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02 Sep 2021 02:06:49
into CB
I'd start with Godfrey and Mina at CB and have Keane and Holgate as cover and maybe Gbamin if he can get up to speed.
At CM start with Allan and Docoure with Homes, Davies, Gbamin and Delph as cover.
The remaining 4 would probably be DCL, Richie, Townsend and Grey but we also have Iwobi, James, Gordon, Rondon.
There are other options too like going to 3 CBs and have wingbacks or having Digne as a winger and someone else at LB as has happened before. Or Gomes or Davies could push up or wide.
So not as paper thin as might look at first but to a large extent it depends on Benitez getting them to play but early signs are encouraging.


1.) 02 Sep 2021 08:01:37
I think their is a big difference between having 'cover' and having depth. We have cover sure, but the drop in quality between some players and their cover is pretty big.

If we stay injury free though, then yes we could still have a decent season, and have enough cover to rest the odd player when needed.

{Ed025's Note - all the players have a clean slate now efcone and its up them how they go forward, rafa does not suffer fools gladly and if you dont perform you will be out the door quick smart, i actually like that ethos and the way we have started fills me with great hope for the season mate..

2.) 02 Sep 2021 14:30:57
Nice to see Rafa nominated for manager of the month as well.

3.) 02 Sep 2021 09:42:10
I guess at the moment I'm feeling very much once (actually a lot more than once) bitten twice shy regarding our early results. Last season has very much left a sour taste.

But yes Ed you are right, a clean slate is needed, and if Rafa can turn the players we have into the players we thought we were signing then there is cause for Optimism.

{Ed025's Note - absolutely mate..

4.) 02 Sep 2021 10:36:50
Best way to be Ed mate, everyone knows where they stand.

{Ed025's Note - they do GB, im fed up with these so called superstars coming for a pay day and a stroll around the park, give me honest to goodness grafters who are prepared to fight for the shirt mate..

5.) 03 Sep 2021 10:31:32
I know what you mean efcone but ultimately we will get worse as the season goes on because of our lack of depth. But at least we won't lose players through lack of effort like last season.



02 Sep 2021 01:58:23
Ok so I think we have more cover than some are making out.
GK we have Begovic
LB and RB we have Godfrey and/ or Holgate as cover for Digne and Seamus with someone moving.


1.) 02 Sep 2021 15:12:55
Haven’t we tried playing centre halves as full backs before? Now how did that work out?

2.) 02 Sep 2021 18:46:43
It got us 59 points that's how it worked out.

3.) 02 Sep 2021 20:04:07
We didn’t play them all season Smit, and as I recall Holgate got slated on here with supporters begging for him to be sold.
That’s how it went.

4.) 02 Sep 2021 21:39:44
And they won't play every game this season Woburn.
It's the same options for the fullback positions as last season.
I couldn't care less what others think of Holgate he's shown glimpses of quality and glimpses of poor form but he's young, a leader and always gives his all.
What's to say Holgate can't turn a corner like Iwobi seems to have.

5.) 03 Sep 2021 08:58:28
Three games, that’s all we’ve played.



24 Aug 2021 23:45:21
People on here are going to start thinking I'm Iwobi's mum or something but another great performance from him. Scored one and helped set up the other.


1.) 25 Aug 2021 08:40:56
Are you Iwobi’s mum?

2.) 25 Aug 2021 17:44:47
What have you been putting in Alex's tea, Bunnymum😂.



22 Aug 2021 11:14:44
Iwobi's dropped shoulder and run into space and through ball to Dom (which he should have buried) was sublime. If James had done that everyone would have been going mad about it.


1.) 22 Aug 2021 11:29:28
Agree but he needs to do it more than just once a season.

2.) 22 Aug 2021 13:07:57
I was one who wanted him gone last year but I've got no complaints about him since the summer really. He's linking everything together and you could argue last week, him coming on won us the game.

Like Woburn though he needs to keep this up and be 7 out of 10 at least every game. But then they all do if they want Europe and success.

3.) 22 Aug 2021 17:47:44
It’s funny, they were interviewing players in the last week and question asked was who had the best skills in training, apart from the odd vote for James and for Gray pretty much all the rest big’d up Iwobi 😱.



15 Aug 2021 17:21:31
Alex Iwobi!
What can I say? Like a new signing!
Involved in 2 goals, up and down like a fiddler's elbow and beating defenders.


1.) 15 Aug 2021 20:15:06
His 2nd decent game for us since he signed

Let’s hope we don’t have to wait 30 games for the next one.

2.) 15 Aug 2021 23:01:02
The lads atrocious. He's been with us 2 years and up until now has been terrible. Maybe this is the start if a good run but after one game let's not get too giddy.

3.) 15 Aug 2021 23:11:56
I like the avatar Smit. I can totally relate to it.
With Iwobi, I wonder if it's to do with how he's managed. He did well under Dunc, especially against Chelsea when we really went at them, but not under Carlo who was more cautious. So maybe he is just more suited to attacking which is what we did yesterday.

4.) 16 Aug 2021 09:44:42
my opinion hasn't been anywhere near that 30 mil price tag when bought he's awfull if anything i reckon we should all chip in on here and find him a new sport or hobby cause he clearly can't play football maybe archery 400 meters.

