Utilising Pogba and Sanchez effectively in the same lineup

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by Bastian, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. Feb 21, 2018
    #1

    Bastian Full Member

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    I think this deserves its own thread. They are our best outfield players by some distance. Both great on the ball, great passers, can take numerous people on and open up defences.

    If Jose persists with playing Sanchez in his favoured position on the left, it's not only to the detriment of Martial, as we've then flooded the left side with ball carriers and playmakers with both Sanchez and Pogba in the same positions. That would be all well and good if our team had that ability all over the pitch, but it doesn't so we need to be a lot more economical in how we utilise their skills.

    With Sanchez out on the right side, with instructions to not be all over the pitch, and the same for Pogba on the left side of a 433, we've got outlets that can carry the ball and split defences on both sides. Currently, almost all our play happens on the left. Playing both of our playmakers there stifles play, making us predictable and will mean that Pogba will play second fiddle to Sanchez, not utilising his ability.

    Both of these players draw in more than one defender, opening up spaces and pulling defenders out of position. To not use that on both sides makes it easier to defend against.

    In the latest United Hour podcast they are making that point, why in the world Jose is playing Sanchez in a position that makes less sense for the team as a whole, mainly because it makes Martial kind of redundant. And I agree fully. In my view, this is even more of an issue because it means we aren't efficiently using Pogba, we aren't stretching play that we can now finally do with the acquisition of Sanchez.

    Thoughts?
  2. Feb 21, 2018
    #2

    Nick. Full Member

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    I like Sanchez at the tip of a diamond with freedom to roam. I wouldn't wanna restrict him to just the right side of our attack.
  3. Feb 21, 2018
    #3

    Terminator New Member

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    Pogba left side of midfield 3 and Sanchez on the left wing of a front 3. We need to get the best out of our best players.
  4. Feb 21, 2018
    #4

    BigdaftGorby Banned

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    All as I keep hearing is 4-3-3 like it’s a magic wand!!!

    Play 4-3-3 because Pogba needs his hand holding?
  5. Feb 21, 2018
    #5

    VP89 Pogba's biggest fan

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    Honestly speaking whats wrong with Pogba playing in the 10 with Matic Herrera behind?
  6. Feb 21, 2018
    #6

    Bastian Full Member

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    What I mean by instructing him to not be all over the pitch, I mean that he shouldn't be dropping deep, or occupy the lefthand side when Martial is there. Not that he should revert to some kind of orthodox winger.

    I just see a major problem with that. They are both playmakers and that leaves them in the same positions. I think this would work fine if we had a team capable of performing like Madrid did against PSG (with quick passing and great movement all over the pitch). But we don't, yet.. It also means Martial, our best quick outlet is nullified on the right (or on the bench).

    Do you not see a benefit in having a player who draws in more than one defender on either side of the pitch, instead of having them both on the same side so defenders can hunt in packs there, knowing there isn't a major threat on the right?

    I'm being realistic in not thinking Rom could be dropped to allow for more fluidity. But this is the lineup I'd like going forward:

    Rom
    Martial-----------------Sanchez
    Pogba----new signing
    Matic​
  7. Feb 21, 2018
    #7

    Greck Full Member

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    Wait, I think Martial+Pogba+Shaw was becoming our best left side combination but if Martial on the left wasn't getting in Pogba's way, why would Sanchez do so?
  8. Feb 21, 2018
    #8

    Bastian Full Member

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    Because they are radically different players. Martial doesn't go inside so much, he doesn't dictate play, carrying the ball all over the pitch. Whereas Sanchez does similar things to Pogba, albeit, with more conviction and attacking intent.

