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21 Aug 2019 19:44:25
There has been some fierce discussion today and I have enjoyed reading everybody's opinions but perhaps the most interesting facet of debate is the notion that expectations at United remain unrealistically high.

Many seen unable to differentiate between our past and our present. We still judge players and performances to title winning standards despite not having won the league for over 6 years and struggling to consistently finish in the top 4.

I would like to clarify that this is not a criticism, I have fallen into this trap myself. I would also like to add that we should never settle for mediocrity and as a Club we must always strive for excellence but after 6 years of turmoil we must also make peace with our current situation and try to formulate a coherent strategy to return us to the top. There must be an understanding and realisation that this will not happen overnight.

Comparisons with City or Liverpool at this moment in time are unhelpful and unproductive in my opinion; as are comparisons with past Utd teams and players.

I posted earlier about the evolution of this United team and this is something I firmly believe we are witnessing right now.

For the first time in nearly a decade we have a recognisable, first choice back four. Tuanzebe is now on the periphery of the team ahead of the likes of Smalling and Jones, not to mention Rojo or Darmian. Title winning teams are invariably built from the back. Any good team needs a solid foundation from which to perform and Ole has quickly identified and rectified this immediately.

In midfield the lethargic and ageing Matic has been replaced by Mctominay.

The manager has placed his faith in the likes of Rashford and Martial and jettisoned Lukaku. Sanchez may follow him out of the door in the next couple of weeks.

I'm sure it won't be long until the likes of Greenwood, Gomes and Chong all get their chance to impress. These are players brought through the system, they hold a unique affinity with the Club and young players rarely let you down when it comes to effort or application.

The average age of the team has been reduced, the style of play has been rejuvenated, the faith and trust in the academy lads has been restored, the recruitment policy rethought and revamped.

The manager and his backroom staff are trying to take the Club in a new direction that has traditionally produced success for us in the past. This will take time and patience. The recruitment of young, British players with hunger, ambition and a burning desire to play for the Club is a step in the right direction. The emphasis on improving the team rather than the recruitment of high profile galatico type individuals appears to have come to an end.

Traditionally Utd have flourished with stability, the promotion of academy prospects and the sound recruitment of the best domestic talent combined with talented foreign players that view Utd as the pinnacle and don't mind relocating to the dreary Northwest (Tongue in cheek but you get my point) .

Many believe this job is beyond Ole but I think the initial signs are encouraging. He appears to have an identity of how he wants us to play and the type of players and characters he wants in the dressing room. During the long bleak periods of Jose Mourinho many fans opined that they just wanted to see a Utd team work hard, play with energy and intensity with the emphasis on attacking football and giving young players a chance. Is this not what Ole has delivered? Rashford and Mctominay are now first choice players. Tuanzebe is knocking on the door and whilst I like Lindelof I have a feeling Tuanzebe would also make an excellent partner for Maguire. A 17 year old is now a firm fixture in the first team squad and its now only a matter of time before he's given his chance. Chong and Gomez are on the brink of the starting 11.

It remains to be seen if Ole can forge a title winning team but if we target the likes of Maddison and Sancho moving forward to improve our attack we won't be that far away. To topple City at the moment would require almost perfection but Pep won't be around for ever. Our challenge is to have a team approaching its peak years when Pep finally moves on to pastures new. Whether the board and the even fans are prepared to invest in the project and practice what they preach might just be the difference between breaking the cycle of failure or prolonging it.


1.) 21 Aug 2019 20:19:31
Really good post that pal, I really like the team, squad and direction we have taken this summer.
Loads of positives imo and I have a feeling it will continue to develop over the season.
Difficult to take over a team mid season especially in the circumstances ole did so for me we are almost only 2 games in the ole era.
Early days but for me things are looking good .

2.) 21 Aug 2019 20:21:48
Good post mate. The key point you make is context. We have been mid table or failing for top 4 for nearly 6 years. Unfortunately we may need to temper expectations. That’s not to mean we shouldn’t aim to win every year, but perhaps we have to realise we cannot compete properly for a few years whilst we have 3/ 4 windows. I’m confident and pleased with what I’ve seen so far. Still lots to improve on, but I’m liking the defence and martial and rashford so far.

3.) 21 Aug 2019 20:30:24
But you forgot to mention that Lingard is crap. All this common sense nonsense will get you nowhere, you need to get passive aggressive mate.

4.) 21 Aug 2019 21:03:29
Post of the season.

5.) 21 Aug 2019 21:09:04
Good post DLIB I raised some of these points yesterday. We now have a direction under Ole.

Patience is what is needed now.

6.) 21 Aug 2019 21:10:12
I am looking forward to what this squad produces over the year. There is a lot of growth to come in all areas.

When European and domestic cup games kick in, and a potential for injuries, we may well see our our squad depth in midfield tested. But that will simply be another challenge to overcome.

If we fail to get top 4 is will have been a mistake not strengthening midfield. If we get top 4 and our squad has grown together it could be the making of a future title winning team.

Also agree there has been some enjoyable debate on here recently. Lots of strong views, usually well made. Onky time and games will give us the answers we crave.

7.) 21 Aug 2019 21:19:51
It's another good post I have a similar view.

8.) 21 Aug 2019 21:25:50
Just before Jose got sacked almost every poster wanted the team to work harder, play more progressive football and give the kids a chance. Some even proclaimed that playing attractive football was more important than winning trophies. I just kind of think we got what we wished for now some are changing the goal posts.

We finished the season in poor form and the opening two fixtures of this campaign looked daunting. We've navigated both fixtures reasonable well, the team has definitely worked harder with an intent on winning the ball higher up the pitch and getting more players into attacking positions.

