Formation change next season (4-3-3)

Polar

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I hear rumours about a coming formation change (4-3-3):
https://www.express.co.uk/sport/foo...nsfer-news-ole-gunnar-solskjaer-formation-SNT
https://www.manchestereveningnews.c...r-news/man-united-transfer-news-fred-20860203

Make sense to me because I consider our existing formation a result of reducing vulnerability or compensating for defensive shortcomings.
  • Maybe Ole wants to make some adjustments in order to utilize the potential of Pogba?
  • Maybe Ole expect defensive issues to be solved this summer (transfer window)?
Discussion about transfers and own players very often limits itself to current system and formation. Would be fun if we use the next couple of months to think a little bit outside the box regarding formation and who plays where? Maybe Ole surprise us next season :D
 
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TrustInJanuzaj

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I hear rumours about a coming formation change.

Make sense to me because I consider our existing formation a result of reducing vulnerability or compensating for defensive shortcomings.
  • Maybe Ole wants to make some adjustments in order to utilize the potential of Pogba?
  • Maybe Ole expect defensive issues to be solved this summer (transfer window)?
Discussion about transfers and own players very often limits itself to current system and formation. Would be fun if we use the next couple of months to think a little bit outside the box regarding formation and who plays where? Maybe Ole surprise us next season :D
What are the rumours and what is the supposed change?
 

davbon

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Interesting thought. I have for a long time thought why we couldn't play as City, with Pogba and Fernandes as advanced 8s in a more 433, or like when Barca had a midfield of Iniesta, Xavi, Bosquets. I Know it has been discussed a lot that we need a proper DM to play that formation, but I actually believe we could play that with current players, especially if we manage to get Varane or another CB with more pace.​

Both Shaw and AWB are solid enough defensively to form a RCB or LCB, dependent on which side we are attacking from.

E.g. attacking from the left in below:
AWB - Varane - Maguire
DM
Pogba Shaw
Bruno
Sancho - Cavani - Rashford
Alternatively, the DM dropping into a back 3 when pushing up in possesion:
Varane - DM - Maguire​
AWB Pogba Bruno Shaw
Sancho - Cavani - Rashford
The spaces left open for counter attacks are the channels between RCB/LCB and RB/LB. When we have a fast CB able to track those potential runs in behind/down the channel, it makes us less vulnerable for counters, except for Maguires side. This formation would provide width, creativity from central and wide areas, pace. The only caveat, as I see it, is that we move Bruno a bit further away from the goal. Of course, he should still make runs into the box and to the edge of the box. But I think the discussion should be the sum of output (i.e. goals and creativity) more than it should be the sum of its parts (i.e. play Pogba deep (which doesn't suit him as much) to accomodate Bruno playing almost as a second striker).
 

honirelandboy

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If we are changing formation it has to be 4-3-3

Pogba LCM Bruno RCM and need a new quality CM.

Would love Dalot to step up at right back instead of AWB.

Grealish LW Rashford CF Sancho RW
 

The White Pele

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I would like us to experiment a bit and find a way to have Bruno and Pogba in advanced positions without becoming exposed on the counter attack.

A starting XI of

Rashford—Greenwood—Sancho
———-Pogba——-Bruno
——————McT
Shaw—Maguire—Lindelof—AWB
———————-GK

In tight games where there is threat on the counter attack the shape when we have possession high up the pitch could be

Rashford—Greenwood—Sancho
—Pogba———Bruno—————AWB
————-Shaw———McT
———-Maguire——-Lindelof

so Shaw effectively tucking in and performing Fred’s role in possession: finding forward passes into the forwards but also giving us cover of play breaks down.

If we are really pushing then Shaw would obviously push on as well and create overlaps, leaving McTominay to fend on his own with the centre backs holding a high line.

A new CB with pace or a more dominant DM would obviously greatly improve this.
 

Pexbo

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We need a new centeback and a new defensive midfielder to give our attacking players the license to stay forward. It’s that simple. Having players like Pogba, Bruno, Sancho and Cavani will help us beat the low block.
 

