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Team: Manchester United

Where from: Dunfermline

Favourite player: Ryan Giggs

Best team moment: 99 Champions League final.



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25 Jan 2021 17:23:02
Hi ed, hope you are well?

Wondering if you have any information on the future of Juan Mata? I believe his contract is up at the end of the season and while there's been talk about Romero, Dojo, Lingard etc leaving, I've not seen much about Mata.



{Ed002's Note - Juan Mata (AM/RW) is out of contract in the summer and has opportunities to continue his career in Turkey and at at least a couple of clubs in the MLS. Manchester United could look to extend for a year but it depends what happens with another player, and I suspect there would be options in England if that were to suit him. Right now as far as I know it remains totally open as to what will happen. In Spain an option exists but they are a second tier team.}

1.) 25 Jan 2021 20:30:02
Thanks Ed.

With the future of quite a lot of players in doubt I think it'd be wise to keep Mata for another year. Can cover on the right or as the 10, he's never relied on pace and he still has the ability to find a pass or score from a free kick to change a game.



22 Dec 2020 12:32:39
Hi Ed, hope you are well? I'm guessing this is just paper talk and I did see a note from you saying it looked like Juve were front runners for David Alaba.

Despite this, there is quite a lot of talk of United moving for him? Is this true? Personally I think he'd be an excellent signing.


{Ed002's Note - I am not aware of an approach from Manchester United, but there have been talks with other sides. The wages being asked for are huge and that is a problem for most sides. Manchester United have other targets they have been working on as I have explained.}

1.) 22 Dec 2020 13:27:40
Cheers Ed!

2.) 23 Dec 2020 09:41:13
Unless its a Sanchez type deal, i would love Alaba. We need an experienced head in Defence as the current crop have no one to learn from / look to. Plus i didn't realise he was only 28, so has a good 4 years left. Maybe move the captaincy from Mcguire to fernandes as well.



31 Jul 2020 19:59:42
Hi Ed002, I recall in the past you mentioned Benoit Badiashile as one that United have looked at for the future.

I've seen a few stories linking him with us as a target this summer, any truth to these? I'm assuming not based on the many CB's we already have.


{Ed002's Note - There has been plenty of interest from clubs but he would never achieve Home Grown status in England, so it makes a move less likely for now and he has signed a new contract. Forget him for a year or two but I am advised he is potentially a huge emerging talent.}

1.) 31 Jul 2020 21:12:35
Thanks ed, much appreciated as always.



17 May 2019 05:59:11
Hi ed, hope you are well? With United needing to rebuild and some players wanting to leave, do you know if the club has softened it's stance on player exchanges as part of transfers?

I recall you stating in the past the club weren't keen on this and that they are very difficult to complete. I noticed you mention Cancelo on the European pages and that he could be part of any Pogba deal.



{Ed002's Note - No, what it means is JUventus would be open to offering him up as part of a deal. As a club Manchester United remain of an opinion that player trading in not the way forward.}

1.) 17 May 2019 11:22:58
I thought as much, it only really seems a viable option if the club were genuinely interested in a specific player that would be offered as part of a deal. Cheers as always Ed.

{Ed002's Note - Right, and to some extent that makes sense.}



09 Mar 2019 07:23:50
Hi ed, with United looking to sign a CB this summer, are Milenkovic and Ruben Dias still our main targets for that position?

Also is it feasible that 2 or 3 of the current CB's (probably Rojo, Jones and Bailly) will leave and we will see Tuanzebe get a chance when he returns from loan?



{Ed002's Note - Certainly Dias remains the primary target. Rojo could well leave and the plan under JM was that Jones would go but that may not still be the case.}

1.) 09 Mar 2019 11:15:25
Quite surprised that 21 year old Ruben Dias is our primary target.
I expected an established star like Koulibaly or Skriniar to be our main target for CB.

