Manchester United 17-18: Dabbing and Billy Dancing

Zomp

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Mourinho's first year at the club is either a success or failure depending on who you talk to. The truth is obviously somewhere in the middle. The team finished 6th in a year after they brought in 4 new signings and bought the world's most expensive player (for now). The biggest reason for finishing 6th was the draws against lower table teams, particularly at home. The team did win the Europa league which automatically qualifies them for the group stage of the Champions League this year.

So far Mourinho has bought two players. Romelu Lukaku is the big name and came with a huge fee. You can see why...he's 24 years old, proven in the Premier League, and built like a brick shit house. Mourinho loves to play with a target man up front so Rashford or Martial were never going to be his first choice (not yet anyway) and after Zlatan got injured the need for a 9 was there. Griezmann refused to come after Atletico's ban and apparently the choice was between Morata and Lukaku. I'm glad we went with Lukaku, who has proven he can be the lead striker in the Premier League. Morata seems like a great player and I'm sure Chelsea are happy to have him but he was the bigger question mark of the two.

From watching preseason I will say Lukaku's hold up play is surprisingly good. His touch is terrible but he makes up for it with his strength and positioning. His passing leaves a lot to be desired but if he can hold the ball up and get it to Pogba or one of the wide players there will be no complaints. The goals will be there, but he'll be expected to perform better than he has in big games...though with better players around him he should be fine.

Victor Lindelof is the other signing so far. Like Eric Bailly last year there is not much known about him. He's 23 and had a solid few seasons at Benfica. He's had a rough start in preseason, showing a tendency to dive in recklessly and having trouble with pacy strikers. Surprisingly, Mourinho has not played Bailly and Lindelof together yet. One would think they are the first choice center back pairing. Lindelof's passing range is very good though.


There are strong rumors that Nemenja Matic could be signed as early as today. After Chelsea signed Bakayoko I guess he's become surplus requirements there. It'll be interesting if he's signed because after a great first year with Mourinho at Chelsea he was one of the players accused of mailing it in when Jose was sacked (not by Jose, of course, just rumors). If he can rediscover the form that made him one of the best DM's in the league this is a great signing. It was rumored that Dier was the number 1 choice but obviously he has a key role with Tottenham and United probably didn't want to try to negotiate with Levy. The biggest thing this could do is move Pogba further up the field, where he should feel more comfortable. The other thing a DM signing would do is give Mourinho flexibility. In games where Matic is needed he could shield the defense while Pogba and Herrera play ahead of him, but against teams who will sit back he could bench Matic and play Fellaini with Pogs and Herrera, or Mikhi, or Mata, etc...

Rumors are that we still want a fourth signing, likely to be an attacking wide player, likely to be Ivan Perisic.


Some of the bigger questions heading into the season:

1. Will Pogba play more consistently? He showed flashes of brilliance last year while at other times his decision making was poor.

2. Who will play left back? Its a make or break season for the talented but often injured Luke Shaw. Daily Blind and Darmian could feature as well.

3. Will Martial bounce back? Last year he struggled with Mourinho's demand of making him a two way wide player.

4. Will Rashford continue to develop? He's looked great in the wide position in preseason. If Zlatan resigns in January then its difficult to see him getting minutes in the #9 position.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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If United sign Matic and the other rumored player, Perisic from Inter Milan, they will have the tallest team I can remember, at least for a top club. Maybe Stoke or West Brom or some team like that was taller at some point. Their likely starting XI:

De Gea - 6'3
Darmian - 6'
Bailly - 6'2
Lindelof - 6'2
Valencia - 5'11
Matic - 6'4
Pogba - 6'3
Herrera - 6'
Perisic - 6'2
Lukaku - 6'3
Rashford - 5'11

And with players like Fellaini and Smalling (both 6'4) on the bench. And Zlatan (6'5) perhaps returning midseason.

Mourinho has always liked big powerful players but this is pretty extreme.
 

Zomp

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35 million rising to 40 in today's market is...okay I guess. If he becomes a binky for Pogba its a very good deal.

