4-2-3-1? 4-3-3? Or Something Else?

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by worldinmotion66, Jun 14, 2017.

  1. Jun 14, 2017
    #1

    worldinmotion66 Full Member

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    So, the forum seems to be pretty split on how we should line up tactically next season, with the majority torn between a 4-2-3-1 and a 4-3-3. There are also a few that favour the 3-4-3/3-5-2, having seen Conte's Chelsea perfect the system and romp away with the league title.

    I feel that this summer's midfield signings will transform our identity towards one or the other, but which will it be? Here, I'll take a look at what we need to make each formation work tactically, and the pros and cons of each system.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This has become Mourinho's most utilised system in recent years, guiding Chelsea back to the summit of the Premier League in 2015, and previously with Real Madrid in amassing an astonishing 100 points, scoring 121 goals in the process. He also frequently used this system at Inter Milan, winning an historic treble. At these clubs, Mourinho was flexible enough to revert to a 4-3-3 on occasions where he deemed it necessary, often on their travels against strong opposition. He also used a diamond with the Italian side.

    It's important to note the structure of the midfield three in this formation. The two at the base of midfield have complementary attributes to create the complete midfield. Mourinho usually opts for a disciplined player alongside a more mobile midfielder. He has one creative passer, and one defensive option, be it a water carrier or pressing destroyer. Between the two players, they have to cover a number of bases:

    - The Creator (Xabi Alonso as the deep lying playmaker at Real Madrid, Fabregas as a more progressive playmaker at Chelsea. Motta played a deep playmaker role at Inter, while Stankovic was often preferred for a more advanced playmaker position). This is Pogba's role in our side.

    - The Disciplined Holder (Again, Xabi Alonso did this for Real Madrid, while Matic was responsible for this at Chelsea. Cambiasso took on this role to great effect at Inter, covering for the attacking full back Maicon. Motta also played in a disciplined way when he was chosen ahead of Stankovic). This has been Herrera's role for us under Mourinho. He is of course capable of this, but is better suited to pressing the opposition. It is a role that many have suggested Fabinho could fill, whilst we have also been linked with Dier, and Matic himself.

    - The Destroyer This is a player that puts his foot in, makes challenges and pressures the opposition. (Khedira played the role at Madrid, while Matic and occasionally Ramires did this for Mourinho at Chelsea. Cambiasso would do this for Inter, especially with the disciplined Motta alongside him). Herrera is this player for us, it's his most effective role.

    - The Power and Presence (Khedira provided this at Real Madrid, albeit in a less physical league. Matic had this for Mourinho's Chelsea, preventing them from being overpowered aerially or physically bullied by the more powerful sides. Cambiasso was powerful but Motta provided a bit of aerial cover when necessary). We have Pogba to provide this, although links to holding midfielders may suggest that we are looking to add more to the squad.

    - The Legs (Khedira had the engine at Madrid to compensate for Xabi's lack of mobility. Chelsea used Ramires for this where necessary, although having a more robust #10 in Oscar certainly redressed the balance of the midfield somewhat. For Inter Milan, Cambiasso provided the legs alongside Motta, while Stankovic also had a decent engine when called upon). Herrera has incredible stamina, Pogba too, so we don't have to worry about this.

    I feel that we already have that complete skill set in Pogba and Herrera, we just lack the depth beyond those two. Fellaini has power, Carrick has discipline and creativity, but they both lack the legs. I'm still hopeful that Pereira has a role next season though, as I feel he has the potential.

    Then you look at the furthermost midfield player in the system, the #10. He has to provide the creativity in more advanced areas for a potent striker and goalscoring wide players (Ozil for Real Madrid), or the goals to compliment a more creative attack (Oscar at Chelsea, although he mainly provided more legs and energy to compensate Fabregas and Matic. Sneijder was a huge goal threat for Inter Milan).

    We have shown to be one of the more creative sides in the division, but have failed to take the chances that we make, so I feel we will need a goal scoring #10. This is particularly the case should we sign Morata - a player that has improved his finishing immeasurably but has never contributed a haul of goals such as Ibrahimovic, so may still prove unreliable in this regard.

    PROS:
    - We already have the complete skill set in Pogba and Herrera for the two central midfielders.
    - We have two or three players most suited to the #10 role.
    - Mourinho has recently used the system to good effect at both Real Madrid and Chelsea.
    - It's a system that is suited for teams dominant in possession and territory.
    - Provides an extra body further up the pitch so theoretically greater attacking options.

    CONS:

    - It may not get the best out of Pogba in terms of attacking output.
    - Mkhitaryan and Lingard are better suited as transitional #10's. i.e. countering systems like a 4-4-1-1.
    - Can be more useful in a high press and high line, which Mourinho doesn't often adopt.
    - Intelligent opposing #10's can find pockets of space and hurt us.
    - Doesn't suit us against better sides that dominate possession.

