29 Oct 2020 09:03:26
Phenomenal performance and a fantastic result. While every player played well, I think the real kudos needs to go to the manager.

He out thought and out manoeuvred one of the best and tactically astute managers in the game. As a manager who many feel is tactically naive he sure is racking up the wins against some of the best tactical minds in the game.

Ole has rotated his squad excellently over the past 10 days, playing multiple systems (3412, 4231 and 41212), playing 17 different players across 4 games, picking up big wins against Newcastle and Leipzig a great win against PSG away and a slightly unlucky draw with Chelsea (who spent over 200m in the summer) . His rotation has made players like Pogba and Donny hungry to do well when they get a chance, while also has allowed us to have quality options on the bench giving Ole the ability to change the game from the bench. We have tightened up our defence, only conceding two own goals. The mentality and application of the players has been excellent. Ole has got the most out of them.

The more the season progresses the more obvious the lack of a pre-season has had on our players becomes. We struggled and looked undercooked in the first few games. But as players have built up fitness our form has improved. The international break might have come at the right time, giving the players a break from the growing negativity around the club and a boost in fitness for when they came back.

I'm looking forward to the next few games. On the whole Ole has got good results against the better teams. He has also so far often got the best results in purple patches.

Arsenal won't be an easy game, Arteta has them playing well in a different system. He is showing himself to be fairly tactically astute, which is to be expected for someone who has learned from Pep.

Onward and upward, let's see where this season takes us.

1.) 29 Oct 2020
29 Oct 2020 09:41:11
Naglesmann had been lauded before this game for his tactical versatility and his attractive, attacking all action style yet the star pupil/ head boy was schooled by the PE teacher who obviously hadn't done his homework.

Surely the whole world knows by now that if this Utd team is afforded open spaces to run into there is no better counter attacking unit on the planet.

Make no mistake Utd had to work hard and be patient for this victory. Leipzig pressed with the ferocity of men possessed and for long periods Utd struggled to find any kind of rhythm in the game. Utd struggled to penetrate the Leipzig press who came to Old Trafford with all the confidence and purpose of a team sitting at the top of the Bundesliga.

To Utd's credit they never panicked or became frustrated. Despite Leipzig's incessant pressure on the ball and greater possession it was Utd that always looked the more threatening on the occasions they navigated themselves through the Leipzig press.

Ole's substations for the second champions league game in a row were brilliant. Leipzig were always going to tire and the introduction of Fernandes and Rashford exposed their aching limbs. Mctominays introduction next to Fred simply magnified the energy and industry in midfield and Leizpig had no answer.

As the intensity of their pressing slowly subsided Utd were suddenly able to play the ball forward more easily finding Fernandes in pockets of space. Rashford marauded into the open spaces as they naively continued to commit men forward. Leipzig were mercilessly dissected with all the precision and efficiency of a surgeons scalpel. By the end it really was men against boys as the PE teacher introduced his prefects to finish the job.

It was another thrilling night in the Champions League as Utd look to rebuild their reputation amongst Europe's elite.

It can be no coincidence that Utd have now finished the stronger team against Newcastle, PSG, Chelsea and Leipzig giving credence to the theory that we simply weren't match fit during the opening few matches.

As our thoughts move to Arsenal we must ensure that we are not beaten at our own game. Like Chelsea they will play 5 at the back, come to Old Trafford and look to frustrate and to hit us on the break. Can we consistently break down well organised defences whilst maintaining our own defensive discipline is the next hurdle for Ole to overcome.

We still never really know which Utd team will turn up but when they do it's worth tuning in.

{Ed025's Note - fine article that DLIB, kudos mate..

2.) 29 Oct 2020
29 Oct 2020 10:04:03
Crickey Shappy, that's a swift turnaround! Sorry to say but it almost smacks of trying to get on the right side of the argument. I thought you had been saying that Solksjaer is all wrong for Utd?

No doubt Solksjaer's team selection, tactics and substitutions were excellent last night. Certainly, the two Champions' League results have arrested our poor run but there are still many issues. Consistency is one, doing it in the league is another and getting over the line in really important games such as semi-finals is a third.

Because of Solksjaers selections and tactics we have recently lost to Palace, got battered by Spurs and drew at home with a poor Chelsea so forgive me if I don't get carried away just yet with Solksjaer's magnificence.

I've got to say though it was really good to finally see Utd playing so well. It shows me that this squad is good enough to win the league if it is used correctly.

3.) 29 Oct 2020
29 Oct 2020 10:11:24

Good points and as I said earlier our second goal was decisive. Tactically poor where one through ball destroys the high line and the player is onside in his own half.

