It really depends, sometimes i am Nemanja Vidic and sometimes i'm just another commenter.
I love Manchester United more than anything in the world.
My worst fears have come to pass. Losing to Argentina in the final is not an option. It would be the single worst moment of my life for Germany to hand Messi his World Cup glory, thereby validating the collective existence of his entire bandwagon of man-juice guzzling fanatics.
It is unquestionably the first game I've experienced where losing is just not an option.
Wow, you're back with a bang lol. I like it though!
Australia really did put up a great fight. I was disappointed that they didn't earn a point to show for their character, determination and hunger. It would have only been fair to them to at least get a draw or win from one of their games. Hopefully they can put on a great showing again next time, because I thoroughly enjoyed their games. The one against Netherlands in particular was one of my favourite matches of the WC.
England, aye, useless. I had high hopes for them, but it's really time they had a rebuild of not only their NT but also of the Premier League. It's just not a nurturing enough environment for young English players. I think in terms of youth development the Bundesliga is the best league right now, not just for putting out great players (because Spain also churns those out) but also because the young players are really part of the core of teams from top to bottom of the league. Practically every club has a group of young German players, and often they form a part of the core of the first team. They are given the chances to succeed, they are nurtured (though perhaps over-relied upon at times, it must be said) and I think the English would do well to take inspiration from the entire youth setup.
Objectively I would say that Netherlands should also make the final, but I can't shake the bad feeling in my gut that they'll slip up and Argentina will take the match. Whoever Germany face in the finals, I expect them to lose. The Germans will come in over-confident (arrogant even), expect to have won already, play like trash, and then lose decidedly. I've seen it too often with this crop of players.
I also thought Germany would lose to France! Glad I was wrong, but I also really like the French team (my third favourite in general after Germany and Japan) so it wouldn't have been too bad to go out against them, provided they won the whole thing in the end.
Agreed on Hummels. He's been an absolute rock for Germany. The captaincy, once Lahm and Schweinsteiger are retired from it, has to go to either him or Neuer.
I agree that LvG will probably use a 3 man midfield, but I don't agree that Carrick has another year as a starter in him. With the way he's played this past season it'll be too risky to rely on him for another season IMO. The way I think the midfield will look will be like this:
6 - new signing or Jones
8 - Herrera
10 - Mata
But, I can also see it going in the path of a double pivot style midfield with Herrera and another signing (such as Vidal) forming the double pivot. This would a great option for us because it gives us a very balanced and dynamic midfield core, and we could change shape very easily to a 4-4-2 or 3-4-3 as needed.
Going with the first route though, I'll go through the options you listed:
Jones - I think LvG can really mould him into a great midfielder. He would have to train and develop his ability on the ball, but if anyone can do so it'd be LvG. I think this would be the best option for us realistically (as in no Vidal) because it not only saves us money but also I think a midfield role is more suitable to Jones' inherent playing style. The boy loves to get involved and charge forward, and as we've just seen with David Luiz that can be fatal as a CB.
Carvalho - Agreed; overpriced and unproven. Wouldn't go for him at all, and would much rather see someone like Schneiderlin come if the price is right.
De Jong - I think he would be a good option if we go the budget route with our primary DM. If, for example, we went with Jones as our primary DM we could use de Jong until Jones is ready to make the position his own, and then relegate de Jong to being second choice. At his age and reputation he should be happy being a starter next season and then being a first choice substitute for a top side for a few years after.
Vidal - The dream option. I agree that we should go all out for him. I 100% agree with the price you listed, and I think that it would get us our man.
And a couple other options to consider:
Christof Kramer - Versatile midfielder, defensive minded. He's had a great season for Borussia Moenchengladbach, but I don't think Bayer Leverkusen will want to let him go since they just let Emre Can go to Liverpool. On the topic of Emre Can, I really wanted him at United. He would have been exactly what we'd have needed to play a double pivot. In the future I can see him becoming a top midfielder in the Vidal/Schweinsteiger-ish mould.
Strootman - We can't really sign him now, but if we can hold out until January then we should go for him. He is a perfect fit for the team.
Axel Witsel - He really impressed me for Belgium, and his playing style for them would be exactly what we're looking for. Capable of anchoring the midfield, playing box-to-box, or even further up the pitch, plus he has height and strength. I would think he'd want to leave Russia, especially if we come knocking, so I don't think he'd be too hard to land. He's the outside-the-box option since there's nothing linking us to him, but I think he ticks all the boxes.
Lars Bender - My absolute top pick for the role, but honestly he won't come now IMO. Leverkusen let go of Can and they need him to continue on for them, plus I think he signed an extension. I would actually prefer him to Vidal though.
Thoughts on the ones I've listed? As long as we don't get Vidal or Bender and don't convert Jones, I want one of Strootman or Witsel.
