Best way to play with 10 men?

Pogue Mahone

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Just wondering (no particular reason!) what is the best way to set up after having a man sent off?

Obviously a lot will depend on how you start the game and the score when someone is sent off. So let’s assume (again, no particular reason!) you start with four at the back, generally dominate possession and are a goal up.

In my opinion, if you go into the game thinking your back four can keep the opposition out then have the courage of your convictions. Leave the back four as a back four.

I also think you don’t feck with minefield. Keep the shape and numbers exactly the same. If it’s good enough to win midfield when you have XI then it becomes even more important to keep a grip on midfield when you’re a man down.

So my conclusion is that the immediate response to getting a player sent off is to tweak things so that the only area you’re a man short is in the attacking third.

Other opinions are available, obviously. Especially if you have examples of other teams/managers successfully taking a different approach.

Go!
 

Dave Smith

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A clear formation and system where everyone knows what they're doing and know how to adjust if they do go down to 10 men. Essentially see Chelsea against the Dippers.
 

Raw

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Take off an attacking player, bring someone in to bolster midfield to regain/maintain control of the match. Preferably someone with lots of energy and stamina who can make up for the team being 1 man down. I wouldn't go ultra defensive either, you're just inviting pressure at that point.
 

UnofficialDevil

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You forgot to mention the situation, when you are down to ten men but losing, drawing, or ahead in the score. When you are already ahead then just weaken the attack a little retain the rest of the formation keep possession, specially when you have far superior players.
 

Deery

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Just drop a striker keep everything tight and work twice as hard as the opposition.
 

Wonder Pigeon

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Warnockball - get more players sent off until the game is abandoned.
 

Dinghy

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Need players that can run. Can't afford having luxury players on that barely moves when going down a man, and we had two of them.
 

Bebestation

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Ronaldo
Pogba-Bruno
Fred-Matic
Shaw- Maguire - Varane - Dalot
If Ronaldo was looking slow then swap him for Greenwood mostly or Martial for his hold up play.

4 defenders,
4 midfielders
1 gung ho attacker
 

LawCharltonBest

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By getting one of their players sent off.

Easiest thing in the world and I don’t know why players/teams don’t do it more.

Just wait until you get fouled and then start “tapping out” on the floor like you’ve just broke your leg. Then run around like nothing happened 1 minute later. Worked for Young Boys and Fred should have done it just before half time to make it 10v10
 

MadMike

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Depends on what the score is like of course. Are you chasing the game or are you trying to protect the lead/scoreline?

If you're protecting the score, you'd take off a forward and make sure you're not too light in defence or midfield and that you still have at least one outlet in attack with some semblance of support. if you take all your forwards off, you have no threat and will get pinned back.

I'd say it's preferable to stick with the formation that players are more comfortable with. If the team normally plays 4-3-3 you make it 4-3-2. If it's 3-4-3 you make it 3-4-2. If 4-2-3-1, you make it 4-3-1-1 etc. Don't change a 4 at the back to a 3 at the back, if you never play or train that formation. Finally you need to change personnel accordingly. If you have a striker better at holding up the ball and bringing others into play, put them in. If you have midfielders that are better operating under press (cause you will get pressed) use those instead.

Yesterday, I would have played like this:

Ronaldo
Bruno
Fred-Matic-VDB
Shaw- Maguire - Varane - Dalot
I would have subbed Martial for Ronaldo and Lingard for Bruno when they eventually began to tire. I don't trust Pogba in CM, especially when we're pressed, and would change him for Matic as per the subs to fix personnel issues.
 
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Deery

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Ronaldo
Pogba-Bruno
Fred-Matic
Shaw- Maguire - Varane - Dalot
If Ronaldo was looking slow then swap him for Greenwood mostly or Martial for his hold up play.

4 defenders,
4 midfielders
1 gung ho attacker
This except 4-4-1, you still need a good attacker on to keep their defence pushed back and afraid to push up.
 

Born2Lose

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Pogba's lack of effort became very evident once we went down to 10, you need energy and players willing to press.

Although it turned sour in the end I didn't think bringing Lingard on was a bad call. He does usually put in a shift.

How the three wisemen ever came to the decision to bring on Martial for Fred truly baffles me.
 

gregor

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Ronaldo
Pogba - Fred - Matic - Greenwood
Shaw - Maguire - Varane - Lindelof
Yesterday I'd go with this.
 

Annihilate Now!

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4-4-1 for me, with two wingers.

You've got 10 men so you will inevitably be under pressure, so keep your two solid banks of four, but you have your wings as outlets to get down the pitch.

Your striker needs to also be working hard/dropping deep.
 

Pogue Mahone

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It’s interesting to me that so many people are focussing on the Lingard, Fred, Martial substitutions (which I agree were all debatable) but there’s not been much discussion about switching to five at the back. That was what really killed us IMO. Basically turned the game into attack vs defence. Which will almost always fail if you need to keep a clean sheet for an hour.
 

jackal&hyde

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Just wondering (no particular reason!) what is the best way to set up after having a man sent off?

