Manchester United Message Board
- dsteer_lfc_68 dsteer_lfc_68 Sep 5, 2013 21:47 Flag
I understand that no one outside the club really knows the financial situation and therefore what the real budget was. But I think it comes down to one of two things. Either the money spent on Ozil was the entire budget, in which case all the egg(s) are in one basket, or there was more, and despite trying Wenger was unable to buy more baskets (or eggs). I'm not which I'd prefer.
On strikers to be honest with you I've been rather impressed with Giroud after being underwhelmed by him last season. There has been a lot of talk about Soldado (another you could have gone for) but for me two goals from the spot and nothing from open play does not compare with what the Frenchman has done.
However its again eggs in a single basket, so if form drops, defenders work out how to counter, or injury hits, while I'd say you have one of the preeminent midfield in terms of creativity and ability to break defenses down (rivaling Chelsea and City now imo), without a finisher it might be hard to get though the door even if others have unlocked it. Walcott could of course fill in, as could Poldoski, however I see Walcott much more threatening wide rather than as a number 9, and Poldoski does get goals (when he's fit and healthy) but likes to sit deeper rather than play off the shoulder.
- dsteer_lfc_68 dsteer_lfc_68 Sep 5, 2013 21:59 Flag
Because this is all about some trying to justify why what we all know was a panic buy (who's price actually went up despite no one else even bidding) at the last minute because all other leads had fallen thought, was actually a good move by Utd!
Now I'm not saying Fellani is not a good player and can't play a role for United. In fact in some ways he could make the squad better. But its not what they really needed, its not imo what will counter the improvements made by the other challengers.
Actually not sure where i read it, but the description of United's summer dealings being like the desperate man in the night club at closing times really does fit: After spending all night trying to pull and getting the cold shoulder, he finally gets someone willing to go home with him, but then argues over who is going to pay for the taxi. So once home alone he calls up the ugly girl he knows will come over because she's been sitting at home all night. She may not be the best, may not be much to look at, but will get the job done when no-one else is around.
- dsteer_lfc_68 dsteer_lfc_68 Sep 6, 2013 22:06 Flag
Cheers for the compliment Wise, but to be fair I do think Moyes and especially Woodward should view the window as a whole as an embarrassment. Bringing in Fellani in itself is not embarrassing, but paying more than what he was available for just a few weeks prior, being the only signing for the senior squad, and being touted as a marque signing by the Man U staff I think is.
- dsteer_lfc_68 dsteer_lfc_68 Sep 10, 2013 15:49 Flag
I tend to agree Hobs. For me AC is still a very promising player, and it would not surprise me assuming he can get over the injury issues for him to become one of the better English strikers in the league.
However end of the day he was simply a square peg trying to fit into a round hole once BR came into the picture last summer. No blame on either, its just apples and oranges. For AC to be at his best he needs service, which means speedy wingers who run for the touch line before they swing it in rather than cut inside. As soon as the decision was made we'd base our game around a fast passing midfield, and wingers who were inside forwards rather than touchline huggers, his days were numbered.
One thing I will agree with Jason on is that he does have years on his side. The lad has plenty of time to get over his injuries and prove the doubters wrong. Without the huge price tag hanging over his head, and the glare of the media a club like LFC will always attract he has a better chance of doing that. And, for those who still think you can write off a player if he's not made it to the top by his 25 birthday, take a look at Rickie Lambert who was at Bristol Rovers in league two on his 25th birthday, and tonight he'll be England's number 9!
- dsteer_lfc_68 dsteer_lfc_68 Sep 10, 2013 16:13 Flag
In hindsight maybe the injury should have been predicted, as strains often occur when a player is coming back from a long layoff, especially when they come back sooner than expected. But hopefully having the couple extra days with us playing on Monday will give him a chance to be at least fit enough to give us 60 minutes.
But whether we should risk putting him back into the fray will be a judgement call. I'd play him even if not 100% fit as he's bang in form, and high on confidence. However if there is a risk of further injury I might err on the side of caution. I know we have Suarez coming back soon, but I'd like to see more of Sturridge on the pitch with Luis rather than him being just the back up. The more we play him, the more I think we'll get out of him as he seems to be a confidence player who may not be at his best coming off the bench.
But if Daniel is not available, then wonder, at least for the Swansea match if we should not go with a false number 9. Since we really don't have a real center forward to lead the line, and we know Swansea is going to try and dominate possession in the center, why not just snuff that out by packing the midfield ourselves.
