Manchester United FC

It would be interesting, you lot can score goals for fun and losing Coutinho hasn't appeared to be upsetting the team, however you do concede quite a few.
For the first time in a long, long time there isn't a single side in the Champions League that would really worry me if we drew them.

No-one really looks all that good (even Barcelona looked poor last night) and I'd be confident of our attack blowing anyone out of the water. Our defence is always a worry but we'd just have to Keegan our way through.
It is a weak field. Bayern and Barca look.the best of be foreign teams, but neither are the vintage of recent years

Probably the most open the competition has been for at least a decade

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It would be interesting,
I would hate it, hate it, the build up would be unbearable, the games would be torture and a loss heartbreaking.

It’s almost a certainty if we both get through :)
I've a feeling Liverpool will get bayern.

City will draw spurs or juve

Don't know if I can bet on the draw, but I've a strong hunch on 50% of it

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I wouldn’t be too worried mate Jose is one of the very best Cup managers of modern times. He always seems to find the right performance and find a way.

I would want to avoid you lot like the plague if we both got through. But those UEFA hot balls will have other ideas I am sure :)

All that may be true? But even for me as a Mourinho devotee, it's almost impossible to enjoy such a pragmatic display, and even harder to try and defend it. We've got the players to make a good fist in the CL, but right now we look disjointed with no set formation or plan. It's just not entertaining to watch and it's ineffective too! It really shouldn't be an either/or situation, as effective football and entertaining football aren't a mutually exclusive notion...Our start to the season proves that!
 
What's going on with Pogba? He barely looked like he wanted to be there tonight.

Listening to the Guardian podcast last week they were saying the leaks about him regretting moving back to you were coming from Mourinho's camp rather than the player, which seems strange.
 
I've a feeling Liverpool will get bayern.

City will draw spurs or juve

Don't know if I can bet on the draw, but I've a strong hunch on 50% of it

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Knowing how statements can come back and bite :)

I would be confident of competing with any European team left in and would give us a good chance of making the final.

Not so confident if we get through and get an English side. If 4 out of 5 get through it is certain that there will be at least 1 all English tie.
 
All that may be true? But even for me as a Mourinho devotee, it's almost impossible to enjoy such a pragmatic display, and even harder to try and defend it. We've got the players to make a good fist in the CL, but right now we look disjointed with no set formation or plan. It's just not entertaining to watch and it's ineffective too! It really shouldn't be an either/or situation, as effective football and entertaining football aren't a mutually exclusive notion...Our start to the season proves that!
I agree, you started the season on fire.

Would the current style of play be forgotten/forgiven if you had a fourth big ears in May? I suspect it would even for most football purists.
 
I wouldn’t be too worried mate Jose is one of the very best Cup managers of modern times. He always seems to find the right performance and find a way.

I would want to avoid you lot like the plague if we both got through. But those UEFA hot balls will have other ideas I am sure :)

All that may be true? But even for me as a Mourinho devotee, it's almost impossible to enjoy such a pragmatic display, and even harder to try and defend it. We've got the players to make a good fist in the CL, but right now we look disjointed with no set formation or plan. It's just not entertaining to watch and it's ineffective too! It really shouldn't be an either/or situation, as effective football and entertaining football aren't a mutually exclusive notion...Our start to the season proves that!
I'd normally put tonight down to a intentional, low gear display to avoid defeat in a tricky fixture. But on the back of 2018 performances, it's just another dire fixture.

Some players near to spark, but jose has to look at how they are training. The general build up, link up play and attacking shape is just poor. Just seems to be players putting it long, or a slow build up. Both result in an attacking player being largely isolated and then being neutralized by the opposition doubling up.

Most trans do set up to contain/ stifle us. But we should be doing better, with both the tactics and individual technique/ decision making letting us down

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What's going on with Pogba? He barely looked like he wanted to be there tonight.

Listening to the Guardian podcast last week they were saying the leaks about him regretting moving back to you were coming from Mourinho's camp rather than the player, which seems strange.
He is under par with a knock/ bug, but you are right about his mentality.

Think he is going through a poor dip in form along with a period where he is required to be a leader and step it up for the team.

Make or break situation, in terms of a life test for him. A lot of his critics say he was partially carried in the juve team (i.e. it was a brilliant set up with limited opposition, which allowed him to shine). This is his chance to prove them wrong.



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Gout Man

LE
Book Reviewer
I agree, you started the season on fire.

Would the current style of play be forgotten/forgiven if you had a fourth big ears in May? I suspect it would even for most football purists.
If I could just but in, well yes it would be forgiven and very quickly forgotten, sorry what were we talking about? But I can't see it happening.
 
