Please Register to access the whole of the site and to post on the forums.
Discussion in 'Match Reports' started by Bulletspur, Dec 28, 2014.
Lloris although Kane would have been worthy of it had Lloris not played a worldy
He who dares Presses.
This has been a feature of ManU teams for me for years. It's not just that they have, of course, had superior players and often played superior football, but their work rate. It has always kind of been ignored when analysing them over the years. They have never been known as a "pressing" team per se, it's was always just endemically embedded in their collective psyche, their footballing DNA under Ferguson. And VanGaal seems to have got them back in that groove. The most noticeable thing about the first half, apart from the tactical miss-match that Pochettino's tactics had created, was the amount of time they were allowed on the ball compared to how little time they allowed us to have the ball. It was also noticeable that when we started pressing them much better in the second half how much more even the game became.
I have always used this expression. It's an old very hackneyed cliché, and I don't always like them, but I believe it. You have to earn the right to play. You have a cast iron obligation to do the basic, ordinary, unglamorous things well as a matter of course.
Whatever else ManU always did under Ferguson, however quickly they broke and tore you apart, or how well they could dominate the game sometimes, coming at you in waves, they were never allowed by Ferguson to get away with not doing the basics. Not pressing your man properly, not tracking your runner, not being diligent positionally etc etc and this is why they won leagues, often with inferior sides.
The difference in that first half was like the old ManU v the old Spurs. They were working so much harder and, thanks to Pochettino's unswerving adherence to a 4231, and the choices within in it, they converted that superiority to so many chances and half chances it was an absolute miracle we didn't come it at half time 3 or 4 down.
Pressing isn't just about being in the vicinity of the opponent. Casually meandering in his general direction, hinting at the suggestion that you may possibly if you feel so inclined perhaps get a bit closer to him. Pressing needs to be done with vigour and genuine intent to stop the opponent doing what he wants to do, making him genuinely uncomfortable. Watching Townsend, Eriksen and Chadli limply fanny about was fucking painful in that first half, and is tactical suicide with our defenders playing a highish line.
It was, frankly, a fucking miracle we got through that half unscathed. But somehow - poor finishing, luck, last ditch defending, great goalkeeping - we did.
In the match thread Townsend and Fazio were getting slaughtered at half time but I thought this was unfair. Apart from the shit pressing, of which he wasn't the only culprit, Townsend was our only player who looked like making something happen, playing a very nice little dink cross that Kane should have done better with. I was more pissed off with the lack of contribution by Eriksen and Chadli. Eriksen wasn't doing enough to help out our over run midfield and Chadli was wasteful and lazy. And Fazio was having a torrid time but was digging in and making tackles and blocks and shit. It wasn't his fault that our defence was being so exposed.
What we got second half was a different game. Kane said post match that they were told to press better higher up. I'm hoping this is true and that "told" was a nice way of putting it. They needed a fucking rocket up their arses.
I think a combination of our increased effort to press better and higher, our rotation, our fitness (@thinktank )and the fact that LVG had played the same 11 players 48 hours previously, meant the game changed radically. For the first 20 minutes of the second half it became a much more even affair than the first half had been with the game being played much more in midfield with very few chances being made now, but gradually it became a very one sided and we were firmly on top, so much so that in the end I was actually a little fucked off that we hadn't made more of our domination over that second half. Overall it would have been hard on ManU, a draw in the end was a very fair result and reward for having a half each.
It really does worry me that Pochettino made no major tactical adjustment to counter ManU's 352, it was a complete miss-match and we were comprehensively over run for the first 45 minutes, more so than any game I've seen in the last few years. More than The LIverpool or ManC drubbings. It's not just the tactical deficiency, it's that we still aren't working off the ball coherently, we still aren't pressing the ball properly all over the pitch. Not the "high" press, just the general, press the fucking ball properly that should be endemic.
