Midfield three of Matic, Fred & McT

Pogue Mahone

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Mentioned on Second Captains and kind of makes sense? McT and Fred both best box to box. If we lack real quality in midfield at least increase the numbers. Matic’s lack of legs/pace less likely to be exposed if he does nothing but sit.

Front three tricky. Bruno false nine with Ronaldo/Rashford either side?

God knows every other combination has looked varying degrees of shit. Is this one worth a crack? Could it work?
 

Adam-Utd

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That's just a diamond again, we've made it work before but also been rubbish at it.

Playing that way against Liverpool will be suicidal.
 

andersj

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Mentioned on Second Captains and kind of makes sense? McT and Fred both best box to box. If we lack real quality in midfield at least increase the numbers. Matic’s lack of legs/pace less likely to be exposed if he does nothing but sit.

Front three tricky. Bruno false nine with Ronaldo/Rashford either side?

God knows every other combination has looked varying degrees of shit. Is this one worth a crack? Could it work?
Problem is, Matic is really not good without the ball. Never has been. In my opinion, it is a bit of a misunderstanding that he is a natural DM. Started out as an AM, and has his strenght on the ball. Lack awareness of danger, not very good at positioning himself and struggle to cover ground.

That is why I think Matic need a good defence to look good. He is not a DM that can make a defence look good. Never has been. He was good for Mourinho at Chelsea playing in a lowblock and good defensive unit bossed by Terry and Cahill. He was also good with a three man defence, and Kante doing all the defensive work for him unde Conte.

Matic is a good player, but very misunderstood.
 

Dan_F

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That's just a diamond again, we've made it work before but also been rubbish at it.

Playing that way against Liverpool will be suicidal.
It’s basically the formation Liverpool use and the most obvious way of having two really advanced wide forwards. It’s not a massive surprise we struggle in midfield with four advanced players.
 

Teja

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Have we ever played with these personnel before though?
We played the system a couple of times but I'm not sure about the personnel there. If memory serves, we played Bruno as a false 9 / tip of the diamond, Fred, Pogba, Matic in the middle, Rashford, Greenwood as wide forwards. Role's fairly similar to what Firmino does for Pool as well.

I remember one game against Spurs where we absolutely killed them on the counter.


--- Rashford ------------------------ Ronaldo ---
------------------------ Bruno --------------------------
----------------- Pogba -- Fred ---------------------
------------------------ Matic ---------------------------
----------------- Back four -----------------------------

could be quite good in the big games. I hope we give it a shot against Pool. Ronaldo can stay up on the right and Fred has the legs to cover him.

EDIT: Might be this game, but I don't see Bruno there.

https://www.google.com/search?q=tot...-wiz#sie=m;/g/11f67fn_8g;2;/m/02_tc;ln;fp;1;;
 

Pogue Mahone

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Not Matic/Fred/Mctominay/Bruno together that I can think of.
Ok. Let’s try it!

I like the idea of letting Fred and McT charge around the place with someone always covering behind them. For all their limitations they have terrific engines and would be horrible to play against when they can get up and down the pitch as much as they want.
 

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Our results with Pogba against big teams are rubbish. Time to try something different?
We don’t play 4-3-3 though? The last time we did consistently was when Ole first joined and Pogba was sensational. Seems a bit weird going to the formation that suits him and dropping him for Fred/Mctominay. If Bruno is out this weekend then it will be the perfect time to go to it with Pogba on the left in a three - his best position.
 

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We'd create nothing with that midfield. We'd also be dropping world class forwards for mediocre midfielders.
 

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fans go crazy when we play 2 so called defensive mids (eventhough they arent) with McFred - love to see the fall out if Ole started 3

you'd have to leave out too many good attackers for this so its not an option
 

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I think we should go with Matic or McTominay as sitting players shielding the defence. Play Bruno and Pogba more as midfielders who would take turns to become attacking midfielders when the opportunity permits. Bruno should be playing 15/20 meters back. Playing way too forward is creating a vacuum in midfield. More so now with not much pressing of opposing defenders. The opposing defenders have way too much time to pick passes at will which enable opposing midfielders easy to bypass our midfield.

Both Bruno and Pogba are very good at shooting from outside the area and timing their runs into the area.
 

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We lack quality in midfield so we're going to make up for it with quantity instead, at the expense of creativity & attack?
I don't see the point of it.

