Can we go back to a traditional 442 next season?


Full Member
Sep 3, 2013
A 442 with two out and out wingers would be quite hard to carry out in this day and age, not only in possession, but off the ball too.

We could; however, play more of a 4222, with our wingers drifting inside. Either that, or have a least one cutting in with one keeping the width, making it an asymmetric 442.

Think this is where Pogba would come into it. He could, and has played as a left attacking midfielder for Juventus when Allegri played a 442.

As you can see from the image above, you have Pogba and Cuadrado on the wings. One cutting in and one getting forward to make a 433 in attack.

We could play:

Rashford Martial
Pogba Fred McTominay James
Shaw Maguire Lindelof Wan-Bissaka
De Gea


Full Member
Jan 24, 2011
Atletico play with 4 central midfielders. It is very much not a flat 4-4-2 with two wide midfielders

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————-
Bruno is a #10 it would be hilarious to see him play in a 2 in that formation.


Worst scout to ever exist
Aug 13, 2011
It's a formation which just like any formation, you just need the players to make it work and to build towards that. People place way too much emphasis on strict formations. A 4-2-3-1 is barely different from a 4-4-2, the 10 pushes up a bit and the wingers hold their width more and it's the same. No reason why it can't work, and tbh I've always said that Martial and Rashford would do best as a partnership. With our youth though, we're more suited to a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3 IMO. Either way, we'll need 2 midfield signings with Pogba gone, a holding mid and a box to box midfielder, while we still need a right winger.
Rashford - Martial
James - Mid 1 - Mid 2 - Right wing

Rashford - Martial - Right Wing
Angel Gomes - Mid 2
Mid 1
It's definitely something that we should switch to during games on occasion, but I think we're more set up for a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 for now.


Full Member
May 22, 2016
The thing with 4-4-2 is you need really good delivery from wide areas. We still have nobody in our squad capable of consistently crossing the ball into dangerous areas. Liverpool get so many assists from Robertson and TAA because of the quality of their delivery.

We need to work much harder on getting low crosses into the box and cut-backs from the byline as this can be achieved using our pace and athleticism and makes up for a lack of technique on crossing.

Also, people hark back to 4-4-2 like it is so different from 4-2-3-1. Cantona was a player who dropped off the front in a not dissimilar way to a no10. You could easily say that our lineup was 4-2-3-1 during his years. Sheringham was the same. Rooney and Van Nistelrooy played with Rooney often dropping off the front. The difference between the two formations is often very marginal. It largely depends on if you have wingers on their favoured foot or playing inverted.


Full Member
Apr 1, 2013
Eventually 442 will make its way back in though meaning somebody is going to be the trailblazer for it. It's not lost to the history of football formations is it?

When people say it can't work in modern football it makes me laugh. What we are doing currently doesn't work either. Hahahaha


Full Member
Feb 5, 2018
Healthy nutrition
Atleti style with 4 central midfielders:

James Rashford
Pogba Matic McTom Fred
Shaw Maguire Lindelof AWB

The back 4 are kinda set even though Shaw, Lindelof aren't great they're better than our other options.

Pogba in the same role he played in Allegri's 4-4-2 as highlighted above by @Walters_19_MuFc

Fred can be as ill-disciplined as he likes on the right wing. From the few matches I've seen of him he likes to bomb forward & looked quite creative at Shakhtar so he should do fine playing the same role as Pogba just on the right flank. Pereira as a sub.

Matic's lack of speed & preference to hold on to the ball too long is the weak link in the middle but what you gonna do. He's the only real DM we've got currently. And Matic is still tidy enough to play so deep as compared to Fred/Pogba. McTom's industry should be able to bail him out at times too.

The front 2 should be wide forwards. A rotation between James, Martial, Rashford, Greenwood & Mata depending on who's in form.

Forget about Lingard.
Dec 21, 2014
de Gea
Wan Bissaka Lindelof Maguire Shaw
Right Mid* McTominay Pogba James
Rashford Martial
* one of Pereira, Lingard or Dalot.

Thoughts? At least we'd be a bit more threatening going forward.


Full Member
May 15, 2007
Think with the current players we have, we should just play 433 and stick with it. Its best suited to majority of our players.

We dont have a top quality number 10 so playing 4231 is crazy. Especially as we dont have a right attacker.
433 allows that third one on the right to be James or Rashford (once Martial is fit) or even Mason and allows for more interchanging.

Three in midfield allows for Pogba (when fit) to have two behind him (which is what we did when Ole first came in and we were doing so well). Also think it would be good for Fred and McT as not one of them has to sit but they just work it out between them.


Full Member
Dec 22, 2018
Not defensively/ as a standard. Being outnumbered in midfield isn't a good idea, especially when many teams play with their fullbacks or wingbacks so high. 2 in midfield would be bypassed and the opposition inverted wingers in many formations would find all manner of room just as the wingers are unsure whether to double up on a fullback, or who to pick up, gradually being drawn deeper and deeper. I think Ole is trying to get Rashford up to support Martial centrally as much as possible while starting from a wide position, so I think he is attempting to get 2 up there when attacking. It's a bit haphazard, that transition at the moment though.


aka sex on the beach
Mar 14, 2011
4-3-3 seems to mask our issues a bit more than other systems.

Not sure Rashford and Martial would work as a combo, and the latter misses a fair chunk of games injured anyway.
Would probably suit Greenwood more though, when he gets his run outs.


Full Member
Jan 29, 2015
I've love to see it but Solskjaer seems pretty firmly settled on 4-2-3-1 this season. Think he'll only change if results get really bad.