Rob Dawson ESPN: Solskjaer tells players he wants to implement a more attacking 4-3-3 this season.

Ramshock

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His 4-2-3-1 at Molde wasn't negative at all, but rather very attacking. All formations could be attacking and all formations could also be used to stifle and react to the opposition. It all depends on how the coach wants to approach the game regardless of the formation.

The formation isn't important but rather how the coach wants to implement his style of play. Bayern used a 4-2-3-1 when they won the UCL, but the difference between us and them is that they play that style by implementing a high line in a very imposing manner, on the ball and off the ball.

So when I said earlier about, what's being reported is similar to what I predicted. It didn't have anything to do with formations, but rather us playing a more imposing game by playing a higher defensive line which would help us both on the ball and off the ball due to us having a counter pressing threat aswell as being much more effective at transitioning play.
the 4-2-3-1 worries (which i dont share) were that we didnt need 2 holding mids which are currently McFred.
 

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General consensus seems to be that an upgraded DM is a priority for 433 to work. Unless we are playing our cards very close to our chest, we don't seem to be in for anyone?
 

Adnan

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the 4-2-3-1 worries (which i dont share) were that we didnt need 2 holding mids which are currently McFred.
I think those worries were more to do with two players being played in tandem who were better off the ball than they were on the ball. And that's not a criticism because they did a good job and we had a good season as far as league position is concerned. But the issue seems to be that we don't have a player in the squad who can partner either Fred and McTominay in a deeper role to provide the craft and guile without sacrificing defensive stability. So it seems like it might be for the best if we do go down the 3 man midfield route which may suit our most talented central attackers. Not sure how it'll pan out, but I'm intrigued to find out.
 

Dominos

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Our pressing is not the worst though, its our playing out from the back that needs more work.
It really isn't great - we too often press 1 player at a time and half heartedly.

Our ambition must be to get to the level of City and Liverpool team of recent years when they were at their peaks - their cohesion and pressing is on a different planet to what our current team displays.
 

Cassidy

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Like Pogba did for France? You’re totally guessing and stating it as if it will become fact when the reality is it’ll probably be very similar to the other 5 years and how he was for Juve too. Let’s hope the signings (Varane especially) do a better job of covering for him than at the Euros or than I think they will or can. I’m very interested to see what ole is cooking up but whatever happens you’re constantly shitting on our other midfield players to big Pogba up when the truth is they’ve been doing their jobs pretty well in the box to box. It’s Pogba who hasn’t been able to for whatever reason.
Pogba does track back for France and United
 

jamesjimmybyrondean

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Fred gets bypassed easily and out muscled. Mctominay has bad positioning, cant play progressive passes and is a passenger. I highly doubt any would work as a sole DM to two attacking minded players like Bruno and Pogba. If it works out it will be because we are defending as a collective
 

crossy1686

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General consensus seems to be that an upgraded DM is a priority for 433 to work. Unless we are playing our cards very close to our chest, we don't seem to be in for anyone?
Camavinga is the only name but it seems he wants to go to Spain. I think it's possibly dependent on Pogba being sold before the DM story hots up. I think a better CB and a more commanding GK than Dave solves many issues at the back anyway. We could get away with McTomminay or Fred playing there for one season.
 

He'sRaldo

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Fred gets bypassed easily and out muscled. Mctominay has bad positioning, cant play progressive passes and is a passenger. I highly doubt any would work as a sole DM to two attacking minded players like Bruno and Pogba. If it works out it will be because we are defending as a collective
This is the name of the game, defending and attacking as a collective with quality all over the pitch.

It does require a higher level of organization than what we've seen thus far, but this reported formation change is a good first step.
 

Valencia's Left Foot

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Rice and Varane should do the trick then.

I wouldn't trust one of McFred and Lindelöf.
What would make Fred or McT poor DMs in this system? Not trying to be argumentative, just genuinely curious what characteristics both players are lacking to adequately fill the DM role.
 

RuudTom83

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Its not a guarantee this will happen by any means...but it is one of the more interesting stories from the media.
 

