The diamond

Giggsyking

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I just wonder when are we going to stop using this formation that OGS use, it needs out and out wingers that we dont have.
Last year we played the diamond against Everton and it was one of our best performances we ever played there.
With the players we have at our disposal and with the difficulties we face in controlling the midfield I would love to see OGS try the diamond again.

................. DDG
AWB ..... EB.... HM..... LS
................ NM
..........VDB.....PP
.................BF
...........AM.....MM
 

The White Pele

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With our current forward options it would actually allow us to rotate Martial, Rashford, Greenwood without having to rely on James and Ighalo off the bench so could be a good option. The fact that all 3 can drift into wide areas also means they can all be effective playing in a front 2 ahead of a diamond. VDB, Pogba and Bruno can also rotate within the diamond with the attributes they have too.

I do think we will always be at our most dangerous with Martial, Rashford and Greenwood together as a 3 though and if we were ever to sign Sancho then it will be even stronger.
 

RUCK4444

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I just wonder when are we going to stop using this formation that OGS use, it needs out and out wingers that we dont have.
Last year we played the diamond against Everton and it was one of our best performances we ever played there.
With the players we have at our disposal and with the difficulties we face in controlling the midfield I would love to see OGS try the diamond again.

................. DDG
AWB ..... EB.... HM..... LS
................ NM
..........VDB.....PP
.................BF
...........AM.....MM
Yeah been thinking about a diamond in the absence of top wingers like you say.

Would be nice with Antony and Marcus providing width with Bruno pushing up into a sort of false 9 at times. :devil:
 

Samid

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Meh. Too narrow. You need actual attacking full backs to provide the width if you want to play the diamond.
 

Nick7

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We don’t have the full backs nor the defensive midfielder for it. Matic would do well but ideally you’d want someone with a bit more of an engine.

we would literally have no width unless the two strikers play wide and then it’s no longer a diamond, just 4-3-3.
 

TheGodsInRed

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We would need some decent attacking full backs to provide the width. Otherwise teams will crowd the middle of the pitch and we will struggle to get through.

Alex Telles would be a start.
 

Bebestation

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I'd swap Bruno with VDB. VDB needs to get in to certain situations for his full movement.

The lad isnt creative from deep as someone like Pogba & Bruno is - but what he does is quick creativity by confusing the opposition with runs and quick short passes or flicks.
 

sincher

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I always think the [word removed] diamond only works when it becomes effectively a 4-3-3 anyway with the top end of the diamond essentially playing as a false nine and both attackers working the channels.

Or at least it would with our current full backs as they don't offer enough going forward.

Certainly true we have the players for it though given all of our front 3 like attacking from wide. VdB is ideal as the diamond point too.
 

Idxomer

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I knew this thread will come up tonight, the formation needs to be tried to utilize our most stacked position.
 

Bebestation

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We dont need attacking fullbacks - our front line dont benefit from a cross and are better when the ball is on the floor given to them.

Our defensive width comes from the fullbacks but our attacking one can come from both the forwards and the attacking midfielders like Bruno & Pogba play similar to how de Bryune and Silva did when they take in to half spaces.
 

JJ12

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Meh. Too narrow. You need actual attacking full backs to provide the width if you want to play the diamond.
Certainly is - Telles would help, though.
 

AneRu

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I just wonder when are we going to stop using this formation that OGS use, it needs out and out wingers that we dont have.
Last year we played the diamond against Everton and it was one of our best performances we ever played there.
With the players we have at our disposal and with the difficulties we face in controlling the midfield I would love to see OGS try the diamond again.

................. DDG
AWB ..... EB.... HM..... LS
................ NM
..........VDB.....PP
.................BF
...........AM.....MM
The fullbacks are the major worry going forward and I dont trust Matic playing as the lone DM with three attack minded partners in midfield.

I think a flat four in midfield behind two strikers will have more balance. Something like:

.....................DDG
AWB......EB...........HM.......LS
.............FR............NM
.........BF.......................PP
.............AM.........MR

With Greenwood, VDB and Mata as first changes. AWB is not ideal for this formation but he will have to do for now and his defensive solidity helps. Fred is needed to help Matic off the ball.
 

bosnian_red

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Only way a diamond works is with attacking fullbacks to create the width, so nah it won't work. Whatever the formation you basically need width from somewhere, on both sides. Either have 1 winger and 1 inside forward, with 1 attacking fullback and 1 sitting fullback (like Sir Alex had), or have 2 inside forwards with 2 attacking fullbacks (like Liverpool have), or 2 wide players with more narrow/inverted fullbacks (kind of like Pep at first at City, with the fullbacks coming inside a lot more but Sane and Sterling holding width.