Can we compete with the football being offered at the Etihad or at Anfield at the moment obviously not but was that really ever the expectation. When comparing performances we should be looking towards the likes of Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea none of whom are yet to set the world alight and have their own problems to solve.

The defence has hopefully been fixed the next step of the progress is to build a coherent attacking unit. I have absolutely no doubt we'll target an attacking midfielder and RW in the forthcoming windows.

Is it perfect far from it but maybe for the first time we have more of a long term plan. We have a manager that absolutely loves the Club, he appears to want to recruit players that share this view, he wants the team to work harder and has given a pathway for our some very promising academy players.

Call me deluded but for the first time in ages I'm actually excited. I'm even looking forward to the Europa games where hopefully the likes of Greenwood, Gomes, Chong and Tuanzebe will all get their chance. I genuinely believe that we're heading in the right direction I just hope Ole gets the results to give him the time to build the team.

9.) 21 Aug 2019 21:41:37
Very good post DLIB.

10.) 21 Aug 2019 21:57:55
I agree with DLIB here, i'm excited for the first time in years we have a clear way to play and now with maguire at the back we will be playing the ball from the back pushing forward as we get it to our midfielders and attackers, against wolves at times we had our 10 players in their half and kept possesion and composure very well, now that i think we have sorted our defense out, ole can concentrate to identify and bring the right midfielders to play the system he wants to, if Kante is available then i would definitely try to get in at all cost, he has an engine! a driving force! that we definitely lack right now and of course a very energetic creative attacking mid and maybe another striker? well we'll see how the season pans out saturday can't come soon enough!

11.) 21 Aug 2019 22:28:08
I made a similar point the other week, do people really want to give the youth a chance, have players that give there all want to play for the club .
Or when push comes to shove do they really want big name fancy signings.

12.) 21 Aug 2019 22:50:55
Brilliant post DLIB and I agree 100%.

13.) 21 Aug 2019 23:38:56
Good post dlib.
I can't agree with it all but i agree with the overall sentiment.
I don't think gomes and chong are on the brink of the 1st 11 in fact far from it. I hope they get some chances in cup ties to impress and progress.

Ole and the club have gone back to a formula of what was successful in the past.
The back 4 looks more solid imo we are a top lb away from having a really solid looking unit. Shaw has improved but he does need competition
Tuanzebe seems to have leap frogged rojo jones and smalling which strengthens the team automatically.

I like what's been done so far.
The whole pogba and lukaku situation screwed up our summer window and we will suffer for the indecision as the season goes on i feel.

Ole is doing well so far his hands are tied this season as i don't expect much in jan. He has an awful midfield selection. The midfield is shrouded in mediocrity and we will pay for that no doubt about it. But all we can hope is that we sort it next summer
The camp seems united the sound bites coming from the club are positive.
I don't believe we should lower our sights and standards. Acceptance of mediocrity is what got us into this downward spiral.

At the outset of the season i said that we could should and have enough to improve on last season's total by 15 points. I expect the others pool and city to come back a bit. So that would be a good improvement. If Chelsea or arsenal improve by more then fair play to them.

14.) 21 Aug 2019 23:48:10
Id like to see a mixture of both.
Maguire is a fancy signing well a 'fancy price' anyway. I think a cb signing was crucial.
Would people have preferred not to sign maguire and just run with tuanzebe?
Awb again a fancy signing would people have preferred to just go with dalot?
In both of these cases i think we were right to make signings and use the youth as 1st choice back ups at the expense of the likes of darmian rojo smalling and jones.
I can't think of one poster on here that said we shouldn't make a cb signing and just go with youth.
So a think a mix is important.

15.) 22 Aug 2019 06:16:39
Really excellent post DLIB.
I'm a firm believer of evolution.

Ole has the right ideas, right mentality and attitude.
As the season progresses, the cohesion and understanding between the players will improve.
The endurance will improve to sustain the press and intensity for 90 minutes.

The recruitment was another step in the right direction. Had we signed a top right forward and a midfielder, we could have eased the goal scoring and creative burdern from other players.
I also believe, signing Maddison and Sancho will immediately solve the major gaps in the squad.

16.) 22 Aug 2019 07:29:52
Good post DLIB but i don't agree to most of it. Just my take on things as they stand.

I am pretty sure that AWB and Maguire were Jose targets so how has Ole changed that recruitment policy? McT and Rashford were first team regulars last season and if i am not mistaken then McT got a special award the season before so Ole hasn't done anything their either.

Its ironic that you speak that many are comparing the past with our present and that people are comparing our title winning teams with the present set and then go on to say that our traditions are for academy lads. Tell me which of the title winning teams in the last 6 years since we last won the title have won it using their academy lads? Did City use them or Chelsea? Liverpool won the CL last season, how many did they use? So to say that we can do only by these 17-18 year old lads is immature. Times have changed and its not 1992 anymore where the pressure was minimal compared to what we have today. It was just a game then, now its a business where its eat or get eaten.

Its pathetic that we make fun of Liverpool's "next year will be our year" project and are guilty of doing it ourselves. Their project has been going on for 30 years, Arsenal's is 15 and we are 6 years into it now.

I am sure that the likes of Greenwood and James are very talented but do they have the likes of Cantona to guide them when the going gets tough. Rooney had RvN, who does Greenwood look up to? Rashford? He is still teething himself. that's where the seasoned pros come in to the picture. Pogba is hardly the role model for Gomes or Garner to look up to.