5.) 16 Aug 2021 11:19:11
Iwobi’s problem is his brain can’t keep up with his legs. Now if someone could sort that out then I think there’s a player there. Otherwise it’s like watching ten year olds on a Sunday.

6.) 16 Aug 2021 17:24:26
I probably sit in bunnymans camp on this. Rafa has told the wingers to take less touches and get the ball crossed early into the box.

Gray and Ricky put three balls into the box really early in the first half and DCL at first didn't quite get there. Second half same again from Ricky and bang, goal.

Does that help Iwobi. Being told don't dwell on the ball, get the ball in early, get the ball forward early and quickly, meaning he takes less time to think.

For me when he came on, he was the missing piece. He should have scored 2 as well which he hasn't looked like doing for 12 months.

I've met him and he's a really nice lad. Loads of time for the fans, a little bit quiet but someone who you would want to have in the squad. he's supposed to be a really hard worker on the training pitch and does plenty out of training. If we can get him firing, I think some are right, he'd be like a new signing.

7.) 16 Aug 2021 18:12:32
The avatar is from the Allardyce days Bunnyman.
Woburn exactly like Barkley was good footballer but no brain.




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10 Aug 2021 09:55:01
I remember when Dunc took over for a few games and we beat Chelsea at Goodison with ball boys taking turns to hug the big lad. I gave Iwobi man of the match. He was everywhere and never stopped running and had a massive grin on his face at the end having given everything.
So maybe it's about how he's used and whether the style of play suits him and Carlo just had other ideas. He's quick and strong and can actually beat defenders (although his final ball could be better) and he'll run all day. He probably needs to improve his positional play but that's something a good manager can sort. So I think there's a good player in there.




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07 Aug 2021 22:46:12
Some over-reaction to a friendly game I think. It's main purpose is to give players some game time; no-one got injured, 20 subs each, strikers not playing, nothing riding on the game, youth players given a chance to play in the first team, some of them for the first team, at Old Trafford as part of their development. Rafa will probably have made his mind up about Delph and a few others if he hadn't already, maybe even an element of putting players in shop window.

We already knew the team needs some radical surgery and today's game doesn't change that: Priority: RB, then CF if Moise goes (likely) , CM/ AM (2 if James goes) , CB if Yerry goes, possibly another RW but Gray and Townsend actually looking decent. Fingers crossed we can get them in by the end of August.




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15 Jul 2021 22:38:16
Calciomercato saying we've offered 35 million euros but Napoli asking for 60 m Euros.

However, a later article says that they value him at 50 m but nobody seems willing to pay more than 35-49 million and Napoli need to reduce their wage bill.

He's asked for talks with the owner, De Laurentis, to clarify the position. So this one mght be coming to a head?




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03 Jul 2021 10:59:44
"The Real Madrid coach"





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30 Jun 2021 23:14:29
Pickford has been brilliant. I'll define that:
Great shot stopping
Great distribution
Dominating penalty area
Knowing when to come off his line.
Against Germany he was outstanding. 2 fantastic saves and came off his line like a shot to force Muller into shooting early. And his distribution was great as ever.

He had weaknesses but ever since he had his new haircut (ok, since seeing a psychologist) he's been brilliant.

It's a shame people feel the need to deny this including commentators on TV who have seemed remarkably reluctant to admit when he's made a brilliant save. I noticed in England games when he's made a brilliant save the commentators won't mention it until and unless the pundit next to them points it out. It's a weird groupthink thing.

For England he's been consistently great. In the world cup he was solid in the group stage then won the penalty shootout against Columbia and then made 2 or 3 worldies against Sweden to help us win that game. Lloris let's the ball go through his hands and gets golden gloves.

So far in this tournament he's been fantastic. Even Gary Neville had to admit he was the best player in the game against Scotland.


{Ed0666's Note - so you’re happy with a keeper whose plays better for his country than he does for his club???




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06 Dec 2021 11:02:40
Agre with this thread.
Blaming Brands is not the answer:
Our long term problems:
*Under 23s that are more interested in winning trophies than instilling any football philosophy or brining players through.
*Loads of dodgy non-Brands signings
*5 "permanent" managers in 6 years all with their own ideas
*Lack of squad depth
*Financial Fair Play slow motion car crash not highlighted by those responsible and/ or warnings totally ignored
*DoF role constantly undermined
*Constant injury crises
*Players looking significantly less fit than opponents
*Poor tactics on the field

These are the responsibility of the training staff, managers, U23 staff, finance director, board, medical staff.
I think that he's been sacked because he went public with what had been a grievance he's held, probably for a long time, and so he can be the scapegoat.

My prediction: Brands will get a good job somewhere else where he'll be allowed to do his job and he'll do well while we'll continue to struggle until things radically change which I hope happens sooner rather than later.




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29 Oct 2021 14:53:31
Carlo Ancelotti because of his track record and the fact that he would relish the challenge of building a team over a number of years.




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02 Oct 2021 18:48:34
Well said Brassington! Richarlison always puts a good shift in.




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26 Sep 2021 01:26:28
Maybe give him some game time before writing him off.




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26 Sep 2021 01:25:22
Didn't think he played bad today.