Matic as single pivot [Pogba stays scenario]

Borys

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Time is running, so far it looks 50/50 if Pogba will stay but let's assume he does. In that scenario it's very unlikely we will buy a class Defensive Midfielder, so I was wondering if we could still play 4-3-3 with Matic at the base (as an alternative to 4-2-3-1/4-2-4 we do now).

I've stated multiple times during last season, Matic has been massively misused, and although he's 33, still looks mobile enough to play in midfield - especially with 2 guys supporting him. Before people jump to say "his legs are gone", just a reminder Carrick at 34 still played 28 games in EPL (which by the way is more than for example Pogba played last season)- and Carrick was way less mobile than Matic.
On the other hand, Matic has been rather good whenever he played. Nothing spectacular, but he is the ONLY player who can actually play single DM in front of back 4. McTominay, Fred - forget it. His technique is top class, he can pass and dribble in tight spaces although he can't be expected to hold midfield on his own.

So as an alternative to McFred+Bruno (which I expect to be our basic system), we could play Matic as sitting DM, supported by Fred/McTominay/Van de Beek/one of the youngsters and Pogba in midfield. That would either enable us to rest Bruno, or play him as part of the front 3. Moreover, playing midfield 3 means Pogba can play less restricted role (which is a waste), and we can have one more player without huge responsibility that midfield two demands.

What are your thoughts? I saw some posters selling Matic for 5m to get funds for different players, but can he still be a big part of the team if used correctly?
 

OverratedOpinion

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Matic can put in some absolutely masterful performances but starts to get overran when asked to play multiple games in a week. It has been this way for at least 2 years.
 

Neil_Buchanan

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He can’t play often enough, give him any sort of run in the first team and his performance level soon drops. A twenty five year old Matic would be perfect but his legs have gone, really.
 

Adisa

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Can't think of a bigger recipe for disaster. Matic neither has the legs nor the engine to play such a role.
 

Bilbo

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As has been said Matic can't play regular football at the same intensity. I think the plan will be to use him in specific matches. McFred will still start when we go 4231 against the toughest opponents, whereas Matic will likely be used when we are using a Bruno, Pogba/DVB 433 approach
 

DWelbz19

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Matic can barely last a half at the very top level, let alone a full season these days.

A Matic replacement is absolutely what this team needs. Who that is, I have no idea. It does concern me a little that the club don’t seem to be thinking the same. Or maybe they are, it’s just not being reported as heavily.
 

BluesJr

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Pure fantasy.
 

Kostov

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We needed to replace Matic at least 2 years ago, no he should not start in any case scenario. We NEED a CDM who can stabilize that midfield if we want to win the PL.
 

Adam-Utd

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Matic doesn't have the legs anymore in a 4-2-3-1, what makes you think he's got them for a 4-3-3?

He gets ran passed constantly on counters, he just isn't quick enough for that role.

Add to the fact his feet are really slow too, once he's stationary he loses the ball all the time. He's still a decent passer and good in the air but nope.
 

Nou_Camp99

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There's very few players in world football who'd be able to fit in a midfield 3 of them, Pogba and Bruno and it would work. Kante is an obvious one. I don't think he'd have any issues and we probably would see a better version of Pogba. Can't think of too many more obvious ones.
 

sullydnl

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Aside from anything else, we don't rest Bruno often and I can't imagine why we'd shift him into the front three in a 4-3-3.
 

Infra-red

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Bruno is our best player and will continue in his role as the most advanced midfielder.

Matic doesn't have the mobility to play as a lone holder, so we will likely continue with McFred for big games and some combination of Matic/Pogba/VDB rotated in with Fred or McTominay vs the lesser sides.
 

LawCharltonBest

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Can somebody explain to me what double pivot and single pivot mean please?

I see them mentioned a lot when speaking of midfielders. My best guess being that when one attacks, the other stays back and they take turns?
 

hobbers

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No. Matic is absolutely cooked and has been for years. No business still being in the squad at all.

Put him up in a single pivot against any half decent team that presses and we'll be absolutely destroyed. :lol:

He looks good in the odd carling cup game or pre season friendly when he has 400% more time on the ball.
 

CG1010

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Matic-Pogba midfield has been used often by Ole in the past. The new thing you are suggesting is to have another midfielder instead of Bruno. Which won't happen as he is our most influential player, except for some league cup matches.

Also not sure how much we can rely on Matic now. He doesn't have the passing ability Carrick had to justify playing regularly despite limited mobility.
 

andersj

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Time is running, so far it looks 50/50 if Pogba will stay but let's assume he does. In that scenario it's very unlikely we will buy a class Defensive Midfielder, so I was wondering if we could still play 4-3-3 with Matic at the base (as an alternative to 4-2-3-1/4-2-4 we do now).