McT is an academy graduate that's why he is the next Kante. But i am sure 90% of the folks would have been happy if we signed Kante. We are bigging up McT because we do not have Kante and hope that McT would be the one. Dybala didn't want to come just like most of the top end players and its all sour grapes now. We have Greenwood and this and that. We simply are not the big draw anymore and that is why we are not left with an option but to rely solely on teenagers.

We can keep talking of baby steps and the Ole project. I am sure the other big clubs of the past like Leeds, Nottingham Forest, AC Milan et al had the same thoughts but where are they now. On the other hand look at City and their project and Liverpool's current position where they have recruited heavily and in the best players and not relied that Origi would come good some day. You always need to have the seniors in the team to guide the youngsters which we do not have in the current squad.

We are naive as a club with no clear direction where we are headed to. Lack of intent in the transfer market and then the indecisiveness of the transfer team to close out the targets was a clear sign that we are in trouble. Have we moved anywhere with the suggestions of both LvG and Jose regarding our academy?

You say that most fans wanted a more free flowing style rather than the tactical games under Jose. I ask, did they bloody have a choice. You give me a choice of winning games 1-0 and picking up trophies, i will take that all day long rather than playing like we did against wolves without any "vertical passes".

Its not doom and gloom if we expect the best for our club and here we are stuck with a fan as a manager rather than a proper manager that has the prowess and the persona to be the manager of the alleged biggest club in the world. As things stand we are not the biggest club of Manchester.

{Ed047's Note - so much of that is how it looks from the outside looking in UA.

17.) 22 Aug 2019 08:21:43
Maguire isn't a fancy name, infact many didn't want him because he wasnt a fancy or dodng think he was good.

They wanted a dias or a skriniar who really aren't as good Maguire.
I think it took 1 game for the same people to change there mind .
Maguire may not be a fancy name but if he continues at this level not many will be shouting for the likes of dias.

This summer has been a breath of fresh air, both in our direction of the field in the transfer market and on the field .
DLIB sums it up very well.

18.) 22 Aug 2019 08:35:46
That's another good post.
Again like dilb i agree with some if it.
You get a hard time here from some and i admire and respect your posts and opinions.
I can feel the frustration pouring from you.
Your love for the club is no more or no less than some of the posters that think everything is rosey.

Keep the faith👍.

19.) 22 Aug 2019 09:35:58
World record signing imo qualifies for a 'fancy' signing title.
World record fee for a rb is fancy.
These are not bargain basement nobodies. world records for their respective positions.
Personally i couldn't understand the clamour for dias. But not seen too much of him. KK i could understand as he has been very good. But maguire whilst more expensive was three lower risk option with the easiest transition. 2 of the reasons he was so expensive and the worlds most expensive defender ever.

20.) 22 Aug 2019 10:15:35
He is a lot of things but I'm not sure old slab head is a fancy name.

21.) 22 Aug 2019 11:53:33
UA, it's clear you have little time for our academy. However, for some of us, especially the older ones, the academy is an integral part of the club's identity. The stat on an academy player being involved in every match day may seem trivial to some, but to me it's a source of immense pride. You ask how many academy graduates were in the latest title winning teams. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what City or other clubs do, it's what we do. And if it does change, due to fans wanting big names and instant success, then we just become another team. You and others might be ok with that because success is everything to you, but I'm proud of this club for many more reasons than its trophy haul. And if all this makes me sound like an aul, rambling sentimentalist, fair enough.

22.) 22 Aug 2019 12:48:25
UA if you can't see the change that's taking place then I can't take the rest of it seriously.
Yes we have problems but a magic wand isn't going to solve everything.

I think the way the markets going more an more top clubs are going to look to their academy more to fill gaps as their transfer budget goes on 1-2 signings. We're still a few signings short but i'd rather get 2 top quality players in than sign 4-5 lower quality ones.

City and Chelsea are hardly known for youth development. Well city produce them but they nearly always depart elsewhere. Chelsea look to be turning that around partly due to planning partly due to circumstance.

23.) 22 Aug 2019 13:04:39
UA, promoting youth players from academy is one of the core values of Manchester United as a club.

24.) 22 Aug 2019 13:22:16
I would much rather see the likes of chong, gomes and greenwood flourish than see the likes of di maria, lukaku and sanchez come in and steal a living and put in half arsed performances. There are some exciting youngsters coming through and I always love seeing our academy products excelling and forging successful careers. It is of course about balance, a blend of academy products with quality experienced additions. But i think we have made decent strides so far. Will take a few windows with the next few being critical. I am pleased with what I have seen so far.

25.) 22 Aug 2019 14:01:05
Park would you enlighten with a few of these academy graduates who have had successful careers besides the class of 92 which was 27 years ago.

To all the others who think i am against tradition, i am not against the tradition but i don't live in the past. I live in the present and look to the future. Yes, by all means involve the good ones. They deserve to play and prove themselves. Afterall the likes of Messi, Ronaldo, Rooney, Zlatan, Maldini amongst other greats were all academy graduates somewhere at some point in time and they turned out fine. Having Greenwood in the squad sharing responsibility with a senior member is one thing but being in the squad and having the responsibility of leading Manchester United is something beyond all our wildest imaginations. Careers and reputations may be built or destroyed. You become Scholes or Morrisson. You become Giggs or Januzaj.

Yes, to the one who said if i can't see change. I saw the change in the running but at the end of it all i saw a 1-1 draw with 2 shots on target. You may run all you want and keep 95% of the possession but if you do not do that 1 thing that you are required to win a game, its all a farce. You need to score a goal to win and i will take 1 shot on target with a 1-0 win, i will take that.

