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The 2012-2013 Manchester United Thread: Thank you, Sir Alex


ddidiodion

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Thought he was isolated and struggled to get involved, only players to come out of the tournament with their stock improved were Lescott and Gerrard.

Definitely agree with this. Both were brilliant throughout and I thought Cole, Terry and Johnson were brilliant tonight as well. Definitely thought the system let us down. Need to be more flexible and bulk up the midfield. Thought we might have learnt from the Germany world cup game that we need numbers in midfield.

Both Young and Rooney were shackled really. Couldn't do a lot with what they were given. Hopefully they'll be back on form for United at the beginning of the season.

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Definitely agree with this. Both were brilliant throughout and I thought Cole, Terry and Johnson were brilliant tonight as well. Definitely thought the system let us down. Need to be more flexible and bulk up the midfield. Thought we might have learnt from the Germany world cup game that we need numbers in midfield.

Both Young and Rooney were shackled really. Couldn't do a lot with what they were given. Hopefully they'll be back on form for United at the beginning of the season.

Terry brilliant? the man who created the best chances for the Italians? Are you having a laugh?

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Terry brilliant? the man who created the best chances for the Italians? Are you having a laugh?

Also the one who stopped a lot of their chances to be fair. You're right there have been loads of times throughout the tournament he's not been with it and still don't think he should have gone over Ferdinand but some of those last ditch blocks he made were pretty good. Granted had he been in a better position to begin with the situation might not have arose but ah well.

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Brilliant might be pushing it, but I thought Terry did well enough.

That is fair enough. I'll retract my use of the umbrella term brilliant. Generally thought that the defensive all round were lucky but fought proper hard for that game. Terry's always been a last ditch blocker rather than a solid positional defender anyway. The blocks are usually a lot easier to remember than the mistakes that lead to them as well.

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Iceman, can you fix the forum please? When you click on the Utd thread, it takes you into the England one.

What date is our first friendly? does anyone have a link to the fixtures for outlook, got it last year. very handy.

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It's almost as if parking the bus leads to attacking players becoming isolated, having no options and therefore constantly under pressure which leads to heavy touches and trying to overdo things...

All of the attacking players were naff, it was the system.

Dion, you've been talking a lot of sense lately, I'm worried about you ;)

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Iceman, can you fix the forum please? When you click on the Utd thread, it takes you into the England one.

What date is our first friendly? does anyone have a link to the fixtures for outlook, got it last year. very handy.

Err isn't happening for me so no idea how/what to fix?

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I don't think you can take anything out of that tournament if you're an England player bar Gerrard or Hart.

Hart looked shaky at times. Don't get the Gerrard love. If we're going by assists then fine.

Rooney needs to lose about 2 stone.

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I have to completely disagree. While I don't know exactly how influence or not the coaches/assistant managers have had on his tactical game, SAF has constantly shown throughout his managerial career of being in the top half of tactical managers. While he might not be one of the best ever he hardly has a lack of "tactical nous".

Just wanted to clarify that I wasn't saying that SAF is tactically inept, he's good but he could be better.

You have to be more tactical in Europe more so against the bigger teams. I remember in the 90s when we had the matches against Juventus where we would lose but you could tell we were catching up with them every time we played them and in the end we did.

I think Querioz had a massive say in developing the 433/451 system for United and between 2008 and 2011 this worked well, but we seem to have gone downhill lately Last years CL final against Barcelona, SAF said he had a plan to beat them, I still don’t know what that plan was. The City game is another example where we approached the game in the wrong way.

Last seasons campaign in Europe was a disaster and although injuries may have been a factor when we played Bilbao we showed a lot of naivety, everyone knew how they were set up but we didn't seem to take any action to counter their play.

The great thing about SAF is the way he adapts to challenges, he saw off Wenger and Mourinho when they raised the bar and he'll do the same with Barcelona and City. Due to the financial restrictions and not getting the players we want, we are going to have to be more tactically astute on the pitch and the current assistants are not good enough in my opinion to help with this.

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Hart looked shaky at times. Don't get the Gerrard love. If we're going by assists then fine.

