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Discussion Starter #1
In the past I've always said this after a defeat , but now I will say it after a win. I'm not being negative because I thought they showed great heart on sunday. I'm as ecstatic as anyone over that last minute winner but I have to say it - when are we going to start getting stuck into teams and closing them down? I know that you have to try and stand up players like ashley young on the break but did anyone notice what I noticed in the Villa game? I really really hope this does not come across as negative.

What I saw was Villa players closing down United players tightly even up to the halfway line and beyond, whereas when Villa had the ball it felt as if they had to virtually get into our area before we got close to them. They pressed us in possession , we did not. Why? Was it to conserve energy? - if so we had to use it anyway to fight back. Was it to keep our shape in defence and midfield? - well that didn't seem to work either.

Two cases in point. Villa's first goal would not have happened if there had been real "aggressive" pressure on Barry. Instead , there was a kind of "timid" approach that allowed him to get that cross in. If we had been more aggressive he would not have been able to do that. Secondly , Villa's second goal came from them aggressively hounding Ronaldo and winning the ball. That's a goal that could have been stopped and a goal the other team created. All from either lack of pressure or aggressive pressing of the ball.

In the past I have knocked Fergie for this , but now I'm just trying to understand why we do it. It's not just the Villa game , it happened last season as well. I used to think that it was only average teams that worked hard to close players down , but I've seen great teams do it to great effect. In the Villa game our players were on average 2-3 yards further off the ball than Villa's players , but that started to change in the last 15 minutes. It was as if the intensity of the situation and the "we've got nothing to lose now" factor kicked in and we suddenly started to aggressively try to win the ball back.

I just can't help thinking that if that aggression and intensity had been there from the off (as it was for Villa) we would have not needed a last gasp winner.

Can anyone help me out here? I just don't understand why you would not pressure a team. I understand that you cannot dive in recklessly but my view is that you can at least get close enough to a player to "let him know you are there".

The reason why this worries me is because it was so similar to the goals we conceded to Liverpool. Very little pressure on the ball. It just seems to me that we often make it too easy for the opposition. I often saw Villa players receive the ball in our half and have the time to take a touch and turn and do pretty much whatever they liked. A minute later I would be watching Ronaldo getting robbed of the ball with a strong hard tackle.

When I was watching us trying to break Villa down it felt as if every pass we made was being physically contested. Tevez was having to fight his heart out just to lay the ball off. Villa players were getting a toe in whenever they could and they were prepared to give away free kicks rather than just stand there and watch us play.

I want to see the team we are playing really have to fight hard to keep the ball and have to pass the ball fast and accurately to make any headway - just like we have to against them. How many good teams have we out fought this season? Chelsea maybe - but they were in disarray at the time.

So why o why o why can we not get 3 yards closer to these Porto players on tuesday and battle a bit harder? I'm not being negative , but I would like to see us really "at it" from the start on tuesday , no easy goals , every cross or through pass contested. Why not? If there is one thing any team can do (low confidence or high) it's make life as hard as you can for the opposition. I'm really not convinced we do that to be honest - and even after such a great win it worries me that we have to be in such a mess 1-2 down before we really "GO" after a game and take it by the scruff of the neck.

What I would love to see is United (buoyed by the Villa win) come out and grab Porto like some stuffed old toy and shake em by the neck and then score and carry on and on and on doing it. That's what Liverpool did to Real - why can't we do the same? I fear it will yet another nervous evening , but I hope I am wrong. I'm not moaning , just seeking clarity.....
 

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Tommorrow night against Porto it will all change hopefully. :L

But, I do see where you worries are coming from... I think the likes of Carrick, Giggs and a few others have been culpable over the last number of weeks. But I do think Fletcher is the one player in this department that you can never complain about and he is therefore in my eyes - a must starter tommorrow night.
 

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It was a case of nerves early on yesterday. We were comin off the back of two straight losses and were playing a top 6 side in front of an expectant home crowd. We got into things eventually and played some good football and pressed Villa.

Fletcher was the difference in midfield yesterday, he played some nice passes and made some good challenges. That's how our CM's need to be in the run in, working hard to help out the 'D' and break up attacks and quickly turn them into counters.
 

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The past few games should've shown people how much we miss Hargreaves. We miss that tenacity in midfield and someone to take the game by the scruff of the neck. Remember the Arsenal game at OT last season or the home leg of the quarter final against Roma? He's the one player we have who can really close down the opposition in midfield and win balls. I'm not saying that the rest of the team isn't culpable, but I think we would've been in a more comfortable position if he was fit. I couldn't help thinking during the game against the scummers that this was perfect for Hargreaves...
 

