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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

 

13 Oct 2021 15:39:43
The veneer shattered, the plan exposed, the truth revealed. Ole has talked a good game, he's sold stories of the Utd way and attacking football but under all the exciting adjectives has been a regimen of pragmatism and percentage football of self preservation, self interest and survival.

Ole finds himself in the midst of yet another crisis. Scrambling for points before the leaves have fallen from the trees desperately trying to hang onto the coat tails of teams devoid of an identity crisis and put simply actually know what they are doing.

If Ole is to survive the next few weeks of gruelling fixtures it won't resemble the gun fight at the O. K Corral. There will be no such daring, courageous acts of defiance but the digging of trenches, battle down the hatches and the hope at the end of it all there are somehow just enough points to come out alive.

As we approach three full years of Ole perhaps the best way to summarise his tenure is that of broken promises and confusion. Sometimes what you need is a tin of Ronseal yet Ole has become a talking encyclopaedia of the Utd way without ever delivering it. If the suit fits Ole is a real life example of the emperors new clothes.

Ole is selling a dream he cannot deliver. He may have started with good intentions but ever since the ink dried on his first contract his aspirations have not extended beyond survival and self preservation.

Every single Utd fan will understand that the only chance of putting points on the table over the next few weeks will be achieved by defensive heroics and the odd counter attack. Surrendering possession, parking the bus and the hope that the return of Marcus Rashford will provide some pace and penetration on the break, despite having arguably the best CF in world football.

At this time Ole is not working on his footballing philosophy but masterminding with Phelan, McKenna and Carrick how to save their jobs whilst still feeding the illusion they are playing the Utd way. Ole may wear the Utd suit but everyone can see there is nothing underneath.

Ole has been exposed, the Utd way and promise of attacking football bares no more truth as the promise of minutes to VdB. 8 long years and we still daren't play football against our biggest rivals. Ole's last dance has arrived!

DLIB

1.) 13 Oct 2021 16:41:28
The excuses afforded him were never acceptable for his predecessors. When top 4 is your goal, you have a wider scope for failure. You can go 3 or 4 games without a win and still be in the hunt for 4th place. The problem now is that the title is craved by everyone but the manager. The fans now want to challenge, the key personal in the squad came to win trophies. Our manager is simply happy being Manchester United manager.

The penny hasn't dropped for him. He'll eventually be sacked because his attitude mirrors his style on the pitch, cautious and terrified to take risks. Also probably why he was content with sitting on the bench for the majority of his career.


2.) 13 Oct 2021 17:19:08
I agree Mumbles but Ole’s ambition only mirrors that of the board. I think it’s starting to dawn on everyone now that Ole is more intent on keeping his own job than developing a more progressive style of play or pushing the boundaries. He knows that if he accepts this team should be in a title race it brings extra pressure on both himself and the board. But how can he claim his team can’t even challenge with the likes of Varane, Pogba, Fernandes and Ronaldo.

He sold a vision of a work in progress, of building a young, dynamic, hungry team which bought him time but that veneer is over. When you sign Varane and Ronaldo people expect. In many ways they were the perfect signings but in reality they have only heaped pressure on Ole and the Club to deliver.

He should have signed Ben White and Danny Ings and the whole charade could have continued for a bit longer!

I’ve just grown tired of all the excuses!


3.) 13 Oct 2021 18:02:50
The board will get away with what they can. They hired Ole knowing that some fans will be blinded by his status as a player and it's evident from this page that it's worked. But he's been backed in nearly every window. He could play a a very competitive 11 of players he's bought so even though the board ultimately would be happy with top 4 for the next decade, once the fans have them in their crosshairs again, they'll need a distraction and nothing distracts fans like trophies.


4.) 13 Oct 2021 18:41:52
I notice a change in the media towards him now, more and more ex players and pundits, foreign coaches all starting to question the playing style and tactics and the direction he is taking us.

He will get this season but I doubt he will get much longer as I don't see him winning silverware.


5.) 13 Oct 2021 19:02:47
Did he really spend the majority of his career on the bench? From what I remember he started more games than he did as sub. He got a reputation as a super sub because he was excellent at coming off the bench and scoring but there was more to him as a player than that. Yes he will forever be associated with the 99 final, which is no bad thing, but the legend banner is not just for that. But I guess some fans are now blinded by his status as a manager.


6.) 13 Oct 2021 19:16:15
To be honest Mumbles I only ever saw Ole winning trophies with a group of young players that all grew together. I never saw him being able to compete with Pep or Klopp but he needed to outlast them. To build a team that could get close and then take advantage of any possible instability when they eventually left in a few years.

