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08 Feb 2019 09:45:14
Morning guys, I've read a lot about rotation recently and with the PSG game on the horizon many have speculated about what team Ole should play against Fulham.

I firmly believe that confidence and momentum are huge factors in football that shouldn't be underestimated.

When Ole took over finishing in the top 4 was a pipe dream and even the biggest optimists amongst us gave us little chance against PSG. Oh how times have changed.

I think it's important however that we keep our feet on the ground and however cliched this may sound take one game at a time.

Ole has introduced a bold new style. We play higher and press quicker. We are lethal on the counter and now kill teams in the transitions. The problem is we lack balance in the squad to play this type of football. Rest too many, tip the balance and we return to the slow, ponderous team we saw under Mourinho.

This could be a pivotal weekend. Chelsea have a tough away fixture at City and if we beat Fulham chances are we will be back in the top 4 come Sunday evening. I think we should play our strongest team tomorrow. Yes the PSG game is important, it's a glamour tie and we all crave to see Utd take on the best but we must return some stability to the Club. We must build on the good work Ole has undertaken. If we want to see this side progress and mature we must finish in the top 4. I really like the look of our front four. I believe the likes of Pogba, Martial, Rashford and Lingard can deliver great things in the years ahead and with some intelligent recruitment in the summer I think we have a lot to look forward to.

We have a relatively young team and a good victory tomorrow would have us full of confidence going into Tuesday. Playing at home makes things a little easier then we don't play again until the following Monday in the FA Cup. I think we should be able to handle that without making too many changes and risking a loss of momentum.

It's never seemed palatable to me that finishing in the top 4 is something to celebrate but I believe it's important for the development of this team. It needs to grow and be tested against the best and a year in the wilderness may result in stagnation. Play our best team they can handle it and whilst the FA Cup is important maybe that's the right time for rotation.

{Ed025's Note - good post that DLIB, and dont forget the new contract for phil jones will give the team a massive boost mate.. :)

Agree3 Disagree0

08 Feb 2019 10:11:23
Thanks Ed025 and of course it will give the team a massive boost that's the next Duncan Edwards your referring to 👀!

Have a great weekend pal!

{Ed025's Note - you too mate..

08 Feb 2019 10:25:49
Great post. Totally agree with all of that. Top 4 has always been the priority and I feel we should keep it that way. A year in the Europa League next year would be a big blow to the club and would be more of an obstacle than anything to the manager that comes in. Winning the CL is unrealistic and so for me anyway top 4 is the priority.

08 Feb 2019 11:34:50
No nuts to that, let's qualify for the UCL next season by winning it this season.

08 Feb 2019 12:01:00
Shappy I'm not saying we shouldn't try and win the Champions League of course we should I just think we should play our strongest team in the league as well. I think the players can handle it and the way the next few fixtures have fallen it shouldn't be a too punishing. Let's Maintain and keep building the momentum. Let's finish the season strongly and see what these players are capable of!

08 Feb 2019 12:20:34
It was supposed to be a little tongue in cheek.

I feel we will have to rotate, not to get results in the next couple of games but in order to get results over the next 20 or so. Matic and Herrera have tired around the 60 minute mark, while the team as a whole has looked pretty tired around 70 minutes.

A lot of that is to do with the new style of play and the need to improve overall fitness. While part of it will probably be due to longer being spent on the training ground to implement the new style of play.

Either way fitness is rarely a problem when your winning. Yet if we lose a game or two and the confidence drops the tiredness will really start to bite and that could lead to a downward trajectory in performances and results.

We need to protect our players for the game yet to come. Fulham might be on paper at least a good team to rest a couple of players. I think the trick to it is to follow what Sir Alex used to do. Rotate 1 or 2 players every game and only play your strongest possible 11 in the vital games.

However, that's easier said than done. For a man who was never going to be sacked he could afford to not play his strongest possible 11 90% of the time. He also managed to get the absolute maximum out of mediocre players so the team didn't suffer from not being the strongest possible 11.

That's harder to do when your long term job prospects are relient on results in every game.

08 Feb 2019 12:48:21
It comes back to that weak midfield and not having enough options to step in. Rotate too much and we risk dropping points. Don't rotate enough and we burn key players out and risk dropping points later.

08 Feb 2019 12:52:54
Yeah I assumed that pal I'm not sure why I felt the need to clarify my point to be honest. I agree 1-2 changes is fine it's when it's becomes 4 or 5 it may become a problem. Anyway an exciting few months ahead.

08 Feb 2019 13:44:00
I think some rotation is possible as long as it's the right combination of players. In Ole's reign the times we've not looked as good is where 2 or 3 players with lesser movement have been put in the team.

I feel Mata and or Lukaku can start but both of them slows down the play too much. Sanchez can adequately replace lingard without too big a loss of energy/ pressing. So for me I'd be happy for Mata to start ahead of Pogba or Lukaku ahead of Rashford but not both.



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