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yes, another inspiring poll! will our football improve?


g3.7

will our football improve?  

27 members have voted

  1. 1.

    • yes
      14
    • no
      13


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okay, the commonly said thing is, with time football will improve. get your defense in order, and build from the back.

we have been with jose for three years, and IMO our football has got progressively worse. the first year, one duff and robben were fit, I thought that was great. pressing, lampard in top form, robben and duff destroying sides, eidur passing and we did have the option of long balls with drogba. we played with variety, and the football was generally very good. in the second season it was flatter, essien and maka were defensive overkill and only joe cole played to his best of our wide players. the amount of long balls dramatically increased. IMO the football was on average, average. I think a large part of our title win was the weakness of the rest of the league. this season just past, we had, if you remember, jose's promise of an "attacking square". our football didn't improve, IMO it got worse again... we became a glorified long ball side, and with united's improvement, we relinquished the title.

I'm looking at sidwell, benni mccarthy and alex and am thoroughly uninspired... I think all are decent to good players, but all are predominantly athletic players, with pure footballing ability secondary. frankly, I don't think athletic ability is an area we are lacking, and I do think it's a shame in general that football seems to be turning into 22 6 foot plus guys who can run around the pitch for 90 minutes. but that's another debate.

basically, I have absolutely no confidence in our football improving, and what to know what the general consensus is. I think people who think a "fully fit joe cole" will somehow, maradona style ignite the side into free flowing football are deluding themselves. to ne honest, that's not a criticism, because the alternative is something far less savoury. however joe plays, that is only one player. we have had him fully fit before, and that didn't magically give us sexy football- the style of football stems from the manager, not the players.

2 options, yes or no. no ifs or buts- be honest.

p.s. whenever I talk about good football someone, inevitably says "OH YOU WANT US TO PLAY LIKE ARSENAL AND WIN NOTHING". firstly, calm down. I didn't insult your mum's cooking, even if it was microwaved. secondly, in their own way, arsenal have the same problem... a stubborn lack of variety in their play. that might be attractive football, but it's not good football. be aware of that distinction. thirdly, it's a stupid comparison, because we have a far, far better squad than they do.

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We will always play the same kind of football while Mourinho is in charge:pragmatic and boring.

He is a top manager in terms of motivation and a larger than life personality but the only entertainment he provides is happening off the pitch. So no, i don't think our football will improve.

Interesting thing.When recently asked about the team's uninspiring performance at Wembley Mourinho mentioned how during the preparation for FA Cup final he has asked the players if they wanted to enjoy themselves during the match or after it and they all picked the latter. This is the best answer to the question whether Mourinho's team will ever play "beautiful" football.

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I don't see it changing one iota. Jose's remit is delivering silverware and he has proved to be rather successful at it, it is just unfortunate that he does so in a way that is not always pleasing on the eye. It could well be called a mathematical approach to football, he has analysed the game in general, and individual oppopents, to the nth degree and basically designed an approach which maximises the chance of success and minimises the risk of losing, entertainment value is an irrelevant variable in this 'formula.'

As I have stated before I am a fan of the art of defending and therefore I maybe find us more entertaining than some of the rest of you however in my honest opinion if you are looking for a more expansive game then lookaway now!

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Ok Terry has been average this season by his standards, Carvalho very good.

Part of defending is keeping the ball, innit, and I just don't see it as that when we pass sideways, sideways, sideways, then PUMP, to Drogba, one touch, lose the ball. The midfield doesn't press, opposition wide players have no midfield to contend with and can go straight for our fullbacks, and everyone is expected to help in defence so when we regain possession there's no one to play it up to for a break, thus we repeat sideways, sideways, sideways and pump.

And while we're dire in attack we're also conceding more than we should at the back. I can't believe you 'enjoy' this art of defending?

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Conceding more than we should at the back? I haven't checked the facts but I am pretty sure the number of goals we conceded this past season in the Premiership is the 2nd or 3rd meanest record since the Premiership began, with the meanest being the record we set in 04/05 and maybe the only other record being ours in 05/06 - so I guess you could argue we are going backwards however in those two seasons we didn't have to contend with the loss of both goalkeepers at once, our best centrehalf and captain for extended periods and end up deploying central midfielders and full backs at centrehalf.

Given all these factors I think we have defended just fine this season - we had a bad run of letting in goals when we were hardest hit by those injuries - take that out of the equation and we would be in and around the 15 goals conceded all season category again.