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In the past I've always said this after a defeat , but now I will say it after a win. I'm not being negative because I thought they showed great heart on sunday. I'm as ecstatic as anyone over that last minute winner but I have to say it - when are we going to start getting stuck into teams and closing them down? I know that you have to try and stand up players like ashley young on the break but did anyone notice what I noticed in the Villa game? I really really hope this does not come across as negative.

What I saw was Villa players closing down United players tightly even up to the halfway line and beyond, whereas when Villa had the ball it felt as if they had to virtually get into our area before we got close to them. They pressed us in possession , we did not. Why? Was it to conserve energy? - if so we had to use it anyway to fight back. Was it to keep our shape in defence and midfield? - well that didn't seem to work either.

Two cases in point. Villa's first goal would not have happened if there had been real "aggressive" pressure on Barry. Instead , there was a kind of "timid" approach that allowed him to get that cross in. If we had been more aggressive he would not have been able to do that. Secondly , Villa's second goal came from them aggressively hounding Ronaldo and winning the ball. That's a goal that could have been stopped and a goal the other team created. All from either lack of pressure or aggressive pressing of the ball.

In the past I have knocked Fergie for this , but now I'm just trying to understand why we do it. It's not just the Villa game , it happened last season as well. I used to think that it was only average teams that worked hard to close players down , but I've seen great teams do it to great effect. In the Villa game our players were on average 2-3 yards further off the ball than Villa's players , but that started to change in the last 15 minutes. It was as if the intensity of the situation and the "we've got nothing to lose now" factor kicked in and we suddenly started to aggressively try to win the ball back.

I just can't help thinking that if that aggression and intensity had been there from the off (as it was for Villa) we would have not needed a last gasp winner.

Can anyone help me out here? I just don't understand why you would not pressure a team. I understand that you cannot dive in recklessly but my view is that you can at least get close enough to a player to "let him know you are there".

The reason why this worries me is because it was so similar to the goals we conceded to Liverpool. Very little pressure on the ball. It just seems to me that we often make it too easy for the opposition. I often saw Villa players receive the ball in our half and have the time to take a touch and turn and do pretty much whatever they liked. A minute later I would be watching Ronaldo getting robbed of the ball with a strong hard tackle.

When I was watching us trying to break Villa down it felt as if every pass we made was being physically contested. Tevez was having to fight his heart out just to lay the ball off. Villa players were getting a toe in whenever they could and they were prepared to give away free kicks rather than just stand there and watch us play.

I want to see the team we are playing really have to fight hard to keep the ball and have to pass the ball fast and accurately to make any headway - just like we have to against them. How many good teams have we out fought this season? Chelsea maybe - but they were in disarray at the time.

So why o why o why can we not get 3 yards closer to these Porto players on tuesday and battle a bit harder? I'm not being negative , but I would like to see us really "at it" from the start on tuesday , no easy goals , every cross or through pass contested. Why not? If there is one thing any team can do (low confidence or high) it's make life as hard as you can for the opposition. I'm really not convinced we do that to be honest - and even after such a great win it worries me that we have to be in such a mess 1-2 down before we really "GO" after a game and take it by the scruff of the neck.

What I would love to see is United (buoyed by the Villa win) come out and grab Porto like some stuffed old toy and shake em by the neck and then score and carry on and on and on doing it. That's what Liverpool did to Real - why can't we do the same? I fear it will yet another nervous evening , but I hope I am wrong. I'm not moaning , just seeking clarity.....
Great post Des:thumbsup: you haven't came across as negative, just concered im guessing:)
I've been thinking the same thing myself but never said it on the forum..

There hasn't been many ocassions this season where we have shot out of the traps and gone at our opponents and ended up putting the opposition to the sword..
We went on a fantastic run of games where we didn't conceed and we were on a winning streak, but we had a lot of 1-0 wins and were just doing enough to win a couple of the games..

Comparing it to last season and previous seasons where we were champions, we always had a far superior goal difference because we had a lot of games where we scored 3, 4 and even 5 goals, playing some fantastic attacking football..

It is a bit of a concern that we haven't performed all that well in our recent games, but if we keep on winning, i'm sure most of the fans won't be complaining..

I'm hoping we go out against Porto tomorrow night full of confidence and we get back to play attacking football, keeping possesion, closing our opponents down and score more goals..:D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks mate , I'm not negative about things , just trying to figure it out. Any thoughts as to why we have this tendency to shy away from pressure on the ball (apart from tevez , rooney and fletcher)? Sometimes to me it's almost as if the other team have forcefields around their players that only get de-activated when they get into the box.