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    This formation brought Mourinho huge success during his first spell at Chelsea and previously kick started his career at Porto (albeit mostly under the variation of a 4-3-1-2). It is a more defensive structure that allows for quick transitions and counter attacks whilst providing numbers in midfield to restrict the opposition.

    The structure of the midfield three is very different. The most defensive player is basically a water carrier, a defensive screen who protects the defence and contributes little going forward (Makelele at Chelsea under Mourinho, Costinha at Porto). He has to be positionally disciplined and pass possession onto the more creative players ahead of him. Both Carrick and Herrera can occupy the role, although the former can't be relied upon to play consecutive games, and the latter is better suited without the shackles of positional responsibility. Tuanzebe may be an option, but he lacks the experience required to be a dependable solution. We will have to buy for this role now or in the immediate future (Fabinho, Dier and Matic all strongly linked recently).

    The most advanced of the three is often the goalscorer in Mourinho's version of the tactic, someone that can attack from deep, make late runs, be a presence in the box and score from distance (Lampard at Chelsea, Maniche at Porto). His primary role is to effect the final third of the pitch, to create with both passing and movement and to score goals from midfield. We know Pogba has an abundance of creativity, and I think he can add more goals to his game with a bit of patience and a little less defensive responsibility. Pereira, I feel, could become a very able deputy.

    The final midfielder of the three is the box-to-box link man between defence and attack (Essien/Thiago at Chelsea, Mendes at Porto). He's a bit of an all rounder, able to contribute in attack, retain possession and create chances, whilst having the tenacity to press and the stamina to get back and help out at the other end of the field. Mourinho tends to favour a more defensive option, someone with stamina and tenacity that really enables the goalscorer to thrive. Herrera is the perfect choice for us here, although the recent links to Nainggolan could suggest that he may move to the deeper of the three midfielders. Both players have everything, but Nainggolan is probably the more attacking option, while Herrera has more discipline.

    PROS:

    - The system should get the best out of Pogba.
    - As a more defensive formation, it should satisfy Mourinho's need to play a counter attacking style.
    - It allows a deeper defensive line and negates the need for attacking full backs.
    - It is a more direct system which allows the wide attackers to stay further forward a little more.
    - Would suit the pace and directness of Rashford, Martial, Mkhitaryan and Lingard.

    CONS:

    - We lack the perfect option for the holding midfielder role.
    - Can be a little negative against the smaller sides intent on sitting back.
    - We lack depth in midfield and may require two new players.
    - Requires a striker that can hold the ball up well, but also has strong movement and work rate (Morata could be perfect for this, and a reasonable possibility if recent speculation is to be believed).

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    Personally, I have always loved the 4-3-3 and particularly the way the dutch have used the tactic to phenomenal effect. I enjoy the quick counter attacking style, the fluidity of movement and the dynamism of end to end football.

    However, I can't seem to shake my love of the #10, and particularly James Rodriguez. I think it's the role in a side that most affords a player complete freedom to influence a game, and allows the kind of flamboyancy and creativity that produces the magical moments in football that we all love.

    I have to admit, I can't shake the feeling that we will only sign one central option for a midfield role, and ultimately I think we need two. Whether that be for either system, we need more depth and we need the players that can bring out the best of what we already have. I am more than convinced at the players we have been linked to most seriously - Morata would be the perfect striker for either system and Perisic provides something missing in attack, but the signing of Lindelof and Mourinho's reluctance to make fleeting changes suggests to me that only one central midfield acquisition is on the cards.

    I'd like us to alternate between the two formations dependent upon opposition, injuries and rotation, but in order to do so I think we need two additions to that midfield. I'd personally like Fabinho and James Rodriguez, but I'd trust Mourinho and be more than happy should he prefer Nainggolan. Perhaps he sees Pereira as a vital new addition, perhaps not. I just hope that we don't go into another season relying on Carrick and Fellaini with such importance.

