March 7, 2018 at 9:57 pm #1608840
If you fellas watch the way Juventus did a number on Spurs today you’ll see why the whole “press and break” game of Klopp, Pochettino, and Guardiola doesn’t work every single time as all of England seems to think at the minute.
Juventus were absolutely masterful in their performance today. They pressed in some phases of the game, parked the bus in some, and also kept possession calmly in others. They were tactically malleable and had a sense of “game management” about them despite how dynamic and dangerous Spurs were.
I look at our team and think if we had proper defensive masters of their trade like Chiellini and Barzagli instead of clowns like Jones and Smalling we would have so much more confidence going forward. These players were so fired up and focused, barking orders and taking control. We just do not have good enough players at the heart of our defence I’m afraid.
In terms of our current team, some blame the manager for our problems, others blame Pogba or our attackers. I reckon we simply lack the proper spine in central defence to build a team.March 7, 2018 at 10:33 pm #1608855
Hmmmm, whilst I agree – there was a lot of times Juve looked shit at the back. They ride their luck massively, they were all over the place at times. But you’re right, solid defenders win titles. Like Wes Morgan and Gary Cahill!!! 😜😂🙈March 7, 2018 at 10:48 pm #1608867
Also remember how well thy can keep the ball and deal with the press. We have sanchez giving the ball away 34 times a game and martial and rashford running straight into defenders with the ball. And then there is lukaku who has had his problem with controlling the ball. That’s a lot of cheap possession we give away every game. I’ve not even mentioned the inability of our fullbacks to push forward and provide an option for a pass. Now i am not saying juve are brilliant but they do the basics like pass the ball to your teammate which we fail to do so often.March 7, 2018 at 11:08 pm #1608870
Maybe our fullbacks are not allowed to be attack minded until we go behind.
Think Fosu Mensah should be given a chance at right back and an experienced, older defender (mid to late 20s) purchased for centre back.
I don’t have the time to watch other teams at present, who’s out there good enough and could be available?March 7, 2018 at 11:09 pm #1608871
As has been mentioned many times before – the spine of the team is so important. Currently we have DdG, Bailly, Matic, Pogba (who needs to seriously up his game asap) and Lukaku. My three priorities for the summer window in order would be:
1.) Get de Gea signed up on a new contract as the best paid keeper in the world
2.) Sign an experienced CB to partner Bailly (If it’s somebody older Lindelof/New signing can take over after a few years)
3.) Sign a CM to partner Matic. Considering the vast experience of Matic, as opposed to at CB, this should be somebody younger – under the age of say 26.
Oh and yes Juventus did struggle at times tonight for two reason’s. Firstly they won’t be used to playing against teams like Spurs who press high and attack with power and pace. Secondly, they lost one of the best CB’s in the world last summer in Bonucci and at 36 years old Barzagli simply didn’t have the legs to keep up with SonMarch 7, 2018 at 11:09 pm #1608872
Happy, they also need to be good mate.March 8, 2018 at 9:57 am #1608958
@homerjay. I agree with what you are saying somewhat but I think you are missing my point.
While you are referring to talent, I am more referring to the “fire in the belly” – the type of players you can see are on the pitch to take care of business. Last night I saw Buffon and Chiellini screaming into each other’s faces like madmen after a clearance and I just knew right then that Spurs were going out. These players are all well into their thirties and were beaten for pace all day but they pulled through with sheer will to win, shithousery, and know-how.
I’m afraid we simply do not have any of these types of players in the heart of defence and the fear of conceding soft goals at any given time permeates through the team. We need the new Ferdinand, Vidic, Terry type of figures. We need players who will give Pogba, Martial etc a bollocking during the game instead of always having to wait for Mourinho to do it in the dressing room.
This is a very problematic position for us, both skills wise and leadership wise.March 8, 2018 at 10:19 am #1608973
happy-While Juve did ride their luck @ times,over the 2 legs I felt like they could go up a gear or 2,anytime they wanted!March 8, 2018 at 10:38 am #1608994
Spot on regarding cheap possession given away. If Sanchez gives the ball away 19 times in one half how long on average does it take to get the ball back? 30 seconds? That’s almost 10 minutes of the half trying to get the back back because of losing it cheaply. We’ll never get anywhere if that’s the case.March 8, 2018 at 10:46 am #1609002
Sadly, we don’t have any players like the ones you describe, in defense or anywhere else. To me, your description is very much that of a leader. Someone who, even when having a bad game (which even the player does at time), commands grit, determination and effort from the players around him. Keane is one of the most obvious examples, of course. But consider for a second what an easy job Roy Keane had:
He was sorrounded by players like Scholes, PS1, Giggs, Beckham, RvN, Cole, Stam, Ince et al. Players who, not necessarily as loudly as Keane and PS1, but then in their own way, always displayed tremendous determination.
