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Juventus in the Champions League.
Tuesday 23rd October 2018, KO 20:00 BST.
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Sigmar
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So... How was it for you ?

Sun May 13, 2018 9:53 pm

We finished second...but is that a true reflection on our standard or football, or the quality we have in the squad, did wwe over achieve or under achieve for the amount of money spent. I'm sure these are questions being discussed across the Atlantic, expecially with rumours that José wants at least the same amount again this summer.

Personally I think there needs to be a clear out, too many have not performed, or been very erattic in their consistency, but you know what you are going to get with Mourinho, he has I think steadied the ship, but needs the FA Cup to confirm that this team can win things. I feel a mass clear out will only confuse the issue even more, and set us back, we need to sort out the midfield, either with the players we have, r with at least a bit of steel, up front we seem to be all at sea, inconsistent and off the ball at times, I'm not a fan of the 'hoof it to Lukaku'method. Our only solid position seems to be between the sticks, De Gea is of course excellent, and Romera seems to be an excellent back up.


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RedSte
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Re: So... How was it for you ?

Sun May 13, 2018 10:24 pm

We'll probably buy Neymar then Mourinho will criticise him and give him the hump, meanwhile the defensive frailities will get overlooked for yet another season. I shudder to think how many points/goals conceded we would have had were it not for the best keeper in the world!


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Re: So... How was it for you ?

Mon May 14, 2018 8:38 am

Defensive frailties have been covered up by DDG - yes its his job to save and yes he is part of the defence, but I think we could aviod alot more pressure had we a better CB partner for Bailley, better WB's and a strong partner for Matic - then that attack could do more of what they are good at and attack, we would could be relentless on teams given that freedom - but we spend alot of time keeping the ball and not letting teams get to us rather than taking it to them with no fear



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ArizonaRed
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Re: So... How was it for you ?

Tue May 15, 2018 4:48 pm

Since Sir Alex retired it appears, at least to me, that our transfer dealing have had more to do with garnering headlines and selling the brand than building a team that will compete for league titles. There doesn’t appear to be a coordinated plan of how we will build a squad that can/will play the style of football that Moyers, Van Gaal or Mourinho wants to play. The really good managers will get the very best out of the personnel they have available; think of David Wagner or Darren Moore or Sean Dyche or even Roy Hodgson. No big bank rolls with these clubs; but managers who are willing to adapt how they would like to play football with the reality of what their personnel are capable of doing.

The other side of that coin is the authoritarian manager (the “my way or the highway”) with a philosophy or particular style that they stick to regardless of the outcome; think Guardiola, Mourinho (Van Gaal), Wenger, Allardyce and even Pulis. If they have a big enough bank roll and the backing from the front office this management style works great, you go out and buy the players with the skills that fit into the way they want to play. Existing players either buy into the new philosophy/style or are moved out, the key issue is that player that are brought in have a place in the overall plan, a role to play and they accept that.

What will not work with an “authoritarian” is buying free spirited, creative players with flair and handcuffing them by forcing them to play a style of football that not only doesn’t suit them but actually emphasizes their weaknesses. I believe this is where United are at present. We are spending lots and lots of cash on big named players and then asking them to sacrifice their skills for Mourinho’s playing style. The players will buy-in while it’s successful but as we have seen many times once the winning stops the player will turn on the manager.

For most teams finishing 2nd in the premier league would be a great year, one they will talk about for years to come. However United are not most teams; our history and heritage have built expectation to the point that anything short of the title is not a successful season. What we need is not only an upgrade in players, WB, Mid and CD, but also a change in the overall approach to games. Let the player use the skills they have, we have loads of pace in the squad but instead of using that pace and speed we set ourselves up to be difficult to score against.


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Dante
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Re: So... How was it for you ?

Fri May 18, 2018 11:10 am

For me it was a largely successful, if frustrating season. 81 points is a decent amount. It's our highest total in the post Fergie era, and an amount that has won the league before, albeit less often than higher totals.

Defensively, we're actually ok. We could improve (Bailly being fit would make a huge difference to this), but it's not where we suffer the most. We need to score more. Of the seven defeats we suffered in the league, we failed to score in five of them, and four of those games were only lost 1-0. You won't win the league losing seven games. If we had turned one of those defeats into a win, and another into a draw, that's more into title territory.

