Match Ratings Ratings vs Manchester United

MOTM

  • Lloris

    Votes: 1 0.6%
  • Toby

    Votes: 16 9.1%
  • Dier

    Votes: 32 18.3%
  • Verts

    Votes: 23 13.1%
  • Aurier

    Votes: 2 1.1%
  • Davies

    Votes: 20 11.4%
  • Winks

    Votes: 42 24.0%
  • Eriksen

    Votes: 10 5.7%
  • Sissoko

    Votes: 1 0.6%
  • Dele

    Votes: 1 0.6%
  • Son

    Votes: 2 1.1%
  • Dembele

    Votes: 2 1.1%
  • Llorente

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Undecided

    Votes: 23 13.1%

  • Total voters
    175

Bulletspur

The Reasonable Advocate
Joined
Oct 17, 2006
Messages
6,985
Thread starter #61
Do you understand football? How was that Dier's fault when Martial came from where Vertonghen was meant to be goal side. But don't let the fact certain players can do no wrong however good they are!
Do you? If Dier had dealt with the ball positively then whether or not Vert was culpable would not be an issue. Dier play was lackadaisical which caused martial to say thank you very much!
 

Pedro

Blue & Yellow
Joined
Jan 4, 2005
Messages
1,995
#63
Margin Call

For eighty minutes I enjoyed that game very much. It's wasn't a fun fest, it wasn't open or thrilling in an attacking way, it was two good teams, not giving an inch, fighting for inches (I loved Mourinho's post match quote "two teams fighting for every ball like it was the last of their career").

Sissoko aside, I think the team selection and tactics were pretty good from Poch, I'd have been very tempted to start Dembele in the centre of the CM3 or start Sanchez in the back 3 and have Dier anchoring centrally with Winks and Eriksen in a CM3.

This is a very good Utd team, managed by one of the best, pragmatic and tactically astute managers, who had been beaten by a minnow the week before.They were always going to be fired up and sure enough they came out fighting, pressing hard and for ten minutes we struggled to cope. Then Winks got hold of the ball, and instead of treating it like a hot potato, he composed himself, dropped a shoulder, dribbled past two of their players and then passed the ball to a team mate ahead of him. The display of composed confidence was the tiny germ from which our gradual complete control of that first half seemed to grow. Winks was superb that first half, the metronomic instigator.

Dier dropping back into the back three after 10 minutes also helped us tactically, now we had a better structure, Eriksen had had a terrible first ten minutes, not coping with the press well, but gradually he settled down and he and Winks started seeing more ball and we became more and more dominant as that first half wore on, completely controlling the midfield dynamics, our midfield with now with a numerical and progressive intent advantage.

I think Alli has actually been the best player in our last two games (even against West Ham when he was a bit careless at times) and I think he was having a another good game until he let himself get a bit rattled, after that he wasn't quite as effective, which was a shame.

Second half started a little bit like the first, with Utd on the front foot, and the next 15 minutes were frantic and there were a couple of desperate moments where they got into dangerous areas, but danger was averted, we defended those situations pretty well (Dier and Davies particularly) and we gradually edged our way back.

I think I can understand the rationale of Poch's thinking re the subs and timing of them. We had lost some control, and he was probably thinking Dembele might help us stabilise and regain control and Son had become a bit peripheral and erratic, and he maybe thought that Llorente might give us a focal point and hold the ball a little better. Personally I thought the Llorente sub was flawed as Son was at least working hard without the ball, offered a bit of pace on the counter, and in a game like this that could be useful, and it's not like we were getting past full backs and banging in cross after cross either. Llorente effectively offered us nothing game changing. Neither sub did really. The other problem was that between the time of Poch seeing what was happening (us struggling for control) and making the decision to make the changes, and then making them, we'd actually just began to exert some control again and the subs actually disrupted this a little.