    I'm kind of basing this on Jose talking about 433. I wouldn't have any problem with Pogba as a 10, but again, that would require either sacrificing Martial for Sanchez or fielding Sanchez out on the right.
  9. Feb 21, 2018
    #9

    BarcaSpurs Full Member

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    Young Herrera Matic Pogba Shaw
    Lukaku Sanchez

    Could get the best from both imo but youre maybe lacking ideal wing backs and a bettet b2b than Herrera for the formation
  10. Feb 21, 2018
    #10

    deafepl Full Member

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    If our right flank is underperforming, nobody can do that so well on the right flank, assuming Jose want Sanchez to play on left, why bother using 4-2-3-1? Use 3-5-2 formation will bring out best of everyone, most of the games we focused on the left flank where we attack but it becomes more predictable for opponents as it goes, we didn't attack the right flank as often as it is underperforming since the start of the season, yet he didn't address this issue. I don't know why 4-2-3-1 is necessary, it is like we are playing with 10 men but that's the truth.

    I think we should go 3-5-2/3-4-1-2 if wanting to use two midfielders only but will free some of Pogba's defensive responsibility with 5 defenders at back with one of them may join midfield battle like Lindelof who are good on balls while being calm under pressure or Lingard/Sanchez to come deep to help and press high.

    Play Young and Valencia their natural position but as a wingback, they have to defend. Play martial in their natural position as a central forward alongside Lukaku and give a freedom to Sanchez roaming freely behind Martial and Lukaku.
    De Gea
    Bailly Lindelof Smalling
    Valencia Matic Pogba Young
    Sanchez
    Lukaku Martial ​

    However, the 3-5-2 formation will take less defensive out of Pogba and give them freedom with 5 defenders at back including wingback but will do his defensive job if he's not overwhelmed with the work Jose asked him to do everything. Our 3-5-2 form record is pretty good, we played that formation 7 time this season and have won 6 games out of 7 games and lost once. I failed to see how Jose didn't use this formation against City and Spurs when it matters instead of 4231. 3-5-2 is more effective than 4-2-3-1.
  11. Feb 21, 2018
    #11

    James Peril Full Member

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    I am extremely tired of discussing tactics, it's becoming the most tedious thing in years. Are all other teams discussing tactics as much as us when it comes to incorporating all the best players? It's quite unbelievable. Chelsea; let Hazard dictate, Kante to press and Willian to roam around. Liverpool, let the three best players play their way - utilize their assets. City; extremely dynamic, also just letting the best players dictate everything, Fernandinho to clean up at the back. Tottenham; clear approach, let Eriksen feed Kane, either on the ground or balls over the line - works almost every game. Central attacking midfielder great at distributing the ball to either Son or Kane/Alli, Eriksen drifts into position. We have Matic, clearly defensive player - Pogba, clearly an attacking player who should dictate the show, Alexis, Lukaku (clear striking focal), Martial... but we keep discussing how to play the game after every draw and loss. Amazing.
  12. Feb 21, 2018
    #12

    James Peril Full Member

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    Sign Toni Kroos, play him next to Pogba - let Pogba drift around, let Matic clean up the crap. Easy.
  13. Feb 21, 2018
    #13

    rocks13 Banned

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    His best ever goalscoring season is 10 in all competitions. He doesn't score enough to be a number 10.
  14. Feb 21, 2018
    #14

    pocco loco

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    I agree with your previous post in that it's daft how complicated we seem to make the game and getting our players to perform.

    But what's also amazing is that we need yet another top level midfielder to get the most out of our current top level midfielders. Who else has these issues?
  15. Feb 21, 2018
    #15

    Bastian Full Member

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    @deafepl
    I'm certainly not averse to go with 352 with the players we've got (I'd put Smalling in the middle and Lindelof on the left though). I just don't think Jose will go with this. So I'm basing this on the much mentioned 433. But I agree with you, given our current options, in bigger games, that's how we should maybe be lining up, like next weekend against Chelsea.
    @James Peril
    I'd love Kroos and he would really complete a midfield 3 (whether or not acquiring him is plausible). But it still leaves the question open, how do we utilise Martial and Sanchez? Do we sacrifice Martial and field Pogba and Sanchez on the same side?
  16. Feb 21, 2018
    #16

    BigdaftGorby Banned

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    Yes!!!! That’s it!!!

