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19 Feb 2018 15:49:20
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19 Feb 2018 14:06:29
Hi Ed any truth in interest in timo Werner?

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{Ed002's Note - Not from MU.}

19 Feb 2018 14:27:30
Cheers ed.

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19 Feb 2018 14:01:40
Ed002 has confirmed that as well as Madrid, City have a serious interest in Dybala. I also think United should move for him and he would be perfect in behind the striker. City would be immense with Dybala in their side if they manage to get him.

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19 Feb 2018 14:32:41
Dybala is good and would be good signing to anyone gets him but I don't think is good as much as most people hype him.

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19 Feb 2018 11:21:09
anyone know what's going on with the reserve team never seen them so far down the table.

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19 Feb 2018 11:38:27
Always found it a bit odd that they got Sbragia back in charge.

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19 Feb 2018 12:00:36
Putting two and two together to make five, and looking at the reviews of the players in each age category, I think that perhaps the Ynder 23s are a legacy of the much-derided youth structures of a few years ago; now there’s been a turnaround in investment, facilities, overseas recruitment and coaching focus, the younger teams are looking more promising - so should start feeding through to the senior teams in a few years.

We’re still behind City in these contexts but at least we’ve turned it around and are once more catching up.

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19 Feb 2018 12:14:24
Its a lot to do with the changes of the team. A lot of u18 players playing or getting involved in senior trams such as u21 and u23.

Look at examples of mctominay, rashford, gomes . If they played consistently for u23s then they will be in a much higher position in the table.

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Review Of The Day 19th February 2018

19 Feb 2018 05:00:32
{Ed's Note - Tris Burke has posted a new article entitled, Review Of The Day 19th February 2018

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19 Feb 2018 06:45:13
Interesting piece on Hawkeye re the VAR. Just shows the inefficiency of people using the system. Even though if you have a world class system and operated by idiots, the results will still be idiotic. What a bloody joke.
They took a corner with the ball not even on the right spot but nobody picked up. If that resulted in a goal against ManUtd would that have been disallowed. Not enough cameras to monitor and worse, inefficient officials monitoring the unmonitored system at the wrong time. Bloody joke 🤣🤣🤣.

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19 Feb 2018 10:20:04
Nice one. Loved Gattuso ‘s comment!

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19 Feb 2018 13:26:54
Just a question to the eds or the posters, it's regarding the VAR. I'm slightly confused regarding its working.

During the Huddersfield vs United match, there was a corner that was taken by the home side and the ball hit Smalling's hand.

Now, question 1

The officials reviewed the incident, but I don't think the ref or even the assistant ref asked for a review. So, this means that the VAR thing was working independently i. e. it will not work the way a third umpire works in cricket, is that correct?

Second, and this is more of a thought than a question, shouldn't the VAR only be consulted in case the officials have a problem? and because they can't refer to replays, they consult the VAR.

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{Ed001's Note - it is supposed to be independent of the officials at the game and look for 'clear and obvious errors' by the officials. It is not meant to be a referral system, the VAR is meant to be used to flag up wrong calls and bring the ref's attention to them.}

19 Feb 2018 13:41:02
Great, thanks, Ed!

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19 Feb 2018 15:15:12
Mata was offside, the system worked, it is more about how we are sold the decision and how they show it on TV or to the fans in attendance that is the issue.

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18 Feb 2018 18:56:36
I thought mctominay was excellent yesterday, and has been very impressive most of the season. I really like the kid. Would like to see him get a few more games before the season is out.
Also I really hope we get to see Gomes and Chong a bit before the season is over too. Two terrific talents.

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18 Feb 2018 21:35:32
Chong could potentially be our solution for the right sided attacking player.

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18 Feb 2018 22:11:11
Not just about your post Caolan, but I doubt we will be seeing much of McTom after the summer window. He has done ok, hasn't stood out for me - I'd rather have about 100 other CM's starting for Utd.

I assume all of the praise from many fans is factoring in his age and inexperience, with everybody putting some arbitrary weightage to bolster his performance? This inevitably means what we would normally class as average performance is now a good one because of some made up scoring. No real difference between him and a finished Carrick yesterday for me, in fact barely noticed McTom - he played well in one of his first games for us, every other time I have seen him he has been a non-entity really.

Simply compared to other CM's playing for elite clubs, he is nowhere near the standard at the moment - we aren't a finishing school. And before anybody starts, where did Wilson, Blackett, Perreira, James, Tuanzebe, TFM, etc, etc, go, who I was reading exactly the same about in recent years?