I think if we played a front 4 of Greenwood, Rashford, Sancho and Fernandes supported by the likes of younger players such as Ahmed, Elanga and some of our other promising academy players most fans would be much more receptive and tolerant of the odd bad performance. If we worked hard, pressed from the front, played on the front foot and moved the ball quickly I think we’d all feel that maybe he was building towards something that could challenge.


7.) 13 Oct 2021 20:59:06
DLIB. sounds like Boris Johnson, the leader of the Coxit up party.


8.) 14 Oct 2021 00:07:59
DLIB, i think you're spot on with that about the younger players. Just more poor judgement from Solksjaer. Just that list alone is a fearsome line up of talent. It doesn't need Ronaldo and definitely doesn't need Martial adding to it. Cavani would be a good addition to that list though, much more valuable part of the squad than Mata or Lingard.


9.) 14 Oct 2021 00:17:05
Not a ball has been kicked, but some on here seem to have whipped them selves up into a frenzy. We are level in points with City, 1 off Liverpool, 2 off the top. I get that you want to write these overly long and eloquent posts to somehow show off on the site DLIB, but some of the nonsense written there is ridiculous.

The coaching staff will surely be "plotting" how to win a bunch of games in a very difficult spell. Not for nefarious means, not to spite all the Ole Out brigade on here, but because it is their jobs.


10.) 13 Oct 2021 20:43:51
Jamie Carragher has said it as it is. Referring to Gary Neville and Roy Keane “The two of them just make excuses for Ole because they played with him and he's their mate”.


11.) 14 Oct 2021 03:07:20
Lol. When fans were singing Ole's at the wheel, they thought it was that of a bus and we'd be going places, when in reality Ole is at the controls of a ferris wheel and we're stuck in this endless loop of inconsistencies. And please stop making reference to this false dawn of a league position especially when we haven't played any of the so called big teams as yet. You all love mentioning that we're only 2 points behind 1st place but also fail to mention that we're only 3 points ahead of 9th and 4 ahead of 10th. A position we could easily find ourselves in if things don't go our way in these upcoming league fixtures.


12.) 14 Oct 2021 03:50:33
We're all doomed! Be afraid!


13.) 14 Oct 2021 05:20:12
Dodgy, you need a wobble. How many points were we off the likes of City and Liverpool last season when the idiot gave up on the title race? Oh wait, yeah we were top. So you are the one who is getting ridiculous by the day. Each of your posts makes you sound like you are Ole's wife who will just defend him to the end of the world. He is a buffoon nothing more nothing less.


14.) 14 Oct 2021 05:58:35
Dodgy, City and Liverpool have played against top teams and are sitting at the top.
We on the other hand played against average teams.
If we had any ambition to compete, we should have picked up maximum points against these teams and utilize the easy fixture list.

And don't forget we were dumped out in the first match in EFL.
Add to that horrible performances in the Champions League.


15.) 14 Oct 2021 06:49:10
Dodgy

I understand you are pro Ole, however, can you see any change or improvement in team set up bringing better control in games over the last 3 years? We are inconsistent because there is no organised team method that is successful to a high percentage.

Surely you can see this, surely you understand the manager has no successful organised pattern, like the top managers. Ole has no history at all of being able to deliver that.

Yes we may win games, but we did that in the 70’s and 80’s. On what basis do you have such faith that Ole can deliver?

DLIB, very good well written OP by the way.


16.) 14 Oct 2021 07:49:06
Ole is a clown and the club are the Circus.


17.) 14 Oct 2021 09:54:41
Is Ole the monkey or the organ grinder? That's the real question.


18.) 14 Oct 2021 10:38:33
Red man, If I had a hero in football then Keane would be close to it but he talks as much nonsense as the rest of them. Comparing Foden to Tom Brady was the clincher. As a manager he sought Michael Chopra and Roy O'Donavan to turn his fortunes around. But he gets paid to talk.


19.) 14 Oct 2021 11:15:13
Ole is neither the monkey nor the organ grinder he is not fit to be assistant to the assistant organ grinder.


20.) 14 Oct 2021 20:16:52
Well then Ken he obviously isn't to blame then.


 

 

04 Oct 2021 17:07:01
Reality hurts, it destroys all hope and without wanting to sound over dramatic, as a football fan sometimes hope is all we have. We dare to dream but when reality bites the dream dies.