{Ed001's Note - to be fair, he looks a lot better suited to the way United want to play than either of those. I watched him a fair bit for a player profile recently and he was extremely impressive, though it was in the Portugese league so not the highest level.}

2.) 09 Mar 2019 10:56:37
Cheers Ed. From the little I've seen of Dias he looks pretty good but do you think he is capable of being the top class CB we badly need or will he need a bit of time similar to Lindelof?

{Ed002's Note - He was wanted by JM and that should be enough for you.}

3.) 09 Mar 2019 13:05:53
Interesting, I imagine he would be much better value long term than Koulibaly.

{Ed001's Note - very good on the ball as well. Had that really polished technique that seems to be a hallmark of players coming through their youth academy.}

4.) 09 Mar 2019 13:27:09
Ed001 would be v interesting to get your thoughts on how you think United wish to play, as mentioned above.
And from that, what you think we need to do with current players/ in the transfer market to make it work. Thanks.

{Ed001's Note - the club wants to have the option, not necessarily to use it in ever game like but the quality at the back to play out from the back. Hence why Lindelöf was brought in. It does not really mean in the way say Brendan Rodgers thinks of playing out from the back though. With the passing it around the back four that you find with his teams, with no penetration. It is having a centre back, like Luiz or van Dijk, that can change the point of attack with a ball in behind an opposing defence or out to a wide player high up the pitch.

You do need another centre half with quality on the ball, none of Smalling, Jones, Rojo or Bailly really have the ability to pick a pass. Other than that, you are not really that far off in terms of a team. It is more about improving on what you have, rather than needing to replace them, buying better versions or improving them through coaching and experience.

The thinking is that De Gea is not the best with his feet, so you can't really go with the really high line and press high on a turnover, except initially. You don't want a big gap between defenders and keeper, as he is not that comfortable racing off his line to clear. But stats analysis suggests the best way to create chances is on quick attacks on turnover (the so-called transition), whether it is from the break itself or a setpiece won on the break. So you have the pacey forwards to play in behind, but you need the ability to pick them out from defence or you lose valuable moments playing the ball into midfield for those quick balls. Every moment lost allows a defence to prepare, against a quick attacker that usually means they are dropping off and so reducing the space available for a midfielder to play the same pass.

It is not about being defensive or becoming a counter attacking team, it is about adding another attacking outlet, for those times when you are not in controlled possession high up the pitch. The expectation is that you will dominate possession in most games but, when it matters in bigger games against opponents that can have as much possession as you, then you need that extra option, even if it just ensures that opponents can't commit to the attack as they would like, because they are wary of a ball in behind.}

5.) 09 Mar 2019 16:29:55
Nice write up ed - as you say it is another string to the bow and something else that the opposition have to take into consideration.

The more options and variations in play that we can have the better.

{Ed001's Note - cheers mate, it is something Mourinho wanted too, but because he wanted to sit deep, however it is a useful weapon to have in all types of teams. City have Ederson do a similar thing, more than the centre backs.}

6.) 09 Mar 2019 16:54:38
The quicker the balls moved forward the better the chances created.

7.) 09 Mar 2019 17:19:59
Ed001 if we are targeting that sort of a cb and we clearly are looking for a young player shouldn't we be targeting someone like de ligt.

{Ed001's Note - from what I have seen of de Ligt I wouldn't recommend him at all. He has very little defending to do with Ajax, but whenever he is actually put under defensive pressure (when I have seen him anyway so a limited view admittedly) he is not good. Excellent on the ball but he is a midfielder for me.}

8.) 09 Mar 2019 18:44:44
I can see de Light going to Barca, would fit in well there.

9.) 09 Mar 2019 23:30:04
That could explain those Maguire links.

10.) 10 Mar 2019 01:07:29
Thanks Ed001 - read with interest and I strongly agree. We have pace in behind but really only pogba with the vision and accuracy to pick out a runner (although I feel he could do with quickening it up at times) . Having a centre half that can pick a pass or drop it into space would be a real weapon.

Agree that DDG is the best keeper in the traditional mould, not one of the new breed of sweeper keepers.