We all like to be sentimental when it comes to United and that is what will hold us back. You mention history but do you realize that for someone who is born in the 2000s, what is history. Nobody really cares what happened a 100 years ago like we all do but that is the harsh reality. The young ones see the City's of today pulling out trees and that is their history when they grow up. That is their childhood. People living in history become history. One needs to move with times.

All hail the academy but don't live by it. You need investment in the squad and we need it now else no matter what we say, we are in trouble.

26.) 22 Aug 2019 14:29:31
It depends what you gauge success by in regards to academy players. Not every single player is going to be a Scholes, Giggs or beckham. You can’t go and buy a world class star for every position in the squad. You need to have local Lads who have come through and who would die for the shirt. That’s not to say a foreign player bought in cannot love united and feel like a local lad aka Cantona.

I agree united fans can be sentimental and it perhaps does hold us back. But we shouldn’t sell our soul to the devil. There are core values at united that should never be compromised: attacking entertaining football, and giving youth a chance. Even in an ever changing modern landscape where patience and loyalty is waning, we should never compromise our identity.

Btw I agree with a lot of what you have posted. We must live in the present and we must invest. A blind man can see we aren’t the finished article. But we must still build from within. We still must live by the academy. Invest in the infrastructure and you will see fruition. So to dismiss the academy the way you have is a two fingers up to the traditions of the club.

What makes the club so special is it’s history. Yes we shouldn’t be stuck in it (at times we have been guilty of that) but we also shouldn’t forget it. Otherwise we become like city or Chelsea. Now maybe that’s what you want, but that’s not Man Utd.

I agree we cannot put so much pressure on greenwood, the kid is 17 after all. I would have definitely brought in another midfielder and rw so that we could ease him and a few others in. But this is the situation we are in. So let’s get behind them and afford them patience. They will make mistakes and they will be inconsistent, but getting on their backs is exactly the thing you cannot do. I have an immense sense of pride when I see the likes of Gomes or greenwood succeed because they are homegrown.

27.) 22 Aug 2019 15:27:32
So do we do continue buying the di Maria, falcao sanchez .
Time will tell but this summer has been the best in a while clear direction now imo.

28.) 22 Aug 2019 16:04:49
I also like the direction we have taken jred. I think we need to assess all factors when signing a player. In the summer I think we did the right things stepping back from dybala as he didn’t want to join. It would have given us di Maria 2.0. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t go for top talent if it’s available. If the glove fits and they have the right profile, we should be bringing them in.



The Evolution of Manchester United has begun

21 Aug 2019 00:27:13
{Ed's Note - DLIB has posted a new article entitled, The Evolution of Manchester United has begun


1.) 21 Aug 2019 00:38:53
Fantastic post mate.

2.) 21 Aug 2019 01:28:44
Agree to most of it DLIB but it wouldn't be hyper critical to say Ole left it late for the subs. Rather it would be common sense. Yet again Ole has shown his lack of in game management. It was clear that Lingard was missing his pillow and we could have done without him. Greenwood hardly touched the ball in the 3 minutes he got.

3.) 21 Aug 2019 01:56:48
Good post👌.

4.) 21 Aug 2019 06:56:38
I wonder how the players felt after the game when the manager allegedly laid into Pogba and Rashford for the penalty indecision. That indecision was the managers, the players should not be going on the pitch with not knowing who does what. OGS is not SAF despite trying to be a disciple. It is too early to make sweeping statements about evolution, not with such inexperience at the top in both boardroom and managers chair.

5.) 21 Aug 2019 07:27:14
Red Man come on didn't you see the evolution. Instead of Young, Smalling and Jones it was AWB, Lindelof and Maguire playing sideways passes with each other till Wolves got bored and decided to close them down and then Pogba and McT decided to get involved in the sideways passing. Diving James is still young but i will advice him to stay away from Young else he will just learn diving. It is evolution when despite allegedly dominating the game, we had only 2 shots on target with one of them being a saved penalty. Its evolution when the team runs out of steam early in the second half when we were told after the gruelling pre season that the fitness level had increased. One of the genius on here is saying that its only 2 games in and players are being judged. Its a point to note for that genius that its only the second game and players looked finished come 60 minutes.

6.) 21 Aug 2019 08:17:03
I think we need a bigger group of games to look at before we can talk about evolution. When a team is naive a switches off like Chelsea, we will be able to exploit them. When a well drilled team sits compact and defends with resolutely, I think we'll struggle.

Without the ball we undoubtedly work harder and that is a joy to see. But with the ball, we're still very slow moving it forward.

If we look at Oles first 10 games when we done very well, he played the same starting line up in all of them. I don't think he's found his best 11 yet. We have some winnable games coming up. Let's see how we're doing after game 10 and we'll see if it's evolution or devolution?

7.) 21 Aug 2019 08:30:51
Great post mate, agree with it all, especially about bringing Greenwood on for James earlier, who was just getting knocked over endlessly, giving the ball away or running down blind alleys - impact sub while he develops is the perfect answer.

8.) 21 Aug 2019 08:56:41
"Allegedly" laid into Pogba and Rashford. Whole post criticising Ole, based on something you've no idea happened or not. Come on 😁.

9.) 21 Aug 2019 09:00:14
Thought James played well tbh, his movement caused them no end of havoc, first alleged dive was actually a foul and the second he was clipped slightly as we are always told when players like salah go over with fresh air tackling him you go at speed minimal contact will send you over. James was at risk of a second yellow but remember he is still a kid, he needs games to learn. Rather James than Lingard, his work rate alone merits a start and hopefully runs off on those around him.