    So what do you prefer? (Perhaps a poll could be added?)
    What do you think Mourinho will do?
    What other pros and cons have I missed?
    What other formation do you prefer and why?
    Who framed Roger Rabbit?
    What came first, the chicken or the egg?
    Etc.
  2. Jun 14, 2017
    #2

    DWelbz19 Correctly predicted Portugal to win Euro 2016

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    Probably 4-3-3. Pogba is our best player and we should look to get the best out of him.
  3. Jun 14, 2017
    #3

    Bwuk Full Member

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    4-3-3 against better sides, 4-2-3-1 against weaker sides.
  4. Jun 14, 2017
    #4

    worldinmotion66 Full Member

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    You think that's how Mourinho thinks? Pogba bossed an (admittedly pretty poor) England midfield whilst playing in a two on Tuesday. Why can't he develop his game to dominate matches like this and provide a platform for the players in front of him?
  5. Jun 14, 2017
    #5

    TehRed Full Member

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    He'll do both. 4-2-3-1 against "weaker" opposition, and 4-3-3 in the tougher games. Jose comes up with tactical plans for specific teams and players, so he'll always pick his formation to suit what he feels is required, whether thats man marking an opposition player or otherwise.
  6. Jun 14, 2017
    #6

    ChaddyP Full Member

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    Our Manager is pragmatic. Depending on the team we play and the players we have available to us will dictate the formation. Last year we played between 433 and 4231. Some games 3 at the back, couple games 442. We have many solitions for different games the important thing is everyone keeps fit so the manager has all the tools he needs to win.
  7. Jun 14, 2017
    #7

    Infra-red Full Member

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    Mourinho will continue to alternate between 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3, just as he has done for the last 7 years.
  8. Jun 14, 2017
    #8

    Tiresome is tiresome

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    3-5-2 ))
  9. Jun 14, 2017
    #9

    Arthur Friedenreich Banned

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    The easiest for United is to sign a Nainggolan of life and play 4-3-3 with Herrera in the most defensive role.

    If i were a coach i would play 4-5-1 with two full backs in the defensive line and other two in the midfield.
    And with a 9 who really can score.
    Something like:
    Valencia--Bailly--Lindelof--Alex Sandro
    Dani Alv.-James--Herrera-Pogba-Mendy
    Belotti

    Probably would be awful.
  10. Jun 14, 2017
    #10

    Walters_19_MuFc Full Member

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    First of all, this is a fantastically written post @worldinmotion66. Really love these kind of threads.

    Personally, I would use a 433.

    I personally feel it suits our players more, especially Pogba, as you said, who, in my opinion, is, or can be, our most influential player next season.

    What I will say is that, I don't really agree that a 4231 is more attacking than a 433.

    I think, it all depends on how you play a 433, and the amount of attacking freedom you give your two centre midfielders.

    For example, if you look at City under Pep, with Silva and De Bruyne, they more or less play like two attacking midfielders, meaning instead of having an attacking quartet attacking, they have five going forward. Both, De Bruyne and Silva will make attacking runs, either in the channels to create attacking overloads with the winger, or into the box.

    That said, a 4231 and 433 can look very similar on the pitch, especially if the manager players with an attacking defensive midfielder, i.e. Pogba, Fabregas, etc. However, off the ball is where it changes. In a 4231, Pogba would be asked to get back in a 2 man midfield, whereas in a 3, the two midfielders can work in tandem with each other.

    What I would do next season is play a 3 man midfield, but change it up depending on who were are facing.

    So, for games we are likely to dominate, I would have something like:

    Herrera
    New CM Pogba

    Personally, I would like to see Pereira in that New CM role. Not sure Jose feels he's ready to start, though, and he could be right.

    The CM needs to be creative, and someone who can chip in with some goals every now and then. My choice would be Ross Barkley. As I said in another thread yesterday, I feel he has everything to grow into a top class midfielder. Pace, strength, vision, long range shot, flair, passing range, drive, etc.

    For games where we need to be more disciplined:

    Water Carrier
    Herrera Pogba

    The water carrier, as you said will need to have very good tactical and positional awareness. A lot of rumours with Fabinho, but I would personally go with Danilo Periera of Porto. Defensively very sound and reads the game tremendously well.

    What I think Mourinho will do?

    Personally, I think Mourinho will do what he did at Chelsea and last season, which is play a 4231 against teams he will dominate, and a 433 (or Pogba as the 10 in a 4231 like he used Fabregas) against the more challenging sides.

    Hopefully this isn't the case, though. As I said, we don't really need to mess with formations. We just need to adjust the attacking and defensive impetus by choosing the right personnel, if/when needed.
  11. Jun 14, 2017
    #11

    Utd7 Full Member

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    Would personally like to see a 4-3-3 used more consistently because it suits the world's most expensive player BUT I fully understand and accept that Mourinho is flexible with his tactics and isn't married to a particular formation.
  12. Jun 14, 2017
    #12

    Red Indian Chief Torn Rubber Thus says Kemo

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    4-3-3 like he did in his first Chelsea stint and at Porto. With rotating wingers like either wing forwards (i.e Etoo, Gudjohnsen ( Martial, Rashford) or, a playmaking ten (Hazard, Cole, Carlos Alberto (Mhikitartan, Mata, Lingard), or pure wide men (Duff, Robben. (Young) ) supporting our center forward.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017
  13. Jun 14, 2017
    #13

    LawCharltonBest Obsessive dog poo sniffer & anal about tweets

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    4-3-3 with Pogba as a playmaker for me. Then pace either side of a target man striker
  14. Jun 14, 2017
    #14

    Red Indian Chief Torn Rubber Thus says Kemo

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    For me Pogba should be used in the Lampard role and Herrera in the Essien one. Play making should be left to the Mhikitaryan's with the opposite wing used for direct stretching of teams.
  15. Jun 14, 2017
    #15

    Jib Full Member

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    We should build the team around Pogba and allow him to play with freedom. The system doesn't matter but the players around him, yes.

