Manchester Inconsistent United

Red Warrior

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#1
Why have we got so many players that are so inconsistent? Every week we have 5 or 6 players, maybe more, that just disappear. It just shouldn't be happening at this level.

Man Utd v Watford Inconsistent Players:
Young - consistent in going backwards
Valencia - who was absolutely awful
Pogba - great first half, poor second
Lingard - did he actually even do anything?
Sanchez - very, very poor
Lukaku - didn't hold the ball up at all

6 players plus Martial when he came on.

Next week it will be some of these players plus others. What is going on? If we had 11 players giving 80% rather than half a team giving 50% we would be bloody aweseome! I'm sick of watching this team every week, wondering who will turn up and won't.

I'd stick my neck out and say in the last 5 years only De Gea has been the consistent player in our squad. Everyone else has a bad week every other half of football payed.
 

jsp

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#2
The answer for a lot of the players is they're not great players who offer consistency they are patchy players.

I think Valencia is just finished bit like Neville the legs have gone and once that happens for you at full back it's curtains. I think at this point they have to consider putting Darmian in ahead of him while we wait for Dalot.

Lukaku I think is pretty consistent these days and worth noting that 4 players on that list went to the end of the world cup so they missed all of pre season so not surprising they've looked a bit rusty.

I only saw the first half but last 3 games Utd have been very good first half and kind of eased off the gas second half against Spurs we didn't take the chances we created and were punished but vs Burnley/Watford we were 2-0 up and coasting. Would be nice to see them keep the pressure on and go for 3/4/5 goals but that's not really the managers way and with midweek football coming up you can see the logic.
 

IDFD

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#3
Actually against Watford I wanted us to drop off and just try and control the game. We decided to fight fire with fire and it was stupid leaving us oepn. Like we hadn't learnt a lesson from the Watford vs Spurs game. That side will cause many teams problems this season.
 

Itsallinthemind

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#4
The simple answer is that since SAF left we haven't had a manager who believed in a style of play that players enjoyed playing. If players are not enjoying themselves and believing in their football then they will not perform consistently.

Players get into football because they love the game and they know what good football is what crap football is. Good football is incisive , dynamic , fluent and creative as well as positive and aggressive. Our managers since 2014 have filled their minds with negative fog , over complicated tactics , fear and way too much respect for the opposition.

Both LVG and Jose have a quite authoritarian style . They try to impose an unnatural style on their teams. It just hasn't worked for us. United players should want to inspire their fans and get at teams and get OT rocking. All Fergie's great teams had a joie de vivre about them and an energy and expression that fed off the fans and then fed back into the team. That's what we should be aiming for.

Bored players who are fearful of the opposition will never be able to perform consistently.
 

jsp

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#5
I think you have to recognise that the players from the previous era were ruthless super serious professionals they were killers the players who've come in since have felt like the sort of guys who Arsenal used to sign happy to be at Utd not fully focused on winning trophies.

I don't think it's manager style that's the problem it's the players all top managers these days are incredibly tough you think playing that type of Klopp or Guardiola football is easy? You can't rest in those teams they don't carry any passengers Guardiola wanted to dump Aguero because he didn't press but even he's started doing it now.

I think the clubs just signed a lot of players with the wrong attitude who are hard work and these are maybe the sort of players that Fergie with all his network of contacts would have avoided because you had to be a very special talent to be a luxury in his team and even Cantona & Ronaldo ran their nuts off on the pitch for him they just got a bit of slack off it.
 

Itsallinthemind

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#6
You seem to be assuming that when players are "enjoying" their football they are slacking in some way or easing off. That's not what I'm saying in the slightest. I absolutely want United to press other teams and work hard and if players feel that pressing and running is working for them and it gives them chances to play well and score goals ( which is obviously happen at City and Liverpool) then they will be highly motivated to do it.

Maybe if I use other words. Satisfaction , expression for example. Enjoyment can suggest that players are coasting. That's not what I am suggesting. To understand this idea look up Flow theory and other sports psychology terms like being in the "Zone". If you watch (for just one example) Federer in full flow playing well you will notice he is working his butt off but also he's relaxed and having a kind of fun. In psychology terms he's in the "zone" or experiencing "flow". Football teams do this as well and it's far more subtle and complex than the term enjoyment suggests. You can tell its happening when commentators say United are really "popping the ball" about or when players make passes without even looking , they just know their team mate is making that run. Players want to walk off the field as winners but also knowing they've played good football , and all players and fans recognise good football when they see it.

