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21 Jul 2020 08:15:50
There has been some fierce debate since the Chelsea defeat but maybe some perspective is needed.

Only a couple of weeks ago Chelsea lost to West Ham and Sheffield Utd and looked anything like convincing in a narrow victory over Crystal Palace. They have their own problems in defence and with another Spanish goalkeeper coincidentally so they have not suddenly become world beaters again overnight.

Utd now need to show some resilience and mental strength. We look a team showing signs of fatigue and some parallels can be drawn to last season when Ole went on a magnificent run only for it to fall apart once we'd dragged ourselves back into contention. The same excuses were rolled out then. Injury and fatigue bore the blame but this time history cannot repeat itself.

We need to exhibit a steely reserve, to win our next two fixtures and complete a remarkable turn around. There will be no trophy or even celebration for finishing 4th. It will still represent a poor season where we have finished over 30 points behind the leaders but maybe the seeds of recovery have been sown over the last few weeks. A return to Europe's elite competition will see us welcome Europe's best back to Old Trafford and hopefully the extra revenue generated will be reinvested back into the playing squad.

As for next season expectations should be tempered. Any talk of a title challenge is dangerously premature and once again we'll be in a fight for a top 4 finish with the likes of Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal, Leicester, Wolves etc

Progress has been made, the team is now capable of scoring more goals, is becoming more consistent, whilst the style and brand of football is slowly evolving. I think we've been treated to some fantastic, attacking football since the re start, scoring some memorable goals and perhaps we have seen the birth of our next academy superstar.

We've seen ourselves the difference that just one player can make to a team so with the right recruitment we do have cause for optimism. The prospect of seeing Rashford, Martial, Fernandes and Sancho not matter how unlikely is exciting and with Greenwood continuing to develop we have a core of good players capable of competing with the best.

We must now finish the job and look forwards not back. The Chelsea defeat is consigned to history and in some ways we have bigger business to take care of. It's a big week ahead for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the direction of his Man Utd team.

DLIB

1.) 21 Jul 2020 10:27:48
Dlib
Nice to see there are still some people on the site with a modicum of common sense and knowledge. 👏👏.


2.) 21 Jul 2020 10:28:57
Sensible post. I think the issue is most of us have become entrenched in our views either pro or against the manager. Them the most recent results become the basis of either proving your opinion right or wrong.

The reality is the unless Ole massively improves them he isn't the right long term manager for us. Yet in the short term he has shipped out the right players, brought in players with the right mentality, he has given youth a chance, improved most players in the squad and given the club back some of its identity. As a result whoever takes over will take over a club and a side in much better shape than it was when Ole took over.

Whether this summer, next summer or beyond is the right time to replace Ole remains to be seen and until he is will remain a hypothetical opinion only.

My view is we have a young side that is benefitting from having a manger who trusts them, regardless of who we sign we are too far off of Liverpool and City who have sides at their peak currently to realistically catch them next season.

They say a squad peaks with an average age between 26-29. That is where Liverpool and City are now. Our average age is 23/ 24 so we need more experience before we hit our peak.

For me next season would be a success if we are comfortably 3rd with a much smaller gap between us and 1st, anything below a 10 point gap would be a great improvement. I think we need to win a cup either the Europa League this season or a cup next season. Winning breeds a winning mentality and with so many young players in the squad winning a cup would be a huge growth experience for them.

Onwards and upwards. We need to refocus on the next game, forget Leicester. Win at West Ham, and try and win by a good margin. That would show a good bounce back mentality and would go some way to maintaining confidence levels. While also putting us in the best possible place ahead of the final day showdown.


3.) 21 Jul 2020 10:58:29
Agreed. If Ole can get us back into the top 4, playing some good football, maybe Europa League as a bonus, you have to after he’s done a sterling job and deserves another transfer window to continue his project. The atmosphere around our club is chalk and cheese to Jose’s reign. I for one am not complaining - yes he makes a few mistakes, but he’s learning all the time.


4.) 21 Jul 2020 11:20:01
Top post DLIB.


5.) 21 Jul 2020 12:07:37
Top post and well said DLIB.


6.) 21 Jul 2020 12:52:37
Good post dlib. City have lost a host of league games this year and are 20 points worse off than last year and have just been outplayed by arsenal. Do we see mass hysteria? Sack pep? players not good enough? No we don't. If I had said after the Burnley defeat that with 2 league games to go CL qualification would be in our hands I would have been laughed off this site. We are looking a little fatigued which is why the team and the manager need all our support not relentless criticism for losing a game which wasn't in the grand scheme of things particularly important.


7.) 21 Jul 2020 13:31:30
our inability to finish teams off is one of the issues we had early in the season which has cost us points.


we have drew 11 games.

lost the 2nd least amount of games and have conceded the joint second least.

i think with a few more players, especially a right winger, and another central midfielder regardless if pogba stays or not you will see a difference.


8.) 21 Jul 2020 14:02:34
Good post DLIB.

But I remain unconvinced that Ole has what it takes to take us forward next season and beyond. Still too many question marks hang over him and what he has achieved so far. I do hope I am wrong.


 

 

 

DLIB's banter posts with other poster's replies to DLIB's banter posts

 

28 Mar 2021 12:04:27
As we pause for the International break it's gives us an opportunity to pause and reflect.

Three years ago Jose Mourinho finished a distant 2nd to Manchester City. His team amassed over 80 points, progressed into the knockout stages of the Champions League and reached an FA Cup final. The season before Mourinho won the League Cup and Europa League.

I still vividly remember the dreadful elimination to Sevilla in the Champions League and driving home from the FA Cup final defeat to Chelsea with a sense of bitter disappointment. The season felt like a failure.

Mourinho's tenure at Old Trafford was never likely to be sustainable. His was often sullen, argumentative, divisive and his football over cautious and defensive yet despite all this negativity I had absolutely no doubt that he wanted to win. After a decent second season (on paper anyway) he went into the summer transfer window expecting significant backing from the board. After all, he had already won two trophies, reached an FA Cup final and finished runners up accumulating over 80 points in the process, surely this was evidence of progress and vindication of his methods and credentials. Mourinho expected his own burning ambition to be matched by the Club and going into the summer of 2018 he desperately wanted a CB (amongst others) yet he was eventually given Fred and Dalot in order to try and chase down Pep's centurion's! The rest as they say is history.

Fast forward a couple of years, Ole loses three semi finals and secures third place on the final day of the campaign against an injury ravaged Leicester City and the season (for some) is celebrated as a success. Fast forward another few months, Ole is eliminated from the group stages of the Champions League, knocked out of the FA Cup in the quarter finals and is still a very distant second to Pep's City (now chasing a quadruple) yet this is somehow evidence of progress!

The truth is expectations of this Club are in the gutter. The main difference between Ole and Mourinho (apart from the obvious 22 major honours) is expectation. I think when Mourinho was appointed we all expected better. We expected trophies, we expected success and in many ways he delivered. His personality and personal ambition exposed a Club lacking the appetite to really compete and in the end he couldn't hide his distain for a CEO hopelessly out of his depth and a squad of players lacking the ability and mental fortitude to overthrow the noisy neighbours. This is not a vindication of Mourinho, he had his faults but where is the progress? The football is no better, as yet there is no trophy in the cabinet and we are unlikely to get over 80 points. Of course it's better than Mourinho's self inflicted mutiny but by that stage the Club was toxic and players in revolt.

In my opinion the Club yearns for stability. Consistent top 4 finishes safeguards revenue, enhances the marketability of the Club and increases sponsorship opportunities. Whilst attacking football and trophies are preferable they are not essential to the business model.

That being said this is not all doom and gloom. Whilst we might not have the financial power or the burning ambition of a City or Chelsea, we still have significant funds available for transfers and can offer competitive salaries. What we really need to be successful in my opinion is a coherent plan, an identity, a system, a way of playing and a clear appreciation of what types of players are required to fit into and improve that philosophy. We need a longer term vision as we don't have the ambition, ruthlessness or finances to pay severance packages, compensation, buy multiple top class players in a single window or rectify expensive transfers mistakes.

We simply won't have the money to strengthen in multiple positions this summer. What I would like to see is the Club target a player capable of significantly improving the starting 11 in one of the key positions (CB, CDM, RW or CF) and by definition also improving the depth of the squad.