Rooney needs to lose about 2 stone.

The Gerrard love, at least from me, is because he has finally stayed in one position rather than wandering around wherever he wanted, doing whatever he wanted because he was the captain. He stayed in position for six games in a row which has to be a new record for him.

Just wanted to clarify that I wasn't saying that SAF is tactically inept, he's good but he could be better.

You have to be more tactical in Europe more so against the bigger teams. I remember in the 90s when we had the matches against Juventus where we would lose but you could tell we were catching up with them every time we played them and in the end we did.

I think Querioz had a massive say in developing the 433/451 system for United and between 2008 and 2011 this worked well, but we seem to have gone downhill lately Last years CL final against Barcelona, SAF said he had a plan to beat them, I still don’t know what that plan was. The City game is another example where we approached the game in the wrong way.

Last seasons campaign in Europe was a disaster and although injuries may have been a factor when we played Bilbao we showed a lot of naivety, everyone knew how they were set up but we didn't seem to take any action to counter their play.

The great thing about SAF is the way he adapts to challenges, he saw off Wenger and Mourinho when they raised the bar and he'll do the same with Barcelona and City. Due to the financial restrictions and not getting the players we want, we are going to have to be more tactically astute on the pitch and the current assistants are not good enough in my opinion to help with this.

Like I've said before, I think the different with SAF is that he generally tries to set up a system which will win the game, in effect playing around/through the opposition's tactics. Very rarely has he seemed to really go reactive against a team bar one or two games each season.

Against Barca, I think his plan was essentially to out pass the passers. Giggs and Carrick to hold possession and pass the the wings who would do their magic for the front me. Except there wasn't any possession of the ball to have this work even half-decently.

The reason I asked the question in the first place was because we all saw him attempt to move into a 4-2-3-1 at the beginning of 2000's with the signing of Veron but it wasn't until Querioz came that the side looked like a well oiled machine. So I haven't made up my mind how I view the transition. Whether it simply took that long to phase out the players who couldn't play the system and bring in those who could or rather Querioz was the guy who made it finally work.

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Rooney needs to lose about 2 stone.

Colleen won't approve of that. Or will she? :shifty:

The great thing about SAF is the way he adapts to challenges, he saw off Wenger and Mourinho when they raised the bar and he'll do the same with Barcelona and City. Due to the financial restrictions and not getting the players we want, we are going to have to be more tactically astute on the pitch and the current assistants are not good enough in my opinion to help with this.

Normally I'd agree with this, but I'm not so sure right now. There are two huge factors working against him.

1) The Glazers

2) His age

Before we've had the economy to bring in top players when it was needed. Now we don't. And when we still try, the competition is too stiff, so we often lose out on the guys we really want. Secondly, he'll only be around for maybe 2-3 seasons. It just isn't realistic to be the manager of one of the biggest clubs in the world when he is approaching 75, and it will take time to overtake Barcelona. Winning another league title is more realistic than another CL trophy, IMO, but that will be tough too as I'm sure both City and Chelsea will buy big in the summer (Chelsea already have to be frank). We have improved too, and will hopefully buy another player or two, so then it's up to him if he can wave his magic wand again. His greatest strength is unheard of motivational skills. It's just a tiny example, but I got all rocked up just by listening to his short (half-drunk) speech at the award ceremony, where he talked of how the Sunderland fans reacted to City scoring... Siege mentality, he's fantastic with stuff like that. Knows exactly what to say, and tends to get the best out of the players, and the team more generally. He's good to great at the other facets of the game too, which is why he has won as much as he has. Hates to lose, loves to win.

We will only truly appreciate him when he is gone. That's not intended as a slight on us, but rather a reflection of the fact that people tend to understand what they had when it is gone.

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They scored twice from set pieces though iirc and both were our mistakes that were totally preventable and nothing to do with the midfield. Berba fouls Samba from a free kick and De Gea flaps at a corner. I can't be assed having a big debate about it but just because people don't agree with what Fergie does tactically or selection wise it doesn't mean he is wrong.

