Long time no talk lol apparently I got banned for some reason, they fixed it now so I could only get back to you now
Wow, what is happening to us?
Falcao, although I really like him and supported him till now, has not, obviously, lived his price tag lol. I guess it's because he had a flurry of injuries before coming to us, but I don't think it's worth it to get him a new contract just to see if he can rediscover some Monaco form
and damn we should've won that AFC lol... Japan was out so I thought we had it
That record is really good against Japan. It's surprising to find out the head-to-head record is so one-sided. I would have expected something a bit more even. It's a mystery then why you guys aren't winning Asia Cups, but it does seem like there is a very good crop of Korean players right now so I expect that WC and AC performances will improve as they mature.
Badstuber hmmmm.... it's really hard to rank him right now because he hasn't played in so long. Before his injury he was probably top 2 with Hummels, but it remains to be seen how far he can go after his huge injuries. If he can get back to his previous level I would rank him in the top 3 again, but it's a long way to reach that level again. I'm hoping he can achieve it again because he's been a real fighter throughout his injury crisis. I haven't seen Sule play really, and I know Rudiger only as a RB, where he's done really well. In fact, Rudiger is one of the top candidates among fans to succeed Lahm, or at least he was until a while ago. I haven't really kept up too much.
Bender does need to work on his passing, though to be a bit fair to him it is because he plays in such a high-tempo team. Leverkusen don't look to hold the ball really and their primary aim is usually to play very direct football, so passing percentages will be a bit lower in general.
Looking at the alternatives you brought up, my pick would be Imbula. At 22 he's at a good age, old enough to be relied on and not too young that he's only potential. Allan is Brazilian, who we don't seem to have great luck with, and he's already racked up 6 yellow cards, which could be a concern. Imbula has picked up a red though, so I guess that balances out. His finishing is listed as weak, which concerns me, and he gets dribbled an average 2.5 times a match, which is at least 1 higher than the other 2. Imbula makes the most passes per game with the highest success rate. All 3 average a similar number of key passes per game. Sanson get's dispossessed the most at 3 per game, and he miss-controls the ball 3 times per game, but on the flip side he has the most goals and assists. My biggest worry about Sanson is that passing is listed as a weakness. Also, he's been playing all over the pitch which makes his stats a bit incomparable to the other 2 (who are only CM/DMs) so I'm not sure what to really make of him as a DM.
Still, at 20 years old he seems to have quite some potential. Allan is the oldest of the bunch but doesn't have the most impressive statistics, which is why he's out for me. Plus he's Brazilian coming from Serie A, and we have no luck with Brazilians and Serie A players tend to do poorly in the PL. Sanson is young and still learning his game, and he seems to have a pretty poor first touch. His attacking stats are also misleading since he doesn't play strictly in deeper positions. Imbula has a decent 2 goals, 1 assist, and his all around stats look the most impressive to me, with no real weaknesses in his game (as his characteristics also say). He makes the most dribbles, most passes, most successful passes, but his defensive stats are a bit behind the others. All in all he does seem the most complete of the bunch though.
Which one did you like best?
I'm not actually really sold on Guardiola. The Heynckes 4-2-3-1 was pretty much unstoppable, and Pep's system is one that rolls over minnows but has a distinct weakness. There is a lack of balance (taking a page out of LvG's book lol) in the way the team is set out, with way too much focus on attacking player and not enough on defensive solidity. Khedira I think wouldn't start, especially not for Pep. Khedira isn't the kind of passer that Pep loves, while Schweinsteiger, Lahm, Alaba and Alonso are. He would probably get his chances, but he wouldn't really form part of the core of the team.
That game was incredible, just incredible. I was expecting a completely one-sided affair after Wolfsburg went up so easily, but Leverkusen fought back hard. My brother and I watched it together and we couldn't believe how good a match it was. He wasn't even mad in the end that Wolfsburg won because the game was just that entertaining to watch.
Hmmm I really like your 4-3-3. Mata as a F9 could be a really, really great move, and Blind in a more advanced role allows him to be more adventurous in his passing. The only thing that worries me a little is the lack of physical strength and size across the 11. Most of those players would be considered below average in terms of their physicality. The team would be very reliant on holding the ball and passing to perfection, but with those players it's possible. Plan B, when things aren't working, could be to swap in Fellaini for Blind or Mata. I do like it though.
What'd you think of the Preston game?