Obviously a lot will depend on how you start the game and the score when someone is sent off. So let’s assume (again, no particular reason!) you start with four at the back, generally dominate possession and are a goal up.

In my opinion, if you go into the game thinking your back four can keep the opposition out then have the courage of your convictions. Leave the back four as a back four.

I also think you don’t feck with minefield. Keep the shape and numbers exactly the same. If it’s good enough to win midfield when you have XI then it becomes even more important to keep a grip on midfield when you’re a man down.

So my conclusion is that the immediate response to getting a player sent off is to tweak things so that the only area you’re a man short is in the attacking third.

Other opinions are available, obviously. Especially if you have examples of other teams/managers successfully taking a different approach.

Go!
The problem is that having a man less in attack also means the opponent can bring an extra man in their attack, so you might no longer be able to dominate mid or be comfortable in defense.

We've done the right changes imo and it took a massive brain fart from Lingard to not get a result.
 

L1nk

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When the cost of your squad is ludicrous amounts above the squad you are facing, i don't care if you are down to 10 men, to play how we did last night was so cowardly and pathetic. Nobody was saying we should be thrashing them but to at least be competitive and not shy away was all anyone was asking.

All I would have done was bring on a RB to replace AWB and get Matic on for DVB most likely
 

groovyalbert

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Depends on who get's sent off really/which positions need filling.

Ideally, however, you need to have a couple of CMs capable of disrupting play and dictating possession to give your defence a breather/chance to reshape. We don't really have those players.

People mentioning how Chelsea did it v Liverpool, Tuchel made the massive call to switch Kante for Kovacic at half-time, giving him a midfield of Jorginho-Kovacic. He realised that - as good at breaking up play as Kante is - to get through an entire half would require possession and went with a 2 that would give him that.

It's the total opposite of what we did/are able to do. A prime Matic could potentially play that role, but it's definitely not one Fred, McT, vdB, or certainly Lingard can do.

Our general setup is focused towards quick, constant attacks, with a back-line capable of soaking up any fallout. It's why we'll be involved in a lot of high scoring games this season. It's also why we're going to struggle regardless of the opposition if we go down to 10 again.
 

tomaldinho1

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A clear formation and system where everyone knows what they're doing and know how to adjust if they do go down to 10 men. Essentially see Chelsea against the Dippers.
Chelsea against Pool is different as they’re playing one of the best attacking football teams in Europe.

I kind of get what Ole was going for even I don’t agree but the subs were so weird. If he wanted to shut up shop, take off Ronnie for Martial or Greenwood so there’s at least some threat in behind them and don’t take off VdB, you surely want CMs on the pitch. Sancho off for Varane and you have:

———————— Greenwood ————————
—————— Pogba — Fred — VdB —————
Shaw————————————————— Dalot
———— Maguire - Varane - Lindelof ————

It’s still 10 v 10 when you think about it if we used DDG as a sweeper keeper, there’s no reason we couldn’t have kept possession better and not sat so deep for so long.
 

GlasgowCeltic

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Can remember Mancini switching to a 342 when City were a man and 3-0 down in that game Scholes came out of retirement. Game ended 3-2 and City looked superb second half, felt like leaving two up front rather than one had Utd hanging on a bit
 

MadMike

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4-4-1 for me, with two wingers.

You've got 10 men so you will inevitably be under pressure, so keep your two solid banks of four, but you have your wings as outlets to get down the pitch.

Your striker needs to also be working hard/dropping deep.
Could you elaborate on how you have lined up yesterday after that red? Who's playing on the wings and who in CM? I assume Ronaldo is up top
 

Offside

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It’s very difficult when you have a lead and go down to 10 men. The temptation is obviously just to sit back.
 

acnumber9

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The right thing to do would be to look at what is most expendable while still retaining your basic shape. In that scenario last night, Bruno Fernandes was the most expendable. Except he’s our best player so I understand leaving him on.

I think sacrificing all and any width is a terrible idea. You want players who can carry the ball up the pitch. You want midfielders who can put their foot on the ball and slow the tempo down. Last night, Bruno or Pogba should’ve been off for Dalot. Matic should’ve come on for VDB. Then when Ronaldo has to come off you bring on the one proven match winner you have, Mason Greenwood.
 

Oranges038

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ent. Game ended 3-2 and City looked superb second half, felt like leaving two up front rather than one had Utd hanging on a bit
Just beat me to it.


A few games stick out for me here.

The day City came from 3 down with 10 men at HT against Spurs in the cup . In true Keegan fashion, they just absolutely went for it, had nothing to lose and Spurs shit themselves, they let John fecking Macken score in the last minute.

Mancini at City, the day Scholes came back, they were 3-0 and a man down at half time, the game finished 3-2. If I remember correctly, he switched to sort a 3-4-2 formation, with Kolarov and Zabaleta of operating as wing backs, granted Utd were sloppy in the second half but he set them up well in that situation.