When SAF retired in 2013 and was replaced by David Moyes reality struck. We no longer had one of the most successful managers in modern times but replaced him with a man completely devoid of a winning pedigree. Moyes had no footballing philosophy and in over 10 years at Everton he never won a single trophy. He finished 4th just once and they were eliminated from the Champions League in the qualifying round. His record against the traditional top 4 at the time (Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool) was horrific never winning a league game at Old Trafford, The Emirates Anfield or Stamford Bridge during his tenure as Everton boss. Moyes had arguably done a fine job at Everton managing respectable premier league finishes on a tight budget but this was Manchester United. His win percentage as Everton boss was just 42%. His pragmatic, predominantly defensive, direct style of play was a million miles away from the football served up by his predecessor. His success at Everton had been achieved by having a well organised team and playing percentage football. Some argued at the time he'd play more expansive, attacking football with better, more talented players. Some argued he'd grow into the role and needed time to stamp his authority on the team. Sound familiar?! If his record wasn't troubling enough, he signed Fellaini and rather than playing him as a target man where he had built his reputation, Moyes understood such primitive and archaic tactics would never be tolerated at Old Trafford so used him as a defensive midfielder and expected him to dictate a game. Square pegs in round holes. Sound familiar?!

Fast forward a few years and Utd appointed another manager without a winning pedigree in Ole Gunnar Solksjaer! Ole came in and talked of modern attacking football, pressing from the front, working hard, he talked of mobility, of rotation after all he knew the Utd way. He replaced the immobile and statuesque Fellaini and Lukaku with an exciting front three of Rashford, Martial and Lingard. They all pressed energetically and enthusiastically from the front supported by the equally hard working Herrera in midfield. Pogba was given licence to roam forward and influence the game higher up the pitch whilst Matic anchored the midfield. He talked about building the team around the precocious Pogba, utilising his attacking instincts and setting him free. The full backs went forward and for a few short months it appeared we had our Utd back. He was appointed manager in a wave of optimism, then injuries struck and results suffered badly.

When Ole was appointed interim manager I was disappointed. It felt that we had written the season off at Christmas but for a few short months he played the kind of football we had been craving. I admit I got carried away in a euphoria of hope and optimism but in reality Ole never had the pedigree to be Utd boss and breathing new life into a dead season, without pressure or expectation was completely different to getting the job full time. His remit as interim boss was simply to make the players happy, to lift spirits, to heal a toxic dressing room. Nothing more, nothing less.

The point of this long, rambling, predominantly cathartic post is that reality has finally struck. As Red man would say Ole really is the failed ex Cardiff, Molde coach. The dream of modern, attacking football, pressing from the front and playing on the front foot is dead. He gave us a small glimpse, he gave us hope but reality has struck. Ole won the transfer window but it's obvious he has no idea how to use the array of attacking talent at his disposal. For some reason Ole abandoned the principles that got him the full time job in the first place for pragmatic, percentage, safe football. Like Moyes the reality was staring us in the face the whole time. Some might argue why did it take me so long. Reality sucks.

DLIB

{Ed0666's Note - Not gonna lie didnt read you’re post mate as I have better things to do with an hour but kudos for taking the time to write it. I hope you haven’t written anything that’s racist, homophobic or anti LFC.


1.) 04 Oct 2021 17:28:40
I read it because I have an attention span longer than that of a four year old's. Good post DLIB, keep them coming.

{Ed001's Note - Ed666 lives in the US, you are not allowed to have an attention span longer than 7 seconds there.

I have held DLIB's reply for Ed666 but just wanted to say my best wishes to you DLIB. My best friend had the same and made a full recovery from that so I hope you do the same and avoid any later problems mate. I will keep my fingers crossed for you.}


2.) 04 Oct 2021 18:04:19
Good post DLIB. Enjoyable as always.


3.) 04 Oct 2021 18:06:52
I had Kanchelskis on the back of my jersey when I was kid who was my favourite player. Solskjaer was then numero uno in my eyes until I realised Scholes was one greatest players to play for us.

I have probably been one of Oles harshed critics on here and that's simply because I havnt seen anything from him that's impressed me all that much. He ebs and flows like Rocky without having that Hollywood magic. He'll have an extended run of good results, and equally extended run of poor results, and when Rocky usually comes back against all odds to win, Ole doesn't possess this killer instinct.

There have been a handful of times I would assume he'd have been a loss or two away from the sack but has managed to turn things around. But when he's a win or two away from a trophy he's choked.

