Manchester United banter 2


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13 Dec 2017 19:13:51
With Miki on the transfer list (so to speak), like many on here suspected. Is it making way for Oezil?

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13 Dec 2017 19:41:19
I'm hoping Bale or Griezzmann personally, Oezil is very good but the other two are great and we need great signings right now.

13 Dec 2017 19:49:17
Bale on loan with option to buy. Doubt it's possible, but they don't really need him.

13 Dec 2017 19:57:54
I'm hoping for Dybala. He could be our version of Sanchez/ Aguero style player.

13 Dec 2017 20:06:08
If he wants to sign a couple then he has to let a couple go and to balance the books, wages squad size etc etc. It may not be a like for like positional wise. He may think that with jessie and mata we are covered for miki's preferred role and sign a full back or midfielder. But it does look like miki is available and i can understand why jose may want to sell him.

13 Dec 2017 21:31:15
I would rather have somebody who could fill pogba's shoes if he is not playing as cover/ play alongside as he is the player we miss the most. As for bale no thanks too injury prone, cost etc. why waste money on someone who is more than likely not going to be available for selection. Milinkovic-savic is the player we want though cannot see it happening in january.

13 Dec 2017 19:05:25
Shaw, McT and Jones start tonight.

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13 Dec 2017 19:12:09
hope Mct has a blinder really good opportunity to do himself justice in a must win game, could be a good player from the little i have seen from him and hope Shaw as well plays well Lukaku to end goal draught.

13 Dec 2017 19:21:57
I want a Lukaku hat-trick tonight. Shaw to assist two of them.

{Ed025's Note - romelu is good against the lesser lights syd so you could be right, its a pity he cant do it against the better teams mate...#flat track bully..

13 Dec 2017 19:35:28
025 - True mate.

13 Dec 2017 19:50:34
Great news. Really high hopes for him. He has the world at his feet very few get this opportunity even fewer make the most of it. He has to be over the moon.

13 Dec 2017 18:35:33
Angel Gomes signs first professional contract with MU.

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13 Dec 2017 18:59:01
get in, so happy he stayed would be gutted to see the lad anywhere else could be the missing piece at 10 as early as next season.

13 Dec 2017 18:59:25
Just read that Sydney, great news

Now he has to earn a chance.

13 Dec 2017 19:11:17
Buzzing when I heard guys. I think we will see bits of him next season.

13 Dec 2017 19:23:36
Syd has he got a calendar coming out then and what bits of him are you hoping to see 😁😁😁.

13 Dec 2017 19:44:18
Lol, God I wish I phrased that different.

13 Dec 2017 15:00:29
Let's put Sundays game behind us, it's in the past and you can't change the past, but you can learn from it.
The focus is Bournemouth and getting 3 points tonight. We need to focus on getting back 2nd place and closing the gap on City if they drop points.

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13 Dec 2017 12:34:37
I have not posted for a while and have just been reading the positive posts when we win and the negative posts when we lose.

I think the bigger problem which remains is that the club is fundamentally mismanaged. We use to laugh at other clubs who continually changed manager and then had to chop and change the squad.

We are an economic giant, but we are run like a championship club. The likes of Bayern Munich, Dortmund, Barcelona and even Real Madrid have chopped and changed their managers over recent seasons, but they carry on regardless. They have an identity and a long term plan. They have a style of playing and targets to fit that style. Even if the manager changes they have continuity.

We on the other hand use our economic might to gloss over the fact we don't have a long term plan. With the amount we have spent on players, agents and wages we should have a much better squad than we do.

We can poke fun at city and their cheque book approach, but at least they are moving forward. Their infrastructure improvement and link to st beads school to attract top youth players is to be commended. They have a long term strategy and it seems to be working.

We on the other hand will need to spend another half a billion pounds to improve our squad depth to bring it to the same level as theirs.

Is part of the problem we have an unbalanced squad with a lack of quality strength in depth. Yes but we shouldn't after the amount we have spent.

