Can we go back to a traditional 442 next season?

Nou_Camp99

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Obviously I don't mean this season as whilst we have Pogba around I don't think it's doable. However I fully expect Pogba to leave next summer. That then leaves us very light in the creative department.

I wouldn't be against trying go back to a traditional 442 with proper wingers and 2 up top. Just means we'd need two really good hardworking CM's and better options outwide and probably another striker.

Thoughts?
 

United58

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AWB - Maguire - Lindelof - Shaw

??? - McTominay - ??? - James

Martial - Rashford

We'd need some fantastic signings to even make top 6 with that team IMO. Gomes and Garner are excellent prospects who'd be better off in a team with a 3 man midfield
 

GenZRed

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4-4-2? No. Such an easy formation to play against and I don't think we have the players.
 

Withnail

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What would be the upside to 442? It's largely been abandoned for more fluid formations which allow for greater flexibility in defense and attack.

United are already struggling in midfield and 442 would just place more pressure on the CMs.

Can you imagine the backlash about dinosaur tactics if someone tried this?
 

LawCharltonBest

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What would be the upside to 442? It's largely been abandoned for more fluid formations which allow for greater flexibility in defense and attack.

United are already struggling in midfield and 442 would just place more pressure on the CMs.

Can you imagine the backlash about dinosaur tactics if someone tried this?
Leicester won the league with it. Atletico are successful with it
 

Withnail

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Leicester won the league with it. Atletico are successful with it
I don't watch any Spanish football, to be honest. Do Atletico play a traditional 442 with proper wingers consistently?

Regarding Leicester, I don't know how much you can read into one freak season with a specific set of players. It didn't go so well for them once Kante was gone.
 

kouroux

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We'd need Kante another high energy midfielder who is good on the ball to even have a chance for that. 4-4-2 is dead in modern football unless it's the diamond version and still, not many top teams use it
 

AgentP

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442 could be entertained if we have 2 world class forwards or play a narrow 442 with 4 midfielders like Atletico Madrid. Since we can do neither, we'd be better off sticking to 433 or 4231. We could aim for something like

Martial/Rashford
James--------------Eriksen/Bruno/Gomes----Sancho/Greenwood
Longstaff--------McT​
 

Emrethis

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442 could be entertained if we have 2 world class forwards or play a narrow 442 with 4 midfielders like Atletico Madrid. Since we can do neither, we'd be better off sticking to 433 or 4231. We could aim for something like

Martial/Rashford
James--------------Eriksen/Bruno/Gomes----Sancho/Greenwood
Longstaff--------McT​
The opposite, 442 should be entertained because we have 0 world class forwards. Look at the Southampton game, so many good balls into the box with no one at the end of them because our lone striker lacks the vision to get to those balls.

Our 433 or 4231 is rubbish. We create nothing. At least for this season, I don't mind having a hard time against the top 4, but an easier time against everyone else.
 

Nou_Camp99

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Trends come around again. People saying 442 doesn't work anymore I don't understand. Eventually that formation will become popular again meaning some teams will have gone for it. Why can't that be us?
 

Josep Dowling

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Seriously people need to stop living the past, there isn't a single top team in world football that plays 4-4-2 and there is a reason.
 

te_ale

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We dont have the technicians to implement 442. Wide players like beckham and giggs had the ability to provide pinpoint accurate crosses to ruthless finishers.
 

Lentwood

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Jose basically killed the 4-4-2 in England by setting up Chelsea with his 4-2-3-1 formation and dominating midfield

Guardiola also famously always floods the midfield with bodies, used to stick rigidly to a policy of always have one more man in their than his opponent
 

Bwuk

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I don't see why we can't. Any formation works assuming you have the right players to play the way you want to play.
 

Hawks2008

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I mean, i wouldn't be averse to having it in a specific game or situation but as our main system I don't think it would work out well for us long term. We'd usually be outnumbered in midfield and there's a reason why the vast majority of top teams don't play it anymore.

The club needs new ideas on all levels, from the board all the way down to the squad. I don't think looking backwards is the way.
 

MrBrightside1989

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The only team in the league regularly playing 4-4-2 is Burnley (sometimes Southampton) and they play quite direct. I don't think our forwards would suit the system and we would need more of an out and out no.9.
 

Steve 007

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The game is changed but I’d love a bit of 442.