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18 Feb 2018 22:33:25
Jeez Beast you are seriously in need of some love. The kid made his debut this year and hasn’t looked out of place. He may not be exciting but perhaps we should be a finishing school for our own home grown players. Give the boy a chance.

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18 Feb 2018 22:51:07
I agree with Beast. He looks a competent player but nothing more. But you never know how he'll develop so can't write him off. But for now, he's average.

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18 Feb 2018 22:51:58
AJH - I'm simply taking away the emotion. McTom wasn't excellent yesterday and I'm basing my views on his future on similar performances from youngsters that many fans raved about only to never see the kids again in a first team shirt!

I'd happily give the boy a chance, in fact I'd give many youngsters a better chance as I firmly believe in building a team with Man Utd in their hearts and a unity that only develops over time. The sad fact is that the club will not do this and too many of our fans want their cake and eat it.

If Vidal or Veratti were available 99.99% of our fans would sign them and it would be McTomWHO next season. If we start losing games because youngsters are being blooded over seasoned pro's the manager will get the axe and the fans will be going mad.

I'm simply saying McTominay hasn't done enough for me going from our recent track record. I unfortunately don't make the rules or decisions. TFM would be starting every week for me, I wouldn't have loaned out Perreira either. I'd have had Rashford starting as my main striker this season instead of signing Lukaku.

You see I'm not in need of love, I think the young players in our team are in need of love and most of our fans are in some desperate need of realism!

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18 Feb 2018 22:55:14
Very impressed with McTominay, saying there wasn’t much difference between him and carrick is a great compliment for the lad, maybe he will be just as under rated throughout his career 😉.

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18 Feb 2018 22:59:05
GDS2 - Was Carrick excellent yesterday?

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18 Feb 2018 23:15:44
he will probably need a short loan next season for some game time.

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19 Feb 2018 00:55:47
If I can add to my post fellas. Beast I see exactly what you’re saying, but Young scott is could be an invaluable squad player. I’m not saying he will be world class and get 100 England caps etc. But what I like is his willingness to do whatever job he is asked off. He’s not an extremely creative player so he plays simple and let’s the other players get on with it. I’d like to see him given a go in a 3 with pogba and Matic because he’d help Matic out, free up pogba.
Fletcher was never a world beater but he always carried out whatever role was asked of him and was outstanding in some big games for us. I could see scott develop into that sort of player. He would run through a brick wall if you asked him too. Those players can be invaluable. I’m a fan of his, and I know he won’t be a world class midfielder, but I remember fletcher splitting opinions when I was growing up and he turned out to have a great career for us. So let’s give the kid a chance, because he’s not looked out of place when he’s played.
Also on a side note, I’d like to see Chong on the right hand side, unfortunately I think it will need to be an injury that gives him his chance, but he is still young. Gomes excites me the most, but we can’t rush them. Would like to see both get a chance though, maybe on the bench in a premier league game at OT?

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19 Feb 2018 01:37:24
I'm excited to see young academy players brought into the first real and given chances. McTominay is a great example. He will improve. Chong and Gomes need a few matchday squads before the end of the season. There is suddenly a pathway to the first team for youngsters who are good enough, and some of them are, or will be. The younger ones learn by example from the older heads. People like Carrick and Zlatan, Valencia and Matic, who have experience of winning things and taking care of their bodies for many campaigns. That, for me, is at least half the reason to keep paying them the big money for the ends of their contracts: the experience percolates down. We haven't had many leaders in the squad in recent years. I am confident that will stand the younger players in the squad in good stead in the future.

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19 Feb 2018 09:41:28

Yes I don't think Carrick put a foot wrong, we always look a better team with him in the middle of the park, thought it was his best game for ages.

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19 Feb 2018 09:51:25
Some good points mentioned. But I have to agree with beast on McTominay. I think although he has done ok, he seems to be a steady Eddie of a player. A jack of all trades. He does not stand out in any aspect of his game. I also would have kept pereira and I think the loan was a bad choice by him because he would have played much more this season with our problems in cm. he Also has quality in dead ball situations and I think Lukaku would have a few more goals with pereira playing. I think McTominay willl go on loan next season. Kid has stepped up but if we want to be winning the champions league and premier league we need better. I am excited to see Chong and Gomes break into he first team in the next few seasons. Two supremely talented youngsters who have what it takes to make it at united.

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19 Feb 2018 10:27:49
Squad players are essential to prolonged success.

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19 Feb 2018 12:04:37
Do I think McTominay will be a world class player? Sadly not.

