Man Utd still have three problems despite massive ‘DNA’ win over Aston Villa

Man Utd still have three problems despite massive ‘DNA’ win over Aston Villa

Man Utd players need to learn to trust each other. Maybe they will after that epic comeback win over Aston Villa.

Send your views on this and other subjects to theeditor@football365.com

DNA
Definition: Manchester United beating Aston Villa at Old Trafford.

Gotta say, it was good to feel something watching United again.
Ash Metcalfe

Hojlund delight
What an absolute joy it was to watch Hojlund score and celebrate that goal! Pure unbridled emotion.

I’m glad VAR didn’t get involved for its usual celebration fun sap.
Bagpuss

Why yesterday’s win is massive for Manchester United
1) Three important points – for table, momentum and mood

2) Boxing Day Record – Merry Xmas!

3) Eventual Top 4 race – if we end in top 4 it will be at the cost of Villa and Tottenham

4) Manager survival – he gets a few weeks’ credit

5) New style of ownership – needs stability, important that manager and team sees this season out with minimum drama

6) So you win against a Title Challenging team after being 2-0 down. That should be the standard for UTD performances!

7) Hojlund – Star striker gets 1st PL goal (late winner in comeback) after 1000 mins, can kick off from here

8) Utd gets a STABLE midfield, with no McT starting; STABLE front three – Rashy looking good on LW and AG on RW

9) Important players had really good games – BF, *MR*, AG, RH, KM, (DD, JE)

10) Manner of victory – Morale boosting typical Utd comeback with barren new striker firing in the winner at home on Christmas

#GGMU
Rishi, India

READ: Man Utd rein in Villa to draw level at top of Premier League resilience table

Where are the conclusions?
No 16 Conclusions for Manchester United vs. Villa? I guess that tells us how far Manchester United has fallen.
Ron Jeremias, Virginia, USA

(Nope. It tells you it was an 8pm kick-off on Boxing Day and I am not a total f***er – Ed)

READ: Hojlund’s big moment caps rare show of resilience from Manchester United…

Ian What, Son?
‘At half-time, with Aston Villa deservedly leading 2-0 at Old Trafford..’ – nonsense. United certainly didn’t deserve to be winning, but 2-0 down was quite harsh. It’s written as if United were atrocious and out of it by half time. Not even remotely true for anyone with half a football brain watching that game.

‘United pushed forward, with Hojlund prominent in the build-up – not as influential as Fernandes but no one was..’ – Fernandes is supposed to be the captain, but almost sulks around the pitch in a huff at 2-0 down; he’s not ‘leading by example’ as you would assume a captain to do. Erikson was far more influential. In fact, every single player on the pitch had more of an impact on that game than Fernandes!

Did Ian watch the match or simply see the result and fill in the blanks with what he thought was the most likely scenario?
Bagpuss

Got 99 problems and Man Utd are all of them
Yes, in the end it was a good and deserved comeback win, but ultimately Manchester United need to be better in order to be consistent and there are 3 things that are really stymying our season and it’s not Ten Hag, it’s not lack of effort or the players not working hard enough.

First and foremost, this team is low in confidence and you can see it all over the pitch. They are afraid to f**k up and cause us to concede a goal, so they play it safe most of the time. There are exceptions to this, like Fernandes who then gets pilloried for being wasteful, but the honest truth is that most of our players are so frightened of losing the ball and creating a chance against us that they play it safe and waste golden chances to create goal-scoring chances.

Secondly, there is a lot of really poor decision making. Some of it can be chalked up to being low on confidence; unfortunately a lot of it is just really dumb play from immature and/or stupid players.

Obviously Antony is the posterboy for all the talent and none of the brains, but even Garnacho is guilty of this and I’ll highlight two examples of this. First, in the goal that was disallowed, Garnacho took on Martinez then had to score from an increasingly tricky angle instead of squaring it into Hojlund’s path for what should have been an easy tap in. Yes, it would have been offside anyway, yes it was not without risk of him missing or the pass being intercepted, but it was a pass that was easier than taking on Martinez, and easier than the shot that he squeezed the right side of the post I’d say.

The second example was a little later when we were chasing for the equaliser and Garnacho beat his man on the right and took a shot for the far post when Martinez definitely had it covered, instead of cutting the ball back into Fernandes’ path when he had a much better angle and was open. We need Garnacho and certainly he needs to believe in himself, but we also need team players who can put chances on plates for better placed team mates to finish.

