17 Jul 2021 17:54:18
I see a lot of people seem to be happy with the switch to a 433 formation.

I'm not so sure it's the best way to get the best out of our players.

Regardless of the formation you look to create attacking and defensive balance in a side.

Often looking to have 5 players looking to stay behind the ball and 5 players looking to potentially move or be ahead of the ball.

Regardless of formation you need to look how you will do this.

Currently we tend to play a 4231 type formation with one of the full backs (Shaw) as the 5th attacking player.

People often look to Pep and City with Silva and KDB playing as two free 8's as the template for how we can get Pogba and Bruno in a similar situation. The issue with that is we don't have the other players to make that system work.

At City they had Walker tuck in almost as a third CB, and have one of Delph or Zinchenko tuck in ahead of the defence in midfield alongside Fernandinho. The width then came from Sane on the left and Sterling on the right. A left footer on the left and a right footer on the right. They stayed wide and didn't look to cut in so that Silva and KDB could play in that half space.

For us to play like City we would need AWB to play as an auxiliary CB by tucking in. Something that does not suit his game. His slide tackles in a more central position are screaming out penalty. Shaw would need to tuck into the midfield alongside any CDM.
Then Rashford or Sancho would need to play on the right and stay wide and not tuck in (which takes away the best parts of their game) . Then play Greenwood on the left as our only left footed attacker. Against making our most clinical finisher away from goal.

It would still require both Bruno and Pogba to press and work hard off the ball (something Pogba struggles with) to avoid the midfield being overrun. While the more defensive and less freedom could impact Bruno's production. While also making Shaw, AWB and both wide players play in a way that takes away the best aspects of their game.

It's ridiculous and wouldn't work with the personal we have.

1.) 17 Jul 2021
17 Jul 2021 18:18:51
Statmandave has a good video about how certain signings could see a tactical shift and utilise the skillset of all our players in a 433. Emphasis on certain signings ;)

2.) 17 Jul 2021
17 Jul 2021 21:25:32
433 is the best formation for us. If we have a solid back line it will work. I disagree with you statement about awb, I actually think his defending would be best suited to the last line of defence, he is one of the best tackelers in the league. If I could pick one player from our team to tackle somebody it would be him.

I hope we go with this formation because it would work a lot better than the current 6 4 formation we seem to play. It would give us some entertainment and we would play like a United side. Only time will tell what happens but I'd prefer we went this direction.

3.) 17 Jul 2021
17 Jul 2021 21:35:26
We don't need to play like city, we need to play like united

Get rid of playing 2 cdms and let the team be free

We don't need to have any of the full backs playing as cbs if they do there jobs getting back behind the ball when we lose it

You will have both cbs and one of the cms will pull in to make it almost a 3 at the back when the full bavks push up, but we don't tend to have both going forward at the same time anyway

Any formation that is going to be better suited to our attacking players will do me

Now we have a proper winger in sancho you will see a much better attacking united.

If we do get varane having his pace at the back will free up the need to have the 2 cdms.

4 3 3 prob suits the team better imo bruno does his fair share of the dirty work as it is, i agree pogna doesn't but having 1 of mctominay or fred sitting behind pogba and bruno with sancho cavani greenwood given rashford won't play till october time is quite refreshing to think of.

I do feel we are still short of a proper cdm, matic fred are not good enough, mctominay is more box to box and im nkt sure vdb still fits into our team.

4.) 17 Jul 2021
17 Jul 2021 19:41:56
El Paso, the best thing to do when building a team is try and get all your best players in their best positions and playing to their strengths.

Shaw is better as an attacking wide option from LB than as a defensive full back. He needs to be encouraged to get forward.

Bruno plays his best in a free No.10 role. I don't get this trying to fit Pogba into the side especially if it impacts Bruno. What had Pogba (who wants to leave) done to suggest he is worth being put above Bruno?

Rashford needs to play LW and cut in to shoot.