10.) 21 Aug 2019 09:02:42
And if people really can't see the difference between the sterile, soul-destroying fare on offer over the last few seasons, and the almost complete control over a hard to beat Wolves team away from home, then I'd suggest their antipathy towards our manager has completely distorted their reasoning. And their eyesight.

11.) 21 Aug 2019 09:15:42
Exactly Nou.
Red Man - Critizing Ole over something which may not have happened is utterly embarrassing.

12.) 21 Aug 2019 09:16:45
United addict.
The bloke (or it could be a woman i think that is entirely possible) you refer to is no genius.

13.) 21 Aug 2019 09:20:57
These has been an improvement in style and intent.
I don't think that can be disputed.
But 1 shots on target 1 being a pen is pitiful.
My guess is that every other team that plays there this season will have more than 2 attempts on target. Yet people claim we dominated.
The intent is there but its nothing more than intent.

14.) 21 Aug 2019 09:40:24
Let's face it, if McTominay, James, Lingard and Perreira were City players they would currently be on loan at Brentford, not first choice starters . The defence has been improved a lot with the addition of Maguire and AWB . There is some good signs in the pace and interplay of Martial and Rashford, however our midfield needs serious surgery .

15.) 21 Aug 2019 10:04:47
And running out of steam? What impressed me was the fact that after the goal, we didn't capitulate the way I feared, and the way we've done previously. Apart from 5 or 10 minutes after the goal, when the crowd were vocal and their backs were up, we retook control and finished the stronger of the two teams. Credit to the team spirit that's been generated, especially in such a youthful side. Good mentality forming.

16.) 21 Aug 2019 09:44:42
United addict, do you understand football tactics?

If a team is playing a low block, particularly with a back five there is no space for vertical passes.

Ergo horizontal passes are your only option. The idea is you try and move the ball side ways to probe for gaps or find a half space to carry the ball forward into.

For a team that likes to attack in a counter attacking style this is better done with your defenders rather than you midfielders as you are attempting to lure the opposition out to create space in behind.

17.) 21 Aug 2019 09:47:03
Complete control? We had 2 shots man, how is that complete control. Man City vs West Ham was control. Man City vs tottenham was control!

18.) 21 Aug 2019 10:12:23
A lot of doom and gloom over the summer, people are desperately looking to finds things to prove there points.
It's looking a bit silly.

19.) 21 Aug 2019 10:30:29
Shappy that is a load of bollocks.
No room for verticle passes absolute nonsense.
See how many vehicle passes pool city or spurs play against those tactics.
We don't have players capable simple as that.

20.) 21 Aug 2019 10:58:29
Ken, is that the same City team that got a 1-1 result against Wolves the last time they visited Molineaux?

Also they got their goal not from a forward pass, but a run started by Sterling who carried the ball forward as there was not vertical passes available.

21.) 21 Aug 2019 11:01:53
FZZ, it was complete control. Maybe not in our goal threat, but we totally dictated the tempo of the game, with our pressing causing them to make so many mistakes. Possession stats something like 65-35, and we never looked like conceding except for that 10 minute spell. We made a very decent Wolves side look very limited, until a worldie from Neves.

22.) 21 Aug 2019 11:22:18
FZZ, We didn't give Wolves a sniff especially in the first half. De Gea was largely a spectator.

I remember last year Jiminez and Jota destroying our defence.
Moutinho and Neves were running the show.
It was a marked difference this year. When we see an improvement, we must acknowledge it.

23.) 21 Aug 2019 11:26:18
I wouldn't bother the grass is always greener. City would of scored 20 blah blah . Wolves are a decent team especially at home, it was a good performance Monday.
The theme is Jose done a great job it was the players fault, there not good.
Looks a bit daft when a new manager gets us looking a better team.

24.) 21 Aug 2019 11:28:25
Shappy more bolloxology. In that game city had 71% possession 31 shots 6 on target 644 passes 469 of them were forward.
You are spouting absolute crap in order to try and justify what is a 1 in 7 billion opinion.

25.) 21 Aug 2019 11:38:26
Noucamp. Are wolves a very decent side?
They finished below us last season and we were crap.
I thin k they are decent just above average which is where they finished. They are not a really good side. Few nice players.
We looked comfortable but didn't create anything 2 shots on target 1 being a pen.
It was a better watch and its a better system than last season. Granted we are only 2 games in and its work in progress and rome wasnt built in a day but i think people are over reacting on the improvement and where it will take us this season. That said its not all doom and gloom.
Midfield is short on quality everybody who knows anything about football says so. But it can't be addressed this year so we have to make the most of it.
I'm fine with people sharing their views its obvious there is so much disagreement.

26.) 21 Aug 2019 11:46:46
Trd. This year we had 9 shots 2 on target.
Last year we had 18 with 4 on target.
When you see a disimprovement should you not acknowledge that?

27.) 21 Aug 2019 11:59:19
Jred no doubt we have looked better half the team has changed.
The style is more progressive and attacking.
But the fact is we had half the amount of shots on goal and half the amount on target v the same game last season . Each game is different but to suggest there are no 'verticle' passes available is nonsense.

28.) 21 Aug 2019 12:15:16
A lot of it is bollocks I'm not sure what a vertical pass is .
Stupid imo to judge a performance on shots as well.
But if you can make it fit your narrative
We have 2 new first team players, and james who will also get some game time .

29.) 21 Aug 2019 13:06:40
There is a coaching phase around that new buzz word verticle pass jred but people need to understand it before spouting nonsense about it. It actually was extracted from NFL coaching.

Yeah 3 new players plus martial and jessie moved positions from there old positions. Mctom has replaced matic in the team also so its very different. That's only going on wolves game.

