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13 hours ago, Macca said:

Jones' foot passes over the ball and made aggressive contact to the leg of his opponent ... red card appropriate. At best it was poorly disguised.  That sort of tackle can cause a lot of damage especially with studs up

The Dias goal should have been allowed and not getting the graphics was a bit suspect (as it turns out, VAR didn't even intervene)

Jota was extremely unlucky with the first yellow ... incidental contact to my eyes but when you're on a yellow card, you can't afford to tempt fate with a clumsy tackle

But the Dias non goal was an absolute howler (the PGMOL have acknowledged that the goal should have stood ... initiating a full review - all too late)

Klopp was exasperated about the non goal but didn't have much to say about the 2 players being sent off

The own goal at the end was the cherry on top!  A riotous affair!

It's a dangerous tackle for sure but there does seem to be confusion in the media and pundits over whether contact with the ball first and slipping momentum is a red card or not and I myself have to say I don't know the current ruling 100% myself. If it's a red card to the letter of the law so be it but what I have a major problem with was the way the VAR was used in that moment. You can't be looking at a freeze frame and not in real time.

I nearly quoted you in this post Macca because it's times like this when we need to check our attitudes watching as fans. Let's say for arguments sake that Jones was a 'terrible' decision, did he really need to go studs up into that tackle at that time? Did he need to put a foot in at all? These are the decisions that can increase or decrease the risk of a big decision going against you. Same thing with Jota as you said, the first yellow might have been dicey but don't do silly things after that. There's always things players can control in games and I'm happy to admit that Liverpool were on the undisciplined side in this one. 

But as much as this went against Liverpool it also annoys me that the real story of Spurs' great win is buried. They came out well at the start and I'm not convinced that we would have won this game with 11 men. Ange has got the balance right with this team and we should be talking about that. Not officiating, not VAR.

Very proud of the Liverpool rearguard who defended out of their skins with 25 mins left and 9 men. The fatigue would have set in so hard that the Matip own goal didn't really surprise.

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39 minutes ago, Macca said:

Our resident Man Utd fan @roy11 might be able to enlighten us on their troubles

It seems to me that they get a heap of possesssion but have issues in the front 3rd

There are some reasons why they are struggling, but anything I type will look like an excuse.

The bottom line is they've played horribly for the most this season - even with the below, their performances should be much better - or at least less error stricken 

Off- Field Distractions

The Greenwood situation was a debacle, the club clearly wanted to bring him back but that blew up in their faces and they had to bin him off on loan without adequate time to get a replacement.

Antony situation/leave due to allegations of domestic abuse. 

Sancho suspension due to disciplinary reasons.

We have another injured winger so we're playing our 4th choice right winger at the moment. 

Sale of the club taking so long, owners holding out for more money - This impacted some of the transfer dealings and is still a cloud hanging over United. Scrambling around for deadline day loans (Amrabat and Reguilon) and Free Transfers (Evans) as a result of years of poor financial mismanagement and contract extensions. Players are on high wages (McTominay, van de beek, Maguire etc) and dont want to leave, so we cant sell them and that causes some FFP stress.

We loaned a left back to Ipswich in the Championship and he's on 65,000 pounds a week. It will take a few years to undo some of the damage of the Woodward era. Even Sancho is on 350,000 pounds a week which is absurd for his output - 

On Field Issues (Injuries)

Haven't been able to play the strongest XI all season so far for one reason or another.

Our first choice left back Luke Shaw has been injured since early in the season, our 2nd choice left back Malacia  has been injured since Pre-Season. We brought in Reguilon on loan from Spurs and he's injured now! Due to the injuries to the Left-backs we've been forced to play a CM there. 

At CB - Varane was injured for a while and now Martinez is out for a few months.

At RB - Wan-Bisakka now injured.

So there has been a bit of lack of stability at the back, especially in front of a new goalkeeper. In all likelihood we probably wont be in a position to field our best XI until January now due to the Martinez injury. 

