The most disappointing thing about Saturday for me is the negative approach of our manager. If we want to reach the top four, we need to attack teams like Blackburn and definitely go with two up front.
Blackburn's greatest attribute is their physicality and Moyes leaves Rodwell on the bench and plays Osman. Add in the fact that Heitinga is our most physical player and he is also left sitting. He then substitutes Osman for Beckford and we think we now have two up front only to then take Saha of and replace him with Rodwell. What's going on there, I ask.
Then there is Neville. He is totally out of his depth and offers nothing going forward. He makes Hibbert look world class and that's saying something. As for playing Saha as the lone striker is beyond me. He just can't cover that ground and I would imagine he finds it frustrating. I don't doubt he is an excellent man-manager and has assembled a great squad but tactically I feel he is very poor and this will be the crucial if we are to achieve anything.
Micheal Lynch, Posted 16/08/2010 at 22:34:55
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1 Posted 17/08/2010 at 06:17:40
2 Posted 17/08/2010 at 06:26:23
Moyes has already adressed our offensive shortcomings in this game, this was not how it was supposed to pan out. The energy and movement just wasn't there. I doubt Moyes asked the players to sit back.
Agree with the substitutions, they were puzzling.
As for Neville, he wasn't one of our worst performers on this day.
3 Posted 17/08/2010 at 06:28:23
I didnt see Blackburn getting physical, I saw a hard-working unit getting 10 men behind the ball every time they lost possesion... a bit like us.
And I don't believe our problem was the team selection, that team should have been good enough to win. Our problem was/is our inability to build any sort of attack from the back; defenders continually surrendering possesion because they don't have the balls to get it down and play.
It's easy to blame the usual suspects or the tactics, Dave, but ask yourself where the superstars where on Saturday? Do you really believe Moyes sends his team out to play this brainless hoofball?
We won't play until our defenders man up and take the occasional risk, results will follow and nobody will question tactics.
4 Posted 17/08/2010 at 07:59:46
5 Posted 17/08/2010 at 08:55:56
I'm going to be hard on Moyes this season more than the players... the players do not pick themselves, choose their own position or play themselves after a limited pre-season and clearly not fit.
Note, the outstanding performers in pre-season did not take to the pitch on Saturday... well, Cahill and Jags aside.
6 Posted 17/08/2010 at 09:13:16
I very much doubt Moyes pulls Distin and Jags aside and tells them to forget everything he has just told the team and punt it forward aimlessly.
I would have subbed Saha too, being useless since he got his long contract.
I am not defending Moyes here (then again I am a confirmed apologist) but if your "star" players look unfit or disinterested, what are you to do?
It's quite funny how people's views differ, some are calling Rodwell the new Beckenbaur, whilst other say all he can do is pass sidewards, yet he would have been the difference on Saturday apparently.
Pienaar and Arteta couldn't pass or shoot anywhere good enough once they got near their box, so if they can't do it; no amount of tinkering to your tactics would have saved us.
It should have been a 0-0 bore draw but for the howler by Howard, and their only shot on target was a gift.
7 Posted 17/08/2010 at 09:26:11
8 Posted 17/08/2010 at 10:10:54
9 Posted 17/08/2010 at 10:26:50
Pienaar is more a central midfielder but would you put him in there ahead of Arteta?
Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
10 Posted 17/08/2010 at 10:34:35
(Bangs head against brick wall).
The 'two up-front' discussion has been had so many times, it's no more 'positive' than one up front. You can play a defensive 4-4-2 or an attacking 4-5-1. The positivity/negativity comes from the instructions or attitude the players play with, not where they're supposed to stand at some default moment.
The difference with two up front, and why many managers don't like it any more, is that the two are easier to mark than a one with runners arriving late from deep. Also, having that player drop deeper gives an extra man in midfield, meaning you (in theory) see more of the ball and can create more chances.
The OP makes some reasonable points, but the idea that keeps cropping up on ToffeeWeb that two up-front is straghtforwardly more attacking than one up-front simply isn't the case beyond the assumption of a three-year-old that 'duh, two is more than one...!'