However, Sir Alex built his success on having very good, committed squad players.

Players like O'Shea, Phil Neville, Butt, Brown and Fletcher.

These guys were invaluable because they had an attachment to the club, they would always give their all even if they didn't play every week.

Solid, dependable and never caused trouble.

McTominay could well become a player of that ilk. I it fills me with joy to know we aren't one of these newly rich clubs with no history or tradition.

We give youth a chance, and I will never complain while that happens. McTominay is getting chances he wouldn't at any other top club in England.

I hope that continues.

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19 Feb 2018 12:24:46
I can see Mctomminay playing the Nicky Butt role. Not first pick but ready to do a job and give his all.

Its his first season. I reserve judgement and enjoy the fact Jose is putting trust in youth.

No pleasing some people.

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19 Feb 2018 13:39:07
Very confusing Beast. You would love to give youth a chance, but here's a kid who has come in and looked completely unphased with the step up and you slate him and judge his entire future career after about 300 mins of first team football. What a class act.

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19 Feb 2018 14:37:48
I'm confused that you're confused!

Maybe re-read my posts before passing judgement on me if you can't understand. By the way how many John O'Shea's does a team need? Every time somebody says X player doesn't look good enough at the minute we get shot down with the "Squad player" line, but I think our fans forget that our club is not a charity case nor does it have a good recent record of developing young players. We have about 15 John O'Sheas based on recent cake eaters.

Was McTominlay excellent on Saturday, judged against other CM's of top teams? The answer is no he was not, people are adding in miscellaneous points to his scorecard based on their own personal interpretation of what being young and inexperienced means = that is irrelevant being judged on performance alone.

I hope he becomes a star player and has a wonderful career. However I haven't seen anything more in McTom so far than the other young players I mentioned that haven't been given a kick since similar praise was lauded on them. I got slated at the time for saying we wouldn't be seeing Blackett, James, Wilson and Co again once LVG got a transfer window. Not one person came back to apologise for giving me dogs abuse for being 100% accurate.

I think you are confusing what I (Beast) would do and what I think the club will do. Personally I wouldn't sign any foreign mercenaries and would build my team around academy players blooding them relentlessly - no way in hell the club will do that. If a top class CM becomes available in the summer they will be signed, maybe 2-3 will be - in that scenario it will be to the detriment of the young kid, unless he improves significantly imo.

No reasoned argument just name calling for me passing an honest opinion on a player (that I haven't slated at all) . Do you even know what a slating is?

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19 Feb 2018 14:43:54
I like the way you put Beast in brackets, just in case we forgot 😁.

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19 Feb 2018 15:16:41
It's a good sport betting against youth players coming through. History tells you at the big clubs you are likely to be right 98% of the time.

Mctom is behind Pogba, Matic, Carrick, Fellaini and Herrera. His role in the squad is clear, he is very much back up to a raft of proven international players. When called upon he has done superbly. We cannot have a world class international standard 5th choice player when Jose plays with two in midfield.

Added to all of this, he has just grown about a foot in the last year or so, so it stands to reason he may still be growing and developing. From what I have seen I am happy for him to be that 5th choice squad player.

If Fellaini and Carrick leave at the end of the season then they both need to be replaced with a higher standard. I don't think anyone is arguing anything else are they?

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18 Feb 2018 18:01:57
For those of you who are interested ed 002 gave a fantastic update on real Madrids rebuild plans on the RM rumour page.
United players mentioned as are united targets.
Great read ed002.

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18 Feb 2018 22:49:07
Interesting times ahead for them. If they end up with hazard nd Dybala they will be strong in attack for years to come.

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18 Feb 2018 17:52:51
Well done Rochdale.

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18 Feb 2018 18:07:17
Agree. Ali the diver for the pen. No VAR? 🤣🤣🤣.

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18 Feb 2018 22:49:43
Is Pochettino still better then Mourinho based on tonights show?

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18 Feb 2018 12:50:24
Getting away from VAR last nights draw has resulted in the strong probability of Tottenham getting to the semi finals and thus playing the game on their home pitch. Surely that needs to be looked at. If spurs play for example ourselves or city should not the game be moved to say villa park and if they play a southern club the game could be moved to the Emirates.
You can't move the final from Wembley and should spurs reach the final then they deserve to be there.
I have never been a fan of playing semi finals at Wembley as I grew up in an era when just getting to the final and playing at Wembley was part of the dresm. To be able to play the semi final and maybe the final on your home ground somehow doesn't seem right.