That said I thought we did compose ourselves and the latter part of the second half we had regained some control. I thought Eriksen really struggled under the early first half press but got better and better and was very good second half. Nobody on the pitch saw more of the ball than him, and second half he took up the baton from Winks and everything we did started to flow through him, and inevitably it was Eriksen who played the pass of the game, unfortunately Alli's clever run wasn't matched by his finish, and not for the first time this season he got the finish all wrong.

Just as I thought the game was going to fade to a fairly equitable draw, two good teams stifling each other in a tough tactical encounter, it suddenly didn't. I think you can pick out marginal mistakes by all three CB's in the piece, but I genuinely think they are all marginal, and that goal was more about what they did, more than what we didn't. As soon as Martial came on I said "he worries me". Such a good player to bring on, shitloads of pace but also some footballing brains and technique. His run was clever, not vertical but diagonal, dissecting two CB's leaving both in a kind of netherland. Should Alderweireld have challenged Lukaku? Maybe, but he probably figured he wasn't winning the header as it was Lukaku's side and they were running back towards Utd's end, so perhaps backed off thinking he'd try and catch the second ball, if it works it's good reading, but it doesn't so you can say that's the first margin call that goes wrong, then Martial gets himself cleverly between Vertonghen and Dier. Vertonghen probably thinks he lets Martial go past him because we play offside, it's what we do, but Dier has drifted a bit deeper, Martial has clocked this and stays right side of Dier until the ball is knocked on. This was second chance to avert the danger, in real time I was wanting Dier just to attack that second ball before or as it bounces, he seems to let it bounce and once he does that he's out of it. Even then there's a third chance as Vertonghen actually flies in to block, and if Martial doesn't hit it into the ground, Vertonghen probably gets the block, but instead it bounces up and over Vertonghen's outstretched leg.

It was harsh on us, especially Dier who'd been outstanding for the rest of the game.

It was Lukaku getting the perfect knock on that almost accidentally took out three CB's, and Martial very cleverly arcing his run to get onto it and finishing well, if a little fortunately that did for us as much as those margin calls IMO.

This is the difference that we are struggling to compete with. Chelsea can bring on Willian, Pedro, Batshuyai etc etc. ManC can bring on any number of outstanding offensive players. ManU can bring on Martial, Mata (and more when fit) we had Llorente or Nkoudou as offensive options.

I enjoyed this game for 80 minutes. It wasn't an end to end rip snorting goal fest. Just two decent, well coached teams going at it. I don't begrudge Mourinho his pragmatism, despite his resources, he's not obliged to entertain, he's obliged to win, and win he generally does.

It really wasn't long ago when we were going to OT, having 25% of the ball, camping in our third and still losing 3-0. We now go up there, with a squad worth about 30% of theirs, have 55% of the ball, territorial advantage and compete, giving as or more than we get. The difference is marginal. And that's why I wouldn't swap Poch for Mourinho. Because I'm pretty sure if we could bring on a 50m forward the margin would favour us.

Individual

Lloris - Couple of poor kicks and made a real mess of a shot that Davies had to bail him out of. He seems as susceptible to big game pressure as anyone in our team.

Aurier - The only area he's superior to Trippier is physicality and tenacity. Sometimes those are handy qualities, but sometimes his decision making is very suspect offensively and defensively. There was a through ball in the second half he tried to play that he got horribly wrong and over hit, which I'm pretty sure Trippier would have played perfectly. Defensively he was pretty sound overall, offensively less so.

TA - Pretty decent for the most part, couple of iffy moments, the goal being one of them.

Dier - I thought he was really good all game, bar the goal.

Vertonghen - Decent game, maybe goal aside.

Davies - Our first choice left back for me now. Massively improved and had a pretty good game today again.