Was fouled akshually ;)

I'm trying to remember the last time we out-thought a team in the Champions League since 07-09, we've beaten the teams we were supposed to beat mostly and not beaten the ones we shouldn't. When was the last time we beat a team in the Champions League that was better than us? Since Ronaldo left we've played our own game and if it's good enough we've beaten them, if it wasn't they beat us.

I'd say arguably the first leg against Milan, the second against Bayern and both against Chelsea. Milan's contentious with hindsight but everyone was nervous ahead of the game, while Bayern have been in two of the last three finals and Chelsea won last season with arguably a weaker side than they had when we played them.

Welbeck has one of the worst touches. Though i've never watched him properly, might have had a bad few games.

Can't have watched him much at all - Welbeck's touch is one of his strongest attributes.

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Agreed, I miss those days.

Yeah, a bunch of slightly older United fans arguing about **** all as opposed a bunch of younger United fans arguing about **** all. Hobson's choice.

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I'd say arguably the first leg against Milan, the second against Bayern and both against Chelsea. Milan's contentious with hindsight but everyone was nervous ahead of the game, while Bayern have been in two of the last three finals and Chelsea won last season with arguably a weaker side than they had when we played them.

In all 3 of those games we played exactly the same formation we'd played in every other game in the respective season. They're all perfect examples of what I'm on about, we don't change our plans before a match. Milan we were always going to beat, we were just better in all areas. Chelsea where the same and Bayern were an example of where we were good enough playing our system at home but got battered for 85 minutes after Rooney scored away and although the goals were cheap the result was well deserved in Bayerns part.

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Yeah, a bunch of slightly older United fans arguing about **** all as opposed a bunch of younger United fans arguing about **** all. Hobson's choice.

I meant I missed the days when In-ger-lund talk was kept in the relevant threads on here and didnt pollute this one.

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Even so, I think United played fantastic against Milan. Don't think many expected such a convincing win, I certainly didn't. SAF isn't the type of manager who adapts the tactics to whoever he is facing - Mourinho is more that type - but does that mean he is weak tactically? Setting up so well tactically that we don't have to change, is surely a sign of being tactically astute as well. It's not like we have the supremely most talented team in the country (any more) and can just line up and win while playing on 70%. SAF has always preferred a counterattacking style, good distance between the 'tiers' in the team, good balance all around, solid defensivly and lethal going quickly forward. This has to do with tactics too. Honestly think all the talk about SAF not being great tactically is overused and somewhat incorrect.

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In all 3 of those games we played exactly the same formation we'd played in every other game in the respective season. They're all perfect examples of what I'm on about, we don't change our plans before a match. Milan we were always going to beat, we were just better in all areas. Chelsea where the same and Bayern were an example of where we were good enough playing our system at home but got battered for 85 minutes after Rooney scored away and although the goals were cheap the result was well deserved in Bayerns part.

Do we need to track Miso down to get onto formations again? We may have had 10 outfielders in roughly the same areas of the pitch, but their roles were dramatically different in terms of the tactical set-up - Park sitting on Pirlo for 90 minutes a world away from Berbatov playing off Rooney in the 5-0 against Portsmouth ten days earlier for example. The energetic, youthful set-up for the second leg against Bayern with Gibson playing as an AM was a markedly different from the low-tempo first leg which was a perfect case of the failed attempt to have Carrick and Scholes do half of each others jobs to try and cover Scholes advancing years. The Chelsea game was the first instance IIRC of using the particular set up with Valencia stretching wide right, Park and Giggs floating left of centre and Rooney very deep; man-marking Essien when not in possession. While we continued with a similar system for the rest of the season given how successful it was, it wasn't typical of how we'd lined up previously, not least since for much of it we had Nani and Giggs performing completely different roles on the wings due to Valencia's injury and Park's participation at the Asian Cup. But if you're not prepared to look any further than the shades of grey between one man's 4-4-2 and another's 4-2-3-1/4-3-3/4-4-1-1 (delete as appropriate) as the be-all and end-all of 'tactics' then there's not really a conversation to be had.