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18 Feb 2018 14:22:28
So if Russia get to the World Cup final it should be played in the Ukraine because it wouldn’t be fair?

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18 Feb 2018 14:23:20
Just one of them things I suppose, it’s not like they will have the ground full of their fans, it will be split 50-50 like any other game so won’t really be the same as a Home game for them. I guess it does give them a slight advantage but about time the best Manager in the world won something anyway 😉.

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18 Feb 2018 14:23:26
Millennium stadium should be.

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18 Feb 2018 18:01:17
I far preferred it when Wembley was just for the final.

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18 Feb 2018 19:37:47
You sound very worried about spurs Allan, can you imagine we play you in the semi-finals and give you a runaround like we did a few weeks ago wouldn't be fair due to Wembley. I fully agree that all semi-finals should be played at neutral grounds like the good old days and it also takes the shine off getting to Wembley for the final, if we meet Utd in the semi-finals we could play it at Rochdale's spotland ground ahhh forget that after todays shambles of a performance.

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18 Feb 2018 09:28:25
I'm just wondering if anyone thought the same as me watching the game yesterday, and after hearing Jose press conference after as well, made me think it was the case. That formation and the tactics implemented were 100% formed around Pogba (hence him being a big miss) . I was getting frustrated with Sanchez lack of tracking back however I think he was under instruction not too. Jose has said Pogba was going to play on the left and when he was out injured Matic got pushed over to his side. It seemed as if we were playing a 442 formation when out of possession where Pogba would have been positioned on the left hand side.
Consequently, Matic was tasked with playing a role that is uncommon and most certainly not suited to him because he would have also been expected to bomb forward to help with the attack. Something Pogba would be able to do with his athleticism. It's similar to the way Madrid have played at times, although they play it to give Ronaldo more freedom (Sanchez in our case) . Hopefully, it was not just an experiment in a one off game and we deploy it in future games as well. My only concern is we are missing a top cm to control the game beside Matic or at the very least influence one. Hopefully, Herrera can regain some form.

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18 Feb 2018 10:08:51
Good points Ed, Jose may be the Manager and he gets to call the shots but getting the best out of your players is something he has done previously but appears to be still trying to with his current team. Please gba as a big miss as we had 2 defensive midfi orders and 1 hard worker. There was not a great deal of creativity and right now I’d give Matic a rest and let Carrick sit in front of the back four, he may be getting older but he has a great brain. That leaves us a midfield and forward line of 5 and we have enough talent to make that work. I’m hoping all this clear the air talk has the right outcome.

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{Ed004's Note - So do I. I think it is fundamental that we get Pogba and Sanchez playing to the best of their abilities. We need to be building the team around them.}

18 Feb 2018 12:48:12
Totally agree Ed it definitely looked more of a 4-4-2 in the second half with Sanchez playing off Lukaku. I thought we looked very dangerous on the break without really having the players to make that system work. Pogba playing from the left would have made a big difference like you said having the athleticism to get forward and support the attack along with his creativity on the ball.

I actually think Pogba is perfectly suited for that left midfield spot. He has the power and athleticism to get up and down. He can ping cross field passes switching the play, look for the ball over the top for Lukaku or inside into Sanchez. He's a very good dribbler, powerful runner, he can also cross and shoot.

I've watched nearly every single one of Pogba's games since we signed him and I just don't see him as a natural central midfielder. Not in the traditional sense anyway. I think because of his size and physique he's gets labelled with being more a Vieira or Keane type of midfielder when in essence he's much more talented and unique than that. He can do a bit of everything and he's almost in danger of becoming a bit too versatile so we never quite get to see the very best of him.

I see Pogba as more of a natural left midfielder tucked in on the left of a midfield 3 or even 4 and being allowed to dominate that left side of the pitch using his power, engine, dribbling, passing, vision and linking the play. He should play between the middle of the pitch and the left touchline in my opinion. This simplifies his game and he can operate in areas where he is most effective.

I think Jose just needs to tweak the formation to get the best out of everybody. I don't think many will argue that Pogba and Sanchez are our best and most talented players. Both were excellent signings it's now down to Jose to get them playing in a system where they can be most effective and I don't see this being in a 4-2-3-1. certainly not in the biggest games against the best teams.

Of course Pogba can play in a midfield two but I just think in the big games he leaves us vulnerable defensively. We just need to tweak the formation in these games so we still get an effective Pogba whilst maintaining good defensive shape.