He's been backed better than all his predecessors, had been giving more time yet all we get is excuses. Like so many times when he was a player he grasped the small opportunities from the bench yo make a difference, after 3 years now he's let this slip through his fingers. He was gifted this job without being deserved of it and unless he can pull a comeback reminiscent of 99 he'll be remembered as a failure in the dugout.

I completely agree with DLIB, without hope there is nothing and I don't know one fan who thinks we could win the league this year under him.


4.) 04 Oct 2021 18:03:13
Much appreciated Ed001 and thanks for your discretion and best wishes I think I was having a moment about facing up to reality. I’m glad your friend made a full recovery and thanks for the positivity and best wishes.

{Ed001's Note - I am sure you will too mate, I will certainly be wishing for you.}


5.) 04 Oct 2021 18:53:07
Nice post DLIB.
I too wanted Ole to succeed badly as he was a club legend and there were glimpses of quality football.
Unfortunately he hasn't learnt on the job or evolved to take our team forward.


6.) 04 Oct 2021 19:03:27
Thanks RWWD and Angel. Many thanks as always Ed001.

Mumbles - I thought you made a very good point the other day when you said Ole’s best runs of form have coincided when he predominantly uses the same team but form invariably suffers when they either get burnt out or injured. Then when he has to rely on other players we struggle because they haven’t been used and ignored. He’s now like a kid in a sweet shop with too much choice. He has absolutely no idea how to manage the squad. Ronaldo, Varane and Sancho have actually destabilised the squad rather than improved it in my opinion. I don’t think he knows how to adapt our game to get the best out of Ronaldo, he’s doesn’t know how to integrate Sancho, answers on a post card if anyone can tell what he’s doing with Pogba and he seemingly can’t wait to drop Varane to give Lindelof a game.

Despite everything I like Ole and I give him credit for stabilising the club and whether by luck or design building a better squad. He gave me a glimpse of the attacking, modern football I was hoping for but our footballing this season has been anything but modern or attacking. He hasn't delivered on his promises or built on the foundations that actually got him the full time job in the first place. He certainly didn’t get it playing Mctominay and Fred.
In reality he’s achieved exactly what he was initially appointed for. To make the players happy, heal the dressing room and lift spirits. Nothing more, nothing less.


7.) 04 Oct 2021 20:55:31
You're right DLIB, he's ticked the boxes for the owners but hasn't got the qualities to satiate the fans hunger to win the top prizes.

I hope whatever difficulties you're going through mate, you come out strong on the other side. Your posts are always great to read, honest, no punches pulled. Keep your head up!


8.) 04 Oct 2021 21:35:52
DLIB

Sorry if I missed something, my thoughts and best wishes are with you in whatever the issue is.


9.) 04 Oct 2021 21:15:40
DLIB

I read your post with a wry smile. I was on here before SAF even retired saying what a disaster Moyes would be, then consistently called all sorts for not toeing the line. It was a clear and obvious error. I was delighted when he was sacked. I was then underwhelmed at the appointment of LVG, the only rationale would be to build a structure to later appoint Pep. I posted on here that we should do everything to get Pep, when City were said to be interested, I was begging us to get it sorted. Tellingly we “had a manager” so ignored Pep or it was too late. Fast forward to Ole. I begged us not to appoint Ole permanently. I look back on the points I made on other media about what we would get and what we were getting from Ole, how it would not work. Now here we are, the same problems recurring time and again, it’s heartbreaking to see the self induced mess and now we are compounding it by not getting rid of Ole, then giving Phelan a new contract. Heartbreaking to see the constant destruction of everything United have stood for, everything SAF rebuilt in 26 years.


10.) 04 Oct 2021 22:29:09
Thanks Mumbles/ Red Man! I’ve got some health problems which I’m fighting hard to over come. I don’t know why I decided to disclose them on a banter site and Ed001 probably recognised I was having a moment and kindly kept my reply to Ed0666 private. Hope everyone keeps posting, love reading all the differing opinions and it’s a welcome distraction.


11.) 04 Oct 2021 23:10:15
Thoughts are with you DLIB.

If anyone want to find a fan that still believes we can win the league with Ole at the wheel and this squad then look no further. I still believe.


12.) 04 Oct 2021 23:31:39
All the best DLIB, get well soon buddy.


13.) 05 Oct 2021 06:04:20
Get well soon DLIB, I really enjoy reading your posts. Hopefully Ole can go on one of those out of nowhere good runs and lift all our spirits.