I've a feeling Liverpool will get bayern.

City will draw spurs or juve

Don't know if I can bet on the draw, but I've a strong hunch on 50% of it

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Knowing how statements can come back and bite :)

I would be confident of competing with any European team left in and would give us a good chance of making the final.

Not so confident if we get through and get an English side. If 4 out of 5 get through it is certain that there will be at least 1 all English tie.
I wouldn't fancy your chances against spurs. Chelsea could be tricky - it's either a liverpoo walk over, or if they are form, Chelsea win with relative comfort over two legs. Id give you the edge over he manchester clubs over two legs though.

Of the rest. I'd comfortably back bayern to beat you. But if give you a slight edge against the so classico teams. Have you thumping PSG if you took a lead/ first leg advantage. Of course if also back you against the winner of weaker fixture - but Roma could be a banana skin if you went behind away in the first leg

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I'd normally put tonight down to a intentional, low gear display to avoid defeat in a tricky fixture. But on the back of 2018 performances, it's just another dire fixture.

Some players near to spark, but jose has to look at how they are training. The general build up, link up play and attacking shape is just poor. Just seems to be players putting it long, or a slow build up. Both result in an attacking player being largely isolated and then being neutralized by the opposition doubling up.

Most trans do set up to contain/ stifle us. But we should be doing better, with both the tactics and individual technique/ decision making letting us down

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So was early season a blip and did last years cup successes hide an underlying problem? Has this February’s team moved on from last years?

Your league position suggests a marked improvement, But did Ibras form Felanis important cameos, the cup success and your form before Christmas hide a deeper issue?

Or is the last few weeks a bit of a blip, are the older players tiring with the fixture congestion, or is it a long lunge for the line and reinforce in the summer.

No baiting by the way, I only see you relatively infrequently and I would like to know your thoughts ?
 
What's going on with Pogba? He barely looked like he wanted to be there tonight.

Listening to the Guardian podcast last week they were saying the leaks about him regretting moving back to you were coming from Mourinho's camp rather than the player, which seems strange.
Nah, I don't think so. He livened us up somewhat when he came on, but i do believe he isn't 100% fit yet. He'll get his form back and all will be right with the world, I'm sure.

As to the podcast...I'd take it with a pinch of salt, same shit different day.
 
I'd normally put tonight down to a intentional, low gear display to avoid defeat in a tricky fixture. But on the back of 2018 performances, it's just another dire fixture.

Some players near to spark, but jose has to look at how they are training. The general build up, link up play and attacking shape is just poor. Just seems to be players putting it long, or a slow build up. Both result in an attacking player being largely isolated and then being neutralized by the opposition doubling up.

Most trans do set up to contain/ stifle us. But we should be doing better, with both the tactics and individual technique/ decision making letting us down

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So was early season a blip and did last years cup successes hide an underlying problem? Has this February’s team moved on from last years?

Your league position suggests a marked improvement, But did Ibras form Felanis important cameos, the cup success and your form before Christmas hide a deeper issue?

Or is the last few weeks a bit of a blip, are the older players tiring with the fixture congestion, or is it a long lunge for the line and reinforce in the summer.

No baiting by the way, I only see you relatively infrequently and I would like to know your thoughts ?
I think the main factor is a mid season dip in form, with jose putting the brakes on the team's attacking play to compensate.

We've proved that we are more than capable of attacking and devastating football. For the most of 2018 we've had key players off form (pogba, matic), integrating Sanchez, attempting to transition to 433, while the defensive injuries/ performance dips has left jose with a centre back pairing he cannot trust. Finally Valencia is in slow decline and combined with our attacking weaknesses on the right, our attacks are going down one flank (with sanchez getting doubled even trebled up on)

Come late march I think we will be back to better play. That's not to say that our game can't be significantly improved on. Longer term (next season), it requires mix of jose looking at specific aspects of our attacking tactics,a change in certain personell with greater technical abilty (i.e. no smalling) along with a proper right attacking player

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I agree, you started the season on fire.

Would the current style of play be forgotten/forgiven if you had a fourth big ears in May? I suspect it would even for most football purists.

I'd be lying if i said no, of course it would!

But i still wish we would get back to a more positive gameplan. I read somewhere that as a team, we've covered the least amount of ground in the league. I've no idea why that would be the case, but it seems indicative of our defend at all costs, counter attack mentality right now. Only time will tell if it proves effective? Despite his blase happy/not unhappy comment tonight, Mourinho looked delighted, so maybe he has a plan specifically for Europe?
 