4.) 29 Oct 2020
29 Oct 2020 11:28:40
Good post Shappy. Why do you want him gone then?

5.) 29 Oct 2020
29 Oct 2020 11:42:54
Buzzing with the result, although it helps we can bring on half a team of world class players, probably 200m worth to change the game doesn't it.

6.) 29 Oct 2020
29 Oct 2020 12:14:08
MancMan, I'm assuming the first couple of sentences are sarcasm?

Everyone is quick to blast the manager when we drop points, in fact some don't even wait to have a pop at him and do so during or even before the game based on team selection.

So it's only fair to praise him when he get it right. As DLIB writes wonderfully above Ole schooled Nargelsmann last night in every way.

Red Man, for me the third goal was the one, Fred saw the chance to win the ball high up the pitch, put a tackle in with the ball falling to Rashford who was then clean through. Very poor to be isolated with the ball that deep and be that easily dispossessed. You could see that RB Leipzig had tired physically and mentally by that point and we took full advantage.

Kept them at arms length, clogged up the middle, made them work hard, then once they tired brought on players who could take advantage of them. Very clever, well thought out and perfectly executed.

ExFZZ, this was something several of us said last year when Ole was taking pelters for not changing things from the bench. Last year in the same situation he would have had Andreas Pereira, Jesse Lingard and Ighalo to bring on to try and change a game.

This season he has Cavani, Bruno, Rashford all sitting on the bench ready to mix things up. It makes a huge difference. Maybe the reason Ole didn't rotate much or make subs until later in the game wasn't due to him not being able to see the problems, but due to him not having any players on the bench who could solve them.

Maybe he's not an idiot, maybe rebuilding a squad takes time.

7.) 29 Oct 2020
29 Oct 2020 12:31:28

If, as you say, the third goal was when you could see that RB Leipzig “had tired physically and mentally BY that point and we took full advantage” it would be clear the second goal was the key one rather than the third.

We Leicestered them!

8.) 29 Oct 2020
29 Oct 2020 12:40:58
Again to me you just sound bitter.

9.) 29 Oct 2020
29 Oct 2020 12:47:19
I thought Fred stepped up last night. he did his job very well and allowed the team to play.

10.) 29 Oct 2020
29 Oct 2020 12:56:24

What are you talking about?

Seek help.

11.) 29 Oct 2020
29 Oct 2020 13:06:23
Shappy, I agree we should praise Solksjaer for last night but it comes across to me like you have been saying he is great all along when my recollection is that you have been critical of him up until now.

Maybe I've misunderstood and/ or misremembered? Possibly you've changed your mind? (and there is nothing wrong with that; if he carries on like last night I will change my mind as well)

12.) 29 Oct 2020
29 Oct 2020 13:08:26
Red Man, the second goal came from them pushing higher and higher seeking a goal. They were tired and the second goal meant were were never likely to lose the game.

However for me it was the third goal that epitomised how we wore them down. It was tired, lazy and sloppy from a side that plays high energy, high work rate and neat and tidy football. Our tactical set up had worn them down and made them something they aren't.

So while the second goal killed the game, and would be an excellent example of why you don't give our forwards space to run in to. It was the third goal that highlighted how our tactics won us the game.

13.) 29 Oct 2020
29 Oct 2020 13:30:18
Great performance second half and a great hattrick! . What a man Rashford is and is slowly turning into a top top player.

14.) 29 Oct 2020
29 Oct 2020 14:05:18

I think you might have the wrong person, Shappy has been pretty clear about his views, he has made my red tinted specs look a little blue on occasions.

15.) 29 Oct 2020
29 Oct 2020 15:24:21
@Mancman - I've been away from the site for a few weeks, so maybe I've missed Shappy turning on Ole, but last I checked Shappy was one of the posters arguing in Ole's favour here, when a number of the regular posters were saying they wanted Ole gone. I do remember him acknowledging mistakes that Ole had made, but he was pretty clear that he didn't want Ole out.

16.) 29 Oct 2020
29 Oct 2020 15:31:04
Thorne and GDS2, thanks for putting me right and apologies to Shappy for my mistake.

17.) 29 Oct 2020
29 Oct 2020 15:38:27
MancMan, as GDS has pointed out I've always been a solid Ole supporter, and I haven't really been too shy with making my thoughts known.