    I’ve said this many times and someone came back with “he doesn’t have the movement”

    He’s a creative player who can open up any defence.
  17. Feb 21, 2018
    #17

    Greck Full Member

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    Tired of discussing tactics on a football forum? :wenger:
  18. Feb 21, 2018
    #18

    VP89 Pogba's biggest fan

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    Well he fielded a 10 in Lingard vs Spurs and Newcastle with Pogba and Matic behind no? Just swap Pog for the 10 and Lingard for Herrera.

    Last year he would have had a great return on assists had we been more clinical. He also hit the woodwork a lot.

    For me he can only play 10. He can be a complete liability if played any deeper.
  19. Feb 21, 2018
    #19

    GloryHunter07 Full Member

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    Hard to find a formation/system where all three of Pogba, Sanchez & Martial are in their "best" positions.
  20. Feb 21, 2018
    #20

    Brightonian Full Member

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    I don't really think formations are our problem, style of play is. Mourinho's instincts go against the natural tendencies of too many of his key players.

    But the answer for me is pretty simple: Pogba, Sanchez, Martial and Lukaku all need to be on the pitch whenever you're playing your 'strongest XI'. There are two ways to do that. Firstly, you tell Sanchez he's playing on the right. He's done it just as much as anything else in his career, often during his most successful spells. That looks like this:

    Martial Lukaku Sanchez
    Pogba CM
    Matic
    FB CB CB FB
    GK
    Or you put him at the tip of a diamond, with a positionally and defensively disciplined metronome-type CM next to Pogba so that when Paul naturally moves forward the other guy naturally hangs back with Matic, who will play a very deep, very defensive role. Kroos is the obvious model for the other CM in this approach

    Martial Lukaku
    Sanchez
    CM Pogba
    FB---- Matic---- FB
    CB--- CB
    GK
    I actually prefer the latter but it won't suit Mourinho's game plan in bigger games. You'd want to have plenty of possession - somewhere around 55% would be ideal - otherwise your FB/WBs are going to be defending too much, and won't be able to provide the all-important width.

    Valencia suits either of the above formations. On the left, Shaw is the better choice for the first, Young for the second.
  21. Feb 21, 2018
    #21

    MyOnlySolskjaer Creator of Player Performance threads

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    I agree, a 4-3-3 won't suddenly make Pogba win headers that he should be winning, show more energy and take control of games, things that even Jonjo Shelvey did against us, the real improvement has to come from him.

    We've seen Pogba have some great games in 4-2-3-1 as well - games like Arsenal away, Stoke, West Ham, Newcastle home, yet somehow people have forgotten this because of the last 3 games and somehow a 3 man midfield is the answer. The issue here is Pogba and it always has been, not a fecking system.
  22. Feb 21, 2018
    #22

    rampo Full Member

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    Why can't we play a 4-4-2 diamond? Full backs will have to provide width in such case

    Front 6 could look like

    ----------------Matic------------------

    ----Herrera------------Pogba---------

    ---------------Sanchez----------------

    ----Lukaku---------------Martial------
  23. Feb 21, 2018
    #23

    ROFLUTION Full Member

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    Alexis has looked best on the right for Arsenal if you ask me (and Wenger)

    Get Kroos or Fabinho this summer and let Pogba have some freedom
  24. Feb 21, 2018
    #24

    jem Full Member

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    I'll preface this by saying that I think he will eventually come good regardless of formation, but if adding arguably one of the top 5 players in the league into our attack is yet another thing stifling Pogba, then questions really do need to be asked about him. I agree that Martial might feel a bit hard done by, but honestly, I think he could use some time as the proverbial super-sub.
  25. Feb 21, 2018
    #25

    Bastian Full Member

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    @Brightonian
    I think it's a bit of both tbh. Style and formation. Those formations you lay out and the lineups would suit us, but we are short in quality in defence. Also for wing backs / full backs. I love Tony, but I don't think he's good enough going forward. That may also be down to our right wing being a bit of a shambles for quite some time now. So he's often being asked to do the same role as Marcelo does for Real. Only issue is he's not Marcelo. But like you say, Sanchez on the right would offer a lot more balance and fluidity in the team as a whole.

