Author Topic: Manchester United 2016-2017  (Read 2322 times)

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Bisto

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Re: Manchester United 2016-2017
« Reply #75 on: January 30, 2017, 00:30:45 AM »
Wigan were very well organised and disciplined in the first half and didn't look like conceding until Fellaini popped up. The second half was far more  omfortable for United and they could have scored a couple more. Shaw was disappointing today (with no overlapping runs) as was Mata....I would add Rooney to that list but it was just the kind of typical Rooney performance we've come to expect really. Mhkitaryan was our best player, Fellaini was tidy and scored, its a shame he is so slow and technically limited..Martial did much better when he went over to the left....I'd love to see what kind of damage a front three of Martial, Rashford and Mkhi could do. Nice to see Schweinsteiger back and scoring and to see the Tuanzebe and Joel Pereira given run outs. 3 more wins and we could appear in 2 Wembley cup finals...but will Jose moan about that? .....probably.
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Bisto

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Re: Manchester United 2016-2017
« Reply #76 on: February 27, 2017, 13:25:08 PM »

Apologies for the essay but, whether you read it or not, this is therapy for me.


United lifted their 44th trophy yesterday, a joint record for an English team which they now share with Liverpool. They owed their 3 - 2 victory, once again, mainly to Zlatan Ibrahimovic's goals, as well as a bad refereeing decision and a stroke of luck.


Its already been a long season for United; we looked jaded yesterday and lacked cohesion in every area of the pitch, with little in the way of an effective game plan and we were lucky to beat a well organised and energetic Saints, who took the game to United and had a perfectly good Gabbiadini goal chalked off for offside; in truth they were by far the better team for the majority of the game yesterday and they will be feeling  gutted, along with their very vocal support, at not lifting what would have been only their second trophy in their 131 year history.

A win is a win and its always nice to lift trophies (though you wouldn't know it judging by Mourinho's body language and very muted post match response yesterday) However, me being me, and, not for the first time this season, I have to question Mourinho's tactics yesterday.

To set up in a 4-2-3-1 facing a rested, energetic and disciplined Saints side without Mhkitaryan available to link the attack and midfield on the vast, energy sapping Wembley pitch was a rather obvious error of judgement; to add to that Pogba was played in a two man midfield and, once again, all too predictably under the circumstances, he failed to take control in a big match.

Once again Mata, the obvious alternative to play no 10 in Mhkitaryan's absence, was deployed in a less effective position and, after a first half spent chasing shadows on the right, was made a scapegoat and predictably got hooked (yet again) by Mourinho.

Pogba played far too deep and the massive gap between Zlatan and the midfield was all too evident throughout the match. United were on the back foot for most of the game and struggled against Redmond's speed and energy, Romelu's power and the superb delivery of Ward-Prowse throughout the 90 minutes. The brilliant movement and finishing of Gabbiadini made our panicking and disjointed defence look distinctly second division; he is already looking like one of the bargains of the season after just a few games and, given his goal threat, I was very surprised (and happy) to see Peull take him off. However, of the two mangers, he undoubtedly got (most of) his tactics right on the day.

As I've said before, I'm not convinced by Mourinho; he is definitely an upgrade on Moyes and Van Gaal and will probably bring United temporary success but his methods, approach, ego, personailty, quixotic nature and strange decision making will take their toll and aren't suited to planning and sustaining long term success in what is the most demanding and unforgiving league in football.

Some commentators have praised Mourinho for the way he has brought the best out of Mhkitaryan and Martial by being hard on them and challenging them to fight for the right to play, but that tactic obviously hasn't worked with our best left back, and former Saint, Luke Shaw; once an England regular, he continues to rot in the reserves while lesser players are constantly rotated in his position and his international career recedes in the distance.

Rojo was dreadful yesterday; and, as slow as he is, Blind is a far better player than both the Argentinian and Darmian and would surely have offered more to the team in terms of positional and tactical awareness, organisational skills, vision and passing ability. Even the under employed but more experienced Young would have been a better choice (than Rojo) but Jose does like his "specialists."