Winks - If our gradual control of that first half was compared to evolution of human kind, then the Big Bang moment can be traced back to the moment when amidst the early chaotic gaseous cosmos, Winks calmly takes the ball, lifts his head, steps past two Utd presshounds and cooly plays the ball to a team mate. For the next forty minutes our galaxy spun round his effervescent embryonic sun. Faded a little, but considering there was no DM out there to hold his hand, he did a bloody good job under such a stern examination. I'm giving him my MOTM. When the going was hot, he was cool.

Sissoko - His work rate has never been an issue for me. And, like any player at this level he can produce the odd moment of usefulness, but for me he is just nowhere near good enough, technically, intelligence wise, for this level of football. I think it is a travesty that we have not integrated and developed Onomah - and Poch has had the opportunity - or even that we haven't signed players to play that role. It was clear to some of us that none of our existing CM's were ideal for the type of role we are now asking Sissoko to play, including Sissoko.

Eriksen - First ten minutes just couldn't do anything right. Gradually improved and eventually was the best player out there second half, seeing more of the ball than any player on the pitch, was starting to be involved in everything we did, taking over Wink's metronomic role, and playing a wonderful pass for Alli.

Alli - I thought he started the game really brightly, looked up for it, purposeful, but this is where his temperament has got to evolve, because Utd rattled him, and once they did his A game disappeared. He become erratic and his decisions become less reliable.

Son - He worked hard without the ball, but couldn't provide that focal hub that we really needed on a day like today.
Great post and analysis.

All about the margins and what ifs. Really could have gone either way and neither team deserved to lose. If Alli goes with his left foot then we might be talking about a reverse 0-1, we didn't do much wrong.
 

Pedro

Blue & Yellow
Joined
Jan 4, 2005
Messages
1,995
#64
He was injured apparently.
Where did you see this? Interesting to know, he was immense vs real so I found it strange that he was dropped for this massive game. Dier was brilliant today but I can't see us conceding that goal with Sanchez, that's exactly what he brings to the table to make us even better defensively, deals with the pacey attacker running behind.
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2004
Messages
39,837
#65
Just watched the goal again on MOTD, I think Lloris also could come out a little further a little quicker as well. So unlucky that Martial's shot bobbles over Vertonghen's leg.

I really do think Alderweireld gets bullied too easily by Lukaku, if necessary he should just clatter him and give a foul away.

You can see what Martial does, Vertonghen can't just follow him beyond Dier it would leave a massive hole on the left inside Davies, Martial knows this, and it's tough on Dier too, because Martial doesn't quite commit him either, he ghosts cleverly between "responsibility area" of Vertonghen and Dier, it's clever forward play. I just don't understand why Dier has sunk himself deeper than TA and JV, we are usually pretty good at holding that line (caught them twice first half I think) and why he then doesn't attack that second ball - maybe the angle deceives me and he couldn't get it, but looked look he could to me, but he seems to choose to let the ball go past him?

Dier was good all day I thought, probably our best CB on the day, and I do think TA was almost as much, maybe even more to blame as he just does nothing, he doesn't back off far enough to pick up a knock down and doesn't commit and make it hard for Lukaku.
 

whitesocks

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2014
Messages
2,647
#66
Fellaini did similar to us a few years ago at AT - winning a dangerous header in that AM area.
The CBs are out of their comfort zone coming forward to challenge as they know there will be a gap behind.
Alderweireld was clearly caught in 2 minds.
Dier was a little slow to assess the situation, but still MOTM - he was really trying to impress today for some reason.

If you play a DM like Dier or Wanyama, then you cut the risk of these knock-ons, but we are simply out of DMs at the moment, as Dier's first priority will be to cover for injuries/suspensions in defence.
Wanyama is a big loss.

Great to have Dembele back again - we actually kept possession and set up camp, for the first time in 3 games but he did not look to be moving well.