    @MyOnlySolskjaer
    Yes, Pogba needs to improve. And he's got quite a lot of margin for improvement, mainly to become consistent and to fight more for the team (though I almost always worry when he goes in for challenges as he's not great when he dives when tackling, can easily pick up yellows when there's no danger). But even so, he can also be greatly helped by fielding him in a position that favours his skills. If he's not ready to become a-do-everything type of midfield dominator, then we've got to find other solutions. So I think it's a bit of both. Also, when he's played in the position he favours, there are no things to hide behind. He'll have to perform.
  26. Feb 21, 2018
    #26

    deafepl Full Member

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    Lindelof as a ball-playing defender in the middle of Bailly and Smalling and play out from the back. I think that's better, given Smalling's compose on the ball.

    Whenever Matic and Pogba get outnumbered in midfield, Lindelof come in as defensive mid to make it 4 with Sanchez/Lingard's high pressing in 442 to reduce their attack.

    That's why we are linked with Dier before because he's versatile, playing as CB and DM multiple time for Spurs. if we succeed in bring Dier and Perisic to United last summer, we'd be playing 3-5-2 often so we can play more flexible formation in a game without needing sub someone to change formation, we can play 4-3-3, 4-4-2 or 4-1-4-1 with the same line up starting. If I recall, this is Jose's project, he mentioned that he is planning to use 352 formations when he brings all player he needed for this formation, I can't see him abandoning this project for 4-3-3.
  27. Feb 21, 2018
    #27

    Nytram Shakes Full Member

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    Just play 433:
    De Gea
    Valencia Jones Rojo Young
    Herrera Matic Pogba
    Sanchez Lukaku Martial ​
  28. Feb 21, 2018
    #28

    JJ12 Correctly predicted Portugal to win Euro 2016

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    He would score more if he's pushed further forward surely?
  29. Feb 21, 2018
    #29

    lex talionis Full Member

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    If the question is how Alexis and Pogba are best used for the benefit of the team, not themselves, the answer is simple: 433 with Pogba on the left and Alexis on the right.

    Alexis is a multidimensional footballer who can terrorize defenders and score from any angle. Martial is vastly superior on the left than the right. Pogba needs the license to roam freely with Matic setting up camp in front of the back four.

    No, it's not a magic wand. Players still have to perform, but if we want to maximize the likelihood of successful performances from the squad we have to begin with these adjustments. If not, we'll continue to put in performances that will frustrate club supporters and have pundits asking what Mourinho is thinking.
  30. Feb 21, 2018
    #30

    Bastian Full Member

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    Given how much Jose has referred to 433 now and that he will be in the market mainly for a midfielder(s) I'm not so sure. We shall see.
    But with the 352 with our current players, I think the DCR and DCL are the better ball players, that split and offer the keeper the option. I wouldn't want to see Smalling being one of those. And I can't remember seeing that tbh. This of course can be rectified by not playing Smalling at all. Then you can play Bailly on the right, Lindelof in the middle and Jones/Rojo on the left. Problem sort of solved.
  31. Feb 21, 2018
    #31

    deafepl Full Member

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    I agreed, only Alexis play on left for Arsenal because Ozil's best position is on the right flank.
  32. Feb 21, 2018
    #32

    Bastian Full Member

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    That's exactly what I'm thinking.
  33. Feb 21, 2018
    #33

    GM K Full Member

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    This is way too simple if we are not pinning our players to one position. In modern football, the best players are much more dynamic than 'play him on the left or he will be useless'.

    In a 4-2-3-1, the 'three' behind the striker are deadly when they interchange during a game. People haven't seem to notice that Martial has been playing one half on the right and another half (approximately) on the left since Sanchez came.

    In a 4-3-3, players can also interchange. It's a strategy for confusing the opponent. You can see this at Madrid at times. One moment, you see Bale attacking from the left and then the next moment, he is attacking from the right with Ronaldo going in the opposite direction.