Mason had another pretty woeful game. His passing is very careless, and it's not just because he's trying Hoddle-esque passes, he's giving the ball away making routine passes a lot of the time, he did it a couple of times in quick succession and put us on the back foot instantly. You just cannot keep doing this in this league, he has the worst passing completion of all of our midfielders including Lamela and Chadli, only 1% better than Townsend. He is not creating much or making very incisive passes either, in fact he had a great chance today to play us clean through and fluffed it. Worst of all was his atrocious miss of the best chance of the game, wonderfully created by Kane. You just have to be composed enough to hit the target at least. Instead he leaned back a blasted over. It was schoolboy technique. Credit too him for getting into the position though.
Mason works hard and has good intentions, but he's not a kid, he's not 19, he's got to start walking the walk and playing with more composure and craft, and soon.
Both he and Stambouli weren't helped by being numerically outnumbered in the middle of the pitch, and we really should have started as a 433 then maybe switched later on if we needed to.
Davies had an excellent game, I don't think he's brilliant going forward, more steady, but if you have a more attacking RB that's not the end of the world, and after Rose's horror show boxing day, he was a calming influence.
Lloris had another very good game, although I thought it was his uncharacteristic hesitancy that created that weird chance for RVP, that Lloris ultimately saved.
Man of the match for me was Kane. The boy just keeps surprising you. He was really poor against Leicester, looking clumsy and bereft of wit. Comes out two days later and puts in a performance like this today. He was energetic, second half led the pressing, winning the ball back brilliantly a couple of times and putting ManU under real pressure - it was this kind of pressing from him that changed the whole ambiance of the game - and it was a superb piece of play from him, playing the best pass of the game to set up Mason for the best chance of the game.
I know you can't press frenetically for 90 minutes. It's impossible, but we need to keep the ball better when we are in rest (or non high press) mode. Pochettino needs to find a way to manage games, both before and during. We are conceding too much of games to opponents, and not just the ones of the calibre of ManU.
I thought the subs were right, but could have been made a bit earlier.
Lloris - Very good game. I thought one blunder but more than redeemed.
Chriches - When weighing up the gains and costs there really isn't much to choose between him and Walker as RB's. Both do the odd daft thing, but he's more composed and intelligent, Walker's quicker. Tactically I don't understand why he wasn't coached this week to show Young outside on his slightly weaker left side. Continually showed him inside onto his right and it was very dangerous for us. BUt the coaches should have warned him of this.
Fazio - You don't want people running at him on the counter, but when it's a battle he digs in. I didn't think he was terrible today.
Vertonghen - I thought he was also generally pretty decent under considerable onslaught from quality players first half.
Davies - Excellent game. Our best defender on the day I thought. And played out of defence with a lot of composure at times too.
Stambouli - You can't fault his endeavour, and the CM's were horribly outnumbered by some quality footballers. Tough day.
Mason - Pretty poor game overall. 19/33 passes is really not good enough, even on a tough day. You cannot fault his desire and willingness to battle and he'll have easier days, but he's not just there as a busy ****, he's got to offer more football and much fewer careless mistakes.
Townsend - Defensively very lax, but I thought offensively was our best player first half. Someone said in the match thread (@Dov67 I think) Townsend's like one of those players that's almost really good but isn't, and this is kind of it. He can show great technique then miss-control it, he'll nearly create a great chance, but then two minutes later he'll waste a great chance to set someone up by blasting from 30 yards or turning into trouble. It's like nature has played a cruel joke on him, given him talent but not the mental faculties to make the most of it. Very decent first half, meh second.
Eriksen - Poor first half, needed to show more fucking desire to be part of the game. Better second half.
Chadli - As above. But not loads better second half and rightly subbed. Wasted a couple of good positions with poor control choices too.
Kane - Outstanding game. This is his best position for me. He's poor "10" but a real handful as a "9". Dragging defenders around, pressing brilliantly from the front, changing the whole tone of the game, his hold up play was good and his ball for Mason sublime. MOTM for me.
Dembele/Lamela - Right subs, did OK in the limited time they had. Should have been on sooner.
Who would of though we would of matched City's result today lol.
Agree with your ratings BC, and Kane for MOTM.
Would you play a midfield three against Chelsea?
I really hope we can start the game against them like we finished against United.
I'm shocked not more credit is being given to Stambouli, he was outstanding today. Clearly given the role of shutting down Rooney (who is in good form and always does well against us). Rooney had the header in the first half and that was it.
