does he try something clever only to lose the ball when a simple pas will do which results in an attack that he doesn’t bust a gut to try and win back. Midfield is still a problem.

28 Nov 2018 17:54:56
If you look into it Pogba is our most creative player and the stats back that up.

Highest number of successful passes.
Highest number of forward passes.
Highest number of passes completed in the final third.
Highest number of key passes.
Most assists.
Third most goals scored.
Highest number of completed dribbles.
Only De Gea has made more successful long passes.

So he is clearly doing something most of the rest of our squad aren't doing. From a creative point of view he is doing quite a lot, and having a impact more often than not, or at very least he is having an impact more regularly than anyone else in our squad.

Does he work hard enough? Is he making the most of his talent? Does he do enough defensively? Probably no to all those questions. Yet even so he is doing more than than most of the other 24 men in our squad.

28 Nov 2018 18:02:35
Shappy, would you not place the plaudits on the whole team playing defensively? That is the basis of the whole arguement against Mourinho, isn't it?
And Matic's form dropped off well before Xmas last year, not late March / April - at least that seams to be the consensus on here. Again, details 'massaged' to suit the story.

You have been very vocal lately in blaming Mourinho for everything from football to Brexit, but now it's largely Matic's fault?

I get the frustration at our current situation, but I'm really don't think it is down to individuals. None of the players are performing anywhere near their best - certainly not on a consistent basis. We look poor collectively, not just as individuals. The defence looks shaky most of the time, midfield never dominates anyone and we lack creativity and a genuine goal threat.

Again, it's just my opinion but Matic is just one of the symptoms, not the root cause.

28 Nov 2018 18:18:22
Not gloating, perhaps the drop off in defensive solidity is due to mid and indeed even low table teams having a go at you, your lack of form is allowing teams to smell blood, exactly the opposite of Man City where teams are like sacrifical lambs.

On a lighter note if you haven't seen Klopps interview with sexy French interpreter it's why we love him, and a massive contrast to your guy.

28 Nov 2018 18:29:24
Shappy, I should have acknowledged the fact hat you did say "other than the manager's tactics" at the start of your post. Fair is fair.

28 Nov 2018 23:44:35
Tell klopp there's a new tooth paste out.







 

 

 
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