I finally have some confidence going in against the 'lesser' teams that we will get the result. It's against the top teams that I really don't know what we'll get. I feel we need players in defence to midfield that have both quality on the ball and the ability to do things quickly, especially in those high pressure, high tempo games against the Citys and Pools.

{Ed001's Note - at least now they are giving their all, which is a huge step forward.}

11.) 10 Mar 2019 08:42:51
Nice one Ed. Have a good one.

{Ed001's Note - you too Rave.}

12.) 10 Mar 2019 09:56:08
Ed001, could be have a player profile for Ruben Dias please.

{Ed001's Note - way ahead of you mate: Ruben Dias profile. I did it a few weeks ago as Ed002 had told us there were a bunch of clubs looking at him.}

13.) 10 Mar 2019 11:51:23
Do you see de Ligt as a potential replacement for Busquets? Or Pique, as Barcelona have been fond of defenders who struggle at defending?

{Ed001's Note - Barca have certainly been the ones showing the most interest.}

14.) 10 Mar 2019 15:23:09
Fantastic, cheers Ed001.

{Ed001's Note - very welcome mate. Nice to have one ready for a change when it is asked for!}




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03 Dec 2020 05:22:56
We arguably put in one of the best performances of our season so far against PSG and focusing solely on that, I'm far happier than I was following the wins against Basaksehir, WBA and Southampton. Other than the first 10-15 minutes I'd say we were the better side.

Unfortunately, we were undone by Fred's stupidity and a baffling decision from our manager. Tuchel even made the right sub to actually get Fred sent off, Herrera can be a rubbishhouse and sure enough he was the one who Tuchel placed on Fred and the one who Fred dived in on. Hindsight is 20/ 20 but pretty much anyone who watches football would have subbed him.

If someone had given us the scenario of needing a point on the final game to go through when the groups were drawn, I'd probably have taken it but if we go out, following the wins in the first two games, mismanagement has had a big part to play.


1.) 03 Dec 2020 06:18:23
At this level, we just have to be clinical.
Bruno's miss at the stroke of half time, Martial's awful finish let us down.

Encouraged by a dominant display over one of the European powerhouse though.
We were the better team with clear cut chances.

Lastly, Ole's decision to not sub Fred off was baffling.
We have rich midfield options with 5 subs available.
Infuriating to say the least.

2.) 03 Dec 2020 06:35:44
I could have understood leaving the player on if it was Bruno or Rashford in that situation, the risk of keeping them on could be balanced out by their potential to win us the game. Fred doesn't win us games, so the risk of leaving on a player who's best attribute is his energy and disrupting opposition made it even more strange.

At least it might mean Van De Beek starting more regularly now which can only be a positive.



18 Oct 2020 17:59:24
Having read through a few of the posts since last night's game it seems the general consensus is that we played really well. I'm not usually a particularly negative poster and I don't think anyone is saying all the problems are solved but I don't agree we were that good last night until maybe the last 15 mins and there was quite a bit to be concerned about.

The gap behind our midfield was massive at times and against better sides they'd have done far more with that space. Same in relation to counter attacks, better sides would have exploited some of the space we gave. Newcastle have really struggled to create chances this season and despite that they had a couple of good openings against us. In attack for us we were quite wasteful for much of the game. It wasn't like we'd created a lot of brilliant chances all game and just didn't take them.

Once the subs came on we looked a bit better and we know that we are an excellent team on the counter attack which Bruno and Rashford's goals showed. Bruno and Mata were the two best players on the pitch and it's another example of why we should keep Juan Mata as he understands how to play and move alongside the likes of Bruno, Pogba and VDB in a way which few of our players do. I've also been a critic of Maguire since before we signed him but he was better last night and hopefully the goal will lift his confidence going into the PSG game as he could have a tough night against Neymar, Mbappe and Di Maria.


1.) 18 Oct 2020 19:46:07
I never expected a perfect performance and we certainly didn't get a perfect performance.

Tactically we can analyse it over and over and consider how we might have done things differently in hindsight etc.