14.) 05 Oct 2021 12:28:17
Get well soon DLIB. All the best buddy.


 

 

03 Oct 2021 10:11:33
As Ole faces up to his latest crisis as Man Utd boss how will he navigate through this next period of very difficult fixtures may ultimately decide his future.

For all the accusations of a lack of identity and playing style the blue print against the top teams has always been clear. Press aggressively from the front and play quickly in the transitions. When the team is forced back into a more conventional defensive shape the plan has been to counter attack moving the ball quickly and relying on the pace and mobility of Rashford, Martial, James even Lingard on occasions. None of those players have featured regularly this season and James has since been sold.

There is an interesting article in the Athletic which illustrates that Ronaldo has the least pressures per 90 minutes than any other forward in the entire league and by some considerable margin. Interestingly Mason Greenwood is also in the bottom 5. Paul Pogba is not on the list presumably because he's not classified as a forward but he has predominantly played on the left wing this season. No doubt his stats are equally poor.

I think Utd have been out worked this season and the inclusion of Ronaldo and Pogba into the forward line has allowed the opposition easy possession, they have been able to advance up the pitch too easily and we have not adapted our game. Ole has been over reliant on McFred to provide the energy and industry for the entire team who have not been helped by a passive forward line.

When I think of Utd under Ole our best football has always been played on the front foot. We've always been brilliant in the transitions, when we get the ball quickly into the likes of Rashford and Bruno when the opposition are disorganised and not set in their defensive shape.

The signing of Varane was supposed to help us play a higher line so we could squeeze the opposition, press from the front, put the opposition under pressure, win the ball higher up the pitch and play quickly in the transitions. I assumed Sancho was brought in to add creativity whilst retaining the ability to press from the front and having a mobile, interchangeable front 4. Cavani presses relentlessly from the front and I assumed the plan this season was for Cavani, Rashford, Bruno, Sancho all pressing from the front, with Varane instrumental to the plan allowing us to play a higher defensive line. Winning the ball high up the pitch, playing quickly in the transitions and controlling the game by squeezing the opposition in their own half and not allowing them time on the ball or to advance easily up the pitch.

We can't play this way with Ronaldo and Pogba doesn't press effectively. The signing of Ronaldo probably means we have to transition more towards a possession based team but we will never control possession with McFred and Bruno has the propensity to give the ball away with alarming regularity. He is a risk taker, he needs movement and runners to be able to play incisive forward passes.

Utd lack clarity this season, nobody seems to understand the game plan and how we are going to get results against the bigger teams will now probably define if Ole can keep his job.

DLIB

1.) 04 Oct 2021 09:49:56
Let's face it, the signing of Ronaldo was'nt part of any long term plan . He was going to City and Fergie and the board and ex players etc . said we can't have this and went out and got him signed .

Commercially it's great for the Glazers and they probably thought it would help get the fans back onside . We all know the story with Fergie and Ronaldo and the sentimentality there .

I wonder really what say did Solskjaer have in it, if any?

Surely a manager who knew what he was at would have been saying this is a luxury we don'nt need, please go and get me the top midfielder we're crying out for, and Trippier as well if possible.


 

 

02 Oct 2021 21:35:42
We'll be better when we get a quicker CB to partner Maguire.

We'll be ok when we get a RW.

We'll challenge when we get a proper No9!

Once we get a CDM we'll play better football.

Nonsense, nonsense, nonsense and more nonsense.

I've been guilty of making all the same assumptions yet never reaching the correct conclusion. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is just not good enough to bring the major honours back to Old Trafford and no CB, CDM, RW or CF will change that.

Ole's not been a disaster, he's brought stability to the Club and whether by luck or design assembled a very good squad of players.

His demise will ultimately come because he has failed to implement a recognisable and coherent style of play. He's jumped from crisis to crisis and to save his job he has adopted a pragmatic, safety first approach. Not that dissimilar to the Sam Allardyce school of how to avoid relegation; the plan does not extend beyond trying to be defensively sound and nicking a goal on the break. This pragmatic approach has kept the wolves from the door. It's bailed him out of trouble on numerous occasions but this this is no longer a season for survival. This is no longer a season where top 4 will be celebrated as a success. This is no longer a work in progress, the future has arrived and the time to deliver is now.

When your embattled in the trenches it's difficult to change. When you're perpetually in crisis it's impossible to evolve. When the mantra becomes survival, when results are prioritised over performance and any win will suffice the ends will always justify the means. Ole is not trying to entertain, he's not trying to win a league title, he's merely trying to survive .