Maybe if we had Dani Alves & Marcelo as FB's to bomb forward it could work but I don't see why we would bench at least 3 of Pogba/Rashford/Greenwood/Cavani/Sancho/Lingard to accommodate 3 average midfielders.
 

markhughes

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For me I'd pack the midfield as much as possible and rely heavily on the counter.

That being said we really don't have the quality in midfield, defensively or on the ball.

I think all we can actually do is go for a Keegan approach and try to outscore teams, there really is no balance in this team is there!
 

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if you’re playing a midfield three at United Pogba has to be in it. The whole Mcfred thesis is centred around it supposedly making us more solid, despite plenty of evidence otherwise. If you’re going to have Matic in there to hold it together what’s the point of Mcfred?
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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That doesn't mean we shouldn't play it again. As with everything, things take time.

I mean, if you look at that team, it's very similar to Liverpool's in that we packed the midfield with energy and protection, had a false nine, which is how Firmino plays for Liverpool an two wide forwards.

Going forward, I'd certainly want us to try that again over a longer period and see how we get on.
 

VanDeBank

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If we’re playing a 4-3-3 Pogba has to be in it surely…I’ve been saying for months the only way to get both bruno and Pogba centrally is to play Bruno as a false 9. I stick by it.
Fully agree. Drop Pogba and play Ronnie and Bruno like we usually do, or drop Ronnie and play Bruno false 9 with Paul.

Part of the reason Bruno is a GA machine is his ability to find the right pockets of space to play in and his lethal finishing. He is much more of a roamer than Paul who likes to get into the same type of LCM positions.
 

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We'd create nothing with that midfield. We'd also be dropping world class forwards for mediocre midfielders.
This is the voice of people. Ole will never move to 3 in midfield because that would be extremely unpopular decision. We will continue playing 4 forwards and keep wondering why no midfield pair is able to control games and make us solid defensively.

fans go crazy when we play 2 so called defensive mids (eventhough they arent) with McFred - love to see the fall out if Ole started 3

you'd have to leave out too many good attackers for this so its not an option
Exactly.
But the reality is, we need to improve our defensive game first. If that means dropping one forward then so be it. I'd take that if it means we're not getting dominated in the first 60'.
 
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Problem is, Matic is really not good without the ball. Never has been. In my opinion, it is a bit of a misunderstanding that he is a natural DM. Started out as an AM, and has his strenght on the ball. Lack awareness of danger, not very good at positioning himself and struggle to cover ground.
He clearly is good at the bolded though, especially when compared with our other three CM options - he's miles ahead of them. The problem is the "struggling to cover ground" bit, where he's ... lightyears behind them. So it's a net negative to have him on the pitch.

I don't really see the point of this system, adding an extra midfielder who doesn't really offer anything at the expense of moving Fernandes to a nominal forward role when, if anything, his overly aggressive positioning has been one of our biggest issues lately. Much better off just sticking with the "McFred" 4-2-3-1 and making sure it's actually a 4-2-3-1 and not 4-2-0-4 - our win at the Ettihad in 2019/20 was the blueprint.
 

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Would struggle to get Ronaldo and Bruno on the pitch in this formation tbh.

Would be interested to see what sort of balance it could provide.

Most get annoyed seeing two DM’s though never mind three (although Matic is the only true DM of the three we have played the others as DM’s.)
 

Red00012

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Have we ever played with these personnel before though?
Nope but apparently trying it out for the 1st time against Liverpool of all teams is the time to try it out , it nearly beats the poster who wants to rest Ronaldo and Bruno
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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fans go crazy when we play 2 so called defensive mids (eventhough they arent) with McFred - love to see the fall out if Ole started 3

you'd have to leave out too many good attackers for this so its not an option
In our current system, we have four attackers + one full back who attacks. In this recommended formation, it would be the same thing, however, instead of having four attackers, we'd have 3 attacks + two full backs. So, we'd still be attacking with 5 players and it would possibly make for a better balance. Its the reason Klopp doesn't like to start with all four of Jota, Firmino, Salah and Mane.
 

Walters_19_MuFc

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Would struggle to get Ronaldo and Bruno on the pitch in this formation tbh.

Would be interested to see what sort of balance it could provide.

Most get annoyed seeing two DM’s though never mind three (although Matic is the only true DM of the three we have played the others as DM’s.)
Ronaldo played in a 442 diamond under Zidane's reign. As for Bruno, he could easily play that false 9 role. He's much more of a false 9 than a number 10 anyway.