For me what I was looking for was a reaction from the players, are they still playing for the manager, as our dressing room was reportedly divided. Do the players have the fight to show they are better than the 1-6 drubbing they got against Spurs.

While the performance lacked a little, especially with the final ball/ finishing at times, and while we could easily argue that the shape/ set-up could have been exploited by a more offensively minded team. What we did see was a reaction, players working hard, not giving up especially after the early set back of the own goal. They kept going even when we didn't seem to be getting the rub of the green. Heads could have dropped when Shaw put though his his own net, heads could have dropped when Bruno missed the penalty. Yet they didn't they showed great character to keep going and fighting and in the end they got their rewards.

Couldn't be happier to see Harry get a goal, it seemed to calm him down a little. He needed it. The Bruno goal was wonderfully well worked goal, and wasn't the kind of goal you would expect from a team that is struggling for form. Rashford put in a great performance and got the goal he deserved, and who knew AWB could hit them like that. It was also great to see how pleased the whole team was for him, clearly he is a well thought of member of the squad.

Mata showed he still has more to offer, and Donny changed the game when he came on, his movement and appreciation of space meant everyone always had a simple pass on and he made everything click in the final third.

Lots of positives and we can now look forward to the free hit that is PSG. If we lose then it's kind of expected considering where the two teams are currently. However, with several of their players out we could pull off a great result. If we can then that could be the start of us building some momentum.

2.) 18 Oct 2020 21:53:13
Interesting point but Newcastle has stayed the season better than us (and remain above us for how) . We batted them and the scoreline was a good reflection on hue the game panned out. Leave going through our performances and tactics with a fine tooth comb to the pros and enjoy a
4-1 away win in the Premier League.

We’ve been pretty poor for over 7 years - we have not earned the right to expect perfect and easy wins for years - I for one much prefer OGS in charge to Jose. The football is far crisper and quicker.

3.) 18 Oct 2020 22:18:51
Not only do we have to beat the teams in front of us now. We also have to beat the ghostly "better teams" that we aren't even playing. I know you meant this to keep peoples feet on the ground. I don't feel anyone is getting carried away.

That was a game where we pretty much controlled the game and got a well deserved victory. Their keeper made a couple of excellent saves. Including a penalty. (Yes, it was a penalty) and while DDG also made a couple of saves from long shots, do we really expect to play teams away in the epl and not be tested?

Back after international break. Job done, onto PSG.

4.) 19 Oct 2020 07:47:51
Most important point there shappy. We wanted to see a reaction from the players and they certainly gave us that. Big game against PSG with a lot to prove.



04 Oct 2020 07:47:48
Ed's, I was wondering if you think the sheer volume of criticism United are now getting from fans, media and ex players about the awful handling of transfers may cause a change to the structure behind the scenes at the club such as DOF appointments etc? Other clubs are bound to be fed up of United trying to strong arm them into selling players for less than their valuations and United's standing as a club to do business with surely plummets further every window?

PR is as important as it's ever been nowadays and we've seen how toxic / negative reactions in the past caused United to alter their plans with LVG.



{Ed002's Note - For the sake of the supporters ids to be resolved. Whether or not it changes the situation I don't know. One problem will be authority and another responsibility of any DoF.}

1.) 04 Oct 2020 09:38:16
Thanks Ed. Hopefully this wave of criticism finally sees a focus on fixing some of these issues.



03 Aug 2020 11:38:32
I'll start by saying this is entirely hypothetical and won't happen but I'd say would be a win win for both clubs. Swap deals might also be more prevalent this window due to the impact of C.V.

We need a quality defensive midfielder despite Matic extending his contract as he has shown over a number of years he runs out of steam in the 2nd half of a season. Admittedly, because he is run into the ground due to lack of options managers have had both here and at Chelsea when he was first choice. Chelsea need a goalkeeper as Cabellero is almost 40 and Kepa has been a huge disappointment.