Flow , the Zone , enjoyment of expression is something that all managers should be aiming for in their team because it's highly effective and gives rise to happy , satisfied players who can work really hard for their team but also enjoy it as well. This is what City and Liverpool have at the moment and it comes from the managers. Klopp and Guardiola are serious guys who expect their player to work but they also seem to know that staying relaxed , enjoying football and self expression is important too. You only have to look at press conferences to see the difference with Mourinho. Tense , cautious players who worry about the opposition and don't enjoy playing themselves do not make for good performances. One simple reason (amongst many) is that if a player is not enjoying what they are doing then their muscles tense and tense muscles cannot perform well. Think about the body language of our players on those big European nights (eg Sevilla) and compare it to Liverpools body language in similar matches. Think back to how England played v Iceland 2016 and then how they played under a far more relaxed Southgate. It's all there for anyone to see.

My point is that I bet you my mortgage that Klopp and Guardiola (and Southgate) would immediately get what I'm saying if they read it but Jose would have to really think about it. It seems to me he's too busy being defensive and moody to get it.
 

Mr C

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#7
Why don't you take on board Jose in the press room is not Jose on the training pitch.

The players look perfectly fine on the pitch to me. You just seem to be in love with Klopp and Pep. Pep I understand, he is a great coach, Klopp hasn't won anything yet to put him in the same bracket. He has fast players that press, when they did it with a poor defence they leaked goals all over the place. Now they have invested in defence and goalie (again) united haven't and therefore don't have the squad for that type of football.

You put Klopp and Pep in charge of this squad and there wont be much difference. How many of our defenders do you thin Klopp would put up with? he certainly wouldn't want De Gea.
 

IDFD

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#8
My point is that I bet you my mortgage that Klopp and Guardiola (and Southgate) would immediately get what I'm saying if they read it but Jose would have to really think about it. It seems to me he's too busy being defensive and moody to get it.
Are you really suggesting you understand the sporting mind better than Jose?
 

jsp

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#9
Not going into the whole state of mind argument I'd suggest these are things more relevant to an individual sport like Tennis rather than a team sport like Football. You can be in the zone individually but if the team is playing rotten it doesn't really matter but if you're a tennis player or a golfer it's totally different.

I'd say what Utd lack is a plan or tactic when in possession of the ball it's all free form improvisation rather a structured playing style that is generally how Mourinho sides play it's the complete opposite to what Klopp or Guardiola or Sarri do. There style is like Basketball you have set plays or moves to do. If player X does this then you do this and the idea is that the players can almost do things automatically as they know where their team mate should be it reduces thinking time because you don't need to think.

The manager is not stood on the side lines calling plays like they do in Basketball but it's a very strict rigid style of play which a lot of modern players enjoy as they expect to be directed on what to do by the manager. Like any style though it's only fun if you're winning if you don't win consistently playing that way players will rebel against it and think why should I do it this way why don't we do it another way?

Mourinho style is more about what you do without the ball he wants his teams to be super organised without the ball and move quickly when they recover the ball to punish the opposition. For years under Fergie with the ball the plan was always feed the wide players constantly overload teams in wide areas and pack the box eventually they'll make a mistake that you punish.

When Mourinho has had teams who are on paper far superior than everyone else his teams have been able to be brilliant in that style but at Utd I don't think our attacking players are good enough to think like that and maybe provide individual moments of magic. I don't think we see consistency because I don't think we are working on a plan or style every day trying to perfect it our plan changes game to game to suit the opposition the tactics and starting XI changed constantly in his first 2 seasons so you'll never get consistency.
 

Mr C

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#10
For years under Fergie with the ball the plan was always feed the wide players constantly overload teams in wide areas and pack the box eventually they'll make a mistake that you punish.
That's not what Neville said last week.

For me, as a right-back, my first option was the striker.
My second option was the second striker.
My third option was the winger.
My fourth option was my central midfield player.
My fifth option was my right centre-back.
My sixth and final option was my goalkeeper.
 

jsp

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#11
So basically first thought from right back is can I get it into the box to the strikers if not play to winger.

