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30 Jan 2019 11:28:14
We all love him as a person and he is a talented footballer but it's clear that Mata does not suit our style of play. His lack of pace and strength means he loses the ball too easily and slows down our play. He takes too many touches and though he is a decent passer he doesn't cut teams open the way Silva, De Bruyne and Pogba can with brilliant through balls. He has become a luxury we can't afford.
We need to play with the pace and interplay that has been so successful recently and that means Rashford, Martial, Lingard and Sanchez. Lukaku's touch isn't good enough for this style of football yet he remains an effective plan B. Mata offers little or nothing defensively and is now becoming a burden in our attack. He's a lovely man but not what's required now. At times he looks like a little boy who wandered onto a pitch with adults as he scampers after them but fails to keep up. I really like the guy but his time is up. I felt he and Perreira cost us dearly last night and their selection was a first black mark against Ole. Other factors were at play too. Rashford missing that early sitter clearly affected his confidence. Barnes and Wood were given too much freedom at times. The epic comeback was thrilling and brilliant but it should never have had to come to that. Lessons learned we hope.


1.) 30 Jan 2019 12:21:20
DDG1 - As the dust settles on a largely frustrating yet pulsating night at Old Trafford the post-mortem will undoubtedly begin. Some will say the bubble has finally bust, normal service resumed etc etc etc. Before the start of the game a draw would have been viewed as two points dropped, by the end of the game it was a point gained. It was tough to take considering our recent resurgence but I think it perhaps emphasise's what we already know about this team.

Ole took a calculated risk and it backfired. When you take the energy, pace and intensity out of this Utd team it looks ordinary. To be fair I think Ole understands this. With big games coming thick and fast he tried to freshen things up and it didn't quite click.

Herrera and Lingard are the heartbeat of this team. They provide the energy and intensity and their role in Ole's new look Utd shouldn't be underestimated.

It was a mistake to rest both of them at the same time.

Pereira was ineffectual all night. He didn't seem to understand his role, he was sloppy in possession and struggled to effect the game. He was lucky not be hooked at HT.

Mata was similarly ineffective. He lacks pace in the transitions and the intensity to win the ball back. He clogs the midfield and doesn't provide the thrust or penetration that Lingard offers. In Mata's defence he played much better when he moved into Perreria's position in the second half. I think he's more suited to a midfield role in this team and certainly at home against lower placed opposition.

Lukaku was frustratingly static again and the temptation is always huge to hit the front too early when he plays.

We lacked fluidity and movement and Pogba struggled to influence the game without willing runners in front of him.

Our defensive fragility is still evident and whilst I believe Jones is a decent squad player we desperately need a left sided CB in order to take us to the next level.

The comeback was resounding and if we'd played a few minutes longer I think we'd have got a winner. We showed determination and resilience and it was a hard earned point in the end.

On a positive note I think Ole knows his best team. I think the Perreria inclusion was questionable but apparently he's been training well and deserved his chance. Martial was unfortunately injured so some changes were enforced. I think by playing Mata, Pereira and Lulaku it tipped the balance the wrong way and we definitely missed that energy, pace and penetration we've witnessed since Ole took over. Hopefully he'll learn from this and whilst rotation is important he must keep the balance.

This Utd team is at its best when it plays with energy, intensity and fluidity. Pogba needs movement and forward runners to allow him the opportunity to fully influence the game. Unfortunately Ole took all three key ingredients out of our game last night and it showed. We probably lack squad depth in these areas and this needs to be addressed in the summer.

We need to see a reaction of Sunday now. No need to panic just yet.

2.) 30 Jan 2019 16:56:54
Good post DLIB.



29 Sep 2018 17:23:20
The players are as much to blame as Jose but the buck stops with him. So many of them aren't putting in the effort. There is zero pressing or closing down. There is no urgency or clear attacking plan. Matic is ambling about the place in a slow jog and he's supposed to be our midfield leader. Everything is slow, lacking vision and apathetic. They look like they don't care. What was he thinking putting McTominay centre half? Bizarre. It's like something a spoilt child would do; you didn't buy me the centre back I wanted so look what I have to do now? I think it's broken now and Jose's position is untenable. He probably didn't get the support he wanted in terms of signings but he hasn't improved any of his players bar maybe Lingard who didn't make the squad today. He's succeeded in alienating a large portion of his players and slagged off too many of them publicly. It's become a complete mess. I can't see any way back from this. How many of our players would get into the Liverpool, City, Chelsea, Spurs team? Apart from De Gea not many if any. Root and branch restructuring required.


1.) 29 Sep 2018 18:05:06
Zero effort closing down? No pressing? Come on DSG, do you think if the players were trained and instructed to press or stay close to their opponents they wouldn't?

Mourinho orders them to stand off and go on the counter.

Why do you think every team from Wolves to Derby to Tottenham all look like the all mighty Barcelona when we play them?

Are you trying to tell me that all these years Mourinho and his coaching haven't realized it or that they instructed the players to do so but the players refused or are you insinuating that it's the players' prerogative to press or not press during the game?

Are they not given tactical instructions based on opponent scouting by the coaching team before and during the game?

Why does the manager and his coaching team are on the touchline and have the ability to change personnel, formation or tactics in-game?


2.) 29 Sep 2018 18:19:24
It is like he wants to be sacked to get a payout.

He doesn't want to be here anyway so why have someone that isn't committed 100 percent

People have been debating if a new manager would change the way the players are working well just look at hazard. New manager and he is on fire.

It's only going to get worse.