You have to remember the players Fergie had at his disposal though when we played this.

Beckham who could switch play or cross from the halfway line and pick out our attackers every time.

Keane who could do everything and was an amazing midfield enforcer.

Scholes one of the best attacking midfielders in the world.

Giggs one of the best wingers in the whole premier league era and always two top strikers.

I just don’t see how we can play this way with the players we have in midfield?
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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Football has evolved now. Any formation will work but need to suit with modern football. The 442 will not be the same as the old days 442.

I can’t see Martial & Rashford play together in 442. If we go to 442 then without a doubt we need a new striker for second striker role like Rooney, Joao Felix, Dybala and etc. A player who comes deep getting the ball, creative & also can score.

I can’t see us playing 2 natural wingers as well, at least one natural winger & one wide midfielder to create balance in midfield. Otherwise, 2 midfield will get over run by 3 midfield formation.
 

HankHill

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James looks much better on the left.

Rashford and Martial are both centre forwards.

Pogba isn't a holding midfielder.

4-4-2 could definitely bring the best out of a good number of our players - we'd just need to find the perfect partner for Pogba and another hardworking winger to make it work.
 

Varun

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What's the obsession with always going back instead of forward?
 

Invictus

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Regarding the “Death of 4-4-2”, there's no such thing, IMO — Heynckes' Bayern weren't far from that depending on how Müller interpreted the forward space, and they would do really well even in the current game because of how complete and resolute they were. What you really need to concentrate on is the team's principles of play, how compact they are, and how each piece fits into the overall scheme (which is where a lot of fantasies evaporate because a 4-4-2 that isn't defensively secure or qualitatively up to scratch is definitely going to fail in the elite rungs of the game). The way things stand United are missing the most critical pieces of the puzzle, even if the organisation (on and off the ball) is hypothetically optimized...
  • Wingers who're good creators and scorers as a combination, but also help the fullbacks in defense — think of Ribéry/Robben and Giggs/Beckham.
  • Fullbacks who show a great of urgency and are difference-makers on both ends of the pitch like peak Lahm and Alaba...
  • A complete central midfield pivot that is defensively stout but can also dictate the game — forming the real engine of the team like Keane/Butt or Schweinsteiger/Martínez.
  • A top, top second striker — think of Griezmann for Atlético, Cantona/Yorke for United under Fergie, or the aforementioned Müller for Bayern.
Way too many missing ingredients to field a credible or potentially title-challenging 4-4-2, and it might be cheaper (or more realistic) to go in another direction in the transfer market because a lot of our current players aren't suited to it and replacements will cost a pretty penny.
 

The Siege

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You'd need a CM and a 2nd striker who'd perfectly ace their roles, and more importantly know what their defensive positions should be.We have neither, and we're unlikely to buy either. It's not impossible, but the pieces to pull it off are totally missing.
 

TRUERED89

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If that is our 9+2 next season formation is not our biggest concern...
Well if the +2 is Sancho and Bruno that won’t be too bad will it ? If we keep blunder FC and get one more CM after Bruno?

AWB - Maguire - Lindelof - Shaw

Sancho- McTominay - Bruno - James

—————-Martial - Rashford————-
 

VorZakone

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I don't get this argument that a 442 is vulnerable because opponents will play 433 or 4231. They'll have an extra man in midfield, but that means you can outnumber them somewhere else.
 

Rifer

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With our current players?
Maybe this is the best 11, especially the midfield, or else it'll be overrun. Still way off from being a reliable lineup.

Keeper
AWB - Lindelof? - Maguire - Shaw
Dalot(RM) - McTominay(CM) - Fred(CM) - Pogba(LM)
Rashford - Martial
EDIT: Andreas Pereira and James to be the other options of Side Midfielders.
 
Last edited:

HowieC

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With our current players?
Maybe this is the best 11, especially the midfield, or else it'll be overrun. Still way off from being a reliable lineup.

Keeper
AWB - Lindelof? - Maguire - Shaw
Dalot(RM) - McTominay(CM) - Fred(CM) - Pogba(LM)
Rashford - Martial
EDIT: Andreas Pereira and James to be the other options of Side Midfielders.

Seems to lack creativity in the middle, with Pogba shunted out. Also 3 V 2 in midfield would not be great for us. Perhaps we should continue in 433 in the meantime, while looking out for new CMs