The issue in midfield is simple, neither Fred or McTominay are natural holding midfielders and both vacate space to go looking for the ball, while neither have the technical ability or passing range to be the hub of the team. Get a player like that then play one of them along side that player with Bruno playing as a No.10 Rashford left and Sancho right. Shaw over lapping and suddenly the team has the right balance.

5.) 18 Jul 2021
17 Jul 2021 23:38:25
City have played the system with both natural and inverted wingers (what do you think riyad mahrez has been doing all these years) .

Also they have played with both defensive and attacking full backs, plus a few on here wanted to try AWB out at at cebtre half because he struggles going forwards.

Real and Barcelona have both played 4-3-3 formations with inverted wingers and attacking full backs or did you just skip the last 20 years of european football.

6.) 18 Jul 2021
18 Jul 2021 08:57:48
Jesus, nothing will really change. You can call it 4-2-3-1 or you could call it 4-3-3 or, what I think it will be, a 4-2-1-3.

The point is, we will still use the same players. Only real change I suppose will happen is changing one of Fred and McT to a Rice type of player and keeping the other one on the pitch or slotting in Pogba.

If Ole doesn't do that, does anything really changes? It could easily be like this: DDG/ Henderson -- AWB, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw - Fred, Pogba/ McT, Bruno - Greenwood, Rashford - Cavani.

I didn't want to include players we haven't signed yet, but you see the point.

What i'm worried is, what will happen with Pogba. Since Rashford is injured, will Sancho get the LW position in the beggining, or is Ole going to slot Pogba there? Does anyone have any knowledge what should our starting 11 look like? i'd rather see Greenwood, Sancho and Cavani up top in the first match, but i'm afraid Pogba or even Martial will be pushed to that LW position, and leave Greenwood (or Sancho) without any minutes.

7.) 18 Jul 2021
18 Jul 2021 09:10:39
United have only ever implemented a 433 successfully when we won the UCL in 08.

If we look at the team that played most of the time that year it was

VDS in goal, Wes Brown a converted CB at RB, he didn't bomb forward but stayed deeper. Rio and Vidic at CB. Evra overlapping and attacking from LB to create width.
A midfield three of Carrick, Hargreaves and Scholes/ Anderson. Carrick sitting deep, Hargreaves in a defensive box to box role. Then Scholes or Anderson playing further forward to create.
Up front we had Rooney playing left wing and tucking in and shooting with Evra providing the width. Ronaldo staying wide right to give width, then one of Tevez or Berbatov playing as the central and importantly creative striker role.

To make it work we still played Carrick AND Hargreaves and the system fell apart once Hargreaves injuries became too much. Without that defensive box to box player playing alongside a holding midfielder our midfield got overran.

Maybe Real Madrid and Barcelona can get away with it in La Liga where every side below 6th place is Championship standard and they have literally no side other than each other and maybe Atletico who can seriously threaten to beat them in a game. So sure, we could play that system if we decide to move the club to Spain and compete in La Liga. But that sort of over offensive style would just be overran in the EPL. Look at Norwich a couple of season's ago. They played great football, they had both Aarons and Lewis bomb forward from full back, they had Cantwell and Buendia cut in from wide, Pukki up front. They were great in the Championship the previous season, they played some great football in the EPL, but teams could just waltz through them and they conceded too many goals and got relegated because of it.

Name me an EPL side that played with two attacking full backs, two inverted wingers and two free 8's along with a striker putting 7 of the out field players in attacking positions and won the league?

You can't play BOTH Bruno and Pogba, along with inverted wide players (who'll be looking to play in the same inside positions as Bruno and Pogba btw) . Along with attacking full backs. Do you really thing that it would be possible to play well and win the league when you only have Maguire, Varane and McTominay offering any defensive cover? Every time the opposition get the ball back and counter we would concede a goal.

8.) 18 Jul 2021
18 Jul 2021 10:58:30
Bit of overanalysis here methinks. Can't see why 4-3-3 wouldn't work for Utd. When I switch to it mid-game in Championship Manager, it usually works a treat.