    Pogba isn't good when he has a number 10 in front of him and he needs pacey striker/wingers
  16. Jun 14, 2017
    #16

    Jib Full Member

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    It wasn't a midfield 2 because Lemar worked hard and helped Pogba and Kante in the midfield. Pogba can't play like that with Manchester United, it's impossible. We don't have the players to allow him to play with this freedom.
  17. Jun 14, 2017
    #17

    Android1974 Full Member

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    Funny, you just didn't mentioned the—for me—most likely, the formation we used a lot in the end of season, the better way to make good use of Rashford and quite probably what Mourinho was thinking when he wanted Griezmann, the old 4-4-2.
  18. Jun 14, 2017
    #18

    KN5 Full Member

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    Honestly want us to try a 3-5-2.

    De Gea

    Bailly
    Lindelof
    Rojo

    Valencia
    Herrera
    New DM
    Pogba
    Shaw/Perisic

    Rashford
    Morata

    We have width, balance up front, Pogba has the license to get forward knowing there are 3 defenders and a DM along with Herrera behind him!
  19. Jun 14, 2017
    #19

    Walters_19_MuFc Full Member

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    Did we?
  20. Jun 14, 2017
    #20

    The red panther princess transfer emo

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    Imo it should be 4-2-3-1

    Pogba can perfectly play in a 2-man midfield and I actually think he plays better and has a bigger influence over the game when playing a bit deeper. I think Herrera is a perfect partner for him, the only thing we need is to add some depth to the midfield because Carrick is simply unsuited to play in a 2-man midfield.

    For the n10 we need a real quality player, imo we have 2-options here:
    • Go for James Rodriguez I think he is tailor made for the position and role
    • Go for Griezmann but wait a year and give the role to Mata/Mkhi or even Zlatan in the mean time
    Pereira would also be a very good upcoming player for that role

    I think I reality we will switch between 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3 using the latter for the bigger games where Mourinho will want to control that midfield and play a deeper backline but for the games against the smaller clubs it is clear we need more attacking intent and 4-2-3-1 is better for those games. Optional with the good centrebacks we have now that can play a bit of football (Bailly, Lindelof, Blind, Tuanzebe), playing 3 at the back is actually not a big handicap anymore in terms of build up so might see a 3-5-2 at times aswell if Mourinho really wants to put down an impregnable fortress.

    Say we sign Morata, James, Perisic and Fabinho as remaining summer transfers than I would see us playing like this:

    Attacking formation: use often

    --------------DDG----------------
    Valencia--Bailly--Lindelof---Shaw
    ---------Herrera--Pogba----------
    Mkhitaryan--James-----Perisic
    -------------Morata-------------

    --------------Romero---------------
    Darmian---Tuanzebe--Rojo----Blind
    ----------Fabinho--Fellaini---------
    Mata----------Pereira---------Martial
    ----------------Rashford--------------

    Balanced formation for big games: use occasionally

    ----------------DDG------------------
    Valencia---Bailly--Lindelof-----Shaw
    ---------------Fabinho----------------
    -----------Herrera--Pogba-----------
    Mkhitaryan----Morata--------Perisic

    ---------------Romero----------------
    Darmian---Tuanzebe--Rojo-----Blind
    ----------------Carrick----------------
    ----------Pereira---Fellaini-------------
    James--------Rashford--------Martial

    Impregnable fortress (aka park the buss): use rarely

    ----------------DDG----------------------
    ------Lindelof---Bailly----Rojo-----------
    Valencia--------Fabinho---------Perisic
    ------------Herrera--Pogba-------------
    ------------------James------------------
    ------------------Morata------------

    -----------------Romero-----------------
    -------Tuanzebe---Jones---Blind---------
    Darmian----------Carrick---------Lingard
    ---------------Pereira---Fellaini------------
    -------------------Mkhitaryan-------------
    --------------------Rashford--------------
  21. Jun 14, 2017
    #21

    Android1974 Full Member

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    I think it became a clear option after Zlatan became unavailable, be it because of punishment or injury, to play Rashford as striker usefully he needs someone near him. At least, Chelsea (a, FA Cup), arguably Middlesbrough (a), Chelsea (h), Arsenal (a).
  22. Jun 15, 2017
    #22

    davidmichael Full Member

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    I think as said 4-3-3 against the other top teams and probably in Europe then 4-2-3-1 against smaller teams that try to park the bus against us, thing is we need the players for those systems and for the most part we don't have them.