Yeah that spine is gonna be big. I'd be more considered if they were slow and lumbering guys but with Lukaku, Pogba, and Bailly you have some very athletic players.
 

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The addition of the popular Lukaku can't eclipse the Fellaini factor. Impossible to love a team with him in it, surely. But, aye, it looks like they'll be a much better watch. It really looks like a team built to win the League. West Ham were pish and mailed it in most of the second half but Man U do look strong, and more dynamic. Lukaku is a perfect fit. He's great n the box and he'll get loads of service.
 

Dummy Hoy

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The addition of the popular Lukaku can't eclipse the Fellaini factor. Impossible to love a team with him in it, surely. But, aye, it looks like they'll be a much better watch. It really looks like a team built to win the League. West Ham were pish and mailed it in most of the second half but Man U do look strong, and more dynamic. Lukaku is a perfect fit. He's great n the box and he'll get loads of service.
It was the dynamism I enjoyed today, and you know my love for the Belgians.

I still feel dirty.
 

fletcherpost

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It was the dynamism I enjoyed today, and you know my love for the Belgians.

I still feel dirty.
Now John Terry's left the league, all the hate that Terry soaked up was redistributed and Felliani got the lion's share. It's a tough load.
 

Zomp

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Very happy that Mkhi started in the 10 role and played well. Last year he was definitely a confidence player so hopefully he'll get into a rythm. Boy can dribble.

Phil Jones played very well today. If if if he could stay fit he's an ideal partner for Bailly.

I think you'll see one of Matic or Herrera dropped vs teams where we can attack at will, but against the bigger teams he'll play both with Pogba and sacrifice Mata or Mkhi.

It was an awesome performance, but I still feel we need to improve left back if we're to compete on all fronts.
 

Zomp

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I mean first choice is having Shaw healthy and playing. That would solve it. But other than that I'm not sure which Left backs are available. Danny Rose may be but I don't know if spurs will sell to us.

Also glad to see Martial look sharp when he came on.
 

Zomp

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Shaw is actually hurt again. He hurt himself at the end of last season. He pulled himself out of the first half in a game at the end of the season and should be fit soon.

His best start to a season was 2 seasons ago before he broke his leg under LVG. Then last year he started showing promise but got hurt again. You'd think this season would be make or break for him but many have been saying that about Phil Jones for years and people forget he's only 25 years old. Shaw is 22 so if Mourinho thinks it's worth keeping him he will. I'd love to see it work out. He also didn't play Mkhi much at the beginning of last season and it seemed to work.
 

Bailey10

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The physicality and pressing on display were some of the more encouraging signs United have had in the past couple of years. They also showed a potentially lethal counter, with de gea distributing the ball quickly to numerous players with lightning pace (Lukaku/Rashford/Martial/Pogba).

Also, Matic looks the be the missing link in the midfield, breaking up countless counter attacks before they can develop and showing a very nice range/tempo of passing.

I expect this team to be flat track bullies against the non-elite teams in the league, particularly given Lukaku's goalscoring record against such opposition.
 

Dummy Hoy

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I love Shaw- was bummed when he went to United. :D

I thought there were deeper issues between him and Mouhrinho, but if you get him back (maybe with some cover in case he gets hurt again) that should work.
 

Zomp

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic
He is a Swedish hero
On a free from PSG
He cost us nearly zero

6 FOOT 5
Hard as fuck
He gets the crowd excited
Stick your city up your ass
Cause we are Man United
 

Dummy Hoy

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I think Zlatan as a starter kind of fucks up your groove and I'm not sure he'd be willing to come off the bench. If he's up for a reduced role, I think it's quality, but I don't love this.
 

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I think Zlatan as a starter kind of fucks up your groove and I'm not sure he'd be willing to come off the bench. If he's up for a reduced role, I think it's quality, but I don't love this.
That's crazy talk. He won't be back until December and he will be eased back. He is basically the best case backup for Lukaku. The rest of the squad is humming along because Lukaku loosens up the middle. Have to think they will be able to adapt to a reduced Zlatan pretty effectively - use him as a target man, let him knock it down for Pogba, Martial, Rashford, Mhki, etc. and run onto everything.
 

soxfan121

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Mourinho successfully handled Drogba's final season at Chelsea, when he was a diminished physical talent playing behind a younger replacement. I think both ManU and Zlatan will be fine; he'll play a little bit in non-League games and occasionally serve as an impact sub.
 