One example is closing down crosses.As a defender if you are not close enough to block it or challenge it then you might as well not be there. You might as well just wave your arms kindly and tell your opponent whose head to cross the ball onto (eg carew's or agbonlahor's)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Tommorrow night against Porto it will all change hopefully. :L

But, I do see where you worries are coming from... I think the likes of Carrick, Giggs and a few others have been culpable over the last number of weeks. But I do think Fletcher is the one player in this department that you can never complain about and he is therefore in my eyes - a must starter tommorrow night.
Interesting. You see it as an individual player issue? I agree Giggs and Scholes etc are older players but still.

My thoughts are that it's a team/tactical issue. We seem to be playing zonal defence rather than aggressively trying to get the ball back off the opposition. There's a spectrum all the way from going absolutely full on pressure risking red and yellow cards right the way through to passive zonal defence holding your 18 yard box and conceding posession. If full on pressure is 10 and the passive zonal system is 1 (if that make sense) then I think we are on 2 or 3 too often whilst other teams are on 7/8/9. In the first half v Villa we were on 2 and they were on 8 and we didn't get enough of the ball. We dominated the last 20 minutes and went on to 6 or 7 and they fell back to 7ish - we scored 2 goals.

Why are we not on 7 most of the time instead of resorting to it when we are desperate? Surely what works when you are 1-2 down should also work when you are 2-1 up? Am I missing something? :blink:
 

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Thanks mate , I'm not negative about things , just trying to figure it out. Any thoughts as to why we have this tendency to shy away from pressure on the ball (apart from tevez , rooney and fletcher)? Sometimes to me it's almost as if the other team have forcefields around their players that only get de-activated when they get into the box.

One example is closing down crosses.As a defender if you are not close enough to block it or challenge it then you might as well not be there. You might as well just wave your arms kindly and tell your opponent whose head to cross the ball onto (eg carew's or agbonlahor's)
It's the type of players we have. Carrick is not one known for harrying and chasing as much as say Roo or Fletcher.

As for closing down crosses, I agree more pressure needs to be put on opposing wingers. Yesterday for example JOS was usually a few yards away from Young instead of getting up close and personal. I reckon with JOS its down to the fact he was wary Young's pace would get him cleanly by if JOS attempted tackle
 

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Thanks mate , I'm not negative about things , just trying to figure it out. Any thoughts as to why we have this tendency to shy away from pressure on the ball (apart from tevez , rooney and fletcher)? Sometimes to me it's almost as if the other team have forcefields around their players that only get de-activated when they get into the box.

One example is closing down crosses.As a defender if you are not close enough to block it or challenge it then you might as well not be there. You might as well just wave your arms kindly and tell your opponent whose head to cross the ball onto (eg carew's or agbonlahor's)
I'm not sure why we tend to shy away, I just think it's that we aren't that type of team..
We have players who play entertaining football, passing, movement and creating chances..
It's not that often when we are on the back foot at OT but we were yesterday, I mean Ronaldo's 1st goal was against the run of play.. I think the team was very nervous early on yesterday though and that may have been a reason why we weren't closing the ball down and playing with the fluency we usually do..
I'm hoping the result yesterday has taken a massive weight of their shoulders and they don't feel under pressure anymore.. I'm pretty confident we are going to have a strong finish to this campaign and i'm hoping we can play with confidence against Porto and send out a message to our European Contenders..!:D
 

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Maybe when we have a backline of Evra-Evans-Neville-O'Shea, we should pressure them all out and expose that back line. But hell, what do I know, I am not English, so therefore I do not know your game that you speak off.

Please don't say I am slating the back line, but if anyone saw that backline and thought we were going to keep them out of the net, they are most likely insane, and after looking at the scoreline they are wrong.

Also, we needed to counter as much as possible with an attacking force as depleted as ours was yesterday. Don't for a second say that it wasn't depleted because we have Welbeck and Macheda coming on for Tevez. Seriously, look at what the odds were of Macheda bagging a goal yesterday. Without Rooney and Berbatov, and Ronaldo not firing on all cylinders like he was last year, we needed to be able to open up Villa as much as possible through counter attacks by slowly drawing them out, because we didn't even have a presence in the middle to drive up the pitch.

But yeah, let's use your force field argument, that is a winner. If only we could find a force field for Nani, then some of you all might shut the heck up...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm not sure why we tend to shy away, I just think it's that we aren't that type of team..
We have players who play entertaining football, passing, movement and creating chances..
:D
I used to think it was about the "kind of team" you were and I agree to an extent. We will never be a Bolton-like side but teams who play passing , movement and entertain still DO press the ball. Even Barca last year pressed the ball more than we did ! If it's good enough for them why not us? I'm not expecting carrick to turn into bryan robson or for Giggs to run around like a 20 year old , but please can't we just get closer to the other team and at least try and win the ball back off them? Afterall , it's very hard to entertain if you don't have the ball. Sometimes it looks like we play the game like it's a game of chess rather than a physical battle.