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{Ed004's Note - I'd just like to see him given the same he role he was given vs Everton away each week. Hopefully, playing him in a consistent position will result in more consistent world class performances that we know he can produce. He has the talent to. That formation should be able to get the best out of both him and Sanchez until the end of season but I think we need to.start pressing a bit higher as a team if we want to see improved performances}

18 Feb 2018 14:11:57
I agree Ed for me the Everton game (second half especially) epitomised everything good about Pogba.

It's strange because when we signed Matic and with Herrera having such a great season last year I assumed we'd just play 4-3-3 in most games with Pogba, Matic and Herrera in midfield.

I think that could be really effective (certainly in big games and away from home) but he's hardly ever used it for some reason. Matic as the holder, Pogba doing what he did against Everton on the left and Herrera playing in his best position on the right where he can play a bit higher pressing the ball and winning it back in dangerous areas.

With the extra man in midfield I assumed this would free Martial to play higher up the pitch and not get dragged back as deep into fullback positions. At the start of the season 4-3-3 just made sense to me.

It's hard to argue at this point that this season hasn't been a success and i'm loathed to over react to a couple of bad results and performances. Ok City have run away with the league but their breaking records as they go. It just feels like there still something missing and whilst results have been good a lot of the performances have been far from convincing, underwhelming and disjointed. We've played some great stuff in patches but I can't remember many occasions where we're been good for the full 90 minutes.

Surely with the likes of De Gea, Bailly, Matic, Pogba, Sanchez, Martial and Lukaku we should run able to play some decent stuff.

I'm a big Jose fan, I think he's assembling a great squad but at this moment in time I'm not convinced he's getting the best out of a very talented group of players.

I just like the team to be built around Pogba rather than trying to shoehorn into a system that maybe doesn't get the best out of him. There is absolutely no doubt that when Pogba plays well he's transforms the way we play and is the biggest influence on the team. I don't understand the reluctance to just free him up a little bit and let him do what he does best.

The next two games are massive and may go along way in defining our season.

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{Ed004's Note - I agree with everything you have written and would include Valencia in that list of players as well. It seems we have the perfect squad now to play 433 but we haven't played it enough. Jose has been building a very strong squad and hopefully after a few new faces in the summer we have a settled first choice 11. One of the issues we have is the constant changing of players and formations. I think we need to settle on what our best 11 is and play it consistently. Currently, I think it would be De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Rojo, Shaw, Matic, Herrera, Pogba, Sanchez (RW), Martial and Lukaku. Although, arguments could be made for Smalling, Jones, Young, Mata and Lingard}

18 Feb 2018 14:50:27
90 % of Huddersfield attack came down our left . Sanchez isn't going to track back all that much so as we saw yesterday we are going to be a bit open on that side.
If pogba plays there he will have to be disciplined.

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{Ed004's Note - Sanchez has tracked back in previous games though. I agree that Pogba will have to be disciplined but following usually one runner (the fullback) will hopefully be easier than following multiple players in central positions}

18 Feb 2018 15:37:40
Read last week that in something like 700 games going back to Jose early Chelsea games he had played 433 something like 130 times .
Pogba and Sanchez on the same side looks a bit one sided to me with both wanting to play in similar areas .
You would just attack the areas behind him .
No matter where he plays in midfield he will need to be disciplined.
Pogba played great in that position against Everton awful against Newcastle.
I still think if pogba plays well he plays well regardless of position.

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18 Feb 2018 16:52:14
Jred - I read that stat as well which is why I think he'll persist in playing a two man midfield.

I know Jose said that Pogba played to the left of a midfield 3 against Newcastle but if you watched the game he clearly didn't play in that position.

Jose is either implying that Pogba does what he wants and doesn't follow instructions or that he can still have a bad game in his favoured position or that he didn't really play in that position and he's being disingenuous. You can make your own mind up.

To back this up If you look at his heat map against Everton where he clearly played in that position and compare it to his heat map against Newcastle there is a clear and distinctive difference.

I know heat maps don't tell the whole story or can't tell you how well somebody performed but they're very good at illustrating what positions the player occupied on the pitch. If you play on the left of a midfield 3 then you'd expect the heat map to reflect that the majority of the positions taken up on the field we're between the centre of the pitch to the left touch line box to box. This is represented in his heat map against Everton. If he was playing in that position against Newcastle i'd expect to see something similar but it actually showed him all over the pitch with most of the more concentrated areas on the right! (These are easy to find on google) .

If we assure that his favoured position is to the left of a midfield 3 and he knows how to play this position then why didn't he play there against Newcastle and why is Jose insisting that he did? It just doesn't make sense!