The only way we will ever return to the top is by meticulous planning, proper scouting and buying the correct players to fit the system. In charge we have a man that perhaps provides some stability and longevity but maybe lacks the quality and experience to really succeed. Ole needs some help, he needs to Club to deliver him another Fernandes this summer to continue the progression. Utd are a slow burn, top 4 finishes and patience may have to suffice for now!

DLIB

1.) 28 Mar 2021 12:12:45
Good post DLIB. Could've been a very different story had they properly backed Jose, I really believe that. But as ed002 consistently said, the club were not progressive enough for Mourinho.

But here we are with a manager who clearly hasn't the credentials of his predecessor nor the results but seems to be afforded more time and by the looks of it, even more money.

I agree that the club needs a serious plan, vision to succeed but sadly I can not see it at this current team. But even though upstairs has failed time and time again, it is no excuse to settle for a sub par coach. We will not return to the top with this man in charge regardless of what Woodward and co do.


2.) 28 Mar 2021 13:09:02
Angle - In hindsight Mourinho was the wrong appointment. He was never likely to spend longer than 3 years at the Club and his relentless ambition was always going to place him on a collision course with the board. He didn’t have the patience for a long rebuild and even if backed adequately there was no guarantee he’d topple Pep. With his preference for established stars it was always likely that he could leave the Club with ageing players on big wages.

It’s become obvious to me that the Club wants stability. I think the right manager could bring success back to the Club even under Glazer ownership and Woodward control but it will take time, patience, meticulous planning, expert recruitment and honest dialogue between the manager/ coach and decision makers. Chasing the likes of Sancho all summer and not delivering cannot be allowed to happen again. Ole must be stronger and demand answers. The price was always prohibitive and Dortmund were never going to relent; hopefully lessons have been learnt. If we’d have got Sancho last summer (instead of Cavani, VdB, Telles, Pellestri and Diallo) we’d have been a step closer to improving our starting 11. (The rest were just stocking fillers of little use) . Add a top quality CB or CM this summer and the pieces begin to fall into place. The failed Sancho pursuit in my opinion set the rebuild back 12 months and the RW position should have been addressed last summer. A team cannot win the league without a recognised or special-ist right sided winger/ forward in the entire squad. Last summer was the time to address the RW position whilst Pogba remained at the Club for at least another season. With the acquisition of Fernandes the signing of Sancho would have completed the attacking positions (Martial, Rashford, Greenwood, Sancho, Bruno, James, Lingard, Mata) meaning a top quality CB, Pogba replacement or even CF could be recruited this summer. We’ll never know the impact of Sancho on the team but his creativity and goals would have undoubtedly improved us in my opinion.

Last season’s transfer window demonstrated yet more incompetence and flawed decision making. The final day chaotic supermarket sweep across Europe only evidenced a Club lacking leadership and a coherent plan.

If Ole is to continue the progress next season he needs players that will improve the first team not veterans, youngsters, back ups or players he doesn’t want or fit the system. Recruitment this summer will be key.


3.) 28 Mar 2021 14:03:20
Fantastic post DLIB.


 

 

19 Mar 2021 14:49:01
Fantastic result last night and very happy to progress.

A lot has been made about the recent improvement of the defence but how much is down to McFred sitting in front and not leaving them exposed?!

I accept McFred can't pass and you'd normally expect a Utd team to have more technically gifted and creative players in the centre of the field but their positional discipline, energy, tenacity and work rate off the ball is vital to this Utd team. They protect two very vulnerable CB's that can't be left exposed 1v1 and allow the full backs to get forward.

When Pogba was introduced last night last we looked a different proposition despite still having McFred on the pitch.

My point is Ole wants his double pivot to be disciplined, hard working and play for the team especially in the big games. They give the team a platform to play and Ole then expects his better attacking players supported by the full backs to go and win the game. Pogba produced that moment last night and we won the game. If Pogba doesn't come on last night we probably draw that game 0-0 and go out. We didn't win last night though any tactical master plan or footballing philosophy but simply by introducing a top quality player who possessed the individual ability to improve a very work man like team.

I'm not really arguing that McFred are good enough for Utd but they form an important part of how Ole wants to play.

I still think the best way Ole continues to improve this team is by getting more individual quality in the attacking positions. Players that have the individual ability to create something for themselves. Get a top quality RW and this team improves further despite it's obvious limitations at CB or CM. We must get more bang for our buck in summer and it's my belief that a RW will improve us the most in relation to how Ole wants to play.

I'm not saying I'm a big advocate of Ole's tactics and I can completely understand why some believe he's not good enough but despite a calamity he'll get a new deal and will be here next season. In what will likely be another difficult summer transfer window I'm just trying to understand how this team can continue to improve whilst Ole remains in charge.

DLIB

1.) 19 Mar 2021 15:09:41
Wow, a balanced post! Really good to read.

RW has been our biggest problem in attack since even the Moyes era. Am worried that having spent a relatively high fee on Diallo that'll be it but if we do sort it we would see the best from our other strikers as well. Fingers crossed.


2.) 19 Mar 2021 15:11:37
I think our centre backs, lindelof and maguire are hard done by on here, they are good centre backs in their own right especially lindelof.

They just lack some elite physical attributes that you can't coach, pace for maguire and lindelof has trouble physically in aerial duels

If lindelof's agent was to shop him round europe there would be a lot takers in my opinion especially on the continent, he's good on the ball, reads the game well, hardly goes to ground and can communicate well.

It would have to take an expensive top quality addition to improve on lindelof, like a varane, dias, VVD level which isn't easy to find. People talk about the likes of kounde, torres, konate etc but i'm sure after about 10 games at the club, people would find a faults with them as well.


3.) 19 Mar 2021 15:23:36
Dlib i'm also not a fan of our general tactics, style or approach.
It errs on the side of caution and is a lot more submissive than I prefer personally.
However you are right ole is getting a new deal. Its not a decision I agree with but I hope it works out. I hope our play will improve and that I'll enjoy watching more than I do now.
I hope we get some success.
Only time will tell if the new structure will improve things.
It may not be my ideal plan, but its the plan we have and at least there is a plan.
Will it work? I don't know. In 3 years time we could look back and say what a great plan it was and here we are epl and cl winners or alternatively we might look back and say who let the lunatics take over the asylum.


4.) 19 Mar 2021 15:31:51
Dsg I'm not having that.


5.) 19 Mar 2021 15:33:08
there is no way it would take 10 games before someone has a pop at them 😂😂.


6.) 19 Mar 2021 15:58:12
DSG our best CB pairing is Bailly and Lindelof. I wouldn’t have Maguire anywhere near my starting 11 but ole for some reason has him as captain.
I thought Kessie looked good again last night. Swapping him for either or mcfred would improve the pair enormously,

Still think we need 4 in the summer. CB, DM, RW, ST

We have enough players to sell to raise some funds and take money off the wage bill.


7.) 19 Mar 2021 16:27:48
I just can’t work this Utd team out! Conventional wisdom dictates we should be average and in many ways we are.

Ole and his coaching staff lack experience and pedigree, Fred and Mctominay undoubtedly lack quality and finesse on the ball, as does Dan James and even AWB. Our CB’s lack pace and really struggle to defend in 1v1 situations. Martial has been poor all year, Rashford still blows hot and cold, Greenwood has struggled for form whilst Cavani and Pogba have been injured yet we’re unbeaten in well over 20 away games. We’ve eliminated two of the strongest Europa League teams and have only lost 4 league games all season two of which were right at the start of the season. Had we won very winnable games against Sheff Utd, West Brow, Crystal Palace and not conceded a ridiculous last minute goal against Everton we’d be 9 points better off and only 5 points behind a very good City team.

We’ve drawn too many games but I’m convinced a further injection of individual attacking talent would have seen us win many of those games. If we had a Grealish or Sancho type player that can dribble, receive and retain the ball in tight situations and create something out of nothing added to the likes of Martial, Rashford, Greenwood and Bruno despite all our limitations we wouldn’t be that far away!

In my opinion it’s not a question of improving the style or attractiveness of our play under Ole. It’s about being well organised and having the individual quality in attacking areas to win games. That’s how Ole wins a title in my opinion. Ole hasn’t got the finances or time to improve the double pivot, the CB’s or even add another CF. He’ll predominantly have to use what he’s already got. I say blow all the budget on a special RW, complete the attacking 4, make us well organised and hard to beat. Don’t leave the CB’s exposed and hope the individual quality in the attacking areas can win the game. This is the only way I ever see Ole getting close to a title at Utd!