MadDogg

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The issue I have is that many people are talking about 433 as if it's some magic way to get the best out of Pogba purely because of the formation. The three midfielders still generally have somewhat defined roles, with one being the most defensive, one normally being the most offensive with less defensive work deep in the field (ideally you still want them pressing and doing a lot of defensive work higher up the field), and one somewhere in the middle doing a fair bit of both (box-to-box if you wish). Pogba absolutely is best suited to 433, but as the most offensive one with two more solid midfielders beside him. Unfortunately for us Bruno is most suited to the exact same role in that formation.

We could perhaps get away with it if we had hard-working wingers helping out a lot, but Rashford, Sancho, Greenwood and Martial are all fairly defensively lazy.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if we do attempt this, but I think there's over a 50% chance that it ultimately doesn't work and we have to go back to Pogba OR Bruno in a lot of games. I'd love to be proven wrong as being able to fit both of them in a properly working midfield would be brilliant, but I think it's unlikely.

Our pressing is not the worst though, its our playing out from the back that needs more work.
Our pressing as a team is normally quite bad. We are almost entirely reliant on Fred and Bruno (and Cavani if he's in the team) doing it all, while everyone else sits off and lets the opposition play at the tempo they want. Sometimes in big games McTominay does a lot as well, but in most games he's surprisingly poor at it.

With a lot of people wanting Fred (by far our best at pressing) to be dropped, we'll become downright poor at it unless the person who replaces him does a similar amount. And there aren't many around who do that.
 

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Im not anti McFred like a lot seem to be but i'm not convinced either of them could play as a single DM. Fred already seems at his top gear in a double pivot and McTominay hasnt got the passing range. We've also been linked with Rice but hes a million miles short of the range of passing you need for the Fernandinho role. Unless the intention is to play an out and out anchor man which seems regressive.
 

Flying high

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Im not anti McFred like a lot seem to be but i'm not convinced either of them could play as a single DM. Fred already seems at his top gear in a double pivot and McTominay hasnt got the passing range. We've also been linked with Rice but hes a million miles short of the range of passing you need for the Fernandinho role. Unless the intention is to play an out and out anchor man which seems regressive.
If Rice enabled us to play both Pogba and Fernandes with freedom, then it wouldn't really be regressive.

That said though, there must be someone better than Rice available for less money. He's not exactly amazing.
 

jackal&hyde

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General consensus seems to be that an upgraded DM is a priority for 433 to work. Unless we are playing our cards very close to our chest, we don't seem to be in for anyone?
I think it's more the CB the priority myself.

Fred will surprise us I think. He was near the top in terms of interceptions and is good enough in progressing play. 2 genuinely solid CB and it might work.
 

Scholsey2004

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I think it's more the CB the priority myself.

Fred will surprise us I think. He was near the top in terms of interceptions and is good enough in progressing play. 2 genuinely solid CB and it might work.
Possibly so. City tried to sign him for that role at one point.
 
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The notion Pogba needs "two workers" in a 4 -3-3 is pure delusion at its worst. It's obvious clowns touting such nonsense never watched him play for Juventus at all. They just got their info from the gaggle of pundits who tout that nonsensical bullshit. Which is just agenda driven fantasy.
 

Solskjær's Red Army

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There is no place for a player like Bruno in a 4-3-3. We can't afford to carry him. People saying "bin Fred off" must be joking too. He would be the most important player in that set up and that's not as a DM.

Also we'd need a new DM depending on the condition of Matic. I hope we won't go anywhere near an overhyped & overpriced player like Rice.
 

bosnian_red

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The notion Pogba needs "two workers" in a 4 -3-3 is pure delusion at its worst. It's obvious clowns touting such nonsense never watched him play for Juventus at all. They just got their info from the gaggle of pundits who tout that nonsensical bullshit. Which is just agenda driven fantasy.
He doesn't need 2 workers. He needs two midfielders though. Especially when our wingers in Sancho and Rashford provide very little defensively. Neither Bruno or Pogba are your tempo setters, deeper midfielders who control games and progress the ball up the pitch. Ideally we'd want one of those and one of Bruno/Pogba ahead of a defensive midfielder. 2 attacking midfielders like Bruno and Pogba who like taking risks and who are weak defensively, behind Sancho and Rashford on the wings, is asking to get fecked hard on constant counter attacks because it's too much space for any defensive midfielder to cover.
 