What was more disappointing was the European Cup run. After breezing past the group stage, we were frankly awful against Sevilla across both legs and were deservedly eliminated. We need to play a more expansive game in general, but especially in Europe.

City's record breaking season has made ours look worse in comparison, but it represents a big move forward for us, and we can improve further from here. I don't think City will have a season like this again, so next year will be tighter.


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Carrick 5 Gerrard 0
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Re: So... How was it for you ?

Mon May 21, 2018 9:42 pm

I hope Jose takes a long hard look in the mirror, some of these lads need an arm around them but he just criticises them while never saying a word against his favourites. Also, we are not playing to some of these players strengths and not to the teams strengths either at times.

However, that being said we still finished second and made it to the FA cup final. We lost Carrick which we didn’t plan for and I think we missed him more than we think, we need to replace him, get a proper LB if Jose ain’t gonna give Shaw a chance and then start to mould the team by getting the right players in e.g I think our strongest CB pairing is Bailley and Rojo right now, Jose also needs to figure out how to get the best out of Pogba, Sanchez, Martial, Rashford and Mata without any of them leaving as that would be a shame.



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Sigmar
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Re: So... How was it for you ?

Tue May 22, 2018 8:48 pm

Dante wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 11:10 am
For me it was a largely successful, if frustrating season. 81 points is a decent amount. It's our highest total in the post Fergie era, and an amount that has won the league before, albeit less often than higher totals.

Defensively, we're actually ok. We could improve (Bailly being fit would make a huge difference to this), but it's not where we suffer the most. We need to score more. Of the seven defeats we suffered in the league, we failed to score in five of them, and four of those games were only lost 1-0. You won't win the league losing seven games. If we had turned one of those defeats into a win, and another into a draw, that's more into title territory.

What was more disappointing was the European Cup run. After breezing past the group stage, we were frankly awful against Sevilla across both legs and were deservedly eliminated. We need to play a more expansive game in general, but especially in Europe.

City's record breaking season has made ours look worse in comparison, but it represents a big move forward for us, and we can improve further from here. I don't think City will have a season like this again, so next year will be tighter.
How do you work that one out ?

28 goals against doesn't sound a lot I'll agree, but when you lose 1-0 to the likes of West Brom and Huddersfield I don't understand how anyone can say that we are 'OK defensively' if we didn't have De Gea you could add at least another 20 goals to that against figure.

The same goes for the attack, in the top six, only Chelsea scored less than us, Liverpol scored 84 and were six goals better than us on GD.

We paid over £76m for Lukaku, 16 league goals and 7 assists, average 179mins per goal that nearly 1 every two games. Include his cup games and it makes them only slightly better 151 mins per goal.

After spending another £148m on players during the close season, and swapping Mikhitaryan out half way through, please enlighten me how this season can be considered 'largely successful'

I hate to say it, City are now the benchmark, to outplay them means you probably have to outspend them, or stop losing in games that we should win. We need to look over our shoulders, I have a feeling that Liverpool will improve again, if they win the CL, then they will have their tails up.


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Dante
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Re: So... How was it for you ?

Tue May 22, 2018 9:26 pm

The answer to that question is, where have we finished in the last 4 seasons?


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Dante
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Re: So... How was it for you ?

Wed May 23, 2018 9:32 am

In regards to our defence, we conceded a goal in 19 out of our 38 league games. City in 20 of theirs.

Losing to those clubs isn't really defensive faults. We didn't score in those games. West Brom scored 2 against City, and this whilst under Pullis, not Darren Moore who was boss when they beat us. The difference is, we didn't score, whilst City put 3 past them. Huddersfield also scored against City, but conceded two.

So it comes back to defensively, we're ok, but we aren't scoring enough. Watching our games this season should show that - we've too often played incredibly defensively, and rarely unleashed out forwards. You mention Lukaku, our top scorer with 16 goals. In years gone by, we'd have had several other players hitting double figures. The next highest was Martial with 9.