Winks looks tired -- we've run him flat out, which is dangerous after such a long lay off - he'll want to play against RM again and deserves it, but I think he'll need a break.
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2003
Messages
4,518
#67
I'm happy that Dier decided to turn up today and that Winks wasn't fazed by the occasion even if he faded late on. Nobody was outstanding. MoM is a toss up between Toby and Davies who both did very well defensively if not so much going forward. I'm gonna flip a coin :unsure:.
 

southlondonyiddo

My eyes have seen some of the glory..
Joined
Nov 8, 2004
Messages
7,781
#68
Would love to have seen the difference in the ratings had it finished 0-0

Away at OT without our Talisman and focal point

Onwards and Upwards to Wembley and Real Madrid

COYS
 

ohtottenham!

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
Messages
2,949
#69
Margin Call

For eighty minutes I enjoyed that game very much. It's wasn't a fun fest, it wasn't open or thrilling in an attacking way, it was two good teams, not giving an inch, fighting for inches (I loved Mourinho's post match quote "two teams fighting for every ball like it was the last of their career").

Sissoko aside, I think the team selection and tactics were pretty good from Poch, I'd have been very tempted to start Dembele in the centre of the CM3 or start Sanchez in the back 3 and have Dier anchoring centrally with Winks and Eriksen in a CM3.

This is a very good Utd team, managed by one of the best, pragmatic and tactically astute managers, who had been beaten by a minnow the week before.They were always going to be fired up and sure enough they came out fighting, pressing hard and for ten minutes we struggled to cope. Then Winks got hold of the ball, and instead of treating it like a hot potato, he composed himself, dropped a shoulder, dribbled past two of their players and then passed the ball to a team mate ahead of him. The display of composed confidence was the tiny germ from which our gradual complete control of that first half seemed to grow. Winks was superb that first half, the metronomic instigator.

Dier dropping back into the back three after 10 minutes also helped us tactically, now we had a better structure, Eriksen had had a terrible first ten minutes, not coping with the press well, but gradually he settled down and he and Winks started seeing more ball and we became more and more dominant as that first half wore on, completely controlling the midfield dynamics, our midfield with now with a numerical and progressive intent advantage.

I think Alli has actually been the best player in our last two games (even against West Ham when he was a bit careless at times) and I think he was having a another good game until he let himself get a bit rattled, after that he wasn't quite as effective, which was a shame.

Second half started a little bit like the first, with Utd on the front foot, and the next 15 minutes were frantic and there were a couple of desperate moments where they got into dangerous areas, but danger was averted, we defended those situations pretty well (Dier and Davies particularly) and we gradually edged our way back.

I think I can understand the rationale of Poch's thinking re the subs and timing of them. We had lost some control, and he was probably thinking Dembele might help us stabilise and regain control and Son had become a bit peripheral and erratic, and he maybe thought that Llorente might give us a focal point and hold the ball a little better. Personally I thought the Llorente sub was flawed as Son was at least working hard without the ball, offered a bit of pace on the counter, and in a game like this that could be useful, and it's not like we were getting past full backs and banging in cross after cross either. Llorente effectively offered us nothing game changing. Neither sub did really. The other problem was that between the time of Poch seeing what was happening (us struggling for control) and making the decision to make the changes, and then making them, we'd actually just began to exert some control again and the subs actually disrupted this a little.

That said I thought we did compose ourselves and the latter part of the second half we had regained some control. I thought Eriksen really struggled under the early first half press but got better and better and was very good second half. Nobody on the pitch saw more of the ball than him, and second half he took up the baton from Winks and everything we did started to flow through him, and inevitably it was Eriksen who played the pass of the game, unfortunately Alli's clever run wasn't matched by his finish, and not for the first time this season he got the finish all wrong.