How about United offer Dean Henderson to Chelsea in exchange for N'golo Kante? I'd argue both sides benefit from the deal as Kante has been in and out at Chelsea this season and Henderson has never played a game for United. It's clear De Gea will be number 1 next season and I'd argue Kante gives a bigger upgrade to our midfield than almost anyone could.

In my head the above makes sense but it also looks like something ripped out of Football Manager haha.


1.) 03 Aug 2020 11:59:24
Kante is well past his best imo.
Still a good player obviously but very much in decline. Lots of injuries popping up.
Henderson is a rising star straight from our own academy. Just like greenwood. Should were swap greenwood for kane?
I wouldn't personally get rid of henderson without ever giving him a chance.

2.) 03 Aug 2020 12:22:58
I’m with ken.

3.) 03 Aug 2020 12:24:24
Ken, I disagree that Kante is in decline, just don't think he was a good fit under Sarri and as you say he has picked up a few injuries this season. If given a chance I'm sure he'd be one of the best CM's in the league again.

Henderson is clearly a talent and IMO will be England number 1 at the Euros but I genuinely can't see how he becomes number 1 at United. De Gea is on a big wage and looks set to be number 1 for at least another season. His performances have fallen off a cliff over the past couple of years but it looks like he's the first choice going forward too so I'd say there's just as much of a chance that Henderson never becomes United number 1 as there is that he does.

I also suggested this as my mates and I have bored ourselves talking about Jason Sancho and Jack Grealish 😂😂.

4.) 03 Aug 2020 12:42:20
Henderson will be our number 1, in the not so distant future.

5.) 03 Aug 2020 13:08:30
I'd swap DDG for Kante, gets rid of a huge wage and let's Romero and Henderson battle for the number 1 spot (which I would expect Hendo to cement over the course of the next season)

6.) 03 Aug 2020 13:23:06
No way Chelsea entertain that idea. Kante is easily worth more than Henderson (despite his looking promising in PL this season) .

Plus that would leave our club without a defensive minded midfielder. Now if United were to add money on top of Henderson, maybe then it could make sense.

7.) 03 Aug 2020 13:47:43
If we’re unable to agree a new contract with Henderson (which seems possible given we seem to have trouble providing players with a roadmap, which Henderson apparently wants) then I’d absolutely make this deal.

Realistically, if the club don’t make Henderson our number one this summer I don’t think they ever will and he’ll end up leaving (for a relatively low fee if he doesn’t sign an extension this summer) .

8.) 03 Aug 2020 15:13:54
Considering that Deano is both better and younger than the world's most expensive goalkeeper was when he went for a hefty £71 million, it would take Kante plus £30 million to even entertain the idea.

9.) 03 Aug 2020 18:03:51
No chance. I'd be more inclined to offer DDG than Henderson.

DDG has been on the decline for two seasons now. That's not just a blip. Something seriously needs to change as he is drifting into mediocrity. Whether that is a kick up the arse to make him work harder, or a change or goalkeeping coach, or even a change of club. Something with DDG needs to change or next season will be his last as first choice at United.

With that in mind why would we allow Dean Henderson to leave? He is the future first choice keeper for both us and England. What impresses me most about him isn't his natural ability, but his mentality. He is mentally strong, bouncing back from setbacks, driven to improve.

The idea of letting him join a rival is madness.

As for Kante I wonder if he has the energy and drive anymore. His determination and work rate are what rose him above his contemporaries. He has a huge contract at Chelsea and has suffered some niggling injuries. Does he still have the appetite to fight for ever ball and run himself into the ground anymore. For the last three years the number of tackles, interceptions and pressures he makes have dropped, as has the distance covered per game.

I think we need to look more toward the future.



14 Jul 2020 07:26:52
Last night's game was a bit of a reality check to show we're not a title challenging side yet. Our performance was probably the worst we've produced since the restart and had plenty of errors (not big ones but misplaced passes heavy first touches etc) with the odd bit of great play in between. Southampton deserved their point and we can't win every game.

Southampton came with a game plan of high pressing United and not allowing the passes of Maguire and Lindelof to get to Matic and Pogba and they carried it out very well, Hasenhuttl deserves enormous credit for how he has turned them around. The way they set up now will cause most sides problems.