Valencia has been our most consistent defender by miles this season, and by far our best attacking defender, which isn't so hard to fathom when Mourinho bans the left back from venturing too far forward. This tactic might make sense IF we had a good, defensive left back but it also impacts on our relative lack of goals and over reliance on Ibrahimovic; Martial is always being double marked and would really benefit from having an overlapping left back like Shaw draw the opposition right back away from him. No doubt Ibrahimovic would also benefit from Shaw's crosses.

On the other flank Valencia continues to pose a consistant threat going forward whilst defending well but we have nobody apart from Young who is comfortable and effective driving inside off the wing. Every other player that JM deploys there is playing out of position and is often unproductive and ineffectual.

Keeping a fit Mhkitaryan at no 10 is the key as he links everything so well and dovetails particularly well with Mata who was utterly wasted on the right yesterday. If United do get hold of Griezmann he could make the position his own until Zlatan moves on.

Going back to the defence; we have a decent defensive record in domestic competition but its not fit to face Champions League quality opposition and needs upgrading.

Its clear that Smalling often needs organising himself and really isn't up to instructing Rojo or bossing a young, inexperienced and impetuous Bailly, let alone being United captain. As for the headless chicken way in which Pogba marks in the box, he is a penalty waiting to happen and should be shackled to the post by de Gea.

Fatigue aside, Mhkitaryan could have made a big difference yesterday but Pogba cannot be trusted to boss games yet in his absence. United need a powerful box to box player who can carry the ball at speed like Nathan Redmond, doesn't go missing and can tackle.

Much has been made of the vast sums of money United have spent since SAF retired but if a team with the budget of Southampton can expose them then I'm afraid more will have to be spent on up to half a dozen more players if United want to be truely competitive at the highest level. Carrick, Schweinsteiger and Rooney are all likely to leave in the summer; that is a huge amount of experience to lose in one go and Ibrahimovic may well decide to seek pastures new if United fail to qualify for the Champions league and don't strengthen the squad sufficiently to compete next season.


So for Mourinho to repeat Woodward's assertion that United will keep the vast majority of the current squad and bring in only 2 - 3 new players doesn't auger very well for next season
« Last Edit: February 27, 2017, 13:58:48 PM by Bisto »
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Matt2112

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Re: Manchester United 2016-2017
« Reply #77 on: February 27, 2017, 15:33:31 PM »
Very fair and comprehensive analysis. 

The only point I'd make is a technical one - Wembley's pitch isn't especially big I'd say, in fact it's not especially bigger than average, really; it looks comparatively "bigger" on the telly, possibly because of the surrounding vastness of the stadium, and (maybe therefore) it looks smaller than you'd expect in the flesh.  Having seen my team lift a trophy at Wembley fairly recently, just thought I'd point that out... ;)

zoony

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Re: Manchester United 2016-2017
« Reply #78 on: February 28, 2017, 14:33:55 PM »
Apart from the perfectly good goal they had disallowed, Southampton need to take a long hard look at why they continue with Forster in goal. He's absolutely dreadful, and if you'd swapped 'keepers over, it would have been a comfortable,  and deserved win for the south coast underdogs.

döm

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Re: Manchester United 2016-2017
« Reply #79 on: February 28, 2017, 16:22:17 PM »
Apart from the perfectly good goal they had disallowed, Southampton need to take a long hard look at why they continue with Forster in goal. He's absolutely dreadful, and if you'd swapped 'keepers over, it would have been a comfortable,  and deserved win for the south coast underdogs.


He's always brilliant when he plays against Arsenal !
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Bisto

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Re: Manchester United 2016-2017
« Reply #80 on: February 28, 2017, 17:27:37 PM »
Saints should have kept Gabbiadini on the pitch and put Long up front with him
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Bisto

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Re: Manchester United 2016-2017
« Reply #81 on: March 13, 2017, 23:05:24 PM »
They put up a very commited and determined performance but his was a game too far for United against the runaway league leaders and Champions elect...forced to play without Ibrahimovic, Martial and Rooney and with 10 men from the 35th minute United defended with their lives but never looked like troubling Chelsea's defence except for Rashfords run and shot which was very well saved by Courtois.
Pogba was anonymous yet again against top class opposition


More tomorrow...
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Bisto

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Re: Manchester United 2016-2017
« Reply #82 on: March 17, 2017, 11:54:35 AM »
...couldn't be arsed to add anything further to the above in the end.