    We're desperately in need of an attacking left back (Rose, Mendy or Betrand), a defensive midfielder (Fabinho, Dier or Matic), a genuine right winger (Dembele) and an out and out striker (Morata) for either system to truly work best and improve on the season that's just ended.

    Neither Darmian or Blind have the pace or attacking skills to be first choice and Jose doesn't seem to rate Shaw, Carrick can't play every game and Herrera isn't a defensive midfielder, neither Mkhitaryan or Mata are proper right sided players and thrive as a 10 and Rashford can't be expected to bang in 30+ goals a season at 19 years old.
  23. Jun 15, 2017
    #23

    breakout67 Full Member

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    In the last 8 years, Mourinho has started with a 4-3-3 in his first year and then gotten players to fit into a 4-2-3-1 in the transfer window.

    He has said that he enjoys the 2nd year more than the first year because he knows the team better and has molded the team to his liking.

    4-3-3 is a formation Mourinho used as a newcomer, 4-2-3-1 is the next step in his evolution as a manager. I doubt hell go back to 4-3-3 since he probably thinks it is an inferior formation for his managerial preferences and skillset.
  24. Jun 15, 2017
    #24

    Mike09 Banned

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    Personally I prefer 352 because we don't have top quality wingers.

    352 can get the best out of Pogba in three midfield and get the best out of both Morata and Rashford together by playing them together in central role. Just need to make sure we sign Morata, Fabinho and a left wing back.
  25. Jun 15, 2017
    #25

    Jaybomb Full Member

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    I want to see us play a 41212 diamond. No wingers.

    De Gea
    Valencia Bailly Lindelof Darmian
    Mata Herrera Pogba
    Mkhitaryan
    Rashford Martial

    Am I the only one that thinks Mata and Herrera can form a CM partnership similar to Iniesta and Xavi?
  26. Jun 15, 2017
    #26

    wiz4231 Full Member

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    I'm going with 5-3-1-1

    De Gea
    Lindelof.............Jones
    Bailly.......Smalling........Rojo
    Valencia...............Pogba..................Perisic
    Mkhitaryan
    Morata​
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017
  27. Jun 15, 2017
    #27

    Kidders Full Member

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    De Gea
    Bailey Lindelöf Rojo
    Valencia Perisic
    Fabinho
    Herrera. Pogba
    Mkhitaryan
    Morata
  28. Jun 15, 2017
    #28

    Reafer Full Member

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    Both.

    Mourinho doesn't use just one formation all games anyway. Depending on opponents we're up against, he'll change and adapt accordingly. But ya, he'll have us using a main formation, with the second alternative formation, slightly more defensive, to combat against the top sides. Additionally, a special case formation to be used specially in specific games either due to conditions & tactics (like against Rostov last season) or against 'special' opponent (combating Chelsea formation & tactics). Highly dependent on the players we have available too, no problem if everyone is fit. Also, throughout the games, the formation may changed naturally with players movement or have to be changed constantly to combat the opponent's tactics. IMO, the key player here is for sure Pogba, getting the best of him.

    :devil:Main Formation 4-2-3-1

    ST
    LAM---CAM---RAM
    Pogba---CM
    LB---CB---CB---RB
    GK

    More attacking formation. Set-up to maximize attacking, with one of the CM to be more defensive, while having three attackers and Pogba overlapping should be more than enough creativity and goals. Fullbacks overlap (Valencia, Young & Shaw) or ball-playing (Blind & Bailly), two ball-playing CBs (Bailly, Rojo & Lindelof) and if the other CM is creative too (eg. Herrera & Carrick) will maximize this. Seriously, we did set-up strong attacking formation last season (first half of the season), but that time Pogba is still adapting and improving his defensive discipline, so we have Carrick play in a 4-3-3 formation instead to compensate. Towards the end, Pogba improved a lost defensively, so I bet Mourinho would start with this. No point being too defensive against most sides.

    Mourinho's most preferred contemporary formation. Well-balanced, require high working effort and discipline from every player when we don't have possession. And when we do, it's up to the players to use their creative abilities in attacks and keeping possession. While that would be our the common way of playing, sometimes against some sides (especially in cups or some opponents like Chelsea in EPL last season) we may be very tactical and defensive, playing in a very convoluted way with totally different tactics (eg. against Ajax EL Finale).