Dante

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Preseason hasn't even started. It's just guesswork and wishful thinking.
 

Adisa

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Pogba is the only CM suited to playing in a three. That's a problem.
 

sparx99

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Pogba is the only CM suited to playing in a three. That's a problem.
Bruno works hard enough that he could make it work. He often drops back to pickup the ball so it's only really the defensive shape that would change significantly. Out of possession you just have Pogba covering the LCM and Bruno the RCM.
 

CG1010

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These days United do a better job of containing leaks on who all they are signing but based on what we know, we will be terribly short in midfield area. On the other hand, we will have some bench strength in attack with likes of Martial, Amad, Greenwood pushed rotating with Rashford, Cavani, Sancho. In addition, we have Bruno at #10 who is the best at this position. I don't see us moving to a midfield 3 on that basis.
 

JJ12

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CB and DM in or we are going to set up the same way as last season.
 

Rozay

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Bruno works hard enough that he could make it work. He often drops back to pickup the ball so it's only really the defensive shape that would change significantly. Out of possession you just have Pogba covering the LCM and Bruno the RCM.
It’s not as simple as just working hard IMO. With the actual ball, Bruno is better suited to playing as a 10 than as a central midfielder. Different skillset altogether, even with the ball. Especially given Bruno’s interpretation of the 10 role, it’s not as close to a CM role as some other 10s style may be, for example.

I agree that one or the other would give us the most balance personally.
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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I hear rumours about a coming formation change.

Make sense to me because I consider our existing formation a result of reducing vulnerability or compensating for defensive shortcomings.
  • Maybe Ole wants to make some adjustments in order to utilize the potential of Pogba?
  • Maybe Ole expect defensive issues to be solved this summer (transfer window)?
Discussion about transfers and own players very often limits itself to current system and formation. Would be fun if we use the next couple of months to think a little bit outside the box regarding formation and who plays where? Maybe Ole surprise us next season :D
Link please
 

Bwuk

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I don't see us changing formation unless we sign a DM.
 

justsomebloke

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I hear rumours about a coming formation change.

Make sense to me because I consider our existing formation a result of reducing vulnerability or compensating for defensive shortcomings.
  • Maybe Ole wants to make some adjustments in order to utilize the potential of Pogba?
  • Maybe Ole expect defensive issues to be solved this summer (transfer window)?
Discussion about transfers and own players very often limits itself to current system and formation. Would be fun if we use the next couple of months to think a little bit outside the box regarding formation and who plays where? Maybe Ole surprise us next season :D
Pointless to discuss unless there's some inkling about what sort of formation we might be changing to. I'll just say on a general basis that anything involving wing backs would run up against several of our best attackers belong on the flanks (and we're just about to spend 80m on another one), as well as the fact that we don't really have any actual wing backs except Telles, and that a 433 would run up against not being at all suitable for our best player. So I don't really see it.
 

Polar

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What are the rumours and what is the supposed change?
1. Red Devil’s boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is reportedly considering changing to a 4-3-3 formation, but to do so he will need a new defensive midfielder www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1453066/man-utd-declan-rice-transfer-news-ole-gunnar-solskjaer-formation-SNT

2. Fred is preparering for Manchester United’s possible formation change [4-3-3].
www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/man-united-transfer-news-fred-20860203
 
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Polar

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If we are able to fill the gaps (??) in addition to Sancho, I think we almost are on level with City. Our mentality and team spirit will close the last gap, also saying we are in position to challenge for the title next season:)

———Henderson————
AWB - ?? - Maguire - Shaw
—— Pogba - ?? - Bruno ——
Sancho — Cavani — Rashford

Started to feel very exited when I wrote this and looked on this set-up (4-3-3):drool:
 

Polar

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I'm sorry, but is this article written as a satire? The style is so confusing, seems like a banter. Or is MEN always been like this?
Agree. You have to read the end to get some grip on it:rolleyes:

The word is that Solskjaer is considering a formation change and, should he switch to a more adventurous 4-3-3, Fred is warming up for a role in it, regardless of which midfielders come and go. Whoever does, he and McTominay are staying.
 