Other On Field Issues

We haven't really had the balance of midfield right so far this season. During Pre-Season we had been playing an academy lad in the guts and he good but got injured before the season started. Then we have had a few variations of formations such as 2x8s and a 6, single pivot, double pivot but I'm not sure what has gone wrong, the team has been utterly useless against transitional attack and conceded so many cheap goals. The balance and team selection for the most has caused some issues here. I think a midfield 3 of Bruno/Amrabat/Casemiro is the best option of perhaps a 4-2-1-2 diamond with the inclusion of Mount over a winger.  

Also going forward we're making some puzzling decisions at times as well. We spent a lot on a youthful striker but are not really playing to his strengths - so there will be some teething issues as they get their cohesion sorted up front (and with Bruno's link up play etc). But I guess that's part of an issue with United as well, It was obvious the club needed a 9 but only signed Hojlund a week before the season started and he was carrying a knock and only made his debut on the 3rd of September etc. 

So injuries and other factors have derailed the season to a degree but performance wise it hasn't been good enough regardless of who is selected and where. 

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58 minutes ago, layzie said:

It's a dangerous tackle for sure but there does seem to be confusion in the media and pundits over whether contact with the ball first and slipping momentum is a red card or not and I myself have to say I don't know the current ruling 100% myself. If it's a red card to the letter of the law so be it but what I have a major problem with was the way the VAR was used in that moment. You can't be looking at a freeze frame and not in real time.

Everything looks worse in freeze-frame/slow-mo.

Some pundits seem to love phrase such as "last man" "got the ball first" without these being in the rules.  But the subjective nature of certain elements doesn't help. There's a twitter account called 'Has the Referee or VAR made a poor decision?' which has 150,000 followers and they tweet things out which are plain wrong at times too.

I think as long as referees are consistent then it shouldn't be an issue.

Similar to the Casemiro red against southampton last year, bit of a reckless/careless tackle which bobbled off the ball and caught the player high. But going back to the subjective nature, it'll cause never ending "what about X incident" so i guess it is hard at times for consistency.  At the end of the day certain instances are a red card but also a bit unlucky for the player, that'll never change. 

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21 hours ago, roy11 said:

There are some reasons why they are struggling, but anything I type will look like an excuse.

The bottom line is they've played horribly for the most this season - even with the below, their performances should be much better - or at least less error stricken 

Off- Field Distractions

The Greenwood situation was a debacle, the club clearly wanted to bring him back but that blew up in their faces and they had to bin him off on loan without adequate time to get a replacement.

Antony situation/leave due to allegations of domestic abuse. 

Sancho suspension due to disciplinary reasons.

We have another injured winger so we're playing our 4th choice right winger at the moment. 

Sale of the club taking so long, owners holding out for more money - This impacted some of the transfer dealings and is still a cloud hanging over United. Scrambling around for deadline day loans (Amrabat and Reguilon) and Free Transfers (Evans) as a result of years of poor financial mismanagement and contract extensions. Players are on high wages (McTominay, van de beek, Maguire etc) and dont want to leave, so we cant sell them and that causes some FFP stress.

We loaned a left back to Ipswich in the Championship and he's on 65,000 pounds a week. It will take a few years to undo some of the damage of the Woodward era. Even Sancho is on 350,000 pounds a week which is absurd for his output - 

On Field Issues (Injuries)

Haven't been able to play the strongest XI all season so far for one reason or another.

Our first choice left back Luke Shaw has been injured since early in the season, our 2nd choice left back Malacia  has been injured since Pre-Season. We brought in Reguilon on loan from Spurs and he's injured now! Due to the injuries to the Left-backs we've been forced to play a CM there. 

At CB - Varane was injured for a while and now Martinez is out for a few months.

At RB - Wan-Bisakka now injured.

So there has been a bit of lack of stability at the back, especially in front of a new goalkeeper. In all likelihood we probably wont be in a position to field our best XI until January now due to the Martinez injury. 

Other On Field Issues

We haven't really had the balance of midfield right so far this season. During Pre-Season we had been playing an academy lad in the guts and he good but got injured before the season started. Then we have had a few variations of formations such as 2x8s and a 6, single pivot, double pivot but I'm not sure what has gone wrong, the team has been utterly useless against transitional attack and conceded so many cheap goals. The balance and team selection for the most has caused some issues here. I think a midfield 3 of Bruno/Amrabat/Casemiro is the best option of perhaps a 4-2-1-2 diamond with the inclusion of Mount over a winger.  