Basically, our wide players (Greenwood and Rashford) call for fullbacks who will be stronger in attack and provide more natural width. Our fullbacks call for wingers who will hold the width. Doesn't balance. A diamond especially just means all the width will come from fullback. Doesnt work for us, works for Everton with Digne and Coleman.
 

kidbob

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With no Sancho but getting Telles I'd actually like to see:

DDG
Bailly Maguire Shaw
AWB Telles
VDB Pogba
Bruno
Martial Rashford

Bailly and Shaw cover for Maguire's lack of pace and allows us to push higher up the pitch, Maguire has the ability to push into midfield with the ball. Telles can bomb forward, Rashford gets to play closer to goal but most of all VDB, Bruno and Pogba get to play together in the one team. Could be a disaster but I don't think we are losing anything we currently have in trying this.

I should say that I want us to smother teams with that formation, especially the lesser ones. The idea is that VDB, Pogba and Bruno will all be close to goal when we have possession. Kind of how City find themselves camped in the other teams half when they are at their most effective. The main thing here would be interchangeable movement from the front 5 players and drilling winning the ball back up top ala Liverpool.

Just copy this in from another thread. For me this is best formation we can get in terms of having our best players on the pitch at once especially if we sign Telles. Not necessarily for the top teams but for the vast majority of games but maybe for the top teams too if it turns out well.
 

Woodenlung

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Swap Bruno and Pogba. Wouldn't want Pogba playing a deeper role without Matic in the side to do the majority of the dirty work.

Pogba's an excellent footballer, but every time I see him play I'm more convinced he doesn't have the discipline to play deeper.
 

sammyhol

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Not for me Geoff... i just doesn’t work...

4231 has been crap because of square pegs round holes...

You just need decent attacking FBs to make 4231 work. The whole point of a double pivot is it gives the FBs license to stay up the pitch a provide the width... with the right FBs, we could play Pogba, Bruno, VDB in a fluid 3 behind the striker.... with a Fred+Matic pivot.
 

Okey

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Been thinking of this too, and I agree with VDB at the tip rather than Bruno. I'd like to think Ole is giving it a thought too. Will (or at least should) bring out the best in our current first team. Even with Sancho, we would have 4 forwards who can rotate the 2 up top. And of course having Sancho makes it easier to switch formations. But as we are, diamond sounds like the way to go...
 

Bwuk

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Could play Bruno off the right and VDB at 10.
 

Andycoleno9

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Meh. Too narrow. You need actual attacking full backs to provide the width if you want to play the diamond.
You are are right about that. But we would have possession. And Martial and Rashford would give width.
But of course that attacking full backs would help a lot
 

edcunited1878

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Defensively and without the ball, United would have to go into a 433. You think Pogba would be aware enough and astute when having to defend an entire flank with Shaw?

United used the diamond with 4 at the back against Everton and it was pretty useful the first half, but then Everton changed formation and pumped the ball forward on the counter to bypass the central midfield, which would get very clogged.

The fullbacks, as said, have to provide width but be disciplined in their positioning if they're not going to overlap or take up aggressive attacking positions in the opposition half.

Just because United have an abundance of midfielders doesn't mean United should just try to get them onto the pitch at the same time. It leaves only Fred and McTominay on the bench, but at least Greenwood is available off the bench.
 

Mainoldo

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4222 we played when Pogba came on. The diamond is shite so no!

We seen it against Spurs and Everton and requires our two strikers to play as wingers. No thanks.
 

Foxbatt

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No need for attacking full backs, The two strikers can pull out wide to create the space with the midfield getting into central positions.
 

kidbob

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Defensively and without the ball, United would have to go into a 433. You think Pogba would be aware enough and astute when having to defend an entire flank with Shaw?

United used the diamond with 4 at the back against Everton and it was pretty useful the first half, but then Everton changed formation and pumped the ball forward on the counter to bypass the central midfield, which would get very clogged.

The fullbacks, as said, have to provide width but be disciplined in their positioning if they're not going to overlap or take up aggressive attacking positions in the opposition half.

Just because United have an abundance of midfielders doesn't mean United should just try to get them onto the pitch at the same time. It leaves only Fred and McTominay on the bench, but at least Greenwood is available off the bench.
So instead use the 352 with Shaw and Bailly either side of Maguire and now you have all your best players on the pitch with a back 3 to cover for the midfield with 2 very quick players in it. In my ideal formation it leaves Matic on the bench too. Slightly different from the diamond but not that much since you use Maguire's quality on the ball to play as the anchor (as in Matic's role) playing simple passes and providing an option when needed. It requires signing a Telles type signing though, and in the long run someone like Laird establishing himself over AWB to be ideal.
 

Teja

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I think it's more complicated than what you guys are suggesting here. Atleast from the few times we played it last year (w/o Bruno, VdB and even Pogba) this is how it went. Breaking it down by phase of play:

--------------- GK -----------------
-- FB -- CB -- CB -- FB -----
------------ DM -------------------
------- CM -- CM ---------------
-------------- AM ------------------
-- ST ---------------------- ST ---

While defending

When we played it last year (against Spurs and City), Rashford, Martial stayed wide but high up without helping in defence. The midfield would shift around based on which side the ball is (you still have two banks of four). Lethal on the counter attack, but has defensive issues.