Then there was the day Evans got sent off and they won 6-1. That was how not to play with ten men.

Ahead - Flat 4-4-1 - Pretty much Burnley, only without the two battering rams up top
Drawing - 4-4-1 Diamond - using fullbacks as wingers and almost having 2 up top with the player in the hole.
Behind - I'd go with a 3-4-2 with wing backs and leave the 3 with one in front sitting, then let the rest just go for it.
 

amolbhatia50k

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Few things that crossed my mind:
  • Don't be overly defensive. Unless you're playing a top side it's best not give the other team confidence and a flow to their play. Disruption and wasting time, and threatening them is important. Of course everyone wants to do this and its easiert said than done but its about the mentality.
  • Secondly, I would imagine that you need legs in your team. Pogba, Ronaldo and VDB is just too little ability to cover ground IMO.
 

TheMagicFoolBus

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People mentioning how Chelsea did it v Liverpool, Tuchel made the massive call to switch Kante for Kovacic at half-time, giving him a midfield of Jorginho-Kovacic. He realised that - as good at breaking up play as Kante is - to get through an entire half would require possession and went with a 2 that would give him that.
While I agree that that was the effect ultimately, Tuchel's hand was forced - Kante got injured by Mane just before halftime.

Re: the OP, the most important thing you can do is retain the ball despite being pressured. You need to give your defense time to have a breather and you can't have the line pushed too deep. On top of that you need your midfield to work hard - it's genuinely insane that Ole thought it was a good idea to go with a midfield 3 of Bruno / Fred / Pogba.
 

Acrobat7

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It depends on who you are playing.

From the perspective of a Bayern supporter:
Bayern doesn’t change their approach (dominate possession, press coordinated) when being a man down against teams that are weaker than them. And that covers 95% of their opponents.

You would normally probably see the 10 being taken out of their 4-2-3-1. That would normally be Müller. Or shift him to the wing to keep him as the leader of their press.

Neuer
Pavard - Upamecano - Hernandez - Davies
Kimmich - Goretzka
Gnabry - Lewandowski - Sané

Edit: I didn’t watch United‘s game against Bern. However, had Bayern been up 1-0 against them when losing a player, Bayern would have continued to attack and would have went for the 2-0.
 

Sparky_Hughes

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First of all get consent from all involved, make sure you have plenty of towels and lube, and try not to be too self conscious?
 

red woppit

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By getting one of their players sent off.

Easiest thing in the world and I don’t know why players/teams don’t do it more.

Just wait until you get fouled and then start “tapping out” on the floor like you’ve just broke your leg. Then run around like nothing happened 1 minute later. Worked for Young Boys and Fred should have done it just before half time to make it 10v10
Their players reaction almost certainly got AWB sent off, would have been yellow I believe.
I've watched the incident a few times, and AWB definitely got the ball first, but his foot was a little too high, but the certainly the Oscar goes to the YB player.
 

Siorac

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Keep possession as much as possible. Suffocate the midfield. There's nothing more frustrating than the opponent playing keep ball when you are chasing a result.

Make sure you have at least one consistent attacking outlet, an outball. It can be a powerful target man who can hold the ball up even when two centre-backs are hanging on him, or someone with pace who can chase down balls in behind.

We had none of the above for the vast majority of the second half. Instead we conceded the midfield without having any outlet up front. Pogba, Bruno, and Ronaldo all existed in a vacuum.
 

Bwuk

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Yesterday after AWB got sent off I would of went;

De Gea
Lindelof - Varane - Maguire
Sancho - Donny - Pogba - Shaw
Bruno - Ronaldo​

We became far too easy to play against with nothing upfront.
 

hmchan

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4-4-1 is basically the SOP for a team with a man down, unless the team usually plays with back 3/back 5. Switching from back 4 to back 3/back 5 after a red card is rare.
 

Offside

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Just beat me to it.


A few games stick out for me here.

The day City came from 3 down with 10 men at HT against Spurs in the cup . In true Keegan fashion, they just absolutely went for it, had nothing to lose and Spurs shit themselves, they let John fecking Macken score in the last minute.

Mancini at City, the day Scholes came back, they were 3-0 and a man down at half time, the game finished 3-2. If I remember correctly, he switched to sort a 3-4-2 formation, with Kolarov and Zabaleta of operating as wing backs, granted Utd were sloppy in the second half but he set them up well in that situation.

Then there was the day Evans got sent off and they won 6-1. That was how not to play with ten men.

Ahead - Flat 4-4-1 - Pretty much Burnley, only without the two battering rams up top
Drawing - 4-4-1 Diamond - using fullbacks as wingers and almost having 2 up top with the player in the hole.
Behind - I'd go with a 3-4-2 with wing backs and leave the 3 with one in front sitting, then let the rest just go for it.
Very different when you’re winning though. We were 1-0 up and cruising. The examples of great 10 men performances often happen when there’s a nothing to lose attitude.