CB definitely has to be addressed. If all 3 were fit for the whole season then I would be tempted to say that Evans, Jones and Smalling (supplemented by Carrick on occasion) plus the youngsters would be good enough for next season, but since they all spend excessive amounts of time on the treatment table I wouldn't want to rely on them. Hummels is the dream, certainly, but like you said, fat chance of that happening. I'm not too keen on Vermaelen, I feel there is better value out there, but de Vrij would be good. Instead of the Verminator I'd try my luck with Schalke for Hoewedes. He's of a very good age, doesn't have a long contract anymore, he is defensively sound, can play across the back line, he's a captain, and he has experience at every level. What do you think?
BTW, one thing I've suggested to others is that if we go with a 3 CB formation, that I would want to see Carrick converted to CB. He would do well as our pseudo-playmaker at the back if had the protection of two other CBs. Thoughts?
I'd be ecstatic about either Di Maria or Sanchez coming. If we can't land one of them though I'd be happy with the more "budget" options of Griezmann (he'd still be expensive though I think), Depay, or most of all Shaqiri. Shaqiri is my top choice if we can't land a premium player. He's talented, packed full of potential, he's got room to grow, and he is ready to make a big impact right away. Plus, he's looking to move out of Bayern to get game time, and LvG is known for making stars. I think he'd be excited about working with him after seeing how he made stars out of Mueller, Schweinsteiger, Lahm and co.
In terms of the formation, I expect some fluidity. I think that the 2 primary formations we'll see are 4-3-3 and 3-5-2 depending on what we need. I think that the 3-5-2 would actually be brilliant for us, because if you look at our FBs all of them are attack minded players. People see Shaw following the same career path as Bale, Evra we know loves to attack, Rafael is Brazilian (enough said), and Valencia is a converted winger. It also then makes sense of Valencia's extension. If those 4 are our wide options for WB positions, I think it would actually be pretty great. The 3 CBs would give them the protection to maraud forward more frequently without exposing our goal.
I think LvG will play around with Rooney's position, but ultimately he'll fail to fit him in anywhere and just get benched/sold. He just doesn't seem like an LvG type player. I think our go-to formation, assuming we go the most budget option and don't sign any more players, will look something like this:
Rafael - Smalling - Evans - Shaw/Evra
Herrera - Jones - Mata
Januzaj - RvP - Kagawa
Smalling - Carrick - Evans
Rafael - Fellaini - Herrera - Mata - Shaw
RvP - Kagawa
I feel like LvG will not only use Kagawa a lot, but I think he'll also help him rediscover his best form. He's already experienced what Kagawa is capable of in the Bundesliga, and I think he'll end up using him as more of a hybrid playmaker-forward like he was at BVB. He was more of a goal scorer in those days, and I think LvG will bring him back to that style.
I think those would be our two major variations. If we sign players, we can expect Smalling to probably make way for the new CB, Fellaini and Jones to make way for the new midfielder, and the new winger to rotate with Kagawa/Januzaj depending on what's needed and what kind of player it ends up being.
Dirk Kuyt has actually been a favourite of mine lol. I would love to have him at United purely objectively, but subjectively I don't want him to ruin his reputation at Liverpool. He's a great player and deserves to go down as a beloved player of theirs. That being said I absolutely love his style too. Great player to have on the bench because he can literally fill in everywhere. The only other player I can think of with his versatility is Grosskreutz for BVB. These players aren't easy to come by, and they should really be cherished more IMO. They are the ones who give everything for the cause and don't get enough love for it.
Agreed on the whole Dutch team transfer rumours. The rumour mill is just going crazy with all these Dutch links lol.
My transfer window would look like this (your prices look good, so I won't bother repeating them, but I'll put in numbers where there are new players):
Vidal/Lars Bender - 30m for Bender sounds right, but I'd be willing to go all out
Sanchez/Di Maria - 30-40m
Witsel - 20m
Shaqiri - 20m
Hoewedes - 15-20m
Hernandez - unfortunately I agree with you, it's best for him
Anderson - 5m
Buttner - don't agree with it, but already gone
Macheda - 2m
Rooney - 25m for anyone willing to accept his contract, can't see him fitting into LvG's system
The ones missing from here that objectively could be on are Young, Bebe and Clevs. Young doesn't make sense to sell because he'd fetch us very little. I think LvG can make something of him, and if he still isn't performing up to par he could sell him for a bit more. I'd be gutted to see him go, but I can't argue against it objectively.
Bebe I feel like can actually come good for us under LvG. He seems to be doing well in Portugal and I can't help but feel that this may be his time now. We'll have to wait and see.
Cleverley looks exactly like the kind of player LvG likes. I can see him completely transforming him as a player and his role in the team. Who knows, he may eventually prove to be so vital in his setup that he and Herrera form a midfield partnership, and I could honestly see him then becoming the central cog for England as well. I have really high hopes for Clevs under LvG, and I'm really anticipating that this will be the season that his career turns around.
