Legend
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What is the United style? I hear this all the time since Fergie retired, but not really at all during his time in charge. The things I associate with his teams are attitude things - desire, commitment, never out of it, a team of winners. They could pull anything out of the fire. I remember that saying, not sure who said it, something like "Manchester United never lose, but occasionally they run out of time". 

Under Fergie the most games I saw were against Arsenal, and for the majority of those matches, particularly in the period 2000 - 2010 or so, Fergie was happy to sit deep, defend most of the time, and hit on the counter. He was quite successful with that, but it was hardly any kind of style, it was anti-football, nearly every time we played. So frustrating for me personally, but very effective. Fergie just knew how to win, and that was the way he'd usually beat Arsenal. He'd usually sit Ji Sung Park or someone like that on our playmaker, he'd put a striker or two on the halfway line, and everyone else would be deep, marking zonally most of the time. Arsenal would dominate possession but struggle to create chances, Rooney or whomever would nab a stunning goal or two on the break, and that's how it would be done. Obviously there were games where it wasn't like this, when he sniffed blood for various reasons eg 8-2 when our squad was in disarray, but anti-football was usually his go-to against us. 

To me, Fergie was a Manager who adjusted well, he would select specific players and tactics for specific matches. I don't really recall a specific style that he was wedded to. Sometimes you could associate words like "swashbuckling" or "gung-ho" to his teams and it sounds attractive, but again that's just attitude and belief to me, that doesn't explain anything about an actual tactical style, just that the players were committed and had a massive desire to win. To me that was what Fergie was the best at in the world, making his players believe they could win every single game, no matter the situation. And usually that's exactly what they did. 

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Fergie talks at length about this in his books and it boils down to a couple of things.

First and foremost, quick, fast and purposeful ball movement. SAF mentions that he let other coaches run his trainings with one stipulation - the ball movement has to be quick and has to be purposeful.

The other is of course mentality. But I think most tactics fundamentally boil down to mentality. The SAF mentality is "have a go". Which sounds quite touchy feely but can be boiled down to "playing like you're the better team". There's a quote floating around (which may or may not be real) where Jones was attempting to call a defender back to help him mark a striker. OGS response was to forget about that. You play for Manchester United, the striker should be scared of you.

With that, there's always been an element of pragmatism. There's no point trying to beat 2000-2010 Arsenal off the park with possession. It's almost a, "We're better than them so we don't need to chase them round for 90 minutes. Just lock the door until we run over them". Alas, the lack of pragmatism is what I think is one of Pep's major failings. Everytime he seems to play Liverpool he gets caught out because he refuses to adjust

Legend
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over 14 years

Makes a lot of sense re: the playing arsenal comments.
Although i have to slip in there that although fergie bested wenger overall, manU certainly werent the better side year on year. I reckon we were the better overall side from pretty much right after you smacked us 6-1 that time (the catalyst perhaps?), until the 2005 fa cup final (we should have lost that final, we were terrible that day). That 4 year stretch was probably the best Arsenal team of all time. Having said that you still managed to nab a league title in there, overhauling a huge lead from us in 2002/03, and preventing us from winning consecutive doubles. That fergie attitude couldnt be kept down.

tradition and history
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AF had 48 games against AW. He won 22 to AW's 15 and only lost one of the last 11 games. He used to say to his players when they played Arsenal- stay with the runner, then  intercept the pass and counter attack quickly. 

AF was the most successful manager of the two with 10 more league titles plus CL. Doubt any one will ever beat his record in the UK

Legend
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None of that goes against what I said.

Phoenix Academy
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almost 14 years

The best way I have heard the United way articulated was from Rene Meulensteen (Manchester United coaching staff 2001-2013) in this video from 1.38 - 3.10 (apologies in advance for the rest of the video's content)

Possession with a purpose, which involves attacking with speed, power, penetration and unpredictability

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ksbQp_wOfA&feature=youtu.be&t=98

I think the approach without the ball changed to suit opponents and situations but in possession the above was always there

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The people over there work hard all week long and it is your job to go out on the field and provide them with some entertainment

-Sir Matt

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almost 13 years

I must admit I have enjoyed this series of posts where we have allowed ourselves to indulge in the possibility that United may actually be set for a return. To say you were not a little turned on would be to admit you're not a football fan.