jackal&hyde

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He doesn't need 2 workers. He needs two midfielders though. Especially when our wingers in Sancho and Rashford provide very little defensively. Neither Bruno or Pogba are your tempo setters, deeper midfielders who control games and progress the ball up the pitch. Ideally we'd want one of those and one of Bruno/Pogba ahead of a defensive midfielder. 2 attacking midfielders like Bruno and Pogba who like taking risks and who are weak defensively, behind Sancho and Rashford on the wings, is asking to get fecked hard on constant counter attacks because it's too much space for any defensive midfielder to cover.
I take objection to the bold part. Not sure about Sancho but Rashford is kept up top for tactical reasons (to be a focus for the counter); he does not lack the work rate or ability if asked to defend. We probably do this because we play with two pivots. If we move to a 3 men mid with only one DM, the wingers will do more defensive work.
 

Dan_F

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I take objection to the bold part. Not sure about Sancho but Rashford is kept up top for tactical reasons (to be a focus for the counter); he does not lack the work rate or ability if asked to defend. We probably do this because we play with two pivots. If we move to a 3 men mid with only one DM, the wingers will do more defensive work.
And to protect him over the last 18 months. I don’t have any doubts about his work rate.
 

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I take objection to the bold part. Not sure about Sancho but Rashford is kept up top for tactical reasons (to be a focus for the counter); he does not lack the work rate or ability if asked to defend. We probably do this because we play with two pivots. If we move to a 3 men mid with only one DM, the wingers will do more defensive work.
I'll believe it when I see it. Rashford has been terrible with his defensive work rate for the last two seasons no matter who we have in midfield. You would think if it was tactical that there would have been a difference in his work rate when we played a more attacking midfield (ie. Pogba in there).

My hope is that it was partly due to injuries as he got even worse after the back injury in 19/20, so we might see some improvement after this operation and enforced rest. But even before that injury he had drastically reduced how much he helped out defensively from the beginning of that season.
 

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AWB at DCM? Speed and tackling, and being weak in the air won’t hurt us as much there. Just has to chase people down and destroy play.

Always unlikely a top player will change positions, but he’s the player we have best suited to the role imho.
 

United in sin

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As is an out-and-out DM then, surely. I don't think Camavinga fits that role (yet). And I don't think we've really been linked to anyone that fits that description (apart from that Dieng guy in the Egyptian league?).
Maybe Ole thinks one of our existing players can fill that void, but I don't think Fred can. Maybe Scott could, but then you lose a lot from his box-to-box game.
McTominay is not even trusted to sit back whenever he's had to play with Pogba in a double pivot
 

bosnian_red

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And to protect him over the last 18 months. I don’t have any doubts about his work rate.
His work rate is fine, same with Sancho. But they definitely don't offer a whole lot of defensive cover. They're closer to forwards coming back than a wide midfielder doing his natural game. It's not like a Giggs and Beckham level of balance on the wings. Not like Young or Valencia. It's barely Nani level of defensive cover from Rashford and Sancho probably does even less defensively.

All I'm saying is that we have way too many in our team who are too far one way or the other. Bruno works hard and is great as a second striker or the most advanced midfielder, but thats also Pogbas position. Put both in Sir Alex's old 4-4-2's with Bruno as a #10 and Pogba instead of Scholes and they'd be fine and we'd still be balanced, because we had Keane or Carrick basically organizing everything but also had Becks/Giggs our wide or later on balanced Ronaldo on one side with Giggs or Park on the other, occasionally Nani in easier games.

We don't have that quality organizing sitting midfielder first of all, but also our wingers are very much both attacking guys who don't offer a whole lot of defensive cover, so we need more cover in midfield to accommodate. 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 hardly makes a difference, we need to replace 2 of our 3 midfield positions to give a better base both on the ball with tempo setting and deeper progressions, as well as off the ball to close down spaces and dictate how the opposition is playing through our defending. Neither Bruno nor Pogba are the right midfielders to be that #8, even with Carrick next to them. Someone like the potential Camavinga has next to a Declan Rice for me is a great level of balance to accommodate for that front 3 (and Bruno being the most advanced midfielder). But Camavinga is a lot stronger defensively than Pogba.