    Can be more Defensive tactically
    , special case.

    Formation may naturally change to 4-3-3, especially when we're defending/not having possession or also when we're attacking, the CAM drop to play as CM and Pogba moving forward naturally, eg. Fellaini, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Perisic?, A. Pereira & Lingard. We did this many times previous season. This helps in building up attacks and keeping posession, especially when the opponents is defending or not much threats upfront.
    *Against most opponents, may also be used against some of the top sides.*

    :smirk:Alternative Formation 4-3-3/4-5-1

    LW-----ST-----RW
    Pogba----CM
    CDM
    LB---CB---CB---RB
    GK

    More defensive/keeping possession formation, mainly. Could also be use to be used to maximize attacks, depending on the opponents tactics and formation. Either way, this formation is the best and vital especially against a very effective No.10 opponent that can exploit the small spaces between the two CM/CDM in 4-2-3-1 formation. The two wingers could also drop to be LAM/RAM/LM/RM reverting to 4-5-1 formation when we're defending. But when we're attacking, the two wingers job is to pull opposing fullbacks upfield giving more spaces at the midfield, with the CM trios focusing on sweeping, controlling and dominating the midfield.

    Releasing restraints of some players. Pogba's best formation, for sure this is the best formation which Pogba can excelled in, where he can figuratively expressed his natural creativities and attacking specialty to the max without doing much defensive work, as the other two CMs will cover him for that. That can be risky defensively but lethal in attacks. Also, this would also free other players like Martial and Mkhitaryan who are not much good defensively, to focus more on attacks. Martial's best formation.

    Can be a lot more attacking formation. Depends on opposing quality, tactics and formations.

    Mourinho's other preferred formation, 3 CMs and 3 attackers, which he used in Inter Milan mainly and was it with Porto?

    *Against most top sides, for negation and combating purposes, since top sides usually play with 3 CMs or having one good No.10 player with two dominating CDMs and have good fullbacks*

    :cool:Special Formation 3-5-2/5-3-2

    ST---ST
    CAM
    CDM---CDM
    LWB---CB---CB---CB---RWB
    GK

    Total Nullifying/Defensive Tactics Formation. To negate and combat opponents, nullifying them totally to oblivion. 'Defensive' may not be the right word here. This formation require every players to be very discipline to the max and high working effort following specified instructions. Expect high pressure from everywhere, with one-on-one markings to opposing attackers and CMs. The two strikers will also play as wingers, and one of their roles is to press high upfield, pressuring the opposing defenders. Suitable players here is ones who have paces, follow instructions and often show clear hungers (Rashford & Lingard). Players like Zlatan and Martial are not suited in this formation. One of the two striker would also drop deep to help defends one side depending on where the ball is, with the other striker stay up. The CAM would have to help the other two CMs defensively, trying to dominate the midfield in numbers. How the CAM would operate is highly dependent on the player attributes eg. Fellaini will play differently compare to if Mata plays there. One of the fullbacks would also bomb forward to help attack when we're having posession.

    High pressure. Having naturally fit and high energized players here are vital as they have to move, press and follow opponents all the time.

    Counter Attacks from High Pressure. From the high pressing, as soon as we got/steal the ball, we will counter attack with pace and high energy. See Chelsea games.

    Man-to-man Markings. Most players marking one specific players, with few covering others by either marking whoever else and helping the others defending making it 2 on 1. The three CMs may mark all the opposing 2/3 CMs, while our defenders mark all the 3/4 opposing attackers, but with one CB to cover the others. The two strikers would mark the defenders who are good with playing the ball upfield, those who have good technical passing skills.

    Having the extra man is very significant, basically with 9 players defending, we would often have the extra man to help in theory. The formation utilize man-to-man markings, so our players will be pull out of positions many times, but it still won't affect much of the rigid strong stable structure. To simplify, we would still maintain the formation, and strong defensively with the players (one of the two STs and one of the three CBs) covering each other.

    *Against specified opponents, special case.*
  29. Jun 15, 2017
    #29

    ice-bionic red Full Member

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    As long as we play well and score goals I don't care what formation it will be. Too many people playing Fifa it seems.
  30. Jun 15, 2017
    #30

    worldinmotion66 Full Member

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    I mean that Mourinho's use of a 4-2-3-1 is usually more attacking and proactive in defending than his use of a 4-3-3, but I get your point.

    I certainly think our summer signings will show his intentions more clearly, but I have my doubts that Mourinho would play Barkley alongside Pogba. He usually likes a bit more steel and tenacity alongside a more attacking player. I rate Barkley and I think he'd thrive in a similar role to Pogba, he's far more suited to driving forward from deep imo and is wasted at #10.