Legend
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It's pretty hard to get "turned on" to something positive happening to a rival, to be fair, but from the outside looking in, it does seem there is a lot of positivity to be taken from what Solskjaer is doing, and that everything is looking up. I can appreciate what that feels like as a fan of many sports teams that have gone through those sorts of things. In fact I'm currently feeling something similar when it comes to the Nix!

Phoenix Academy
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over 8 years

20 Legend wrote:

I must admit I have enjoyed this series of posts where we have allowed ourselves to indulge in the possibility that United may actually be set for a return. To say you were not a little turned on would be to admit you're not a football fan.

I'm a football fan but I'm not at all turned on by Liverpool's resurgence. Am sure Liverpool/Arsenal fans in particular are hoping we don't win a thing for as long as possible.

Phoenix Academy
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Probably the best performance I've seen by a goalkeeper, and I was at the match in Brazil when Tim Howard made 15 saves. Give the man whatever he wants and get him signed.

Phoenix Academy
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almost 14 years

Ole shows that he can also bring a tactical edge to the games - played Rashford and Martial as split strikers and really exposed the spaces behind Spurs' fullbacks. De Gea made some great saves but Lloris made 7 saves. Give De Gea any money he needs to stay. And with the right people around him, Ole seems to be the real deal

Legend
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about 14 years

Another win, what a turn around - for the positive. Creates an interesting perspective. United started winning at the same time as the Nix - co-incidence??

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De Gea flawless but Spurs finishing was overwhelmingly average as well. Nothing away from Dave, have to be top of your game to make sure nothing slips through.

Thought all the players played great. Looked like Lingard, Rashford, Martial and Pogba just ran out of legs at the end which made it really hard to keep the ball.

Rashford's finish was superb though. At full sprint, perfectly placed. I actually think a finish like that is harder to pull off than a lot of the outside the box efforts we more regularly celebrate.

Bit of a laugh Ole doing Poch over tactically in the first half as well.

Legend
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Things change fast eh. I was smugly looking forward to finishing streets ahead of you fullas this season, it was going to be my one highlight. 

Only been a few weeks and you're level, and will probably blow right past us next week if we lose to Chelsea. 

Phoenix Academy
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over 8 years

Even in our wildest dreams I don't think that 11 point lead would have vanished as quickly as it actually did ... Outstanding!

Marquee
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Lonegunmen wrote:

Another win, what a turn around - for the positive. Creates an interesting perspective. United started winning at the same time as the Nix - co-incidence??

Rusty having an influence maybe.
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Well I can usually cope with 5-10m of squeaky bum time, but a whole half of it got my anxiety levels up just a bit too much.

As good as it was to get the win, we were very lucky their finishing was poor and Dave was on fire.

All we need to do going forward is have the confidence to play an entire game with the same fire as we seem to be beginning with games. At 1-0 and once the second half started with just withdrew deeper and deeper and reverted back to Mourinho esque tactics.

We definitely have the players capable of doing it, they just need the belief to.

Legend
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about 14 years

That was a great ball from Pogba.

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Probably the first fixture against top 6 opposition since AF left that I actually felt confident about! Always knew it would be tough but really felt we could win it. Already have an OGS sticker on the car!

Phoenix Academy
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over 8 years

Wonder how long Ole will have to keep this up for before he really firms as favourite to get the job full-time. I personally would love him to keep this up for another month or so and see him get the offer. The turnaround in form of Rashford and Pogba in particular has been amazing but also in the likes of Jones, Lindelof, Herrera and Matic. Great to see the players and the team benefiting from a positive presence in the dugout. 

Legend
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Bloody press conferences these days look like the manager is trying to hock a bunch of stolen phones..,

and 1 other
Legend
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So are the supporters of Mourinho of the belief that he should still be there? Some of you have been surprisingly quiet since he left. 

I noticed Football365 describe his sacking as the no.1 decision made in the premier league this season... hard to argue?

https://www.football365.com/news/top-ten-best-deci...

Starting XI
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about 6 years

paulm wrote:

So are the supporters of Mourinho of the belief that he should still be there? Some of you have been surprisingly quiet since he left. 

I noticed Football365 describe his sacking as the no.1 decision made in the premier league this season... hard to argue?

https://www.football365.com/news/top-ten-best-deci...