You don't belive shots are a good way of judging attacking intent
You don't believe goals are a good way of judging a cf
You don't think winning trophies is a good way to judge a manager
You don't think winning medals is a good way to judge a players success

Each to their own but they are the universally accepted measurements by most.

30.) 21 Aug 2019 13:08:04
Ken, a few on here have them finishing above us this year. I thought it was nonsense then, and nothing I saw on Monday night has changed my view.

31.) 21 Aug 2019 13:35:11
Agree Stevie they are not a great side at all. Well drilled and coached a couple of top players good togetherness. But only out of the championship over a year.
To be in as much control as we were but to only mystery 2 sorts on target and create virtually no clear cut chances in the game is a concern.
Good that we are better and have more intensity and look better at the back but creating chances is not improved 1 bit. In fact its disimproved on our opening 2 games last year so let's not get carried away.

32.) 21 Aug 2019 13:38:26
I think it is daft to try and use shots on target to compare the performance from last season to the performance on monday . It's just a way to make it fit your narrative.
Strikers will always be judged on goals
Saying that a player is a good player based on what he has won is is stupidity. A player is a good player based on his talent kane has won nothing he is a very good player tho .
They are universal measure of fan who know little about football.

33.) 21 Aug 2019 13:39:21
A few have Leicester and Everton finishing above us.

34.) 21 Aug 2019 13:33:04
Wolves second half looked far more dangerous than we did yet we were in control? We had 1 shot (on target) which was the pen second half its not good enough.

35.) 21 Aug 2019 13:36:47
Exactly NC they are not a great side but we make them look decent. We should be beating them and dominating! You just said it yourself yet your happy with the performance!? what's wrong with some people.

36.) 21 Aug 2019 14:39:20
They didn't control the second half, they were dominant for about ten minutes. I can honestly say I watched the game, and never for one moment thought we would lose the game. I can't remember too many times over the last few seasons when I was able to say that. Wolves are a good side, especially at home, but I believe we are better and we showed that. Just didn't get the result our control deserved. Lot of positives, when you consider the low base we started from. Small steps.

37.) 21 Aug 2019 15:43:40
Yes its baby steps. We will suffer worse performances thus season and bodily many better ones.
To be honest i thought we played better football and were in more control against wolves than chelsea. But we didn't create as many chances. Probably because at no stage were wolves chasing the game really so they didn't leave big spaces for our forwards to run into.
That's where we suffer without players who can unlock the door of the packed defence.
Lets face it jessie rash martial james are all runners or speedsters that thrive on space and ruining in behind. Deprive them of that space and they are a whole lot less effective. So we do need to be able to mix it up but our ptions are veey limited.

38.) 21 Aug 2019 16:44:33
I think we played better against wolves than we did against chelsea .
Even if we had more shots against chelsea ;)



Manchester United v Chelsea Review

13 Aug 2019 12:59:03
{Ed's Note - DLIB has posted a new article entitled, Manchester United v Chelsea Review


1.) 13 Aug 2019 13:17:33
Good post DLIB.

A solid foundation for Ole to build on. I think Wolves will give us a good game. We certainly need to start the game if better than we did against Chelsea.

Shaw will be targeted as our weak link in defence, due to his poor positional awareness. This may well be his make or break season at Utd.

2.) 13 Aug 2019 21:26:12
Wolves will do what we did to chelsea. Sit back and counter attack. This next game is a different kettle of fish and a tough one at that.



06 Aug 2019 15:11:36
As we enter the final two days of the transfer window I think we're about to discover the real ambition and competence of our intrepid owners.

Our team finished outside the top 4 and was in need of significant surgery and investment despite views on the credentials or suitability of our current manager.

Up to this point I think the window can be considered a success. We've witnessed a encouraging pre-season where several promising youngsters have been integrated into the squad and the team have played a more aggressive style of football, pressing enthusiastically from the front, working harder and playing on the front foot. The defence has been significantly strengthened with two very solid additions and at this point I think the Club should be applauded for getting those deals over the line. Both were very expensive additions but in my opinion the right ones and seemingly the managers first choice.

Daniel James will inject some pace up front and I've been very impressed with his work rate and commitment to press the opposition and work hard. Whilst he remains raw and I have concerns about his quality in the final third his pace will always make him a threat and his work rate and his willingness to close the opposition down and put them under pressure will make him a useful member of the squad. He's by no means the finished article but he has the potential to be something special if he continues to improve and work on his game.

Whilst a CM and RW would have been ideal that surely would have pushed our spending north of £250m and I'm not sure that was ever likely in this window. I was never convinced we'd seen the churn of players we've witnessed in previous windows and I think this was always going to be more of a methodical and measured building process rather than a complete transformation.

Despite my optimism for the forthcoming season I remain deeply suspicious and cynical of our board. With only two days of the window remaining the Lukaku and Pogba situations have not been addressed and left to fester. I feel we could just about get away with letting Lukaku leave without replacing him but it's a risk and doesn't represent good planning. I believe Rashford and Martial deserve their chance at star billing, Sanchez can play CF if needed and the emergence of Greenwood means we still have decent options up front.

Pogba however is a completely different kettle of fish. We are already dangerously short of numbers in midfield and despite your views on Pogba we are much better with him in the team. If he is not replaced by Thursday and I'm not sure he can be replaced like for like, we'd probably need a CM and a No10 he must not be sold. The Club have know of his desire to leave for over 12 months and a line in the sand must be drawn. The vultures are circling but the Club must remain resolute and strong. I expect Madrid to push hard after the window closes, they will look to exploit the situation, unsettle the player in the hope of driving the price down. This is a problem entirely of our own making and how we handle it may just define our season.