Also going forward we're making some puzzling decisions at times as well. We spent a lot on a youthful striker but are not really playing to his strengths - so there will be some teething issues as they get their cohesion sorted up front (and with Bruno's link up play etc). But I guess that's part of an issue with United as well, It was obvious the club needed a 9 but only signed Hojlund a week before the season started and he was carrying a knock and only made his debut on the 3rd of September etc. 

So injuries and other factors have derailed the season to a degree but performance wise it hasn't been good enough regardless of who is selected and where. 

There's a lot not right at United at the moment and without being as close to it as you I just see a team that is difficult to see what they are trying to accomplish. The background noise hasn't been helpful at all and it is likely the big change they need won't come until there is new ownership.

On the pitch it's hard to get clarity around it. They can play some really good football one second and then just totally lose the plot the next. The injuries and selections haven't helped build cohesion as you mentioned.

There is one thing that totally baffles me when it comes to United, when things aren't going their way they seem to be bereft of good leadership and guys who can re-set the tone. But how can this be the case when you have Champions League winners like Varane and Casamiro in the side? I didn't love the choice of Bruno as captain but I thought he did a decent job in the role last year, how can leadership just evaporate? I grew up watching the Fergie 90s and 00s sides, they had leaders all over the park so seeing this is unheard of to me. 

Speaking of Varane and Casamiro, they seem to be part of an ongoing trend of players that have regressed at the club like Lukaku, Pogba, Mcguire, Sancho etc. How many times has a player come to United in recent times and improved? Bruno? Wan-Bissaka maybe? You'd know better than me Roy but it doesn't look like a good trend from the outside. 

It's a hard slog but one thing I wouldn't be doing is replacing the manager yet. October to December will be crucial. 

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21 hours ago, roy11 said:

Everything looks worse in freeze-frame/slow-mo.

Some pundits seem to love phrase such as "last man" "got the ball first" without these being in the rules.  But the subjective nature of certain elements doesn't help. There's a twitter account called 'Has the Referee or VAR made a poor decision?' which has 150,000 followers and they tweet things out which are plain wrong at times too.

I think as long as referees are consistent then it shouldn't be an issue.

Similar to the Casemiro red against southampton last year, bit of a reckless/careless tackle which bobbled off the ball and caught the player high. But going back to the subjective nature, it'll cause never ending "what about X incident" so i guess it is hard at times for consistency.  At the end of the day certain instances are a red card but also a bit unlucky for the player, that'll never change. 

The 'last man' is the most misinformed phrase in my time of watching/playing Soccer.

Definitely going to check out that Twitter page. 

 

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57 minutes ago, layzie said:

Speaking of Varane and Casamiro, they seem to be part of an ongoing trend of players that have regressed at the club like Lukaku, Pogba, Mcguire, Sancho etc. How many times has a player come to United in recent times and improved? Bruno? Wan-Bissaka maybe? You'd know better than me Roy but it doesn't look like a good trend from the outside. 

I wouldn't say Varane or Casemiro have regressed that much. I think a big issue for them is they left Real Madrid at their peak and were surrounded by quality players in every position. 

Varane has missed about 40 game through injury.
Casemiro was great last year but the midfield balance has made him look a bit shoddy this year.
Maguire/Pogba were reasonable but judged in respect to their price tags.
Lukaku didn't suit the style but still bagged some goals. He's bounced around clubs since so dont think its a United specific problem.
Sancho has been a big disapointment.

I think a big thing is overpaying for players, much like they did with Antony, so theyre judged as failures. 
Recruitment for the last decade has been a bit all over the shop, so it is a bit hard to see who has improved.

Bruno was balling at Sporting, he'll ball wherever he goes, but it seems for the most the signings are servicable or busts. 

The best purchases they've made in recent times are signings they've made for the academy.  Hopefully these lads kick on 

  • Fletcher twins from City
  • Harry Amass from Watford
  • Toby Collyer from Brighton
  • Willy Kambala from Sochaux
  • Isak Hansen-Aaroen from Tromso
  • Hannibal from Monaco
  • Garnacho from Atletico Madrid
  • Dan Gore from Burnley
  • Alvaro Fernandez from Barcelona


 

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2 hours ago, roy11 said:

I wouldn't say Varane or Casemiro have regressed that much. I think a big issue for them is they left Real Madrid at their peak and were surrounded by quality players in every position. 