{Ed014's Note - how about it City hadn’t had the poor start they did?

Seriously some of the stuff posted on here is getting ridiculous. If I as an Arsenal fan was trying to big this season up and you were in City’s position and I was in yours you’d be laughing your nut sack off at me.


8.) 19 Mar 2021 17:06:20
Completely understand 014 here. It’s almost like the season we finished second under mourinho. Best of a bad bunch.

{Ed014's Note - I know some (2) think I come on here for some kind of wind up but I 100% don’t see what a lot are seeing.

I go through your squad, which is supposedly the best since Fergie left and think wow! How, we’re the others that bad.

Somethings are clearly good, but the reality for me is, not many.


9.) 19 Mar 2021 17:31:38
Ed014, I think its a decent squad with potential. However, I think some people are either a little blinkered or they like to over egg the quality of this squad as it suits their agenda (i. e. Ole is underperforming) .

When I look at the players we have currently I see 2 maybe 3 that would be in the conversation as possible starters for City or Liverpool. Whereas, for both of them their entire starting 11 would probably be strong contenders to be starting for us.

I think a lot of people get mixed up between potential and current ability. Players like AWB has huge potential, but he isn't a world class or even a great player currently. When we talk about out best players we tend to talk about how good they could be and not necessarily how good they are currently.

I also find it funny how people think this is a great team that is being managed poorly, but also say we need 4-5 players for the first 11 to be a title challenger. Even though we are 2nd currently. In which case then does that mean they think Ole has this team in 2nd with only 6-7 first team quality players for a top side?

If so how could you possibly say he is doing a bad job?

That's the thing with United at the moment, we are a team of contradictions. We have some good players, a couple of great ones and some who might one day be great. We also have at least 12 players who aren't good enough to grace a title winning squad.

Our performances are often hard to watch and seem directionless, yet we are second and have got good results and tally up well against the best for goals scored.

We look a mess in defence, but currently have 8 clean sheets in 9 games.

It's almost like we are a club in transition and as such performances are up and down, but somehow we tend to get the results needed to get over the line.

As many have said its a rollercoaster, and just like the best rollercoasters they often almost give you a heart attack, sometimes they make you feel sick, yet you keep going back for more. Hey no one ever said being a football fan would be easy.

{Ed014's Note - I agree with that Shappy and nothing hurts to be positive about your side it’s just keeping it in context.


10.) 19 Mar 2021 17:31:56
Ed14 - We dropped those points after going top of the league having been on a very good run of form. We had found some consistency then dropped points against teams we should have beaten and fell away. If we can’t discuss how we think Utd can improve and where we’ve dropped unnecessary points then what’s the point of posting? I’m not an imbecile, I know Utd didn’t win those games because we’ve not been good enough but had we added a top quality RW in the summer in my opinion we could have turned some of those draws into wins and got closer to City despite our limitations.

Where have I attempted to big our season up? I clearly say we’re average yet despite that we were top of the league in January, have gone over 20 games unbeaten away from home and have only lost 4 league games.

I’m not deluded I know Utd are miles behind City I’m just trying to understand where we can close the gap. We’re 2nd not 10th so I don’t understand what’s so ridiculous about highlighting where we should have done better in few recent games having got ourselves into a good position. I didn’t even mention our poor start where we had no preseason which might also explain City’s poor start which you felt you had to mention.

Arsenal have got absolutely nothing to do with this debate. I couldn’t care less what you say about Arsenal your 10th, 16 points behind Utd with all due respect what are you talking about? Arsenal aren’t mid table because you’ve drawn a few games. Anyway I don’t want to get embroiled in a pointless argument with on of the editors especially one that doesn’t even support Utd have a nice weekend.

{Ed014's Note - apologies DLIB I wasn’t referring to yourself in my reply but across the board.

Enjoy your w’end


11.) 19 Mar 2021 18:20:33
Thanks Ed, no apology needed but thanks anyway, I was very touchy and defensive to be fair. Maybe we can go hammer and tongs when meet in the Europa League final 😉.


12.) 19 Mar 2021 18:20:33
Ed14 - Thanks Ed, no apology needed but thanks anyway, I was very touchy and defensive to be fair. Maybe we can go hammer and tongs when meet in the Europa League final 😉.

{Ed014's Note - thanks and yes mate that would be good, get all EPL finalists in both European Comps.

Mind you between us we wouldn’t want City and Chelsea to win anything and in your case defo not Liverpool either 🤣🙂


13.) 19 Mar 2021 23:46:14
Any post that mentions Eric Bailly should be in our starting 11 needs some very serious scrutiny! He’s dreadful.


14.) 20 Mar 2021 05:30:36
Strange to add that to this thread Eric. Is almost like a new thread. But yes, he is our worst CB. Actually he beats out Jones.


15.) 20 Mar 2021 14:54:20
I will say one thing for us 014, it could be a lot worse. We could have arsenals squad 😂.

{Ed014's Note - Red I kid you not I 100% would not swap squads with you.


16.) 20 Mar 2021 17:19:30
Hahaha oh dear.


17.) 20 Mar 2021 17:21:53
I think there are some good young players in Arsenal's squad, but on the whole I think the United squad tops it. I think the relative positions in the table go some way to highlight the current gulf in quality, either that or you must think Ole is a much better manager than Arteta.

You have some great young players, Saka and Smith-Rowe look great players, Martinelli was doing well but seems to have dropped right off.

Other than those youngsters the only other players I'd consider from Arsenal are Partey, Gabriel and Tierney. Although they are good enough I would argue Shaw is in better form than Tierney. While Partey is clearly a much better option than Fred and McTominay personally he isn't the type of midfielder I think we need. Gabriel though I would pick over Maguire every time. Although in saying that I'd pick a bag of cement over Maguire.


18.) 20 Mar 2021 19:05:53
I wondered where my whiskey had gone, sounds like 014 had it! Joking aside we have the much better squad. Just have to see you guys wallowing down in 10th to realise that.

{Ed014's Note - wouldn’t have either of your keepers, would take AWB for the first team, fatboy as back up for Tierney, would take Bruno if he stopped being a petulant girl. The rest of your rank midfield you can keep.

Wouldn’t swap ESR, Saka, Lacazette, Pepe, Aubamayang, Nelson, Martinelli or Odegard for anything you have up top either.

We still have better defenders on loan than you have and 2pts from 6 suggests you’re not as good as us.

We’ve also conceded less than you.

Keep your whiskey, you’re going to need something to drown your sorrows in. 🤣🤣🤣🤣


19.) 20 Mar 2021 20:37:37
Ole must be a much better manager than Arteta if Arsenal’s squad is so superior to ours.


20.) 20 Mar 2021 23:43:12
You lost me at Pepe 😂.


21.) 21 Mar 2021 00:07:30
Oh Ed14.


22.) 21 Mar 2021 07:33:03
Ed fishing again.

{Ed014's Note - no need to fish on this page. It’s in a world all of its own.

I imagine it will be a while before it comes back to earth.


23.) 21 Mar 2021 11:51:50
Ed,

That’s one of the best posts I’ve seen for ages, absolute meltdown. Can only assume you’re fishing or (hopefully) just deluded. I don’t think anyone here thinks the united squad is amazing but you’ve just shown your hatred for united in that post and a lot of things you say now make a lot of sense. How you have a job as an editor I’ve no idea, it’s a shame for the site as the rest are knowledgable and respectful and make the site what it is.

{Ed014's Note - coming from one of if not the most deluded idiots on here what you say is totally irrelevant.

You wear the thickest pair of red tinted specs I’ve seen in my life.

You deduce I hate United because when I go on your club web page I don’t see this best squad since Fergie left.

You even had a poster saying it was better than city’s. Now doubt you agreed.

How you actually manage in life itself is beyond me as you clearly have zero intelligence.

Also remind me at which point I said our squad was so much better than yours or is it simply the fact I wouldn’t swap one half decent squad for another half decent squad.

Red says I stopped at Pepe, I literally pmsl when I got to Dan James, where would you be without Bruno? Where?

Go on your club website, look at the players and come back and tell me all about how good they all are and how as a group the are going to challenge for the title or the league.

You really are the new Arsenal, only two players away from challenging! 🤣🤣🤣


24.) 21 Mar 2021 13:17:14
Well said GDS2 and I think you’ve caught catch of the day there 🎣 😂

I wonder how one watches Rashford and Greenwood and decides they’d rather have Pepe and the failed Madrid player.