I know Rooney was injured and Welbeck suspended, but I think last night was the first time in a very long time that no Man U players were in England's starting 11. Now maybe it was just a one off which showed how depleted the England squad is at the moment, but in the past Man U has provided a large portion of the core of the squad, but even if all players were fully fit I'm not sure other than Rooney who from the Man U squad gets into the starting 11 on a regular basis. Is this a sea change?
- dsteer_lfc_68 dsteer_lfc_68 Sep 12, 2013 16:19 Flag
Welcome back Colyn, good to see people work out how to get back in here despite it seems Yahoo's best efforts to the contrary.
I agree with you on Spurs. It may not be one final roll of the dice, but it looks close to that. If they don't get top 4 this season, not sure how long they can sustain a squad (which means wages) built for CL football. I know much of this summers spending was financed by the sale of Bale, but while Bale may have been sold for a mega stars transfer fee, he was not on a mega stars wages, and they've basically brought in a handful of players to replace one, each of whom I'm sure are on wages not far off what Gareth was making.
In some ways they remind me of where we were just a few years ago. It was fine to have the wage bill so long as we kept making the CL and progressing out of the group phase, but as soon as we dropped out, it started unraveling fast. I don't wish that on Spurs, (but of course do hope we finish in the top 4 ahead of them) but do think unless all the signings turn out to be as good on the pitch as they are on paper, and that they gel quickly, they might be on a very risky path.
- dsteer_lfc_68 dsteer_lfc_68 Sep 17, 2013 17:54 Flag
Some might call it dropping deep and inviting (danger) teams onto ourselves, but others might call it controlling the game and looking for the counter attack. Personally I find it a little nerve raking myself, as controlling the ball always seems the best defense, although against a side like Swansea you can't expect the ball all the time.
But for me the big turning point was when Phillippe went off injured. We lost our rhythm, and the glue that brought the front line into the game. The first half, especially the first 20-30 minutes (other than when JonJo got his goal) it was the Coutinho show, and it was absolutely sublime. When he went off, and with Gerrard now sitting deeper we just had little creation, and while I'd been impressed with Aspas to date, last night I have to say he was awful.
End of the day, while I'd like us to dominate throughout I think we have to recognize away from home, and against better teams, BR will look to manage the game, and yes grind out the result if that is what is called for. But sitting top of the table using that tactic I'm not sure we should complain too much. Is it better to complain after the fact that we played some great stuff but held on at the end of the result, rather than say we were the better team playing the better prettier football but got robbed of the points?
- dsteer_lfc_68 dsteer_lfc_68 Sep 17, 2013 18:04 Flag
On JonJo I think its exactly because of his mistakes that we let him go. There is no denying he is a very talented if still raw young talent. But for me his biggest liability was always his decision making. Yes at 21 the footballing brain is not fully developed so he will likely improve that side of his game with experience, but as of right now he's still a potential liability that we currently cannot afford.
Now I also think a loan deal might have been an option, but to be honest the question has to be asked after a year of regular football would he have likely improved to become a regular member of our midfield? With Lucas, Gerrard and Coutinho really cementing their place as starters, it really came down to whether it was JonJo or Henderson who would stay to be the back up and utility player, versus leaving the club either on loan or for good. And, as of right now I think we have not just a hard worker, but a player that can be trusted in Jordan, while Shelvey is still a live wire just as likely to hurt his club as help it.
But as I said, if on loan, you have to ask who would you drop to make room for him when he returned, and while he had a great game (other than gifting us two goals of course) in a fixture you'd expect him to be more than up for, I'm not sure he's the next Steven Gerrard, which is what we need our young midfielders to aspire to be.
- dsteer_lfc_68 dsteer_lfc_68 Sep 18, 2013 17:24 Flag
I tend to agree with you that Swansea had us more rattled than what we've faced so far. The fast wingers is one point, which I think really held our full backs getting forward which is our only real width in attack. Not having Glen also really hurt as Wisdom really is a centre back and not an attacking full back.
But on the other side of the ball I do have to give credit to Swansea, Bony and Mitchu were both very effective, and able to get the ball to stick when it arrived. Skrtel had a great game, and may have been the difference in terms of getting us the point, but he's much more in the mold of a Carra in that he saves the day with a last minute block or tackle rather than being proactive in preventing a chance from developing. I was impressed with Sakho, he's comfortable on the ball and a beast to get by, but there were a couple times he jumped in early which created space when the tackle did not come off.