It was a decent United performance last night against a very, very depleted Rostrov, who only named 3 outfield players on the bench and whose bank of 5 defenders and 2 dms snuffed out most of United's attempts at goal. As usual this season, we dominated possession without making it count, the approach play was good but the finishing was poor.


I do like the idea of us playing 3-4-3 (or variants) but if Jose is going to do that long term then he definitely needs an upgrade on Smalling, who is a decent CB but lacks the technique, footballing nous, vision and confidence to play the ball out from defence; he certainly isn't enough of an organiser and leader to control the defenders alongside him.


It has already been a long season; but having got to the quarter finals as holders of the F.A. Cup, I'm sure that the management and players would have preferred to still be in the competition rather than playing two less games (potentially) Having said that, the injuries and suspensions are starting to pile up and bite now and the fatigue is obvious, having even one less game to play and a few days more recovery time MIGHT yet make the difference between finishing in 4th or 5th place or winning the Europa league. United DO have a lot to contend with this season, but its all of their own making and would be the same for every other team were they able to progress as far in the same competitions.


Mourinho's post match comments last night were pathetic and again, very embaressing. It is a very stressful job, which comes with a huge amount of expectation and pressure, and we all know that he loves to try and play mind games and control the narrative, but as someone who has suffered from mental health problems throughout my life, I can't help but suspect that Jose has a few of his own.

If United fail to qualify for the Champions League again then it will be because Jose failed to get enough out of the squad and made too many of the wrong calls over the season.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 12:32:24 PM by Bisto »
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NeilP

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Re: Manchester United 2016-2017
« Reply #83 on: March 17, 2017, 22:10:17 PM »
Utd look well placed to win the Europa cup, not too many teams even close to them from the look of it.

Bisto

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Re: Manchester United 2016-2017
« Reply #84 on: March 19, 2017, 18:34:01 PM »
Yeah it does look doable on paper...and I don't want to make excuses and bleat like JM, but they are only human and fatigue is showing in their performances. To get to the EL Final they will have to play 5 more games and 16 more in total this season; they could carry on their unbeaten run in the league, as well as the Europa League (in normal time) and still end up with no ECL qualification and back in the Europa League next season.


JM will have to manage his squad very carefully indeed and hope his players don't pick up many more injuries and suspensions; I wish he had recalled Pereira back into the first team squad in January and dropped Pogba to the bench for a few games.


Mourinho has to bring in a midfield destroyer who can pass like Bakayoko in the summer!
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 03:42:12 AM by Bisto »
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NeilP

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Re: Manchester United 2016-2017
« Reply #85 on: March 20, 2017, 00:19:51 AM »
Utd has an enormous squad still, I fancy that they'll win the Europa League and probably make top 4 this season

Bisto

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Re: Manchester United 2016-2017
« Reply #86 on: March 20, 2017, 12:14:20 PM »
They'll need that enormous squad, but its the lack of quality in the first team that has seen United struggle to turn draws into wins at home this season; United have to play the1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 7th, 8th and 10th placed teams (as of today) as well as 3 relegation threatened sides and Burnley at Turf Moor; where they have the 6th best home record (joint 5th on points with Arsenal) in the League...and try and negotiate 5 ELC games. We already have 2 BPL games to be rescheduled and international friendlies haven't helped Its a very tough run in for United.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 21:36:02 PM by Bisto »
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Bisto

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Re: Manchester United 2016-2017
« Reply #87 on: March 20, 2017, 21:40:00 PM »
No good deed goes unpunished!

No amount of anxiety can change the future. No amount of regret can change the past.