I think the thickness or your own red tinted specs are getting in the way Ed 🙈

Sure there are a few Arsenal players that would get in our squad but nowhere near what you are claiming.

As we are 2nd in the league and you are 10th, and we consistently finish above you, it must be a case of either United have the better squad overall or that Ole is a coaching master compared to Arteta.

Personally I go with the former and as managers not 1 is better than the other.

{Ed014's Note - Wazza, Wazza, what are you on about, really.

Look let me make it super simple, as a group you are massively over hyping your squad.

Would I swap mine for it, no, would I compare Greenwood and Rashford to Pepe and Odegard no.

Would I compare them to Saka and Aubamayang then yes I would.

Would I swap my squad for City, Liverpool or Chelsea’s, absolutely yes, do I look through your club website and your 1st team and think I must have all of them, no 1 million % I don’t.

You as a group big them up and shoot them down on a weekly and even basis, they really are not that good or close to that good.

You’ve blamed everything under the sun for a poor start, we didn’t have Aubamayang in the same form this season as he was at the end of last season, is that a good enough reason for us being where we are, no you’ll tell me it’s not.

It’s just a lame excuse to say I hate United as it doesn’t suit your narrative that anyone can look from the outside and see a different picture or I’m an Arsenal fan.

You do me the favour of going through your squad and highlight what I’m missing or is it all just a lack of a pre season? 🤷‍♂️

You need a lot to challenge and I’m not even close to saying we don’t, but the simple thing is, that’s what I want us to do, so logic says there is no way on earth I’d swap for your squad which is not close to challenging either.

As for GDS all the Ed’s know what a clown he is and he couldn’t catch a cold. 🤦‍♂️


25.) 21 Mar 2021 13:46:49
Well I've got be honest this has cheered me up today.


26.) 21 Mar 2021 14:10:43
Wow this got a bit out of hand. No need to say how is he an editor GDS bit of respect goes far lad. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. That’s the point of the site.

{Ed014's Note - apart from me clearly hey and you earn respect and GDS has earned zero but let’s brush over that too 🤦‍♂️


27.) 21 Mar 2021 14:52:28
Ed can I ask them, why are United 2nd and Arsenal 10th, and why do United consistently finish higher than Arsenal?

What do you put that down to?

{Ed014's Note - really Wazza, why do you think, because we are not as good, does that mean I have to swap squads because I want us to be even better.

No it doesn’t mate, I’m not having the hype surrounding your squad and that it’s as good as many are saying.

Seriously, go on the United website, look though all the players, tell me what you’re seeing that makes all this hype justifiable?

Your manager is how far into his tenure and what have you really achieved aside from off loading Smalling and Lingard.

Where is the genuine progress in terms of quality aside from Bruno and where would you, hand on heart, be if you didn’t have him.

Does he turn up for the big games.

Honestly because I don’t tolerate those two clowns on this page I’m must have an agenda and hate United.

I don’t hate any club, dislike Stoke City and their ilk because they just want to kick people.

I’ve watched United since the days of Charlton, Stiles, Law and Best and watched them all play in the flesh, I’ve watched you win league titles and Champions League finals and unless against us have been more than happy that you won.

Posters just seem to dislike it because my opinion of this squad doesn’t fall in line with the hype.

So check out the website, look at your squad, be honest and come back to me.


28.) 21 Mar 2021 15:31:30
United are far better than arsenal, this is currently out best squad since fergy left.
That said in 7 years under moyes lvg and jose we had 1 top 4 finish so maybe that's not saying much.

I also don't see a lot of hype nearly everyone on this site says we still need to improve, buy several players, 17 is just trying to justify his opinion
He doesn't like it when other people opinion doesn't fall in line with his own
Ed17
We where 3rd best team in the league last year currently 2nd i'm not sure anyone has said anymore than that .
Maybe the squad is better than you think? And rather it being a case of people over hyping the squad things are actually better than many like to admit.

{Ed014's Note - painful, just beyond painful. 🤦‍♂️


29.) 21 Mar 2021 15:39:40
Ed014, would you swap your squad for West Ham's 🤣🤣🤣.

{Ed014's Note - no mate but I’d have that Jessie Lingard lad he looks class on grass! 🤣🤣🤣


30.) 21 Mar 2021 15:42:19
Ed united finished 10 points above arsenal last year.
They are currently 16 points above arsenal ( yous are only 15 points above relegation )

You don't think we have a better squad?
That's fine its your opinion, many will disagree, maybe your wrong .
16 points and currently getting a hiding of west ham.

{Ed014's Note - Jesus I know you are thicker than a whale omelette but ffs can you get your stupid head around the fact that your squad are not what I want if I want Arsenal to win things.

I am not disputing league positions, my opinion, that’s my opinion is that your squad is not all that you think or would like it to be.

That’s MY opinion, YOUR opinion is different. Do you understand? 🤦‍♂️


31.) 21 Mar 2021 15:33:45
Where would we be with out bruno what a stupid question. Thd truth is nobody knows we woukd of probably bought someone else .

The FACT is bruno is part of this squad.

{Ed077's Note - "Where would we be without Bruno" isn't a stupid question at all. Its a genuine question. We were around 6th_7th before his arrival and losing to Burnley. We were quite far away from top 4 places. We bought many new players broke multiple transfer records and yet were so bad. Saying we would have signed someone else and that other player would have done what Bruno has done is just ignorant and dumb. Bruno has performed at a very high level for almost all his time here. Nobody has come close to his level of performance, quality and consistency regardless of their prior reputation or the fee paid for them. You are doing a huge disservice to Bruno by saying we would have brought someone in and still done as well.

Also I think you are missing Ed014's point. Neither of our squad is that superior to the others. There aren't many players I would be considering from Arsenals squad if put in charge of Man Utd. But also I would consider many of our players to be that much better than Arsenal's.


32.) 21 Mar 2021 16:06:07
No getting through to some 014. Unfortunately it has been the state of this page for a while, when people disagree and have their own opinion the sl*gging match starts.

{Ed014's Note - it’s trying mate to say the least.


33.) 21 Mar 2021 15:51:59
Ah right so this united squad isn't what you want . Ok Ed 😂.


34.) 21 Mar 2021 16:01:24
It must be pretty disheartening for you to say all this Ed while you watch your team get dismantled by a superior West Ham side.

{Ed014's Note - why would I be disheartened Wazza, are things that bad at United that you get upset at the slightest set back.

It’s actually a great game with both sides going for it, I know you’re used to parking the bus most of the time. 😉🤣

Or are you just hiding from answering my question as I answered yours, deflection at it’s finest. 😉


35.) 21 Mar 2021 16:23:45
Ed you don't know that, we would of bough someone else.
What if pogba hadn't got injured blah blah its all ifs and maybes.

To say that is ignorant or bumb imo is daft, your presenting opinion as fact . and what's worse presenting your opinion as fact someone else's as dumb?
The fact is we did buy him, he is part of the squad.
I personally think we have a much better squad than arsenal they have potential but there is a reason there mid table .
You don't ok 14 doesn't ok .
But we are 16 points ahead of them with 29 games played.

They are 16 points behind us imagine the stick on here if a poster was arguing that united had a better squad than a team they finished 16
points behind, 10 last season.

But each to there own

I said last season we would do ok said this season we would continue to improve.

{Ed077's Note - Bruno is up there with the best players/performers in the league. Saying that any other player instead of him would have played just as well and any other signing would have worked as well as he has is ignorant. I will write it again hoping you read it this time "We have signed many players, for huge sums, players with huge reputation before arrival, broken transfer records of different sorts, yet nobody has come halfway to the level of performance, quality and consistency of Bruno." Also don't underestimate the leadership and winning mentality Bruno has brought in.

Sheffield It's finished 9th last season. Did they have better squads that all 11 teams that finished below them? I think not. But they performed better, maybe rode their luck a bit more, maybe some teams underperformed. Conversely Liverpool finished 33pts clear off us last season. Now they are around 11 pts behind us and 4_5 places below us. Has the quality shifted that much?

I agree we have a better squad than Arsenal but the gulf in quality isn't quite as much as some are saying. I read posts after posts saying this player is bad, that player needs replacing and then all of a sudden you guys are so butthurt when someone says the squad of players people want replaced/upgraded isn't great.