Just as I thought the game was going to fade to a fairly equitable draw, two good teams stifling each other in a tough tactical encounter, it suddenly didn't. I think you can pick out marginal mistakes by all three CB's in the piece, but I genuinely think they are all marginal, and that goal was more about what they did, more than what we didn't. As soon as Martial came on I said "he worries me". Such a good player to bring on, shitloads of pace but also some footballing brains and technique. His run was clever, not vertical but diagonal, dissecting two CB's leaving both in a kind of netherland. Should Alderweireld have challenged Lukaku? Maybe, but he probably figured he wasn't winning the header as it was Lukaku's side and they were running back towards Utd's end, so perhaps backed off thinking he'd try and catch the second ball, if it works it's good reading, but it doesn't so you can say that's the first margin call that goes wrong, then Martial gets himself cleverly between Vertonghen and Dier. Vertonghen probably thinks he lets Martial go past him because we play offside, it's what we do, but Dier has drifted a bit deeper, Martial has clocked this and stays right side of Dier until the ball is knocked on. This was second chance to avert the danger, in real time I was wanting Dier just to attack that second ball before or as it bounces, he seems to let it bounce and once he does that he's out of it. Even then there's a third chance as Vertonghen actually flies in to block, and if Martial doesn't hit it into the ground, Vertonghen probably gets the block, but instead it bounces up and over Vertonghen's outstretched leg.

It was harsh on us, especially Dier who'd been outstanding for the rest of the game.

It was Lukaku getting the perfect knock on that almost accidentally took out three CB's, and Martial very cleverly arcing his run to get onto it and finishing well, if a little fortunately that did for us as much as those margin calls IMO.

This is the difference that we are struggling to compete with. Chelsea can bring on Willian, Pedro, Batshuyai etc etc. ManC can bring on any number of outstanding offensive players. ManU can bring on Martial, Mata (and more when fit) we had Llorente or Nkoudou as offensive options.

I enjoyed this game for 80 minutes. It wasn't an end to end rip snorting goal fest. Just two decent, well coached teams going at it. I don't begrudge Mourinho his pragmatism, despite his resources, he's not obliged to entertain, he's obliged to win, and win he generally does.

It really wasn't long ago when we were going to OT, having 25% of the ball, camping in our third and still losing 3-0. We now go up there, with a squad worth about 30% of theirs, have 55% of the ball, territorial advantage and compete, giving as or more than we get. The difference is marginal. And that's why I wouldn't swap Poch for Mourinho. Because I'm pretty sure if we could bring on a 50m forward the margin would favour us.

Individual

Lloris - Couple of poor kicks and made a real mess of a shot that Davies had to bail him out of. He seems as susceptible to big game pressure as anyone in our team.

Aurier - The only area he's superior to Trippier is physicality and tenacity. Sometimes those are handy qualities, but sometimes his decision making is very suspect offensively and defensively. There was a through ball in the second half he tried to play that he got horribly wrong and over hit, which I'm pretty sure Trippier would have played perfectly. Defensively he was pretty sound overall, offensively less so.

TA - Pretty decent for the most part, couple of iffy moments, the goal being one of them.

Dier - I thought he was really good all game, bar the goal.

Vertonghen - Decent game, maybe goal aside.

Davies - Our first choice left back for me now. Massively improved and had a pretty good game today again.

Winks - If our gradual control of that first half was compared to evolution of human kind, then the Big Bang moment can be traced back to the moment when amidst the early chaotic gaseous cosmos, Winks calmly takes the ball, lifts his head, steps past two Utd presshounds and cooly plays the ball to a team mate. For the next forty minutes our galaxy spun round his effervescent embryonic sun. Faded a little, but considering there was no DM out there to hold his hand, he did a bloody good job under such a stern examination. I'm giving him my MOTM. When the going was hot, he was cool.

Sissoko - His work rate has never been an issue for me. And, like any player at this level he can produce the odd moment of usefulness, but for me he is just nowhere near good enough, technically, intelligence wise, for this level of football. I think it is a travesty that we have not integrated and developed Onomah - and Poch has had the opportunity - or even that we haven't signed players to play that role. It was clear to some of us that none of our existing CM's were ideal for the type of role we are now asking Sissoko to play, including Sissoko.