My fear is the Club will relent Pogba and Lukaku will both be sold after the window closes where they cannot be replaced and the Club will pocket the money and my suspicion is maybe this was the plan all along. Of course there is no real foundation of my paranoia just a deep seated prejudice and mistrust of our ability and perhaps more importantly intent to return us to the top. Of course we still have two days to rectify this. Tick tock, tick tock!


1.) 06 Aug 2019 15:40:07
The 'intrepid' owners spent £80m on Ole's favoured central defender. Tight arses.

{Ed047's Note - I thought Koulibaly from Napoli was first choice

2.) 06 Aug 2019 16:06:42
No Ed47, obviously the one we are able to get in is the first choice and the best. Koulibaly, dias are all worse of now.

{Ed047's Note - ah my bad UA 😂

3.) 06 Aug 2019 17:16:59
DLIB, good post. I wonder how are we suppose to play with only one creative player in the pitch. Once he gets injured we look mediocre and struggle to keep hold of the ball or create anything with it.

Rashford works really hard but its not fair to put all the responsibilities on his shoulder, Martial is inconsistent and James will be playing his first season and will take time to settle.

Our board should have been more ambitious and tried to sign at least one creative player upfront to create and score goals alongside Pogba.

4.) 06 Aug 2019 21:52:27
GDS2 - Just a polite reminder that our intrepid owners purchased our beloved Club using a leveraged buy out without investing a dime of their own money. They burdened the Club with crippling debt meaning millions is taken out each year just to service this debt which they used to finance their takeover.

We are one of the richest Clubs in the world; money predominately generated from match going and loyal fans, merchandise, sponsorship and Tv revenue. This is money generated by the Club meaning our owners have no need to invest or risk any of their own money. They pay themselves handsome dividends and take out loans using the Club as surety.

As a season ticket holder of over 25 years, MUTV subscriber and regular purchaser of merchandise including annual kits for my kids amongst other items I expect a large percentage of that revenue to be invested back into the Club.

We are an world famous institution, a Club proudly and lovingly re-built from the ashes of Munich to concur Europe we deserve for our own self generated money to be re-invested back into the squad rather than the line the pockets of rich businessmen that reside thousands of miles away on the other side of the Atlantic. They care little about the history or heritage of our Club and are only interested in making as much money as possible. When the Glazers finally sell up they will have made millions by exploiting our brand and trading on our history and enormous international fan base. Do I expect them to invest money back into our playing squad, absolutely, in fact I demand it as should every fan of our great Club.

If they sell Pogba and Lukaku after our window closes without adequately replacing them, despite knowing of their desire to leave and the need to improve the squad after not adequately backing the manager last summer I will be furious as should we all.



04 Aug 2019 23:35:55
Evening guys,

So the Dybala deal is seemingly dead, no real surprise it always struck me as more of an opportunist thing than anything else.

There could possibly still be something in the Mandzukic rumour. Maybe he could be included as part of the Lukaku deal bringing the fee down to a more palatable £50m or so? Of course this is pure speculation on my part. From what I've read Mandzukic is keen on the move, his wages are reasonable, he'll bring experience to a relatively young squad, he's an underrated player, strong, physical, good in the air with a decent touch and an eye for a goal. You would imagine that he'd be happy to be part of the squad given his age so would potentially be a good back up option for the likes of Rashford and Martial and would offer us something different and more of a physical presence up front.

Numerous conflicting reports on Fernandes. I'm not convinced he'll sign for us to be honest. Ole appears to have moved to a 4-2-3-1 formation so presumably Fernandes would play at No10. We already have Lingard, Mata, Sanchez even Pogba, Pereria and Gomes can all play there so it's not a pressing issue in my opinion. The interest would make more sense if Ole wanted to play 4-3-3 but he seems to have moved away from this during pre-season. I'm not convinced Fernandes would be that successful operating in a midfield pivot but that's just my opinion and the reasons I'm not convinced this deal will go through.

If the Club can conclude the Lukaku-Mandzukic deal maybe they might use the money to target somebody like David Neres. It would provide us with a short term replacement for Lukaku whilst still allowing Rashford and Martial to develop and possibly give us the funds to sign Neres to fill that problem position on the right.

Anyway pure speculation on my behalf let's see what the coming week brings.


1.) 04 Aug 2019 23:55:47
Anytime I've seen Neres play for Ajax it's been off the left wing with Ziyech on the right. We've already more left wingers than the labour party!

2.) 05 Aug 2019 00:44:15
He's definitely a right winger pal, but he can play anywhere across the front three either as a CAM or from the right or left. It's my understanding that his best performances for Ajax have come from the right where he can cut inside on his left foot. I have no idea if Utd hold any real interest I was just speculating to be honest mate.

3.) 05 Aug 2019 01:17:54
so swap a 20 odd year old for a 33 year old. and as for the number 10s we might as well plan for europa next season now. the sguad needs major surgery. not a 33 year old. what happend to the ole we are man utd and should be winning the big trophies. and then a few weeks later it is going to take years to catch up. the same ole half these plyers have played there last game for united who have just been rewarded with new contracts. i am fortunate to see the bad times and the good times but as things stand nothing is going to change ajh give me the cup - rant over.




DLIB's rumour replies


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10 Jun 2019 21:30:24
Why would Palace sell him to Everton or West Ham for half the price? That just doesn't make sense. Palace are under no pressure to sell, he's one of the most promising full backs in the country, the player isn't agitating for a move, he's still under contract so if somebody wants him they'll have to make Palace an offer they can't refuse.