36.) 21 Mar 2021 16:57:41
Ed and we have signed players for small amounts who have been amazing, Cantona.
The fact is you or me don't know what would of happened if we hadn't signed bruno .
16 points ahead of arsenal this year 10 points ahead of them last season .
Where would arsenal of been last season with out aubamayang, and his 22 league goals?

You are coming up with what ifs to prove you point, when the fact is we finished well clear of arsenal last year and are even further ahead of them this year .
It might be your or 14 opinion arsenal have a better squad fair enough . I'm not going to call you ignorant dumb or thick etc etc

I don't think they have, I think this " what if he got injured etc" is just what fans do to prove a point.

But the facts are arsenal have been nowhere near us in the league for the last 2 seasons. So maybe I have a point?
Also bruno was only 1 of the many points made above,

{Ed077's Note - did you not read my reply. I clearly stated "we have a better squad than Arsenal." That's my opinion. I also don't take much issue with Ed014's opinion that the gulf in quality between our squad and Arsenals isn't that big.

Why is it hard for you to acknowledge that not many players have had as much of an affect on the team as Bruno. And Cantona was signed almost 3 decades ago. If you think we would have signed another player instead of Bruno and he would have performed as such that we would be 3rd and then 2nd (after 28_29games) when 6th at the time of his arrival than I think you are hugely underestimating Bruno's contribution and quality. Not many players in history work as well as Bruno has right from Day 1. And we have very rarely had a signing work half as well as Bruno has during this current hierarchy.


37.) 21 Mar 2021 17:56:46
Ed I haven't not acknowledged it whst I said was no one knows and I think its a silly point in a discussing about 2 teams that are no where near each other in the league .

Where would this team of been with out bruno? Who knows .
But its 1 point in an on going discussion about this squad?
In 2nb place 16 points ahead of arsenal ( which the thread is about ) the comments aimed at gds for his views taking the above in to account
🤦‍♂️.
But we are discussing what if this play was injured etc , I suppose that better than the actual FACT arsenal are no where near us.

{Ed077's Note - Bruno isnt playing right now against leicester and we are horrendous. The major difference between us and Arsenalhas been Bruno though. We were around similar place in the league table before his arrival. And league position is the be all and end all in judging teams that much we have established recently right ;-).}


38.) 21 Mar 2021 18:42:53
And would we of been around the same place as arsenal if they didn't have abuma.
It's all what ifs where do you draw the line .

{Ed077's Note - Auba has been horrendous all season.}


39.) 21 Mar 2021 19:07:59
Ed can I change my mind and have a few more players I’d take of your team? 😂 like I said before best of a bad bunch. Hopefully now maybe some will see your point a bit clearer. Neither squads are close.

{Ed077's Note - Does anyone else think Partey is better than McFred combined? Or just me?}


40.) 21 Mar 2021 19:11:48
And also 077 is spot on. Jred this is embarrassing.


41.) 21 Mar 2021 19:05:28
ed14 did you say arsenal have a better squad than united?
I don't see that. Maybe I'm mistaken but it looks to me like people can't read or understand your point.

{Ed014's Note - no Ken I didn’t, I said I wouldn’t swap squads and I stand by that.

Nothing in your squad makes me feel we’d be any closer to winning anything with your team than ours.

I don’t believe the gulf in class overall is that massive either and you have been very reliant on Bruno dragging you up by the scruff.

I’d take City, Liverpool and Chelsea’s squad every day of the week and they all now have a top man at the helm.

Don’t think there’s much doubt we’d fair better with better managers but do we honestly have the squads to really challenge if we did, I’m thinking not mate.


42.) 21 Mar 2021 19:22:31
077, I like mctominay and he has the potential and even stepped up season by season. But partey is a great player. I would maybe say your right, playing with fred is playing with a player less already anyway. But yes partey was a great signing shame he’s not been fit full season. Certain posters, I won’t name, are adamant we need a deep lying playmaker at dm. I disagree. We need someone in the ilk of ndidi or Zakaria. Play a 6,8 and 10. New dm, mctom (assuming pogba leaves) and Bruno. Ideally wed replace pogba on leaving with Saul too but I have little faith we’re going to replace where we need to.

{Ed077's Note - McTominay is good, but not great and thus not good enough to be first choice, not yet at least IMO. The table would rise without me hands or leg touching it if Saul joined Utd lol:-).}


43.) 21 Mar 2021 19:32:24
014s last reply to ken here is what all the butthurt posters need to read. Even when I said I think we have the better squad he’s not turned and said arsenal have a better squad. He’s pointed out the potential in the arsenal squad and I think imo has rightly said there isn’t a great gulf. I don’t see anywhere where he’s said x is better than z. He’s said who he would rather have. And that my friends is why we frequent these sites. For opinion, for discussion. Without petulant sl*gging for it. Most of us can have a bantery joke (I know bantery isn’t a joke but I couldn’t find the word 😂 I’ve took the whiskey back off 014) some just get so butthurt it’s embarrassing. Back your team to the hilt, criticise your team where needed. But this is all a game of sport. We’re a community here. Stop criticising our Ed’s who make this site possible. They’re entitled to opinion too, just because it’s in red doesn’t mean you need to see red in reaction lads.


44.) 21 Mar 2021 19:35:39
He plays motm one game then disappears a couple. But yes he has the making of a good prem level cm. we definitely need a more experienced head there though. Saul would be wet dream worthy nevermind rising tables haha.

{Ed077's Note - ???}


45.) 21 Mar 2021 19:54:11
Mctominay 077, sorry.

{Ed077's Note - Whiskey I guess lol :)}


46.) 21 Mar 2021 20:09:57
Sadly yes, but on a good note i got given a frank sintra select jack daniels by a cousin returning from a gap year recently. Very smooth 😉. Bourbon over scotch, sorry 😂.


47.) 21 Mar 2021 20:34:06
Yes ed14 that's what I thought. Some people call for debate but that is until someone has an opinion that differs from their own.

{Ed014's Note - I know mate and I endeavoured to make it as clear as possible.


48.) 21 Mar 2021 21:19:21
Ed014. It was crystal clear.

{Ed014's Note - thanks mate 👍🏼


49.) 22 Mar 2021 18:31:39
Well that became fun, somebody was 'butthurt' but it definitely wasn't me.


 

 

15 Mar 2021 11:30:26
Fred and Mctominay or McFred has become synonymous with many fans for defensive football and perhaps a symbol of the mediocrity that has encapsulated the Club for nearly a decade.

There is no doubt this partnership can lack creativity and quality on the ball but is it really as bad as we think?

On a positive note they provide the team with unparalleled energy, tenacity and positional discipline.

McFred have started together in 14 league games this season and only lost once. This was against Arsenal in which we played a midfield diamond and not the usual double pivot to which they are both accustomed.

In the other games we have won 6 and draw 7. Interestingly of the 7 draws 6 of them have come against our top 4 rivals namely Chelsea x 2, Liverpool, City, Arsenal and Leicester. They have also lined up together in other difficult fixtures such as Everton, West Ham and Aston Villa all of which have top 4 aspirations this season.

McFred seemingly provide the team with a platform to win games and certainly make us a very hard team to beat. In terms of attacking intent is McFred really the principle problem? They enable the team to press more effectively and provide the team with an ability to win the ball back. They also provide the insurance and positional discipline to allow our full backs to go forward.

If we assume money will be limited this summer, Pogba is likely to leave and Matic another year older McFred will likely form the nucleus of our midfield for at least another season. With this being the case how can be improve from a creative perspective.

When I look at Utd I still see an absence of attacking intent and creativity down the right of the team. We still don't have a recognised RW and AWB lacks the attacking quality in the final third. I'm not convinced Diallo is ready for first team football just yet and can we really go into another season without a recognised RW? The right side of our team is definitely an area that deserves some serious consideration and investment.

In midfield I hope VdB can be used a lot more productively next season. In some games certainly against lower placed opposition I'd like to see Bruno drop deeper into the double pivot and VdB play at No10. Bruno has the work rate, intelligence and positional discipline to play deeper but more importantly he has the passing range, creativity and vision we lack with McFred. Bruno has the vision and ability to play through the lines into VdB yet also the passing range in order to switch the play giving us the ability to create overloads in wide positions.

With a lack summer funds available Ole will likely have to look in his squad for solutions and think very carefully about what this team really needs and how we can improve.

DLIB

1.) 15 Mar 2021 12:11:12
Good post DLIB. I think a proper number 9 and better form from our other forwards and some of those draws would be wins.