    Our forward players should be a lot more dynamic. We can't keep saying unless Martial plays on the left, he is doomed or unless Pogba plays on the left, he will play rubbish. Yes, I get the 'preferred position' part but in the real world of football today, many attackers play across the attacking lines and midfielders can play multiple roles in the midfield. Fortunately for us, Sanchez, Martial and Rashford can play different roles. I believe the same can be said of Pogba. The opponent and game situation should dictate where they play per game despite them having primary positions.
  34. Feb 21, 2018
    #34

    Cliche Guevara Full Member

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    4-2-3-1 with Sanchez on the left and Pogba in the middle, pulling his finger out his arse.
  35. Feb 21, 2018
    #35

    rocks13 Banned

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    Possibly, but this was when he played in at Juventus when according to everyone he played in a three man midfield which took away his defensive responsibilities.
  36. Feb 21, 2018
    #36

    royboy16 Full Member

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    Because Sanchez is better than Martial on the left.
  37. Feb 21, 2018
    #37

    deafepl Full Member

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    Well, he didn't mention that he wants to use 4-3-3 but mentioned 3-5-2 often that he is planning to use. He only said that he'll be in the market for midfielders because he knows he's going to lose two midfielders in summer. I don't think Matic is his first choice, Dier was because he's versatile players, in as CB and DM. There's a lot of report going around about how Kroos is top priority for United in transfer market this summer, I thought if we succeed in bring Dier last summer instead of Matic and brought Kross this summer, we'd be playing Kroos and Pogba in 2 midfield, in 3-5-2 formation with Dier as CB but can switch to 4-3-3 formation when Dier switch to DM role.
  38. Feb 21, 2018
    #38

    ValenciaRocks New Member

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    The thing with Pogba is that his defensive positioning when we don’t have the ball is clearly not his strongest asset. Going forward however, he is great at using his strength and skill to bully past players quite easily at times. He also has a great passing range and vision to pick out the right pass - those assist statistics are pretty telling of this.

    I think that being the attacking outlet of a midfield three makes a lot of sense. He needs someone to feed him and someone else to cover him.

    Someone else mentioned earlier (@VP89) that a trio of Pogba - Matic - Herrera would work well and I couldn’t agree more. Herrera can do both defensive and offensive duties (box to box), I also feel McTomminay has the ability to do this too. Matic can sit in front of the central defence for assurance and obviously Pogba can play further up the field to spread balls out wide or play through balls behind the defensive line.

    I think this is a nice setup which would enable us to dominate the central areas of the field which hopefully will create space for Sanchez/Martial/Lingard/Rashford on the wings.

    Just out of interest why is Lingard hardly ever considered when people are posting their prefered lineups?
    I’m guilty of this too but I feel that he has been one of our best players this season. He seems to of notched up a level or two and some of his goals have been outstanding. Its a hard one to decipher - if his name was 'Pablo Ronaldo' and he was from Brazil would people have a different outlook?
  39. Feb 21, 2018
    #39

    Bastian Full Member

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    He is. But getting the best out of your team is different to getting the best out of an individual player in a specific position.

    @deafepl
    I actually think that would be quite tasty. Wouldn't you think we'd need a defensive overhaul of sorts to do that?

    @ValenciaRocks
    I love Lingard. He's going to be a great squad player for us over the next few years. He'll play plenty of games. But his performances, many of which have been great, were in a side that did not include Sanchez. He'll have to play Martial or Sanchez out of the side.
  40. Feb 21, 2018
    #40

    Mr PG New Member

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    With the arrival of Sanchez, we need 2 holding midfielders to allow the attacking players to flourish. Pogba won't be utilized as an attacking player because he's not better than Martial, Sanchez or Rashford in an attacking sense. Hence the reason why many pundits think Pogba will eventually look to leave. Sanchez has completely changed the equation. Only way I see comfortably to accommodating Pogba's attacking instincts is significantly upgrading the defense.