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I hope "this topic has been done to death" NOT before. But really want to hear your views on what are the weakness(es), if any, that you perceive.

Nothing negative, alarming or 'desperate' here. Just that I feel less point to talk about our strengths because the strengths will take care of itself. On the other hand, it may be more worthwhile to discuss about our perceived weakness(es) that we can improve upon.

For me, I mentioned it in the what-I-really-think thread:

The defence, our fortress, stands tall and proud as usual. Once a worrisome position, the RB, now boasts of having the most depth instead, with the exciting Rafael ready to step in for Gary and Brown. Another promising Evans can now be counted upon as a good backup for Rio and Vidic, together with Brown. The only concern is the LB. Yet to be able to see Fabio in action for the first team due to his shoulder operation and our jolly good fellow, JOS, is just good enough as a stop-gap measure and no more.

If there is any weakness, the CM must be our weakest link. May not be weak as of grave concern but definitely room for improvement. I think we lack a CM who can stamp his authority, impose himself in the middle of the park and with the necessary aggression as a no-nonsense ball winner. We also don't have somebody who is of a marauding mould since Scholes' legs are now too heavy to carry him through from box to box.... Wait a minute before you jump the gun. I honestly thought Hargreaves and Anderson could perform these two vital functions for us but we all know one has a bad knee and the other one has not yet really stepped up that one or two notches that we all expect him to. I really expected much from them in these two aspects but am still awaiting for different reasons.

Fletcher and JOS are just too lightweight. Carrick is too classy for dirty works but nonetheless has a fantastic sense of positioning to make up for it, good timely tackles and is of course, capable of good distribution like Scholes. Recently, Giggs has been recommended by the boss to play in this central role too. Not too bad from I saw with his cool head, experience and a fair amount of energy. But not good enough, I suppose, to impose or to last the franatic pace required for that. And of course, Scholes, still possesses the quality with his distribution but has been blowing hot and cold, lacking both in consistency and the necessary pace too. Last but not least, another promising youngster by the name of Possebon looks classy so far but is not what we missed as aforementioned and of course now out injured.

.................................

As for Rooney and Tevez, I feel we are so fortunate to have them with such extraordinary outputs, starting offensive moves, closing down on defenders, chasing for lost causes, hassling midfielders and even tracking back to help out in defensive works. At the same time, they are expected to contribute to the goal counts. But coming back to the beginning of this post, I suspect Rooney and Tevez are also doing a lot of leg works as tireless workhorses for us at least partly due to the qualities missing in our CM as mentioned. And have we grown to be too dependent on their work rate?!


Especially for the lack of steel in the our CM positions. The other two I cited ie the LB and box-to-box type of CM are perhaps only minor.

What prompted this thread is because of the Everton game when we struggled in the second half as they pressed and fought hard, and we could not seem to cope with it enough, let alone to turn it around. It also reminded me of the Liverpool game when after taking an early lead, we were swarmed for the next 80 minutes. I am beginning to wonder if it is because we do not have a Mascherano type of player to add steel when we need to in such tough circumstances. Are we too soft in the middle?

Do you agree or disagree? Or are there any other perceived weakness(es) you see?
 

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I dont particularly agree really. You focused on the central midfield positions
but I believe we have real quality in there. Obviously its impossible to replace
Keane and no player will ever come close to him, but we have some great lads.

Scholes- still has it and doesnt need to be a box to box midfielder. He can pick
the passes all day long to release our quick, attacking players.

Carrick- Cant wait to get Carrick back. Has come on nicely in the last 2 seasons
and is our best passer. He can track back and tackle well also.

They would be my 2 starters if all of them were fit.

Anderson- Has shown he is up to the job by playing Gerrard and Cesc off the park.
He is still young and will get better in time. A work in progress.

Hargreaves-Love this player. Hopefully he can get over his injury to come back
as strong as ever. So versatile which makes him so important to our squad.


Possebon
- This lad seems the real deal. Cant wait to see more of him. He can pass,
shoot, the works....

And the 2 you called 'lightweights' (which was harsh imo)

Fletcher- Never lets the team down. Great squad player who always puts
in a shift.

