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11,207 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So we're a third of the way into the 2008/09 season and it has been
a sluggish or less than ideal start to the season.

One of the things that have annoyed me is that most of our attacking
players seem to be performing a lot of "additional" duties that do not
really fall into their "traditional" work scope.

Rooney was chucked on the left for most of last season and looks like
he is only slowly learning to be a striker again - but under the guidance
of Don Capello.

Tevez seems very fond of the middle of the pitch and keeps dropping
back to collect the ball and in the mean time the opposing defenders
move up.

Berbatov is culpable of the same, although we hear that he said to
the Bulgarian press that he has been asked to do so in order to let
his team mates get used to him.

Ronaldo drifts in and then out wide again, rotating between being a striker
and a winger.
When goes into the middle, usually a right back will push up a bit further

Nani appears to be mimicking Ronaldo. I doubt he is cultivating his own
style - his running, movement off the ball, contastantly stopping to do
a step-over all remind of Ronaldo and instead of running the flanks, the
boy is also very fond cutting in and letting rip with his right foot.

Anderson was touted as the next Ronaldinho, his YouTube clips certainly
supported those claims. What we got was a more well-rounded player
than we had expected and I like him. But he seems to content at playing
it safe.

My point is - a lot of our attacking player seem to be doing more
than their "traditional" job scope, which their position calls for.

Whether this is because of instructions or personal flair, I do not know,
but I have serious doubts whether this is beneficial to the team.

My main gripes are:

- Not enough crosses put into the box.
Crosses create opportunities, causes defenders and the goalkeeper to
commit themselves.

Even when you want to play sexy football, quality crosses never hurt

- Next, there has to be a striker at the end of those crosses and to
put away any balls that zip around the penalty box. I've seen to many
cut-backs or passes begging to be put into the net, but there was
simply nobody to bang them in.

- Not stretching the opponents defence enough.
At times, Man Utd have been way too compressed and there doesn't
seem enough space in the middle. once in a while, Nani gets to play
and he seems to enjoy staying out wide to link up with Evra, but not
always, and when Nani doesn't play, Park doesn't offer that link up and
also gravitates to the centre of the park.

So all in all, if the players were to revert back to playing the way their
positions traditionally function, then we might not have dropped as
many points, or should I say, we might have maximized more chances
this season.

That's my 2 cents.

11,076 Posts
i don't know what to say really...i'm still confussed why we changed anything from last year ...

seriously though, every time i try to figure out what the problem is i can only think of last season and that it was almost perfect....

as one journalist once said -"at times - man united look untouchable "

don't get me wrong -it's not all bad - i was just saying to my friend the other day how it seemed to me by the way we dominated celtic in scotland that we're even better than the last season....

for now the only reason i can only think of is our illogical striker rotation policy...

as i said in my thread - we switched both of our in-form strikers to completely out-of-form strikers by unlogicaly benching them while they were in top form ...

maybe rooney and tevez are now both too eager to show that they deserve to be ahead of berbatov imo...

maybe that's the problem - i don't know....

maybe it's just me but i can't think of any other reason ( apart from shaky defence ) that that we're more unpredictable, faster with tevez-roo combo


2,303 Posts
i honestly believe that its utds lack of a driving force central midfield player that is causing the problem .virtually all our midfielders try to pick a pass or move the ball along quickly and we seem to lose a lot of possesion this way ,i think its the reason every one of our strikers drop deep their trying to get the ball.
if we had a midfielder who put his head down and actually runs at defence's beating his markers this would go some way towards solving everything , our strikers would then pick up the pieces in the right area of the pitch and would be an immediate danger instead of being 50 yards away from goal.we desperatly need a central midfielder who will punch holes through defence's not twinkle toesed passengers who sit in the middle.

23,699 Posts
Fantastic thread, RFR. Do you mind-read?

Nothing much for me to contribute to the discussion because what you mentioned are what I ponder when I am free too but find it too cumbersome to write it out as a thread.

It seems we are hurting nobody this season (generally speaking) is the consequence of the factors you mentioned. All the symptoms you described about each player are spot on but we, as fans, can only gather here to discuss and can do no more.

Of course, I also agree with swee fa about our central midfield as posted in the Achilles heel thread.

11,076 Posts
and that is why i said that roo-tev partnership was great for our midfield---

because they did half of the work for our midfield---

they were causing defenders or midfielders to lose posession and who ever says that we don't need carlos is wrong....

i called him genius for his contribution and work etchic last season

truse me - he is the type of player that managers adore

so many times he contributed to our goal scorings last season so his contribution can't be measured only with assists and goals
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