Do we need to stop playing with so many attackers, when they are doing nothing, and play more at the back?

padzilla

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I mean would playing with three central defenders be a bad idea when we are so fragile at the back? Do we need to play a more expansive formation at the moment, when so many players are not producing?

Sancho, who has to be the one of the worst signings in history, and Rashford are utterly anonymous and Bruno hasn't produced in... checks notes, for about a year.

Maybe playing a more defensively solid formation would negate some of the problems we have and try to go back to hitting teams on the counter attacks?

It might take a bit of pressure off the central defenders, especially when our midfield is clearly incapable of providing support.
 
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Issue is ETH doesn't often play it (?) and while I can see pros of a back five (extra height, cover for Maguires tanker turns), needs MFers in front who support/can break up play while FBs attacking.

We don't have that stability with FBs staying back.

Short term, I do think ETH will have to compromise beliefs especially if don't get in new players but not sure he'd do this. Willing to try anything at the moment though...
 

Wednesday at Stoke

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Three at the back has legs until you realize Lindelöf is injured, Bailly is shit and Axel is on his way out. One Varane injury, which never seems too far, and you'll be shuffling tactics mid game.
 

wangyu

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Usually coaches go back to basics after a string of bad results. This means they will take less risks and concentrate on organization and simplicity. This if successful builds confidence after which more liberties and freedom in attack will become apparent again.
This is in theory ...
 

Sparky Rhiwabon

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Other teams play 352 well, but they have planned this out and specifically bought players who can play wing back - we haven’t. You can’t suddenly change formation without having planned it out, recruitment wise, and expect it to work
 

hobbers

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Taking Bruno out and playing Maguire-Varane-Martinez would be a decent idea. Especially for the Liverpool game.
 

joedirt87

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I would rather they try helping the midfield first. See what Martinez can do as a DM with Fred and Eriksen ahead of him and see if that helps them control games better. Bring in Varane, drop Bruno.
 

Shinjch

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Difficult to move to three at the back when your fullbacks/wingbacks are as dross as ours.
 

Cathy Ferguson

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Any lineup with Eriksen, Sancho and Bruno will be outfought and outrun in the PL. Ronaldo is also a passenger.

If we opt for more physical players such as McFred, Rashford and AWB they lack basic technical ability and tactics.

Maybe Dalot and Malacia might work as wing backs if we play 3 at the back?

It takes a world class coach to build a decent team out of this squad.
 

TheRedHearted

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I mean would playing with three central defenders be a bad idea when we are so fragile at the back? Do we need to play a more expansive formation at the moment, when so many players are not producing?

Sancho, who has to be the one of the worst signings in history, and Rashford are utterly anonymous and Bruno hasn't produced in... checks notes, for about a year.

Maybe playing a more defensively solid formation would negate some of the problems we have and try to go back to hitting teams on the counter attacks?

It might take a bit of pressure off the central defenders, especially when our midfield is clearly incapable of providing support.
For sancho I don’t remember Dalot overlapping him once last game. He held the ball up fine on the right but didn’t have much help at all.
To answer your question the answer is yes. A DM instead of an attacker is where I would start, and Garner would have been it. I can’t see how we sell him when we have no midfielders.
I’m much happier with three center backs. Feels way more secure and Bruno isn’t doing much, same for our wingers
 

Cathy Ferguson

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I would rather they try helping the midfield first. See what Martinez can do as a DM with Fred and Eriksen ahead of him and see if that helps them control games better. Bring in Varane, drop Bruno.
Agreed. Only lineup with any chance of success. McFred do not work. Eriksen as no 6 dito. Only things left to try are 3 CBs or Martinez as no 6 and bench McTominay and Bruno.
 

Mindhunter

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I do agree with this in general. We need to move away from "progressive" tactics till we have a stable platform to build from. ETH is trying to put square pegs in round holes. The issue is that he only has the experience of building square pegs.