I have seen the various opinions on here blaming Jose for his negative approach and others praising him. I personally prefer peps style of play and personality, but at least find Jose's football more watchable than Moyes and lvg's. There has been massive improvement in the team and results we are 2nd after all, but the undeniable gulf between us and city would be much smaller if we had a more cohesive strategy.

I hope our club takes a step back and looks at the last what has happened over the last 4/ 5 years and assess what could have been done better so as to ensure we do not repeat the same mistakes going forward.

We need a new lb, a new rb, creativity in mf, a RW and a new cf at the summer and if we are to close the gap on city they need to be top draw. Let's face it city will spend big in the summer. We need to get smarter, have a plan and not need to start again from scratch when Jose has his inevitable blow up and leaves.

Food for thought, let m know what you think.

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13 Dec 2017 16:19:48
Good post Huggy. I think the club is still suffering with the post SAF transition, as I think he had a massive say in a number of footballing matters - similar to Wenger at Arsenal now.

I agree the club needs a long term plan to improve the footballing infrastructure including the academy, scouting network, affiliated clubs etc. The business side of things appears to be very well run based upon the commercial success.

13 Dec 2017 18:15:47
It's a good post that but also worth noting we are 2nd in the league, in all the cups and through to the next round of the Cl . Which is an improvement on last season, where we managed to win the Europe and league cup, which in turn was better than the previous season where we won the fa cup .

Maybe an argument that we have a plan are improvement, are going forward and not backwards and at the moment in England are second only to 1 team that is breaking records .
City have more points than any team in Europe
After 15 games city had 42 points
Barce 39
United 35
Munich 35
Madrid 31.

Maybe our start hasn't been all that bad after all.

13 Dec 2017 18:24:13
Jose is the right manager to have make this team on par with city Barcelona Bayern whoever? . Imo we do need to get a few in to be there but is relatively easy January and this summer, we have huge amounts each season to spend on players Jose is good in the market for getting quility we have a very good spine when all fit who knows were we would be now with Greizmann and Perisic. This january we could sign a real top number 10 my choice would be Nabil Fekir or Greizmann or Mertens loads of top players out there. We will come strong again a season and a bit is to soon to say this is really Joses full team and happy with ever player were closer than last year to were we will be and not far off being the Special ones best team.

14 Dec 2017 08:55:04
Morning JRED, thanks for the response. I did acknowledge in my post that we are second in the league and that we are showing improvement on prior seasons.

My main point is with a little planning and the money spent we should be the team leading the way in terms of being 1st in the table and playing champagne football.

Mourinho is hamstrung by an unbalanced squad, with a lot of average players on massive wages. How many transfer windows have passed where a large number of posters on here have been screaming for new wing back and new wingers with the transfer window slamming shut and the issue not being addressed.

I just don’t think the club has a long term plan as we have owners who had envisaged exiting the club over the next couple of years. It looks like they plan to stick around a little longer, but I don’t see it being long term.

I believe we will continue to be a reactionary club and that poor Jose will continue to have to do the best he can. Which I think is ok at the moment. I expect Jose to get frustrated and leave and the club to go back to square one with the next manager.

I have to say city knew who they wanted, and spent several years working on getting pep in and getting pep style players, yes city had an average season last year, but they are reaping the rewards this year.

I don’t want to be city, I am united through and through, but I am also rational enough to see where we are going wrong and where city are going right. With a bit of planning we can not only match them, but also surpass them, I just can’t see us formulating and implementing that long term plan.

14 Dec 2017 18:25:39
Every other team in Europe must be going wrong then because city are also doing better than them.

14 Dec 2017 21:55:48
Every other team in Europe has not spent what we have on transfers, agents fees and wages.

If you think we are getting a good return on our investment I hope you aren’t a financial planner.

13 Dec 2017 08:35:32

There are things that you have mentioned in a post yesterday that I agree with and then there are things that I might have a different opinion on. So here's my two cents worth of whatever is popping in my head:

Yes, we have done well if you compare us to last season. We are in the knock-out stages of the CL, the FA Cup is still there and even the League Cup (for whatever it counts) . The PL is obviously a different story. Now I'm not going to whine about what has happened, coz it has and there is nothing that one can do about it. There were games where we should have done better.