Gout Man

LE
Book Reviewer
I would hate it, hate it, the build up would be unbearable, the games would be torture and a loss heartbreaking.

It’s almost a certainty if we both get through :)
Can you imagine the aftermath? IF UTD you know, I'm not saying it here, I think I'd have to do what's known as a flounce. Well for at least a month until the dust settles. However should it go the right way, well it was nice to be able to insult a scouser in the comfort and safety of my arm chair:slow:
 
Chelsea at home tomorrow. Both teams have been in intermittent form recently and we are coming off the back of three fairly mundane performances

Here is my pick for tomorrow

De Gea

Young, Smalling, Lidehloff, Shaw

Carrick, Matic, Pogba

Sanchez, Lukkaku, Martial

Subs
Romero, Bailley, Valencia, Mctom, Lingaard, Mata, Rashford


Bailley would start ahead of smalling if fit. It's also a bit of a coin toss between starting Carrick or Mctom, same for rashford or martial

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So was early season a blip and did last years cup successes hide an underlying problem? Has this February’s team moved on from last years?

Your league position suggests a marked improvement, But did Ibras form Felanis important cameos, the cup success and your form before Christmas hide a deeper issue?

Or is the last few weeks a bit of a blip, are the older players tiring with the fixture congestion, or is it a long lunge for the line and reinforce in the summer.

No baiting by the way, I only see you relatively infrequently and I would like to know your thoughts ?
My feeling is this.

We started off the season brilliantly. Bouyed by the new signings. Lukaku was on form, and the team were responding with attacking football. Then City started their domination and I think Mouhrino recognised before most of us that they had everything set for a dominating season. Instead of pushing for wins, he started his "defense at all costs" and tried to penny pinch points. We defended against teams we should have attacked and the more that happened, the more players heads started to drop as they saw a chance for glory replaced by "another hard year"

Ibra's return was a shambles and I can't see him playing many times before the end of the season, if it all
Martial, Mkhitaryan, Rashford all started well and dropped off. Young has dropped off as well. Valencia has all but stopped his attacking runs and more often than not,. Lukaku has to hope for long balls up the field. Pogba seems to be backsliding rapidly (I don't think it's just because of Sanchez, it's deeper than that) Sanchez injects a bit of the same thing as Mata does (marauding around the pitch trying all sorts) but he's hampered by being a target for hard tackles.

De Gea has frankly kept us in 2nd this long. and it's not working anymore. We haven't fielded a full strength defence for ages. Lindelof has been a disappointment in general, Smalling and jones have had intermittent performances. Bailly has been absent but even then, he hasn't been "outstanding" for us yet. Time will tell, but I genuinely still feel we need a defensive captain that can organise stuff at the back and keep pressure of De Gea.

In short, spending and disposal needs to happen in the transfer window. We need the FA cup and a good finish in the Champion's League (the Seville match was shite) and to finish top 4 in the league.
 
This the strongest united transfer rumour at the moment

Sergej Milinković-Savić - Wikipedia

By all accounts he is a big lad who can pass well, get stuck in and has a footballing brain

Articles are suggesting he is replacing fellani and Carrick, but this lad would be ahead on Ander Herrera in my view.

Here is my current list of preferred exits for the Summer


Defintely Sell/ Leave


Carrick, Ibra, Fellani - retiring/ end of contact

Blind, Darmian - no where near the first team.

Smalling, Herrera - not at the right standard for united. We need better than average and these two are worth a bit of money



Would consider selling (assumes we bring additional players in/ promote from academy)


Rojo and Jones - injury prone and/ or inconsistant. Need more reliable options and I'd also rather give opportunities to the returning TFM and Tunzebe

Mata - 1 year left on his contact and we are unlikely to play him in his best position of attacking mid. Approaching 30, so may need to cash in and he may be best going somewhere where he starts in his best position. Great player and person.

Young and Valencia - age is catching up on them and best we can probably offer is rotation. Would they be happy with that?

Martial - Two years left on his contact come summer and he would have done 3 seasons at the club. Brilliant in some games and then disappears the next. He is approaching the point in his career where he will either be world class or just limited to a good European standard (e.g. a nani, Louis Saha). I'm not in a rush to sell him, but united need to make an informed assessment of his potential. He is worth a small fortune and that could be used to fund an established player or at least open up routes to the match day squad

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Looks like TFM is playing at CB for palace today.

Not sure what his best position is, but I think he is a better CB or Def Mid than a right back

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