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desmondo said:
Recent games at anfield , the bridge and goodison all 1-0 up. Normally you would expect a United team to go and and score again in at least one of these games. You would also expect 5, 6 or maybe 7/9 points , instead of just 2.

I'm utterly convinced that if this team had played the same way at 1-0 as they do at 0-0 then we would be 3-4 points better off right now. It's clear to me there is some psychological thing going on about protecting a lead or thinking the job is done or something. All these goals also came pretty early in matches and all of them seemed to then drift away (along with the points).

Will this be our downfall in the league this season? Are we a lazy team or over confident in our defence? You don't need to be a genuis to know 1-0 is a precarious lead. In under 10's leagues we tell the players to just play the same at 1-0 as at 0-0 and forget the score.
Think it is pretty similar to a thread last season but it is still an emotional one nonetheless. I wholeheartedly agree and absolutely hate it tbh. Suddenly handing over the initiative and looking second best just after being commanding and taking the lead is certainly strange, inexplicable and hard to swallow.

Complacency (thinking that it will be good enough)?

Lazy (thinking that the job is already done and no more is needed to be done until...)?

Lack of confidence (to score more especially against the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool)?

Negative (out of fear of losing the precious lead especially against better teams and thus focus on defending it instead)?

Whatever the actual reason(s), I don't know for sure but I am more inclined to believe it is a mental thing rather than the opponents suddenly discovering that hey, they could play better than us (unless we allow them to, like playing with less urgency, slower to the ball, sitting back to contain and adopting the attitude of "let's see what you can do now" etc?).

Not being able to kill off the opponents like the 1-0s we had against Liverpool, Chelsea and Everton is a concern indeed and not something to be taken lightly, I would beg to differ. In fact, I think it IS a problem and will be even more pronounced as it gets harder and harder to win the league as the gap increasingly narrows amongst the teams.

Sure we can't win every game in reality but perhaps we also need to examine honestly whether we surrendered the lead because we went down fighting or was it because we 'took our feet off the pedal' and 'accident' then struck most gleefully. Otherwise, why would most managers, players and fans be left in anguish thereafter in most instances, explicitly or not?
 

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desmondo said:
I hope we won't get accused of fergie bashing again! I think , like me , you have spotted something that's not right with the United psyche in this team. We sometimes look like a team of pretty boys without the teeth. There's something to be said for kicking an opponent when they are down (metaphorically) , I'm darn sure that Chelsea would have had a bundle of points from those games given a 1-0 early lead - they are just more ruthless - not better - just more clinical. Everton should have been put to the sword in the first half - and when you don't kill an enemy he can get off the ground and kill you.
Unless there is some tactical changes (eg last season's game at Stamford Bridge when Anderson was taken off almost immediately to be replaced by JOS for the obvious objective that unfortunately backfired on us), nobody can fault or doubt Fergie if the same players remain on the pitch playing in the same positions.

And I am not talking about an all-out onslaught like we are desperate to draw level and leaving gapping holes behind. Just the same normal mental approach before we score would suffice. It is precisely a deemed slackening or a little nonchalance that it is perfectly alright if we don't score anymore as long as it stays as 1-0 (hopefully) that is the issue and concern here. This is not killing off the opponents but encouraging them to turn the table on us instead which some managed to at our expense, leaving us to count the losses. What for?! I do feel we lack the ruthlessness of Chelsea like you mentioned. This could well be the reason why no team fears us like before.
 

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Well, Fergie seems to acknowledge the problem. Hope he will do something about it once and for all.

Exerpt from another thread....

mirror

"Goal difference is important," he said. "It could count at the end of the season. Over the years we've always had the best goal difference. It's not the case at the moment and that's a challenge for us to do something about it.

"We can't afford to waste too many chances. We were careless in the second half against Everton when we ended up drawing 1-1. We should have really punished them but we got caught up in the game a bit.

"Against West Ham I felt we took our foot off the pedal. We relaxed too much and you can't afford to do that in the Premier League or you will be punished
."
 

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Jazz 16 said:
If we started sitting on 1-0 leads when we play this lot at OT then Id be really worried.
It almost happened again, isn't it?! And this time at OT!!

1-0.... Foot off the pedal again, allowing Hull City to play.

1-1.... Suddenly you see the urgency in our players wanting the ball and closing the gaps down. The contrast was too obvious to miss and illustrated different mind sets.

2-1.... Kept going this time.

3-1.... Kept going but starting to get sloppy in final touches to add to the scoreline.

4-1.... Foot off the pedal again, getting sloppier now with passes.

4-2.... No change to the above.

4-3.... Got anxious, nervous and ill tempered. Brought in JOS to protect a very slim lead. Great relief at the final whistle.

Wtf! We are at OT!!?!?!?!?!?

Point is it is not the scoreline that matters but the mentality. Be it 1-0 or 4-1, we have to maintain the right desire and attitude to sustain the pressure (working towards scoring more) and to deny opponents from playing. One thing does lead to another....

I don't see Chelsea taking a 1-0 lead and foot off the pedal, at Stamford Bridge or not.

Who says this is not a problem?!
 

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desmondo said:
He can see the problem , I hope that he has worked out WHY it's happening. We can all see that Everton got out of jail and we didn't punish them - but why? Why didn't we punish them? I feel re-assured that fergie is putrting his finger on this issue but it would feel much better if he could say what's causing it. I wonder if he keeps that card under his chest? What do you think?
I am still figuring.... :rolleyes:

Being complacent is the obvious top suspect. But on second thought, perhaps being naive would be more apt. :eek:

0-1.... 1-2 at Anfield.

0-1.... 1-1 at Stamford Bridge.

0-1.... 1-1 at Goodison Park.

1-0.... 1-1.... 4-1.... 4-3 at Old Trafford....

Be prepared to see a greyer Fergie though. He raised the point, warned about the consequences and then we almost repeated it in our own backyard.

We just can't seem to kill off the game and deflate the opponents. :(
 

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CROoney said:
i have a feeling it will be chelsea a-like match....

i don't think we're going to attck them....

the main aim is to avoid defeat, cos if we lose-we're in trouble
Are you worried or are you sarcastic? :p

desmondo said:
I'm not sure that's the main aim really. Obviously any defeat is bad and to be avoided but given recent experiences I would be less confident if United took the "let's avoid defeat " approach.

The difficulty is that sometimes the best way of avoiding defeat is not to try avoiding defeat but to try and win. This may sound very silly at first but if you think about what has happened to United recently (and other teams) you will see this truth. If we focus on trying not to lose then it may be that we end up losing.

I guess the question really is "how best to avoid defeat?" or "what approach is the most likely to give a good performance and result?" . My take on this is that a good United performance is brought about by a consistent searching for goals and an upbeat attacking tempo (not reckless mind). I disagree with those who think sitting on a 1-0 lead is the best way to go.
Agree wholeheartedly (again).

How else can we be truly positive and show who's boss? Suddenly turning defensive or taking it easy as long as the the solitary lead remains convinces nobody, especially our opponents. On the contrary, it only encourages them like what we witnessed in some games when we should have wrapped up all 3 points.
 
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