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  #121  
Old 12-08-2011, 05:15 AM
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Yeah, the last round of group fixtures isn't it?

I think we'll end up playing the kids in Europe, no way will we jeopardize our premier league aspirations with the Thursday-Sunday game cycle.

Also I think we're easily the unluckiest team when it comes to injuries.
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  #122  
Old 12-08-2011, 05:34 AM
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Yeah, the last round of group fixtures isn't it?
Yep.

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I think we'll end up playing the kids in Europe, no way will we jeopardize our premier league aspirations with the Thursday-Sunday game cycle.
See that you do. It's a joke you're even in the competition.

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Also I think we're easily the unluckiest team when it comes to injuries.
No, that's Arsenal. Has been for years.
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  #123  
Old 12-08-2011, 05:56 AM
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No, that's Arsenal. Has been for years.
Arsenal lose players evenly across all positions but we seem to lose all our defenders at once(happened in 09/10 too around New Year). At this point of time I can't think of any team who has a bigger injury list than ours because it has struck our forward line too.
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  #124  
Old 12-08-2011, 06:09 AM
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Arsenal lose players evenly across all positions but we seem to lose all our defenders at once(happened in 09/10 too around New Year). At this point of time I can't think of any team who has a bigger injury list than ours because it has struck our forward line too.
That's Ferguson's fault for never having enough defenders. You don't lose any more defenders to injury than anyone else (except when Spurs insisted on relying on Woodgate and King, of course ), but you never have the back-up. Bit different this year with Smalling and Jones becoming proper first-teamers, but when your back-up was Brown, Evans and O'Shea, suddenly Man U had a "defensive crisis".

Rectified now, at last, I think. Smalling and Jones are dependable.

Right now, Arsenal's injury list is the same length as yours in terms of raw numbers (8 players each), but smaller in terms of percentage of first team squad, because they've got so many kids. Bolton and Newcastle also have 8 members of their senior squad out, Sunderland have 9.

Even then, they have a lower percentage of the squad injured. Your squad is actually one of the smallest in the league, and certainly the smallest of the top clubs.
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  #125  
Old 12-08-2011, 06:19 AM
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That's Ferguson's fault for never having enough defenders. You don't lose any more defenders to injury than anyone else (except when Spurs insisted on relying on Woodgate and King, of course ), but you never have the back-up. Bit different this year with Smalling and Jones becoming proper first-teamers, but when your back-up was Brown, Evans and O'Shea, suddenly Man U had a "defensive crisis".

Rectified now, at last, I think. Smalling and Jones are dependable.

Right now, Arsenal's injury list is the same length as yours in terms of raw numbers (8 players each), but smaller in terms of percentage of first team squad, because they've got so many kids. Bolton and Newcastle also have 8 members of their senior squad out, Sunderland have 9.

Even then, they have a lower percentage of the squad injured. Your squad is actually one of the smallest in the league, and certainly the smallest of the top clubs.
Well this season, our defense was always going to be an issue. The twins are majorly injury prone, Ferdinand cannot play back-to-back games and Evans to be honest has only degraded as a player since 2009.

Bolton, Newcastle and Sunderland are not in Europe so that really is a moot point though I agree about Arsenal, they too seem to be hit by the injury bug a lot.

Anyway no excuses there, we've been successful in the past even with all those injuries, I think this year we just didn't respect the competition enough by playing our strongest team and went out. Its not the "disaster" everyone is making it out to be. We have to be realistic about our trophy aspirations as this is a transitional year with several senior players either retiring or departing from the club. We have a good base of young players now and with time I think we'll move forward towards building our next team.

Ofcourse the kids who just started supporting United after the trophies came flowing in won't be patient enough.
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  #126  
Old 12-08-2011, 06:27 AM
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Not being in Europe is irrelevant. The length of time spent without those players is the same, it's just that you and any other team in a European competition have to play more games with other players. The number, and length, of injuries isn't related to the games played.

Except in the sense that the more games you play, the more chance you've got of picking up injuries... which actually makes teams who aren't in Europe unluckier than teams in Europe when they end up with long injury lists.

Your problem is still, and has been for years, that your squad is too small. Ferguson doesn't like spending money when, as he sees it, he doesn't have to, but it's consistently meant that when you do end up with the same number of injuries as other clubs, you start running out of players you can depend on as replacements.

At least in your case the replacement you do have are also top quality. Some other clubs don't have that luxury. Arsenal don't, but that's their own fault for not buying players. And then not using the ones they do buy (hello, Yossi Benayoun).

But yes, you've still had the success even with depleted numbers, so it should never be seen as the end of the world.

The team you put out the other night did surprise me, I have to say.
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  #127  
Old 12-08-2011, 06:28 AM
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With Johnny Evans, I think someone needs to work out what the hell position really is his best, and keep him in it. So far all we know is he's not a good centre back, and he's not a good holding midfields... what is he?
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  #128  
Old 12-08-2011, 06:37 AM
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Not being in Europe is irrelevant. The length of time spent without those players is the same, it's just that you and any other team in a European competition have to play more games with other players. The number, and length, of injuries isn't related to the games played.