9.) 18 Jul 2021
18 Jul 2021 11:50:54
Like some have said above, it won't make too much of a difference as formations are fluid.

The formation also isn't the problem. It's the tentative play while in possession that is. Doesn't matter what system we play if our game plan is still to just hope some individual produces a moment of quality.

If we were playing this formation though, I'd be playing Bruno, Van De Beek and McTominay. Pogba can be an impact sub if we need a goal because he's shown for years he doesn't have much defensive disciple and can't be trusted to make the right decisions.

10.) 18 Jul 2021
18 Jul 2021 12:38:31
Liverpool and City.

11.) 18 Jul 2021
18 Jul 2021 13:53:12
Sepp, Liverpool play with two CDM's in Fabinho and Henderson, even Gini played as a defensive pressing No.10.

That enabled both full backs to push forward, the wide players to tuck in and not crowd the central areas.

They still played with 5 players playing offensive roles and 5 defensive.

I've stated that City didn't play with 7 offensive players.

12.) 18 Jul 2021
18 Jul 2021 14:32:25
Henderson isn't a cdm, he plays ahead of Fabinho. I'm not too sure why you're making stuff up to try and justify ole's negative approach and mismanagement of players.

13.) 18 Jul 2021
18 Jul 2021 15:46:49
Sepp, what is Henderson's role in the side? Break play up, make interceptions, put tackles in and recycle possession.

Does he drive forward into the penalty box to create or score chances? No.

Is he there to be a Pirlo/ Scholes/ Carrick/ Alonso/ etc styled tempo setting passer? No.

Henderson's role in the three man midfield at Liverpool is the same as Hargreaves role at United.

He is there to do the dirty work first and foremost.

My whole point is this idea about trying to fit BOTH Pogba and Bruno into midfield as part of a three man midfield, especially in this idea of them both playing as "free 8's"

You want to pick apart Liverpool's system and equate it to what our could potentially be then fine.

Liverpool play with Fabinho, Henderson and Gini.

So which role would Pogba play and which role would Bruno play? Assuming you're thinking is that a new CDM comes in to play Fabinho's role.

The real issue on here is this idea that you can solve our offensive weaknesses by just throwing another "attacking" player on the pitch. It's a very basic even Sam Allerdyce approach to football.

The problem is that we don't have enough "attacking" players. We have Rashford, Cavani, Bruno, Martial, Greenwood, Pogba, Amad, Pellistri, Lingard, Mata, Shaw plays as an offensive full back and is our second highest chance creator. Now we've added Sancho, another prolific creator. Even McTominay got 7 goals from deep midfield this season.

Our problem isn't have enough attacking players on the pitch, it's not that we don't get enough bodies forward, or the quality of our attacking players.

Simply the problem is we don't move the ball quickly enough through midfield. By the time one of McFred have trapped the ball, looked up and played their pass the opposition are back in their defensive shape. Our problem is a lack of speed in the transition.

That is something Liverpool do exceptionally well. The moment any of the Liverpool midfielders win the ball, be that Fabinho, Henderson or Gini they often play a first time pass into the channel for one Salah or Mane or a quick pass out to Robertson or TAA who will switch the play immediately as that side of the pitch will be loaded creating space on the other side.

It's all one or two touch, with telling threatening balls played forward with pace.

So it doesn't really matter that all three of Liverpool's midfielders primarily play a defensive game, as they recover and release the ball to the attacking players quickly before the opposition can settle.

14.) 18 Jul 2021
18 Jul 2021 16:25:59
Well if that is indeed the case, then why not play Matic in a holding role and have McTominay play the "henderson" role?

Surely that would be a better than having two players out of position?

15.) 18 Jul 2021
18 Jul 2021 17:04:19
Forgot real and Barcelona only play domestic football, haven't been frequent champions league winners in recent history.

16.) 18 Jul 2021
18 Jul 2021 18:15:59
Sepp, personally I believe that would give us more balance.