We looked dreadful until Falcao was swapped for Young. Before that the only person doing anything was Di Maria with his running, but unfortunately he can't weight a pass for $h!t right now. There were so many times that he opened up the opportunity for Rooney to make a run, but then completely misplaced the pass to find him.
After Young came on the formation changed to a 4-2-3-1 though everything seemed to click. We should probably keep this formation for a while. Fellaini and Rooney did very well as 9.5's, rotating between the 10 and 9 roles. I was really impressed with Fellaini's ability to bring the ball down in the box and open up space for a shot. He looked like a real predator at times. With some better finishing he could have had a hat-trick.
Young also looked really good himself when he got on the ball. I did notice though that Shaw was more interested in driving forward by himself, and the midfielders instinctively looked to the right where Di Maria was, despite Young being relatively open. He did assist a goal and set Fellaini up for another with that one cross, so maybe he would have created more chances if he'd been given the ball more. Either way, he did well.
Valencia is also looking better and better. He's finally putting in meaningful balls and he actually got an assist off a cross. His runs are more powerful and direct than ever and he looks good on both ends of the pitch. If he can keep putting in decent crosses then he'll make a really good RB for us. Actually, funny enough I said to someone last season that I thought Valencia and Rafael might benefit from switching roles. It's looking like that may actually be the case lol.
Rooney did better than RvP and Falcao. He made good runs and it's a shame he wasn't picked out better by Di Maria. How do you feel about the "dive"? This is what I said in one of the articles:
"I pretty much hate Rooney, but to call that a dive is shortsighted in my opinion. The GK made a completely reckless challenge that forced Rooney into taking one of 3 options. His first option was to take the hit, risk his body and career, and win the penalty "the English way". Nobody in their right mind should be doing this, because a match is just a match and his body is ultimately more important. His other option there is to jump over the madman looking to stop his opportunity to score by potentially breaking his leg,leaving him with a decision to make. Does he go to ground and win his rightly deserved penalty, or does he continue his run, very likely now heading right out of play, and let the GK win with his reckless, violent challenge? The GK is the real cheat here for the way he forces Rooney into making such a choice, where he isn't really a winner in any one outcome. If fans want to eliminate the need for players to go to ground then refs must be doing something to protect the attacker that ruins his scoring chance by taking evasive action, such as by playing advantage at that point. If the forward doesn't score after dodging the reckless challenge, call it back and award a penalty then. That in and of itself would go a long way towards cutting diving in the box out of the game, because now players would effectively get 2 chances to score if they've been recklessly or illegally impeded."
That match was such a disappointment I don't even know what to say. The general consensus seems to be that Di Maria did well, but not in my opinion. His decision making was bad, he tried to do too much, and he was responsible for Burnley's goal. Smalling scored 2 goals, but defensively he made quite a few errors too. We looked the worse team over 90 minutes, and that is just embarrassing. I stand by my opinion from earlier that these superstars need a taste of the bench.
Yup my account is all fixed and everything is good now. I realized that my issue was that I sent my email to them with the wrong email address, so that other account I used was reactivated instead of this one. I just forwarded the same email to them from the address I used for this account and now this one is back too :D
It's a shame about the Asia Cup. I'm actually quite surprised to hear that you guys haven't won it in 40 years, that seems strange to me considering how S. Korea has been one of the strongest Asian teams for a while now. Australia changed their "division" to Asia so that they could have greater competitiveness I think.
Only one thing to add to what you said about LvG's influence on the summer signings: if Nani was part of his plans I don't think he would have loaned him out. Again though, if he wanted to play a 4-3-3 and see how his wingers would do in that system why didn't he try it at all in preseason? That's the part that really gets to me, because the only system he employed while preparing for the EPL was the 3-5-2.
I didn't know McNair used to play CM. Now that you've mentioned it I can really see that in his performance at RB. There was a very CM-like quality about the way he moved, the positions he took, and the types of passes he made.
Hummels is indeed injury prone. He's looked better in his last couple games, but he still isn't anywhere near the level we'd need him to be. I do hope he can pick his performance levels back up, but right now I would consider him firmly behind Boateng and then Hoewedes in the German CB quality rankings.
Agreed that Bender would have to work on his forward game to match Strootman. I was thoroughly surprised by just how good Strootman's forward passing is. That being said, from what I've heard of Strootman, Bender is the more reliable defensive presence. Considering Strootman's huge injuries, I would opt for Bender even though he's the less impressive creative force.
