Rant Cast 212 – Mauling the Tigers

December 1, 2014 Tags: The Pod 15 comments
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This week, Ed and Paul look back on United’s stroll in the park at Old Trafford against Hull City. United completed dominated the game, which saw fine performances from, well, pretty much everyone.

They debate Van Gaal’s “Philosophy”, pragmatism, and the fundamental nature of faith, before taking listener questions and previewing the upcoming games against Stoke and Southamption, Can Mark Hughes’ side spring a surprise against United? Can Louis van Gaal’s side spring a surprise against Southampton?

All this, and probably some more, in this week’s Rant Cast.


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Rant Cast is produced by Tom Jenkins at TEEJSOUND


Jay - December 1, 2014 Reply

@UtdRantcast @Teejsound unusually but delightfully prompt!

Subterranean Steve - December 1, 2014 Reply

Cannot get excited about the ‘REALLY, REALLY EXCELLENT’ Fellaini lovefest. He’s gone from -2 to +3 out of 10 which is a decent improvement but he is well short of the standard I want to see from a United regular. He lacks pace, has moderate technical skill and his main attribute is still his nuisance value.

Herrera on the other hand has a touch of quality about him and is potentially United’s best midfielder.

Ed - December 1, 2014 Reply

Yes, I think the excitement about Fellaini is *relative* when the assessment should be absolute.

Subterranean Steve - December 1, 2014 Reply

Ed, totally agree with your comments about about LVG’s pragmatic approach this season. So much has changed game by game. Injuries have clearly affected player selection but that doesn’t mean that tactics have needed to be so varied, if there is indeed an underlying philosophy.

There has been no cunning plan, unless pragmatism is that cunning plan.

Ed - December 1, 2014 Reply

Which, I guess, is Paul’s argument. Pragmatism is the philosophy. Hmmm

Subterranean Steve - December 1, 2014 Reply

Thirteen games in and pragmatism rules.

One wonders what is the philosophy that van Gaal said the players need to learn and implement.

Ed - December 3, 2014 Reply

I don’t know what it is. I’ve heard people claim they know, but it can’t be based on the evidence in front of us. Can only be from LVG’s history. That history tells us a short passing game, focused on attacking attractive football. I’m sure we’ll get to that. But it’s not what we’ve got right now.

Subterranean Steve - December 3, 2014

Perhaps van Gaal has found the learning curve of managing United in the Premier League rather steeper than he expected. The overt, almost arrogant, self-assuredness of pre/early season (which I loved, after the Moyes misery) has been tempered with more measured comments.

Don’t know whether using a pragmatic approach to get short term results helps create the building blocks of a future coherent ‘philosophy’ of attractive attacking football. Certainly the players are gaining in confidence as they get results, but the first twenty minutes against Arsenal was as depressing a scoreless twenty minutes as I want to see. We allowed them to look like Guardiola’s Barcelona, which Arsenal certainly are not. The final scoreline was a victory for pragmatism but did it bring us closer to attacking, attractive football?

Ian - December 1, 2014 Reply

I have to say I agree 100% with Steve’s assessment of Fellaini and Herrera. Took the words out of my mouth!

Ian - December 1, 2014 Reply

You seemed to implying that Van Gaal doesn’t have a settled approach and that Utd will be better off when he decides his best team and best playing style. Are you suggesting he should approach Arsenal away the same as Hull at home? One thing that is becoming obvious with Van Gaal is that he has a horses for courses approach. If there are no fit full backs then he’ll play 3 central defenders and two wingers as wing-backs. If he expects to be defending a lot he’ll aim to hit the opposition on the break. If he expects to be attacking against a stubborn defence he’ll have a different approach.

Anthony - December 2, 2014 Reply

I don’t agree with the fact that we should have one style of play like barca or bayern , we should be able to adapt . Sir Alex always away from home against big teams used to pack his midfield, stop them from playing with only one striker up front and hit them on the counter or from set piece, we should be able to change our style of play depending on opposition.

Ed - December 3, 2014 Reply

Adaptation and a ‘style of play’ are not mutually exclusive. Nobody claimed that United should not be able to adapt, but a different week a different system and style of playing. Not sure any team has ever been successful doing that.

SKW - December 3, 2014 Reply

Pure pragmatism.

Nothing like a holistic philosophy is on display out there — just answering the mail…

On RVP, a brilliant goal, but still think he is a spent force. He won’t ever score bags of goals again and keeping Falcao out of the side is approaching criminal. LVG will not drop RVP. He just won’t do it. His two moments of freakish skill aside against Hull, I think he looked really ordinary.

Is Falcao the new Forlan? As in, once he leaves and plays week in and week out he will get back to scoring a million goals.

subterranean steve - December 4, 2014 Reply

Agree with you about Van Persie. One good strike against a clumsy defence cannot hide the fact that he has been a shadow of his former self for the last eighteen months, and remains so. When Rooney got the captaincy over Van Persie it looked as if Van Gaal wasn’t going to do his Dutch mate any special favours. Now I’m not so sure.

Comparing Falcao with Forlan is an interesting one. Hope it doesn’t turn out to be a similar situation especially since it’s costing United an obscene amount of money (even by current standards) to have him on a one season loan.

Falcao is still the new kid on the block and needs to be in the starting eleven to get into the strikers groove and to develop relationships with other players. Coming on for the last fifteen minutes isn’t enough.

Nishant - December 8, 2014 Reply

Another great pod guys. I wanted to say that I completely take Paul’s side as far as the evolving and adaptive system that Van Gaal is creating, however, being a head-in-the-clouds type red who instantly thinks we’ll win the league after every victory, I often do take Pauls side.
I also wanted to share an anecdote about last weeks pod. I was listening to it for the second time whilst on an international flight. I sat down next to a man who questioned whether I was from America due to my accent (some South Dubliners, like myself, have a tinge of an American accent). After categorically denying any American connection I proceeded to listen to the rant cast at full blast on my headphones and doze off near the end. Myself and my fellow passenger were awoken by ‘Born in the USA’ blaring at the end of the pod. He did not look amused.

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