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24 Feb 2020 16:35:19
With the addition of Bruno Fernandes I have been wondering just how we are going to line up next season. On one hand Ole has declared the team now have a nailed on No.10 in Bruno. Although personally I don't think that role is what suits him best, similar to Pogba who when played that far forward get marked out of a game and often struggle to make a big impact from that starting position.

In some respects I see Bruno as a similar player to Lampard Scholes, a player who'll grab a lot of goals and assists but is better coming from deeper to get them. Floating forward when on the attack to become the extra man. I prefer a No.10 who can dribble forward and break lines, that's not really Bruno's game.

So could we see a shift in tactic's from Ole again? We all assumed that we would play 433 this season as we did last season under Ole, yet we have for the most part played a very clear 4231 type shape. Although on occasions we have lined up 3412/ 343 and on the whole got good results.

So, as we have often played some of our best football and got our best results in this formation, could we see a more sustained shift to this formation next season?

I think there are some real positives with a 3 at the back system. Firstly it suits the central defenders we have, each has a serious weakness when deployed in a traditional back four system that isn't quite so pronounced when we play three at the back. The extra man provides cover for Maguires lapses and lack of recovery pace. While an extra defender makes targeting any of our defenders aerially less effective as there are more bodies back there to pick up an flick on's from a won header. While it could be argued that Luke Shaw has played some of his best football on the left of a back three.

The often more traditional way to play a back three system is to have the central defender to sit deepest and have the wider two centre backs venture forward. I wonder whether inverting that might be best, play Harry centrally but as the furthest forward creating a diamond with the goalkeeper and the wide centre backs. That would give Harry the ability to break forward with the ball to break the press but with two central defenders behind him in case he loses the ball. While playing just in front of the other defenders at the base of midfield would give Harry at least four passing options to move the ball on more quickly.

Our issue in midfield is the lack of a true holding midfielder with a long term future at the club. Matic is our only real holding midfielder, but he is on the decline. Fred and McTominay are more box to box midfielders who go around putting out fires and shutting space down. Playing a back three does away with the need to play a holding midfielder meaning the urgency to buy a holding midfielder is lessened. With the situation changing from we need to buy one to play our preferred way, to signing one would allow us to play a different way if needed.

I think the 343 type shape suits our midfield as well. With Bruno, Fred, McTominay, Andreas Pereira and James Garner all more suited to a box to box type role rather than a more restrictive holding role. Again playing this way means we don't need to sign someone urgently in central midfield even if both Pogba and Matic leave. Although signing someone to replace Pereira as back up to a more attack minded Bruno might be advantageous as we would be one injury away from losing all the attacking intent Bruno has brought to our side.

Then the most interesting thing about the 343 shape is the flexibility it offers when picking the front three. You could play with a central striker and either inverted or traditional wingers, or a combination of both. Or you could play with split forwards and either a false No.9 or a No.10. Which with Rashford, James, Martial and Greenwood gives us lots of flexibility. We could either look to target a more traditional No.9, or a false 9, a No.10 or a wide player, either an inverted wide player or a more traditional wide player.

It would allow the club to target the likes of Sancho, Adama Traore, Raul Jimenez, Moussa Dembele, Grealish, Werner, Richarlison or even Callum Wilson and the system would not only be able to adapt to fit them in, but provide them a role in which they could excel in. While also giving the manager flexibility to change the focus of attack either before the game or during the game with options off the bench.

While a change in shape to either a 433, 442, 41212, 4231 or even a ultra defensive 352 would be easy and possible with as little as a single substitution.

For me there is only one obvious negative to the 343 shape with our squad and that is Aaron Wan-Bissaka. His skillset isn't really suited to playing as a wing back. However this could easily be countered in one of two ways. Either focus on improving his attacking out put, he is a young player who can learn and develop his game. Or alternatively target a player such as Adama Traore to offer attacking width on the right hand side.

So do people think this is a viable option or not?

Agree14 Disagree0

24 Feb 2020 17:15:59
I think people get caught up far to much with formations.

24 Feb 2020 17:48:43
How does 343 suit us? We don't have good wb's and it's not just awb. Shaw isn't a wb and williams has a long way to go yet. Traore can't defend and what will be the logic of splurging 35-40mn on a rb to replace a 50mn rb. Also a back 3 requires good fit cb's, with our current crop we are 1 injury away from starting jones.

Also our mf's aren't suited to b2b most are just too limited to excel at either attack or defense alone. Fred has a first touch rivalling Rooney's, mctominay isn't much of a forward passer, periera is barely a footballer let alone b2b mf, bruno is not a no 8.

