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Good performance actually. High tempo, effective pressing, kept Messi quiet. 

 

Shame we couldn't score.

 

Barcelona will undoubtedly score one or two at the Camp Nou. 

 

.

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McTominay is very tidy, he looks deadly serious all the time. Like the T-1000 out to kill. 

 

Read a comment comparing Fred to Anderson which seems pretty true, he was getting the ball quite a bit centrally and always trying to find runners, but his relaxed style makes it seem he's always content rather than striving for perfection. 

 

Hard to tell if the United second half domination of possession was through players picking up good positions or through Barcelona being awful and sitting off. The quality in the final third from United was so poor, those blindly hit flicked passes were maddening. Needed more composure, and simplicity, a few powerful if straight shots blasted at the keeper to create that uncertainty and increase confidence. 

 

People are criticizing the commentators spin of this being a good performance despite no shots on target. This is a Barcelona side that almost went last season unbeaten in La Liga, that win the league nearly every season with little trouble. Starting to feel like with other teams that dominate their league throughout that by April they're too complacent.

 

It doesn't matter so much about the lack of accurate shots, more the runs in behind nearly coming off and that vertical play looking dangerous. They look beatable. 

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Rojo at left back. Smalling and Jones in the middle. Dalot on the right. We're going to score and concede some stone cold bangers today. 

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Pretty poor first half, midfield just not clicking. And mata is just really quite slow, and is taking pogba out of being able to bomb up the pitch.

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On 11/04/2019 at 06:59, Loik V credern said:

It doesn't matter so much about the lack of accurate shots, more the runs in behind nearly coming off and that vertical play looking dangerous. They look beatable. 

 

I think i need to reframe this so it won't appear laughable when Barcelona win 4-0 tonight. The big thing is just Barcelona's mysteriously underwhelming quarter final performances over the last 3 years. And Messi too, he's not scored in a quarter final tie for 6 years. CRonaldo cos of this has something like nearly double the amount of last 8 tie goals. 

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49 minutes ago, spork said:

Jones at RB, young at LB. Wheeey! 

 

Jones has been solid recently. Hes the workhorse we need until we can buy more players. 

 

I think were going to get slaughtered tonight, but hopefully the stars are aligned and Lingard, Rashford, Pogba and Martial will actually perform. 

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I’ve turned it off. There’s no point forcing myself to watch us try and compete against one of the best teams on the planet with our makeshift squad. It really does highlight how much rebuilding is needed this summer though.

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People rave about Rashford a lot and don't get me wrong, he has a lot of potential and his pace is always gong to cause defenders problems, however I never feel confident he's going to finish. He wastes far too many chances. Imagine if he took his chances like Van Nistelrooy. I think Martial is a much better finisher.

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Yeah, however it ends in the other match tonight, it’s sad to think we were in the Europa League final with Ajax two years ago and how they’ve progressed so much better while spending a fraction of the money.

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I'm partly glad that the Solskjaer honeymoon period is over, hopefully the club is under no illusion how far we are from being regular top four contenders let alone challenging for the league or beyond.  Not that I trust the club with recruitment, I'm hoping the lack of any news about a DOF is due to the club taking its time to find the right man rather than abandoning the idea.  It's telling that Barca had five players on the bench better that what we have in the first team. 

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1 hour ago, tonymg said:

I'm partly glad that the Solskjaer honeymoon period is over, hopefully the club is under no illusion how far we are from being regular top four contenders let alone challenging for the league or beyond.  Not that I trust the club with recruitment, I'm hoping the lack of any news about a DOF is due to the club taking its time to find the right man rather than abandoning the idea.  It's telling that Barca had five players on the bench better that what we have in the first team. 

 

The problem with "taking our time" is that by now, most of our rivals will be already quietly wrapping up their most important signings.  The reason Solskjaer was given the job early was because this is when clubs tend to start their recruitment.  I doubt we'll get the right players, and those we do get will be overpriced.  Woodward has made a lot of signings in his time at the club, but I don't think many of them have been unqualified successes

 

Signings in the Woodward era:



Fellaini - Well.  I guess he was effective at times.  Probably one of the more successful ones.

Mata - He's been great, I love Mata.  An odd one at the time as the team was already disjointed due to having too many number 10s. For most of his time at the club he's been a squad player rather than a regular starter.