Except in the sense that the more games you play, the more chance you've got of picking up injuries... which actually makes teams who aren't in Europe unluckier than teams in Europe when they end up with long injury lists.

Your problem is still, and has been for years, that your squad is too small. Ferguson doesn't like spending money when, as he sees it, he doesn't have to, but it's consistently meant that when you do end up with the same number of injuries as other clubs, you start running out of players you can depend on as replacements.

At least in your case the replacement you do have are also top quality. Some other clubs don't have that luxury. Arsenal don't, but that's their own fault for not buying players. And then not using the ones they do buy (hello, Yossi Benayoun).

But yes, you've still had the success even with depleted numbers, so it should never be seen as the end of the world.

The team you put out the other night did surprise me, I have to say.

You're only looking at it from one perspective though. Yes, its unluckier if you have the same number of injuries or more if you play less games but then it doesn't help that you need to play crucial games in Europe with a depleted squad. But as I said, this wasn't an issue in us not qualifying so enough on that.

Yes, well after the Veron and Berbatov(?) deals, Ferguson has been rather pessimistic about spending large sums of money on players above the age of 25. Although our transfer policy has always focused around youth, we've also gone out and bought quality senior players who provided the level-headedness to complement the youthful exuberance. Ofcourse the inflated transfer market doesn't help much either.

The last couple of months especially after that ridiculous defeat to City, we've almost gone into our shell and instead of stamping our authority on games, we've tried to show up and claim victory. History has shown that we're at our best when we go all-out to attack and I hope we revisit that strategy again rather than this cautious approach.

Jonny Evans was such a promising talent in the 08/09 season. He was a prominent member of that back four who achieved that incredible run of clean sheets(something like no goals conceded in over a thousand minutes) but after that year he has steadily gone downhill. His positional presence is poor and so is his aerial ability. There's a stat which says without Vidic in the team we concede around 2 goals per game while the number drops to a mere 0.47 when he plays. Just goes to show how much we rely on him right now.
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  #129  
Old 12-08-2011, 06:55 AM
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You're only looking at it from one perspective though. Yes, its unluckier if you have the same number of injuries or more if you play less games but then it doesn't help that you need to play crucial games in Europe with a depleted squad. But as I said, this wasn't an issue in us not qualifying so enough on that.
Best not to use that point when talking to a Fulham fan...

I think over time you'll be able to rely less on Vidic. He's certainly been good since he had that run of awful form last season, but Smalling and especially Jones will, within the next season or two, pretty much become THE centre-back pairing in the league. I think Evra's fading contribution is a more immediate issue.

And just put the twins down. Put everyone out of their misery

What do you make of De Gea so far? During his initial period of mistakes I was confident he'd get through it and put first class, but he's still not that convincing to me.

One of the most bemusing things about Man U's younger players to me is how Macheda still isn't a good player. Look at the guy, he should be immense. It's funny sometimes how players just stop developing.
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  #130  
Old 12-08-2011, 07:07 AM
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Best not to use that point when talking to a Fulham fan...
That's why I didn't mention Fulham in my list of examples

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I think over time you'll be able to rely less on Vidic. He's certainly been good since he had that run of awful form last season, but Smalling and especially Jones will, within the next season or two, pretty much become THE centre-back pairing in the league. I think Evra's fading contribution is a more immediate issue.
Yes that is one point I forgot to touch upon. Evra is still good as ever going forward but the defensive side of his game has gone horridly bad, too many times he's caught ahead of the play and we generally tend to concede goals due to crosses coming in from the right. Smalling and Jones are the future England and United centre-back pairing no doubt. Smalling, already is very assured at centre-back and I'd like to see more of him there but ofcourse with no fit right-backs at the moment, he has to slot in at right-back. Jones is still quite young and I think needs to work more on the aerial side of his defending which Vidic is an absolute beast at.



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And just put the twins down. Put everyone out of their misery
The twins are a really frustrating situation. When they were in their first season they took everyone's breath away with their exuberance and energy but they are just so injury prone, its laughable. I think at the end of this season we may have to take a decision about that because it is proving to be quite costly especially with the 25 man squad-limit now.

Quote:
What do you make of De Gea so far? During his initial period of mistakes I was confident he'd get through it and put first class, but he's still not that convincing to me.
Honestly, I feel like we're honoring the price-tag too much. For a keeper as young as him I don't think he should have been entrusted with the no.1 jersey so soon. Lindegaard is far more assured than him and should have been the new no.1 because I still think it will take another couple of years till De Gea can build that confidence to truly command his area. Ofcourse our lackadaisical defending at times hasn't helped him either.

Quote:
One of the most bemusing things about Man U's younger players to me is how Macheda still isn't a good player. Look at the guy, he should be immense. It's funny sometimes how players just stop developing.
Yeah I think we really missed a trick by sending him over to a struggling Italian team where he barely even played any games. Should have rather played in the premier league like Cleverley, who has returned a better player. Honestly though, I don't see Macheda lasting here too long, his main role was to be an impact front-man but his first touch and holding ability leaves quite a lot to be desired.
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