I take it your not believing is the same as your belief that nobody had ever seen Zola before he signed for Chelsea icon_wink.gif

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The impressions of those games drawn where we should have won, lost where we could have won/drawn stuck in my head...

And I didn't say nobody knew about Franco. I said 'many probably' didn't know much about him, which some of the more honest postors admitted in the thread. icon_cool.gif

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The short answer to the question is - No. Not under Mourinho.

I really don't think he cares about the "attractiveness" of our play at all. Results are all important - how those results are obtained are well and truely secondary.

The problem with this mantra is that it demands success and demands trophies. If results are all important, and the results do not come, then questions will always be asked - like they have been asked this season.

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You simply cannot overlook the lack of wide players/wingers this term.

Joe Cole missed 80% of the campaign, and G4 seems to dismiss his contribution too lightly. Cole was arguably the major highlight of the previous season and the one player capable of giving us creativity and invention on any kind of regular basis.

Add to that SWP who despite one or two decent showings, (mostly in a more central role), has again disappointed.

And then there's Arjen Robben. We are more likely to get a full season's football out of Prof. Steven Hawking than we are our from dutch flyer. And when he does play, his lack of consistency means you never know if he's gonna be the MOTM or a spectator for 90 minutes. Of course that's assuming he lasts the 90 minutes!

I also liked Henry's "dire in attack" comment. For me that doesn't quite tally with having a striker who scored 32 goals. And none of them penalties.

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er... joe cole alone won't make the difference to our football, as that comes from the manager. why am I repeating myself? I didn't say anything about his form (apart from "only joe cole played to his best of our wide players" is that dismissing his contribution? icon_confused.gif )

no, the point is, our football has been on the decline. and even when joe cole was fit, and playing to his career best form, our football was poor. one player rarely makes the difference to how the team plays, as that stems from the manager.

so do you think we are good going forward? or that we play good football? has our football got better as time has passed?

p.s. as for overlooking wingers, I think you'll find the first person to do that was jose, in signing ballack, and choosing to play the diamond.

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Firstly let me deal with Henry and his snide reference to JFH. You really can't do humour can you?

Drogba could not have scored that many goals if we were "dire in attack". One player + 32 goals = dire in attack ? Not when I went to school it didn't.

And yet, let's look at it your way for a moment.

If we are so dire going forward and attacking the opposition then Drogba must have done magnificently to get those many goals in those circumstances. So let's see you Henry, (just for once mind), publically give Drogba the credit he deserves because I've never heard you say one good word about the bloke. And as Brian M will tell you, at least I used to give Jimmy credit for being a consistent goal-scorer.

Now G4.

1. "Are we good going forward?" Not as often as I would like but we are capable of it. As shown by our recent displays at the Library and in Valencia.

2. "Do we play good football". See answer 1 above. I would also like to add that I don't buy the media hype about ManU playing gung-ho, attacking football every week. Against us at their place they scored a goal and then shut up shop. This invited us forward and back into the game. Which, I have to say, we did rather well. Against Le Arse at the Library they had one striker up front, a 5-man midfield, and Rooney deployed wide on the left. And then at Wembley the other week they didn't exactly go at us hell for leather did they? In fact Graham Taylor assessed it perfectly the day after on the BBC website. He said United generally only go for it against inferior opposition or when a match situation demands it. They do not do it everyweek. Against teams on their level or better, they play an entirely different game. And then of course they have had Ronaldo in sparkling form for most of the season. You say one player doesn't make that much difference. Well then you tell me. If he had been out injured all year would they have been so entertaining/attacking?

3. "has our football got better as time has passed?" See all the answers above and my original point about lack of wide players.

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If I was a quality winger who enjoyed taking on players, enjoyed hitting the line and whipping in crosses, enjoyed mazy runs and maybe even the off bit of showboating AND I wasn't purely motivated by cash then there is no way in hell I woldsign for Chelsea under Mourinho (oh and also if I wasn't a Chelsea fan!).

Duff - great winger, clearly had the ability and desire to take people on, loves running at players- after a season under Mourinho his game changes, he became a possession master, picking up the ball, cutting square, holding up the play, drawing the likes of Lampard into play.

SWP - when on form and confident, pacey, very direct, runs at defenders and puts them on the back foot, shoots from distance regularly having created space with his speed - under Mourinho he becomes a winger who gets the ball, semi breaks, stops, looks for the running support, plays it in with a square pass.