Dummy Hoy

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That's crazy talk. He won't be back until December and he will be eased back. He is basically the best case backup for Lukaku. The rest of the squad is humming along because Lukaku loosens up the middle. Have to think they will be able to adapt to a reduced Zlatan pretty effectively - use him as a target man, let him knock it down for Pogba, Martial, Rashford, Mhki, etc. and run onto everything.
I'm sure you watched more of United than I did last season, but to me when Zlatan was healthy and starting, United was forced to play through him. I thought this made them slower, more predictable, limited opportunities for younger players to open up, and led to Zlatan missing a whole bunch of sitters in 1 goal games. Now his goal record was quite good (better than I expected) and I think he can add something to the title chase this season, but you make ManU less effective if he's your starter up top.

My only question is whether he is willing to play a reduced role. The fact that he signed on for little wages is a great start, but if the guy who refers to himself in the third person (or calls himself god) can't settle his ego into being an impact sub who the offense isn't based around, I won't be surprised. And that could cause problems. But Mou is no dummy, hopefully this has been addressed.
 

Zomp

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I don't see this is anything but good. I think Zlatan will accept his role, and he may have to if United are playing well and in the mix when he comes back health (which I don't think will be until 2018).

I'd actually expect Zlatan and Lukaku to play together some games as well, vs teams at the bottom of the table. Zlatan is an excellent 10. He's a good finisher, but he's better at holding the ball up and facilitating in the final third.

Zlatan loves Mourinho. He had one of his worst scoring seasons with Jose at Inter yet still talks about him as if he was the best manager he's ever played under. I think he'll listen to anything he says.

I will say things are going too good right now. Mourinho even seems cheery. We'll see what happens when the team loses a game after dominating but right now its been good news all around. Having Zlatan in the locker room is a plus as well.


To me the more interesting question will be who is going to start on the left side next game. Rashford has played there the last 2 games and while he's been very threatening, his finishing product has been lacking and Martial has come in and looked great. The argument could be made that Rashford has exhausted the other teams right back and when a fresh Martial comes on he's deadly. Rashford certainly helps more defensively than Martial and Mourinho loves players who will play both ways. Against Leicester I stick with what's gotten me back to back 4-0 wins but I know others are hoping Martial gets the nod.
 

Zososoxfan

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I don't see this is anything but good. I think Zlatan will accept his role, and he may have to if United are playing well and in the mix when he comes back health (which I don't think will be until 2018).

I'd actually expect Zlatan and Lukaku to play together some games as well, vs teams at the bottom of the table. Zlatan is an excellent 10. He's a good finisher, but he's better at holding the ball up and facilitating in the final third.

Zlatan loves Mourinho. He had one of his worst scoring seasons with Jose at Inter yet still talks about him as if he was the best manager he's ever played under. I think he'll listen to anything he says.

I will say things are going too good right now. Mourinho even seems cheery. We'll see what happens when the team loses a game after dominating but right now its been good news all around. Having Zlatan in the locker room is a plus as well.


To me the more interesting question will be who is going to start on the left side next game. Rashford has played there the last 2 games and while he's been very threatening, his finishing product has been lacking and Martial has come in and looked great. The argument could be made that Rashford has exhausted the other teams right back and when a fresh Martial comes on he's deadly. Rashford certainly helps more defensively than Martial and Mourinho loves players who will play both ways. Against Leicester I stick with what's gotten me back to back 4-0 wins but I know others are hoping Martial gets the nod.
Considering where Martial finished last season, Devils should be thrilled this is even in question. I think you have it right though - Rashford for 60-70 and Martial for the rest. Rashford has been excellent working the flank and although his finishing hasn't been there yet, Martial has been the primary beneficiary. Really though, having those two plus Mkhi rotating as starters, to say nothing of Lingard and Mata, is a great sign for MANU.
 