I think we also suffer from not having players with positions nailed down. We only had four players who started 30 league games or more, De Gea, Valencia,Matic and Lukaku. Valencia will be 33 next season, and is a converted winger. Ashley Young is in the same boat, also being 33 next season, and is a converted winger. Our forwards aside from Lukaku seem to be selected on dice rolls.


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gav81
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Re: So... How was it for you ?

Wed May 23, 2018 2:32 pm

It's been pretty awful in both results and entertainment on the pitch.

Looking at the expected goal stats, we've not created enough and been lucky to finish 2nd.. or at least been saved by De Gea and good finishing this season. If it continues next season we're more likely than not to drop in position and end up in another top four battle.

The blame for this in my opinion rests with Mourinho who has not got the best from the attacking talent in our squad.



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ArizonaRed
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Re: So... How was it for you ?

Wed May 23, 2018 8:23 pm

gav81 wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 2:32 pm
It's been pretty awful in both results and entertainment on the pitch.

Looking at the expected goal stats, we've not created enough and been lucky to finish 2nd.. or at least been saved by De Gea and good finishing this season. If it continues next season we're more likely than not to drop in position and end up in another top four battle.

The blame for this in my opinion rests with Mourinho who has not got the best from the attacking talent in our squad.
I totally agree with your assessment, we do not have the type of player that can create chances against a defense that has a siege mentality. By allowing defenses to pack their penalty area and then passing the ball around 35 yard out we are setting ourselves up to fail. The players need the freedom to run at the defense and force them into making a mistake which will (hopefully) create a good scoring chance or make room for someone cutting into the space just vacated.

With the exception of Fellaini, Young and maybe Lindgard have any of our players improved with the type of football we played?


I can't believe it. I can't believe it. Football. Bloody hell.

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Dante
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Re: So... How was it for you ?

Thu May 24, 2018 8:29 am

De Gea, because he's had to work more?


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gav81
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Re: So... How was it for you ?

Thu May 24, 2018 8:51 am

ArizonaRed wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 8:23 pm
I totally agree with your assessment, we do not have the type of player that can create chances against a defense that has a siege mentality. By allowing defenses to pack their penalty area and then passing the ball around 35 yard out we are setting ourselves up to fail. The players need the freedom to run at the defense and force them into making a mistake which will (hopefully) create a good scoring chance or make room for someone cutting into the space just vacated.

With the exception of Fellaini, Young and maybe Lindgard have any of our players improved with the type of football we played?

Yeah, allowing defences to pack the area is a lot down to our slow build up play, which in turn I feel comes from not having enough runners ahead of the ball and lack of attacking outlets. That's the price of keeping nine, ten or even sometimes eleven men behind the ball and the team so compact. It's strong when we don't have possession and an opponent comes at us but, unless the opposition make a mistake, often looks clueless when we have the ball.

Under Fergie we took more risks in leaving players up the pitch and stretching the play. It wasn't so strong defensively but created more opportunity and space for our forwards to exploit. The match then became a shoot out between the opposing forwards to see who could outscore the other - it produced higher scores, more open, entertaining games and the quality of attacking players at United meant we would usually win! It's why Fergie didn't have a single 0-0 in his last two seasons and so many 3-2, 4-3, etc scorelines.

The current system is one more for underdog teams who don't have that quality of player so choose to shutdown the game, nick a goal and defend the lead. It will never get the best from an attack minded set of players.

But that's Mourinho's philosophy - reactive, how to stop the opponent, not proactive in playing to our own strengths.



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gav81
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Re: So... How was it for you ?

Thu May 24, 2018 12:37 pm

ArizonaRed wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 8:23 pm
With the exception of Fellaini, Young and maybe Lindgard have any of our players improved with the type of football we played?

I'm not sure those players have improved. With Lingard it's probably down to age and experience as much as anything.

In the main the players have kept the same level or regressed. Of those we'd expect to be game changers.. Rashford seems lost compared to the version that burst onto the scene, Martial looks fed up and doesn't get the game time, Pogba and Sanchez are a shadow of the players they were at their previous clubs, Mkhi suffered the same.

But we know Mourinho doesn't build players or like free-spirited attacking players so it's not a surprise. This is a manager who even wore down Ronaldo and Hazard with his defensive demands in the end.



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