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18 Feb 2018 15:40:19
I agree Ed but at this moment in time I think I'd play Sanchez left and Mata right . I don't think Sanchez has played wide right since his Barcelona days and when interviewed he named his favoured positions as left or central. I'd be worried we'd be solving one problem with Pogba and creating another with Sanchez. Martial is still young and can do a good job off the bench. I really like Martial but I just think Sanchez offers a bit more at the moment.

Jred - I think that's because Sanchez was playing up front. Matic was supposed to be playing left midfield but that's not his best position and he was still playing a bit narrow. He didn't look comfortable being dragged out of the centre. I totally agree with Ed Pogba would do that role and tracking one runner (full back) should be more straightforward that having people running off him in central areas.

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{Ed004's Note - If we intend to play this long-term then we would need a right sided player comfortable playing centrally as well and a lot more from our full backs going forward and providing width. I think it currently suits Mata, Pogba and Sanchez with the roles they currently have and Martial would be my first sub for any of the attacking positions}

18 Feb 2018 17:56:07
Up the Dale for those of us living in North Manchester! What a result and a last minute equaliser! Brilliant for the lads!

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18 Feb 2018 18:36:25
Do you think that's why Jose subbed him against Newcastle because he did not do what he was told .
Looked like we where set up to play 433.
I wouldn't be happy if I was pogba and the manager told me to play one position and then told the world's media
“Against Newcastle Paul played in midfield, we had a 6 [Nemanja Matic] and two 8s [Jesse Lingard and Pogba], with Paul on the left-hand side. If you ask Paul what is his preferred formation it is 4-3-3. If you ask him where he likes to play in that formation it is 8, on the left. That is exactly what he was doing against Newcastle. ”.

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18 Feb 2018 19:31:39
Jred - I have no idea pal and it's worrying. Pogba knows how to play to the left of a midfield 3 but I don't think he took up positions you'd expect from a player given that role. His heat-map is evidence of this. Why this was I just don't know unless I'm completely wrong and that's where he was playing. It is only my opinion after all and I'm not claiming to be any kind of expert.

There was obviously something not right with Pogba in that Newcastle game! Was he injured? Was he ill? Nobody really knows?

He got subbed and Jose intimated after the game there was no problem and it was tactical. We then hear stories that he was ill. Jose comes out after the game and says he played in his favourite position against Newcastle when in my opinion he didn't take up the positions you'd expect if he was playing that role? A role he knows well and has excelled in.

A few days later Jose comes out in the media, says any rift is bulls*** and he'll play against Huddersfield again in his favoured position. On the morning of the game Pogba doesn't play. Jose says he has no idea why he's out and he doesn't care (maybe taken out of context) then after the game we hear he's ill?

Jose then makes comments about Mctominay deserving more credit and that some players missed out whilst other played so well. He then makes reference to haircuts, tattoos, flash cars, watches etc it all sounded like a swipe at Pogba to me.

I've got no idea what's going on but it's worrying entering a crucial period of the season with Pogba being arguably our most influential player!

If this was Fergi I wouldn't worry so much as he had total control of the dressing room and everybody knew if you crossed him you'd be out. With Jose it's slightly different. He's not known for his longevity at clubs, rumours persist he's not settled in Manchester, he's overtly flirted with PSG and I worry about his control of the dressing room.

It's a dangerous game to take Pogba on especially at this stage of the season. Pogba is an influential member of the squad, we're now precariously placed for top 4 and just about to enter the knockout stages of the Champs League. Other teams are hitting form but we're going the other way. If we don't make top 4 then surely his job is under threat.

I hope this is all being blown out of proportion and I'm taking rubbish as usual but something just doesn't seem right.

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18 Feb 2018 21:04:21

United tweeted yesterday morning that Pogba was ill, hectweeted saying he can’t wait to get better. The people who believe the nonsense in the press are the reason they get away with it.

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19 Feb 2018 01:45:55
Can't wait to get better at his job. I'll bet Pogba knows he's not playing because he's been inconsistent. He's still learning. He has off days, but Jose is managing him well right now. The Tweets are all for show: public persona pretending to be private. And hey, with a sprinkle of Mourinho, he shifted the conversation onto McTominay, and now not everyone is talking about Pogba. He's a 24 year old man-boy (as most cocooned 24 year old guys are, with the expectations of, allegedly, up to half billion people on his shoulders, and maybe at least as many who would see him fail. He's not the finished article. How old was Zidane before he won a major international tournament?