My point was more from central midfield the plan was always get the ball into wide positions and if he had wingers who went inside he wanted his full backs overlapping to get into crossing positions. In possession under Fergie our main objective was always to create an overload outwide to create a good crossing position then have 3 or 4 targets in the box normally 2 strikers one front post, one middle of goal, opposite wide player attacking back post and 1 player arriving from midfield.

It didn't always work but it was relentless the only time I don't think we played that way under Fergie was 2007-09 when we had Ronaldo as we had an electric front 3 who could play football at break neck speed and rip teams apart but even then Evra, Brown, O'Shea, Neville were expected to provide the width from full back positions.
 

Mr C

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#12
I don't think we had a set system, it changed to suit personnel.

When we had Kanchelskis, and Giggs it was all played from the back, break at pace with the ball at feet.

I don't hink it's fair to label this as Jose's style. He is doing what he can with what he has got. And he's doing alright.

It's the players who are not consistent. But I do agree he likes a form for defensive work and then free flow in atatck, generally.
 

jsp

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#13
Fergie loved his out and out wingers Sharpe, Beckham, Giggs, Kanchelskis, Valencia but they became a bit of a dying breed so he adapted he always like a number who fed on crosses Hughes, Cole, Van Nistelrooy but again they became a dying breed so he adapted still found the odd one like Hernandez but he knew that teams needed multiple points of threat being to reliant on 1 striker scoring all your goals was not the way to go.

I think Mourinho's style is quite obvious he adapts his tactics to the opposition. He has no set way of playing it's not always plan A and see how we do he is prepared to play one way one week to get the result he wants and the total opposite the next week. I think this was his USP back in the day he was going into detail looking at the opposition to find the weaknesses and exploit them. I also think it's why against top sides he tends to default to park the bus style tactics because his side doesn't have a plan A style they've perfected and trust to go anywhere and get the result they need.

I think he's shown that this season to some extent first two games 4-3-3 a weakness in that was exposed vs Brighton and he switched to 3-5-2 vs Spurs to match up their back 3 and get 2 up top but then it was back to 4-3-3 but with different players more protection for his centre backs with Fellaini rather than Fred against two very direct physical sides. Murray, Wood, Deeney all cause the problem Murray took Lindelof to town vs Brighton so he protected that weakness with Fellaini.

I still think deep down the Mourinho system is a 4-2-3-1 he tends to want 1 attacking and 1 defensive full back, 2 physically dominant midfield players but also able to play, one of his attacking 3 can be a bit of a passenger from a defensive point of view but the other two must work hard to accomodate that and a target man up top. Style wise he wants his team to get back into shape as soon as the ball is lost and explode into space when it's won he doesn't want long build ups to attacks he wants quick incisive moves.

I do agree he's having to tailor things to what he has as he hasn't been able to overhaul this squad and he didn't inherit a squad that was suited to his style either but not going over old ground given time I think he'll build a functional side capable of winning trophies but it won't be an exciting side and I think it'll probably be more of a cup side than a league winning side.

Hopefully he settles on something this season and sticks with them I feel for 2 years at time there has been change for the sake of change because he's had to many players to look after and keep happy. I think he still has this problem but he's maybe willing to upset a few.
 

IDFD

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#14
Didn’t we all love them out and out wingers? People talk about Pep’s football. I much prefer the quick counter attacking football we had getting the ball from one side of the pitch to the other at speeds our opponents couldn’t cope with.
 

jsp

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#15
There's also to some extent that football's pretty straight forward when you can field this team in their prime things tended to take care of themselves a lot of the time because Ronaldo could score from anywhere at any time and that defence was near impossible to score against.

Van Der Sar

Brown Rio Vidic Evra

Hargreaves Carrick Scholes

Ronaldo Tevez Rooney
 

IDFD

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#16
How often did we get to play that starting 11? Doing a disservice to Anderson in that season. Just a shame he never kicked on. He was fantastic in that year.
 

IDFD

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#17
You’ve just reminded me how much I loved that side. But still watching the ‘99 side was more fun.
 

Itsallinthemind

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#18
Are you really suggesting you understand the sporting mind better than Jose?
I’m suggesting that most Sports Psychologists understand these issues far more than most managers. It doesn’t make them or me geniuses because it’s not really rocket science if you think about it. Anyone who has played sport at any level knows that if you are not enjoying it then you won’t perform as well. I think Jose is just a bit ignorant of the drawbacks of his negative philosophy. Every approach has its achilles heel and I think Jose has a blind spot about his. He’s not a psychologist after all.