One out-and-out striker is a different way of organising your attack, not a decision not to attack.
11 Posted 17/08/2010 at 10:54:58
12 Posted 17/08/2010 at 11:08:09
13 Posted 17/08/2010 at 11:20:47
It is universally known that we don't have anybody who can play wide right and on the left unless Baines pushes on all the time we are limited. Pienaar likes to cut inside more often than not and is not a true wide player. I've mentioned it before, we have an imbalance in the squad with so many players who are central midfield players.
14 Posted 17/08/2010 at 11:27:22
The Irony is, you didn't need to. Those who predicted good things this season I ask just one question; what's changed?
15 Posted 17/08/2010 at 11:04:00
Added to this we go 1-0 down and do we see a change? Answer: No. I agree, you can have all the tactics in the world but you also need your players to perform which a lot didn't on Saturday... but this does not take away from the negative approach of our manager. If we are to achieve anything, we need to attack teams like Blackburn.
16 Posted 17/08/2010 at 11:37:07
If Moyes wants to play 4-5-1 then he should have spent the last couple of years bringing in the players he needed to implement this formation. Bily was signed last year but it appears there was no real thought as to where he plays.
17 Posted 17/08/2010 at 11:45:01
18 Posted 17/08/2010 at 12:06:20
19 Posted 17/08/2010 at 12:20:13
Tony, it's not a cardinal sin at all, it's just boring that most posters' reaction is to instantly blame Moyes and the useless fellas in the middle seemingly get away scott free, unless you are Osman, Neville and inexplicably, for Saturday, Hibbert, who now gets grief for being on the bench ahead of Coleman.... ou just couldn't write this stuff!
Also Michael Lynch is now telling us that linked up passing against Blackburn is negative and lacks imagination.... God, I need a pint at lunch time.
20 Posted 17/08/2010 at 12:23:03
And if no marked improvement on Saturday, the same.
21 Posted 17/08/2010 at 12:38:49
I hope that's what's happening, anyway.
22 Posted 17/08/2010 at 12:44:57
You missed my point though, I'm not asking for 4-4-2, I'm looking for a coherent transfer policy in buying players to suit the system that Moyes wants to play and the fact that for a number of seasons we have played 4-5-1 without a wide right or a wide left player of any description doesn't bode well for us to make this talked about next step up to challenge the big boys.
Even when Fellaini was first signed, he was played out of position and Cahill was moved over to play right midfield to accommodate him. It just seems at times there is not a great deal of thought going on. The fact is we all know that we need a right-sided player but we never address the situation.
23 Posted 17/08/2010 at 12:58:25
24 Posted 17/08/2010 at 13:00:32
Our midfield isn't as good as ManUres, nowhere near, posters unrealistic expectations are no match for reality. Pub time, see after 2:00pm
25 Posted 17/08/2010 at 13:32:38
Tony #6 ? I mentioned some reasons straight after that and the post following did answer it for me; however, if indeed the players are not performing, I want to see a decisive Moyes this season take action that does not include putting out the same team week after week...
26 Posted 17/08/2010 at 13:43:01
Yes Moyes isn't always tactically perfect, but he's doing a far better job than most managers in the league, with far less resources.
To compare him to SAF, who has had far more money to spend, and is arguably one of (if not the) greatest manager the British game has ever seen, would also seem a little unfair.
Bit of patience and sense of perspective might be in order at this stage of the season!
27 Posted 17/08/2010 at 13:44:46
Until we find a couple of wingers with pace, 4-4-2 is not an option. Win on Saturday and put it down to a blip.
28 Posted 17/08/2010 at 13:56:29
We do have some top players but Moyes needs to be ruthless with his selection if they are going to realise their potential.
29 Posted 17/08/2010 at 13:55:07
It was not one player. It was not Osman, Neville or Hibbert.
It was the whole fucking team and the substitutes.