I've stated multiple times during last season, Matic has been massively misused, and although he's 33, still looks mobile enough to play in midfield - especially with 2 guys supporting him. Before people jump to say "his legs are gone", just a reminder Carrick at 34 still played 28 games in EPL (which by the way is more than for example Pogba played last season)- and Carrick was way less mobile than Matic.
On the other hand, Matic has been rather good whenever he played. Nothing spectacular, but he is the ONLY player who can actually play single DM in front of back 4. McTominay, Fred - forget it. His technique is top class, he can pass and dribble in tight spaces although he can't be expected to hold midfield on his own.

So as an alternative to McFred+Bruno (which I expect to be our basic system), we could play Matic as sitting DM, supported by Fred/McTominay/Van de Beek/one of the youngsters and Pogba in midfield. That would either enable us to rest Bruno, or play him as part of the front 3. Moreover, playing midfield 3 means Pogba can play less restricted role (which is a waste), and we can have one more player without huge responsibility that midfield two demands.

What are your thoughts? I saw some posters selling Matic for 5m to get funds for different players, but can he still be a big part of the team if used correctly?
He is slow, lacks stamnia and worst of all he has no instincts whatsoever while defending. He has looked really good twice in his car;

- Next to Kante, infront of Cahill, Luiz and Azpi (where Luiz basically was the DM protecting the defence),
- In an extremely low block for Mourinho where Chelsea basically played with eight defenders and two attackers (Hazard and Costa)

I think Matic is very misunderstood. He is great on the ball, but very poor without it. Had his breakthrough as an AM in Eredivise.
 

AgentSmith

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Can somebody explain to me what double pivot and single pivot mean please?

I see them mentioned a lot when speaking of midfielders. My best guess being that when one attacks, the other stays back and they take turns?
I think it basically just means the deepest player in midfield e.g. the player the midfield pivots around.

In a 4-2-3-1 you have a double pivot as there are two deep midfielders. In a 4-3-3 you have a single pivot as there is only one.
 

Rooney1987

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He was one of our best performers during project restart but before that and after he looked old. Who knows maybe some time off, Verane behind him and gets played less then twice a week be can be useful.
 

ivaldo

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Matic shouldn't be anywhere near the first team. Period.
 

Borys

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Why would we rest Bruno? Start of a new season, had a break.

Or play in the front three? And drop who (from Sancho, Cavani, Greenwood, Martial and Rashford when back)?
Because he played 91% of all the time last season in the EPL. Add to that another competitions and we're destroying him.

Matic can put in some absolutely masterful performances but starts to get overran when asked to play multiple games in a week. It has been this way for at least 2 years.
That's why I said I expect McFred+Bruno to be our basic system.

Can't think of a bigger recipe for disaster. Matic neither has the legs nor the engine to play such a role.
Matic doesn't have the legs anymore in a 4-2-3-1, what makes you think he's got them for a 4-3-3?

He gets ran passed constantly on counters, he just isn't quick enough for that role.

Add to the fact his feet are really slow too, once he's stationary he loses the ball all the time. He's still a decent passer and good in the air but nope.
Bruno is our best player and will continue in his role as the most advanced midfielder.

Matic doesn't have the mobility to play as a lone holder, so we will likely continue with McFred for big games and some combination of Matic/Pogba/VDB rotated in with Fred or McTominay vs the lesser sides.
The holding player in 4-3-3 doesn't run a lot, but you can only have this single pivot if you have two other midfielders supporting because otherwise he'll be drawn out of position.
I don't get why the holding DM is expected to have great engine and stamina.

Matic-Pogba midfield has been used often by Ole in the past. The new thing you are suggesting is to have another midfielder instead of Bruno. Which won't happen as he is our most influential player, except for some league cup matches.

Also not sure how much we can rely on Matic now. He doesn't have the passing ability Carrick had to justify playing regularly despite limited mobility.
I agree about that, however the doubts all people seem to have is his lack of mobility (off the ball), not lack of passing range (on the ball).

So Carrick lack of mobility at the age of 34 in two man midfield wasn't a problem, but Matic at 33 can't do it in 3 man midfield?

Again I don't suggest it to be our main system, but we need to figure out:
  • how to rest Bruno (from time to time)
  • what to do with Pogba who surely will have very limited time on left wing this season
We don't have any sensible alternatives for McFred + Bruno if the list of our midfielders remain the same as last season.
 

OleBoiii

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I'm all for it, but only if we hire David Schwimmer to scream "PIVOT" every time Matic receives the ball.
 

LawCharltonBest

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I think it basically just means the deepest player in midfield e.g. the player the midfield pivots around.