I definitely don't want to see us turn into City or Madrid. Ugh that would be terrible. I like United and Bayern for being teams that traditionally make their own stars, but recently both have been dangerously active in the transfer market. I really have to say that at this point I'm not even really all that attached to the current Bayern team because the manager is Spanish, and too many of the players are foreign. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I hate that there are foreign players lol. All it is, is that I traditionally liked Bayern because the core of the national team plays there. That is starting to become less and less true, and that makes me less attached to the team. I'm hoping a new manager can come around soon and turn that around, because it's disappointing to me to see such a non-German Bayern.
Yeah I could really see the allure of succeeding Park at United. I'm actually surprised we haven't signed another Korean player yet. We should just sign both Son and Lee lol.
The midfield role was indeed the alleged reason why Rooney wanted to leave. I'm surprised he isn't throwing a tantrum now TBH. I kind of wish he would so that LvG would have a reason to drop/sell him.
Perhaps Rooney and Wilson would make a good pairing, but my problem is that I really, reaaaally dislike strike partnerships. Lone striker is the way to go IMO. Hopefully Wilson can develop at a rapid rate so that he's ready to start soon and we can get rid of all the extra strikers on huge salaries we have. Who needs superstar strikers with superstar salaries that aren't scoring?
Hahaha, soon it'll be "we love midfielders" ;)
I like the idea of McNair in midfield, and the more I think about it the more I like it. He's very mobile, great defensively, and his movement is really good judging by his match at RB. I would personally opt for Mata over Januzaj because I really want to get Mata and Herrera playing together, but otherwise that formation looks really good. Actually, I'd probably opt for Young over Januzaj too. Januzaj has just been too selfish and one-dimensional lately for my tastes. He needs to stop looking for the dribble first every time and do more looking and passing.
Please do share your crazier lineup. I love out of the box thinking :D
What I liked about LvG traditionally was that for him a player's star factor made absolutely no difference in his team selections. Whoever performed and fit the role he wanted to fill played. Right now he's pandering to the big names too much, when traditionally he never really got on too well with the star players. It's incredibly disappointing to me that he is breaking away from his own values, or at least his former values, as a manager.
The West Ham game was just another piece in a long string of disappointing team selections. As soon as I saw that lineup my heart sank a bit. Rooney, Januzaj and Di Maria are a terrible combination of midfielders. Januzaj and Di Maria are super direct, and Rooney only plays the Hollywood pass. You can't hold possession effectively, you can't slowly break down the other team, you can't make incisive passes, etc. And I'm tired of seeing RvP and Falcao up front. I want something fresh, some younger players. We look stagnant and tired in front of net.
For the Burnley game I want LvG to just throw out all his star players to teach them a lesson.
McNair Jones Smalling Rojo
That's the team I want to see. No more Rooney, no more Di Maria, no more RvP, no more Falcao. They've all been performing poorly and need to get a rude awakening that their place in the team isn't guaranteed.
Finally I got the time (and energy, I'm lazy AF) to get back to you lol. I've been really tired lately for some reason.
My problem with your account of LvG not trusting our wide players is this: he had 150m to spend in summer, why not buy some wingers? LvG never once tried to play a 4-3-3 in preseason, and he didn't sign the players to play it. The players he did sign were actually suited to the 3-5-2, which to me implies he had his mind set on it the entire time. That's my biggest problem with LvG right now. I get no indication of where he wants to go with the team and made no statements towards that with his summer signings, unless it's the 3-5-2 he wants to implement.
I think you're right about the wide diamond being used because our FBs aren't up to the task in an attacking sense. I really liked the plan against Cambridge though, from a FB-CM relationship standpoint. First off, after seeing McNair as a RB against Cambridge I would want to see him play there a few more times. What I loved about his performance was that he was very dynamic in his forward approach, and he provided a really fresh perspective to what a RB can be. I was very, very impressed with how he played the position, and if he can polish his abilities off then he could be a fantastic RB for us. I'm not a fan of the wide diamond, but McNair was perfect here as he drifted more into a RCM type position rather than a wide right position typical for an attacking RB, leaving that space vacant for Rooney and covering the central midfield defensively. Rooney, in a Beckham type role, got to play his Hollywood passes from the right into the center rather than from the center to the right, which was a very good change IMO.