Decent enough performance showing sides to our game that suggest team morale is up.
Lloris 8 very good
Chiriches 7 good
Fazio 8 Very good by far our best CB would love to see him partnered with Dier
Vertonghen 6.5 Ok
Davies 6.5 Ok is first choice now imo.
Mason 7 good all round play has a fantastic engine...is for me one of the first names on the team sheet.
Stambouli 6.5 ok
Townsend 6.5 ok better ball selection has improved reverse passes through ball instead of always looking to shoot.
Eriksen 7 on the coat tails of the game always in vicinity of making things happen.
Chadli 6 ok could of done a bit more to impose on the game.
Kane 8 clever player some excellent assist balls berbatov would be proud of occupied well enough Uniteds back 3.
Pocho. 7 team selection good...result good
Lets face it this is not the Man.Utd of old. First half dreadful. Second half refreshingly better once we worked that out.
They had better chances than us and we didn't really work De Gea.as much as they worked Hugo. Useful point in the end.
Lloris.............9........He might stay, he gets plenty of chances to shine at Spurs. MOM
Chiriches.......7........Good today. Played Young well. Trademark iffy moments.
Fazio.............7.5.....Getting to like him. Excellent in the air. Not phased by partnering Verts
Verts..............7........Just does enough. Plays as if he'd rather be somewhere else. Decent today
Davies...........7........Gritty performance. His best so far.Nice work in the second half.
Townsend......6........He's got something just not sure what it is. Tried hard today and some of it came off
Stamboui.......6........Disappointing. Missed his chance again to nail a midfield slot.
Mason...........6+......Great run for the goal that he missed. Combative and full of energy sometimes misdirected
Chadli...........6.........Promises a lot more than he delivers lately.
Eriksen.........7.........Some nice work but not given the space to work in today.
Kane.............7+.......Brilliant ball for Masons chance. Quality movement and effort. Worth double whatever we're paying him.
Was really impressed with the performance today, this is definently a game we would of lost last season.
LLORIS - 9 Amazing performance, the save one on one with V Persie was brilliant. If only we had more players of his standard MOTM
CHIRICHES - 6.5 Much happier with him at right back as when he has one of his moments its out wide, however does offer something different to Walker
FAZIO - 7 Had a steady game and really impressed with how he is settling in with Vertonghen. Aside from a couple of brain farts with the ball at feet, when heading one of the best
VERTONGHEN - 7 Impressed with him today classy play and didn't over react when V Persie went through him
DAVIES - 7 Settled in nicely and definently now ahead of Rose on these types of games, horses for courses though
STAMBOULI - 6 surprised he played the full 90 but kept Rooney quiet from deep. Silly booking early doors but did his job
MASON - 7 too busy putting out fires to be out to be our metronome. His chance at the end epitomised his game - did the hardwork in getting there, he just needed a bit of composure for the end product
ERIKSEN - 6.5 disappointed with his end product today, however was a danger in and around the box and was the one player I thought our winner would come from
TOWNSEND - 6 I can see why he was picked as an outlet runner/ball carrier however it would have been nice if he'd of done a bit more of it
KANE - 8 love this lad he's coming on leaps and bounds just think he needed a bit more support be it from another striker or Eriksen playing closer
CHADLI - 6 patches of good things but not consistent enough threat for me should have been replaced by Lamela or Dembele sooner
LAMELA & DEMBELE - 7 should have been brought on sooner as they would have played between the lines against tiring and booked defenders
To be fair would have taken a point at the start against them however on the balance of play of both halves just have a nagging feeling it's 2 dropped which is confusing .
What will it take for a penalty to be given for shirt pulling against United - even my 6 year old saw it and said it was naughty!
And lastly, who at the start of the season would have had that as our starting 11 against United... Not me!
Are you joking I was right beside vlad first half he was really poor he was our worst player today by a mile, he looked scared of the ball he looked like he didn't want to be on the pitch.
I haven't had the chance to see the game today as working, sounds like everyone is saying Fazio looked good but Utd still seemed to have a load of clear chances. We couldn't have been that good in defence
Just because our defence had to survive a lot of pressure, it doesn't mean that the defence was the cause of the pressure.