Varane has missed about 40 game through injury.
Casemiro was great last year but the midfield balance has made him look a bit shoddy this year.
Maguire/Pogba were reasonable but judged in respect to their price tags.
Lukaku didn't suit the style but still bagged some goals. He's bounced around clubs since so dont think its a United specific problem.
Sancho has been a big disapointment.

I think a big thing is overpaying for players, much like they did with Antony, so theyre judged as failures. 
Recruitment for the last decade has been a bit all over the shop, so it is a bit hard to see who has improved.

Bruno was balling at Sporting, he'll ball wherever he goes, but it seems for the most the signings are servicable or busts. 

The best purchases they've made in recent times are signings they've made for the academy.  Hopefully these lads kick on 

  • Fletcher twins from City
  • Harry Amass from Watford
  • Toby Collyer from Brighton
  • Willy Kambala from Sochaux
  • Isak Hansen-Aaroen from Tromso
  • Hannibal from Monaco
  • Garnacho from Atletico Madrid
  • Dan Gore from Burnley
  • Alvaro Fernandez from Barcelona


 

These are all good responses to my points. As mentioned, it's purely an outside bozo on the street view of it.

Overpaying for players is probably a good way to look at it because it puts the magnifying glass on more. Having a really good sporting director is just so important these days. 

Varane has missed a lot of time with injury so I'd put him in the Thiago Alcantara category of someone you'd just love to have out there more consistently. As for Casemiro, you're right he was excellent last year. Maybe one of the signings of the season, but as it stands early in this campaign he hasn't looked right. The midfield mix is definitely not helping him (or anyone) but I don't quite buy into these guys being better at Real because they were surrounded by quality. There's enough quality at Man Utd to get more out of him in this early stage so I'm expecting to see a turnaround as he's no doubt a world class player. 

Lukaku I agree on. Much like Diego Forlan wasn't an indictment on Fergie.

While there good cases for these players not being total flops, they are not at the standard that a club like this requires. As a former president said, they don't give United shirts out in Wheeties boxes. I can't believe I find myself here championing the Man Utd cause!

A lot of the problems are systemic and will only change once owners who care about club success are brought in.

Do you think Rashford cops a bit too much criticism? 

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51 minutes ago, layzie said:

These are all good responses to my points. As mentioned, it's purely an outside bozo on the street view of it.

Overpaying for players is probably a good way to look at it because it puts the magnifying glass on more. Having a really good sporting director is just so important these days. 

Varane has missed a lot of time with injury so I'd put him in the Thiago Alcantara category of someone you'd just love to have out there more consistently. As for Casemiro, you're right he was excellent last year. Maybe one of the signings of the season, but as it stands early in this campaign he hasn't looked right. The midfield mix is definitely not helping him (or anyone) but I don't quite buy into these guys being better at Real because they were surrounded by quality. There's enough quality at Man Utd to get more out of him in this early stage so I'm expecting to see a turnaround as he's no doubt a world class player. 

Lukaku I agree on. Much like Diego Forlan wasn't an indictment on Fergie.

While there good cases for these players not being total flops, they are not at the standard that a club like this requires. As a former president said, they don't give United shirts out in Wheeties boxes. I can't believe I find myself here championing the Man Utd cause!

A lot of the problems are systemic and will only change once owners who care about club success are brought in.

Do you think Rashford cops a bit too much criticism? 

 

I think Rashford at times tries do everything himself.  Needs to play the simple option more often. He's having a bit of a dip at the moment, I think he performs much better with Luke Shaw playing - they form a great partnership on the flank, so Luke's injury is having a little flow on effect too. 

I think another thing United are needing to overcome is ironically something they tried to fix this season. They got rid of De Gea for a goalkeeper who can kick the ball, and as a result teams aren't pressing the keeper as much and are sitting back a little bit more when the GK has possession of the ball. Not conducive for quick transitional play.

The worrying things have been the performances this season, the team have regressed - i'm not sure if they're doing what they told, but I saw more patterns/structure from a 9 man LFC team than I have from United this season.