Robben - going the same way.

it is effective football but is not a winger's game

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Couldn't put it better myself...

We will always play the same kind of football while Mourinho is in charge:pragmatic and boring.

He is a top manager in terms of motivation and a larger than life personality but the only entertainment he provides is happening off the pitch. So no, i don't think our football will improve.

Interesting thing.When recently asked about the team's uninspiring performance at Wembley Mourinho mentioned how during the preparation for FA Cup final he has asked the players if they wanted to enjoy themselves during the match or after it and they all picked the latter. This is the best answer to the question whether Mourinho's team will ever play "beautiful" football.

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I will vote that 'Yes it will improve'; only because i believe that it can't get much worse compared to some of the stuff that we played this season.

Jose has already stated that he wants his side to now resemble more of a 4-3-3 than a 4-4-2. Whether we have the personel to do this properly now?: doubtful.

Having said that, any side with Robben, Joe Cole, and Essien restored to his rightful place in Midfield WILL improve.

Add to the fact that Mikel will be maturing all the time, and surely Terry and Cech wont miss as many games?

I know i am talking specifically about players here, compared to our style of play, but i believe to a certan extent, they go hand in hand. As a result of us not having such a mare on the injury front; our football must surely get better?!

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I will vote that 'Yes it will improve'; only because i believe that it can't get much worse compared to some of the stuff that we played this season.

Ditto.

I also share G4's opinion on our style. Personally, I'm not in the "Rico's bandwagon of sexy footie". I can get bored watching Bar?a as well.

What I want is GOOD football. GOOD football meaning it's effective, solid, tactically rich, and can also ocasionally be brilliant, with a plan A, a Plan B and a Plan C.

We've been doing with Plan B(omb it for Drogba) for 95% of the time. That's the problem.

It doesn't take a Bar?a style to be brilliant. Take the CL final Milan for instance.

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I'm slightly hopeful we will see an improvement but only because I'm an insane optimist. Tom is right the style of football matters not a jot to most people as long as there is success. Should the success dry up and the football remain dire then the problems begin. Mourinho is bright enough to realise that.

The "fully fit" Joe Cole argument fails in my opinion (but I must be wrong here as I am the only one who ever says it) because when he's fit there is no guarantee at all that he will get into our athletics team.

We can be a sight to behold however, as we were against Valencia, when we up the tempo and sustain it for long periods. The intensity of our football is frightening and it is impossible to play against us. Physically, even for our magnificent specimens, it is not possible to play that way consistently so we too often lapse into our smother the opposition mode.

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Perhaps only a joke that has made the rounds since the time we were sh*t would appeal to you.

I have not mentioned Drogba since two seasons ago when I pointed out all his faults, some of which have been improved on, simply because I do not like the kind of player he is, and the kind of football we are made to play simply because of his presence on the pitch. I would rather be quiet on him than grudgingly say something insincere like "he had a reasonable game" or "yes he scored a lot of goals" then follow it up with a "snide remark" like "he only does it against sh*t teams", "he's never available when we need him", or "he'll never win anything".

But which is it for you? You also said we do not good going forward as often as you'd like, and do not play good football as often as you'd like. 32 goals is not a common goal tally. Would you say it has come about more because of our attacking football or Drogba's magnificence? Opposition defenders not always being able to shackle Drogba does not equate to us having a good attack.

And since you agree with Graham Taylor's assessment, isn't it generally true then that they do play that way 32 league games out of 38? The fixtures against us, Arsenal and Liverpool being the possible exceptions. We on the other hand seem like we play that way only for those 6 'big games'.

Like Gullit4 mentioned, our lack of wide attacking outlets was by choice. If you're going to use that as an argument then do you think it is essential for good attacking play? If not, then is the lack of it still largely to blame, as you've already said we don't attack well enough, often enough? If you do, then since we've largely done without it this season, how has our attack not been poor?

ps: Wembley. I thought the final was ours right from the start. Their mistake was trying to play us at our game, and as we're so used to playing that way, we were always going to outlast them.

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just wrote:

1. "Are we good going forward?" Not as often as I would like but we are capable of it. As shown by our recent displays at the Library and in Valencia.

I totally agree- but I could never question the capability of a squad with some of the players we have to play good football. the capability IS there- that is a reason why I'm not happy with our football. because we could play so much better.