O'Shea- I prefer him in defence but he can put in a shift if needs be.
Way down the pecking order though.

Giggs- Shows he can still do a job there. I have no problem with him playing a few games in midfield.

Gibson- Seems like a decent enough player but he will never make it at United.


I think we have the second/third best midfield in Europe behind Chelsea and maybe Barca,
so if you perceive that as a weakness then thats your opinion but I wouldnt.

I think our only weakness is on the wings. Apart from Ronaldo (who may or may not stay)
we dont have any world class players imo.
Park, Giggs (does he ever play there anymore) and Nani just dont cut it as first choice
wingers imo. So if Ron leaves we are ****ed out wide. Especially at United, we have
always used the wide men to our advantage. Hargo would be a great option
out wide but Im not sure Fergie will put him out there.

In conclusion I think our keepers, defenders, central mids and strikers are savage,
with no real weakness there.
Its just out wide that Id be a bit worried. Next summer we would only need one
player and that would be someone like Ribery, Schweinsteiger, Young or da Silva.
Messi would be ideal but unrealistic.
 

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to be honest, your whole squad is really strong. your main problem would probably be complacancy against clubs like hull, sunderland, stoke etc
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Jazz 16 said:
I dont particularly agree really. You focused on the central midfield positions
but I believe we have real quality in there. Obviously its impossible to replace
Keane and no player will ever come close to him, but we have some great lads.
My utmost concern: are we too soft in the middle?
 

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LB we have Evra, O'Shea, Evans, Fabio and Anderson who can play there.

But you're right, if Evra got a bad injury and was out for a long time, then I'd be worried.

The worst thing about this, is that we had a perfectly good backup with plenty of experience and class and we go and sell him to our rivals, for 750k. What a joke, I still fail to see what Man Utd got out of this, 750k is jack **** to Man Utd. There was no point in selling Silvestre, especially for 750k and to Arsenal.
 

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versa said:
My utmost concern: are we too soft in the middle?
Compared to Roy Keane? yes we are soft.
Compared to most other midfields? no we are not soft.

Fletch, Carrick, Hargo and Anderson are NOT soft. They are no Essien but they
can mix it with most other mids around the Prem. I really dont think its a worry.
I believe Fergie's real worry is who to play when they are all fit.
Certain combo's dont work as good as others and a lot depends on the opposition
as well, if they are playing 5 in the middle etc...
 

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our achilles heel is winning the Premier League and European Cup last season.

As a result, tell me the last team bar Chelsea to come out and have a go at us. Even the scouse win was them playing counter-attack football at Home!!!!

At OT, we expect teams to sit back and try to get to 60-70 mins at 0-0 and then be a little adventurous but so of the away games have shown teams happy to play to stop us.

Success will become our biggest downfall as fans/players are happy to get a draw against the European Champions.

The other achilles heel lying in wait is the World Club Championship in December. We needed to be close to the pack come then and if we come back from the tournament with us 10-15 pts behind and two games in hand will be too much to take into new year.
 

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Our achilles is that the team been let down by some of the star players on the pitch and one player off the pitch. The part of the squad so many like to scoff have done their job but some of our '100k players' havent.
 

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FAO versa and Jazz


I think CM is an Issue and Jazz here you are rating our squad players too highly, but Jazz is right that our wingers are a grave concern too.

In the centre of midfield we do not have two traditional Man Utd players we've usually had - a ball-winning box-to-box midfielder like Robson, as well as Keane and a marauding attacking midfielder, who can distribute and score like Paul Scholes.

I thought Hargreaves could be that guy, but he looks better playing on the right. :rolleyes:

I thought Anderson could be the next Scholes, but he is playing like a defensive mid :rolleyes:

I thought Carrick was going to be our Roy Keane, but he's more a mix of Lampard and Scholes minus the goals :rolleyes:


Scholes can still do a job, but I consider the rest of the CMs to be squad players
Fletch, O'Shea and Giggsy are all to be used sparingly or as subs.

Why, because they lack real energy and confidence to boss the Park.
In this sense even Scholes needs to be partnered by one of the three main CMs.