I can't see where and when our next win will come from

The football is dated and slow and tbh it's getting tiring saying the same thing every week.

3.) 29 Sep 2018 18:32:42
There were 8 players behind the ball and no one pressing for most of the game. These players were good when they were at their previous clubs so I can't blame them anymore for their form. Lukaku was constantly among the top scorers when at everton and now he can't get score at all. The players are sent with the instruction of not conceding and it was working until other teams realized and they could break us even with a little pressure and we don't exactly have fast players for counter attack. Every match seems like we are playing against City or Liverpool, no team is afraid of us as they know that defence is the priority. It's just down to Jose from team selection to our playing style. These same players will look world class under some other manager.

4.) 29 Sep 2018 20:03:06

What on earth are you talking about? Clearly the coaches are not telling the players to saunter around the pitch and not bother to win the ball back.

It isn't a tactical issue of high press versus low press. The players are simply not putting the effort in.

Jose has lost the players, even the crowd today were quiet. Woody created this situation by not backing jose in market. But I can't see how Jose can come back from this.

5.) 29 Sep 2018 21:12:01
They are told to only mark when players are within certain territories.

Or is zonal marking for which Mourinho is fabled a new concept to you?

Players will fall back into a predefined shape and distance trying to constric their opposition attack without committing (pressing) and losing shape.

That's why when any of out players chases down, he suffers and stops because others don't. They are firmly rooted.

When ball is won, a worked out counter attack pattern ensues.

As for the pressing, ironically, Mourinho only tries that against big teams -

Sometimes I wonder if people only watch games for the sake of watching. SMH They are told to only mark when players are within certain territories.

Or is zonal marking for which Mourinho is fabled a new concept to you?

Players will fall back into a predefined shape and distance trying to constric their opposition attack without committing (pressing) and losing shape.

That's why when any of out players chases down, he suffers and stops because others don't. They are firmly rooted.

When ball is won, a worked out counter attack pattern ensues.

As for the pressing, ironically, Mourinho only tries that against big teams -

Sometimes I wonder if people only watch games for the sake of watching. SMH.

6.) 29 Sep 2018 21:47:29
Jose’s attitude is you can’t make mistakes if you don’t have the ball.
Says it all really that’s why they don’t high press.

7.) 29 Sep 2018 23:16:17
On the plus side you will probably get tonked by city and Chelsea then change manager in time to play and beat us 🤦🏻‍♂️.

8.) 30 Sep 2018 08:25:49
Lukaku has 19 goals in his last 17 games for Belgium it's almost like he is a decent player.



09 Aug 2018 19:06:08
I hope everyone is ok. Don't panic; there's an actual football match on tomorrow and we will have eleven players out there. It'll be ok. 3 points and this will all seem like a bad dream.




23 Dec 2016 18:52:56
Thanks for the informative (yet trippy) transfer update Ed002. Much appreciated. An enjoyable listen. Cheers. And Happy Christmas.




03 Sep 2016 20:20:12
With Shaw being withdrawn from the England squad, Miki getting injured on international duty and the South American contingent pretty much ruled out by Jose as they only get back in to Manchester on Friday, preparations for the derby are hardly ideal. Just when the season gets going so well, the international break comes along and throws a spanner in the works. I guess we may see Darmian at RB and Blind at LB with Smalling coming into the middle of the defence. Or maybe Darmian LB and Fosu-Mensah at RB. Big ask for him to come in for a derby though. Hopefully the injuries will clear up and we can play our settled team. Still fancy us to beat them. Zlatan will bully Stones. Rashford may be key.


1.) 03 Sep 2016 20:46:11
i think shaw was just given a break, no injury.

2.) 03 Sep 2016 22:49:04
I'm sure we'll cope without Valencia mate. I'm Shaw he'll be okay, only Mkhitaryan is a worry for me. Barring anymore injuries of course.

3.) 04 Sep 2016 11:08:02
With the type of machine Valencia is, I wouldn't be surprised to see him play.




DDG1's rumour replies


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26 Jan 2019 13:53:55
A bit up and down.




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26 Jan 2019 09:15:01
One hit wonder.




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Brazilian Anderson to sign for Basque-only Athletic Bilbao? Would be a first. {Ed044's Note - It would not be a first mate but it is unusual.}





DDG1's banter replies


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42 is the answer to the meaning of life, the universe and everything. SAF was more of a 442 man. LVG remains confused.




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1. Chelsea
2. Arsenal
3. Liverpool
4. City
6. Spurs
1. Burnley
2. Leicester
3. West Brom




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Thanks ed002




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I think Moyes will play it very safe tomorrow night and opt for a three man midfield of carrick (fletcher if carrick has to play cb) fellaini and giggs with Valencia and welbeck offering wide support to Rooney. Unfortunately I don't think he'll play kagawa. I'd love to see him throw januzaj on at some stage but he has barely used him in Europe. It wouldn't be the team I'd pick but Moyes will revert to type and be cautious.
Looking forward to it but realistically expecting a chastening experience over the two legs and a heavy aggregate defeat. Hope I'm wrong and we summon a magical performance out of somewhere. Unlikely though. Injuries at the back aren't helping things either.




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Really Sydney? I know he is very fast and direct which is handy when counter-attacking but I think he lacks any awareness, vision and crossing ability. He's also greedy and his shots are usually off target though he scores the occasional screamer. This is a player who was loaned out by Spurs something like 13 times before becoming England's next great hope. My opinion is that his pace is his only asset. Not United quality. And not what we need. Instead we need to fill the gaping hole in our midfield. Plus a LB. And a CB. Not Andros Townsend.