Even a Fred and Jorginho partnership would be better. Or Verratti and Rice. Or Locatelli and Camavinga. Until I'm proven wrong on the pitch I'll continue to beat the drum that there is no way to make Bruno, Pogba, Rashford or Greenwood, Sancho AND a striker all in the same starting 11 work. There is no defensive midfielder who can balance that. I'd be delighted to be proven wrong and Pogba turn into a class and balanced #8, but that's never been his game. Until we sort our midfield 2 out behind Bruno (or Pogba), we'll ultimately fall short IMO.
 
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Dante

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Stephen Howson interviewed Mike Phelan this week on Rio Ferdinand's Youtube channel:
And asked him behind the scenes about United's shift to 4-3-3. This is apparently how Phelan responded:
Basically, Phelan said "yes, but we are looking to be flexible with a couple of formations".

By the sounds of it, 4-3-3 won't be the default formation and it won't be something that Ole is going to dogmatically pick.
 

VP89

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Stephen Howson interviewed Mike Phelan this week on Rio Ferdinand's Youtube channel:


And asked him behind the scenes about United's shift to 4-3-3. This is apparently how Phelan responded:


Basically, Phelan said "yes, but we are looking to be flexible with a couple of formations".

By the sounds of it, 4-3-3 won't be the default formation and it won't be something that Ole is going to dogmatically pick.
I don't think Phelan was ever going to confirm one way or another on a YouTube channel. 99% chance he would give the open ended answer he gave in the interview regardless of what the truth actually is with our approach.
 

Dante

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I don't think Phelan was ever going to confirm one way or another on a YouTube channel. 99% chance he would give the open ended answer he gave in the interview regardless of what the truth actually is with our approach.
He's a better source than Rob Dawson.

And watch the interview. He was there in person in the studio for 51 minutes. The fact it's Youtube doesn't diminish anything.
 

Mike Smalling

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AWB at DCM? Speed and tackling, and being weak in the air won’t hurt us as much there. Just has to chase people down and destroy play.

Always unlikely a top player will change positions, but he’s the player we have best suited to the role imho.
Have you see him in possession? Most erratic player ever. Even if his duties are primarily defensive he still needs to be comfortable on the ball. AWB centrally would be tactical suicide.
 

VP89

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He's a better source than Rob Dawson.

And watch the interview. He was there in person in the studio for 51 minutes. The fact it's Youtube doesn't diminish anything.
The quote isn't giving anything away. He's given an open ended answer without providing any new information.

Even last season he could have said the same. No coach is going to disclose openly what their approach is going to be even if its obvious. Even Conte in his Chelsea opening press conference refused to confirm he'd do a 3 cb approach, when it was blatantly obvious he would.
 

Dante

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The quote isn't giving anything away. He's given an open ended answer without providing any new information.

Even last season he could have said the same. No coach is going to disclose openly what their approach is going to be even if its obvious. Even Conte in his Chelsea opening press conference refused to confirm he'd do a 3 cb approach, when it was blatantly obvious he would.
So you trust Rob Dawson more than the Assistant Manager of Manchester United? Okay.
 

redmanx

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Stephen Howson interviewed Mike Phelan this week on Rio Ferdinand's Youtube channel:


And asked him behind the scenes about United's shift to 4-3-3. This is apparently how Phelan responded:


Basically, Phelan said "yes, but we are looking to be flexible with a couple of formations".

By the sounds of it, 4-3-3 won't be the default formation and it won't be something that Ole is going to dogmatically pick.
The most sensible and truest thing I heard during the recent Euros was Graham Souness telling his co pundits who were waffling away about formations, false nines etc etc that football has been around a long, long time and in that time just about every formation and tactic imaginable has been used; there is nothing new in football and at the end of the day its all about putting the ball into the net, and the team which does this most, wins. They looked at him like he was some sort of heretic or philistine.
 
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I believe 4-3-3 works best when the dm has 3 strengths. Excellent positional sense , ability to snuff out danger before it develops when either if the 2 more attacking midfielders lose that ball. Plus an ability to progress the ball. Especially by switching play to the flanks. If they are not s deep play maker type.


A player with those 3 attributes can comfortable play behind a Pogba and Bruno double attacking 8 pairing. It's not like they offer nothing defensively. Both would actually be better suited to pressing high up the pitch rather than having to track runners
 

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All to be revealed Sunday at 1pm I guess. Even if the 3 regular starters won’t be playing :wenger: