Bruno, Fred, McT

UNITED ACADEMY

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Maybe. Personally I think it's the midfield of a yoyo team which flatters to deceive.

That is, unless the manager does something brilliant tactically.
We looked very good today and I think the manager tactic was spot on, unlucky not be able to end the game earlier due to fantastic saves from keeper

The point of having Sancho is to create balance in the current team. Mata is creative player while Sancho is also a creative player. Greenwood, Martial, Mason, Pogba & Bruno imo have no balance which is why today we looked much better. 2 double pivot to provide steel, energy in midfield and protection for defense, combined with 2 attacking creative player and 2 goal scorers is much better.
 

TwoSheds

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It’s the most balanced midfield for the formation we play. Unfortunately they’re not our best midfielders. We will be back to counter attacking, low possession football against the better teams.

VDB is even less of a midfielder than Pogba. He prefers to play high up the pitch, higher than Bruno. The only way we can possibly play VDB and Bruno is by using a 433, like City, however I’m not sure we are good enough in possession to pull it off.
He's never been told to play deeper by Ole. I think he's a very versatile player and I wouldn't be worried at all about starting him as a box to box player. Problem is we don't have any easy games coming up to try it in.
 

AltiUn

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It should be Fred or McTominay, not both. It’s no shock we started creating more chances when we introduced our more creative players. Fred and McTominay is an 8th place midfield.
 

sammsky1

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Couldn't agree more.

Reminiscent of pre-lockdown.

We look more effective when not carrying pogba
The more we play without him, the more obvious it is to me on what a draining liability he is for our team.
His inconsistent attacking contributions simply aren't worth it
 

Red00012

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It should be Fred or McTominay, not both. It’s no shock we started creating more chances when we introduced our more creative players. Fred and McTominay is an 8th place midfield.
Yes some way over the top comments about McTom and Fred today In midfield whilst drawing to Newcastle. Felt like we were holding PSG to a draw according to some posts
 

MikeKing

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I love the tenacity of Fred, and McTominay provides the same muscle as Matic does. We might lack a bit of finesse at times with the partnership but we don't lack pace and we don't spend too much time passing back to our defenders to keep the ball. They keep the ball moving to the best of their ability, and win the ball back quickly when we lose it. I much prefer that to the 'slow build' approach with Pogba and Matic. I also do think they are our best combination positionally.
 

TsuWave

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We didn’t do anything we those three :lol: In fact, had a comical start and if not for a couple of amazing saves by De Gea we would have been behind
 

Idxomer

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We didn’t do anything we those three :lol: In fact, had a comical start and if not for a couple of amazing saves by De Gea we would have been behind
Agreed, we are also yet to be winning a game in the league with these three on the pitch from the start.
 

redDNA

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In my opinion, MCT and Fred are underated, if we are persisting with 4231,they are the best for the double pivot.

The are aggressive, cover alot of ground and release the ball quicker, and one aspect of their game we don't appreciate is how they pull wide to help our fullbacks. For instance, MCT helped AWB to cover for Mata's defensive frailties.

The way Mata played today I'm thinking if we need a creative RW like Sylva to combine with Bruno, VDB and our forwards.This can take away the burden of creativity from MCT and Fred while they focus on their strengths.
 

D. Mungai

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The more we play without him, the more obvious it is to me on what a draining liability he is for our team.
His inconsistent attacking contributions simply aren't worth it
Main issue with Pogba is he stay's with the ball alot on his feet.
Fred or McT do not do that. That's the biggest difference when Pogba plays.

But all in all, McT has to play if he is fit. He offers incredible balance and tenacity.
 

Mickeza

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I don’t think that three works against well organised teams who sit deep if we’re playing greenwood wide right. You could play Bruno on the right and Pogba ahead of the pivot but the ideal scenario is Pogba regains some form and fitness/work ethic off the ball which will allow us to play him in a two and Greenwood wide. I still think our best 3 is a high press with Fred, Pogba and Bruno as we played against Seville.
 

Gator Nate

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Season is long, schedule is packed, we ll need all of our CMs.
That's why I take great comfort in the depth we now have in midfield. Six Champions League group games are going to put Ole to the first real test - how to juggle the squad with EPL, CL, both cups.
 

Mr PG

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Fred, McT combo gave us the second best record against top 6 and only struggles when teams park the bus and Bruno was the key that unlocked that. Trying to fit in Pogba has been the problem against better teams as it lacks balance and the team is not fit yet.

We should try Pogba and Bruno upfront with Fred and McT behind in Paris and sub VDB in early for either of them depending on game situation.
 

bond19821982

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It isn't. Absolutely ridiculous to say that for a club like us. It shows how bad our recruitment has been in the last few years. If you need Fred and Scott to provide a stable base on top of the defense where we spent 200m , then God help us.

Again, Pogba may not be a right fit in that 2 man midfield but the fact that we aren't even trying anything else shows how limited our coaching team is.
 

Leroy The Red

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Depends who we’re playing. The Matic Pogba Bruno trio is no good against the better sides or sides that press well.
Against teams like Newcastle, Burnley etc who not only don’t press but also play 442 variations we could easily play one of our DM’s and two of Pogba, Bruno and Van der Beek.
 

Rolaholic

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We didn’t do anything we those three :lol: In fact, had a comical start and if not for a couple of amazing saves by De Gea we would have been behind
Yea I'm not sure what match people were watching that first half when this was the midfield and we struggled to do much against a poor Newcastle side :lol:

McFred looked good pre-lockout but today wasn't the game to make the case for that being our first choice midfield when we really only came alive and took the match by the throat after Pogba and VDB came on. Those 2 with Mata and Bruno on the pitch looked levels above our first half set up in terms of chance creation

McTom looked good throughout but that 3 doesn't offer us all that much in the final third. VDB or Pogba (not playing ridiculous deep as he has been as of late) are still better choices if we're playing with Bruno and McTom
 
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AFC NimbleThumb

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Fred & McT were not the one today, absolute wrong game to make a thread like this off the back of.

The fact a certain section of fans have let their distain for a French midfielder make them force such statements is genuinely saddening.

We need 2 new starting midfielders.
 

Tarrou

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this is the midfield I wanted in the "whats your midfield three" thread

I know its not the perfect midfield but it helps us win the midfield battle to have three high energy players who are all good off the ball

if we have tough away games I'd always go with this, personally

at home against the fodder its probably overkill though
 

Hammondo

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Fred & McT were not the one today, absolute wrong game to make a thread like this off the back of.

The fact a certain section of fans have let their distain for a French midfielder make them force such statements is genuinely saddening.

We need 2 new starting midfielders.
Once they settled they were continually on top.
 

AR87

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This midfield frees up your other positions to be primarily focused on attacking and protects your CBs when the FBs push up higher. Is it perfect or for every match? No, but right now, after the calamitous defensive start we've had to this season it's what we need, but people aren't happy bc we were drawing to Newcastle which had little to do with Fred and McT, and more to do with Bruno missing a pen and a freakish own goal than anything else.

They should keep their places for PSG away at the very minimum. This is easily the most cohesive we've looked all season and quite frankly even before that, as I feel we were looking a bit leaky at the back towards the back end of last season.
 

Johnson Yip

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We had our best run of form before COVID break when we played a Pogba-less midfield with Fred-McTom. That's the way to go!
 

Web of Bissaka

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Want stability, best balance and better protection to our fragile defenses?
= Play this trio.

In addition to letting the front four focus more on attacking... which I guess also improve our whole overall attacking, with FBs can freely join and attack better knowing there is good cover behind.

When we're already in good stable performance or we're losing, so need more goals? sub in Pogba, VDB, Matic, etc. Easy!

We could've put Pogba and VDB at either one or both of the two wings though, playing the Mata role - the second creator which Bruno needs.
 

Nitewolf

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I wrote this after the Tottenham defeat. I'm just gonna leave it here.

I going to write this, though fans won't really like it.

The premise that we can play both Pogba & Bruno in the same team in 4-5-1 is false, it can't & won't work against any decent team.

