Our Best 11/Formation

kidbob

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So I've been thinking about the holes we have and the best way to stop putting squares into round holes. So as I see it our main problems are:

  1. Lack of pace at centre back so we have to sit deep
  2. Pogba being asked to play too deep
  3. VDB isn't as good as Bruno at 10 and can't play as a sitting midfielder
  4. Rashford and Greenwood are better more centrally
  5. Our midfield lacks technique, ball retention and passing ability
With the emergence of Shaw as a beast of a left back going both ways and McTominay playing centre back for Scotland I had an idea on a formation that might just suit 10/11 of our players better.

Basically:

-------------------------------Henderson

-----------------Lindelof McTominay Maguire

AWB----------------DVB-------------Pogba-----------Shaw

------------------------------Bruno

-------------------------Greenwood Rashford

I've always heard that the 532 is a defensive formation but to me that is a more attacking formation than we usually have and it lets more of our players play in natural positions except for AWB but maybe Williams would look better in that role with more attacking freedom and less defensive responsibility. It certainly creates a clear path for Laird's strengths to the first team.

As I see it we can play higher up with Scott having more recovery pace. Each centre back has the ability to step into midfield so its not a 532 when we are attacking. This allows VDB and Pogba to play closer to the opposition goal. Donny is able to play with Bruno and Pogba and get on the ball more to show his quality, which should allow us to be more consistent in our passing. Greenwood gets to play closer to the centre but both him and Rashford have the ability to go wide and spilt play, this suits Cavani and Martial too. Hell if you were chasing the game then James could come in at RWB. Maybe Henderson and De Gea's lack of sweeper abilities may be a problem but I honestly think this would allow us to dominate more. In the 2nd half today a big part of our improvement was playing 15 yards futrher up the pitch in my opinion.

What do you think? Any issues with this that I have missed.
 

stefan92

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I've always heard that the 532 is a defensive formation but to me that is a more attacking formation
It depends a lot on your back three. The basic question for a 3-5-2 is: How much are your wingbacks allowed to go forward and support the attack? And this depends on who is responsible to stop (counter-attacking) wingers. When you leave this as the wingbacks responsibility (so playing them more like fullbacks) then you get a defensive 5-3-2. When you expect your wide CBs to take care of this and step out on the wings then you really can get an attacking formation here.

As I see it we can play higher up with Scott having more recovery pace. Each centre back has the ability to step into midfield so its not a 532 when we are attacking.
When your CBs move forward to DM you risk to expose the wings a lot - your wingbacks would need to cover that and therefore could not march so far up (at least not both at the same time, which limits your attacks to one wing while the other has to stay back.

If you want to play more attacking you should leave your three CBs where they are, and then you could really attack with your wingbacks - essentially in attack this 3-4-1-2 could become a 3-2-3-2, 3-2-1-4 or even a 3-1-2-4 (if one of your double pivots also steps forward - this could be something Pogba could do well). But to defend in such a kind of a "true back three" you need FB/CB hybrid players, and I do not really see Lindelöf or Maguire in that role. You would need a player like David Alaba for these roles (Bayern did not play three at the back, but they applied the same principle - having a comfortable full back playing as left center back allowed their actual fullback Davies to play as a second winger with reduced defensive work to do).

With the current united squad you have to little attacking power and to little defensive abilities on the wings to really pull of a 3-5-2 as an attacking option - as a defensive formation it could work nicely, but using it to attack more would be horrible suicide with the current players.

Edit: Actually when I think about it, AWB could work as the RCB in this system - that would leave the wingback position to James. But I still would fear for the left wing - Maguire defending against speedy wingers, when Shaw is still up front (and such situations would happen a lot when he has to support attack) is not something that I want to see.
 
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Bertie Wooster

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I prefer a 4-3-3, with two number 8's.

Henderson / De Gea
Wan Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw.
Matic*
Pogba, Fernandes
Greenwood, Cavani, Rashford.