If the owners were unwilling to commit to a full-scale transformation of the squad, they shouldn't have brought in a manager like ETH. Instead they should have gone for a more pragmatic manager who can work with the players he has at his disposal.

We are trying to run before we can even crawl.
 

tomaldinho1

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Issue is the midfield being able to link everything up, we’ve had this issue since LVG left - managers since then have been happy to be more direct and play a more frantic, less controlled game but we’re trying to move away from that.

You can play 3 at the back to take a bit of pressure off the CMs but we don’t have the wing backs for the system. Our team lacks pace and aggression in all key areas.
 

avgp_1

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People talk of Arteta so much but he went to back 3 pretty sharp-ish as soon as he realised he didn't have the players. It took him a while and played lots of negative/pragmatic stuff.

Only later, after a bit of consolidation, he has the confidence to go back to 2 CBs and play a more expansive style and now with Zinchenko basically being the 3rd CM in possession it's quite an attacking setup.

It's not outlandish at all. EtH will have to adapt if he doesn't have the players. But hopefully it won't come to that if we can sign a couple of CMs this window who can help hold on to the ball while also giving bit of cover.
 

RuudTom83

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A more pragmatic approach is needed for a few games at least...be it playing 3/5 at the back or playing a less attacking midfield 3.

In the last 2 games having Rashford, Bruno, Sancho and Ronaldo on the pitch together is a waste of time when the ball doesn't even get to them in good positions.
 

RedBanker

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We have to play 7 at the back to make sure the pool result is not a bloodbath
 

big_jeffstar

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We should be smart enough to play on the counter and let cannon fodder like Brentford attempt to play it out and set a pressing trap…it worked over and over again a few years ago, everything then went to shit once pundits said we weren’t allowed to do that anymore, so we decided we wanted to control possession constantly, but never actually buy any players that can do it.. *slow clap*

If you want players like rashford to rediscover confidence, give them space to run into and use the only tools they actually have available to them.. I’m a singer right, but I’m not very good at singing opera.. if I was forced to attempt to sing opera every week, and was then ripped to pieces in the media every week because I’m no good at it, I think my shoulders would drop after a while too..
blows my mind that this club want to smash square pegs into round holes constantly… then hope for the best..
 

Irwin99

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I'd like to see a back 3 of Varane, Maguire (or Lindelof) and Martinez. Malacia-so i've heard and briefly seen- is adept at breaking forward to support the attack. That leaves Dalot at RWB :nervous: :(

Rashford and Sancho aren't doing anything in matches anyway so dropping one of them wouldn't be all that negative either.
 

wolvored

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A good manager should be able to adapt his tactics to situations. Its up to TH to shuffle the pack. As others have said 3 at the back and drop dalot play sancho as RM. Malacia as the other wide player. Play 2 strikers to help Ronaldo
 

cyril C

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Our solution is simple. Our CB is weak, lacking quality DMF, and our wingback poor in positioning. What do you do? Play 3 CB, 3412 perhaps, then you can afford players like Erikson or Bruno in the middle.
 

caid

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I dont know. Doesn't he have a bit of a reputation for being stubborn with his tactics. I'm not convinced his idea of being more defensive will necessarily be throw on more cb's anyway. With Nunez suspended do we even need to worry about Martinez height?
 

Womp

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We need to switch to a 3 in midfield imo. Our attackers aren't as effective cause frankly we have no control of games and can't consistently get the ball to them in deeper areas. Our defence is also struggling because our midfield is shite and thin.

With more control in the middle, I wouldn't be surprised to see both the defence and attack go up a level. It's just a shame we don't seem any closer to fixing the midfield than we have been in prior years.
 

CloneMC16

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Whatever it takes to stop us from conceding multiple goals a game. Ralf tried to put a stop to it, but the players went right downhill after we went out of the CL. They started conceding like crazy again. It's only taken two games for us to concede four in a game under ETH. He needs to get it under control real fast. We especially need to be way more pragmatic against Liverpool.

We don't have a good RWB, though. Dalot is terrible. Don't know what Malacia will be like as a LWB.
 
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