Eriksen - First ten minutes just couldn't do anything right. Gradually improved and eventually was the best player out there second half, seeing more of the ball than any player on the pitch, was starting to be involved in everything we did, taking over Wink's metronomic role, and playing a wonderful pass for Alli.

Alli - I thought he started the game really brightly, looked up for it, purposeful, but this is where his temperament has got to evolve, because Utd rattled him, and once they did his A game disappeared. He become erratic and his decisions become less reliable.

Son - He worked hard without the ball, but couldn't provide that focal hub that we really needed on a day like today.
Great analysis! Think Eriksen was off colour for most of the first half though, not just the first ten minutes; seemed slow in getting space for himself, seeing developing plays and reacting like he usually does. Was a different player second half - and improved further with the intro of Dembele, which gave us more strength and drive in central midfield, and allowed Eriksen more freedom.

Shame about the goal obviously - agree that it was down to a shared responsibility among our centre backs.
 

Trix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2004
Messages
5,931
#71
I don’t think Son should have gone off. Fine to bring on Llorente but he is there to hold up the play and provide knock downs / lay offs for someone else. He is not a good enough player any more to provide a threat on his own. Llorente for Sissoko and in the later stages Dembele for Winks who was exhausted by 70 minutes. Or even for Eriksen who was poor other than his pass for Dele to miss a sitter.

Vertonghen, Davies ( especially for his quick thinking clearance when Lloris spilled the ball ) , Winks ( until he ran out of gas ) and Dier ( until he fell asleep for the goal ) were contenders but I give it to Verts. Great season he is having.

Don't forget our performance and energy levels are constantly monitored and scrutinised to the hilt. The fact Son rarely makes it past 70 minutes, no matter what the score could well be down to that. I think it's a physical reason for replacing him rather than tactical, down to him running himself out of gas with his work rate(something you wouldn't want to change IMO).
 

miles_64

If Carlsberg did Members
Joined
Sep 10, 2004
Messages
1,647
#73
For me this was one of Son's worst games for us; going missing against a backline that average (for a top four team) is so disappointing.

Aurier continues to worry, he is reckless in much of what he does. Can't see an upgrade on walker there as yet.
A backline that hasn't conceded at home for 5 games.
 

stevenqoz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2006
Messages
2,633
#75
Is winks the new Carroll? He needs to take more risks on the ball instead of shuffling it neatly left and right and back.
At the time a lot of people thought that Stevie Perryman was in some way smothered in his creative development by the likes of senior players like Mullery in the midfield. Winks seems very much in the Scott Parker mold....workrate, short sharp passing and efficient positional play....perhaps we can get Glenn along to work with him?
 

Trix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2004
Messages
5,931
#76
At the time a lot of people thought that Stevie Perryman was in some way smothered in his creative development by the likes of senior players like Mullery in the midfield. Winks seems very much in the Scott Parker mold....workrate, short sharp passing and efficient positional play....perhaps we can get Glenn along to work with him?
Lol.
 

doctor stefan Freud

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2013
Messages
5,106
#78
Margin Call

For eighty minutes I enjoyed that game very much. It's wasn't a fun fest, it wasn't open or thrilling in an attacking way, it was two good teams, not giving an inch, fighting for inches (I loved Mourinho's post match quote "two teams fighting for every ball like it was the last of their career").

Sissoko aside, I think the team selection and tactics were pretty good from Poch, I'd have been very tempted to start Dembele in the centre of the CM3 or start Sanchez in the back 3 and have Dier anchoring centrally with Winks and Eriksen in a CM3.

This is a very good Utd team, managed by one of the best, pragmatic and tactically astute managers, who had been beaten by a minnow the week before.They were always going to be fired up and sure enough they came out fighting, pressing hard and for ten minutes we struggled to cope. Then Winks got hold of the ball, and instead of treating it like a hot potato, he composed himself, dropped a shoulder, dribbled past two of their players and then passed the ball to a team mate ahead of him. The display of composed confidence was the tiny germ from which our gradual complete control of that first half seemed to grow. Winks was superb that first half, the metronomic instigator.