Without Carrick, Anderson or Hargreaves we lack energy and distribution and while Giggsy and Fletcher did OK against Everton, we need one of the first three to partner them.


On the winger front, Ronaldo plays intermitently as winger throught a game. That means he will hug the touchline for a few minutes that move up to a striker position.

Harreaves does a very good job on the right and can be that guy, but will Fergie put him there?

Nani has been disappointing so far this season.

He needs to learn how to play like a winger first before trying to score like his pal Ronaldo.

In conclusion, I feel that we have an Achilles heel - that Achilles heel is not that we don't have the right players. We do. The Achilles heel is that our players are not doing the jobs they should be doing.

I think Fergie wanted Anderson to learn how to be defensive, but he's learned that now and it's time for him to become an attacking midfielder. He has vision and the abiity to put the ball in dangerous positions.

Carrick is vital to the team and just needs more confidence.

Hargreaves needs to become fit and become our next Roy Keane.
 

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It is the strongest squad we have ever had in our history ,years ago we would have been near the bottom of the table by now with the injuries we have had to our midfield , but we are just about coping and staying in touch with the leaders.
When all are fully fit it will be an embarrasment of riches for fergie to choose from
 

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Maybe if evra is injured. Than o'shea will cover for him, but i think o'shea is not all that quality compared with evra.
 

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martinutd said:
Maybe if evra is injured. Than o'shea will cover for him, but i think o'shea is not all that quality compared with evra.
Remember we have got fabio de silva as well , if he is anything like his brother we should be okay
 

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I don't think theres much wrong with out team. I just think theres little adjustments that could be made.

We have the best CB pairing in the Prem, probably Europe with a very good, young CB waiting to come in when one is injured/suspended/rested. The battle for RB is becoming interesting, with Rafael's appearances and rate of settling in perhaps a tad surprising considering that players usually need a longish period of time to settle, especially younger players.

Back four wise, we're fine. Evra doesn't get injured often, but if he was to get injured for a while we may lack a natural LB to cover. We may have Fabio, but we haven't got to see him with his injury and it would be unfair just to throw him in if Evra got injured with no other competitive appearances for us.

As for CM we have plenty of midfielders. However, at this moment, I feel we lack a competitive, box-to-box player. I think Anderson could well fulfil that role but at the moment is a bit inconsistent and needs a bit of time to develop more. I actually regret the fact that we didn't make more of an attempt to sign Essien, as I think he's the perfect midfielder for the role I've mentioned. Hargreaves injury is a bit of a worry atm, but we've got to give him the chance.

We could also do with another winger. I'm a big fan of Park. However, he isn't a long-term solution on the wing. Nani has a lot of developing to do and has failed to win me over. Hargreaves can do a job on the right, but I'm not sure if hes a long-term solution to the wing problem either.

As for the strike-force, I think we're covered with Tevez, Rooney, Berbatov, Welbeck, and Manucho to choose from.
 

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versa said:
I hope "this topic has been done to death" NOT before. But really want to hear your views on what are the weakness(es), if any, that you perceive.

Nothing negative, alarming or 'desperate' here. Just that I feel less point to talk about our strengths because the strengths will take care of itself. On the other hand, it may be more worthwhile to discuss about our perceived weakness(es) that we can improve upon.

For me, I mentioned it in the what-I-really-think thread:

The defence, our fortress, stands tall and proud as usual. Once a worrisome position, the RB, now boasts of having the most depth instead, with the exciting Rafael ready to step in for Gary and Brown. Another promising Evans can now be counted upon as a good backup for Rio and Vidic, together with Brown. The only concern is the LB. Yet to be able to see Fabio in action for the first team due to his shoulder operation and our jolly good fellow, JOS, is just good enough as a stop-gap measure and no more.

If there is any weakness, the CM must be our weakest link. May not be weak as of grave concern but definitely room for improvement. I think we lack a CM who can stamp his authority, impose himself in the middle of the park and with the necessary aggression as a no-nonsense ball winner. We also don't have somebody who is of a marauding mould since Scholes' legs are now too heavy to carry him through from box to box.... Wait a minute before you jump the gun. I honestly thought Hargreaves and Anderson could perform these two vital functions for us but we all know one has a bad knee and the other one has not yet really stepped up that one or two notches that we all expect him to. I really expected much from them in these two aspects but am still awaiting for different reasons.