Looks to be a good call. You seem to be misrepresenting the arguments that we "Mourinho supporters" made - most of us were saying that he wasn't entirely to blame to for performances and I stand by that. I think there's still issues at board level and player attitudes shouldn't vary so wildly under 2 different managers (shows a lack of maturity) but hopefully reverting to the "United way" helps sort those out. Hard to argue with the performances and the results but can't really call it a good decision as we have no clue what the long term effects are yet. It looks good short term though.
Legend
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Yea fair call nelfoos, supporters is probably not the most accurate description

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about 12 years

Nelfoos wrote:

paulm wrote:

So are the supporters of Mourinho of the belief that he should still be there? Some of you have been surprisingly quiet since he left. 

I noticed Football365 describe his sacking as the no.1 decision made in the premier league this season... hard to argue?

https://www.football365.com/news/top-ten-best-deci...

Looks to be a good call. You seem to be misrepresenting the arguments that we "Mourinho supporters" made - most of us were saying that he wasn't entirely to blame to for performances and I stand by that. I think there's still issues at board level and player attitudes shouldn't vary so wildly under 2 different managers (shows a lack of maturity) but hopefully reverting to the "United way" helps sort those out. Hard to argue with the performances and the results but can't really call it a good decision as we have no clue what the long term effects are yet. It looks good short term though.

Something I was wondering. You usually see a slight upturn in results/performances after a mid-season managerial change but United look to be a completely different team. That cant all be down to a change in tactics. Were they players just not trying under Mou?

Phoenix Academy
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almost 14 years

paulm wrote:

So are the supporters of Mourinho of the belief that he should still be there? Some of you have been surprisingly quiet since he left. 

I noticed Football365 describe his sacking as the no.1 decision made in the premier league this season... hard to argue?

https://www.football365.com/news/top-ten-best-deci...

 

OK, I will bite. The fact that the United board did not support Jose to the same extent as other managers are being supported was inevitably his demise. I supported him because I think he was doing whatever he could to benefit the team. Just like I support each manager in charge. I suppose it is telling that Bournemouth just surpassed United's transfer expenditure this season. 

Yes, the way he wanted to do things was not in line with how the board and supporters would want, but the board hired him and even gave him a contract extension so they have can't have it both ways. And maybe if he had been able to run things how he wanted (buy Willian, Alderwierald, sell Pogba, Martial etc) and still not had success, then I would not support him. 

In the end, he couldn't build a squad and a strategy that fitted his style and I think that when the players also saw this disconnect between the players' styles and the manager's style, they made the most of it. Not a good look for the players. 

Ole has aligned the styles of the players and the manager (and the club) and that has started things off well. But if he can get Jones / Smalling / Bailly / Rojo / Sanchez / Lukaku to perform better, get Fred, Dalot and even Pereira involved then he has a positive direction. 

Starting XI
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about 6 years

Downey26 wrote:

Nelfoos wrote:

paulm wrote:

So are the supporters of Mourinho of the belief that he should still be there? Some of you have been surprisingly quiet since he left. 

I noticed Football365 describe his sacking as the no.1 decision made in the premier league this season... hard to argue?

https://www.football365.com/news/top-ten-best-deci...

Looks to be a good call. You seem to be misrepresenting the arguments that we "Mourinho supporters" made - most of us were saying that he wasn't entirely to blame to for performances and I stand by that. I think there's still issues at board level and player attitudes shouldn't vary so wildly under 2 different managers (shows a lack of maturity) but hopefully reverting to the "United way" helps sort those out. Hard to argue with the performances and the results but can't really call it a good decision as we have no clue what the long term effects are yet. It looks good short term though.

Something I was wondering. You usually see a slight upturn in results/performances after a mid-season managerial change but United look to be a completely different team. That cant all be down to a change in tactics. Were they players just not trying under Mou?

I don't think "not trying" is the word, I think there's simply an extra gear available when a team is enjoying the football they're playing and are passionate about the club and that wasn't evident under Mourinho. Solskjaer has bought some of that back, you can tell he really does live and breathe United and it feels like he's bought something to the table that we've been missing since Fergie. I really don't know how much to put down to changing room atmosphere, style of play and player attitude but the change in ability has to be a combination of all three I think.

I'm just enjoying this for now and waiting to see where it goes.
Legend
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Tekkers wrote:

The fact that the United board did not support Jose to the same extent as other managers are being supported was inevitably his demise. I supported him because I think he was doing whatever he could to benefit the team. 

I honestly think you're in fantasy land a bit here. You guys signed a ton of players under Mourinho, including world class ones, and 2 expensive CBs that were supposed to be the answer to the defensive problem. Just because Mourinho couldn't realise that investment doesn't mean he wasn't supported. I hardly blamed Woodward and co for drawing the line on CBs after getting stung repeatedly like that. To me the biggest mistake Woodward etc made was re-signing Mourinho on a new contract. What a disaster that was. 