It's easy to see Rashford's raw attacking talent, but I find him to have Andycoleitis in that he is not particularly efficient with his chances, which at times can seem abundant. Maybe that's a tad unfair given his age, but I'd love to see him become much more lethal this season.
 

OilCanShotTupac

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United look fantastic but I want to see them against quality opposition. Neither WH nor Swansea had resources enough in attack to keep the ball, stretch the pitch, and trouble the ManU defense so it was only a matter of time before they got theirs (although 8 in 2 games is undeniably beyond any expectations even against weak opponents). Still want to see what happens when a team with good weaponry plays them.
 

coremiller

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What will be annoying is that, after Man Utd bank a lot of points against weak opposition, Mou will set the team up to strangle every Big 6 game into a 0-0 draw.
 

SocrManiac

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That’s a well-worn path to the title. Seems more effective than Liverpool’s flogging of the top six and floundering against the Minnows.
 

Zomp

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David De Gea earned his 100th clean sheet with United on Sunday. After initially struggling the first few seasons in Manchester he's settled down and can lay claim to being either the best or second best keeper in the world.

I forget who it was, but there was a member here who asked me if I was related to DDG when he was struggling because I stuck up for him so much, but his talent was never a question. His distribution is excellent and his shot saving abilities are second to none.

Even though he doesn't get called on as often as some, there isn't a goalkeeper I'd rather have. Every summer he's rumored to go to Real, and one day they'll probably have to let him, but even if we sign a high quality replacement like Butland I don't think we'll ever see him pull off some of the saves De Gea does.
 

Zomp

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United very lucky to escape with a 0-0 draw, but that's a result that leaves it all to play for at Old Trafford. People who were fortunate enough not to watch this match will be tempted to deem it a Mourinho tactical masterclass or some such nonsense but Sevilla really should have buried them.

Mourinho's United look like shit in general. Its really hard to make the argument that he is building a top side or that this is a team that will contend for the title next year with just one or two more additions. They don't have a clue in possession. They play hard enough but they don't have the swagger of past Mourinho teams and nobody looks like they're having any fun at all.

Rumors about a new contract notwithstanding, I suspect Mourinho is looking for a non-embarrassing exit and is eyeing the PSG job.
2nd in the league, favorites to advance to the quarter finals of the champions league, and in the quarter finals of the FA Cup.

They’ve hit a rough patch for sure, but don’t exaggerate. If United aren’t contending for the title next year with a few additions then you could make the argument that nobody will besides city.
They have massively outperformed their peripherals this year. Expected goals models have them in 6th, close to Arsenal and Chelsea and well behind Spurs and Liverpool, let alone City. Some of that is De Gea playing out of his mind all season, but how sustainable is that? They started the season hot against bad opposition but since about mid October they have been pretty profoundly mediocre. Plus they have a tough remaining schedule (4 of their final 11 against other top 6 teams). They are in real danger of falling out of the top 4.
Exactly. And there just isn’t a sense that the team is getting better or is building the spine of what will become a title winning side. This was a massive match and Mourinho started with Pogba, Rashford, and Martial - the three younger players around which the team is supposedly being built - on the bench. None of those players seem to be getting better under Mourinho.
Why did Pogba need to get better? He was never consistent with Juventus, but he was bossing matches with a much higher frequency. This isn’t an England versus Italy argument, either. Pogba played very well against City in the CL a couple of years back- it’s not like he only beat up on weaker sides.

Mourinho has criminally misused a player that might be a generational talent. Pogba’s swagger and confidence have been completely extinguished. Would have been better for everybody if he stayed in Black and White.

No, I’m not bitter.
From 2012-2015 Pogba played in a midfield 3 with Pirlo and Vidal. In 2015/16 that got downgraded to Khedira and Marchisio; nothing to sneeze at but also not Pirlo and Vidal. In any case, Pogba got to play a much more free, creative role at Juventus flanked by a defensive stalwart and complete box-to-box midfielder.

