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Yesterday Onions
After seeing many people disagreeing about our performance yesterday on the match thread I thought I would sleep on it before posting my onions. After watching things again, they haven't really changed.

So here we go.

First half was as close to an AFI showing I have seen. I could see very little intention or any clear style of play. The ridgid 442 meant we had huge gaps between the lines. Our fullbacks were too square with the centre backs meaning our wingers ended up as wingbacks. Our midfield was too static with no depth meaning Norwich had too much opportunity to find gaps between defense and midfield. Finally our movement off the ball, or lack of meant our players rarely had an easy pass on. All in all, not very good.

Second half, we seemed to tweak the shape yet again. Rodriguez dropped a little deeper, and Barnes tucked in playing as a wide 10, and Townsend bombed on to give us width. Phillips gave us some width on the other side allowing us some attacking flexibility. Brunt played the quarterback role and was never more than 10 yards from the centre backs whilst livermore was left to do his job, RUN AROUND. This move away from the ridgid 442 gave us more options and we stretched them a little more for 20 mins. However, once we made changes we went back to being disjointed and ragged. I could not understand the HRK for Barnes sub which shunted Rodriguez out wide, and I could not understand his reluctance to use Burke as an out ball when Norwich started pushing on. Morrison should have been on earlier for Gayle or Rodriguez, but no Big Dave is showing yet more reluctance to make proactive rather than reactive changes. In the end we were lucky to come away with a win taking in consideration their penalty miss and it was only our extra little bit of quality on a couple of occasion which got us our goals.


Johnstone - 8 - 3 good saves, but needs to start catching the ball abit more as he parried a couple of ball out in dangerous areas.

Nyom - 4 - Some good 1v1 defending, but takes too many risks in silly positions and was at fault for 2 of their goals today. Needs some competition.
Bartley - 6 - Solid enough, but seems to go walkies at times and get dragged out of position. I think this is to cover Nyom and HEgazi more than anything at the moment. Will be fine.
Hegazi - 5 - Poor in the air, poor distribution, let the ball bounce on a number of occasions. Very sloppy. needs a rocket up his arse.
Gibbs - 6 - Average. Doesn't seem to have any undertanding with Barnes, but not a terrible showing, must have been injured?

Phillips - 7 - Yet again our most effective attacking player. Gets us up the pitch and is showing plenty of confidence, long may it continue. A point off for ballsing up that 3v2 counter.
Livermore - 7 - Plenty of energy and running, kept the ball well and did his job. I think he is the player most affected by the ridgity we have been playing with. Will be a key man this year, no doubt about it.
Brunt - 5 - A 4 first half where he was terrible. Never kept the ball, never got his positioning right, looked lost in a midfield 2. A 6 second half. Once we narrowed up and Barnes made it a centre 3, he had more space and time to play his passes. Will be useful if we play a 3 in the middle, but cannot play in a 2.
Barnes - 6.5 - Has talent obviously and scored a good goal, but he does not do the basics at times. Left his full back exposed yet again when playing in the 4. Will contribute a lot this year, but must improve his understanding of the game defensively.

Gayle - 6 - Alright, didn't really get the service to be the poacher he is. Not the best game to judge him on, did well to earn the penalty.
Rodriguez - 8* - MOTM, never stopped grafting and got himself 2 goals. He is a true professional who does all the basics brilliantly. Will never excite you but never lets you down.


Townsend - 7 - Gave us some width and took up geat positions. SHowed a good range of passing and looks to have great technique. Positive start, can he play right back?
HRK - 7 - Did well at times, held the ball and got himself a good goal. COuldnt make top nor tail of why he replaced Barnes, but did well at the expense of the team as a whole.
Morrison - Not on long enough to really rate. Couple of good tackles, thats about it,

Big Dave - 5 - Really concerning me with his tactics and game management. We do not seem to have a philosophy or style of play and that is always my biggest worry. As much as we got fed up of Pulis, you could never say that there was not a clear plan. Needs to stamp his mark on the squad and give us some identity, he also need to be more proactive with this changes. What I will say, a lot of ounger coaches seem to be more reluctant to make bold changes, if you look at Southgate for england he is very much the same. Is it what is being taught during coaching badges?
He is still in massive credit but I would be keeping a keen eye on his progression between now and Xmas, however.


A fortunate win, disjointed squad, with little clear plan aside from 15/20 minutes in the second half. Luckily, this league is full of crap teams and our extra quality got us the opportunities we needed. With some more direction and clear vison, we should be able to dominate most games and be there or there abouts.
Once you go on about philosophy I can't help but sigh. Managers shouldn't have a philosophy, they should work to what they have and what is available. The very best do. SAF changed how United played constantly due to the players. What I want to see is more proactive thinking and he does seem to be learning a bit.
(08-12-2018, 09:37 AM)Birdman1811 Wrote: Once you go on about philosophy I can't help but sigh. Managers shouldn't have a philosophy, they should work to what they have and what is available. The very best do. SAF changed how United played constantly due to the players. What I want to see is more proactive thinking and he does seem to be learning a bit.

Philosophy may be the wrong term to use as I hae sighed before when people have beat managers up about not having the "right philosphy", I think I am talking about an identity. The team seems devoid of direction and pattern of play. You can change your tactics, be them defensive or attacking, you can change your approach, long ball or short passing. but there must be basics that you base your game on.

You mention SAF, but he had a very deep and talented squad with a range of players. We don't, unfortunatley. You have 5 days maximum to prepare for a match, 2 or 3 in many cases in tha championship, so you need to underpin a way of approaching games, whilst allowing some tactical flexibility. Pulis didn't have any tactical flexibility, thats why he failed in the end. Moore now needs to instill an identity and be more proactive with his changes.
Identity I can get on board with. Just hate that philosophy term, it's sort of thing Mowbray would say as we got hammered.
It's all about "The Project" now, in manager speak.
(08-12-2018, 09:55 AM)Psalm23 Wrote: It's all about "The Project" now, in manager speak.

All about the “here and now”.
Stuff philosophy and identity. I'd settle for a pattern.
Pep appeared to to have a philosophy and brings the players he needs in order to create a style that matches his way of thinking.

At the moment I am unsure if BD is trying anything particular or just letting the players play
At this very moment in times of changes and some turmoil it's all about being in a position to launch a promotion push rather than a relegation plan when things settle down. In the meantime get behind the lads and quit whining about every little hiccup that happens or reputedly happens. It ain't going to be pretty
(08-12-2018, 11:07 AM)chasetownbaggie Wrote: Stuff philosophy and identity. I'd settle for a pattern.

A rose by any other name....

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