 

Walters_19_MuFc

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Interesting. Who suggested this?
He/she is probably talking about me. :lol:

I suggested it in the "how-will-solskjær-line-up-against-liverpool" thread.


First of all, we need to match their energy, otherwise a change in formation doesn't matter.

Apart from that, I'd personally like to see us match them up and go with a 433.

Rashford Cavani Greenwood
Fred Matic McTominay
Shaw Maguire Lindelof Wan-Bissaka
De Gea​
Bare in mind this was after the Leicester game but I'd probably still go with something similar. Maybe Bruno in for Cavani, as you suggested.
 

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I would go with two strikers and play 4 in midfield. Play Telles on the left midfield and Ronnie and Rashford up front and narrow.
 

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In our current system, we have four attackers + one full back who attacks. In this recommended formation, it would be the same thing, however, instead of having four attackers, we'd have 3 attacks + two full backs. So, we'd still be attacking with 5 players and it would possibly make for a better balance. Its the reason Klopp doesn't like to start with all four of Jota, Firmino, Salah and Mane.
Its not just about numbers - 1 of our fullbacks is not great at attacking

Plus you cant actually have 3 defensive midfielders - 1 has to join the attack as a bare minimum (probably McTominay in this scenario)
 

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We can’t play Ronaldo as a wide forward, he won’t be up and down the way a player in that position would need to. He either needs to play as a 9 or not at all.

Id have Bruno dropping deeper, and play more like an 8, with McT and Fred, like Chelsea in Lampard days (some fairly obvious differences with that and the lampard midfield of course…)

Player to drop out would be Pogba in my lineup, and if he was to play it would be in place of Bruno or if playing at home against a lesser side, either of the other 2. I would really like to see VdB get a shot in place of Fred personally, but seems highly unlikely.
 

FriedClams

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I am honestly surprised at the constant belittling of peoples opinions on this forum. Where is the respect? The OP has had an idea, put in some justification for it, and rather than debate it there's a little bit too much instant negativity.

I don't think for one second it's the most exciting midfield in the world, but even with each players limitations, it has the hallmarks of a functioning unit. It would require Fred and Mctominay to be a little bit more attack minded to occupy the other teams midfielders, which would allow Matic a little more time on the ball where he can pick out our wide men at ease. So long as our wide players stay high and wide, it would allow Ronaldo to mix it up between dropping deep or leading the line and keeping their centre backs honest.

The only sticking point, and it's a huge ask, is Fred and Mct have shown to be suspect positionally and when receiving the ball facing their own goal, so if either one of them has an off day they could get eaten alive and we would get countered on for fun. But this doesn't take away from the idea that with the right gameplan, that midfield 3 has a fair amount of potential.
 
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Leftback99

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Liverpool make similar work so it shouldn't be discounted. The obvious tweak would be to have Bruno instead of McTominay in a more restrained role than what he currently plays. I think it would suit Fred though to be more advanced.
 

andersj

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He clearly is good at the bolded though, especially when compared with our other three CM options - he's miles ahead of them.
Why is he clearly good at it? I really dont agree. In my opinion, he has always been very overrated at both. Over the years, I’ve been so surprised at how often he is pulled out of position and struggle to get back. And he basically never a player who «smell

Really struggled at Chelsea as soon as their defence got a bit weaker.

I also think his numbers reflect it. Carrick, at his peak, would average between 2.4 and 2.8 interceptions per 90 min in the PL. Xabi the same, sometimes more than 3.0 per 90 min in Madrid.

But he is very good on the ball. A much better passer than both McT and Fred. A lot better in the buildup and transition play.
 

lex talionis

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I’ll never flog creative thinking when it comes to trying to solve a conundrum. But I don’t think this works. McTominay has been horrific this season and Fred not much better, and they’re certainly no magical pairing.

Thinking about Liverpool, we can either go at them full throttle, come what may, or we can go 352. I don’t have the answer, but I lean toward going at them full throttle, come what may. I don’t want to see us play so defensive that what we end up watching is the footballing equivalent of curling or some other boring sport.

Ole loves the 423 so let’s forget about creative tactics. Assuming Varane is still out (?), this is what I recommend.

De Gea
AWB Lindelof Maguire Shaw
Fred Pogba
Sancho Bruno Rashford
GOAT

Yes, Fred on and Greenwood off. Mates, we have no good answers for CDM and Fred has undeniably been dire, but he brings energy and we’re going to need his energy against a very good Liverpool side. As for Jadon over Mason, go with the natural RW.

And then…pray.