Despite the above, this post isn't all doom and gloom. We didn't play at our best, the players looked tired and yet we created 4 or 5 excellent chances in the game. That's a huge step up from the first half of the season where we'd struggle to create much even when playing well. Martial was very good, Rashford had a few great moments, I thought Shaw had another good game until his injury too. I have confidence in this side which is not something I've had in years and I'd expect us to win at Palace. Had this result happened in December there is no chance I'd have any confidence we'd win our next game.


1.) 14 Jul 2020 07:51:49
Yes RJ.
We created some excellent opportunities to kill the game.
On another day we would have taken them.

Btw, Romeu shouldn't have been on the pitch. Hopefully Greenwood is ok.

2.) 14 Jul 2020 08:16:52
you can't win every game, but the attidude from the players was spot on we was still trying to make things happen. i think if we didn't have the injuires to shaw and then williams we don't concede that goal.

a point was the fair result, its still in our hands,

i still think 2 wins from our next 2 games gets us top 4,

both chelsea and Leicester have tough games still to play.

we have a far better good than chelsea and only a few behind the foxes which will count for double when we play them.




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17 Apr 2021 17:20:07
Max Aarons is a good player and being so young he should still improve quite considerably. If he has any sense he shouldn't join us though.

AWB is first choice and you'd think he would end up a lot like Telles, playing in the odd league game but mostly relegated to playing in cup competitions or weaker opponents. If he moves to Everton or Arsenal he'd be first choice and would likely end up a better player in the long run.




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31 Mar 2021 09:18:53
Good old fashioned rumour.

If it happens I'd be delighted. I want Henderson to succeed, ideally it'd be as United's number one but if he is going to be second choice again we'd be holding him back in his career so letting him go would be the right choice.

Kane would be an incredible signing, possibly akin to Van Persie, transformative to the frontline with a genuine top class striker there who guarantees 25-30 goals a season when fit.




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25 Jan 2021 20:30:02
Thanks Ed.

With the future of quite a lot of players in doubt I think it'd be wise to keep Mata for another year. Can cover on the right or as the 10, he's never relied on pace and he still has the ability to find a pass or score from a free kick to change a game.




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23 Jan 2021 07:07:08
As Ed002 says we have the direct replacement for Pogba in Van De Beek, he does need a run in the side though because right now he's not happy and it looks like Ole doesn't rate him.

Personally I think we need a proper defensive midfielder. Someone who brings the energy Fred does but is better on the ball. Not that we are looking at him but Wilfried Ndidi would be an incredible signing. Bruno, Van De Beek and Ndidi would be an excellent midfield.




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22 Dec 2020 13:27:40
Cheers Ed!





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12 Apr 2021 14:13:50
We have to be looking at a title challenge next season if progression is to continue to be made. I wanted a 10-15 point improvement to show a bit of progression at the start of the season and it appears that is likely to be delivered.

I appreciate many think winning a trophy is an important sign of progression but I don't think winning a Carabao or FA cup shows we're a good side when compared to picking up a significantly higher number of points in the league does.

In terms of where we go, I think we are still 5 or 6 players away from having a properly balanced squad and as it stands our squad is too big and still has a number of players who aren't going to add much (Lingard, Jones, Grant, Romero, Dalot, Pereira etc) . We also have Cavani, Pogba, VDB, Mata, De Gea and Bailly who have been involved in the squad but have uncertain futures at the club.

Despite this I think we need to prioritise signing a CB, DM and ST. Particularly CB and ST. If we take our best / strongest 11 right now that usually involves Lindelof, Fred and Martial. If we could upgrade all 3 of those players there is no reason in terms of the first 11 we'd have to not be challenging for the league.

As for Ole, I still don't think he's the coach we should have and I still struggle to see a style of play that isn't mainly based on counter attacking. However, based on what I said above, I'd be a hypocrite to call for his sacking as he's delivering an improvement in points during a very strange season. He has his flaws tactically but he's clearly helped the likes of Shaw, Greenwood, Rashford and Martial who have all performed pretty well since his appointment.