On the opposite side Di Maria was generally position more centrally than Rojo, showing a more typical LCM/LB relationship. It struck a good balance for the two sides of our team, and I enjoyed seeing it.
I've also had my concerns with Rojo, but with the way he is playing right now perhaps he could be our next Vidic. He needs to get more comfortable with the team and be more a more vocal and leading figure, but in terms of his style of play he matches the description. He's been much better since he came back from injury, and while I doubted him before he's been looking good now. He seems less rash, and is using his aggression in a more constructive way rather than having it drag him down. Hopefully he can continue like this.
Hummels for 37m? I've heard it but I'm not sure if he's worth it. He's a touch inconsistent, which isn't really what I want to see. If we're going for a leader in the back I've been more impressed with what I've seen from Hoewedes recently, because Hummels has been terrible at times this season. Sokratis is another good option if we need a consistent CB.
Strootman, after this latest injury, is off the table for me. We have enough injury-prone players and we can't afford the risk. There are other players out there who can fill that role well, like Lars Bender just off the top of my head.
I agree with you about players playing for the badge. We have our star studded squad, and now it's time to round them out with guys who bleed United. Herrera and Blind already look like this kind of player, and I'd be happy to bring in a few more. Son I agree would be that guy for us.
Off topic for a second, I think saw a headline about Chelsea making a bid for Lee Seung Woo. They need to fk off so we can get him instead lol. Same with RM. He will be OURS HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! ....hopefully
I think DDG, if he wants to go back to Spain, will go to either RM or Barca. He's an Atletico boy, but the allure of the big 2 is too strong I think.
I watched the video on Adbulrahman. Interesting player. Obviously he's very innately talented and the ball seems to be glued to his feet, but I have some reservations about him. First of all I saw a few instances of selfishness in his play, but he did pass quite a bit and has a ton of assists so it's probably just a few isolated incidents. Secondly, the defending he was up against was pretty dreadful. You could make a similar looking video about Nani, and he's been playing in Europe. Consistency is the key to these kinds of players. Naturally I'm sceptical about Omar because I generally don't like these kinds of overly flashy players, but he does look like he has great promise. I wouldn't be opposed to signing him as long as it isn't for a large fee.
Rooney may be elite at shooting, but he doesn't have an elite position. What I mean is, is he a world class striker? CF? CAM? Winger? I would say definitely no to all of these except maaaybe CF, and that's a position that's only really used in a system with 2 strikers, which I don't like. And even then, he's not really at the "best in the world" kind of level. Robben, for example, is a world class CF when he plays there, same with Mueller. Rooney is a step behind IMO.
The real worry for me is that Rooney is our captain, but he's not the kind of player I would build a team around anymore. He's kind of a position-less player, who does a bit of everything but well and truly excels in very few areas. He's a player to fill a role, not be the star of the show. That's how I see it at least.
I disagree with you on Rooney starting for any of those clubs. Bayern don't really play through a striker, but Lewandowski is there is to hold up the ball when needed and provide an aerial threat. He's very capable at getting involved in the build-up play too. He provides the same strengths as Rooney and pairs them with the qualities of a more traditional striker.
At Barca he isn't better than Suarez at pretty much anything that matters. Plus his short passing game isn't up to scratch for a team like Barca. I wouldn't see him start there TBH, or even play for them. At RM Benzema is on fire as far as I know. He's also got a great partnership with Ronaldo going. RM would be Rooney's best bet at getting into a top side IMO, but even then his interplay seems to be a step behind Benzema, and that doesn't suit RM's current style.
Costa might have an attitude problem, but he's the strong, predatory striker that Chelsea have absolutely needed. They have creators and devastating midfielders, what they've needed was a guy who is up top to score goals and stay there. Rooney just doesn't do that anymore. He likes to float all over the pitch and can't be relied upon to stay where he's supposed to play. Bayern offers the closest thing to that kind of free role for him, but his short passing game is nowhere near good enough to play the kind of football they play.
Maybe I'm just being a bit harsh on Rooney, but this is honestly how I see it.
Anyway, what'd you think of the Cambridge game?