Escobar

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We need a new centeback and a new defensive midfielder to give our attacking players the license to stay forward. It’s that simple. Having players like Pogba, Bruno, Sancho and Cavani will help us beat the low block.
I agree. Having listened to Keane recently talking about his role, this is exactly what we need. That would free all our excellent attacking players and we could finally break down teams.
 

Polar

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Fred is a little bit to slow to be the first choice (CM) in a 4-3-3 formation. The CM have to be very mobile and move quickly in order to cover gaps on the midfield (defensively). Maybe McT is an better option, but I think neither of them is good enough to be first choice in a formation with one CM. At the same time I think both
of them are excellent squad players or alternatives in a 4-3-3 set-up.
 

DickDastardly

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I'd rather we switch to a classic 4-4-2.

Give me two centre forwards and two wingers any day of the week.

Sell Pogba.
Sell Martial.

Cavani - Greenwood up front.
Sancho right winger, Rashford left.
Add a Keanesque DF and play Bruno as would you play Scholes.

Add a quality CB.

Tell Ole to rewatch all SAF's seasons with the same lineup and watch us bloom.

Switching between 442 and 433 is easy in game. And we have the players to do so.
 

Mainoldo

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Bruno needs to play number 10. Therefore this will not happen. Unless Bruno plays on the RW and we bench an 80m£ Sancho.
 

Becks00

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I hope this is true, because we have too much attacking options now with the addition of Sancho, that we can not afford Fred and Scott taking up an extra spot that should go to one of them.
 

Devil may care

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I can't see 4-3-3 working, when we bought Bruno I think we were expecting Pogba to go the following summer but the pandemic changed everything. In a 4-3-3 Bruno and Pogba both occupy the same function, they need two midfielders in their with them, no DM is good enough to play with them 2 ahead of him.
 

Matthew84!

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I've a comment on 4-4-2 I wish we'd go back to that, in that Bruno could play behind the striker, I like the over lapping of fullbacks, unfortunately I dont see Ole doing it as its now old fashioned

4-3-3 I think would suit us best with Rashford, Cavani, Sancho upfront, it might impact Bruno slightly but if it raises Pogbas game surely it has to be tried out, others have said we'd need a new CM, I agree,
I've seen comments from Rice how much he enjoys playing with Maguire and how playing against him is hard, could he be the solution?
I think formation of the players only play a small part, confidence and winning mentality is a must
 

tenpoless

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I would like us to experiment a bit and find a way to have Bruno and Pogba in advanced positions without becoming exposed on the counter attack.

A starting XI of

Rashford—Greenwood—Sancho
———-Pogba——-Bruno
——————McT
Shaw—Maguire—Lindelof—AWB
———————-GK

In tight games where there is threat on the counter attack the shape when we have possession high up the pitch could be

Rashford—Greenwood—Sancho
—Pogba———Bruno—————AWB
————-Shaw———McT
———-Maguire——-Lindelof

so Shaw effectively tucking in and performing Fred’s role in possession: finding forward passes into the forwards but also giving us cover of play breaks down.

If we are really pushing then Shaw would obviously push on as well and create overlaps, leaving McTominay to fend on his own with the centre backs holding a high line.

A new CB with pace or a more dominant DM would obviously greatly improve this.
This could only work if you replace McT with Carrick aka a single man midfield, a DM+CM rolled into one.
 

eire-red

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Interesting thought. I have for a long time thought why we couldn't play as City, with Pogba and Fernandes as advanced 8s in a more 433, or like when Barca had a midfield of Iniesta, Xavi, Bosquets. I Know it has been discussed a lot that we need a proper DM to play that formation, but I actually believe we could play that with current players, especially if we manage to get Varane or another CB with more pace.​

Both Shaw and AWB are solid enough defensively to form a RCB or LCB, dependent on which side we are attacking from.