We have this thing in football about the mental side of the game. I watched MOTD once where Alan Shearer was asked about what was happening psychologically with a certain team. Now , you wouldn’t ask a Psychologist about the merits of 4-5-1 over 4-4-2 , it’s not his field. So why ask Shearer a Psychological question and expect expertise?
 

IDFD

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#19
Are you an expert in sports psychology then?

I’m sorry but Mourinho undoubtedly understands tactics, a footballers psychology and winning more than you or I. As does every professional manager. As much as we love to argue football the guys will know more about it than we ever do. The same way if I came in to your job you’ll know more than me and vice versa.

There’s a reason we aren’t paid the millions they earn. And that’s because they do know more.

I also disagree ‘everyone whose played sports to any level knows if you aren’t enjoying it you won’t perform well’ - I’ve played sports at a high level. And I’ve always performed at my best when angry not when happy. Because you channel your aggression.
 

jsp

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#20
How often did we get to play that starting 11? Doing a disservice to Anderson in that season. Just a shame he never kicked on. He was fantastic in that year.
Well the keeper, back 4 and front 3 were basically nailed on the midfield changed around a bit like you say Anderson played a big role in 2008, Fletcher in 2009, Nani & Park as well played big roles when we played more of a 4-4-2. There wasn't always a noticeable formation it was just 11 great players all on the pitch at the same time not only doing brilliant things with the ball but working there nuts off without it.

It was the same in the 94 & 99 teams.
 

Itsallinthemind

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#21
Are you an expert in sports psychology then?

I’m sorry but Mourinho undoubtedly understands tactics, a footballers psychology and winning more than you or I. As does every professional manager. As much as we love to argue football the guys will know more about it than we ever do. The same way if I came in to your job you’ll know more than me and vice versa.

There’s a reason we aren’t paid the millions they earn. And that’s because they do know more.

I also disagree ‘everyone whose played sports to any level knows if you aren’t enjoying it you won’t perform well’ - I’ve played sports at a high level. And I’ve always performed at my best when angry not when happy. Because you channel your aggression.
That's not the way I see the world at all. There are many people out there who are paid big money who sometimes seem to have no idea what they are doing and create a darn big mess. Often people make it to the top in life because they are bullies or have charisma but they actually lack substance. I'm not saying Jose is completely one of those because he's obviously done good things in the past but there's all sorts of reasons why people make it to the top that have nothing to do with talent and knowledge. We all know this when we look at how organisations and countries are run. Look at Trump for example. Most powerful man on earth who can't even figure out that humans have a duty to look after the planet. Imagine an enlightened world 300 years from now really struggling with climate change looking back at Trump. They will think he was a reckless clown.

When I saw the Sevilla game and how Jose had set his team and tactics out I knew he was showing way way way way way way way way too much respect to the opposition and it was only going to result in a nervous , cagey performance with players being too cautious and allowing Sevilla to start playing with confidence. It was a psychological and tactical nonsense. Now anyone can make mistakes but that game showed me that Jose has a fatal flaw in his understanding of the psychology . He showed no indication at all of understanding what had gone wrong and his press conferences were highly defensive as if to defect (who will forget the long list of United European exits?). This is utterly atrocious psychology. You don't need to be Freud to see it either. I'm not a genius for being able to work out what went wrong v Sevilla , many United fans worked it out. Why do you think the Stretford end started shouting "attack , attack , attack" ? Sometimes in life people do things or say things and at that point you just know that there's something so fundamentally off about it that you can only assume they just "don't get it". You think I should just not see things because the man's name is "Jose Mouirinho". I don't care who he is or what he earns or what he's done in the past. Crap is crap I'm afraid , whoever is sitting on the white bowl.

As for you being angry when you play sport . I agree it helps me too sometimes (probably not as a high level as you). But I imagine you must enjoy performing when angry and get some satisfaction from it otherwise if you don't enjoy it why do it?
 