Liverpool was in my opinion 2 massive points dropped. Stoke was another disaster (strong word, I know), Chelsea were not totally confident when we played them, I think, they were coming after a loss to Roma (not too sure) . And then the recent one City. We all know what we felt about that and we know Mou messed it up big time. And I think, it is safe to say that out of the 4 games mentioned above, Mou messed up all of em (slightly harsh, but just my opinion) .

Now, coming on the argument about winger vs midfielders, I think we need both and I think Mou knew that. He knew offer little from the sides going forward, all of us know Valencia can't cross the ball and Young is not consistent enough, though is better than the others that are there. We also know that Mou tried to sign Perisic and it did not happen for whatever reason, maybe it's the money, maybe Inter did not want to sell, who knows.

But what one does know is the fact that when you are the manager of Manchester United, are you not supposed to have a back-up plan in case Plan A doesn't work? And that was for the left side of the team, what about the right hand side? Was Bale plan A, if not then who was it? If that didn't work then who was the back-up? Surely, you can't just have one option, right?

For the centre of the park, the problem is we have solid holding/ defensive midfielder in Matic and then we have Pogba, who is not your typical holding midfielder, rather, he might just be a box to box midfielder. Now, we all want Pogba to showcase what he's worth inside the oppositions half and not get bogged down by too much defending. But, when that happens, it makes Matic look vulnerable and he can't really do the job alone then.

So, does this mean that we let go of the two in the middle formation? Instead, do we look at a three man midfield? Possibly, Matic + Another CM (no name here) + Pogba and with that, we have a 3 in the front? Lukaku + Martial + Rashford (Mikhi + Lingard + Mata as subs, whatever suits people) . Do you think this formation can work? This way, not only do we solve the problem of being outnumbered in the middle, we also have pace on the wings, which is good.

One more thing that I have noticed every time we play is that out team just doesn't form triangles when we play a short passing game. There is support through the lines, but never through the middle, which baffles me, coz if you want to play a passing game (I don't mean a 'Barca-ish' game) you need to create triangles or maybe that's just my thinking.

All in all, I think results have improved, but nothing drastic has been changed. We are defeating teams we are supposed to, but it's the defensive minded approach against the big ones that are costing us. Certain players need to step up and take command of the game, certain players need to put in some extra hours in the training ground.

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13 Dec 2017 10:08:28
I think the meltdown has been a bit over played. We were beaten by the better team on the day, the one that is further on with there plan, and one that can out spend us.

2nd is nothing to start crying about, and Jose will know what he needs but just doesn't have unlimited funds and time to do it. If he did our midfield would have been fixed and so would our RB and LB positions a bit like what city did last window with RB LB and midfielders brought in.

Lastly I don't think our midfield can go toe to toe with sides without pogba. Herrera is no where good enough this season he has gone backwards and i'm not getting into Fellaini, I don't think he will play much now he wants to leave.

13 Dec 2017 10:48:42

I'm not talking about there being a meltdown, I'm just stating a few things and by no means is that me panicking.

I don't think City can outspend us. They are attracting good players, but so are we. I don't know for sure, but I doubt city outbid us for any player, at least not since the time Mou has come in. I think a lot has to do with the player wanting to work for a particular manager (not too sure) .

City spent a bomb in the summer and they didn't really sell their players for a lot of money, so it wasn't like they balanced their buying through selling. United did the same. Yes, we need a RB and LB and that means clearing deadwood, but I think the budget was available to Mou (Again, just what I think) .

I agree, our midfield without Pogba is incomplete and whenever he isn't playing we can see how we simply by-pass our central players. Maybe, Mou could try and strengthen our central area in January.