24 Feb 2020 18:29:17
So we beat Watford at home and now we have a major essay on how Ole will line up the team next season. Yes, Shappy you do suggest that, because you talk about Ole changing tactics again next season. We need to be adaptable and change tactics not just before the game but during. I agree with Jred, unbelievable I know, but Shappy is totally over thinking things, almost like writing a final thesis.

24 Feb 2020 18:46:43
the lads been here a month, and you're already over analysing out of him and possible formations. Let him play his game. He was bought to be the creative spark. You rattle on and on as if your golden boy ole is going to take note of your opinion. Give it a rest, just enjoy the player.

24 Feb 2020 18:55:33
Shappy - If Ole is still in charge next season I expect him to play 4-2-3-1. This has predominantly been his formation of choice and I expect him to build around this now we've signed Fernandes.

The continued links with Sancho make sense as we don't really have a viable option on the right. James and Greenwood have both done well on occasions but to make the formation work we really need a more consistent threat from the right.

I agree we look vulnerable at the back especially against the better teams when we play a flat back 4. There is no doubt that Maguire lacks pace and can look vulnerable when left exposed. Lindelof also lacks pace, physicality and he also looks vulnerable when left exposed in 1v1 situations, especially against powerful and pacy forwards. I wonder if Bailly will eventually make a better partner for Maguire. He offers more pace and physicality than Lindelof and maybe this is something we might see moving forward. Once Rashford returns with the addition of Fernandes and hopefully a specialist right winger/ forward in the summer our attack will be much more balanced and potent. There will be less emphasis for our full backs to provide the team with an attacking impetus and they may provide more support/ cover for the CB's. The full backs will be important in providing the balance between attacking width and defensive cover.

Pogba may be sold in the summer so his creativity will need to be replaced. Someone like Grealish would make sense. He could provide quality cover for Fernandes in the No10 position where he would offer a different threat with his dribbling ability. He could also play to the left of a midfield 3 or even as wide forward where he has been utilised to good effect with Villa this season. His versatility and quality would give the squad plenty of options. With Matic ageing I expect us to target another defensive midfielder although he's proven in recent weeks that he's still a very good player. He'll only be 32 in the summer so the Club may choose to activate the extra year in his contract.

In relation to the players we've been linked with I expect a big push for Sancho this summer especially if Pogba is sold. The Club will want a marquee signing to offset the loss of Pogba in my opinion. If you add in Grealish those two would provide us with multiple options in midfield and attack adding undoubted quality and depth to the squad.

4-2-3-1 -

De Gea,
AWB, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw,
Mctominay, Fred
Sancho, Fernandes, Rashford
Martial

Romero
Lindelof
Williams
Grealish
Matic
Greenwood
James

Personally I'd drop a defensive midfielder out and play a 4-3-3 formation with Grealish to the left and Fernamdes right of a midfield 3.

24 Feb 2020 18:58:20
Ethan Laird will be cover next season with Dalot moving on.

24 Feb 2020 22:47:06
Early reports seem to suggest we will go in for dembele and grealish. I have read before that's Solsjkaer wants a bigger striker to provide a plan B. But I hope more than anything the club targets a right winger as they haven't had one who's first team quality for years. Additional the club needs to start build a squad again, lack of a second team has been a big reason for the injuries this season. Rashford was completely overplayed and I worry others will be before the season is out.

The way I see it:

GK de gea/ romero - sorted
Rb wan bissaka/ dalot - sorted
Lb shaw / William's
CB- Maguire / Lindelof
CB - Tuanzbe / Bailly (would like a stronger option for next season)
CM - Mctominay/ Fred
CM - Fernades / ?
CAM -? / Fernandes -someone needs to be brought in here
LW - Martial / James
ST - Rasford/ ? - new striker also needed
RW -? / Greenwood

I know some players can play in numerous positions but the ambition should be to be like man city, with two strong players in every position.

For me that means the end for Rojo, Pogba, Lingard and Jones.

25 Feb 2020 00:01:00
Yeah, Shappy. God forbid you actually post anything on here that even remotely resembles a well thought-out opinion, or something that tries to stimulate a discussion. How dare you! And DLIB, stop encouraging him with your equally intelligent, well-reasoned musings! Nice to see it brought out a few posters who haven't had much to say over the last few weeks, tho.

25 Feb 2020 05:33:44
Posters who are not interested in a topic, please move on rather than discouraging someone or adding next to nothing.

Shappy, I would like to see a midfield of Bruno, Saul and McTominay or Bruno, Maddision and McTominay.