And the 2nd statement, yea na... in my opinion Mourinho ultimately looks out for himself. He always did, and he always will. 

WeeNix
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over 6 years
I'm not sure where this belief that OGS promotes youth has come from. 

He hasn't given any real time (or any time at all, in many cases) to Bishop, Mengi, Galbraith, Garner, Hannibal, Elanga, Shoretire, Amad, and so on.......sure, some have been loaned out, but they didn't play in an OGS team anyway. 

The Man U Digital Media office works overtime to tell us who OGS has included x young player in the squad, YET HE NEVER ACTUALLY PLAYS THEM! (put Greenwood to one side, as he was always going to play regardless of the manager)

Jose probably played more young guys than Ole. 
WeeNix
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Well, another game where Ole hasn't given young guys a chance when he easily could have.......can't wait to hear him talk about "The United Way" some more.

By the way, the movie (?) "The United Way" is out in cinemas in a month or so!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdMjrS5m9m4

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about 7 years
F U C K the Glazer's and F U C K the European Super League.

As much as it would pain me to, if this goes ahead, then I will walk away from United.

This is the biggest 🖕🖕🖕 to not only club history and tradition, but to fans worldwide, just so the esteemed few can get a little richer.

I won't abide it, and I have no interest in following any club, (let alone my own!) that chooses to wash it's hands of it's domestic league, and simultaneously spit in the face of it's own domestic peers in pursuit of this money grubbing bullshark league. It's ideologically flawed, and moves away from the principles of the game. History counts for nothing with this move, which makes it even more embarrassing that we have 'committed' to it.

I have loved and adored this club for 26 years, I have stood up for, and defended this club for 26 years.

I won't stand up for, nor will I defend this.
and 4 others
Opinion Privileges revoked
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about 12 years
WeeNix
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almost 7 years
YoungHeart
F U C K the Glazer's and F U C K the European Super League.

As much as it would pain me to, if this goes ahead, then I will walk away from United.

This is the biggest 🖕🖕🖕 to not only club history and tradition, but to fans worldwide, just so the esteemed few can get a little richer.

I won't abide it, and I have no interest in following any club, (let alone my own!) that chooses to wash it's hands of it's domestic league, and simultaneously spit in the face of it's own domestic peers in pursuit of this money grubbing bullshark league. It's ideologically flawed, and moves away from the principles of the game. History counts for nothing with this move, which makes it even more embarrassing that we have 'committed' to it.

I have loved and adored this club for 26 years, I have stood up for, and defended this club for 26 years.

I won't stand up for, nor will I defend this.
Well there was the formation of the European Cup many decades ago that happened and pretty much all the arguments then will be repeated today. 
WeeNix
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over 6 years
Let's be honest, Manchester United as we know it ceased to exist in 1991. That's when it stopped becoming a club, and was floated on the stock exchange. As soon as that happens, the focus switches from customers to shareholders. 

Fergie had his spat with the Irish part owners over the breeding rights for Rock of Gibraltar in the early 2000s. This public challenge of, essentially, his bosses leads to the Glazers buying more shares of MU. Shortly thereafter, the Glazers gain near total ownership. 

It seems Busby was wrong when he said "Football without fans is nothing". It seems all you need is TV money and JP Morgan. 
WeeNix
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630
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over 6 years
I'd be surprised if Fergie says anything against this. I see he has already said "well, I don't know if Manchester United are involved", as if he doesn't know everything that's going on. He has his nose in the Glazer trough. 
First Team Squad
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almost 13 years
Honestly, part of me is looking forward to not waking up at 3am every weekend.
Starting XI
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about 6 years
If this goes ahead in any form I'll likely just follow the Prem how I follow the NBA - check in on how the Kiwi(s) are doing and that's about it. Fudge everything about the "super league".
tradition and history
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over 14 years
Rusty Dunks
I'd be surprised if Fergie says anything against this. I see he has already said "well, I don't know if Manchester United are involved", as if he doesn't know everything that's going on. He has his nose in the Glazer trough. 
Is has already said he is against this.
WeeNix
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over 6 years
Only in the meekest of ways, and he didn't criticise United nor his buddies the Glazers. Again, Fergie will know everything about this but he knows where his money comes from. 

"I’m not sure [if] Manchester United are involved in this....". 

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