I actually liked the long ball game vs Cambridge because it was rather purposeful. We weren't aimlessly throwing crosses and long passes into the box, but were rather trying to pick apart their defenders with them. Many long balls when to players just at the edge of the box, and it looked like rather than trying to score off a header we were trying to set up the assister with our crosses. Also it pulled the Cambridge defenders wide and tired them out, which allowed us to later on in the match play more incisively through the middle. I'm not a fan of the wide diamond, but McNair was perfect here as he drifted more into a RCM type position rather than a wide right position typical for an attacking RB, leaving that space vacant for Rooney and covering the central midfield defensively. Rooney, in a Beckham type role, got to play his Hollywood passes from the right into the center rather than from the center to the right, which was a very good change IMO.
Fellaini up front was a great move for this match considering the game plan. RvP was noticeably hungry to score, and while I don't like to see that in a striker (I prefer players who try to play in teammates) I don't hold it against him. We were cruising and he wanted to get on the score sheet.
Herrera coming on again made a huge difference. It is just depressing that LvG isn't starting him. He's the perfect player for us!
It was also good to see Young back. He looked lively in his cameo and doesn't look to have lost his good form. I'll be excited to see him play in the coming weeks.
This game inspired an idea I had for something I'd like to see tried. It's pretty outside the box kind of thinking, but I'm sure you're a bit used to that from me.
I'd like to try a midfield trio of Blind, Herrera and Mata, with Mata and Herrera as the attacking B2B midfielders. I'd want Fellaini up front with ADM and Young/Januzaj cutting inside from out wide. Fellaini would act as a F9 of sorts, and his primary function would be to collect high passes and play them into the path of the other attacking players. He wouldn't be our primary source of goals (though he'd get a fair few I'd bet) and would mostly function as an attacking anchor around which the other players rotate and play. It's something I've done often in FIFA where I use a big lugger of a midfielder up front as my most forward player, and use him to bounce the ball off of as I play my midfielders and wider players forward. I would love to see how that would transition into real life.
As you know I'm no fan of strikers, so I'm always looking for ways to take them out of the team lol.
My account got suspended for foul language and poor conduct, and despite them saying they've reactivated it I couldn't post anything. I waited a day but it still isn't working, so I'm just using my old one for now.
It's a shame about the Asia cup. I didn't watch the final (it was on at 4am here) but my brother did. I really thought you guys would take it, especially with Japan already out. I'm a bit busy but hopefully tomorrow I'll get back to you. In the meantime here are my thoughts on the game yesterday.
The match was an improvement over recent performances.
We started the match in a diamond that was more wide on the left and more narrow on the right.
DDG wasn't really needed, which is a good sign for our defence, and the one time we really did need him he stepped up big time. He also left his goal a few times to close down a ball, which is something I've wanted to see him do.
Valencia was okay at RB. He's been more dynamic lately in his attacks, but ultimately he still completely lacks an end product. Defensively he was okay, but really he shouldn't be starting for us. He should be a squad player only, and it worries me that Rafael isn't playing. McNair later took his role at RB but didn't really set the world alight with his performance. He was also just okay.
Jones and Rojo are forming a pretty decent partnership. Rojo is still a bit rash and Jones is still not too good at distributing the ball, but when they work together it's at least fairly sturdy defensively. There were small things here and there that could be worked on, but they weren't too bad. Shaw at LB got forward well and defended decently, but he was often overlooked by his teammates. He's the much more natural fit there than Blind so I'm glad he got the chance to start there again.
Blind was probably our best player. He stopped attacks, passed the ball well, got involved up front, etc. Basically, if we have him at DM it really makes Rooney somewhat irrelevant compared to Herrera, because his long range passing is probably even better than Rooney's. Plus he's better at decided when to use which kind of pass. The first goal was all down to Blind stealing the ball in Leicester's half then sending a beautiful lobbed pass to RvP, who finished extremely well despite being a bit offside. The third was his flick-on off of a Rooney corner which was headed into the net by a Leicester defender (Morgan I think).
I was unimpressed with Januzaj on the left of the diamond. He is more of an attacking player than a deeper one, and his instinct is to run at players. He often decided to attempt a dribble rather than passing and killed the momentum of several of our attacks. Basically he did what he's been doing this season. I hope the pressure of the 11 hasn't gotten to him because he wasn't playing this way last season. I'm not sure if he's full of himself right now or if he's trying too hard to prove himself, but either way it needs to stop.
Rooney, like I said, is somewhat irrelevant as a CM with Blind on the pitch. His short range passing is average, his long range passing is overused, and he isn't as reliable. He gave away one very dangerous ball in our own half which could well have cost us, but luckily Leicester hesitated in their attack and got closed down. At least Rooney is an enthusiastic player and chased down opponents, because he otherwise didn't have a great game.