Mourinho has never allowed a midfielder to play like that. Matic is a defensive stalwart, but Herrera and Fellaini aren't real box-to-box guys who can cover for Pogba on one of those marauding runs or a search for moment of magic on the edge of the box.

Can Mourinho mold Pogba into Lampard 2.0? Would anyone even really want that? This marriage never made sense, and I'm skeptical that it ever will.

Wanted to quote these posts here because I didn't want to clog up the Champions League thread.

United passed the Chelsea test, and now have 3 games remaining against the top 6 (2 at home, 1 away). Their top 6 record is actually second (level on points with Liverpool and Spurs but have played one extra.

As far as style goes, its all opinion of course. The game against Sevilla was terribly boring, the Chelsea game was fun. Before hitting the rough patch of the past few weeks they had quite a few entertaining games where they played well.

They're third in goals scored, tied for first in goals allowed.

I maintain what I said before. If we're not close to challenging for the title then no club is close.

As far as Pogba, he's been better than last season but is still hot and cold. Its become in style to bash him and Mourinho but before the Tottenham game he was playing very well. I don't understand the comments about misuse...he's played in a 4231, 442. 433, and most recently a diamond midfield. He's had bad and good games in all of them.

I like what Mourinho did yesterday, playing a diamond midfield behind Martial and Lukaku. Sanchez up top, Pogba and Mctominay being the shuttlers and Matic sitting behind the defense. Martial and Lukaku are both comfortable going wide to provide width and Sanchez slots in nicely up front. I hope we see more of it.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Wanted to quote these posts here because I didn't want to clog up the Champions League thread.

United passed the Chelsea test, and now have 3 games remaining against the top 6 (2 at home, 1 away). Their top 6 record is actually second (level on points with Liverpool and Spurs but have played one extra.

As far as style goes, its all opinion of course. The game against Sevilla was terribly boring, the Chelsea game was fun. Before hitting the rough patch of the past few weeks they had quite a few entertaining games where they played well.

They're third in goals scored, tied for first in goals allowed.

I maintain what I said before. If we're not close to challenging for the title then no club is close.

As far as Pogba, he's been better than last season but is still hot and cold. Its become in style to bash him and Mourinho but before the Tottenham game he was playing very well. I don't understand the comments about misuse...he's played in a 4231, 442. 433, and most recently a diamond midfield. He's had bad and good games in all of them.

I like what Mourinho did yesterday, playing a diamond midfield behind Martial and Lukaku. Sanchez up top, Pogba and Mctominay being the shuttlers and Matic sitting behind the defense. Martial and Lukaku are both comfortable going wide to provide width and Sanchez slots in nicely up front. I hope we see more of it.
Football results are so sensitive to the bounce of a ball or the oddities of refereeing decisions that how teams play is much more important than any one (or quite a few) result. I would not see much positive in that Chelsea match from a United perspective, other than getting the points. They were second best all match in a home game, against a club that themselves have been in turmoil. Note that this doesn't include Morata's equalizer, which was wrongly called offside. It would probably be closer to 2.5-1.5 xG with a different decision.

upload_2018-2-26_14-26-42.png
 

coremiller

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I thought Chelsea generally bossed the first 60 minutes of that game and United were lucky to be level. Mourinho decisively out-maneuvered Conte in the last half hour though. No idea why Hazard came off. And even then Chelsea hit the crossbar and had a late equalizer ruled out for a verrrry marginal offside.

Basically what you think of United's season comes down to how much faith you have in xG-type analytics. If you look at points, goal difference, etc. then United's season looks pretty good. If you believe the xG models, then United are pretty far behind Liverpool and Spurs. Here's one example (although most of the models come out in the same ballpark): https://understat.com/league/EPL. United have an xGD of about +14; City are +41 while Liverpool and Spurs are both about +32. That is a pretty massive difference. 538's SPI thinks something similar and has United ranked 6th in the EPL, below Arsenal.