Nobody apart from everyone?
Watching the game live in the stadium doesn't give you as well rounded a view of what's going on nor the benefit of action replays and commentary opinion/clarification etc but from what I saw my opinion of the performance was that we were some what fortunate to stay level with them first half but the longer the game went on we gained a bigger and bigger grip on the match and by the end I left disappointed with a point (which tells it's own story)
I thought we were robbed of 2 penalties on Kane and felt Mason should have at least tested the keeper when superbly played in one on one by Kane
Anyway - individual marks.....
Lloris - 9 - He's world class, some outstanding saves today. Didn't put a foot wrong
Chiriches - 7 - He had his usual few dodgy moments but I thought he actually played very well today and cleared one off the line when it seemed certain they would score. Fair play to him he played his part in a good performance and result
Fazio - 8- I have been very quick to negatively judge Fazio for being too slow and error prone but once again today he was solid at the back and after a shaky start to his Spurs career has put in a string of great performances and is becoming something of a rock
Vertonghen - 7 - Overall played very well today I thought, couple of sloppy moments and positionally stranded once or twice but he did his job and is forming a stable partnership with Fazio
Davies - 8 - Very good game from the lad, showed he is the automatic starter over Rose beyond question. Very little came through their right side because the lad snuffed everything out. Was decent going forward too
Stambouli - 6 - Better performance than against Leicester which is encouraging considering the opponents but still looking some way off being up to standard imo
Mason - 8- I think had he scored his one on one he'd have been a contender for MOTM which speaks volumes for how well he played considering Lloris' outstanding performance. Some of his passes where sloppy but he was running the midfield at time and supporting the attack very well with some lung busting attacks while still putting in a very solid defensive shift for the benefit of team.
Townsend - 6 - He put in a shift and did more defensive work to support Vlad than I expected. Was still a bit greedy and wasteful at times. Even his shot which looked impressive to the eye because of its power was actually a very comfortable save for De Gea and wasted a pretty good chance to slot Kane in one on one had he the vision to spot it and team ethic to play it
Eriksen - 6 - Struggled to really influence the game, was neat and tidy and I rarely remember him giving the ball away but he was failing to make us tick or create any real chances for himself or the team. Set pieces should have been better too
Chadli - 6- Lacked a yard of pace at times when he could have been in, he also failed to really influence the game but he worked hard and did his job
Kane - 8- This kid just keeps getting better, he worked so hard today. His ball to Mason was sublime and deserved to be an assist. He hustled and bustled and continuously made life hard for them. He tackled back to turn over possession, pressed them hard all game and was always a threat even if he didn't really have a nailed on chance to score himself. I feel he earned two penalties when he was tripped in the box and later wrestled to the ground by Rooney. Legend in the making
Dembélé - 7 - He held possession very well but failed to really make anything happen.
Lamela - 6 - He played well enough, tried hard and won the ball a couple of times. Didn't really do anything wrong but as a £30m player who we all hope/d can become a world class talent coming on as an impact sub he basically failed to make any form of impact and disappointed again
I know, but we seem to give away a lot of clear chances every game with strikers losing their markers. I was just wondering if Fazio did his usual, win lots of headers and make some blocks that can catch the eye but still be responsible for a couple of cock ups
that's basically what happened. but the non existent "midfield" in front of them were the cause of it, the back four did about as well as you could expect them to in those circumstances.
Fazio was good, JV was OK, Davies was very good and Chiriches was...'questionable'- he seems to do something really good, and then fuck up a minute later.
I watched the game in the bar today so didn't get to concentrate enough but I have to say, I thought Utd should have been out of sight by half time, only for poor finishing and a bit of luck. Seemed much better second half from us though.
Hugo fazio and Kane excellent then you let yourself down... Mason was great ? Are you his dad ?
Some tough ratings on Stambouli considering he and Mason were outnumbered by quality players. Lloris made his usual match saving contribution but I'd give MOM to Fazio for winning everything that was thrown at him and almost hitting the net. Kane worked his socks off but the 'pressing' from midfield (Eriksen, Townsend and Chadli most notably) didn't happen.
Separate names with a comma.