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{Ed0333's Note - good post mate. I also agree he has the expectation of Aftica on his soldiers which is a colossal burden. He’ll come good soon he’s too talented not too. I’m not sure he’ll win ballon D’ors consistently though.

19 Feb 2018 09:43:32

Every single paper is still all about Pogba today and how he has had a dressing room BUST-UP with Jose, so not sure it has worked.

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18 Feb 2018 08:19:32
Just watched the highlights again and I want to talk about VAR. My understanding was that VAR was there to deal with “clear and obvious errors”. According to MOTD, the ref didn’t call for a review, it was the ref back in the studio who called for it. Then you have the decision itself, I’m not convinced Mata was offside but if he was it was a couple of hairs from his beard, which is not a clear and obvious error.

So what’s going on? We all want the horror decisions to be cut out and if not, rectified, balls over the line, clear penalties and simulation, violent conduct and so on. But an offside decision of millimetres? Forget it was a United decision yesterday, this is a wider point about the obsession of VAR. We’ve seen corners awarded to the wrong side that result in a goal, perhaps we should review every disputed corner and throw in. The n paper it sounds like a reasonable idea but it’s application so far has been pants. It has disrupted games and delivered some questionable decisions, many of which were not in relation to clear and obvious errors.

It seems refs have a new toy to play with.

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18 Feb 2018 09:39:02

I agree and yesterday showed it is far from being ready to use. The Mata decision was a complete shambles from every aspect, we went from the attackers advantage, a goal given, to a desperate attempt to prove he was offside. The image of the wavy lines made it look a farce and cannot do anything to build confidence in what looks an underthought under practiced botch because it can’t be called a system . It was not a clear and obvious error, unless the FA don’t understand the meaning of the words. Even now with hours to play with they are trying to argue half of his kneecap was offside.

In all this the fans seem to be ignored. In the stadium sat not knowing what is going on, at home waiting for the wavy lines to appear. How has the Premier League become so amateur? Why is it only happening at selected games, it means there are different standards being applied across a series of games, games that can be crucial to teams. Imagine if a crucial decision in the last minute of the last game goes against a team and it sends them down but it wasn’t a clear and obvious one to refer, will they take legal action?

They had time to study cricket, rugby league, take the best bits, mike up the extra ref to explain what they are looking at, they need big screens in grounds and on TV to show what is being looked at. But no the amateurs rammed this in and yesterday’s farce shows it needs far more planning and far clearer definitions of use before implementing and it needs to be all games in the competition to ensure the same standard across all.

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18 Feb 2018 09:54:19
AJH - when it is offside it is a straight question, onside or offside, the clear and obvious error question does not apply.
That said, the whole incident yesterday was a complete shambles, an embarrassment to the FA.
I think BT said it took them 8mins to get a picture that showed Mata was offside, his knee was millimetres offside. Hands and arms don't count as you cannot use them to play the ball legally.

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{Ed002's Note - The FA?}

18 Feb 2018 10:06:13
Ed002 - my understanding is that VAR is a FIFA initiative that the FA has agreed to trial in the FA Cup? As yesterday showed, the system as is is not fit for purpose and as the FA agreed to the trial I think it's embarrassing for them.
Happy to withdraw my statement if my understanding is incorrect.

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{Ed002's Note - It comes from IFAB not FIFA. The FA are not embarrassed by any little incident in any Manchester United game. You sound like a Liverpool fan - no doubt you will continue to whine and bleat about it for weeks.}

18 Feb 2018 10:13:17
Keanooh, but that’s not why it has been brought in, if it was then every offside decision would be reviewed to check it was correct, and we really don’t want that.

RedMan, some good pints there, I like the cricket approach of umpires call or the rugby approach which is “I have made a decision, there needs to be something significant for me to change it” approach. The commentators on BT and BBC both watched replays and called it as level but computers were able to spot a hair on his knee that was ahead f the defender. It was comical and as you say, amateurish.

It’s not just us, the Liverpool Spurs game was also farcical.

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18 Feb 2018 10:24:44
What if for example a goal is scored and there is a clear handball in the build up? How long will it be before the debate moves on to var examining all aspects of the build up to the goal just as they sometimes do in Rugby when a try is often disallowed because of something that happened maybe 30 secs before the ball was touched down.