In a 4-2-3-1 you have a double pivot as there are two deep midfielders. In a 4-3-3 you have a single pivot as there is only one.
Ahh okay. Thank you. Simpler than I thought.

I would just say “one DM” or “two DM”
 

romufc

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With Pogba and Bruno, we need someone with more legs than Matic.

I cannot see Matic playing against teams that will press and get people around him.
 

Borys

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Ahh okay. Thank you. Simpler than I thought.

I would just say “one DM” or “two DM”
Like @AgentSmith explained, in single pivot mode the midfield pivots around the one player holding midfield. In this case you have 2 players (midfielders!) supporting him meaning he has to be good at positioning and on the ball, but he doesn't need to run a lot as he's in "holding" position in 4-3-3.

I am not sure if double pivot is something that really exists (it's new to me), basically two players in midfield are responsible for everything. In our case mostly ball retention and pressing, as most of our play go through wings or directly from defensive line to forwards. So playing Matic in that role is setting him up for failure.
 

bosnian_red

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Yeah Matic needs to be used far more. He can't do it multiple times a week but he's still a far better player when fresh and in form. Does more on the ball with his movement with the balls, does more on the ball with his progressive passing through the lines, is less careless with the ball and gives it away far less often, while being defensively secure.

This was how they stacked up last season. Obviously big difference in the games played, but he's just a far better player and more complete. Fred next to him would be the best partnership IMO.
 

Adam-Utd

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@Borys

You're only thinking offensively.

when we are attacking and lose the ball high up the pitch, Matic needs to be the first line of defence. Counter attacks will just blast past him and the only thing he can do is foul.

He simply cannot run anymore, we've seen numberous occasions of it last season. Think of the goal Tielemans scored against us in the FA cup.
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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What is the obsession with playing a 433 when we look so much more balanced in a 4231, both defensively and going forward?

Pogba doesn't need to push high up the pitch. We will have the front quartet and the full-backs to do that. What Pogba needs to do is control games for us. Be that deep-lying playmaker that we so desperately need. Someone who knows when to quicken up the pace, slow it down, switch the ball, play through the lines, play it simple, etc. He has demonstrated that he can do it but needs to do it more often.
 

roonster09

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Matic is done, you get occasional good performance from him when he is well rested or when his contract is up for renewal. He shouldn't be anything but back up to kill games in last few mins.
 

LawCharltonBest

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Like @AgentSmith explained, in single pivot mode the midfield pivots around the one player holding midfield. In this case you have 2 players (midfielders!) supporting him meaning he has to be good at positioning and on the ball, but he doesn't need to run a lot as he's in "holding" position in 4-3-3.

I am not sure if double pivot is something that really exists (it's new to me), basically two players in midfield are responsible for everything. In our case mostly ball retention and pressing, as most of our play go through wings or directly from defensive line to forwards. So playing Matic in that role is setting him up for failure.
Thanks for explaining
 

zenith

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Matic and pogba in a midfield two. It'll be party time for the opposition with so much space available
 

CG1010

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Because he played 91% of all the time last season in the EPL. Add to that another competitions and we're destroying him.


That's why I said I expect McFred+Bruno to be our basic system.




The holding player in 4-3-3 doesn't run a lot, but you can only have this single pivot if you have two other midfielders supporting because otherwise he'll be drawn out of position.
I don't get why the holding DM is expected to have great engine and stamina.


I agree about that, however the doubts all people seem to have is his lack of mobility (off the ball), not lack of passing range (on the ball).

So Carrick lack of mobility at the age of 34 in two man midfield wasn't a problem, but Matic at 33 can't do it in 3 man midfield?

Again I don't suggest it to be our main system, but we need to figure out:
  • how to rest Bruno (from time to time)
  • what to do with Pogba who surely will have very limited time on left wing this season
We don't have any sensible alternatives for McFred + Bruno if the list of our midfielders remain the same as last season.

You can have weakness in your game, like Matic has lack of mobility. But it needs to be compensated by something else. Carrick was majestic in the 2012-13 season, creating opportunities for us all the time and conducting the game from midfield. We could play limited players who could run around him to help mask it. But with Matic, we would then need a midfielder who can both run and do creative passing. Which we don't have at the moment.
 

diarm

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A pivot is a point around which something turns. So in football, it is the player who receives the ball facing his defence and turns to link the play with his midfield or attack.

A double pivot suggests having two of these players, one turning the play from defence to attack and then another, turning play from attack back towards defence...

... which suddenly explains a lot.
 

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Matic needs to be nowhere near our first team.

He's not capable of playing at this level in a two, let alone by himself and certainly can't play at a consistent level week in week out.
 

0le

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I am not sure what games you have been watching but Matic looks finished as a PL footballer.