I don't accept that we are just not that kind of team. ANY team should be prepared to work hard off the ball and make it hard for the opposition. I don't care if you are ronaldhino or robbie savage , ALL the team have a responsibility to contest possession. It's no good having the likes of tevez , fletcher and rooney pressing the ball if the rest of the team don't follow suit - it's a waste of time.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You guys are ******* morons, imbeciles and dickheads.

You cant seem to remember past the last weekend.
That's a bit over the top don't you think? Either you are trying to goad me into something or you just can't see that we are trying to understand something here. If you think I am being unbalanced or negative then just say so, but there is no need for this.:rtfm:

Moderators can't you show this guy a yellow card or something?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok , I'm not being negative and I did start this thread after the Villa game , but really ...against Porto...I was tearing my hair out. Two goals again because we were too passive and too timid in defence. I'm not getting at the players because I just think it's a mindset we have got ourselves into. Firstly Johnny Evans should have got much tighter but instead stood legs akimbo while Rodrigez had time to look up and pick his spot. Second goal , we have three men around the ball who allow their player to turn and cross the ball virtually uncontested. Why oh why do we keep making it so easy for our opponents? There were some signs of pressure. Evra and Evans were getting their foot in more often , but when it counted it was if we just thought if we surrounded a player with enough bodies he will fluff his cross. This doesn't work if all three players are jogging and don't get closer than 2-3 yards. SOMEONE has to get close to him physically. If that happens he won't be able to look up and cross easily.

It's happening over and over again.Are we just totally knackered? If I was fergie I would cancel all physical training and let the players rest. Then again we have been doing it all season. The difference was that in that amazing run we had of not conceding we had two centre backs who were red hot and a midfield playing well. It can work when you are on song. We are not and we need more fight , tempo and physical presence otherwise we won't win anything. The Villa result was brilliant but I won't sleep easy until we pick up some form. Let's face it - we haven't played well since the san siro.
 

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Ok , I'm not being negative and I did start this thread after the Villa game , but really ...against Porto...I was tearing my hair out. Two goals again because we were too passive and too timid in defence. I'm not getting at the players because I just think it's a mindset we have got ourselves into. Firstly Johnny Evans should have got much tighter but instead stood legs akimbo while Rodrigez had time to look up and pick his spot. Second goal , we have three men around the ball who allow their player to turn and cross the ball virtually uncontested. Why oh why do we keep making it so easy for our opponents? There were some signs of pressure. Evra and Evans were getting their foot in more often , but when it counted it was if we just thought if we surrounded a player with enough bodies he will fluff his cross. This doesn't work if all three players are jogging and don't get closer than 2-3 yards. SOMEONE has to get close to him physically. If that happens he won't be able to look up and cross easily.

It's happening over and over again.Are we just totally knackered? If I was fergie I would cancel all physical training and let the players rest. Then again we have been doing it all season. The difference was that in that amazing run we had of not conceding we had two centre backs who were red hot and a midfield playing well. It can work when you are on song. We are not and we need more fight , tempo and physical presence otherwise we won't win anything. The Villa result was brilliant but I won't sleep easy until we pick up some form. Let's face it - we haven't played well since the san siro.
I agree, we stand off as if to say '' lets see what you got '' , well guess what lads, a lot of these players have got quite a ******* bit, and if you stand back they'll ******* show you.
We used to be praised as a team for our work-rate as well as our attacking flair and great football, where has that gone? Maybe ( and i hope i'm right ) tonights game came too quickly after Villa and a draw was really a decent result, it might not feel like it right now but if we think about it for a while we'll see. Four days rest until next game, maybe a few injured players back as well, we should be okay , back to the hussle and bussle we're used to, and also THE PROPER UNITED BACK
 
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That's a bit over the top don't you think? Either you are trying to goad me into something or you just can't see that we are trying to understand something here. If you think I am being unbalanced or negative then just say so, but there is no need for this.:rtfm:

Moderators can't you show this guy a yellow card or something?
I have done. (It's red actually)
 

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Let's face it - we haven't played well since the san siro.
Exactly, where has that team gone..?
I hope we are as adventurous against Porto in the 2nd leg as we were at the San Siro..!

But again tonight, where was the pressure on the opponents and the closing down..?
Tonight was so strange, our passing was shocking and we created very little, but yet we nearly stole the win late on.. It's not often I can say this being serious but Scholes had a nightmare but the whole team was a dissapointment to be honest..
 
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Is there any point in me infracting Justice if the rest of you are just going to fire abuse back at him?
 
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