While I have conceded that I don't think Ole will be the right long term manager (unless he can continue to grow and develop into that role), I have supported him as I feel he knows what is needed, he has attempted to improve performances to play a more offensive style of football, he has worked on improving the atmosphere around the club and the dressing room. He has improved the work rate and attitude of players, dropping and moving on players with the wrong attitude, he has brought in players with the right attitude, all of AWB, Maguire, James, Bruno, DvdB, Telles and Cavani have exemplary work rate and professional attitudes. While of those players currently only James looks like falling short of what we need out on the pitch in terms of quality (although he still has potential) . Ole has also been a firm believer in giving young players chances and creating an atmosphere in which they can develop, improve and thrive.

All things most of us said was needed. There was only two aspects of his reign which you could question. Firstly he doesn't have a proven track record. That doesn't mean he can't do it, just that he hasn't yet shown himself capable of doing so at this level. Secondly, there have been too many games where we have struggled and he hasn't been able to change things. This could point to a lack of tactical acumen, or it could point to a mishmash squad that lacks quality and depth limiting his options.

While it's true his best moments as United manager have come in bursts or spells of good football and good results along with periods of bad football and bad results. Why this happens is the key as to how much more time Ole will have as United manager. If it is due to his limitations he will be found wanting and lose his job. If it has been down to a combination of poor luck with injuries to key players along with limited quality in depth to replace those players while they are out injured. Then if the club can continue to improve the quality of our squad then we should see a continuation of improvement in the team and the managers performance.

The tactical plans and adjustments both before and mid game in the past few games along with a record of generally good results against the better teams suggests that maybe Ole is more tactically astute than many originally gave him credit for.

Which would make sense as part of the reason he was such a deadly super sub was his ability to read a game from the sidelines and work out how he could exploit the opposition before he came on.

While he has on more than one occasion shown an ability to pick the team up and drag them out of a period of poor results. Before Christmas last year he was supposedly under threat of losing his job, and he pulled it around and got the team to 3rd. Two weeks ago the press were lining up Pochettino for his job, only for Ole to get a performance out of the side against Newcastle, along with great performances against PSG and RB Leipzig. That is a great trait in a manager. Too many spiral when things start going against them and they are unable to pull the team out of it.

18.) 29 Oct 2020
29 Oct 2020 15:49:26
On the subject of changing opinions, that might have been the first time I've seen Pogba play where I thought he actually looked like he wanted to play here. If playing a diamond can get performances like that out of Pogba, AND allows us to fit either Fred or DVB (depending on opposition) into the team alongside Bruno and Pogba, I'm hoping we play it more often. If he keeps playing like that, I'll be happy to change my tune about him.

{Ed025's Note - he put a shift in thorne, but that should be the minimum requirement for every player and he has to do that week in week out mate..

19.) 29 Oct 2020
29 Oct 2020 16:18:48
FZZ, I thought us fans wanted the club to be buying top players. Is that not the whole point?

20.) 29 Oct 2020
29 Oct 2020 16:32:53
Not my point. I am saying it was a difficult game, but to have the quality and money to bring on 5 fresh world class players helped. As RB had nothing but good coaching to look upon.

So naturally it was a close game with 2 good sides, both sides got tired and one side could swap half their side with like for like class whereas the other couldn't. Not to difficult to understand i hope :)

21.) 29 Oct 2020
29 Oct 2020 18:37:17
Thorne, Pogba is a bit of an enigma. Clearly supremely talented, but blows hot and cold. Sometimes the work rate is there to match the talent other times it's not.

Some people think it's not finding the right system or players to get the best out of him, while others think he lacks focus and drive.

Everyone who has worked with him either as a player, coach or manager says that he works hard in training, he has a good attitude and is a positive influence on the team.

If we can get him firing on all cylinders then we have one hell of a player on our hands, if not then we are starting to have a squad of players capable of performing without him. While we have Matic, McTominay, Fred, Bruno and DvdB right now. We also have super talents such as Levitt, Garner and Hannibal Mejbri coming through.

So if Pogba wants to play he will need to perform. His cameo Vs PSG and his game against Leipzig show that he has had a reaction to being dropped.

22.) 30 Oct 2020
30 Oct 2020 09:28:41
Agreed Shappy. I was really excited to see him come back to Utd, but I've been so disappointed with him ever since.

I've believed all this time that it is just an issue of motivation and desire, that he doesn't really want to be here, and that he is the kind of player who thrives on playing for the sheer joy of it, which isn't going to happen much when you are at a club you don't want to be at.

If I was wrong, and he just needed a system which suited him, then so be it, I'll be delighted, as that is something Ole can actually work with, and given our lack of true wingers, it may suit the rest of the team too.