City play Fernandinho/ Rodri, Debruyne and Silva in a 3 man midfield mostly. It could work well for us as well. Because Bruno is technically sound so to is Saul.

4-3-3 would be ideal. Rash, Martial and a RW (Sancho/ Adama) will provide balance in attack. A midfield 3 will help to control matches.

Like DLIB said, we may go for a star signing in terms of Sancho or Saul, if Pogba is sold.
A statement signing.

{Ed047's Note - TRD posters are clearly interested in a topic otherwise they wouldn’t post.

Just because they don’t agree with someones dreams doesn’t mean they don’t have to walk on by fella.

25 Feb 2020 09:03:28
Shapps - how dare you try and talk football on here.

Lads, no need to jump on peoples posts with negativity. Just don't reply. I think we have all been guilty of it in the past but let's not drive posters away because of it. We have seen a lot of posters come and go over the years because they said they don't want the hassle anymore. We might not agree with each other but share the bond of being United fans first or we wouldn't be on the site. I'm not saying don't have an opinion but no need to be hostile for the sake of it.

25 Feb 2020 09:20:03
12 paragraphs on the matter leads me to believe someone has a little too much time on their hands.

25 Feb 2020 09:39:45
Ruben Neves anyone? Think he be a great player for us to sign.

25 Feb 2020 11:33:56
Oh god sorry guys, I forgot the new rules of the site. We're only allowed to post negatives about the manager. All discussion of football related matters isn't wanted on a football site.

Seriously though I think most of the negative comments are just based on it being me who posted. Some people want to turn every post I write into an Ole in/ out post.

Jred, on the whole I agree with you. Formations are fluid and change during a game. They are only useful for two things giving a framework for your tactics to work from and working out how to create a framework for getting your best players on the pitch or creating a framework to get the best out of them. The individual tactics and players winning their individual battles plays a far bigger part of how a game will pan out rather than where do players stand at kick off.

That said discussing the minutiae of individual tactics on a forum such as this is totally pointless as the communication of them and the relevance are often lost in translation, while not all of the audience would fully understand or grasp them. Plus they are entirely situational and would change from game to game. In many respects the simpler version of formations is easier to communicate and for everyone to openly discuss.

CSM, I disagree. AWB currently isn't suited to a wing back role. Yet his academy training came as a winger, so I don't think it would be impossible to improve is offensive output. While looking at our other full backs (Williams, Dalot, Laird and Shaw) I think it would be fair to say they on the whole their skillsets work better going forward than defending so a wing back role might be more suitable to them.

Shane, Neves is definitely a player I would consider. Yet if I'm honest maybe Raul Jimenez and Adama Traore would be higher on my list of Wolves players and I can't see us getting all three.

RedWhiskey, you've got me. I was procrastinating my butt off yesterday. The lure of football was far greater than that of remote sensing.

25 Feb 2020 12:48:32
I disagree shappy, a 343 means your wb's have to be atleast good not learning on the job to be decent. We could live with a cb who might need to develop but the wb's and mf have to be spot on.


This is Williams's 1st season, we have no clue how he will turn out, laird's played 1 game, shaw is poor going forward and isn't really upto the mark wrt to workmate required in that position, dalot is still has huge question marks over him. Awb is actually least of the problems as he can atleast defend.

25 Feb 2020 17:39:16
Shappy exactly the days of a rigid 442 are gone teams play dependent on if they are in possession out of possession in transition in the first 3rd last 3rd. Who has the ball, what the trigger is for individual players to make a movement .
Imo people still get caught up far to much in formations it doesn't really work like that.

25 Feb 2020 18:28:25
CSM, Henderson, Tuanzebe, Laird, AWB, Williams, Dalot, McTominay, Garner, Levitt, James, Rashford and Greenwood are all 23 or under so all of them are "learning on the the job" with half our squad being fairly young there will be young players playing every week who aren't the finished article.

AWB at 21 is still learning his trade, he will have to learn to improve his offensive output either way. I agree playing in a position that doesn't necessarily play to his strengths isn't ideal. But then you can taylor tactics to suit the players you have. Also I saw a tactic recently that in the last few weeks only TAA has made more key passes as a full back than AWB. So, maybe he is improving that area of his game.

25 Feb 2020 12:48:32
I disagree shappy, a 343 means your wb's have to be atleast good not learning on the job to be decent. We could live with a cb who might need to develop but the wb's and mf have to be spot on.


This is Williams's 1st season, we have no clue how he will turn out, laird's played 1 game, shaw is poor going forward and isn't really upto the mark wrt to workmate required in that position, dalot is still has huge question marks over him. Awb is actually least of the problems as he can atleast defend.





 

 

 
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