I have not seen anything yet from Donny to support moving our best player. Yes, try it and see how it goes, but it doesn't make sense to me. Donny needs to be given a go in the double pivot, he looks too lightweight and easily pushed off the ball, but if he can play in there it is a better role for him.

The other route is in a 4141 formation. With donny and Fernandes ahead of a single def mid.


2.) 15 Mar 2021 12:19:09
A 50% win ratio with Fred and McTominay playing is not nearly good enough to challenge. And how many of those games did we fail to score in?

It is an area that needs to be upgraded if we want to go up a gear. While both players work rate is fantastic, their decisons and passing is poor, particularly in Fred. McTominay has slowly being improving, adding goals to his game is a great bonus. If can change his mindset to more positive with the ball, there's definetely a player there.

I just can't wrap my head around Fred. As I said, his attitude is great but he's not and will never be good enough to play week in week out for a team with aspirations of winning top honours. There's very little point in being able to win the ball, if you turn over possession so easily when you have it.

He reminds me of Lingard. Works hard but that's about it, offers very little else and only when you replace them with a proper player do you notice actually how poor they are.

In terms of Bruno playing deeper. I'm not mad about that idea. We would be nullifying our main threat.

There are some decisons to be made for this team to keep evolving. Though there maybe a case for playing them away from home against the better teams, I don't want to see two DMs at Old Trafford when the opposition are set up to defend.


3.) 15 Mar 2021 12:28:28
The problem with Fred and Mctominay is that they are really doing one persons job in midfield with the perfect example being fernandinho at city or fabinho at liverpool. No ones asking them to score loads of goals or even provide tons of assists. Their job should be to keep up the tempo and pass the ball forwards secureley.

Fred struggles because he takes too many touches to control the ball and his passing is inconsistent, mctominay's passing is suspect also.

Agree with dodgybanter, makes absolutely no sense to move our best/ most productive player to accomdate VDB who hasn't really shown much to warrant such a priveledge.

Can definitely see a situation where pogba stays and signs a new contract as madrid and juve probably have other priorities, in which case our midfield looks much more creative albeit less defensively secure.


4.) 15 Mar 2021 12:35:17
While McFred certainly has its benefits, I feel it is a better duo against top sides as opposed to the sides we should expect to beat 9 times out of 10.

If we are honest both really excel when they don't have possession of the ball, their work rate, their pressing and their defensive work plays to their strengths.

When we have the majority of the ball though they lack the technical skills to move the ball quickly and accurately enough to cause well organised teams a problem.

Ideally against those type of sides you'd look to have one true DM and another more dynamic and technically sufficient box to box player who could either carry the ball forward or use a more expansive passing range to move the ball more quickly.

The issue with that is that neither Fred or McTominay are true CDM's. They are both energetic defensive minded box to box players. If you are going to play an attack minded box to box or a more creative player in the double pivot then you need a more defensively sound player along side them. Someone who reads the game well and recognises when to move and more importantly when to hold. Fred and McTominay are more like your "mad dog" players charging around and shutting down space. They don't take that more measured approach.

For me that is why we need what I would call a true CDM. A holding player, the guy who'll shuttle horizontally in front the back four taking the ball from the defence and moving it through midfield. Someone who can cover full backs when they bomb forward . The kind of player who rarely ventures much into the opposition half, that safe player you can always go back to so you can recycle possession, and who'll enable others to shut down the space and be the sweeper behind them in case they fail.

I do agree we are desperate for more creativity in the final third. A lot gets made about not moving the ball fast enough through midfield but I don't think that is a real issue. We are one of the best counter attacking sides, that wouldn't be possible if we didn't ball the ball quickly enough through midfield.

The major issue I see us having is that our front three are all natural strikers who'll look to shoot rather than pass. They only look for the pass once their route to goal is shut off, but which time the player in the better position is now marked and the chance gone.

I think we need a creative wide player, someone who is a good technical dribbler and can dribble through a closed door. But then have the presence of mind to look up and lay the ball off to the player in a better position. Or someone who can play quick one twos, or when they are in a good position has the ability to pick out the player in the best position rather than always trying to go alone.

Long term that may be Diallo, but whether he is ready next season is a huge question.


5.) 15 Mar 2021 12:56:13
The scouse smashed the league last year, everyone was raving about them .
They relied heavily on the their front 3 and full backs for there goals and attacking style .
You need a solid cm to do that .
If your going to attack with a front 3 plus 2 FBs and a 10 you need a solid 2 in there .
But you also need options to mix it up imo . Pogba has been a miss certainly in games where teams sit deep.
On donny what has done to suggest he has got to grips, with united and the EPL.
Do people think he is ripping it up in training?


6.) 15 Mar 2021 13:27:30
Look past the players - the reason we have to play two holding midfielders is because of our sack of s**t centre backs.

If we signed a proper CB and a proper DM we'd be able to change formation.

McTominay has been good this season. I think he's shown enough to say he can be a proper number 8 with a quality DM behind him.

Fred is a strange one. I don't particularly dislike him as a player because I look for work rate in a footballer above all else, and he certainly has that. If Martial had an ounce of Fred's work ethic he'd be a decent player.

The thing holding Fred back is he just isn't very good at football.


7.) 15 Mar 2021 13:42:44
Good debate guys and you all make valid points. This wasn’t an impassioned defence of Mctominay or Fred and I see merit in the argument that it’s essentially two players doing one players job but I just think with money tight in the summer we won’t be able to address all the issues in the squad and we need it think very carefully about how this team can continue to progress.

If Pogba leaves this summer we’ll definitely lack creatively in midfield but could this not be solved by a combination of Bruno, VdB and the addition of a top quality, creative RW?

If we signed a special-ist CDM without Pogba we’d still lack the creativity in midfield in order for this type of player to make a real impact.

If McFred do an excellent job at protecting the back 4 are a CDM or CB essential summer signings?

Would the money be better invested in the likes of Sancho a top quality CB such as Kounde or CDM like Rice?! We can’t afford them all.

We can probably only afford one top quality addition this summer so if we signed Kounde or Rice and lost Pogba we’d still be stuck with McFred a lack of creatively in the double pivot and no RW. That’s not even including the debate around another CF!

All things considered I suspect the signing of a top quality RW might just have the biggest impact on the team next season in relation to how Ole wants to play. We’ve seen the impact of Bruno on the team from
an attacking perspective if we could get a real top quality, creative RW I think it could have a huge impact on helping us break down stubborn defences which is still our biggest problem.

Jred makes an excellent point if you want to attack with a front 3, a No10 and both full backs then you need a more disciplined, hard working and energetic midfield two.

It will be very interesting to see what we do in the summer!


8.) 15 Mar 2021 13:59:57
This whole debate comes once again back to the limitations of the manager.

We have a £40 million technically good, creative midfielder whose strength is moving the ball forward quickly through midfield which as you rightly say is one of the main areas the team struggles. He can't get a game.

Our manager plays the same formation, set up very defensively no matter the opposition. Many are the games when it would make more sense to go 4 1 4 1 ala city with two number 8s but Solksjaer hasn't the wit or the flexibility to change things.

We also have Mata who has been ignored all season even in a dead rubber we are leading by 4-0.

Pogba is played in a double pivot when he would be more effective further forward as an 8 in a 4 1 4 1. If he is not in midfield then he is played on the left wing in a stupid attempt to shoe horn him in.

Poor management as this all is, it is compounded because Solksjaer is wearing out his key players because he can't work out how to rotate them and give them a rest. Even in games we are winning he insists on playing them to the end and this is even when he can see they are struggling with a knock.

The squad has the players to address these issues, the problem is the manager.


9.) 15 Mar 2021 14:07:49
DLIB,

I’ve stopped thinking summers will be interesting, we will go months not signing anyone and then get somebody none of us wanted on the final day. If you prep yourself for that it saves people getting upset when we don’t sign the exact 3 players they wanted.


10.) 15 Mar 2021 14:09:39
To compete for titles, we need better ball playing midfielders.

Right now if Bruno is man-marked, we have no creativity to break low block defence.


11.) 15 Mar 2021 14:18:24
MancMan, Mata has been injured but the rest of your post is spot on.


12.) 15 Mar 2021 14:19:05
If Pogba is fit McFred won’t start. I also don’t see Pogba leaving either in the summer. We will ask for silly money - and money nobody has right now - or at least if they do they’ll be prioritising elsewhere.