    I think Herrera and Pogba play every game when fit, when necessary and not in need of rest. I would definitely use them as you have described for each scenario, that would be my preference actually, were it not for the availability of James Rodriguez. It's a bit ridiculous that I would change formation and game plan to fit around a single player, but I guess that is the general feeling around Pogba as well.

    I'm not interested in any other #10 either, I just seem to have a hard on for James Rodriguez that I can't explain and that just won't go away.
  31. Jun 15, 2017
    #31

    Android1974 Full Member

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    Only related, I can't help but find our overload of defensive players weird. We might be going for 2 players in each of the 6 midfield/attacking positions, but in defense we have 3 players for 4 positions. Alright, one is injured (Rojo) and two youngsters (Fosu-Mensah, Tuanzebe), but I see us getting rid of at least two of them, specially if we buy the expected left-back. Might have been an argument for those believing we're going 3-5-2, if only those defensive players were adequate for it.
  32. Jun 15, 2017
    #32

    MILLHILLMANC Banned

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    maybe just maybe we could play 442 at home - you know like France did the other night and Pogba had his best game in 12 months.

    4231 produces boring shit unattractive awful football and 433 suits away games in Europe where you need an extra man in midfield.
  33. Jun 15, 2017
    #33

    Invictus Poster of the Year 2015

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    The formation doesn't matter that much, and too much is read into a static representation of the team. What really matters is the set of characteristics of the players - in a way that can he harmonized by the manager, the manager's general plan - including in-game shuffles when he's taken the players' characteristics (as well as opposition characteristics) into account, and the amount of leeway he grants to the players - varying from one individual to the other depending on their role. A 4231 can easily be an in-game 3412 if you have the right personnel, or a 3421, or a 2242 - all without any substitutions, and that's what José likes as a game manager, especially when one of the keys of his success is negating opposition strengths. Knowing Mourinho's historical style, we'll probably stick with a 4231, but it won't be a rigid 4231 from a game-to-game, or even in-game basis, but something that morphs to a 2242 or 3412 depending on what he wants to do, as long as he has certain components locked down:

    1. A hard-working #10 who is creative, can score goals, and can play deeper when the team loses possession:
    [​IMG]

    Someone like Deco could play as an 8½ off the ball, and he could score goals when the team was in possession, plus he could create goals. That's why he liked Oscar, too (from a skillset or tactical fit standpoint):
    Link

    2. A wide attacker who can play as both an inverted winger (of sorts), or as a second striker (like Mandzukić under Allegri, or Eto'o under Mourinho). This is coupled with a wingback who can dominate the flank when the wide attacker goes inwards.

    3. A wide midfielder who can stretch the flank (to a degree), and can also operate as a wingback. This is coupled with a defensively astute fullback who can tuck inwards and provide more solidity to the defensive line against counters.

    4. A defensive midfielder who's a bit of a box-to-box cover player and can effectively plug wider areas with ease to reinforce the gaps the wingback leaves behind (like Cambiasso at Internazionale).

    When he has players with those characteristics, and a #9 to spearhead the attack, he can use his standard 4231/2242/3412.

    4231:

    [​IMG]

    Switches to back 3 + 2 up front without any substitutions:

    [​IMG]

    Switches to 2242 (without substitutions) where you can mark opposition wide attackers out of the game and isolate their #9:

    [​IMG]

    With a team like that, José can do a bit of everything - he can attack in a 4231 on the ball, he can do individual man-marking with 2242, he can squeeze the life out of the game with 3 at the back, or go 433 during the initial defensive phase, or 4411 when the second striker goes far wide - all the things he did at Inter with Sneijder at 10 + 8½, Eto'o as the wide attacker + second striker with Maicon as the wingback, Pandev as wide midfielder + wingback with Zanetti or Chivu at LB + LCB, Cambiasso as the box-to-box cover defensive midfielder, and Milito up front. That's kinda why getting the right fits is so important (eg. Mendy might not interest José because he can't play as the marker in a 2242 or as a proper LCB in a 3412), especially when you have an atypical player like Pogba who needs a special type of #10 to coexist with. His team over the coming years will likely resemble Juventus (which isn't a coincidence because a lot of Allegri's schemes are inspired by Mourinho):

    http://www.blackwhitereadallover.co...s-coaching-philosophy-team-management-tactics

    They key will be getting the right #10 + 8½ who can regulate the game, and is defensively astute, and also has the tactical foresight to stay out of Pogba's way (which can be an issue with most #10 players). A purist's version of 433 will be harder to implement because you need consistently high scoring wide attackers (which are hard to come by).
  34. Jun 15, 2017
    #34

    Sir Roi de Muppeterre New Member

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    4-3-3 is not an option as far as I am concerned. We don't have a front three that can create and score consistently which is essential for 4-3-3 to really work. In addition, without a specialist creator in the middle, we wont create as many clear chances to begin with.