Thirdly, also related to the previous two points, it seems like a team that does not trust one another. It seems that they don’t trust teammates to make runs, it seems they don’t trust teammates to play the pass when they make the run, and it seems that Garnacho and Antony don’t trust Hojlund. Players need to be making the run behind when Eriksen or Fernandes get the ball and they need to trust that if they do so, the ball will come to them. Eriksen and Fernandes need to trust that when they get the ball they can ping it into the space behind first time and someone will have made that run. Hojlund needs to trust that crosses will come in and our wingers need to trust that he will be there.

It’s all so frustrating when I can’t even objectively say we’re bad, just that we look like a team missing team spirit and trust. Hopefully they can use this win as a springboard because otherwise it’s going to be a really poor season.
Daniel, Cambridge

INEOS chat
Just checking up on Man United kick off times and nearly fell off my chair.

They have been drawn AWAY in an FA Cup tie. There ought to be an enquiry.

Also was delighted to read that INEOS have included a clause whereby no dividends will be paid for at least three years to Man United shareholders. I realise the Glazer leeches have already taken millions and millions, but little things still make you smile.

United are likely still some years off a title challenge, but surely the nadir has finally been reached.

One of the first decisions that INEOS could take (please) is reversing the systemic changes recently made by the leeches to the allocation of away tickets. I had already noticed the away support, which I reckon was a contributor to United picking up away points, being quieter as more and more regular travelling (and singing) fans are excluded.

Hopefully the final decision the Glazers get to make in how the club is run, and though in itself relatively minor, one of so so many decisions that undermines the team on the pitch.
Ged Biglin

…Honestly cannot understand why the media and the Glazers have hyped INEOS as some sort of great sporting saviour for Manchester United.

INEOS entered the football ownership realm just a few years ago

Their record so far is:

First club: good business success, high player turnover and poor football returns
Second club: high player turnover and average football returns

Doesn’t seem to inspire much confidence in that they seem to be as scattergun in their approach as the Glazers

Gotta hope I’m wrong and that they’ve learnt their lessons from previous mistakes.
ABK

VAR from perfect
Well f*ck off.

If hanging next to the goalkeeper at a free kick isn’t interfering I don’t know what is.

Clearly distracting the keeper, should automatically be ruled for offside.

How many times can the offside rule be rehashed and mutilated until common sense prevails. Just go back to anyone offside rules the goal out and leave it be.
Ben, dragging my ball across sand, MUFC

Stewie gets them rattled again
First time I’ll be addressing Stewie, which coincides with the lazy (and frankly unfunny) writing from Dave (actually, it was Matt – Ed) in 16 conclusions on the Liverpool v Arsenal game.

1) Zinchenko should not play in tough away matches. Brilliant conclusion! I wonder why Arteta doesn’t know that despite signing Timber/playing Tomiyasu in those same matches you talk about. Neither of whom were available in the game.

2) Tierney is a far superior defender so why was he let go? See point above. Besides Zinchenko is a far superior footballer. Arsenal will dominate 90% of games they play in. We need Zinchenko far more than we needed KT.

3) This one is for you and Dave. I’ll admit I was surprised the penalty was not given. But I was only surprised because the level of officiating has been so shambolic, I expected that one to be no different. What conspiracy? Man was falling and stretched out his hand to break his fall. That’s far more of a “natural” position than defending with your hands behind your back.

As you were boys.
Damola, Bremen



…Another day, another load of rubbish from Stewie Griffin. Actually that’s not fair, he’s right. Everyone knows that Zincenko is too limited a left back against the better teams in the league. If only Arsenal had bought a new first-choice left-back during the summer for 34m from Holland who would then unfortunately be injured at the beginning of the season.

But still, Arteta can see the problem. Why doesn’t he try and fix it? He’s meant to be an amazing manager, why not use another player better suited to defending elite wingers. Say, a Japanese LCB who has started whenever available against the best teams in the league to great effect. What do you mean he’s injured too?

You know what would be even better than all of those options? That LB we sent on loan to Spain. Yea the guy who has 8 starts in La Liga this season. The guy who was amazing before Arteta but flattered to deceive in Arteta’s system? Yes I am an armchair manager and I know what needs to be done.

