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10 Aug 2017 10:54:12
Let's move away from who we are and aren't buying this summer and talk about potential tactics that could get the best out of the players we do have.

In an ideal world I would like to see us go with two basic set ups this season. A 442 diamond against lesser teams, with Matic holding Pogba and Herrera roaming and either Mkhitaryan or Mata in the No.10 role with Lukaku and Rashford up front and Martial on the bench to possibly add extra pace and direct running later on in the game.
Then against the bigger teams drop the No.10 and go 352 with the aim of hitting teams on the counter. Both set ups allow to switch to either a 433 or 343 by either moving or subbing the No.10 or by taking off a midfielder for a wide player.

I think with several teams adopting the 3 at the back formation the idea of having a front three is less appealing as there is someone to either man mark each forward or mark the zones these players will be playing in. Having a front two working in a partnership changes things and allows them to find the space between the defenders more easily. I also think that this kind of set up plays to our strength as a squad in the most part. First off we have no natural wingers only strikers and No.10's who get shunted out wide. You will get more out of a player by playing them in their best positions. The only issue with playing this way is the lack of quality we have in the full back positions. If Valencia can recreate his form from last season and Shaw can kick on we have good players, but far have no quality options to rotate with them. In an ideal world we would have signed Mendy and Semedo. But we didn't and they have moved on to other clubs.

Like I said this is how I would like to see us play, but it's not how I expect us to.

I suspect we will see the continuation of 4231/ 433 that Mourinho has deployed almost exclusively throughout his career. For me there are three main issues with this.
1, we lack wingers to give us effective width in either of these systems.
2, we have two of the best young strikers in the game in Rashford and Martial and with Lukaku and the possibility of Zlatan returning there will be very limited chances for them to play in their best position this season if we continue with a one striker system.
3, finally we would still lack the quality in depth at full back with this system. It's not a system that fully covers that lack of depth.

I'm hoping Jose sees that and changes things to a system more similar to what I have suggested. Then we spend the last couple of weeks going all out for Rose/ Bertrand and Fabinho/ Aurier.

Agree11 Disagree3

10 Aug 2017 12:07:12
I don't mind the the mouriniho preferred formation but he and we all know it's crying out for an out and out winger!

10 Aug 2017 12:28:18
More than happy with 4231 with a twist.

10 Aug 2017 12:30:43
If you are playing with wingers then you need one on each side otherwise it is unbalanced and easy to mark against as you only ever play down one side.

10 Aug 2017 13:21:00
Many good teams over the years have played with one out and out winger, while the other winger drifts inside, and the fullback overlaps. Messi drifts inside while Alves overlaps. Latest Real version, Isco roams while Carvajal stays high and wide. Bayern as well have done it with Robben and Ribery skilled enough to perform both roles in the same match, sometimes staying wide and sometimes drifting inside.

10 Aug 2017 13:24:21
Jred, I'm happy with whatever gets results. Although I would like it to be more entertaining than last season if possible.

Rshuttleworth, he does appear to want more creativity and direct running from out wide. In an ideal world that would be a great signing. But I feel we need full backs more. If Shaw doesn't kick in and Valencia gets an injury then we have a serious weakness in the full back areas.

Redknight, it helps to have balance but I wouldn't say you need it. I remember when we had a flying winger in Giggs on one side and Beckham on the other who was a very different type of player. The balance came in they both found a way to have a high output offensively. The great players find a way of beating people even when what they do becomes obvious.

10 Aug 2017 13:31:56
Don't see 442 to be honest .
Hope we don't.

10 Aug 2017 15:12:26
Shappy - Great post pal, I agree a 4-4-2 diamond gets the best out of all our players in their preferred positions.

Rashford and Martial get to partner Lukaku up front.

Miki or Mata get to play they preferred role at No 10.

Pogba gets the added protection of a midfield anchor therefore he is freed to be more creative.

Like you've said this formation does lack width but I still feel Valencia is adequate on the right and maybe we should drop our interest in Perisic and look to add an attacking left full back before the window closes.

Sadly I don't think this is going to happen as he hasn't even experimented with this formation during pre season. It will be either 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1 or possibly 3-5-2 in the big games! The big problem with all theses systems is we lack width and our attacking wingers/ forwards or wing backs often get pushed back into full back areas leaving the front man isolated!



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