2. "Do we play good football". See answer 1 above.

the question was do we play good football (i.e. in general), not are we capable of good football.

. I would also like to add that I don't buy the media hype about ManU playing gung-ho, attacking football every week

no, they play it most weeks though, much more regularly than we do. but, I think people who say united have more matchwinners than we do and a far better pool of attacking players are wrong. the difference is they use them, by attacking a lot more, with overlapping fullbacks. when they do attack, they usually do at speed, which we do not. but we are capable of it, without a doubt.

but I don't actually care how or what man united do. I don't pick up the sun, and see oxford graduates using "roo" instead of "you" and think- "hey, these guys say united play great and chelsea are boring- and now I think chelsea are boring". Why is it that every time I mention our football, someone responds by talking about the media and man united's style of play? I don't give a sh*t about what the media think of our football nor the way other sides play. I do care about how we play.

although, I agree- ferguson seems scared with the side he has to play 442 against the bigger sides as he fears his side will be overrun.

And then of course they have had Ronaldo in sparkling form for most of the season. You say one player doesn't make that much difference. Well then you tell me. If he had been out injured all year would they have been so entertaining/attacking?

no, I said one player "rarely makes the difference". notice the distinction between what I have said, and what you say I've said. but to answer your question, do I think they would have been as entertaining? in a way, yes- he would still have done all his tricks- dribbling and running at speed is something he has always done. but there would have been less goals and less consistency, so they would have been less successful, but not much less attractive to watch. and wouild they have been as attacking? of course. they weren't a one paced long ball side in the previous season- they were still a largely attacking side.

as for joe, which I feel is an underlying point you're trying to make, remember, we've already seen joe cole in excellent form. the result was, he contributed a lot, but didn't magically make the team play good football.

has our football got better as time has passed?" See all the answers above and my original point about lack of wide players.

er, what does that mean? your answers above have been "man united don't play as well as the media hype suggests", "we are capable of good football" and "we miss the wingers". that doesn't answer the question. you can do better than that. what I'm asking is, over a period of 3 seasons, has our football, improved, stayed the same, or got worse? I didn't ask for reasons why it has or hasn't improved, I didn't ask about man united, and I didn't ask if we were capable of good football.

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Guest Brian M
I'm looking at sidwell, benni mccarthy and alex and am thoroughly uninspired... I think all are decent to good players, but all are predominantly athletic players, with pure footballing ability secondary.

Oh God, this must be senility setting in. I've actually agreed with something Gullit4 has said! Please, somebody shoot me before the synaptic breakdown spreads.

PS: I would've voted 'unsure' if the option had been given. Because I think the only way our football will sex itself up, is if we bring in a playmaker. Messi style. Or a creative Ronaldo (ughhhhhh) style winger. Or else a football wizard up front. The type of guy who can do with an orange, what... 247.gif

PPS:

We are more likely to get a full season's football out of Prof. Steven Hawking than we are our from dutch flyer.

Now THAT'S funny! icon_lol.gif

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"just wrote:

We are more likely to get a full season's football out of Prof. Steven Hawking than we are our from dutch flyer."

Yes, I agree that's funny.

I voted NO, because I cannot see our style will improve under Mourinho. I do think that with Joe in the team, SWP in form, Essien in his rightful place we have the potential to play exciting football, but it seems that Jose doesn't want us to. It always seems to me that when Joe is playing well and injecting something like flair into the side he is pulled off.

SWP, is someone I've always maintained my faith in. Yes, he's played very averagely when he has been allowed in the side, but occasionally he's shown some of his old flair. But to be fair to him, is it any surprise? Jose's legendary man management skills only seem to work on certain people. For others he has the tendancy to tear them down and then build them back up in his image of what he wants them to be. In doing this with Sean I think he all but destroyed his confidence and made him a very nervous player which has come over in his performances. Only recently did he look like the player he was before he joined us. He did the same with Joe and of course everyone would say look what he achieved with Joe. But everyone is different, not everyone responds well to this type of man management and I think this is one of the reaons we lost Gallas.

Yes, I think Jose does analyse the game to the nth degree, but in doing so it appears that he only appears to find solutions in defence, he relies on his players to provide solutions for attack and they do not/are not able to provide the solutions. In theory it may be that his analysis is 100% correct, certainly our number of trophies since he's been with us would show that. However, it doesn't make for attractive football to watch and whilst he's with us I don't think it will change. Is this good or bad? I know I personally would love to see us defensively brilliant and beautiful in attack, with loads of goals scored and lots of trophies won. With our money shouldn't this be possible?