*We need a better, more mobile holding midfielder. But the rest of the current squad all suit the style - although the much debated upgrades would still be ideal.
McTominay, Fred and Van de Beek are more suited to the understudy #8 role than as a #6 or #10. And Amad, Martial and James all acceptable understudies for the front three.
Obviously, if we had the money, we'd still also look to bring in a new CB and a #9 instead of Cavani.
 

drunkmonkmeth

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Awb lindelof mcguire shaw
Fred
Bruno. Pogba
Greenwood. Rashford
Martial

Martial and fred need upgrading.. so does greenwood. Not that i dont rate him i just dont want to be depending on a developing young player so much like we have donenwith rashford. Kid is overplayed and playing thru injuries. We need depth
 

MrBest

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I wouldn't say that Rashford needs to play more central, in fact i don't think he has played that well there and is not ruthless enough. The issue with Rashy this season in my opinion, he is carrying too many knocks. That said, I like your proposal of 352, but I wouldn't go ahead with it. I like risk, and I don't think Ole has the balls for it, but again, it's easy to type than to manage a club of this magnitude. I'd go for the following,

Henderson (i like his distribution and bravery but verdict is still out)
AWB at right back because there is no one else
Tuanzabe/Bailey cb left, we need pace and ability to bring the ball out
Maguire cb right, not a fan but at this stage i prefer him to Lindeloff
Shaw at left back, with zero doubt

Fred as holding mid, only role to run around, break up play and find the simple pass
DVB and Pogba ahead, both making runs into the box, Pogba a little deeper and on the left as his best strength is driving from defence to attack and DVB slightly more advanced and making more runs into the box.

I would have Greenwood on the right, because I think he has been good there but his future will be more central and Rashy on the left, I think when fit, he is untouchable there.

I would like to see Bruno play a false 9, he loves a run into the box and his ability to bridge midfielder and attack is brilliant

Hendo
AWB Tuanzabe Maguire Shaw
Fred
Pogba
DVB
Bruno
Greenwood Rashford

I personally like width with flex down the middle and several runners into the box. I love the role Makele played for Madrid, protect the back, play it simple and Kante used to do that more for Chelsea in his early days, I can see Fred doing this and hopefully by taking off the pressure of needing him to create, we will get more from him. Pogba and DvB can boss that midfield and both love to get forward but have the ability to track back and Bruno as false 9 would add something different to our play.

Edit: my formation layout does not show, but pogba behind DVB in the midfielder but ahead of Fred and Bruno false 9. Greenwood and Rashy playing as wide forwards providing width.
 

Adcuth

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Realistically with our players it should be a 433. One holding/ sweeping DM, 2 8's moving us forward, 2 inside forwards behind a centre forward who can hold up the ball allowing the inside forwards to drift centrally. The DM needs to be breaking up play and handing the ball off but keeping his position to protect the defence. Id probably go for fred here but certain games could use matic if we don't expect too much attacking. The 8's need a relationship where they know how to not both bomb forward and leave us exposed. These are obviously gonna be pogba and Bruno. The wing backs can provide the overlap when the inside forwards drift in if nessecary. Dependant on opposition though they should be held back slightly to prevent any counter attacks. So ideally.

Henderson​

AWB Lindelof Maguire Shaw​

Fred​

Bruno Pogba​

Greenwood Cavani Rashford​
 

Andersons Dietician

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The problem I see is that neither Pogba or Bruno are good enough to play 433. They lack ball retention, positional awareness and the patience to do so. Even when we play as 4231 it often ends up with just 1 person in midfield having to work miracles. When we played Matic he’d drop to left CB and leave Pogba all alone as Bruno was off playing striker. Now seems Pogba and Bruno head off and leave Fred solo. They would both need to vastly improve and change their style of play. 532 I suppose gives that added security to let them be more involved in attack.

For me with the current squad I’m thinking 442 diamond or 4231 with Pogba out on the left are probably our best teams.

DeGea
Bissaka Lindelof Maguire Shaw
Fred
VDB Pogba
Bruno
Rashford Martial

DDG
Bissaka Lindelof Maguire Shaw
McT Fred
Rashford Bruno Pogba
Martial
Those on paper anyway. I do like 433 but to me that has to be played a certain way and Bruno and Pogba haven’t shown for me they can do it.
 