Some other times, the AM stayed up as basically a false #9 and the strikers (Rashford, Martial) dropped back to cover the flanks. So it's effectively a 4-3-3 with the attacking mid staying up front. In practice, the player staying up changed between Mata / Martial, and the other one covered our RW. It wasn't very pretty, ended up being very defensive.

Defense --> Attack Transition

It was pretty great for counter attacks as mentioned above when both Rashford and Martial stayed up w/o helping the defense. But in general we're pretty good at counter attacks and this will only work if too many players are committed forwards by the opposing team, so not really an option against most of the PL. Maybe if we're a goal up and we want to pack the midfield but still be dangerous on the counter.

While attacking

It will be slightly different than our regular 4-2-3-1 but not by very much I think. Imagine Mata plays instead of James / Greenwood and drifts in to the midfield (in our regular 4-2-3-1) and the end result is almost the same. Extremely narrow, two banks of four can easily constrict the space. Rashford will drift to the left naturally in both formations and Martial will be central. Maybe Rashford's starting position will be more central if we play the diamond.

Fullbacks will be key and ours are not great in attack.
 

youngrell

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Shaw and AWB may not be great at attacking but they do offer us width and do go high when we are dominating the ball.

I think it could work as all the players who’d be playing ahead of Matic like to roam wide or into pockets. There would be plenty of passing options and all our best footballers are on the field.
 

AneRu

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We would need some decent attacking full backs to provide the width. Otherwise teams will crowd the middle of the pitch and we will struggle to get through.

Alex Telles would be a start.
If we get Alex Telles then it would be doable because we would have quality delivery from at least one wing.

The major issue is AWB and I think soon we are going to have to drop him if we want to have any quality input from the right because even if we were to get Sancho he is not going to standing out on the right all game long, he will also want in on the action so the demand for a RB who is competent in attack will always be there.
 

Mainoldo

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Shaw and AWB may not be great at attacking but they do offer us width and do go high when we are dominating the ball.

I think it could work as all the players who’d be playing ahead of Matic like to roam wide or into pockets. There would be plenty of passing options and all our best footballers are on the field.
Would you rate a striker that got into good positions that could never finish?
 

Chief123

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How many more threads do we need about the diamond? Unless we plan on signing Trent Alex Arnold and Robertson, we will not be playing this formation. We will be shocking width wise. Everything will be through the middle and opponents will congest it heavily to counter it. Non starter. We simply don’t have the full backs to play this.

This is not Fifa where you can do fast one-twos with the striker and get through on goal.
 

VivaRonaldo85

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All the above discussion does is hi light our need for two top class attacking full backs in the mould of the two Liverpool lads.

The only other option is we play 3 at the back with AWB as the RCB and buy a top class RWB but that isn’t happening any time soon.
 

luke511

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4-3-3 could still work, just a narrower version with VDB as a false 9 and Martial/Greenwood as left/right forward. More like:

Martial VDB Greenwood
Bruno
Pogba Fred
Shaw/Telles Maguire Bailly AWB/Laird​
 

Foxbatt

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Johan Cruijff thinks you do not need dedicated wingers to play the diamond. So I would say we can play with Martial and Rashford up front with them creating the space for our midfield to get through the centre.
 

Tapori

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You don’t be we do. So it’s a pointless point.

To add to that who’s going to give us our width? AWB and Shaw?
My point stands. It is not pointless in the slightest. We have options. Such as when we played split strikers against tottenham away under Ole. before.

You do not need to place your strikers wide to benefit from a diamond that is fairly compact in the middle. Your later points, that I never talked about, answer this question.
To make it effective you only really need 1 offensive full-back but preferentially for full effect you could have 2 attacking FB but moving depending on your instructions.

For other notions of the diamond lets hear from an absolute charlatan and no-mark:

 

Bebestation

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The thing is this Diamond wont be sitting in a 442. The diamond with be sitting in a 2- 3 -3 - 2; allowing us to transition from a 532 on defence to 235 on attack.

This diamond will have players dropping in to pockets both defensively and attacking wise.

Martial/Rashford- Greenwood/Rashford
VDB
Pogba- Bruno
Shaw -- Matic -- AWB
Maguire - Bailly

The diamond of Matic, Pogba, Bruno & VDB is still there - but VDB plays like a false 9 ( making runs & shorts passes off the wider forwards) and Matic plays like a false CB/CDM.

On defense :
Matic drops in the middle of the 2 CB's making us a back 3 and then our formation is shaped as a 532

On attack - VDB drops in to central attacking positions making us attack in a 235 whilst Shaw, Wan Bissaka and Matic provide cover for the midfield to get forward.


I actually think defensive fullbacks has a chance of working better than attacking ones in this set up. Having the balance of Matic, Shaw and AWB covering our 2 CB's will seriously allow Pogba & Bruno to get forward like de Bryune and silva have the ability to do with fernandinho and internal fullbacks providing cover.
 
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UNITED ACADEMY

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Midfield needs to work their socks off to pay attention & stopping both midfield & full back, now days full backs are always attacking & offer big threat. I don't think Pogba has the consistency to do such things. It would have been good to use against 352 formation though.