IDFD

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#22
The Sevilla game was ridiculous I'll give you that. No one could fathom what was happening. Mourinho himself has come out and said he's unsure what the hell happened. The players shrank when they needed to stand tall. The Pogba off the field nonsense was happening at the time. Fellaini and Matic wern't fully fit. Mourinho actually set up a line up which allowed Sanchez Rashford Lukaku Lingard the freedom to attack with the rest sitting. People talk about that Sevilla side like they were a poor side though. They were far from it.

Mourinho is obviously a fantastic man manager and to say any different is nonse. Look at the reactions when he's left Chelsea and Inter. The way some of the biggest personalities in world football have spoken about him Robben Sneijder Ibra Deco Lampard Terry Drogba Materazzi all talk about him.

“Mourinho is like a second father to me,” the midfielder told Marca. “Mourinho is a powerhouse.

“In football we have powerhouses who are players, and ever since I met Mourinho, we can say that there are powerhouses who are Coaches. And he certainly is, without any doubt at all.

“He is a very special person for me. As a Coach he is incredible, number one. It was he who gave me confidence and I enjoyed playing football like never before.

“And as a person he reaches you much more than in his role as Coach. Mourinhois a friend.”

That really doesn't sound like a man people don't enjoy playing for. The media will tell you they don't but if you listen to what they say you'll find that they do.

Even the people that the press says had a problem with him. Ronaldo called him the 'greatest manager he's ever worked with even better than Sir Alex' Hazard said that he txt Mourinho to apologise after he was sacked as he felt he'd let him down.

The Stretford End shout attack attack attack out of frustration when things aren't going our way. It happened hundreds of times under Fergie. It's our battle cry as much as anything.
 

Mr C

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#23
How many games has Jose been in charge of? why pick 1 game to beat him with.

I remember loads of awful performances, especially in Europe, under SAF, it happens, look at city this week. Jose's record in Europe is pretty top drawer, I don't think you can write it off for one perfromance.
 

jsp

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#24
We have a manager who doesn't have a set way of playing he's a pragmatist who adapts his team to the opposition
We have a lot of players who are inconsistent either because they're young or because they've never really been consistent.

Put the two together and what do you get?

The best sides either current day or our own great teams of the 90's and 00's play the same way with pretty much the same starting XI in every game, there are some tactical tweeks but the principle about what you do remains. We don't do that partly because we have a coach who likes to be flexible but also because we have a coach who feels he needs to be flexible because his players aren't performing consistently.

There's also a nasty habbit that appears a few times a season where the whole team just freezes like a deer in the headlights.

As for the managers record historically really it means nothing to me with this team is how you judge him it's year 3 and you have to say he has improved things massively from where he inherited but can he take us further? I'm not convinced for one main reason the board aren't going to allow him to build a squad in his image because it doesn't match the clubs image. If you appoint this guy you have to go all in with him and expect a massive financial bill at the end it's the consequence of putting him in charge.
 

Itsallinthemind

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#25
How many games has Jose been in charge of? why pick 1 game to beat him with.

I remember loads of awful performances, especially in Europe, under SAF, it happens, look at city this week. Jose's record in Europe is pretty top drawer, I don't think you can write it off for one perfromance.

Absolutely right. Some performances under SAF were awful too. The difference is that I always felt that SAF had the right approach and philosophy and that he understood better what went wrong. I also think he was more open to changing his philosophies. For example , the 2009 Rome final was one of the most frustrating nights of my life as a United fan. I felt we should have been far more in their faces that night but I forgave Fergie because it was more of an aberration than a reflection of his overall approach to the game.

The problem with the Sevilla game for me was that it showed a deep flaw in Jose's general approach that is embedded within him , namely anti football and over caution by trying to react to the opposition instead of making things happen. Sevilla took that game by the scruff of the neck and tried to play football. We did not. That particular nonsense on that night was consistent with everything else he does. He over complicates., focuses too much on scores and not enough on the play. Worries about the opposition. Stops the team from getting momentum (stupid changes like Fellaini and Rashford after a good Liverpool win). And just all round negativity in interviews , press conferences etc.

All I can say is it's like when someone does something at work (like a boss that screws you over) that tells you something very significant about who they are and where they are coming from. Once they've done it's a deal breaker because you finally realise the very thing you suspected all along - its part of their DNA.
 

Itsallinthemind

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#26
We don't do that partly because we have a coach who likes to be flexible but also because we have a coach who feels he needs to be flexible because his players aren't performing consistently.