You can see this even in United's games against the top 6; their results have been decent despite the lack of a single really convincing performance. They won close matches at home over Spurs and Chelsea that could easily have both been draws. They got four points from trips to the Emirates and Anfield despite getting badly outplayed in both games. Spurs and City have each brushed them aside with relative ease this season; United have yet to do that to any of the other top teams.

What's interesting is that last year was the opposite -- United drastically underperformed their xG.
 

Zomp

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I don't understand xG so I'll have to look into it. If you're saying that last year they were unlucky and this year they've been lucky, I don't disagree. I also think decisions from referees and lucky bounces have a way of become even over a season.

I don't know. I welcome the statistical approach and analysis of soccer but I'm not sure the weight that a sport like baseball puts into it can be useful. For example how do stats show tactics, lineup changes, formation tweaks, etc... They give us a look at the past games but its a bit difficult to predict the future because all of those things can be changed at a moment's notice and change the game.

MMS said they were second best ALL match in a home game against Chelsea. That's false. They started out poorly and played their way into the game, in the second half they were the better team.

I'm not saying we're clearly better than anyone (well, aside from Arsenal). I think United, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Spurs can all beat each other on any day.
 

Dummy Hoy

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I don't understand xG so I'll have to look into it. If you're saying that last year they were unlucky and this year they've been lucky, I don't disagree. I also think decisions from referees and lucky bounces have a way of become even over a season.

I don't know. I welcome the statistical approach and analysis of soccer but I'm not sure the weight that a sport like baseball puts into it can be useful. For example how do stats show tactics, lineup changes, formation tweaks, etc... They give us a look at the past games but its a bit difficult to predict the future because all of those things can be changed at a moment's notice and change the game.

MMS said they were second best ALL match in a home game against Chelsea. That's false. They started out poorly and played their way into the game, in the second half they were the better team.

I'm not saying we're clearly better than anyone (well, aside from Arsenal). I think United, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Spurs can all beat each other on any day.
xG basically looks at where the chances come from, weighs them against all other chances from that spot, and decides on the odds one scores from there. I like it, but any stat (especially in fluid sports like footy and hockey) needs to be taken with a grain of salt (or at least an understanding of what it’s actually measuring).

I think your last paragraph is dead on- I don’t watch enough PL to know whether it’s rock-paper-scissors or just any given Saturday.
 

Zomp

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2 items of note during the international break:

1. The club has finally processed the paper work to establish a women's team. It's always been a joke and a bit of a black eye on the club that they never had one, so hopefully they put some resources into it. Once approved the team will start in the women's second division.

2. We finally have a youtube channel. Over the years I've been extremely jealous of the access clubs like City and Liverpool give their youtube channel with tunnelcams, interviews, etc...If you've ever gone to manutd.com or follow their twitter, you know the club is lacking in the technology department. They should really take a page out of City's book and allow for complete access.
 

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Question for those that may know -- I have tix to Old Trafford for the 4/29 match against Arsenal. That match was on 4/28 when we booked the trip, so now my group is looking to extend our trip by a day, as we were going to fly out on Sunday the 29th. Before we change flights, does anyone here know how well locked in that 4/29 date is? Thanks.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Question for those that may know -- I have tix to Old Trafford for the 4/29 match against Arsenal. That match was on 4/28 when we booked the trip, so now my group is looking to extend our trip by a day, as we were going to fly out on Sunday the 29th. Before we change flights, does anyone here know how well locked in that 4/29 date is? Thanks.
I'm not 100% sure but I'm pretty confident that it will be fully locked in. The date was changed because Arsenal could be playing the Europa League semifinal on Thursday, 4/26. The second leg of the quarters doesn't happen until 4/12 so it would only be at that point that they would know that the original move wasn't strictly necessary and I highly highly doubt they would change it back at that point, only two weeks before the fixture. And that's only if Arsenal lose to CSKA, which even Arsenal will have some trouble managing. The Sunday slot is also a good prime time slot for a high profile match so I wouldn't see them moving from that for other reasons as well.
 

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What do people think of Mourinho's recent complaining about the lack of signings? I mean, it's good drama -- he's a great resource of things to discuss -- but it seems to me that the drama is a bit annoying at some point.
 