I'm not sure who to bring up to the first team from the academy boys because I don't really watch them. I'm usually fairly short on time so I can only really make room for United and Bayern, and any other time I have time to watch a game I'll go for a club like Leverkusen, BVB or Liverpool (blasphemous I know, but I really like to watch them play :D).
Lineup for Swansea should be the 3-5-2. If Bony stays with them we'll need the extra man in the back to help contain him I think. Either the 4-3-3 or the 3-5-2 should work though.
Thoughts on all that?
Toni Kroos, man he's one of my favourites. From all the Bayern players, it's his name on my Bayern kit lol. To be honest, what I want most of all is for him to patch things up and stay with Bayern. I want him to go down as a Bayern legend, and could see him, Mueller and Alaba being the next trio of faces of the club after Schweinsteiger, Lahm and Ribery are gone (they even play the same-ish positions as the previous 3 lol). If he has to go though I would love to have him here at United, but unfortunately he doesn't really fit now that we've signed Herrera. But, I would still want him just so that RM doesn't sink their claws into him and ruin his career.
Objectively though, he wouldn't make sense at United now unless LvG plans to use Mata up front, wants to sell Kagawa, not sign another winger, and then play Kroos and Herrera as a pair of hybrid 8-10's with an anchor behind them. Thinking about it though, that could actually work brilliantly. Thoughts?
That was long, but awesome. Keep 'em coming if you have time, I've missed having you around :D
BTW me and Trey Tak have had pretty sizeable back and forth about Messi. If you want to take a look please do so, but I'm really curious to know where you stand on the matter. Is he an arguably great player being overrated, or is he really the best of his generation bar none, and destined to be an all-time great in not just reputation but actual ability (as in, people won't just say he was as good as Pele/Maradona/Zidane/etc, but he'll really deserve to be there)?
Hey how's it going? It's been too long, where've you been? You've been watching the WC I presume? What teams stood out for you so far? What do you think of our new signings, Herrera and Shaw?
Hey, PM me your email address, I want to invite you to the BR challenge cup. A mini league, just for us United fans :)
That was a decent game. Despite the confusing decision to play Kagawa as DM it was not a bad performance.
Lawrence and Wilson looked decent in their debuts. They didn't have a Januzaj effect, but they both showed a good determination and drive to win, with some promise of their abilities. I don't think either one is really ready quite yet, but with a good preseason with the first team we'll have a better idea of their readiness. I think Lawrence needs to work on his decision making most of all, and Wilson needs to become more threatening. While he did well to score his brace, I felt he wasn't a good focal point for the attack.
Januzaj was brilliant. Let's hope we see more of that next season because he was our best player on the pitch.
I thought Smalling was a rock in the back, but Jones was just stupid. He needs to stop risking his body so much or he will never live up to his potential. Valencia was solid at RB and I hope he continues to play there, and Buttner had a decent game. He gave the ball away cheaply at times, but that should get ironed out of his game if he plays more.
Kagawa had an okay performance considering where he was deployed. Carrick wasn't bad, but still not as good as he was last season.
It was great to see RvP pick up where he left off against Olympiacos. Great energy, great drive, and a real determination to score and win. That's the RvP we saw last season and I hope we get more of it against Southampton, and next season if he's still around (which he should be if LvG gets the job).
Giggs also put in a great performance. His pass to set RvP was just sublime. He also really should have scored with the shot that was blocked with a hand, the resulting penalty from his blocked shot which was never given (wtf was up with the ref, so many handballs, not one called) or the freekick that the Hull keeper saved.
Fellaini found himself in good positions but lacked any end product. Not a good performance from him, but he was also let down a bit by his teammates' unwillingness to play the ball into the box.
That was the biggest problem on the day. Our players looked like they didn't want to, or didn't know how to, play the ball into the box. We held the ball just outside the 18 yard box for long periods of the game, but ultimately the players didn't show a good attacking drive. Januzaj was the one exception here. I think this speaks to Giggs' lack of experience as a manager; I feel he's telling the players what he wants them to do without really instructing them on how to achieve it.
All in all it wasn't a bad game, and I'm excited to see more youth prospects join the first team.
I'm thinking Vidic will leave it like this now and not play the next match. What do you think? Such a shame to lose a legend like him...
***Pumping away Idiots and Trolls from B/R"
JOIN ME IN MY QUEST to eliminate these idiots from BR!Section by Section, from the team I hate the most Manchester United!
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I wouldn't mind LVG I think, after becoming a bit more familiar with his approach and philosophy, but I'm with you on Giggs, Scholes and hopefully Gary Neville. What do you think of a director of football though, someone who would be, in a sense, above the manager and would ensure that United fulfills long term goals like maintaining our identity, targeting the right players and cultivating the right attitude at the club by working closely with the first team and the academy. I think it would be good to have a figure like that around to support Giggs, or whoever our manager ends up being, with his job.