13 Dec 2017 11:04:43
It will be interesting to see how we progress in midfield JMS model this season was to have 5 pogba matic Carrick Herrera and Fellini . Mctommay has been used maybe due to the Carrick issues and Mata Miki and lingaard are more of a ten or wide players . Come the seasons end Carrick and fellani may not be with us and Herrera is using up most of his credit for his good form 7 month ago . Pogba and matic look as good as any two in the league but quite often face 3 . Without either matic or pogba it's easy to fear the worst against good sides.

13 Dec 2017 17:39:37
Raghav, good post mate. I think, we have the players to compete but for whatever reason we rarely leave look fluid. There have been spells and moments but nothing sustained, even the 4-0 wins were a little stop and start.

I think there is potential in our team that remains untapped and it is up to Jose to get it out. I’m not sure he will though, he will ship some out and ship some more in, which seems a little clinical. I want to see what he’s made of and what he can get out of the players we have.

13 Dec 2017 08:10:22
What one January signing do you think would most improve our starting 11?

I'd go with Verratti SMS Goretzka Sandro in that order although I'd love us to sign Dybala I think we have enough depth in his position.

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13 Dec 2017 09:59:56
SMS and he's availzble albeit at a ridiculous price.

13 Dec 2017 11:00:15
Any idea what this ridiculous price could be?

13 Dec 2017 13:48:24
If rumours are to be believed somewhere around £90m

13 Dec 2017 18:30:40
The ed said they where talking about a few similar to pogba in the summer .
That was before he signed a new contract and pay bought neymar and the market changed .

14 Dec 2017 00:24:53
Love to see Dybala but I think a winger is urgent, so perisic.

Premier League Preview Wednesday 13th December 2017

13 Dec 2017 06:04:48
{Ed's Note - we have posted a new article entitled, Premier League Preview Wednesday 13th December 2017

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13 Dec 2017 06:14:51
As usual interesting and great preview Eds though I can’t fully agree with some or the predictions. But predictions are predictions and individual opinions and I totally respect that. Hope some of the Eds are not too emotional in their predictions 😂. That said you never know until the game has ended. That’s why the ball is round. Anything can happen.
That said I expect a couple of surprises from the away games for bigger clubs. Not sure there will be any mauling but could possibly turn out to be a disappointment for these big clubs playing away games.
My rationale is that the lower table clubs are not as easy to be walked all over anymore. In any case, as always many thanks for the insights and predictions. Great jobs. 👏👏.

{Ed001's Note - I have no idea how they decide what to predict but there must be some emotion attached I would assume.}

13 Dec 2017 15:14:17
Sure Ed I totally respect that. Without emotions would be boring as well 😉
In any case interesting and reminds me that everyone is different and that’s the beauty of humankind.
Thanks again.

{Ed001's Note - you just have to remember, no one's perfect. Well except me obviously, but I am the exception that proves the rule.... ;-)

12 Dec 2017 22:33:01
Ed002. You habe kindly told us that SM-S is our no1 midfield target at an asking price well over the odds.
Are we trying to sign him in Jan or is he a summer window target?

{Ed002's Note - I cannot answer questions about timings with any authority. If I said January it would lead to abuse if it didn’t happen.}

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12 Dec 2017 23:13:57
Don't blame you Ed, people love to shoot the messenger. Thanks for the info anyway, seems like a top player and hopefully we do make a move for him sooner rather than later.

13 Dec 2017 14:07:00
No sweat ed002 I understand. Cheers.

12 Dec 2017 17:21:48
I'm going with a slightly controversial idea here. I don't think we need a winger. Which for a club with such a rich history of wide men seems a little off beat.

I've been considering wingers our lack of wingers for a long time. I have also troved through all the players we could sign for such a position, and fo you know what I found? There are very few wingers who could be considered world class. Robben and Ribery were the last two imo. Sure there are other players who play wide. But how many are creative and a goal threat consistently? I think all the players who play that sort of role are in the bracket below world class. Very good players but you can't rely on them consistently to get you out of a jam. Nearly all the best wide players now are full backs. It's easier to teach a winger who isn't world class how to defend than to teach them how to become world class. So they become full backs. Valencia and Young are cases in point.