So for me while I think Sakho will grow as he gets used to our system and his new teammates, like you I do hope Agger will be available for the weekend. But the bigger loss is going to PC, who it looks like will need surgery. For me that is going to be a big loss as he's been the engine of creativity either when cutting in from the left, or on Monday when he really dictated the play from the center. I'm sure we'll manage without him, and with Suarez coming back soon I think we're now going to see more of Sturridge and Suarez together, but it does annoy me that one simple deliberate foul to stop a breakaway could cost us a lot more than one missed chance. Thanks Williams!
- dsteer_lfc_68 dsteer_lfc_68 Sep 18, 2013 17:37 Flag
Actually don't think your that wide at all. I'd say in terms of technical ability, creativity and just natural ability Shelvey really does have something that is beyond Henderson and many other players of his age. But for me he's also highly unpredictable in both a good and bad way.
Watching him on Monday we saw the good and the bad, and reminded me of frustrations with the lad last season. There were times in the EL when he just lit things up, but then I remember an FA cup tie where he just seemed to be running around like a headless chicken.
The loan versus sale might be something we regret, but end of the day this maybe one of the hardest decisions a manager has to make. It would be nice to be able to keep all our younger players, at the club or on loan deals, but with a developing player at some point a decision has to be made to fish or cut bait, because every player has some value to the club, either as player now, a player in the future, or the transfer fee we can get for him, and the manager has the unenviable job of working out which is in the clubs best interest.
- dsteer_lfc_68 dsteer_lfc_68 Sep 23, 2013 22:16 Flag
I think there maybe a little of an over reaction, although maybe understandable as our great start really got expectation up. However I think we need to think this one through a bit.
First off if we're to take BR as this word, Enrique was carrying an injury which made him a risk to start. Yes I understand if a player is good enough to be on the bench he should be good enough to start, but for me even when he came on he really did not show he would have done any better if he'd been on from the start. He gave away plenty of passes (just like the rest of the side) and just seemed a little off to me.
For me it really did come down, not to a lack of full backs, but a lack of link up from the back to the front. Credit to Southampton who pressed high up and limited the ability to play out of the back, but it was a pass to a creative midfielder to start the attack that was missing, not an outlet pass to a full back. So for me missing PC was a very big deal, but we still should have done better.
For me Gerrard needs to own up he had a poor day, as there should be no reason why he cannot play that creative role. Maybe he's not got the legs of his youth, but he's still got more technical ability than anyone else on the pitch. I do however agree Aspas was a passenger. Impressed early doors, but the last two matches have been aweful and he needs a spell in the reserves to buck his ideas up. He's a good player, was a hero at his club in Spain, but needs to get things together, otherwise step aside for someone else. I expect Suarez to play in the hole on Wednesday, but I'd also think about Allen as an option if Aspas does not buck up.
- dsteer_lfc_68 dsteer_lfc_68 Sep 25, 2013 17:22 Flag
Jason, I think we can always second guess a line up, and after the fact it obviously was not enough to get a result. However at some point I think we either have to take a manager at his word of why he selected certain players, or alternatively start questioning him. BR stated Jose was not ready for 90, and based on what he did on the pitch I see no reason to question that. The fact Kelly did not even get on the pitch and we ended the match with Jordan at RB would suggest he felt the lad just was not up to playing despite being put on the bench.
But for me, the discussion of who was in the back 4 is missing the point. The real issue for me was the lack of glue between the midfield and the forward line, and full backs while they can provide width and an extra threat going forward, they do not dictate play in the center which is where we were lacking. Maybe Alberto could have filled that void, I would also have considered Allen also, but either way its obvious Aspas did not do the job, and we sorely missed Courtinho, and for me that was the main difference that cost us the points.
On what I called an over reaction, it was not aimed at anyone in particular, either Loki or yourself, but more a general statement we should not take the first defeat to hard. Sooner or later we were going to lose a match (sorry it was when you were in town) just as all clubs so far bar Everton have done. In some ways I'm glad we now have that behind us. BR has talked a lot about a confident squad, which is great, but there can be a fine line between confidence and complacency, and getting humbled a little might have been a good thing.
But bottom line the difference between first and fifth is 2 points. Yes I'd prefer to still be in first place, but the league table is pointless right now. So long as we are in touch with 4th or better we're on track, and right now the difference is only goal difference, so we're still in a very good place imo.
- dsteer_lfc_68 dsteer_lfc_68 Oct 2, 2013 17:27 Flag
Colyn, I think the statement we don't have the players for it is qualified with the style you expect us to play. Based on results we in fact do have the players for the system, but its transformed us much more to a counter attacking side, rather than a possession based side.
