Hi Masa United.
The 22-23 Premier League season has finally begun! United faced Brighton and Hove Albion at home. Brighton opened the scoring in the 30th minute with a Groß goal, and in the 39th minute they were again scored by Groß from the counter to score the extra goal. United brought on Ronaldo in place of Fred in the 53rd minute and changed Eriksen to DM. With this change, United picked up the flow and picked up the pace. United scored a goal in the 68th minute on McAllister’s own goal to tie the game but were unable to capitalize on the decisive moment. The match was won 2-1 away by Brighton.
*Click here for highlights of this match
This time, we will look back at the match by taking up four reasons for the defeat of this match. What is the cause of the opening black star start? Why didn’t it work? And so on!
Here’s today’s table of contents.
(1) Targeted build-up
The first reason for the loss is the “targeted build-up”. In this match, Brighton used high press against United’s backline from the start of the first half. That keen pull has been enough to scare United in their desire to connect from the back this season. At the start of the game, Dalot failed to avoid pressing. Trossad took the ball away and took a shot. In the eighth minute, Fred’s lateral pass was intercepted by Trossard, causing a pinch. There was also a scene in the 16th minute when De Gea received a back pass and kicked the ball out onto the left touchline with nowhere to go.Embed from Getty Images
In this way, Brighton pressed the 2CB with Welbeck pressing, both SBs with both Groß and Trossard WBs, and Fred with Lallana (or March) with man-marks. With Ten Hag in charge, United have made build-up from their own side a tactical point. In pre-season we were in a decent way, but Brighton’s organised, precise and speedy pressing prevented us from moving the ball forward as we would have liked.
United also suffered a complete defeat in last season’s Matchday 36 match at Amex Stadium and are not good at the Brighton organisational battles. There was almost no ingenuity like we did in the pre-season, such as pushing up SB by changing it to 3CB or avoiding pressing by arranging the left SB in a voluntary manner. It looked like a build-up like last season, but it’s surprising that it didn’t work as well. Fred didn’t pretend to change his positioning, he didn’t receive the ball with the mark on the mark and didn’t move forward, which wasn’t enough as an anchor, and the lack of ingenuity in the Shaw’s build-up was equally fatal. This build-up failure in the first half is a big reason for the defeat of this match.
(2) False 9 that does not work
The second, in the absence of a striker, is the “double false number nine system” of Bruno and Eriksen chosen by Ten Hag. In his post-match interview, Ten Hag did not cite the system as a reason for the defeat as a reason for the defeat as not being bad.
The striker was absent due to injury, as Martial was absent from pre-season form, and Ronaldo had not joined the team for a long time and avoided the starting start due to his condition. In training, it was said that they adopted this system because they tried a false number 9 and the movement was good, but the effect of the build-up failure mentioned above was large, and United’s attack in the first half ended in a single shot. They had just five shots on goal in the first half, with Brighton’s 12 shots wide open. Bruno and Eriksen’s improvised position changes and game-making have shown great developments at times, but their movement into the box was inadequate in the breaking down and did not create a scene that would have spurred the Brighton defence.Embed from Getty Images
In the sixth minute, McTominay broke into the near zone and sent a negative cross to Bruno, giving him a perfect 100-point lead, but Bruno’s finish was wide of bounds. Eriksen also had good chances in the box from the counter in the 24th minute, but his ball control was poor and he couldn’t make accurate shots.
As the coach says, the false No. 9 system, which never worked, was not a direct cause of the defeat, but fundamentally because there was little about who would be the finisher, there was a feeling that it was applied to the subtle deviation of the ball, the accuracy of the play, and the power at the time of attack. In fact, after Ronaldo came on in the second half, the overall balance improved and they attacked Brighton. This would not be a coincidence.
(3) Individual quality
The third is the quality of each player. I have touched on this on many occasions in this blog, but I feel that United have a lot of players whose quality of play is significantly reduced under pressure. Even in the match against Brighton, there were very many cases where the pass was caught, the pass deviated slightly in the negative direction, the dribble could not get through, and the trap was disturbed at this point.
In a sense, just by improving the accuracy of these kinds of plays, I think that ball retention will be stable and the number of chances will increase dramatically. After the Brighton game, as usual, the alumni had harsh opinions about the quality of Fred and McTominay, and I think a lot of people were disappointed with the quality of the ball play in midfield. Well, not just the two of them, but Dalot, Rashford and Bruno also played poorly against Brighton, and that may be why only two new signings, Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez, showed consistent ball play.Embed from Getty Images
Eriksen in particular put in a great performance. In the second half, he played as an anchor, but contributed to the stability of the build-up. He made the most key passes with three in 79 ball touches. His ball recovery also marked the team’s third-best eighth inning and made his presence felt both offensively and defensively.
Even if it’s impossible to show the level of precision of everyone and Eriksen, many of United’s players are rough at play in a nutshell. This messiness will remain the same even if the director changes, and if you want to improve it, you will have to rely on reinforcements.
Lastly, this is also a classic “mentality” of the cause of defeat. After the game, Captain Maguire said,
He was badly beaten when he opened the scoring, and stopped playing after that. After we opened the scoring, we gave too much ball to our opponents. It was a nightmarish start.United Official
As he said, he admits that the opening goal was a big mental break. Certainly, considering the good performance of the pre-season, it was difficult to predict that the match would turn out like that, and I think the players were also responsive and confident. The first goal came when McTominay was robbed of the ball in the opposition’s box. The second goal was also scored on the counter after losing the ball deep in the opponent’s area, using the open space of the own team.Embed from Getty Images
The fact that we couldn’t score despite going on the offensive in the second half is also an impression that the color of “impatience” became darker with time. Bruno and Rashford had the decisive chances, but it is regrettable that they could not finish calmly.
Coach Ten Hag is probably shocked by the team’s quick opening. Even if you are good in training, when it comes to matches, you lack confidence, concentration and mentality is in a sense a big weakness of the current squad and it is a phenomenon that we have seen many times since last season. It will be interesting to see how Coach Ten Hag will approach this issue to improve it.
The season opener of the 22-23 season was filled with anticipation, but the result was a surprise start with a home defeat to Brighton. In the pre-season, the Ten Hag style gradually permeated and was well received, but when the lid was opened, it became an on-parade of last season’s bad habits, such as poor build-up, difficulty avoiding the press, occasional mistakes, lack of decisiveness, and lack of mentality…
Personally, it was a shocking opening game to say the least, and my honest impression is that “I would like to start over if possible” (lol). However, looking at the details, I think the breakdown is as good as we saw in pre-season, and with a good finisher, we won’t be as chronically decisive as we were last season. It was also a positive factor that the two new signings, Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez, put in great performances. As for Martinez, there were certainly times when he lost in duels, but he lived up to expectations, recovering a team-high 12 balls, a 93% pass success rate, and making seven long passes. His coverage was much wider than I had expected, and he also showed us a little different as a defender, such as using his brilliant ball technique to soothe opponents. It’s going to get better and better with each game.Embed from Getty Images
It is very disappointing that we were not able to win the first match of Ten Hag with a victory, but personally, I thought it would take time for stable results to come out, so I will continue to support them patiently (lol).As I mentioned above, there were some positive factors, so don’t be too pessimistic and hope for an improvement in the next match, against Brentford!
The next matchday, the second leg of the PL, will be against Brentford at Brentford Community Stadium. Kick-off 1:30 on Sunday 14 August. Kamon! United!!
Thank you for reading until the end!