Let me know what you think will happen in the CL. I think Chelsea and RM will go through if Bayern continues to play their useless Tiki-Taka, but if they revert to their style from last season then it will be Chelsea and Bayern in the final IMO. I think Chelsea will win the CL as long as Bayern don't play a geggenpressen style.
The game against Norwhich was phenomenal. Seeing Giggs at the touchline has become my all-time sports moment. It just felt so special and so right. He has to become the permanent manager at some point because he is the natural heir to SAF.
I'm with you on the 4-4-2. I was really worried about it, but it paid off. TBH I also couldn't really focus on the tactics and strategy due to the mesmerising play lol.
I agree with your player analysis. LOL about Rio and Vidic letting De Gea have a cup of tea! The only part I would disagree with a bit is Carrick. I didn't think he played too well all things considered.
What I really liked though was that there was an urgency and attacking spirit in our play that was missing under Moyes. Our passing in and around the Norwich third was just fantastic as well.
I am very excited to see how the rest of our games go.
Giggs' Kids, tearing you apart since 2014.
This is exactly what I want to see. The job is simply too big for one man IMO.
Man, you are made of more resilient stuff than I, that's for sure. I don't know how you could stay positive, in regards to Moyes, after all this time but I really commend you for it. You're the most steadfast fan I've ever seen.
My ideal replacement and backroom staff is going to be a little different than most. I realize it's kind of out-there, pretty risky, and not likely to be realistic, but this is what I want to see.
I would, first and foremost, split the duties of the manager into a manager and director of football. I feel that in today's realities, the job is too big at a top club for any individual who isn't made of some extremely extraordinary stuff, and quite frankly those are too hard to find. It's best to segregate duties so that we can find individuals who are best suited to a specific set of skills rather than finding one who can do everything decently. In a sense, it's like having a dedicated CAM and ST rather than 2 do-it-all Rooneys.
The manager would be in charge of the squad. He manages the players, manages their coaching (which is not to say he coaches them directly), he manages the team on match-days, etc. He would also be responsible for identifying the kinds of players he needs to succeed, but not specific players unless he has one in mind.
The manager would also be the main face of the club and the one who inspires the players. It needs to be someone charismatic and strong-willed who can man-manage and make big decisions. Ideally, I'd have a former player in this role. We'll have to see how Giggs does in his 3-4 games in charge, but right now I think I'd want Solskjaer or G. Neville for the role. Solskjaer is more experienced and he's a proven winner, and would be the safer pick of the pair. Neville though has endeared himself to football fans around the world as a pundit, he's got a bit of coaching experience with the English NT, and from what we've seen from his time as a pundit he really knows the game, he knows the United identity, and he knows what he would do when changes need to be made. Neville is my pick for now.
The director of football would be responsible for the more long-term aspects of the club. He would take charge of the direction the youth academy takes, and what kinds of players they try to turn their youngster into. He decides the direction of the club in the sense of what our identity will be and what kind of football we'll play. Of course the manager also has a say here, but the broader vision would be the director's. The director would also be in charge of the scouting network and for finding individual players who match what the manager is looking for.
The person I want in this role is Joachim Low. He is a philosopher more than a manager IMO, and this type of role would be absolutely ideal for his set of skills. What he lacks in match-day decision-making and tactics, he makes up for with his ability to create an identity. Look at the way he's transformed the German NT, you can barely call it the same team it was before he took over. He can identify promising and gifted players, making him a great fit for the scouting aspect.
For the backroom staff, I can only really speak on one role I want filled. Neville/Solskjaer/Giggs are all a bit lacking in managerial experience, so would need someone to come in as their #2 who is proven. Both of these guys have become managers now and I'm sure they wouldn't want to step back into being anything less, but someone like Carlos Queiroz or Rene Meulensteen would be ideal to partner our relatively inexperienced manager. We need someone who knows tactics and strategy, and is a proven winner.
That's how I would do it in an ideal world. Since that isn't exactly likely to happen (at our club at least since they do this elsewhere) I'll also give my take on who I want from the more traditional manager bunch.
My first pick is of course Klopp. He is the fantasy choice in the sense that he is the best fit but practically unattainable.
My second choice is probably Guus Hiddink. Louis van Gaal usually takes too long to get the team to embrace his ideas and if we're going for a more short term manager then we need immediate results. I feel Hiddink is better suited to fulfilling those expectations.
I don't have enough knowledge of managers to really have more of an opinion on who the next manager should be. I really only watch a handful of teams :(
Let me know what you think though.
WHO IS GONNA REPLACE YOU NEXT SEASON VIDA ?? :(