Dier dropping back into the back three after 10 minutes also helped us tactically, now we had a better structure, Eriksen had had a terrible first ten minutes, not coping with the press well, but gradually he settled down and he and Winks started seeing more ball and we became more and more dominant as that first half wore on, completely controlling the midfield dynamics, our midfield with now with a numerical and progressive intent advantage.

I think Alli has actually been the best player in our last two games (even against West Ham when he was a bit careless at times) and I think he was having a another good game until he let himself get a bit rattled, after that he wasn't quite as effective, which was a shame.

Second half started a little bit like the first, with Utd on the front foot, and the next 15 minutes were frantic and there were a couple of desperate moments where they got into dangerous areas, but danger was averted, we defended those situations pretty well (Dier and Davies particularly) and we gradually edged our way back.

I think I can understand the rationale of Poch's thinking re the subs and timing of them. We had lost some control, and he was probably thinking Dembele might help us stabilise and regain control and Son had become a bit peripheral and erratic, and he maybe thought that Llorente might give us a focal point and hold the ball a little better. Personally I thought the Llorente sub was flawed as Son was at least working hard without the ball, offered a bit of pace on the counter, and in a game like this that could be useful, and it's not like we were getting past full backs and banging in cross after cross either. Llorente effectively offered us nothing game changing. Neither sub did really. The other problem was that between the time of Poch seeing what was happening (us struggling for control) and making the decision to make the changes, and then making them, we'd actually just began to exert some control again and the subs actually disrupted this a little.

That said I thought we did compose ourselves and the latter part of the second half we had regained some control. I thought Eriksen really struggled under the early first half press but got better and better and was very good second half. Nobody on the pitch saw more of the ball than him, and second half he took up the baton from Winks and everything we did started to flow through him, and inevitably it was Eriksen who played the pass of the game, unfortunately Alli's clever run wasn't matched by his finish, and not for the first time this season he got the finish all wrong.

Just as I thought the game was going to fade to a fairly equitable draw, two good teams stifling each other in a tough tactical encounter, it suddenly didn't. I think you can pick out marginal mistakes by all three CB's in the piece, but I genuinely think they are all marginal, and that goal was more about what they did, more than what we didn't. As soon as Martial came on I said "he worries me". Such a good player to bring on, shitloads of pace but also some footballing brains and technique. His run was clever, not vertical but diagonal, dissecting two CB's leaving both in a kind of netherland. Should Alderweireld have challenged Lukaku? Maybe, but he probably figured he wasn't winning the header as it was Lukaku's side and they were running back towards Utd's end, so perhaps backed off thinking he'd try and catch the second ball, if it works it's good reading, but it doesn't so you can say that's the first margin call that goes wrong, then Martial gets himself cleverly between Vertonghen and Dier. Vertonghen probably thinks he lets Martial go past him because we play offside, it's what we do, but Dier has drifted a bit deeper, Martial has clocked this and stays right side of Dier until the ball is knocked on. This was second chance to avert the danger, in real time I was wanting Dier just to attack that second ball before or as it bounces, he seems to let it bounce and once he does that he's out of it. Even then there's a third chance as Vertonghen actually flies in to block, and if Martial doesn't hit it into the ground, Vertonghen probably gets the block, but instead it bounces up and over Vertonghen's outstretched leg.

It was harsh on us, especially Dier who'd been outstanding for the rest of the game.

It was Lukaku getting the perfect knock on that almost accidentally took out three CB's, and Martial very cleverly arcing his run to get onto it and finishing well, if a little fortunately that did for us as much as those margin calls IMO.

This is the difference that we are struggling to compete with. Chelsea can bring on Willian, Pedro, Batshuyai etc etc. ManC can bring on any number of outstanding offensive players. ManU can bring on Martial, Mata (and more when fit) we had Llorente or Nkoudou as offensive options.