E.g. attacking from the left in below:
AWB - Varane - Maguire
DM
Pogba Shaw
Bruno
Sancho - Cavani - Rashford
Alternatively, the DM dropping into a back 3 when pushing up in possesion:
Varane - DM - Maguire​
AWB Pogba Bruno Shaw
Sancho - Cavani - Rashford
The spaces left open for counter attacks are the channels between RCB/LCB and RB/LB. When we have a fast CB able to track those potential runs in behind/down the channel, it makes us less vulnerable for counters, except for Maguires side. This formation would provide width, creativity from central and wide areas, pace. The only caveat, as I see it, is that we move Bruno a bit further away from the goal. Of course, he should still make runs into the box and to the edge of the box. But I think the discussion should be the sum of output (i.e. goals and creativity) more than it should be the sum of its parts (i.e. play Pogba deep (which doesn't suit him as much) to accomodate Bruno playing almost as a second striker).
I think the problem is Pogba and Bruno. I don't mean that they are a problem, but they wouldn't be suited to that role I think. I feel like we'd struggle to work the ball through midfield and into attacking positions, and neither Bruno or Pogba are masters of ball retention. Their strengths lie in those moments of brilliance and defence-splitting passes.

Too much hinges on having a world class DM. Maybe it would work with someone like Kante. When I think of what a midfield trio should consist of, I instantly think of Casemiro, Kroos and Modric. Ball retention, defensive awareness, controlling the tempo, physicality, goals, assists, that midfield has it all.

Pogba and Bruno don't lack on the goals, assists and creativity side, but then you're looking to bring in a DM that can offer physicality, defensive cover, ball retention and also control the game from a deep lying role. That's a tall ask, and I can't think if any player capable of that currently.

On the flip side, there's the argument of playing Bruno deeper, and perhaps having him less effective in the final third. As much as I want Pogba to stay, at the moment he feels like the odd one out. We can't shift Bruno from that no. 10 role. Why on earth would you shift the position of a guy who contributes like 40 goals and assists a season?

I think we should stick to 4231, but getting the balance of that midfield duo behind Bruno is the key. To me, we're crying out for two midfielders. A Kroos-type player who is happy mainly occupy the midfield third and dictate the game, but can also contribute in defence and attack, with someone more defensive minded beside him. McTominay, Fred and Pogba, no combination of those seems to work in a duo.

Again, I don't think we'll solve the problem this summer, it seems as if RW and CB are the main targets. I imagine we'll see more of the same this season in terms of line-ups, with Pogba occupying either the flanks or a deeper role depending on quality of opposition.
 

Mainoldo

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I think the problem is Pogba and Bruno. I don't mean that they are a problem, but they wouldn't be suited to that role I think. I feel like we'd struggle to work the ball through midfield and into attacking positions, and neither Bruno or Pogba are masters of ball retention. Their strengths lie in those moments of brilliance and defence-splitting passes.

Too much hinges on having a world class DM. Maybe it would work with someone like Kante. When I think of what a midfield trio should consist of, I instantly think of Casemiro, Kroos and Modric. Ball retention, defensive awareness, controlling the tempo, physicality, goals, assists, that midfield has it all.

Pogba and Bruno don't lack on the goals, assists and creativity side, but then you're looking to bring in a DM that can offer physicality, defensive cover, ball retention and also control the game from a deep lying role. That's a tall ask, and I can't think if any player capable of that currently.

On the flip side, there's the argument of playing Bruno deeper, and perhaps having him less effective in the final third. As much as I want Pogba to stay, at the moment he feels like the odd one out. We can't shift Bruno from that no. 10 role. Why on earth would you shift the position of a guy who contributes like 40 goals and assists a season?

I think we should stick to 4231, but getting the balance of that midfield duo behind Bruno is the key. To me, we're crying out for two midfielders. A Kroos-type player who is happy mainly occupy the midfield third and dictate the game, but can also contribute in defence and attack, with someone more defensive minded beside him. McTominay, Fred and Pogba, no combination of those seems to work in a duo.