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You have a point about the Park on Pirlo and Fletcher wide left, but Chelsea was a box standard 4-4-2 we'd been playing since Rooney came back and Berbatovs form dropped off. Giggs wasn't drifting left, he and Carrick were central midfielders. Likewise, Bayern was the same way we'd been playing most of the season, there was nothing special tactically, ask yourself if we'd have played any differently if we were playing anyone else? Of course not.

Doing something different isn't the be all and end all of it, there has to be some level of specificity which for all but the Milan games there wasn't.

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Also, picked up a DVD from the poundshop while hunting for plastic boxes to keep bees in (don't ask) called George Best: A Genius and a Legend. Strongly urge anyone who doesn't have it to pick one up, the football is fantastic.

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You have a point about the Park on Pirlo and Fletcher wide left, but Chelsea was a box standard 4-4-2 we'd been playing since Rooney came back and Berbatovs form dropped off. Giggs wasn't drifting left, he and Carrick were central midfielders. Likewise, Bayern was the same way we'd been playing most of the season, there was nothing special tactically, ask yourself if we'd have played any differently if we were playing anyone else? Of course not.

Doing something different isn't the be all and end all of it, there has to be some level of specificity which for all but the Milan games there wasn't.

Nah, Park and Giggs were playing their halfway house roles where Giggs was nominally the central midfielder with scope to drift wide to get at the fullback with Park coming narrow to cover him - most obvious example is the Rooney goal at Stamford Bridge. Considering how deep Rooney was and how he tracked Essien non-stop to prevent the ball being played out to him from the back (exactly as Park did on Pirlo, albeit offering something with the ball too - don't see how you can separate those two) it was more of a 4-2-3-1 than a 4-4-2. Miles apart from the 4-4-2 England played at the Euros, which I'd say was more of a classic example.

For Bayern, Scholes played 29 (20 (9)) league and European games to Gibson's 15 (9 (6)), yet you don't consider his inclusion in the second leg of a Champions League quarter final to be a tactical one, given the marked difference between their styles and abilities? From a formation perspective, Gibson was pushed very high up behind Rooney, definitely more of a 4-2-3-1 than the 4-3-3 we'd been playing all season with Fletcher as the ballwinner and Scholes and Carrick switching positions behind him and to his left.

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Nah, Park and Giggs were playing their halfway house roles where Giggs was nominally the central midfielder with scope to drift wide to get at the fullback with Park coming narrow to cover him - most obvious example is the Rooney goal at Stamford Bridge. Considering how deep Rooney was and how he tracked Essien non-stop to prevent the ball being played out to him from the back (exactly as Park did on Pirlo, albeit offering something with the ball too - don't see how you can separate those two) it was more of a 4-2-3-1 than a 4-4-2. Miles apart from the 4-4-2 England played at the Euros, which I'd say was more of a classic example.

Flat out disagree with the bolded parts, Rooney was playing that way since he came back and Giggs and Park were a tyical midfield 2. I also said box standard 4-4-2 we've been playing, the 4-4-2 England play is totally different, one 4-4-2 isn't always the same as another.

For Bayern, Scholes played 29 (20 (9)) league and European games to Gibson's 15 (9 (6)), yet you don't consider his inclusion in the second leg of a Champions League quarter final to be a tactical one, given the marked difference between their styles and abilities? From a formation perspective, Gibson was pushed very high up behind Rooney, definitely more of a 4-2-3-1 than the 4-3-3 we'd been playing all season with Fletcher as the ballwinner and Scholes and Carrick switching positions behind him and to his left.

He was dropped because he was playing badly at the time and the midfield looked a bit flacid and Gibson was the obvious replacement, add to the fact Rooney's foot was held on with superglu and needed a runner nexted to him. We'd have done that if we were playing Real Madrid or Lyon, it wasn't anything to specifically counter a threat Bayern possessed or exploit a specific weakness.

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Flat out disagree with the bolded parts, Rooney was playing that way since he came back and Giggs and Park were a tyical midfield 2. I also said box standard 4-4-2 we've been playing, the 4-4-2 England play is totally different, one 4-4-2 isn't always the same as another.