I think to solve the lack of creation in our side we need to look for more creative midfielders. We can all see what happens when Pogba isn't around. I don't think a winger would have helped against City. They play too far forward and without a link man in midfield to link the midfield to the forward line having a winger would have just meant we would have had another player isolated and not really contributing. Martial has been pretty good this season, as has Rashford. Lingard came into some excellent form this month too. But without someone in midfield supplying them then their impact on the game is always going to be fairly limited.

We have some good creative forward players, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Martial, Rashford and Lingard. Andreas Pereira is out on loan and we have the young Angel Gomes coming through the academy.

But what we lack is someone to give them the fire power from midfield the moment Pogba is absent. We are also lacking some dynamism in midfield even when Pogba plays. Oh how we could do with Kante. Pretty sure we wouldn't lose any midfield battles then. Matic does a superb job of shielding the defence, but he hasn't the legs to do the running. Add to that Pogba isn't the most disciplined and teams can get hold of midfield. I think we could do with ideally a player who is creative and makes things happen in midfield but also a work horse who'll cover every blade of grass and make sure we don't lose the midfield battle. A Roy Keane or a Robson. I don't think there are many if any I can think of, maybe Verratti or maybe Saul Niguez. So we might have to look for a couple of players, one who can create in midfield and one who'll destroy.

Agree9 Disagree3

12 Dec 2017 17:37:28
Shappy we need a creative midfielder to open up defences but we do need a genuine winger who can play across the park as needs bve on the left or right wings. Having a fast winger who can cross well will open up the game and allow our forwards more space to cause havoc. Such a player also offers an outball when we are under severe pressure and lastly a top winger will always weigh in with a few goals.

{Ed002's Note - Someone like Sergej Milinkovic-Savic?}

12 Dec 2017 18:03:36
Shappy, see my post below, I agree with you. We need to start to dominate in the middle. Despite what people say we do have creativity but we haven’t been able to boss games lately and that is driven by losing the midfield battle. How much would Bryan Robson be worth today? Is there anyone playing that his his mix of stamina, route force, and silky skill? I can’t think of anyone.

12 Dec 2017 18:04:10
Hes be a fantastix signin ed if it happens .

{Ed002's Note - Milinkovic-Savic is the first choice and what the club wants - but the asking price is well over the odds.}

12 Dec 2017 18:12:33
I have been saying it for weeks but does out midfield do?
It's all in the the opposition on our own last third.

Teams just play 3 passes and they are up against our back 4 .

If we need a creative cm what did we break the transfer record for pogba for?
What is his role?

If we start to control games again press and make the opposition play in there own half or not give them a chance to attack the back 4 every time they get the ball . We might look a bit better.

12 Dec 2017 18:23:42
Agree jred. Inn or current formation we are effectively playing with 1 central midfielder. Pogs vacated the territory a lot due to the nature of his game leaving matic home alone.

12 Dec 2017 18:45:34
Hendonred, If a world class winger was available then fine, but I can’t see any world class wingers around at the moment. So we would be left paying a world class fee for a player who at best occasionally displays world class form. Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t that how you could describe Nani? I think our budget would be better spent on a player who will make the difference 9/ 10 rather than 4/ 10.

Tony, I could only imagine. Hopefully Pogba becomes that player.

Jred, Pogba does bring the creative side, but I think our formation leaves us with a lack of numbers in midfield. Most teams play with three in the middle, with Pogba having licence to roam and us only playing two that often leaves Matic home alone.

12 Dec 2017 18:50:58
Tbf jred said for over a month straight our midfield is the issue.

12 Dec 2017 19:23:12
I've been saying the same pal.

12 Dec 2017 19:46:08
Guys imo its part of the issue. Service from wide areas and us threatening the by line are practically zero. Imo that's because we don't have good intelligent full backs. Notwithstanding young being in good form and valencia being solid. All the top teams offer a much bigger threat from wide areas much mire consistently than we do.

5 years since we have had a top pair of full backs 5 years since our last title.