He's not adopted a style because since the day he was appointed he's been playing survival football. Crisis after crisis he's clawed his way out of trouble by playing pragmatic, percentage football. He's never worked on a more progressive style because he's been more focused on saving his job. Pragmatic football can save your job, it can get you top 4 but as Sam Allardyce will attest once relegation has been avoided the fans demand something more. Nobody wants to believe the ambition of their Club does not extend beyond finishing 4th bottom, just like we don't want to believe our ambition does not extend beyond finishing 4th top. We certainly don't want to believe that such lowly expectations can also be achieved by playing percentage, pragmatic football designed solely for that purpose.

The truth is clear, the truth is brutal and the truth hurts. Our manager, a club legend is playing pragmatic, percentage football to finish 4th, to save his job and the board, the owners, the decision makers or whatever you want to call them are happy with it.

Ole simply mirrors the ambition of the Club. Pragmatic football has saved his job and such football has been tolerated because it doesn't matter how top 4 is achieved only that it is delivered.

Perhaps the worst thing the Glazers did was release the funds to sign Ronaldo, Sancho and Varane probably to divert attention away from the catastrophe of the European Super League. Expectations have been raised in the fan base and we're about to find out if they're mirrored in the board room. If not it won't just be Ole out their chanting.

DLIB

1.) 02 Oct 2021 21:46:58
100% agreed.
I think Allardyce would manage us 10 times better than ole.
Atleast one is a manager.


2.) 02 Oct 2021 22:06:23
DLIB,

Some of your posts over the last couple of weeks have been the best / most well balanced post I’ve ever read on here mate, agree with pretty much everything you say here also.


3.) 02 Oct 2021 23:18:54
GDS2 - Thanks mate, I just don’t know what comes next? It’s looking increasingly likely Ole can’t deliver the top trophies but I’m not sure we should sack a manager who’s built a very good squad and is still only two points off the top despite an easy start to the season. Having said that is he ever going to acquire the tactical acumen to topple the likes of Pep, Klopp or Tuchel?!

Ole has been patient to build this squad, he’s endured some frustrating summers and it’s been a slow process. It’s a real shame he just doesn’t look like he knows how to get the best out of a very talented squad he’s assembled.

Whilst the fans get frustrated and many would sack him tomorrow I still think he’ll get time. Can he re assess over the international break, will a run of difficult fixtures better suit our counting attacking style, can we still even play that way with Ronaldo?! No matter what we think Ole is a survivor but eventually he’ll likely face one crisis too many!


4.) 03 Oct 2021 00:00:37
@DLIB. I agree with your post. That's why am so angry at Ole and say he's a fraud. If he truly cared about the club, then he should be aiming to be the best and not tow the line and match the expectations of the club owners and aim to just finish in the top 4. He played under Sir Alex for God sake, who didn't settle for mediocrity. Fans would view Ole as a martyr if he came out and said my expectations, ambitions for this club don't match that of the owners so am stepping away. That would be the biggest rallying call ever for fans to finally push these owners out. But Ole is only looking out for his interests. He knows that once he delivers bare minimum then he's probably safe and he could care less what the fan base thinks of him. Eventually if he continues with the insipid performances the fans will turn against him.


5.) 03 Oct 2021 05:56:11
Never thought of it like that before DLIB, but you are right, he is a coach just trying to survive.
Last season and this he has a squad that can deliver trophies. For me the League Cup was maybe his best chance, now I think he only has the FA Cup left which is achevieable.


6.) 03 Oct 2021 07:05:32
Top post DLIB.


 

 

01 Oct 2021 09:38:21
I think it's important we learn lessons from every game and a last minute winner, no matter how good they feel should not detract from what was a largely disjointed and disappointing performance.

There was a good thread further down the page about Cavani and the obvious impact he had on the team against Villarreal. He also won the late penalty against Villa.

His attitude and appetite for the game was exemplary. For the first time we put Villarreal under pressure and they started to make mistakes. The intensity of his pressing, his closing down, his running his movement it really unnerved the Villarreal defenders. It lifted the crowd, it lifted the players and we created more in the 15 minutes he was on the pitch than we had the entire game. Even Greenwood started to put early crosses into the box rather than passing inside or looking to create a shooting opportunity for himself.

I also thought Matic came on and made a huge difference. He instantly took command of the midfield and we started using the ball much better. He did the same against West Ham in the league and played an excellent ball to Lingard in the box who scored the winner with an equally brilliant strike.