Di Maria played his role at CAM well. Positionally he was great, he made good forward runs after coming a bit deeper to collect the ball, his dribbling was good, his pace and energy were a boon to us, etc. But... his final ball was often lacking and his decision making wasn't great. He played his position at a 10/10 level, but his actual ability in attacking the net was more of a 5/10 level. He needs to sort himself out because as it stands he wasn't worth a 60m investment. There are plenty of players who can run and dribble, it's the ones who can actually impact the scoreline consistently that are a class above.
RvP and Falcao were both pretty good up front. RvP had a few poor shots, but his goal was excellently taken. He also made some great, selfless decisions to set up teammates in a better position. Falcao was a hassle for the Leicester's defenders to deal with. He was constantly running and constantly on their heels. His goal was a true poacher's goal. Much better from him compared to recent matches.
All in all the match was decent while we were in the diamond shape. Our midfield lacked some fluidity in it's passing and chemistry between our players. Herrera once again didn't play, despite being sorely needed. It's insane that our best midfielder barely ever plays. He must have slept with LvG's wife and/or daughter(s) and/or granddaughter(s) for him to be treated like this. He would have instantly made us look much better if he'd been deployed instead of either Rooney or Januzaj.
At about the 60 minute mark or so LvG switched things up. McNair come in for RvP and our shape then changed as a result. Some people say we were more of a flat 4-4-2 at that point, but to me it looked more like a 4-2-3-1. McNair took Valencia's position at RB, Valencia moved up to RW, Januzaj moved to the left, and Rooney and Blind formed the defensive midfield duo. We got scored on soon after, but I think that had more to do with players still adjusting to the changes. I thought we actually looked much better in this shape than we did before.
Mata later replaced Valencia and Wilson replaced Falcao, but neither made a great impact. Wilson probably did better comparatively though. What I liked about the way we played when we took on this shape was that we finally had more players trying to create goals rather than trying to score them. The three behind Wilson and Rooney from deeper were all moving intelligently and passing the ball well to probe for openings, and we did create a few good chances that were ruined by some poor decision making or a poor final ball.
I hope that the 4-2-3-1 experiment continues. It's a much better formation IMO.
I think the best thing about our performance today was that the players seemed to have a better understanding with each other, and that they were looking to play each other in more. We often lacked a good final ball, but if they'd been better we'd have had the opportunities for at least 2 more goals. We also had good pace and the team worked hard.
All in all it was a step in the right direction, and I hope we keep this up.
If you could send replies to my other account that'd be great.
It's been so long lol I haven't been using the message boards hahahaha
Well Im watching the game vs Iraq right now and I just realized how outdated I am with our national team LOL it's weird not seeing Jung Sung Ryong in goal haha
Japan didnt make it to the semis :O Now we have a real chance of winning it all
Yup, it's been way too long. Great to have you back though :D
I'm trusting LvG less and less now. At this point I'm beginning to doubt he really has a philosophy anymore. He was always a 4-3-3 manager, but now he's in a formation limbo. He's always used fast, direct wingers, but now uses none (in terms of how he sets out his formation). He's always been an advocate of attacking football, but our players now seem content with just holding the ball. I'm just really confused as to what LvG is building towards. He didn't sign the players to play his previous formation, nor has he even attempted to throughout the season. He hasn't made a decision on which players are his first choice 11. He hasn't made a decision on his formation. He hasn't made a decision on how he wants the players to play. Right now we have an arrogant manager's attitude in an otherwise weak-willed manager who seems afraid to make any lasting decision. I'm losing my patience with him.
We just played a diamond, which initially was a breath of fresh air, then I realized it was all wrong. It looked too much like a wide diamond at times. We're playing the exact same way we did with Moyes in charge last season right now. All we do is play the ball sideways, backwards, or to the wide players who send in an aimless cross or lose the ball. There doesn't seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel anymore. Earlier in the season you could say that there seemed to be a foundation being built for something greater, but now there is no improvement and no sign of future improvement.
The Wilson and Falcao combination once again proved fruitless. These guys play in way too similar a way with an almost identical skill set, and we have no reason to play both at once. What we should do is just terminate Falcao's loan deal right now and play with a loan striker. Between RvP, Rooney and Wilson we have enough of a variety, enough players, and enough ability to carry us through.