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California. Duh.
What do people think of Mourinho's recent complaining about the lack of signings? I mean, it's good drama -- he's a great resource of things to discuss -- but it seems to me that the drama is a bit annoying at some point.
It's right out of the Mourinho Year 3 playbook. I think 3 seasons is the longest he has lasted anywhere.
 

OilCanShotTupac

Sunny von Bulow
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SoSH Member
Jan 10, 2004
16,658
The 718
There is a little dance going on between ManU, Barcelona, and Everton.

Everton have been in for awhile on Yerry Mina, big CB at Barcelona who has not featured regularly but who had a big World Cup for Colombia, scoring 3 goals including the stoppage-time goal that pulled them level with England in the round of 16 (of course England won on PK).

Mina's strong WC has attracted lots of attention. Everton have been bidding for him, but ManU have jumped in and are pushing up the price. If United gazumps Everton for Mina, Everton may be looking at grabbing Marcos Rojo, if the dominoes fall that way.

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/everton-still-want-yerry-mina-14971137
 

Zomp

Dope
Dope
Aug 28, 2006
11,275
The Slums of Shaolin
What do people think of Mourinho's recent complaining about the lack of signings? I mean, it's good drama -- he's a great resource of things to discuss -- but it seems to me that the drama is a bit annoying at some point.
It's right out of the Mourinho Year 3 playbook. I think 3 seasons is the longest he has lasted anywhere.

Their was a decent article the other day by I think Simon Stone. Basically it breaks down to this. He's right, but its a dramatic way of saying it. The club should have tried to sign a winger and a left back and its baffling if we don't enter the season with both positions filled. He said he gave the club 5 names at the beginning of the transfer window and they've delivered 2. One of which isn't expected to play regularly this season. Why we weren't in for Ricardo Peirreira and Mahrez I'll never know. I know Mourinho loves Perisic but the club didn't want to spend Inter's asking price and now it looks like they're trying to build something where they won't want to sell.

But all clubs, I'm sure, don't nail every signing the manager wants. We'll see. If the team doesn't start the season well it could be a long one.
 

Zomp

Dope
Dope
Aug 28, 2006
11,275
The Slums of Shaolin
There is a little dance going on between ManU, Barcelona, and Everton.

Everton have been in for awhile on Yerry Mina, big CB at Barcelona who has not featured regularly but who had a big World Cup for Colombia, scoring 3 goals including the stoppage-time goal that pulled them level with England in the round of 16 (of course England won on PK).

Mina's strong WC has attracted lots of attention. Everton have been bidding for him, but ManU have jumped in and are pushing up the price. If United gazumps Everton for Mina, Everton may be looking at grabbing Marcos Rojo, if the dominoes fall that way.

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/everton-still-want-yerry-mina-14971137

I don't think we're in for Mina. Most of our good sources have come out and said there is nothing there. Rojo, it is rumored that you want to pay 30 million pounds for him. If thats the case I don't think United would stand in his way.
 

teddykgb

Member
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Jul 16, 2005
7,056
Chelmsford, MA
I find the continued alienation of Martial more strange. If you move to 4-3-3 this year, which seems obvious with Fred joining the fold, you could play Martial and Sanchez outside of Lukaku with Pogba and Fred supporting them and that's a fine attack that can hang with anyone. The back line is not what i'd ideally want but overall it's solid enough to push for top 4 again and i don't know if the depth is there should a key piece get injured but I think the overall team setup makes more sense now than it did a season ago and you managed to somehow finish 2nd.
 

Zomp

Dope
Dope
Aug 28, 2006
11,275
The Slums of Shaolin
I think we'll certainly play 433 this year. We've tried Martial on the right before and for some reason it just doesn't work out. Same with Rashford, though he has generally played better on the right. Martial is not a two way player, which Mourinho doesn't like. For better or worse, he prefers warriors to artists which is why he loves Sanchez and wanted Perisic. When Sanchez was brought in I thought he'd play on the right and our problems would be solved but Mourinho clearly prefers him on the left or through the middle and the gaping hole on the right is still there.