Pogba isn't equipped with any defensive ability or discipline to play along side Matic, Matic can't cover the huge spaces left behind Bruno and Pogba, especially if one of the FB went up to support in attacking phase. It just doesn't work. You can't simply claim that you want to play a dynamic style with 3 midfielders, one wants to press high (Bruno) while the second is clueless (Pogba) and the third is slow (Matic) in the counter press or even in high press. Let's not forget that our CB is slow as well (Maguire is slow, weak on 1v1 situations as seen many times against any fast opponent).

There's a reason why the system was working well just before lock down with both Fred and Mctominay behind Bruno, they provide the required balance, while both are limited in passing and vision, they are the best in work rate, covering, tackles and interceptions. All they have to do is pass the ball to Bruno who was alway lurking in between the lines or to one of the FBs.

Post lock down we had a nice run of easy games when we played Pogba/Bruno against easy opponents, but once we faced teams like Southampton, we started to struggle against high press, because Pogba literally crumbles under any sort of press, which is always a disaster when you try to play from the back, which is another thing we shouldn't be doing cause we lack the tools for, but let's not get sidetracked here. We attributed the struggling in the latest phase of the season to player being tired, while in fact, most of our key players were being substituted around 60 minutes, like every other team, and apart from City, every team played the same 11 almost in every game post lock down. So our player got tired, maybe it wasn't that, it was the system.

In all the games this season, there's a pattern in our high press, we press high with the front line including Bruno, but the double pivot of Pogba And Matic stay put because Matic can't do the running required and - in case the line was penetrated - run to recover or chase the opponents. This creates a gap between the two lines (front and midfield), in Tottenham' s game that gap was so bad that finally Solskjaer decided to ask Pogba and Matic to press high too, but the defense didn't press to reduce the space because would mean the defensive line would be too high for Maguire to run back as he suffers the same problem that Matic has, they are slow.

Solutions:

1. Pogba and Bruno is a recipe for disaster, they shouldn't play in the same team unless we play a very weak opponent, which is gonna be a rare occasion this season. We should play with 2 of Matic/Fred/Mctominay, where Matic sits deep and the one the other two do the hard work. One AM either Pogba, Bruno or VDB.

2. We shouldn't really be trying high press, that would require a very fast pair of CBs because you need a high line to maintain a narrow space between the lines, otherwise it's just suicide. While we at this, let's stop the half ass press we always do we asked the front line to press high while the rest of the team are acres behind. Let's just play with mid block.

3. Forget about playing out from the back, we simply lack any sort of discipline or understanding for this. When trying to play from the back against high press, one of the easiest approaches is La Valope exit which is usually implemented when your goal keeper isn't great with his feet. The idea is you need a 3 man backline to do that, so one of you midfielders drops between the two CBs who spread wide across the field of play while your full backs push up and hug the lines and the other two midfielder drop to create triangles of passing lanes. A perfect example was done by Tottenham against us before Martial was sent off. We ALMOST NEVER do that, and we when we try it it's usually Pogba who tries to do it, unfortunately he always drops late and receives the pass with him facing our goal, which is a big no no, that's why he keeps loosing the ball in this crucial area because he can't see the player pressing him from a blind angle. I don't think Solskjaer have the tactical capabilities to train our squad to this. So let's just keep it simple and avoid this completely. I'm tired of seeing Maguire running around like a headless chicken trying to find a passing lane, when the whole system of playing from the back is all about creating triangles of passing options!

That was along post, sorry.
 

Andersonson

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Pogba needs time on the bench, thats for sure. He has been terrible.

I think Matic, Fred and Scott can battle it out for some time leaving Pogba even out of the squad sometimes if VdB is given more time.

Pogba has been found out now.
 

CG1010

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He's never been told to play deeper by Ole. I think he's a very versatile player and I wouldn't be worried at all about starting him as a box to box player. Problem is we don't have any easy games coming up to try it in.
Based on very little data, he isn't very good at winning the ball back. It may be due to him adjusting to the league or he may be genuinely weak in that aspect. That would a glaring issue if he played in a deeper role. I actually like him on the right hand side of attacking trio, he can replicate what Mata achieved in his hay days.
 

Isotope

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Focusing on what the best midfield combo by focusing only 3 position is a bit shallow. We need to see the overall formation.
 

devips

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Alternatively, Pog, Fred/Matic, McT may also work. But I don't see Bruno Pogba together working, it makes the team severely unbalanced.