But for me this change has less to do with the change in system, rather than the availability of players. The simple fact for me is that our best possession players just are not available. We could go back to 4 at the back, but the possession would still down without someone like Agger to play out of the back, or a PC to dictate the tempo from the center.
- dsteer_lfc_68 dsteer_lfc_68 Oct 2, 2013 17:34 Flag
Hobs I agree with almost all of that, although not sure I'd want to see the 3-5-2 every week if we had a fully fit squad. The starting 11 above is surely one that would give many teams a headache, however with all our defenders fully fit, I think both Johnson and Enrique are mobile enough to be able to join the attack but still cover their defensive duties. And, by dropping either Skrtel or Toure it allows us one more attacking player on the pitch. Perhaps deploying Moses along with Daniel and Luis in a 3 man front?
Do any of you lads post on other message boards you'd recommend? Unfortunately this board seems to be slowly dying, and I'm getting to the point where I rarely come to see if anyone has anything to say as most days there are fewer and fewer posts. It's really a shame, because until Yahoo decided to cut all links to access the boards, we had quite a diverse community here posting various points of views.
Most other boards I've looked at are either moderated and you end up with only Reds all agreeing with each other but little healthy debate, or open boards that quickly descend into trolls trying to wind everyone one up, and again healthy debate, or diverse opinion just goes out the window.
I'd love to get some of the old posters to come back here, but as that does not look likely to happening wonder if there are any better options out there?
- dsteer_lfc_68 dsteer_lfc_68 Oct 7, 2013 19:53 Flag
I think we have been thinking alike this weekend Jason as i was going to start a thread called "Not Great, but not bad either", which is what I think you're saying, although as usual I put a bit more "glass half full" emphasis.
On not scoring 2 or 3 or 4 more goals, I got to give a little to the players. When you're that far ahead its really hard to keep up the same momentum from one half to the next. And, really it maybe more mental thing than a physical thing. However the reaction after giving up the goal I think is a good sign, as it showed not keeping a clean sheet really hurt, so they wanted to put Palace back under the sword.
On player ratings I'd pretty much agree with you, although I'd tend to be a bit harsher on Sterling. Don't want to have a go at the lad, as he's young and has a long way to go in his footballing education, however going forward I think he was our weak link. As you say poor decision making, but also just did not seem to find the spaces he should have been seeking out either. But he will learn.
But I'd also call out praise for Moses. Yes he should have scored when he got his feet tied up, and maybe he's just not spent enough time with Suarez to expect that low hard cross, but overall against Palace (and since he's been with us) I was impressed. He's not playing in his best natural position (out wide) and it seems he still does not have the perfect chemistry with his teammates yet, but he's direct, good on the ball, and finding the right pass, the right run, and imo really giving us another edge going forward.
Lastly however I'd want to temper expectations. The table really does not mean a thing right now. 10 games before it really starts to reflect things imo. However we are in a good position outright by looking at our margin over those we are likely to be fighting against for a top 4 finish, or compared with where we were just 12 months ago. Forget first or second, we just have to keep moving forward one game at a time.
- dsteer_lfc_68 dsteer_lfc_68 Oct 8, 2013 19:09 Flag
With you there Colyn. we can play better, and the good thing from my point of view is the areas where we see issues, or need for improvement I think are positions where either I'd expect the current player to improve over the season, and or we have an even better players currently not in the side. For example, under the current system I felt Sterling was a bit over his head as the right wing back, however he's a player who's definitely still learning and can improve, plus we have Johnson still to come back who I think would thrive in that role. The same goes for the number 10 slot, where Moses imo will improve as he settles, but with PC to come back we don't have to wait for that improvement.
On the league your absolutely right. I along with most pundits would have put it as a fight between the Manchester clubs and Chelsea for the title, then us, Arsenal and Spurs for the 4th slot. But Chelsea just seem to have something missing, City seem to struggle on the road, and the Mancs, just look lost. Meanwhile Arsenal are flying, Spurs look solid, and we're right in the mix. I usually say it takes 10 games for the table to settle, but it may take even longer this term. But I still expect the natural order to start exerting itself, which is why we need to keep up the momentum. We all I'm sure are having a good laugh at the Mancs expense, but end of the day they are only 6 points off the pace, which is not a lot to make up in 30 odd games we have left n the season.
- dsteer_lfc_68 dsteer_lfc_68 Oct 9, 2013 13:35 Flag
Dylan, do you have the link for that site, I lost it when I got a new laptop. I'd like to stick it out here if we can keep the threads coming and hopefully some more folks come back, but maybe another board would not be a bad idea if this one stays so quiet.