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  1. Don't worry, things have moved on very quickly in the last week! The interesting thing about the Rangnick appointment isn't just that he plays a pressing style, but that he insists on every single player pressing together. Otherwise the whole thing falls apart. It's going to be fascinating. Or disastrous. Or brilliant. We normally do all three of those in the same game, so we're used to it.
  2. The Spectator is just a piss-poor Tory fanzine for idiots and sociopaths. It has as much journalism and intelligence within it's pages as a Domino's Pizza menu. Shit, we're going to get moved to the Politics & Current Affairs folder.
  3. Wasn't Rangnick considered for the role when it first came up and rejected in favour of Murtough though? This is hearsay from journalists of course, but wasn't part of the reason that Rangnick would have wanted more control over recruitment? In other words he would have insisted on signing player for the benefit of the team rather than the commercial arm of the club, which we all know is the only part that matters to the owners. Do we really believe the Glazers are ready to abandon that philosophy? For that matter, what is the point of Murtough? What is his job? Woodward still seems to be signing players. He signed Ronaldo from Gary Linekar's garden, bizarrely.
  4. Me neither, the words I used was "seem incapable" which you might interpret as a bit of a dig at the players' attitude. I'm not sure it suits our strengths though. The pace and other attributes we have suits a team that creates space by sucking an opposing team in and then beats them with one pass. Pressing suits teams who are full of attacking and midfield players who are energetic and quick-thinking. When they win the ball back they need to think and act quickly to make the most of the opportunity. They need to construct the subsequent attack immediately to take advantage of the opposition not being set up. Fred, Pogba, McTominay, Matic, even Rashford and Martial are not great at this. Pogba particularly sometimes takes an age to decide to do anything. I think we could see Van De Beek and Fernandes in the same midfield quite a bit between now and the end of the season. Rangnick will hopefully be capable of teaching them how to do it. They're world-class players, they have to be adaptable enough. It'll be interesting to see what he does with Ronaldo. He says that pressing is like being pregnant - you can't just do a bit of pressing in the same way that you can't be a bit pregnant. If one player isn't doing it, it doesn't work. Ronaldo has never really been that kind of player, which isn't to damn him - being able to conserve your energy to the point when you can hurt the opposition the most is a useful skill, and he's scored 799 career goals so he seems to be doing something right. Rangnick just coming in for six months might mean he has a free hit and licence to piss off whoever he wants, so Ronaldo, arguably our best player and clearly fit enough to still cut it even at 36, might end up on the bench a lot. Or his status as a substitute teacher until the real guy comes in might make him a bit powerless. Wan-Bissaka needs someone to explain how to play in a pressing system to him, you can see that from the times we've tried to press this season he doesn't understand when to charge forward to try to win the ball and when to stay in a defensive shape. Maguire needs the concept explaining to him as well so he stops shouting at everyone to get back into shape and stop chasing the ball. It's no wonder we've been so bad this season. Confusion reigns. A guy with a clear coaching philosophy is going to be a plus whatever else is going on. I wonder if Rangnick is going to move upstairs at the end of his contract if we get Pochettino. Where would that leave John Murtoch and Darren Fletcher?
  5. The Athletic are talking as if the appointment has been made. The literally describe him as "manager of Manchester United" in an article. He's very highly-rated in Germany but he's never managed outside of Germany, and has never managed either of the big two there. He managed RB Leipzig, who have become a big club in Germany down to financial doping, basically. He's a disciple of pressing football, so is perhaps a strange appointment to a team who seem incapable of playing that way. It doesn't suit our strengths. Pochettino plays a high-energy pressing style as well, so if this is in anticipation of Rangnick moving to a director of football role and Poch coming in, perhaps there is some joined-up thinking there. If we're going to suddenly switch to that style we might need a full squad rebuild rather than the minor surgery that seems to be necessary. He's apparently very good though, and certainly seems to consider himself to be an elite coach. He talks very intelligently and insightfully about football. I dunno. The only thing that you can say with absolute certainty is that whatever is being done, it is being done without any sort of plan, and without any knowledge of football being applied. I suppose if you blindfold yourself and throw enough darts at a dartboard you're going to hit a bullseye eventually. Perhaps this is the dart.
  6. This is great. The face is really good, but damn his right hand is flipping excellent! Absolutely top-drawer hand painting.
  7. Great to have got through with a game to spare, but we shouldn't get carried away. We got a clean sheet, but we weren't exactly defensively solid. We did seem to have a defensive plan, but whenever it got a bit scruffy we gave up a chance. The De Gea save was the decisive moment of the match. There were some much better performances though. Sancho was the best attacking player on the pitch. Fred put a hell of a shift in and won the ball for both goals. Wan-Bissaka kept their danger man quiet and looked more switched on. Bruno changed the game when he came on. Man of the match by a mile though was Lindelof who headed away every Villarreal corner, and made countless important interventions in the centre of defence. I think it's the best I've seen him play.
  8. How did you forget that touch by Bruno?
  9. Sanchoooooooo! That's a fucking great goal. He's deserved it too.
  10. Telles' corners have been abysmal.
  11. Exquisite finish. Good work from Fred as well. It came out of nothing. I wasn't looking at the screen.
  12. That's a brilliant save. It feels like delaying the inevitable considering how passive we've been. Why are we letting them have the ball so much? We're allowing them to attack us.
  13. Here's the thing - we've looked better since you started watching. Imagine how bad the first 25 minutes were.
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