Sadly in all this debate I’d totally forgotten about VDB - who will surely be looking to/ need to make an impact next season if he can’t get a look in this one. Timing of his injury coinciding with Pogba’s was most unfortunate for him. Otherwise I see him in Italy sooner rather than later.


13.) 15 Mar 2021 14:44:00
Just on maguire .
People won't like this but he has been playing really well of late .


14.) 15 Mar 2021 15:14:01
Eric I have to disagree with that. Ole will start his defensive players above all else. He's building a team around the defence, rather than building a team around Bruno, Rashford and Greenwood.

When Pogba was fit he found himself on the bench at the expense of McFred.

Then when he played his way into the team it was in Rashford's position and then eventually on the right before he got injured.

Rarely did he get a start at CM (and rightly so imo, he's a liability at CM) .


15.) 15 Mar 2021 16:02:55
jred i agree but we don't have a front 3 and 2 fbs that can attack and get goals.

wan bissaka going forward is poor, his passing and crossing are terrible. class defending but going forward he offers nothing. rashford martial and greenwood are to inconsistant,

we need a proper rw and a world class forward if we are to make that next step.


16.) 15 Mar 2021 19:18:29
Maguire has been very good lately, he was quality last night, the team haven’t conceded for 4 league games in a row for the first time in over 3 years, the defence are doing well.


 

 

07 Mar 2021 12:09:49
Has anyone watched Pep's interview with Rio on BT?! Only a small insight but fascinating nevertheless.

I'm just going to be realistic and say we've got absolutely no chance of winning the league whilst he remains at City especially with Ole in charge and Woodward pulling the strings! There are levels in football and we are light years behind both on and off the pitch.

All he thinks about is winning. It consumes him and he has everything he needs to succeed. There are no embarrassing transfer pursuits, there is no drama or haggling, there are no excuses just a collection of exceptional professionals all working together for a common goal, the pursuit of excellence and to win as many titles as possible.

Pep is on the brink of building a new team even better than those before. I'd be amazed if City don't go on to win a few Champions League over the next few years.

How can we even compete with this kind of knowledge, expertise, ambition and professionalism whilst we have investment banker (s) in charge of making important footballing decisions their qualification for such a role being a physics degree from Bristol University and a manager who's only relevant top flight experience was relegation with Cardiff City.

When you really examine what we are up against its absolutely frightening!

DLIB

1.) 07 Mar 2021 12:36:19
Liverpool managed to do it.

We can't feel sorry for ourselves just because city have the best in class at player, managerial and board level as well massive financial resources.

Common denominator between liverpool and city is that have as managers two of the best at this exact moment in time.

We got LVG and mourinho who were the best in the past, in lvgs case distant past.

Then our learnings from that period was that top mamagers don't work at this club and we need a playing legend to restore the united DNA.

I think we should follow liverpool and get the best managers for footballs current moment.


2.) 07 Mar 2021 12:49:07
Which is who?


3.) 07 Mar 2021 13:28:14
I agree with that DSG. We should be going after the coaches that are doing it right now. I was very surprised that we didn't go for Poch. But we have to learn our lesson and get the best in class. Nagelsmann would be my first choice.


4.) 07 Mar 2021 13:43:59
A few years ago on here I said City had a plan. United scoffed and called them noisy neighbours, City bought Aguero when we said there was no value in the market. Their owners want to win, don’t take dividends out, ours want top four and do take dividends and probably will whilst Ole trundles out to say we must be realistic in terms of spending.

We can’t change who owns the club, nor that Woodward, the investment banker who helped the owners buy the club, will be in charge.

However, the club needs to get past this misty eyed crush on a 99 playing hero and find a modern manager, not a mid table Moyes, not a has been LVG, not a driven cantankerous Mourinho, nor Cardiff’s cast off who relegated them. They need someone who will do exactly what Pep has done, structure, playing style, drive. We need rid of someone who says they are setting the same style as Busby and sends them out to defend, someone who asks his ex wrestler father for tactical advice.

We commented on here about the Southampton manager setting out a plan, what have we done? Talked DNA, reset’s, reboots, but that doesn’t define a winning style.

It is frightening DLIB, more so because so many are standing behind the ex Cardiff manager because he scored an emotional goal. The City fans will be laughing themselves stupid as we continue to implode, weepy eyed at having one of our own as manager.

I despair at the club with what they have done, there again they could make it worse, put us even further behind by extending Ole’s contract, then our journey to the dark side will be complete.

Now we are the big underdogs we might even win today, inconsistent on our roller coaster ride to oblivion.


5.) 07 Mar 2021 13:28:14
I agree with that DSG. We should be going after the coaches that are doing it right now. I was very surprised that we didn't go for Poch. But we have to learn our lesson and get the best in class. Nagelsmann would be my first choice.


6.) 07 Mar 2021 14:14:22
Is Nagelsmann the real deal or just flavour of the month. One thing for sure he has shocking dress sense, I still have nightmares about that jacket he wore.

{Ed077's Note - real deal I say


7.) 07 Mar 2021 14:23:21
Just watched the interview.

Its painfully clear how much better pep is than what we have.

Just listening to him speak you can see how driven he is, how articulately he can explain what he wants from players and how much more inspiring it would be to play under him than some of the more mediocre managers.

I'm ao jealous that we'll never have him and I don't think there's anyone else better or who I'd rather have manage us. Gutting that of all the prem clubs he chose City.


8.) 07 Mar 2021 14:23:45
@Redmam. Unfortunately it will take divine intervention for us to even have a chance of winning this game today. As much as I want us to I just can't see it. Maybe the players get inspired and pull off a miracle because if we have to depend on Ole and his so called tactics, we're doomed. If city scores first, it's going to be a long day.


9.) 07 Mar 2021 14:37:00
I certainly don’t think we should feel sorry for ourselves it’s a challenge but a challenge that becomes even more difficult when the entire Club lacks the expertise, knowledge, experience and more worryingly the appetite to compete.

Recent results against Sheffield United, Everton, WBA and Crystal Palace have only evidenced that any “progression” is either painfully slow or non existent. After two years in charge we still can’t break down the low press, we have absolutely no authority in possession and whilst results have marginally improved on last season most of our performances are turgid, lacking any cohesion or rhythm!

Our Champions League elimination was a catastrophe and was probably not given the scrutiny it deserved. The performance in Istanbul was beyond incompetent and to not be able to achieve a solitary point from our last two games was simply not good enough.

Ole has done a decent job in eliminating the toxicity that had engulfed the Club following Jose but his teams yo yo from good results to bad whilst the performances remain relatively similar meaning a bad run of form is always just around the corner.

I just think we’re just kidding ourselves if we think Ole can get this team to play anywhere near consistently enough to win the league especially when you consider what we’re up against!

No doubt he’ll keep his job if we finish in the top 4 which is no forgone conclusion. I fully expect Liverpool and Chelsea will both improve next season meaning our ambitions will not extend beyond another top 4 finish.

We can either tolerate mediocrity or fight against it.


10.) 07 Mar 2021 14:37:54
Love_United

Underdogs often do well in these type of games. City know we play counterattack so will be wary if we go one nil up. If we get it to the last 15 at nil nil, City will be uneasy. Saying that City are so far ahead in the league they don’t need to win, so will be a bit more relaxed than us I suspect.


11.) 07 Mar 2021 15:44:58
I like Potter at Brighton. Seems bright and has experience abroad. On a limited budget he has forged a team who play good football.


 

 

01 Mar 2021 23:52:18
As the dust settles on another stalemate with one of our top 4 rivals I thought yesterday was actually a decent performance. Maybe it's because I had low expectations going into the game but I was very impressed with our work rate and pressing. I have been critical of our work rate off the ball and pressing under Ole but yesterday we were definitely braver, pushed further up the pitch and played on the front foot. The challenge in my opinion is to play in that manner every week. I'd like us to become an aggressive pressing team, to play on the front foot, put the opposition under pressure, don't let them breathe, to hunt the ball with hunger and win it back higher up the pitch where we can be so devastating in the transitions. We will never dominate the ball under Ole. We don't have the quality on the ball or even the patience. We are direct, like to get the ball forward quickly and this is why Fernandes tends to concede a lot of possession and perhaps why VdB hasn't had the impact we perhaps all excepted.

I view Utd as an aggressive running team. To hunt and suffocate the opposition high up the pitch and play in the transitions. This is when we are at our best.