Again, I don't think we'll solve the problem this summer, it seems as if RW and CB are the main targets. I imagine we'll see more of the same this season in terms of line-ups, with Pogba occupying either the flanks or a deeper role depending on quality of opposition.
Is it me or are people being ignorant Kante is not a sitting DM and the fact we have Fred the actual player we require to work with Pogba is a young Matic.

When Kante plays effectively he has Matic, Jorginho and in this French squad Rabiot.
 

eire-red

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Is it me or are people being ignorant Kante is not a sitting DM and the fact we have Fred the actual player we require to work with Pogba is a young Matic.

When Kante plays effectively he has Matic, Jorginho and in this French squad Rabiot.
I agree he's not a deep lying player who will dictate play, but he's still a brilliant ball winner, and definitely one of the more defensive minded midfielders in the game.

I get your point though, he needs someone with more of a range of passing in order to be effective alongside him. That was kind of my point. To compliment Bruno and Pogba in a 433, you'd need the complete midfielder, who can shield, defend and control the game.

Not sure on the link between Kante's effectiveness and Rabiot though. I've watched plenty of Juve and France, he looks bang average.
 

Mainoldo

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I agree he's not a deep lying player who will dictate play, but he's still a brilliant ball winner, and definitely one of the more defensive minded midfielders in the game.

I get your point though, he needs someone with more of a range of passing in order to be effective alongside him. That was kind of my point. To compliment Bruno and Pogba in a 433, you'd need the complete midfielder, who can shield, defend and control the game.

Not sure on the link between Kante's effectiveness and Rabiot though. I've watched plenty of Juve and France, he looks bang average.
Yeah I get that bit he's got good awareness from deep. But it was good to hear even Lampard pointing out that he's wasted doing a Makelele role which is why he asked for me and looking back probably why Sarri pushed him further up. I just don't think people appreciate that for the deep-line role it's not Kante who we need to complement a Pogba or Bruno it's a Locatelli for instance.

Yeah i'm not Rabiot's biggest fan either.. Just meant more his style.
 

Andersons Dietician

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Fred is a little bit to slow to be the first choice (CM) in a 4-3-3 formation. The CM have to be very mobile and move quickly in order to cover gaps on the midfield (defensively). Maybe McT is an better option, but I think neither of them is good enough to be first choice in a formation with one CM. At the same time I think both
of them are excellent squad players or alternatives in a 4-3-3 set-up.
Nani???!?!? Fred slow? He is one of our quicker players and also recorded one of the fastest top speeds in the league season prior.
 

JJ12

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Bruno needs to play number 10. Therefore this will not happen. Unless Bruno plays on the RW and we bench an 80m£ Sancho.
It doesn’t have to be a flat midfield 3 does it?

at least 1 can have a license to roam.
 

justsomebloke

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Yeah I get that bit he's got good awareness from deep. But it was good to hear even Lampard pointing out that he's wasted doing a Makelele role which is why he asked for me and looking back probably why Sarri pushed him further up. I just don't think people appreciate that for the deep-line role it's not Kante who we need to complement a Pogba or Bruno it's a Locatelli for instance.

Yeah i'm not Rabiot's biggest fan either.. Just meant more his style.
I agree Kante is maybe not what you'd look for to complement Pogba in a 2-man pivot, but I think someone like Locatelli is rather what you need to complement a Fred. And Bruno is in my opinion unsuited to playing in a midfield line, be it a 2- or 3-man one. Not that he wouldn't manage, but it'd be a waste.
 

Mainoldo

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It doesn’t have to be a flat midfield 3 does it?

at least 1 can have a license to roam.
Isn't that just a Pivot 2 and 1?

I just don't think his ball retention is good enough to play deeper. I use to think he was an 8 but I've changed my mind as to if he can be that at the top level.

Ideally in a 3 you want the Juventus model. a Roamer, a deepline playmaker and a destroyer.

We had that when Ole first came in. Pogba - Matic - Herrera. We can still replicate that but I don't think we can do that with both Pogba and Bruno playing. It wouldn't work. But with an improvement on Matic it would give us City like options if the manager isn't scared to rotate. Alternatively you could do a France and play Bruno as the Griezmann.. That would work well too..