In the midfield I'm sensing a lack of cohesion. Januzaj is no b2b midfielder, and although he did better than before he isn't suited to the role he was given. He's the kind of player you want further up the pitch, not one that carries the ball forward. Herrera is just perfect for that role, and I have no idea why he isn't being utilised there.
Fellaini had a pretty off day, though to be fair to him the ref gave him an unfair yellow. Neither of his fouls were even clear cut fouls after seeing the replays. His passing wasn't forward-oriented enough anyway, which certainly wasn't helped by how far to the right he often played. He's the kind of player who needs a more creative partner close to him to lay the ball off to, and the way we were set out didn't provide that so he shouldn't have been used I think.
Blind at LB once again was unimpressive. The guy should be used primarily as a CDM, sometimes as a CB, and never as a L(W)B. He doesn't have the pace to cause any problems for the other team, and causes us problems when he can't get back in time.
I think everyone is confused as to why Jones is taking our corners. The only explanation I can think of is that LvG is trying to work on his long passing so that he can be more of a threat when he has the ball in the back. Otherwise I can make no sense of it.
Rojo put in a pretty dangerous tackle again. I'm not a fan of this aspect of his game. It's reckless and dangerous to other players and himself, but he was pretty effective so I'll let it slide for now.
Herrera simply needs to be playing every match. He might not be our single most talented player, but he is our most effective alongside DDG. He takes matches and makes something happen.
I like the look of your summer targets. I would take Hoewedes of those CBs mentioned (need some Germans in the squad :D). I think with the right level of exposure he would be considered one of the elite CBs in the world. It's just that not enough people are watching him play for Schalke right now.
Clyne looks like a very good RB in the making. I'm only worried about the English premium that will surely be attached to his price tag. I also haven't given up on Rafael quite yet, so I'd like to see him get more chances before the season ends. If he can't cut it for LvG then I'd be happy with Clyne. Otherwise I'm okay with Rafael as first choice and Valencia as his backup, with someone from the academy then being the backup's backup (Vermijl maybe?).
Strootman and Pogba are both amazing options. One thought I've had just now when I was responding to Noah was that if DDG has his heart set on Real, we should forget about Bale and try to get Modric in a swap deal. Modric is one of the absolute best midfielders on the planet, and he's proven in the EPL. His valuation would be a lot closer to DDG's too. Bale is a great player, but he's too expensive. Pogba is also really expensive, though he'd perhaps be worth it due to his age. It looks like Roma want to charge an arm and a leg for Strootman, and for the kind of money they are demanding we would probably be better off going all in for Pogba.
Son at LW would be great. We need to keep our South Korean ties strong after we had Park for so many years. He would guarantee a lot of income. Aside from all that, he's also a damn good player, especially for his age. It's so easy to forget he's only 22 considering how accomplished he is already. His pace and dynamic skill set are the perfect foundation for a world class footballer. If we aren't getting a proven world class player like Bale to fill our LW position, then Son would be right around my first choice to fill that vacancy.
I agree on giving Blind and Fellaini more chances at CDM. Both have just recently been signed, and they both provide a different type of DM. Using them in a rotation and pairing them with a proper B2B CM we could see them do very well.
Haven't seen anything of Dybala, but Lacazette looks insane. We should snap him up now.
Firmino is a good player too. Haven't seen as much of him as I want, but I know he's well respected in the league as one of it's best players.
I haven't seen Abdulrahman play yet, and I am running out of time right now so I'll watch the video and get back to you later.
Rooney? For me he's the perfect attacking bench option. He can fill in anywhere at an 8/10 level, but is truly elite absolutely nowhere. He's a jack of all trades, master of none. Probably the best jack of all trades, but unfortunately still no master. In every position you can find a better option than him, but you won't find many better backups. He can literally be first choice backup for any position from the midfield forward. Perfect bench option, but I don't see him as having the necessary quality to be a starter at one of the best sides anymore. Could you picture him fitting in anywhere at Bayern, Real, Barca or Chelsea?
Heeyyyyy what's going on? It's been a while lol
I've started watching Phantom BTW. It's pretty awesome. I'm watching it together with my brother so it's pretty slow-going since we have to both be available, but we are about halfway through. Great suggestion, thanks.
Hey trey!! Just wanted to say to u happy new years man! Hopefully this year will be the beggining of a new era for us. We need it!! Good luck to u too bro. Enjoy urself!