Di Maria - An absolute joke.

Shaw - Up and down.  I still rate him, obviously.

Herrera - Again, in and out of the first team.  One of the better ones in the list though.

Rojo - One of the worst defenders I've seen wear the shirt.  An idiot.

Blind - Consistently average.  Unable to effect games in midfield, unexpectedly okay at the back, but found out quite often even there.

Falcao - A stupid signing when we had Rooney and Van Persie at the time, never mind his injury.

Valdes - Yep, we had him for a while.  I had forgotten as well.

Martial - Inconsistent, still hasn't fulfilled his potential, but one of the better ones.  Has had a couple of excellent seasons.

Schneiderlin - Another one you had forgotten.  We paid a lot of money for him and he never looked anywhere near good enough.

Depay - Thought he was the dog's bollocks.  He absolutely wasn't.

Darmian - Tries hard, but isn't the kind of quality we need at all.

Schweinsteiger - No idea why we did this.  Again, incredibly expensive in terms of wages.

Romero - A very decent back-up.  No complaints at all.

Pogba - Everyone will have their own opinions of him.  I think he's our best outfield player, but his attitude is very questionable.

Mkhitaryan - Very good for about three months.  Terrible a lot of the rest of the time.  Eventually swapped for someone much, much worse.

Bailly - Seemed good but raw at first, now seems to make crazy mistakes constantly.

Ibrahimovic - Woodward's best signing.  The only one that definitely has the requisite quality and, more importantly, attitude to be a United player.

Lukaku - Up and down.  He was always a streaky player - would score in five straight, then not score for the next eight.  That has continued at United, and I'm not sure why anyone is surprised.

Matic - He's been good.  He was already in decline as a player when we signed him though.  

Lindelof - I like him, but I'm not sure if he just appears fine when compared to the parade of terrible centre backs we've had for the past few years.

Sanchez - We pay him £300,000+ a week to do nothing.

Fred - Doesn't look good enough.

Dalot - He's got potential, certainly.

Grant - Third choice keeper and English player quota-filler.

 

Quite a parade of sub-standard flakes and big-name, overpriced flops.

 

 

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I always tend to think the emphasis on individual signings means overlooking the importance of a team gelling and being well balanced. But you watch bottom half of the table premier league sides that in a game in which they lost they might show a lot of skill and promise and the host will ask the pundits what the issue is and they'll point out certain transitions in the match where the decision making was poor, players hesitated, over hit crosses etc. 

 

It's fine for me to think of football as like a videogame where if there's two options with every received pass it all happens easily but i do realise it's a game of fine margins and few moments that need to be taken advantage of. But it's still a simple game where the difference between top professionals is not vast like people say and the requirement is quite limited.

 

Daley Blind is a part of this Ajax side, but ultimately the success is being more attributed to the brilliance of key individuals who will have a huge future. Ajax were sublime in the second half tonight, every player knew where everyone was, the passing was so accurate and quick, the combinations fluid, it really was like playing pro evo. No one would attribute them playing like that to the individual technical skill of players, more their training and all being on the same wavelength. 

 

That's a big list of signings. I don't know what the club needs. I don't look at performances and single out players. I just think; move move move press press press. Against Barcelona it might be 5 minutes before you get the ball back, 10 minutes before you get into the final third. Easy going back over a game and seeing what players should have done in every moment, but they will. The early feel good buzz has gone. Every season it's the same thing, buy buy buy.  'Need to spend £200m' a pundit will say as though it's nothing. It is fatiguing. I want a midfielder because i want to take possession in the centre of the pitch. 

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New signings can make a huge difference, if they're the right signings. Look at Liverpool - the signings of Van Dijk and Alisson have absolutely transformed them. They identified problem areas of the team and signed players with the right quality and attitude to fix the problem. The right signings can make other players in the team better, but it has to be planned right. Suddenly other areas where they looked average such as midfield, they look better, because that much more solid base allows them to play to their gameplan. 

 

 

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January 13th 2019

Spurs 0 - 1 United

Pochettino lol, Ole's at the wheel, etc.

 

June 1st 2019

Spurs 7 - 6 Barcelona

Erm...

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