    I dont understand group of people who want to shift to 4-3-3 because "its gets best out of Pogba". Honestly, Pogba's output isn't to the level where it is remotely justifiable to build team around him. Not only that, Pogba is perfect for midfield of two, he just needs to improve his discipline and smarten up.
  35. Jun 15, 2017
    #35

    Random Task Full Member

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    Is that you, Jose?
  36. Jun 15, 2017
    #36

    Walters_19_MuFc Full Member

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    Fantastic post, @Invictus

    Who would you say is out there that fits the 10/8 role?

    Also, do you think Griezmann was meant to play that wide attacker/second striker role?
  37. Jun 15, 2017
    #37

    GailSpaceWynand Yes, I signed up with this name.

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  38. Jun 15, 2017
    #38

    Invictus Poster of the Year 2015

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    Dunno, mate - there's a chronic lack of those type of players in the current game, so unfortunately, there are no perfect solutions for the position. What made Deco or Sneijder so effective under Mourinho is not only that they had great offensive skill, they also understood their role from a tactical perspective with their willingness to pass instead of dribble, position themselves correctly depending on the phase of the game, and essentially act as the attacking fulcrum of the team - while also being the first point of defense in terms of pressing behind or alongside the 9. So they were the perfect options for Mourinho's core beliefs.

    Someone like James has the technical skillset, but he's a bit selfish (which could affect Pogba) - in terms of on-field drawbacks. Isco would be a very good fit in terms of his interpretation of the role but he is unattainable. Özil is also kind of unobtainable, plus he suffered under Mourinho in terms of the defensive and positioning related duties at Madrid. Banega can't sustain his highest level on a consistent basis. Koke could do it in theory because he often plays 10 + 8½, but he's not a very effective goalscorer, and Atlético are unlikely to sell him.

    In light of that, Pereira is an intriguing albeit risky and currently imperfect option. He's a bit raw right now, not very economic in terms of his usage of the ball relative to effectiveness, and has never been a good goalscorer, but he could improve and be a good fit from a creative and workrate related standpoint in tandem with Pogba. Dani Cebellos is another exciting prospect because he has great potential as a needle player at Betis, but he's also young and underdeveloped and not a high scorer - whereas the #10 needs to carry the weight of the team in a sense.
    Yes, absolutely. He's a bit lacking from a dribbling standpoint, but has the tactical intelligence and sharp-shooter scoring instincts and versatility to play that role. His goalscoring might suffer a bit (like Eto'o at Internazionale who scored only 16 goals in almost 50 games when they won the Treble), but he will fit into the overall scheme. Plus, he will be able to transition to his favorite central second striker position in-game.
  39. Jun 15, 2017
    #39

    Stack Leave Women's Football Alone!!!

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    Im wondering what the actual tactical approach is going to be with respect to both attacking and defending. Back when Mourinho was in Charge of Chelsea the first time he made heavy use of a thing called "The 4 moments of the game", namely the when the team lost the ball, when the team was out of possession, when the team won the ball and when the team was in possession. That sounds fairly obvious but at the time the tactical approach using those themes was relatively unused. Mourinho was focussing on those moments and simplifying the game to enable his players to be more efficient and effective. Chelsea were seen to react very quickly when they lost the ball in terms of getting the defensive shape organised very quickly or making the right forward runs if counter attacking. By simplifying the focus it meant that Chelsea were able to strangle teams by sheer ability of being positioned (both figuratively and practically) to deal with each of those 4 situations. He also made heavy use of a diamond midfield which enabled the changes in focus quicker and relied on the likes of Ashley Cole for width going forward. When a midfield can adjust quickly between defensive or offensive duties it was hard for opposition teams to catch them by surprise. Basically Chelsea had control during any phase of play because of the simplicity of being prepared immediately one moment changed to another.
    Since those days we have seen a couple of tactical changes, most commonly recognised was the move towards of high pressing or deep sitting defences set up to exploit spaces with a counter attack when the ball was won back.

    Something that has become apparent in recent seasons is more teams making use of players dribbling at defences and exploiting the havoc that occurs when a successful dribble pushes a team forward. Defensively teams have made use of body shape and angled defensive pressure to push these dribblers either wide or infield depending on where defensive strengths lie. However it feels like we have a mini era of players running with the ball as a common approach right now.

    I am wondering what the next change is going to be and when the next new tactic is going to appear.
  40. Jun 15, 2017
    #40

    Pete Dahh Sneak New Member

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    He used a 4231 @ Chelsea in his first season except for Arsenal away and maybe 2 other matches when he used 433.