The only players that looked interested were Baines and Felli.
Now the last 2 games (Not one as some poster are suggesting) are light years away from what we were doing at the end of last season.
There must be a reason for this and that is the managers responsibility!!
30 Posted 17/08/2010 at 14:27:46
The over reaction to a closely fought game is down to the unrealistic expectations people had close season, "We will win the league/24 years/Top 4 definitely" Rubbish.
31 Posted 17/08/2010 at 14:35:46
It is not an over reaction to say how poorly we played against Wolfsburg and Blackburn.
It is a manager's responsibility to see what is going wrong and to correct it.
If you are happy just to write it off as "Just one game", I am not. The league is a collection of "one games" and all points need to be fought for. We just didnt turn up on Saturday.
I am not suggesting we get rid of the manager, far from it, but something has to be done based on the non-performance of the WHOLE team.
32 Posted 17/08/2010 at 14:39:42
Again, not quite... I'm definitely not one who you could shoe-horn into the above category... yet I still expected us to play a better standard of football than the mess that was on show last Saturday. The problem was not the result, but the approach to the game ? and that approach was cemented by the team that Mr Moyes picked, the tactics he employed and the decisions he made.
My expectation is NOT founded on a lack of realism ? it is founded on the fact that we have a decent collection of first team players ? who, when put on the pitch together should, and will, play good football.
33 Posted 17/08/2010 at 14:57:41
34 Posted 17/08/2010 at 14:38:17
It's easy to say it's an over-reaction but how many times have we seen this before? We have the best squad in years, fully and credit to him for assembling it, but tactically he is poor. I hope this changes but somehow I doubt it.
35 Posted 17/08/2010 at 17:10:15
On form, Saha is by far our best striker.
Heitinga is a far better passer, no argument here but Fellaini has only just come back of his holiday... some would argue that he would still be better... possibly me included.
As I said earlier, tactics did not cause the majority of our team to have a stinker on Saturday, the fact that they couldn't get themselves up for the first game in a new season was. Pienaar was cack, Arteta wasn't much better, Jags was trying out for Rugby League etc etc. Tactics would have been given but until the last 15 mins, when we remembered we are actually a decent passing side now, they didn't seem to follow them.
Moyes made mistakes, no doubt, but those over paid feckers in the middle should be held to account too. Moyles Out!
36 Posted 17/08/2010 at 17:47:50
37 Posted 17/08/2010 at 17:50:24
Whether you play one upfront, five in midfield or whatever, the lines remain the same. Analysis of one more player in one of theses lines is bollocks, it's an excuse to divert attention from failure.
The best teams have always attacked as a unit and defended the same, giving players too much detail isolates them, gives them an excuse to abdicate responsibility. Players play best when motivated and free of unnecessary direction, this is the REAL skill of a manager, any arsehole can draw crosses on a blackboard.
Don't fall for it.
38 Posted 17/08/2010 at 21:34:08
It's how many years of frustration creeping in and the fact that it was just same old same old all over again... How about this: whether you agree or not, but how about Pienaar on the right and Gueye on the left? Players in more natural positions plus Gueye apparently was superb in pre-season... player in form? Whatever!!
39 Posted 17/08/2010 at 22:54:25
I wouldn't say Gueye was superb in pre-season and you have to remember the standard of opposition... although I would have to say he looked above average.
However, I agree with your post that Pienaar on the right and Gueye on the left would have been a much better choice against Blackburn.
40 Posted 18/08/2010 at 07:42:05
41 Posted 18/08/2010 at 13:43:15
42 Posted 19/08/2010 at 00:43:19
43 Posted 19/08/2010 at 01:33:57
Ah yes. DM's team selection can be explained by his wish to preserve his position, and make himself look good until there is a vacancy at Utd, by staying in the top 8.
It's all about DM's selfish attitude, only thinking of his own position, above those of the club, his players, us fans.
No point in commenting further, other than to say that I agree with Andy ? he's got the job of his dreams. (And appreciates that fact.)
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