If Ole can find a place for them both in the starting line up remains to be seen but he has stumbled upon a blueprint on how to change a game. What he can do is get them on the pitch a lot earlier.

Perhaps not surprisingly our three most influential players are the most experienced. If Ronaldo, Cavani and Matic were all 5 years younger we'd be serious challengers for all the top honours. Unfortunately there're not so If Ole can somehow manage their game time more effectively we'll have a better chance of winning more games, hopefully playing a better brand of football.

DLIB

1.) 01 Oct 2021 09:56:35
That’s the problem though, we don’t learn. We will do the exact same thing tomorrow as we did on Wednesday and in every other game.


2.) 01 Oct 2021 10:43:36
Can he get all three in the team? Personally I think he can but it would mean a change of formation and where it would leave the likes of Rashford (when fit) Sancho and Greenwood who knows? Never mind Martial and Lingard!

4-4-2 diamond

De Gea

AWB, Lindelof, Varane, Telles
Matic
Mctominay Pogba
Bruno
Ronaldo Cavani

(Obviously Maguire and Shaw return when fit)


3.) 01 Oct 2021 11:54:41
Good thoughts on Cavani, he should start as our CF, but that diamond MF won't work, too much ground to cover with Matic and Pogba in the diamond, since the opposing full backs will be marauding forward. There is no easy answer with this midfield.


4.) 01 Oct 2021 11:58:16
Dlib. That would be worth a go for sure with the exception of AWB but we have nothing else so have to go with AWB.
Matic is a class player, I don’t go along with all the spouted nonsense he can’t play 90 mins or 2 games in a row, no he can’t if you expect him to be a headless chicken like Fred but with his brain and touch he don't need to do that
I also don’t go along with the fact that because Ronaldo 36/ 7 and Cavani 34 they are too old, they are probably 2 of the fittest players at the club, the days of being 30 plus and over the hill are long long gone, these are athletes they train right they eat right, etc.


5.) 01 Oct 2021 12:01:46
This is probably the toughest choice in terms of personel Utd have faced for as long as I remember - Ronaldo or Cavani. In the past CR7 could have played further back (in the Fernandes role) or the wing, but those days are gone. He has to play up front, but Cavani has made a difference in that position every time I've seem him. The only way to accommodate both is to chuck one out on the wing, probably Cavani. Looks like that's where we end up chucking most players we try to fit into the starting XI.


6.) 01 Oct 2021 12:07:49
Zidaniel - Pure fantasy football mate, Ole would never play that way anyway.

You could go 3-4-1-2 but again no easy solutions.

The truth is they are probably just too old to get them all into the team at the same time. Could Ronaldo move wide left? Probably not his wing days are long gone!

Best solution buy another midfield pivot!


7.) 01 Oct 2021 12:31:57
Can’t buy now though Dlib and we never bought when we could so have to get best out what we got.

I don’t get where you come from with this too old malarkey, they are fitter then many in the team and the league come to that.


8.) 01 Oct 2021 12:53:54
DLIB, nice team but not sure where the width comes from.


9.) 01 Oct 2021 13:08:26
AJH, we don’t play with any width now, yes we have players supposedly out wide but they all come inside anyway, another reason it’s always so congested.


10.) 01 Oct 2021 13:45:55
Pure speculation on my part just throwing out some suggestions for debate not that I ever think we’ll see it or even if it would work.

I think the solution will have to come in the transfer market. That being said Ole loves McFred so would a new player just end up on the bench anyway?!

Until then it’s Vibes Utd and Moment’s FC! Can Ole get us into a title race never mind actually finishing first playing that way it looks increasingly doubtful but time will tell!


11.) 01 Oct 2021 14:01:46
Some of the team selection issues could be resolved shortly: pogba - doesn't need to fit if he isn't here, matic same (cant last past this season surely? ) Vdb must be sick of splinters and cavani last season? Add in martial and lingard and the fact that cr7 won't be here forever paints a different picture regarding mid/ forward part of the team over 12/ 18 months.
In the meantime would love the club to try a different formation, 4-4-2?


12.) 01 Oct 2021 14:02:28
I think he doesn’t rate the alternatives, rightly or wrongly. Surely it Fuce wee to join we would see a chnage.


13.) 01 Oct 2021 14:12:14
Agree with the diamond DLIB but not convinced Matic can play regularly enough in the DM position and neither Fred nor McTominay are good enough to do so. I'd also love Bruno back alongside Pogba and put Sancho behind the strikers. The formation would allow for many options in the midfield positions as well as in attack, but the DM is crucial to that system.