Well they just weren't :D hence how Giggs ended up wide left for the Rooney goal. The second bit I interpreted as you saying the 4-4-2 we'd been playing was the definitive 'box standard' if you will, which I suggested was the England version, so you can disregard that. But Giggs and Park were definitely playing that way, and Rooney was definitely marking Essien more stringently than he ever had previously for us in his #10 role - it was the natural evolution of the Park role from the Milan game to clamp down on the DM without blunting our attack.

He was dropped because he was playing badly at the time and the midfield looked a bit flacid and Gibson was the obvious replacement, add to the fact Rooney's foot was held on with superglu and needed a runner nexted to him. We'd have done that if we were playing Real Madrid or Lyon, it wasn't anything to specifically counter a threat Bayern possessed or exploit a specific weakness.

Getting deep into pure conjecture now but I don't buy that for a minute. If it's to replace Scholes then he can play on the left of an orthodox midfield three as Scholes had (partly) in the first leg. If it's to provide support with Rooney then Nani could have been played off him in the role he ended up thriving in after Rooney went off. Neville and Park went out for Rafael and Valencia from the first leg also - it was a clear ploy in my eyes to get in and around Bayern's immobile core of Van Bommel, Van Buyten and Demichelis with an energetic, youthful line-up. And it worked.

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Well they just weren't :D hence how Giggs ended up wide left for the Rooney goal. The second bit I interpreted as you saying the 4-4-2 we'd been playing was the definitive 'box standard' if you will, which I suggested was the England version, so you can disregard that. But Giggs and Park were definitely playing that way, and Rooney was definitely marking Essien more stringently than he ever had previously for us in his #10 role - it was the natural evolution of the Park role from the Milan game to clamp down on the DM without blunting our attack.

Except it wasn't, using one example of a left footed left midfielder drifting left for one goal isn't an example of some tactical bit of genius to counter act Chelsea, Giggs always does that when he plays center mid, it's because he's a leftie and likes to run with the ball he was still playing the typical more advanced midfielder in a midfield 2.

Getting deep into pure conjecture now but I don't buy that for a minute. If it's to replace Scholes then he can play on the left of an orthodox midfield three as Scholes had (partly) in the first leg. If it's to provide support with Rooney then Nani could have been played off him in the role he ended up thriving in after Rooney went off. Neville and Park went out for Rafael and Valencia from the first leg also - it was a clear ploy in my eyes to get in and around Bayern's immobile core of Van Bommel, Van Buyten and Demichelis with an energetic, youthful line-up. And it worked.

It was playing the best players we had available at the time in the same way they'd been playing all season. He didn't play Gibson as the deep left midfielder because he doesn't have the range of passing or the positional discipline to pull it off, the only bit of tactical tinkering you're denying happened. Nani played wide because it was the obvious thing to do. You seem to be confusing a more attacking intent at home for some tactical masterpiece when in reality we had to go for it so he played an attacking lineup. It would have been the same lineup against any team in that situation.

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Again, we're just down to conjecture now. I gave the example I gave because it was such an obvious one and easy to recall two years later. Giggs has played as a much more orthodox central player before; playing Park in that role gave him more freedom. Regardless, playing Giggs in that role at all when he had been playing wide for most of the season was a tactical shift, nevermind the change in role for Rooney and the inclusion of Valencia ahead of PotY Nani due to the tactical benefits to the system.

Gibson had been played in a deeper midfield role plenty, but only ever in this game in such an advanced position. If it was purley a case of playing an attacking lineup to have a go, then I'd expect Berbatov to play up with Rooney rather than Darron bloody Gibson; Scholes and Giggs also on the bench so I don't buy the 'best players available' argument either. I'm not claiming it was a tactical masterpiece, rather a subtle adjustment that worked wonderfully for that first half that you inexplicably refuse to give Fergie and/or the backroom staff credit for.

Agree to disagree I guess.

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No, bad news would be him joining Liverpool. Joining any other team is good news for me on a personal level :D

Was going to say the same thing :D

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