Fletcher and JOS are just too lightweight. Carrick is too classy for dirty works but nonetheless has a fantastic sense of positioning to make up for it, good timely tackles and is of course, capable of good distribution like Scholes. Recently, Giggs has been recommended by the boss to play in this central role too. Not too bad from I saw with his cool head, experience and a fair amount of energy. But not good enough, I suppose, to impose or to last the franatic pace required for that. And of course, Scholes, still possesses the quality with his distribution but has been blowing hot and cold, lacking both in consistency and the necessary pace too. Last but not least, another promising youngster by the name of Possebon looks classy so far but is not what we missed as aforementioned and of course now out injured.

.................................

As for Rooney and Tevez, I feel we are so fortunate to have them with such extraordinary outputs, starting offensive moves, closing down on defenders, chasing for lost causes, hassling midfielders and even tracking back to help out in defensive works. At the same time, they are expected to contribute to the goal counts. But coming back to the beginning of this post, I suspect Rooney and Tevez are also doing a lot of leg works as tireless workhorses for us at least partly due to the qualities missing in our CM as mentioned. And have we grown to be too dependent on their work rate?!


Especially for the lack of steel in the our CM positions. The other two I cited ie the LB and box-to-box type of CM are perhaps only minor.

What prompted this thread is because of the Everton game when we struggled in the second half as they pressed and fought hard, and we could not seem to cope with it enough, let alone to turn it around. It also reminded me of the Liverpool game when after taking an early lead, we were swarmed for the next 80 minutes. I am beginning to wonder if it is because we do not have a Mascherano type of player to add steel when we need to in such tough circumstances. Are we too soft in the middle?

Do you agree or disagree? Or are there any other perceived weakness(es) you see?
To be honest I think it's a mental thing. The weakness occurs at 1-0 when we seem to play differently from 0-0. We had 1-0 at anfield , the bridge and goodison and got 2 points when other United teams may have got 5, 6 or 7. That important second goal is not forthcoming because we change our approach after scoring.
 

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I swear I don't see any weaknesses. If I'm being really picky our central players don't score enough like Anderson, Carrick, Giggs. Fletch actually does. One other small thing we don't get late goals as much as we used to. Late winners like we got a few late equalisers last year but we haven't got a late winner since Rooney against Milan a couple of years back.
 

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scott 4 evra said:
I swear I don't see any weaknesses. If I'm being really picky our central players don't score enough like Anderson, Carrick, Giggs. Fletch actually does. One other small thing we don't get late goals as much as we used to. Late winners like we got a few late equalisers last year but we haven't got a late winner since Rooney against Milan a couple of years back.

Man I couldn't agree more. In the Beckham years, someone would come up with a late winner and it really came in handy.

This current crop haven't done that consistently yet.

There was O'Sheas against Pool in 06/07, Milan the same season as you said, but in general last season we got late equalizers, but not late winners.
 

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i think our biggest weakness is the lack of a real strong captain in the keano and robson mould, when the chips are down we have not really got a dominating force to drive us on and tell other players off.
this has been noticable in the second halfs against liverpool and everton , we have been lacking a player leading by example
 

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stretty said:
i think our biggest weakness is the lack of a real strong captain in the keano and robson mould, when the chips are down we have not really got a dominating force to drive us on and tell other players off.
this has been noticable in the second halfs against liverpool and everton , we have been lacking a player leading by example
Id agree, although I think Rio does offer us great leadership from the back.
You mentioned Keano and Robbo, who were the best captains of their generation,
and thats where I think we are now lacking a bit-in central midfield.
Hopefully someone like Hargo can offer us that if and when he plays for us.
 

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Jazz 16 said:
Id agree, although I think Rio does offer us great leadership from the back.
You mentioned Keano and Robbo, who were the best captains of their generation,
and thats where I think we are now lacking a bit-in central midfield.
Hopefully someone like Hargo can offer us that if and when he plays for us.
hey jazz dont hold your breath waiting for hargreaves , he is a crock
 
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