14.) 01 Oct 2021 15:21:53
I also think Lingard needs a mention as well.
He dropped in to some great pockets of space and caused them all kind of problems when he came on.
Lingard is in the form of his life and i think needs more playing time.
Given everything he's been through and all his problems over the past 12-18 months he's really managed to turn his form around.


15.) 01 Oct 2021 20:52:45
To get the best team out there and right balance with squad we have available then Pogba is nowhere near it .


 

 

 

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

 

 

 

DLIB's banter replies

 

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16 Oct 2021 19:35:01
AJH - I’m delighted you mentioned the pressing and running stats because I believe that’s our biggest problem. We get out run and out fought every week.

Ole has seemingly forgotten that the attacking players must also help the team defend. From a defensive perspective that front four get away with murder.

I love Mason Greenwood, he’s a generation talent and his strike today was brilliant, but at the moment he’s just an individual, stuck out on the right wing with no connection to any of his teammates. He has no relationship with AWB, he rarely gets back to help him defend, he doesn’t press the ball. At the moment he plays for himself, he gets the ball, cuts inside and shoots.

Sancho looks so lost because he has no idea what his role is?! The entire team are lost.

I don’t blame Greenwood it’s totally down to the manager. He’s only doing what the manager wants and Ole has completely lost his way.

He was only warned in midweek that someone must do Ronaldo’s running. That front 4 are getting a free pass at the moment. Even Bruno has stopped pressing and he appears to be playing much higher this season.

We miss Cavani terribly because he sets the tone. You can’t win football matches if you don’t compete and we have become a soft touch, easy to play against and totally predictable.

DLIB

 

 

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14 Oct 2021 22:00:36
Red Man - Ole believes he plays attacking football because he puts attacking players on the pitch however there is absolutely no attacking strategy or coherent patterns of play. I can’t see a plan to get the best out of Ronaldo and the football this season has been atrocious.

I’ve been worried for some time that our work rate off the ball is non existent . There is no plan or strategy to win the ball back other than Mctominay and Fred running around like headless chickens. At the moment I see no plan to attack or defend.

I think this might be a crisis too many for Ole because I just can’t see how he’s going to cause the likes of City, Chelsea and Liverpool problems. Ronaldo won’t press, he won’t help the team defend from the front, win the ball back and he limits our ability to counter attack. Whilst he’s still relative quick he preserves his energy so he won’t run the channels and also limits our ability to counter attack. He’s sold Dan James who’s pace and work rate was always useful in these games.

I’d be interested to hear how people think Ole will approach these games? Rashford being back will definitely help and maybe this might be a chance for Lingard to come back into the team. He works hard, presses well and has excellent movement off the ball. Rashford, Bruno, Lingard behind Rashford could give us the balance we need in the big games. Allow us to press more effectively from the front and maintain the threat on the counter.

DLIB

 

 

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13 Oct 2021 19:16:15
To be honest Mumbles I only ever saw Ole winning trophies with a group of young players that all grew together. I never saw him being able to compete with Pep or Klopp but he needed to outlast them. To build a team that could get close and then take advantage of any possible instability when they eventually left in a few years.

I think if we played a front 4 of Greenwood, Rashford, Sancho and Fernandes supported by the likes of younger players such as Ahmed, Elanga and some of our other promising academy players most fans would be much more receptive and tolerant of the odd bad performance. If we worked hard, pressed from the front, played on the front foot and moved the ball quickly I think we’d all feel that maybe he was building towards something that could challenge.

DLIB

 

 

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13 Oct 2021 17:19:08
I agree Mumbles but Ole’s ambition only mirrors that of the board. I think it’s starting to dawn on everyone now that Ole is more intent on keeping his own job than developing a more progressive style of play or pushing the boundaries. He knows that if he accepts this team should be in a title race it brings extra pressure on both himself and the board. But how can he claim his team can’t even challenge with the likes of Varane, Pogba, Fernandes and Ronaldo.

He sold a vision of a work in progress, of building a young, dynamic, hungry team which bought him time but that veneer is over. When you sign Varane and Ronaldo people expect. In many ways they were the perfect signings but in reality they have only heaped pressure on Ole and the Club to deliver.

He should have signed Ben White and Danny Ings and the whole charade could have continued for a bit longer!

I’ve just grown tired of all the excuses!

DLIB

 

 

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08 Oct 2021 19:25:03
Ronaldo, Varane and Sancho.

DLIB