Martinelli is slightly out of form sure, I’ll give you that. Raya, stats wise, is miles ahead of Ramsdale and Havertz has scored 4 in 7, secured 4 points and anyone with 2 working eyes can see it’s starting to click. They, along with Rice, play for the team at the top of the table. Joint best defensive record. 4 goals behind top scorers. Arteta doesn’t have a clue clearly.

God I take the bait every time but the commentary is so painfully rubbish…
Rob A (top at Christmas and happy) AFC

…I knew Stewart wouldn’t be able to not bite, but I do appreciate a Christmas chuckle, so thanks for that!

I actually kind of agree with you on the Zinchenko at left back point, I woulda just gone three at the back, but to bring up Tierney as the answer was classic, as if Tierney once stopped Salah doing what he wanted in all his games against Liverpool. Actually now that I think about it, Salah has scored similar goals going up against multiple ‘perfectly competent’ lbs, both in the prem and Europe. Maybe we just have to admit that this Salah kid is quite good.

I already mentioned the 5 on 2 in my original mail, so I won’t belabour the point, but if either team “conspired to miss the unmissable” I’m not sure it was Arsenal.

Yeah Ødegaard was deffo a penalty, but so what? Wasn’t given? Shame. I’m less a believer in conspiracy than ineptitude, but maybe with more clear mistakes, the powers that be will be forced to address obvious issues within the system and create something that does the job it was created for.

I saved this one for last, because it’s by far the best, even though he put it at the beginning (lack of a classical dramatic education, if you ask me.) Hilariously claiming Arsenal have done “precisely nothing” for twenty years on the 20th anniversary season of the Invincibles… To misquote Iñigo Montoya, I’m not sure you know what ‘precisely’ means.

It’s my birthday on Friday Stu buddy, so if you saved your reply till then, it would really mean the world to me, it’d almost be like getting a Banksy or something.
Andy in Guatemala
(Oh and ‘Brazilian Steve Bull’? You wanna insult Martinelli, I get that, but Steve Bulls a legend! I think I’d go with Brazilian Craig Bellamy… Fast, aggressive, nutter.)

…Stewie Griffin has a predictable but ill-judged rant about Zinchenko’s performance at Anfield. “You cannot ever play Zinchenko at left back in a tough away fixture” he says.

Any Arsenal-watcher knows that Zinky was not Arteta’s choice to put up against Salah. Tomiyasu (and Timber) would have been ahead of him on the teamsheet…except both are injured. I guess Kiwior was an option – but him vs Salah would have been the mother of all mis-matches. He would have fared no better than Zinky defensively whilst offering far less going forward.

Also “why (did) Arteta just let Kieran Tierney (who is a far superior defender) go out on loan?” Well, with 3 better defenders ahead of him in the pecking order, it made perfect sense. Arteta could not have predicted the injury issues (and by the way, Tierney himself has spent most of his time at Real Sociedad injured).

The real question (that Pool fans should be asking) is – why did Klopp move Salah into the middle and put him up against the best two central defenders in the Prem when he was having so much fun on the right? Every Arse fan breathed a sigh of relief at that point.
Stevinho AFC

Chelsea and the Roman Empire
In just under 18 months, Todd Boehly managed to burn down the legacy of the Roman Empire, a creation meticulously built by Abramovich over nearly two decades, now left weakened in a remarkably short span.

Reflecting on the glorious 20-year era, we basked in the glory of iconic players, numerous trophies, and unforgettable moments crafted by exceptional talents. However, the present reality showcases an immature squad locked into long-term deals, who based on some of the effort we see on the pitch seemingly content to ride out those contracts. But can we blame them? When a club offers a long term lucrative deal on substantial wages and all they legally have to do is show up to training, they might just shrug and happily ride the deal out, there is no incentive.

The recent year and a half serves as a stark reminder that spending huge sums of money doesn’t guarantee success. Chelsea have spent over a billion and look worse than ever before, play worse than ever before. Looking ahead, uncertainties loom with potential repercussions for alleged financial irregularities and the absence of European football qualification. One can’t help but wonder if Todd and his associates will explore every avenue, perhaps seeking loopholes in agreements to expedite a sale and minimize their losses.
The Admin @ At The Bridge Pod

administrator, bbp_keymaster

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