12 Dec 2017 20:06:57
Young has just had 2 man of match performances along side a mom for Shaw.

12 Dec 2017 20:14:52
Yeah is what I mean jred tbf on you you’ve been saying it for a while.

12 Dec 2017 20:56:23
Sorry pal I read it wrong.

12 Dec 2017 21:12:23
No worries mate.

12 Dec 2017 21:45:32
Agree with this we won’t win anything if we cannot win the midfield battle. Games and win and lost here and us playing two in there has not worked all season. Not sure why Jose hasn’t stuck an extra man in there as he was doing it last year.

13 Dec 2017 00:04:25
I understand people saying top fullbacks are needed and I agree. Similarly I agree and have been advocating the need for a midfielder who is both creative and can boss a match but that does not preclude the need for a top winger. In matches against the very best teams the fullbacks first job will be to defend and nullify opponents like eg Neymar. I would like to have the option of attacking quickly with a flying winger like we had with Giggs and Kanchelskis and with Ronaldo. It's no coincidence our greatest success came with wingers. Purely on the basis of probabilities if there are thousands of people playing professional football worldwide there have to be several top quality wingers or quasi wingers Shappy. Utd scouts are paid to find them.

13 Dec 2017 09:29:58
Hendonred, that's the problem mate there isn't that many out there. Certainly not of a high enough level to justify their place in the team.

We spent most of the summer chasing Perisic. He is a good player, but is he really world class?

People have rose tinted glasses when looking back on past teams.

Beckham was probably the best crosser of the ball we have had, certainly in my life time. Do you know he never had more than a 30% success rate with crosses. That means he gave the ball away 70% of the time he crossed the ball.

The game has moved on, defenders are much better on the ball now than they used to be. 20 years ago giving the ball away to someone who was probably going to hoof into row Z thus giving you back possession was fine. But now if you give the ball away to a defender he is just as likely to start a counter attack against your team. You can't afford to have a player who gives the ball away 70-80% of the time. It just doesn't work in modern football. Why do you think no top team does it now?

You still need width, but it's not to cross a ball in but to drag a defender out. If you look at most wide players, be it a winger type player or a full back they more often than not either stay out wide and just provide an option thus pulling the defending full back out or they try to create an overlap then cut back in and more often than not look for a pull back rather than a cross. The best way to create an overlap is with a player playing between the lines rather than out wide. This works better with a No.10 type player playing in the traditional winger area. This player then moves in-between the lines creating space for the full back to overlap. The full back would then look to play the ball back to an on rushing player quite likely the No.10 who played him in behind.

This is how all top teams play, because it is the most successful way of playing.

As United fans we have romantic notions about wingers, but for all of Sir Alex's success his lack of UCL titles stand out. I think a big reason for that was the persistence of playing wingers long after most top European teams had dropped the idea. Our most successful spell in Europe came when we had Queiroz as assistant manager, the team played 433 with Rooney, Tevez, Berbatov and Ronaldo fighting it out for one of the top three positions. Only Ronaldo comes close to being a true winger, our width came from our full backs. Giggs who was still around more often than not played in the midfield three rather than out wide.

Playing without traditional wingers we made it to three UCL finals in four years.

That's why I feel this idea that a winger will make a huge difference to be false. We are creating enough chances and scoring enough chances when Pogba is on the pitch. We need back up for him and someone to make sure we don't lose the midfield battle against the best teams.

13 Dec 2017 18:21:50
I said about two months ago we're lacking in midfield and we need another box to box midfielder and even another number 10. Someone spent two days shooting me down.

Now he says our midfield is lacking. Lol, no sh! t.

13 Dec 2017 18:32:11
Jose wanted a LB, another midfielder or two, a right forward and a CB. He will be looking to replace Ibrahimovic. Problem is we are not PSG or City we cannot buy them all in two summers, it was always going to take at least three summers for him to rebuild. Jose wasn't happy with last summer, despite what he said in the media. He wanted the club to do more and next season we will be near the end of the Jose rebuild (Fingers crossed) . Next season we will have a much more balanced squad. More to the manager's liking. If he's still our manager Lol!


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