The problem isn't having two players in midfield whose job is primarily defensive. The issue is the quality of those players to move the ball quickly and accurately once they do win the ball. Picking out the "right" passes at the right time.

Ultimately we don't have that player that all top sides have. Someone to just sit centrally offering a covering job in front of the defence, but primarily they are there to set the tempo, always be available for a pass and already know who they are passing the ball off to BEFORE they even receive it.

We are potentially a Micheal Carrick type player away from having a side that in a year or two (once are young squad starts to mature) challenge for league titles.

A player like Carrick, Xabi Alonso, Pirlo, Xavi, Scholes (in his later years), Rodri, Kroos, Jorginho etc etc.

Get a player like that and play them alongside either Fred or McTominay and suddenly we have defensive balance, along with tempo and an ability to play the ball forward and dictate play from deep.

A midfield pairing like that would allow Bruno to play freely in the No.10 position (his best role), it would allow Sancho to play wide right, and Rashford wide left (their best positions), it would allow Shaw to play on the overlap, Cavani and Greenwood battle it out up front. It would provide a platform in front of the defence to protect them, but also offer them a quick and easy relief pass when pressed. It would literally allow all our player to play in a position and in a style that gets the best out of them. If only Pogba was defensively diligent and hard working enough, he has all the other attributes needed.

17.) 18 Jul 2021
18 Jul 2021 18:51:01
Shappy, if you watched the video it talks about how when in possesion we would basically becone a 325 AWB stepping into the extra cb slot with maguire and 'varandra. Then 'camavinga' alongside pogba in cm roles. Front 5 of shaw rashford cavani Bruno and sancho. He also talks about how pogba rashford and shaw could effectively swap roles in possesion and we wouldn't be worse off. He is obviously more eloquent than i but then he is paid for it and i am not.

Its a good breakdown of how the 2 cms could work for us, as well as how with the right signing a single pivot would be good too.

18.) 18 Jul 2021
18 Jul 2021 19:07:41
When Liverpool pin a team back they are virtually 2125 doubling up on full backs with Salah and Mane drifting from out to in, Fabinho would play in front of the 2 CB's, Henderson and gini would sit out side the box in front of fabinho ready to stop any counters when Liverpool are in the final third even if it means fouling a player. They rarely get into the box unless they are chasing the game. They will defend with 7 with say Mane, Salah and firmino in attacking triangle for a quick outlet. They generally have Mane and Salah wide first for quick long ball counter, Salah and Mane will wait for the defender to jump and then they will roll/ push/ nudge them off balance for a quick break. If they don't get a goal scoring opportunity within 4 passes or so they then play back to then move up the pitch which if liverpool don't lose possession ends up like the 2125. What I mean is Liverpool will go through roughly 3 formations if going from defence to attack if they don't get the quick chance within a few passes. City will sometimes look like they are playing 2323, creating 4 lines of play to play through a team defending with 3 line team shape making space in between the lines, If a defending team only has 2 lines of defence like a low block of say 64 or 55 it makes it verily difficult for them as it neutralizes Liverpool or city's tactics but it does make it hard for the defending team to get out. If city pin the other team back enough then city can end up similar to Liverpool in a 2125 with the full backs either overlapping, doubling up or more often than not running on the inside. When a team is defending they some times play a formation width wise with say 2 rows of 3 players pressing sideways forcing wide long balls or a team to back again a smaller system on the pitch. Rigid formations are a little bit of the past now only suitable on a subbuteo table or football manager (depending on your coaches style lol) . Teams will change the way they play depending on wether they are leading, level or behind and need a goal. They will all be coached hopefully well on different scenarios going on wherever on the pitch depending on the scoreline. Players are even encouraged to work it out for themselves on the pitch and adjust. The manager, coaching staff and the right players are the most important part of implementing systems and micro management of the shape of a team and what players roles are. If teams went out and played set formations most of a game, every game then they would be worked out within 5 minutes.