In this team, there are no Keane types and no players like the other ones mentioned when it comes to will, effort and taking charge.
So, I agree with you. We need that type of player(s) in defence. But we also need them in midfield and attack. It might be a tall order, but it’s so painfully obvious that our team has been robbed of those qualities and that mentality in recent years. And we seem to need both badly.March 8, 2018 at 11:07 am #1609021
I agree with you about the absolute and complete commitment to defending from players like Chiellini and Barzagli hatters, but Juve looked a busted flush to me mate. Half their players are way past it and they won that game on sheer instinct. In fact, Spurs lost it really. In total control until those two quick goals, then it was real park the bus time from Juve, at which they’re the masters of course. Agree with you in principle though.March 8, 2018 at 11:28 am #1609041
Tactical and defensive masterclass from Allegri. But if Jose does it it’s “Park the bus”.March 8, 2018 at 12:14 pm #1609072
Happy was it the same style as José, wingers playing as full backs, disjointed, poor technique, vision etc etc?March 8, 2018 at 12:14 pm #1609074
happyhurling – There you go with your agenda how everybody is biased against United. jm1502 just posted “then it was real park the bus time from Juve”.
Be fair, it hurts what creditabilty you may have when you fib and spit your dummy out.March 8, 2018 at 12:14 pm #1609075
Every team needs a spine through the middle of leaders who inspire awe and fear in those around them, Bryan Robson, Roy Keane, John Terry, Patrick Vieira, Tony Adams, Vincent Kompany. Men who will inspire, berate, encourage and bollock their teammates in order to win matches. You saw it last night with Buffon and Chiellini, you often saw it with Keane, Terry, Vieira and Adams. Second best was not an option for these men and those who played with them knew it.
We are absolutely missing that kind of player at the moment right through the team. Even DDG who is unquestionably our best player doesn’t scream and roar at this defence the way Schmeichel did or even Van der Sar did. None of our CB’s have the authority that Steve Bruce or Vidic had, no-one in our midfield has the drive or force of personality that Keane, Ince or Robson had. In style of play Matic possibly comes close but he’s not captain material, he’s happy to go quietly about his work and never really drive others around him on. And in attack, there’s no leadership, no inspiration.
In my opinion, unless this lack of leadership is addressed, and soon, it doesn’t matter how much we spend unless the players we bring in, are leaders, are driven and will stand up and scream at their teammates regardless of who they are.
Famous story of Roy Keane’s first day of training for Man Utd, don’t know how true it is. Paul Ince, obviously feeling threatened by Roy, flies in with a crunching tackle. ‘Welcome to Man Utd, they call me the Guv’nor,’ states Ince. Keane bides his time, not to be cowed. Waits til Ince gets the ball, flies in with an equally if not more crunching tackle, ‘They call me Roy,’ says Keano before sauntering off. Now, the question is, how do you replace that?March 8, 2018 at 12:28 pm #1609090
Would you say the thread title is correct for Man City this season? Would you say it was Leadership from Midfield?March 8, 2018 at 3:37 pm #1609226
Points taken fellas. In hindsight I could have omitted the words “from defence” from my title post.
@killeboye. That’s a top story there on Keano.March 8, 2018 at 4:08 pm #1609235
Which is more important defence or midfield? Barca have normally (last 10 years) had an ok defence but midfield / attack was solid.
Madrid the same, and Man City having been chopping and changing their defence for most of the season and it’s not stopped them.March 8, 2018 at 4:53 pm #1609265
Someone definitely made that Keane story up, sounds like a line from Jossy’s Giants. Agree about the team lacking hard, brave leaders though but I think those sort of players are a dying breed, being replaced by molly coddled, immature young dandys.
Although I could never stand all Schmeichel’s posturing….was all totally for show. “Look at my save, look what I just did. Me me me.” The cart wheeling, City bell end.March 8, 2018 at 5:47 pm #1609279
Yeah I didn’t really pick up on that @hatters but i completely agree. Just as important as having partnerships at CB and CM is that we have a Vidic/Keane type to drive the team on. Unfortunately I think they are a dying breed and I’m not sure who I’d suggest we sign to fill that void.
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