UpWithRivers

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Ive said it numerous times but I dont see anyone agreeing - Play Bruno as a false 9

DDG
Bissaka Lindelof Maguire Shaw
Donny Fred Pogba
Greenwood Bruno Rashford

It will solve most of our problems because we will be able to control the midfield more.
 

MrBest

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Ive said it numerous times but I dont see anyone agreeing - Play Bruno as a false 9

DDG
Bissaka Lindelof Maguire Shaw
Donny Fred Pogba
Greenwood Bruno Rashford

It will solve most of our problems because we will be able to control the midfield more.
I said this a few posts above (Bruno at false 9), I would love to this this tried out.
 

Andersons Dietician

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Ive said it numerous times but I dont see anyone agreeing - Play Bruno as a false 9

DDG
Bissaka Lindelof Maguire Shaw
Donny Fred Pogba
Greenwood Bruno Rashford

It will solve most of our problems because we will be able to control the midfield more.
This might be worth a look honestly as that is pretty much where he plays anyway. I think Donny is also better positionally and has better ball retention so he’d be a better fit in a midfield 3 than the combo of Bruno and Pogba for me.
 

Oranges038

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Might seem a bit extreme. But I'd go with a
1-4-1-4

Henderson

Maguire

McT - Fred - Pogba - Shaw

-------------- Bruno -----------

Amad - Greenwood - Cavani - Rashford

Maguire should have enough to cover it all himself, that way both Lindelof and Bailly are dropped and we don't have to hear people argue pver which one is better to partner Harry.

The 4 in midfield can shield the back one and control position to alllow the front 5 to attack relentlessly.


Result - lots of goals for everyone.
 

stefan92

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Might seem a bit extreme. But I'd go with a
1-4-1-4
This is just how the 3-5-2 at the start of this thread could look in attack (just by moving all wing players one line back/forth you switch between these formations).

But I agree, with the players you selected it is for sure a very attacking option, should be fun to see that as you really would have to outscore the opponent :cool:
 

RkkMan

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4-2-3-1
Henderson
AWB Lindelof Maguire Shaw

McTominay Pogba

Dan James Bruno Rashford

Greenwood

My logic is that we're best using players and a formation that provides width and outside Rashford Dan James is our best winger whatever people think of him here and he's a useful tactical weapon in big games. Greenwood is and never will be a RW but IMO he has a big future through the middle and his all round game is improving he simply needs to keep scoring goals as he's still our most clinical finisher and has a much higher ceiling than Martial who is not the player I thought he was. He's not worth sacrificing the game time of a promising CF for that's why he's not good enough to be a starter in my eyes.
Cavani is starting to look like a bad buy he's been playing like someone who doesn't want to be here and even his "movement" is proving to be useless on the pitch his God awful performances don't warrant him being a starter.

Whilst McTominay isn't a DM he's a more dependable option to use than Fred/Matic next to Pogba one is slow and finished and the other just doesn't offer much quality for a "Brazilian".
Defence picks itself
 

Bebestation

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Rashford- VDB -Greenwood
Pogba- Bruno
Mctomminay/Fred
Shaw - Maguire- Lindelof- AWB
Henderson

Rashford and Greenwood playing as a narrow partnership strikers with VDB playing in and around them.

Bruno and Pogba trying to find those 3.

We have defensively capable fullbacks more than most teams, enough to play as a narrow team at times.

Mctomminay and Fred switch CDM until we get a new one that can position themselves at CDM and able to hold symmetrical shape to our team. Having a midfield of Mctomminay, bruno Pogba and VDB dropping back should cover us whenever needed.

Fred and Mctomminay deserve to be further forward when this CDM arrive.

Henderson to come out of his line during corners.

Ps : What a CDM like a younger Matic would do is allow us to play a false 9 (aka a CAM at tip of a diamond) upfront and a false CB (aka a CDM at the bottom of a diamond).
 
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