Didn't Everton buy Richarlison from Watford for around £50m after only playing one season in the Premier League?!

It's the same for the likes of Maguire and Maddison. Their values are being pushed through the roof as Clubs are no longer under financial pressure to sell players, they are better equipped than ever before to retain their best players so if players have signed long term contracts getting them from other Club's is difficult and very expensive.




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22 Apr 2019 14:08:41
Good post Mumbles.




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31 Dec 2018 17:32:37
I've not seen much of him but he's very well rated from what I've read.

We definitely need a RW but I'd like to see Chong given a chance. I'm surprised he's not been included since Ole's appointment does anybody know if he's been injured?!




Click To View This Thread

08 Oct 2018 13:08:24
Yeah your probably right Ed001. Pie in the sky talk really just thinking out loud thanks for your reply!


{Ed001's Note - it is difficult because you don't want to push out a legend like Fergie, but sometimes you have to.}



Click To View This Thread

08 Oct 2018 10:24:18
Ed001 - I think that is superb reply and I totally agree with you about SAF. It is my understanding that as his career progressed he took a step back and became a brilliant delegator. He regularly changed his assistants and coaching staff to freshen things up, implement new ideas and keep the players motivated. He became more of an observer which gave him the advantage of being able to assess exactly what was going on at the football Club.

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said any new DOF will become the most important person at the Club most certainly from a footballing perspective anyway. They will drive the footballing strategy and vision.

I was always slightly curious why we couldn't have adopted this approach when SAF retired. I think he could have remained in post for a couple of seasons as a figurehead whilst Moyes took control of the team. He would have been a valuable asset and maybe he could have been more actively involved in player recruitment aiding both Moyes and Woodward through a difficult first window. I'd have liked to have seen a slower more measured transition where Moyes was approached and offered the job as head coach ultimately taking the main role the following season or even the season after. It might just have given the Club time to find its feet and put measures in place to fill the massive void when SAF eventually retired. Of course this is all just pie in the sky reasoning but ultimately the great man was always going to retire and maybe his biggest legacy could have been overseeing the next step and ensuring the Club continued to dominate rather than just leaving a vacuous hole they have been unable to fill. Johan Cruyff left Barcelona with a footballing philosophy which has endured for decades even after his untimely death. He has provided the Club with a blueprint and recipe for continued success. I'd have like to have seen Utd follow suit with SAF engineering and planning his own retirement and legacy rather than just leaving suddenly. Of course this all sounds great in theory but I appreciate in reality it's easier said than done. Maybe he just couldn't commit any more of his time and things happened suddenly which we're out of his control. Its all ancient history now anyway.


{Ed001's Note - I think the problem you had was that Fergie was still around and it never works out when the previous, legendary, manager is still around. Busby stepped upstairs and it didn't help at all. Shankly was causing a similar issue at Liverpool after he quit, so he was asked to stay away. Cruyff went off to rebuild Ajax (if I remember correctly) so he was not there overshadowing his successors. Fergie is too strong a character to just put him to one side, unlike Paisley, for example, who acted as advisor when Dalglish was first appointed up until he fully retired in 1989 and then it all fell apart for Liverpool without him. When you have someone as strong as Fergie, it has to be a clean break or his shadow is over everything.

Your biggest problem was that he was in control of pretty much everything at the club. Great while he was there, but the minute he went it left a massive power vacuum that Eddy Woodwouldward could never hope to fill and Moyes had no intention of getting involved to that degree of micro-management. So you were left with a lot of people who no longer knew who to report to.}




DLIB's banter replies


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21 Aug 2019 21:33:39
Thanks Ed really looking forward to getting your perspective.


{Ed001's Note - cheers mate.}



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21 Aug 2019 21:25:50
Just before Jose got sacked almost every poster wanted the team to work harder, play more progressive football and give the kids a chance. Some even proclaimed that playing attractive football was more important than winning trophies. I just kind of think we got what we wished for now some are changing the goal posts.

We finished the season in poor form and the opening two fixtures of this campaign looked daunting. We've navigated both fixtures reasonable well, the team has definitely worked harder with an intent on winning the ball higher up the pitch and getting more players into attacking positions.

Can we compete with the football being offered at the Etihad or at Anfield at the moment obviously not but was that really ever the expectation. When comparing performances we should be looking towards the likes of Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea none of whom are yet to set the world alight and have their own problems to solve.

The defence has hopefully been fixed the next step of the progress is to build a coherent attacking unit. I have absolutely no doubt we'll target an attacking midfielder and RW in the forthcoming windows.

Is it perfect far from it but maybe for the first time we have more of a long term plan. We have a manager that absolutely loves the Club, he appears to want to recruit players that share this view, he wants the team to work harder and has given a pathway for our some very promising academy players.

Call me deluded but for the first time in ages I'm actually excited. I'm even looking forward to the Europa games where hopefully the likes of Greenwood, Gomes, Chong and Tuanzebe will all get their chance. I genuinely believe that we're heading in the right direction I just hope Ole gets the results to give him the time to build the team.




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21 Aug 2019 20:55:16
Maybe you could give us your opinion on the Glazers and Ed Woodward when you get time Ed001. Your opinion is very well respected and your insight would be fascinating from an outsiders/ neutral perspective.


{Ed001's Note - I have added it to the to do list for you mate.}



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21 Aug 2019 16:04:42
Interesting read Ed001.


{Ed001's Note - thanks DLIB, I think it shows what a big fan of his I am....}



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21 Aug 2019 12:38:26
Good post Shappy.