I know many won't agree but I was encouraged by our performance yesterday. I thought we were relatively comfortable against a very dangerous and rejuvenated Chelsea team. I accept we didn't create much but I think that was due to a lack of quality in possession rather than the system or tactics. Bruno misplaced a few easy passes to set Rashford clear and Mctominay should have done better at the end. If we play with that intensity for the rest of the season we'll be ok.

DLIB

1.) 02 Mar 2021 07:20:33
Yes DLIB, off the ball this type of intensity is really good.
But on the ball, we must show more ambition.


2.) 02 Mar 2021 12:02:05
I agree DLIB we were better than other games. I too liked the press and that we were comfortable. But with the ball were slow and we must show more ambition. But i think we were better than other games against big six.


3.) 02 Mar 2021 15:25:06
DLIB, I just thought it was another two hours of my life that I'd wasted watching Utd play crap football again.


 

 

 

DLIB's rumour replies

 

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06 Mar 2021 12:03:51
Good post Shap’s!

Redseven - I’m not so sure mate Spurs built themselves a solid reputation by just consistently finishing in the top 4 under Potch. Would they have built that fantastic new stadium if they had been finishing mid table so commercially it can be considered a success for some Clubs but surely this can never be tolerated at Man Utd.

Anyway I think the evidence is staring us in the face. The football is no better, results remain inconsistent Ole has always been nearer the sack than turning us into a decent outfit. In my opinion we’ve been dragged back into a dog fight for top 4 and following our Champions League capitulation I couldn’t say with any confidence that we won’t throw it away. Having said that what does finishing in the top 4 actually mean for us fans? We didn’t even get out of the group stage this season and the board have already said they’ll be no money available for transfers this summer. It probably safeguards revenue and sponsorship for the Club but it doesn’t mean we’ll be able to compete next year.

I’m depressed we’re not going anywhere quick and if the best we can look forward to is Champions League football whilst playing safe, percentage football to achieve it watching Liverpool and City winning the major honours then welcome to purgatory, welcome to the post SAF apocalypse, welcome to Manchester United.

DLIB

 

 

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03 Sep 2020 12:36:10
Was Donny VDB not also touted as a Pogba replacement?

DLIB

 

 

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25 Aug 2020 19:43:57
Well Pep can't win the Champions League without him!

I'd be amazed if he left Barcelona but at 33 maybe now is the time for a new challenge! I hope he moves would love to see him at another Club.

DLIB

 

 

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22 Aug 2020 21:05:00
Gifting ageing players big long term contracts is a recipe for disaster.

He might be worth a gamble on loan or a rolling one year contract but otherwise we should steer well clear in my opinion. His form hasn't been anywhere near good enough to warrant signing him on a long term deal and as he ages it's unlikely to improve. A move like this would reek of desperation and a return to the flawed transfer strategy of the past. I'd include Douglas Costa in that bracket and we must resist the temptation to get lured into these types of deals.

DLIB

 

 

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04 Aug 2020 14:15:53
With Jones, Bailly and Tuanzebe perpetually injured maybe there is still a place for Smalling at Old Trafford. If Utd don't intend to sign another CB this summer then keeping Smalling might not be such a bad idea.

Could he make a decent partner for Maguire? He's certainly stronger, quicker and better in the air than Lindelof, watching him play out from the back however, especially under pressure might need to come with a health warning!

DLIB

 

 

 

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18 Apr 2021 18:47:04
In my opinion a breakaway European Super League would be the death of our great Club.
A closed shop with guaranteed revenue yet no pressure to win anything in order to safeguard income would be absolute panacea for the Glazers but purgatory for the fans!
I’m all for modernisation but a breakaway is not the way to do it.
At least the qualification process keeps the Glazers moderately honest and interested imagine where we’d be if they had a licence to print money yet no incentive to spend it?! Whipping boys for Real Madrid!
Modernisation is coming but surely not like this?

DLIB

 

 

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11 Apr 2021 15:36:32
Shappy - I don’t know the stats but has our better defensive record coincided with the injury to Pogba and Ole relying more on McFred in the double pivot even against lower placed opposition.

I think a clear pattern is emerging, against lower placed opposition Ole is happy for Pogba to play in the double pivot but against better sides Ole prefers McFred with Pogba shifted to the left or right wing. It will be interesting to see how Ole lines up this afternoon.

I’m not championing McFred they clearly have their limitations but their energy, industry, tenacity and positional discipline (as a pairing) definitely make us better defensively and much harder to beat. The obvious problem is their lack of creativity and ability on the ball means we struggle to move the ball forward effectively through midfield and create chances. Having said that Pogba has started in the pivot against Brighton and Granada with limited effect and to be honest he didn’t make too much of a difference. Pogba does his best work in the final third and playing from deeper positions he struggles to influence the game. Pogba is not a deep lying play maker and if he plays in the pivot he must be allowed to get forward however I always feel he is told to hold his position. To be honest I don’t really want Pogba on the ball around our own box. Whilst he’s obviously better on the ball than McFred he does lose possession in dangerous areas with alarming regularity considering his quality. I don’t think he moves the ball quickly, takes too many touches and can often be dispossessed.

I think Ole’s style of play is dependant on getting the ball into the likes of Rashford, Bruno and Greenwood and hoping they can produce moments of individual quality in order to create or score goals. I’m not convinced that a player like Haaland could thrive in this system. He needs service to score goals and creative players to provide him with chances. I think under Ole we’d benefit from signing players that can score and create goals by themselves like Grealish or Sancho. Players capable of individual moments of quality. I think that’s why we’ve seen Pogba moved out wide on occasions. McFred provide the team with a defensive platform and resilience whilst having Pogba higher up the pitch means we still have a player capable of moments of individual quality getting on the ball in the final third where he can better effect the game.

I don’t see our style of play suddenly changing next season so if we want to improve we need more players capable of producing individual moments of quality to win us games.

I’m surprised Ole hasn’t used a 4-2-2-2 system with McFred in the pivot, Pogba and Bruno playing as left and right No10’s behind two CF’s that can also operate in wider areas. He’s seems devoted to 4-2-3-1 which I’m not convinced gets the best out of the players he has at his disposal.

DLIB

 

 

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09 Apr 2021 12:30:49
DSG - Last night was absolutely pathetic in my opinion. A complete bore fest totally devoid of any rhythm, tempo or intensity.

In my opinion Utd have benefited hugely from the absence of fans in stadiums. It has enabled Ole to play a brand of soulless, unimaginative, negative football. The ends justify the means for Ole as results have been decent but this brand of football is unsustainable.

I remember a thread last week about someone complaining of too much football on TV. From a personal perspective I’d loved watching all the different teams but perhaps the saddest indictment of too much football on TV is if I wasn’t a Utd fan I definitely wouldn’t watch any of our games.

We have been treated to a thrilling week of Champions League football yet Utd v Granada only illustrated the gulf in quality and glamour between the two competitions. I can’t think of any neutral who would have sat through 90 minutes of that rubbish last night.

Like I’ve said a thousand times Ole is prioritising results over performances. He is always one game away from a crisis and he has always been nearer the sack than building something sustainable at Old Trafford.

Utd fans aren’t stupid, despite a good result last night we all know the performance was horrific.

We spent the best part of £80m on VdB and Diallo last summer yet despite being 1-0 up and in control of a game against European minnows who’s entire squad cost only £8m to assemble Ole decided to introduce Matic and only give VdB an embarrassing 5 minutes at the end of one of the worst games of football I’ve seen in a long term.

Results are papering over the cracks and the writing is on the wall.

DLIB

 

 

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05 Apr 2021 20:31:43
That young kid Lingard looks half decent! 🔥.

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04 Apr 2021 13:05:13
Can’t believe football fans are complaining about too much football on TV. If you don’t like it watch something else.

Yesterday we had Chelsea v West Brom, Leicester v City then Arsenal v Liverpool it was a fantastic day of premier league football.

I actually like watching all the other teams. We get to see players play the full 90 minutes so we can judge them properly and not just rely on a few minutes of highlights on MOTD. I’ve enjoyed watching Villa to get a better look at Grealish, West Ham for Rice, the likes of Leeds and even Brighton and Fulham all play decent football. I personally have absolutely loved all the footy on tv and watch every game where I can.

You can still watch the rugby, F1, cricket or golf and the masters is on next week.

DLIB