Monday, May 11, 2009

Work rate

In their 4-2-3-1 system City needed to move the ball forward quickly, get strong support out wide from full-back and flood the grass around the lone striker when the ball entered the box. But they never tested United, who passed the ball better, used the width well and had greater work-rate, particularly from Carlos Tevez, Park Ji-sung and Darren Fletcher.
>>David Pleat

My brother was at the match yesterday and one of the stark observations (much easier 'live' rather than watching TV) from his viewpoint was the contrasting work rate between our midfield and attack in comparison to United's.

At home, this of course will not be such an issue as opposing sides are less likely to press us (naturally being more cautious) and we possess the attacking quality to be able to win at home more often than not. Away from home however, this will hurt us where naturally, a stronger work ethic is required going up against a side whose (in theory) should be taking the game to us far more. All of this may well be a likely explanation of why we have struggled so much away from.

If we are to progress next season, and realistically challenge the top four (which has to be the aim) this area is the one Hughes must not only address in the summer, but find a resolution to.

vote it up!

1 comment:

Rich said...

Completely agree - the number of times United players were receiving the ball in the spaces between the midfield "5" and back four and were allowed to turn and attack us was unbelievable yet when City attacked there were 8-9 red shirts denying us any space or time (biggest problem we've had all season is not having a centre forward to play off in these situations)

In defence we were tired and the long season is starting to take it's toll which I think has been evident in the last few games

Strangely enough the more I think about it the more I'm not sure I want the 7th position - Yes it will be nice to be in Europe and potentially attract a better class of player but is the squad big enough (and new players coming in - will they be physical enough) to adapt to the Premiership and rock up for 20+ European games

Assuming we can attract a top class striker next season, and a top class centre half...and the players we've purchased this season kick on from their introuduction to the Premiership I think we're in reasonable shape to strongly push a top 6 place and outside chance of top 4 next season