There have been so many insipid performances this season, sometimes for parts of games and sometimes for the whole 90 mins. We've been able to turn several of those games around but you can't keep doing that and expect results. Ole has to find a way to make us play like the 2nd half yesterday much more often.

So overall, there's some improvements, there are some things to be positive about but next season is make or break for Ole and there are still several concerns that need to be ironed out.




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06 Apr 2021 14:15:40
I agree Shappy. It's great having strength in depth all over the squad, however, we don't currently have a first 11 which is good enough to challenge for top honours. That's where the money should be going.

Players like Fred, Lindelof and Martial can be squad players once we sign someone better than them to play CM, CB and CF. Signing a right back when we have a clear first choice and several others who can play there makes little sense. It made sense to sign Telles considering Shaw's form has been up and down for 6 years and his fitness has never been consistent. I'd be fine with Williams or Laird as understudy to AWB, I think we should sell Dalot personally.




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24 Mar 2021 15:39:55
Shappy, arguably he hasn't done enough to earn a run but he's also barely been played in the double pivot in a game of note. You also have to factor in how well his competition in that position has played.

Pogba - Unavailable for a large part of the season and by far his best performances have been when played higher up the pitch. For the last 5 years we've been discussing how to get the best out of him, great a few times a season is what we should expect.

McTominay - All round player and in my opinion the best option we have in the double pivot. He will rarely if ever influence a game the way Pogba can but will never play as badly as Pogba often does.

Fred - Liability when we have the ball as he can't control it consistently, can't pass accurately on a consistent basis and can't shoot at all. Only plays well in "big games against big teams" which is to say when we are happy to have 30% of possession against sides better than us and he can just run around harrying the opposition. Fred is the worst footballer of the midfielders but he can run all day so gets picked. That says a lot about how the manager sets the side up, trusts athleticism over actual footballing ability.

Matic - Looks like his best days are well behind him, already slow and getting slower. Still tidy enough with the ball but his lack of athleticism in front of an already slow centre back pairing hurts us.

Subsequently, you have to ask has Van De Beek been considerably worse than the players above? People also seem to believe we'd be much more open defensively if Van De Beek played ahead of Fred for example. While he's not as defensively minded, maybe we would have more ability to keep the ball and in turn would not be defending as often?


{Ed077's Note - Its a Catch-22 situation with Donny now. You have to play consistently to impress and earn a place but you have to earn a place to play consistently.}



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24 Mar 2021 10:40:16
As it stands, I can't see Van De Beek getting much game time. He's obviously seen by the manager as a number 10 primarily and ultimately our best player plays there. If VDB is to play as one of the pivots, we need a quality defensive midfielder which we don't have.

Fred and Matic are woefully below the standard needed and McTominay is a good all round midfielder but doesn't excel in many areas at the moment.

Best case scenario for me is manager realises Van De Beek is more than capable of playing deeper, he replaces Pogba (who leaves) and we sign a quality defensive midfielder like Rice, Ndidi, Zakaria etc. They replace Fred as the primary defensive midfielder, allow Van De Beek to play as a number 8 who can get forward but also keep the ball and Bruno continues as the 10.




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09 Mar 2021 11:49:11
I've said plenty of times Ole isn't the right coach and nothing I've seen this season shows he is. Despite that I wanted to see a good improvement on points (10-12 points roughly) and we are on course to be around there, provided we play fairly well until the end of the season. So based on my own criteria, Ole deserves another year.

I disagree about that winning trophies is important to showing progress though. Liverpool have won plenty over the course of my lifetime but last season is the first time I've seen them win a league. Across that 30 years, they won a lot of cups but only challenged in the league a few times. Arsenal have been winning the FA cup often and look at the state of them. Even we have won a couple of domestic cups and the Europa League in recent years. Winning a trophy wouldn't hurt but it's not something we need to show progress in the short term.