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18 Feb 2018 10:59:17
AJH - I'm not saying all offsides but when an offside decision is reviewed it is a straight question, onside or offside.
I think the offside area of the game presents major problems, it works in instances like yesterday as by millimetres it was correct Mata was offside. We can argue about the process etc but having used VAR the decision was correct.
Where I think it fails is where the referee's assistant (RA) flags for offside the referee awards the free kick but the RA has made the wrong decision and an attacking team is denied a goal scoring opportunity.
To balance it up I would like to see the referee let the game continue where it's a goalscoring opportunity. A goal scoring opportunity isn't just someone through on goal, it could be a winger having the ball wide with players in support who he could pass to after drawing the keeper. If the attacking team gain an advantage, goal / corner then review the RA decision afterwards.
Without spending a lot of time thinking exactly how the advantage would work, the best I can do is to use the above as a starting point.

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18 Feb 2018 11:35:58
I think it's going to take time but ultimately the VAR is a great addition in my opinion. When rugby introduced the Television Match Official there were many teething problems but look at it now, quality.

I think everyone expects everything to be bang on from the get go. It's only giving pundits something to talk about and most of them haven't a clue. By the way wasn't mata offside?

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18 Feb 2018 12:36:35
But what about subjective decisions, angel? Also, is it quality for rugby? It's stop-start constantly. Imagine every decision going to VAR with referees who can't even agree on things after games.

Just get rid of it.

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18 Feb 2018 10:34:46
Ed002 - you couldn't be more wrong, the right decision was made so I don't have a problem with the decision about the goal being disallowed. It's the process which is the issue, looking at the pictures that were sent to TV with the wiggly lines, how could the TV ref be certain of his decision. Surely VAR is there to provide definitive evidence with the offside and looking at the pictures I don't see how it provided that evidence.

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{Ed002's Note - I am far from wrong. (a) It is nothing that will embarrass the FA. (b) You are whining - regardless of the decision being right or wrong. Whining.}

18 Feb 2018 14:25:35
VAR is bad bad bad for the game.

I want there to be contraversial and even wrong decisions from time to time. It's part of football and the game is much richer for it.
Think about the history of contentious decisions and how they have added to the lore of the game. Hirst in 66, the hand of god, lampard's goal against Germany. Every week there is contraversy and it's fun.

Most fun in life exists in the grey areas. When everything is cut and dried, black and white, clinical it's boring. Same with football.

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{Ed001's Note - but you then have to worry that every bad decision is down to match fixing. How many times has it been alleged but nothing done because without proof of an official taking the money it is impossible to prove decisions are anything but a genuine mistake?}

18 Feb 2018 14:45:30
I think VAR is an awful idea . It's only a matter of time until the refs stop making a decision and every thing goes to VAR.
Might as well just get the ref in the tv room to ref it and let the bloke on the pitch know when to blow his whistle.

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18 Feb 2018 15:21:16
Once its refined it will be a good thing. It works well in other sorts. No system will ever be perfect its snout finding the least imperfect model.
The worst part is the lack of communication.
Time and technology moves on lots of people resist change and until its improved var will have its opponents. But once its refined it will be a good thing imo.
But there is a lot of work to do to refine how and when its used. I would be in favour of coaches having 3 reviews per match on goal penalty and red card decisions. Simialar to tennis. So its in the coaches hands not the referees to decide when to review.

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18 Feb 2018 15:59:41
You mustn't watch a lot of rugby sepp. This will be a very good thing once refined. That will take time and I'm sure there will be lots of whinging about it, wouldn't expect anything less. But they have to follow the rugby line, allowing the referee to control the game and on occasion go to the VAR.

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18 Feb 2018 16:35:58
I don't watch it for that reason. I guess we'll see what happens with it. It can't get any worse, can it?

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18 Feb 2018 17:50:02
But many others watch it and I find it much more enjoyable and just with the TMO. Rugby has a far superior refereeing system in place mainly thanks to the governing bodies. They protect their referees at all costs and therefore players have higher amounts of respect.

The VAR will improve no doubt. Those proclaiming it bad for the sport are usually the ones who don't like to see progress because that's what this is.

I read nearly everyday how referee decisions cost teams in games, moaning and whining all the time from fans, pundits etc. Here we are with technology that will alleviate pressure and more than likely allow referees to be better. But what do we have, oh it's not good for the game, oh it slows it down, blaa blaa. 90 percent of football games that I watch anyway are pedestrian and boring. The least they can do is to make sure decisions are correct and don't ruin big games.

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18 Feb 2018 18:43:42
Is that because 90% of the matches you watch are United.?

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18 Feb 2018 18:52:48
That's an interesting comment Ed001.

It has never occured to me that officials might have taken a bung.

Am I naive?

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{Ed001's Note - probably mate as I am sure there have been lots.}

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