23 Dec 2017 11:33:32
Question to all the Eds and posters. After the derby where we got slaughtered because of our negative approach and not taking the game to city, I was wondering what we could have done differently. We setup very similar to the way we approached the arsenal game, but without pogba it was never going to be as effective. Watching the way Man City attack and camp in the opposition third with everyone on the ball facing goal and looking to pass forward made me wonder how should a team setup to play against them? They press extremely well and have players who can retain the ball with ease. We do neither. After the game against Ajax mourinho mentioned that his approach to beat the press is to play the long ball which makes sense as trying to play the ball out without players good at keeping the ball, against a team that presses well is suicide. City isolate the opposition players and always back themselves to beat the one player they are against. That’s why they rush players forward in an attack and can retain the ball that high up the pitch. So, given out squad- how should we have set up and played against them?

1.) 23 Dec 2017
23 Dec 2017 13:47:33
I get your point Ryan, but I'd expect better than "Long Ball and Hope" from a manager paid as much as Jose and with the immense resources at his disposal.

It is not David Vs Goliath, teams like WBA would adopt the approach we did, we play like it against all teams that pressure us, Bristol City or Man City we play long ball. I'd expect us to make Man City have to change their tactics for us especially as we are at home. Our mind-set was contain and hope to exploit a mistake or take every chance we make, only one team approached the game expecting to truly win and that is a mindset/ confidence thing. We lacked belief and it showed.

I suspect you beat City by prioritising the focus on their weakness (defending), we played into their hand and maybe you can get a hiding if you get it wrong, but I'd rather go down fighting rather than barricading myself in a church surrounded by petrol and handing the match to our enemy! Attack in numbers, make their creative players have to track back consistently, utilise the strength and power of Lukaku by pushing the full backs forward whipping in crosses with our midfielders feeding off of him, close to him rather than 30 metres off worrying about defending for the imminent moment City pick up the ball. We should have at least made City have to think about doing something different, they simply turned up and did what they normally do, shouldn't be allowed to happen.

Camping plays into City's hand, we should have at least asked for a reshuffle, even at half time when it was clear our strategy was not working. We got lucky against Arsenal playing this way, it's rare you get lucky twice on the spin! We should be relying on more than luck as well considering how heftily our manager and players are compensated, as well as the pedigree of the club. City have been the bully boys that we used to be, winning the game almost before a ball is kicked, it was frankly disgusting to watch us behave and approach the game in such a subservient manner.

2.) 23 Dec 2017
23 Dec 2017 14:41:43
Agree there beast. The big advantage city have is this aura they have created where teams are more focussed on holding on rather than taking the game to them. We used to have that once. one more midfielder who can carry the ball, a decent lb and a rw so that all our attacks do not need to go down the left and we should be able to take the game to them.

3.) 23 Dec 2017
23 Dec 2017 15:09:33
But teams have tried to play out against them an got battered. For all their attack they scored from two set pieces. We had the late lukaku chance an the Herrera non penalty which another day we would have got one of those and got at least a point.

4.) 23 Dec 2017
23 Dec 2017 16:08:50
I think this is what divides us fans. I still remember the season where we lost the title on goal difference - of 8 goals if I remember right. In the game against city where we lost 1-6, we tried to attack till the last minute conceding 3 goals in the last 10 mins leading to Fergie’s “you idiots” rant. After that game we shut shop, tightened at the back and won the majority of our games either 1-0 or by a single goal and the flamboyance was put on the back burner. You could argue that had we been pragmatic and cautious and even lost that game by a single goal we would have been champions at the end of the season.
Some of us prefer the way we played during most of that season - ensuring we got the job done, while others want to seeentertaining “give it a right go” style reminiscent of the great united sides and in line with what had made us popular over the years. I think we can win trophies playing either way, the deciding factor is the squad we have and how the manager makes use of it. As mentioned on here many times, for Jose points come before style and is very risk averse unless he believes he has a fantastic squad - which he doesn’t. On the other end is someone like Klopp whose risk aversion is far far less- hence why he still plays mignolet.
The squad has improved this year and so has the playing style. Hopefully this will continue over the next two windows and we will return to playing the way we are known for.

5.) 23 Dec 2017
23 Dec 2017 16:45:54
Im starting to get board of the negative approach now as well beast. I do think we should let jose finish the season. But i also think we need a good replacement.
People will shout and scream Pochetino (? ) but its not as easy as that, he's at already a good club and we don't have any right to "take" who we like because it doesn't work like that anymore.
We need proper planning and should leave it to the club to sort that and back the next man.

6.) 23 Dec 2017
23 Dec 2017 17:20:23
And if you get shot of Jose and get the next man in then what? Throw another 250 million at him, buy another 6 players that have to be integrated. Then call for him to get sacked when we're still playing rubbish.

7.) 23 Dec 2017
23 Dec 2017 20:40:15
That sounds accurate mort 😑.