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The defense will get better- that is his focus, and i think we will become rock, rock solid as we were in the first season with gallas and something like 20 clean sheets? or some ridiculous number anyhow..

that's how he makes strong, worldbeating teams and good luck to him. I think part of the reason that i have such a strong rejection for it is because it's not how i see football. I see it as a balanced game in attack and defense, playing all over the pitch.

In short, yes- i think we will be "better" next year, I anticipate an absurdly strong defense with terry/carvalho/ferreira/cole/makelele/essien/lampard/mikel/drogba/sheva, but i don't think we will become a side with attacking "footballing' focus. The team has and always will be set up for that strong defense.

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Ive lifted this from somthing i wrote in another thread

One things for sure, football has short a memories. even on the CSR where some of our own feel that Jose has killed football, maybe a little, last season we scored far and away more goals that any one else, how do you go about doing that when your winning 1-0 every week, some one got there math's very wrong!! second top goal scores this season, but again we'r scraping games...

This season we are going to be one game short of the maximum any team that qualifies straight for the champions league can play! i some times think people underestimate how many games that is and if im right in thinking we started the season with a smaller squad than usual (maybe by one player) in the cores of this season we lost both chec and carlo for long periods of time! ! ! robben aka mr glass has not been fit all season, even in the small periods where he hasn't been carrying a knock he's been playing with a recent injury in the back of his mind. Cole gone for the whole season, the camio at the end was to little to late and he was no where near fit!

We had little to no option but to play the formation and players we have, i havent enjoyed ballak this season thats for sure but put your self in Jose's position your in a corner, no options, play SWP who hasn't really been doing it or go with the german captain and a proven quality player who's also playing p*nts... kalou's not a winger any way and sheva has been little of anything this season if we'r honest!!

Jose has done what he had to do to keep us in with a shout the whole way through, in the end some prizes were just out of

reach, but i guarantee you this, regardless of the cash and the players we have there our maybe 3 other managers in the world that could have kept us in with a shout of every thing as long as he did and Old red nose and wenger our not two of them!!

Im not naive enough to think we play the same football arsenal of 4 seasons ago did or barca of a year ago, but we are not the monster people would have you all believe we have a plan B and even a plan C some times when things aren't rolling the right way and its not always pretty but we'd all soon be moaning if there was no back up plan.

Ive bolded the bits that i think are relative because above, the fact remains that the amount of games we have played this season has been immence and to be in all competitions at such a late stage was also extreamly impressive. Add to this the injurys to key players we have sufferd. THE FACT THAT WHEN BALLACK AND SHEVA HAVE BEEN PLAYING WE MAY AS WELL HAVE STARTED AND FINISHED THE GAME WITH 9 MEN!! and jose's a f***king g-d in management terms!!

a) We havent had the players to play the silky football one hundred percent of the time G4 ballack and sheva have had to play because we have had very little in the way of alternatives but there delay in addapting to the league has not leant its slef to the football we would ALLL like to see... the same kind of football that we played against united at the end of last season with out either of them in the team and guess what a fully fit and on fire Joe cole... yes one man can make a difference its an option, some one who will make things happen and inspires confidence with his own play... only thing ballack inspired this season was extra lung capacitys because our players where like yo-yo's, every time he had the ball they had to race back because 9 times out of 10 he would give it away, like wise sheva to be honest!!

:judge: As i have said there is no other manager in this league that would have been able to keep us fighting on all fronts for so long, thats his job at the end of the day and he did that with what was availible!!

c) I have every confidence that if we can keep all key players fit next season, keep essien in midfield, cole and robben playing more offten than not, ballack on loan to liverpool.. we will be playing far more entertaining stuff, not arse stuff but driving football combined with a much better attacking style..

Also worth noting that are best central midfilder has been playing center back for most of the season

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If you want more of the same keep JM.

If you want attractive attacking football, 6th in the league, quarter final in the FA Cup and of a semi in the UEFA cup there's always tubby Jol

Me, I want a self-sufficient club producing 75-80% of its own players through a solid youth system, cheap, standing tickets, and a manager not afraid to taste humble pie no and again.

Oh dreams

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