I enjoyed this game for 80 minutes. It wasn't an end to end rip snorting goal fest. Just two decent, well coached teams going at it. I don't begrudge Mourinho his pragmatism, despite his resources, he's not obliged to entertain, he's obliged to win, and win he generally does.

It really wasn't long ago when we were going to OT, having 25% of the ball, camping in our third and still losing 3-0. We now go up there, with a squad worth about 30% of theirs, have 55% of the ball, territorial advantage and compete, giving as or more than we get. The difference is marginal. And that's why I wouldn't swap Poch for Mourinho. Because I'm pretty sure if we could bring on a 50m forward the margin would favour us.

Individual

Lloris - Couple of poor kicks and made a real mess of a shot that Davies had to bail him out of. He seems as susceptible to big game pressure as anyone in our team.

Aurier - The only area he's superior to Trippier is physicality and tenacity. Sometimes those are handy qualities, but sometimes his decision making is very suspect offensively and defensively. There was a through ball in the second half he tried to play that he got horribly wrong and over hit, which I'm pretty sure Trippier would have played perfectly. Defensively he was pretty sound overall, offensively less so.

TA - Pretty decent for the most part, couple of iffy moments, the goal being one of them.

Dier - I thought he was really good all game, bar the goal.

Vertonghen - Decent game, maybe goal aside.

Davies - Our first choice left back for me now. Massively improved and had a pretty good game today again.

Winks - If our gradual control of that first half was compared to evolution of human kind, then the Big Bang moment can be traced back to the moment when amidst the early chaotic gaseous cosmos, Winks calmly takes the ball, lifts his head, steps past two Utd presshounds and cooly plays the ball to a team mate. For the next forty minutes our galaxy spun round his effervescent embryonic sun. Faded a little, but considering there was no DM out there to hold his hand, he did a bloody good job under such a stern examination. I'm giving him my MOTM. When the going was hot, he was cool.

Sissoko - His work rate has never been an issue for me. And, like any player at this level he can produce the odd moment of usefulness, but for me he is just nowhere near good enough, technically, intelligence wise, for this level of football. I think it is a travesty that we have not integrated and developed Onomah - and Poch has had the opportunity - or even that we haven't signed players to play that role. It was clear to some of us that none of our existing CM's were ideal for the type of role we are now asking Sissoko to play, including Sissoko.

Eriksen - First ten minutes just couldn't do anything right. Gradually improved and eventually was the best player out there second half, seeing more of the ball than any player on the pitch, was starting to be involved in everything we did, taking over Wink's metronomic role, and playing a wonderful pass for Alli.

Alli - I thought he started the game really brightly, looked up for it, purposeful, but this is where his temperament has got to evolve, because Utd rattled him, and once they did his A game disappeared. He become erratic and his decisions become less reliable.

Son - He worked hard without the ball, but couldn't provide that focal hub that we really needed on a day like today.
Decent post, BC. I think one of the things quite a few of us where rooting for in the summer transfer window was exactly that level of quality that we could bring on/ rotate knowing they could change the dynamics of a game when things are really tight. Kane is exceptional but another quality forward would see us arguably pick up points when the margins are so tight.
Still don't get Sissoko but Poch's book implies he was a Levy purchase
 

theShiznit

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Messages
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#80
Is winks the new Carroll? He needs to take more risks on the ball instead of shuffling it neatly left and right and back.
Passes the ball quicker (and at pace) than any other CM we have but all you can see is "shuffling it side to side"
Moving the ball quicker creates gaps (even when side to side) and moves teams out of shape.
Yet I bet you drool when Dembele drops the shoulder beats a man then waits until three more are behind the ball before passing it.

:banghead:

Having said that i don't think Winks is fully fit, these recent games are essentially his pre-season, (why he is fading around 70 minutes into games) when he is at full fitness and truly part of the team I expect he will be more expansive in his play.
 
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