There's plenty of time to turn it around BUT it's no longer a BIG 4, there are plenty of teams who will push for Europe, so you cant start a race with your shoelaces tied together.

 

 

 

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Again structurally and mentally weak.

Dalot (maybe 2nd string rb) not good enough for first goal.
2nd goal was typical of this season of a runner just getting to the box and scoring.
Penalty (miss)/Red card was due to an error
Last goal due to Amrabat keeping a player on, this is what happens when you are 3 Left backs down and having to play a CM in the backline. 

Mistakes a plenty costing United, if this continues they'll be out of all competitions very soon, 

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Spurs top of the table! Best start since 1960 apparently

It's already looking like a race in 4 unless Man Utd & Chelsea can get on a roll

Arsenal vs Man City tonight might tell a story if either team wins but Liverpool can't afford to drop points at Brighton.  Villa can make things interesting if they can keep winning (at Wolves tonight)

Hammers vs Newcastle rounds things out tonight as well

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

The race is on for the title! (my money is on City - ultra impressive against United yesterday)

But any of the top 4 can win it

  • Nov 6th Newcastle vs Arsenal
  • Nov 7th Tottenham vs Chelsea
  • Nov 13th Chelsea vs Man City
  • Nov 25th Man City vs Liverpool
  • Nov 27th Tottenham vs Aston Villa
  • Dec 4th Man City vs Tottenham
  • Dec 7th Aston Villa vs Man City
  • Dec 10th Aston Villa vs Arsenal
  • Dec 11th Tottenham vs Newcastle
  • Dec 18th Liverpool vs Man Utd
  • Dec 24th Liverpool vs Arsenal

image.thumb.png.4a24ca6cec104af9ac3b5eb70b8ed48c.png

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Matilda's just a must watch these days.  There's something magical about how they play and they're great to watch

Holding on to the ball, winning it back, the precision passing and the creativity is tremendous

The first goal to Mary Fowler tonight was a gem.  Taiwan were very brave but the Matilda's are on a roll

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  • 2 weeks later...

Spurs lose after seemingly looking like winning with just a few minutes to play

Wolves snare the win late

The sport is a great leveller... Tottenham now could end up 4th after the weekend's games

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On 12/11/2023 at 01:41, Macca said:

Spurs lose after seemingly looking like winning with just a few minutes to play

Wolves snare the win late

The sport is a great leveller... Tottenham now could end up 4th after the weekend's games

Really missed Maddison and Van de ven, important to the structure. Villa in two weeks then City, will be interesting to see if they can bounce back.

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Thursday 7.30pm World Cup qualifier Mens Ch10

Australia vs Bangladesh

Bookies have us at 1.01 and Bangladesh 34.00!!

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19 minutes ago, layzie said:

Almost worth it really

Apparently 8 teams qualify for the World Cup out of Asia (up from 4.5)

Of course, the WC in North America will now have 48 participating teams with a round of 32 being the next stage after the group stages (12 groups)

Think I'm right in saying that the top 2 from each group advance as well as the 8 next best performed teams

 

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Aussies could get to double figures against Bangladesh!  (5 - 0 up just  5 minutes into the 2nd half) 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, looky here ... Gunners!

image.thumb.png.224a41392504eee1bdc8db51baab261c.png

And a very busy December!

n.b. add 11 hours for AEDT

image.png.648a905d49bb7b5649a6d77ecb3f76ea.png

image.thumb.png.c84a2136884ce6d2a45cb9868a5402b1.png

image.png.f2ed3289dcb1e9ee1f5137c34f4d1e9d.png

image.thumb.png.787d16472ab24c8715d34202e148af8b.png

 

 

image.png

 

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@Jumping Jack Clennett

How about those Hammers!!  

And I'm liking what Ange is doing at the Spurs but they've hit a roadblock!

Meanwhile, West Ham are winning games with an extremely low possession rate ... tippy-tap isn't all it's cracked up to be!

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Erling Haaland out with a 'reaction' to a stress fracture in his foot.  That probably explains why he's been a bit quiet of late

Meanwhile, at half time at Luton, City trail 0-1 whilst their rivals are gaining points ... the big surprise being Villa who have emerged as a top 4 threat and are now in the title race

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