LOL. This is like the chicken and the egg thing. I do think you make some great points here. So the question is then - are the players inconsistent because Jose keeps changing things too much , or does he keep having to change things because they are too inconsistent?

This is hilarious and sad all at the same time because the obvious thing to do then (and you don't have to be a genius paid millions to work this out) is to stick with a system and an XI and see what happens. Take a chance on it! I mean sometimes I think we've got nothing to lose really and the worst that could happen is we lose ground on the leaders in the league (let's face it we ain't gonna be champs and we all know it really). Its a great opportunity to experiment and take risks.

To me this whole club and team just need a breath of fresh air and some new ideas. It's all so rigid and intense. Jose is rigid. The players look tense. The fans are just looking at the scoreboard and league tables all the time. Everyone just needs to get over themselves and enjoy playing and watching the good flowing football that this club is known for. I'm sure then that our rise back to the very top will just start to take care of itself (and please , please don't tell me that beating Burnley , Watford and Young boys is a sign that City and Liverpool will be caught)

Personally I don't think that Jose's "flexibilty" is actually proper flexibility. I think what he's really doing is predictable and cautious. He's just moulding his teams each game to counter the opposition. This is fine up to a point but not when your own team starts to lose cohesion and consistency. That's his blind spot.

The irony is that Jose's psyche is a mirror image of where this club is at right now. Is the fact that we have him as a manager (of all the possible managers that could come our way) really a coincidence? Where has our boldness gone?
 

IDFD

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#27
He’s started doing that though. I can name our starting 11 pretty much now

DDG

Valencia Smalling Lindelof Shaw

? Matic Pogba

Lingard Lukaku Sanchez
 

Red Warrior

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#28
Now pick that team apart.

Valencia - poor
Lindelof - shakey
Smalling - has a mistake in him even though he's been good lately
Shaw - only just forced his way in, one bad game and he'll be dropped
Pogba - Mr Inconsistent
Lingard - Mr Anonymous
Lukaku - Terrible hold up play and first touch who gets no service
Sanchez - Everyine here knows my thoughts on Sanchez

So there we have it, a team full of inconsistent players managed by a guy that sets his team up to counter what the other team does.

No wonder the club is in a mess.
 

IDFD

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#29
So we moan he doesn’t name a consistent team and now we’re moaning his consistent team isn’t good enough.

Now you’ve broken to the starting 11 down and highlighted their inadequacies what do you think someone else would do with that starting 11? Remember he wanted a CB and RW in the summer and got neither.
 

Red Warrior

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#30
'Playing at 30% of your potential is not enough': Mourinho lets rip

Even the boss is saying it now!!!
 
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#32
'Playing at 30% of your potential is not enough': Mourinho lets rip

Even the boss is saying it now!!!
Good! He takes a lot of stick, and rightly so for his tactics etc, but he can't do anything when players go out there and let him down week after week. Every player in that squad needs to take a long hard look at themselves. And that's been the case for far too long.
 

jsp

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#33
Yeah but his job as manager is to stop that happening if they keep doing it then it’s a failure of management as it means you’ve created a culture where that is acceptable. It’s not always fair but that’s the way it is.

Your job is to get the maximum out of the tools you have he currently isn’t getting that talent out of his players on a regular basis and as manager he needs to do that if he can’t he risks losing his job.

He’s right to point it out but it feels like it goes one of two ways the players give you the reaction you want and come out fighting or you lose them forever.

So frustrating after 3 good performances they get back to old Trafford and play like that.
 

Itsallinthemind

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2018
Messages
266
#35
The interesting thing about his press conference is that he was saying the attitude/commitment wasn't right but at the same confessing that he didn't know why. Instead he just seems to think that berating the players in public is somehow going to magically fix everything? That's just not good enough. He's got to figure stuff like this out. There is a REASON why the attitude wasn't right and it's his job to...

a) work out what went wrong and how he's going to fix it
b) take some equal responsibility for his preparations and team talks.

If he is this master motivator and genius of management that he thinks he is then he should be able to analyse this and come up with far more sophisticated and subtle solutions. Motivation and attitude in sports psychology is a complex business , it's not a crude matter of publicly criticising players and shouting at them to "try harder".

One other factor in this ......by criticising the players in this way he's going down that predictable road again of deflecting any criticism from himself.
 
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