The diamond

3KDré

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Good to see he is being bold enough to stick with what has worked previously rather than reverting to old school 4-2-3-1.

Perhaps we have finally found the system that works?
It's definitely more balanced than our post lockdown 4-2-3-1. Puts our best players in their best positions. No Greenwood on the wing, no Bruno so far forward he is disconnected from midfield, no Pogba far too deep, no immobile Matic.
 

Oldtraffordboy

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Not working in this particular game.

Fred is a presser not a screener, so I don't think he works at the base.

No clue how to play through the press going forward either.
 

sammyhol

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Lads....

I know we want this to work...

but it’s a god awful formation, just like it was for an hour against Leipzig until we changed it.

so easy to defend against... absolutely no width at all.

fred the only out ball for the defence. then everyone narrow in front of him man marked.

it’s garbage.

And it’s all to accommodate pogba and Bruno in attacking positions

there is room for one up the pitch...

If Pogba cant learn the discipline to play in the 2, he shouldn’t be playing.

fred or Scott off please... push Paul back.

get Cavani on and get Greenwood and rashford wide.
 

Still ill

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Lads....

I know we want this to work...

but it’s a god awful formation, just like it was for an hour against Leipzig until we changed it.

so easy to defend against... absolutely no width at all.

fred the only out ball for the defence. then everyone narrow in front of him man marked.

it’s garbage.

And it’s all to accommodate pogba and Bruno in attacking positions

there is room for one up the pitch...

If Pogba cant learn the discipline to play in the 2, he shouldn’t be playing.

fred or Scott off please... push Paul back.

get Cavani on and get Greenwood and rashford wide.
Agreed. It has it's place but this is not it. Abort. Abort.
 

IrishRedDevil

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Shine dull like a diamond
 

Jev

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You need the two wide midfielders to be dynamic and creative enough to move around and make the diamond shape more flexible. With McTominay, a rather static and limited footballer, out there, you essentially get a useless defensive winger.

You also need attacking fullbacks to provide with. We don't have that with AWB and Shaw.

It can be useful to contain and control in Europe. In terms of creating, it's not really useful. Unfortunately Ole has now set us out to contain rather than create in two consecutive home PL games.
 

RUCK4444

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Throw the diamond into a chest, chain up the chest and throw it to the bottom of the Pacific, booby trap it for any manager that decides to try it again.
 

Bebestation

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I dont care if people disagree but I dont see what Bruno can do as an AM that he cant do from CM.

We need 2 creative CM if we are playing Diamond and a false 9 type Am/CF like VDB or Martial to link the midfielders to the forwards.
 

ThinkTank@Cafe

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I wonder why people think we are playing diamond vs Arsenal. If we have McFred in the lineup - it’s NOT diamond. McFred is always a horizontal double pivot.
 

Jev

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I dont care if people disagree but I dont see what Bruno can do as an AM that he cant do from CM.

We need 2 creative CM if we are playing Diamond and a false 9 type Am/CF like VDB or Martial to link the midfielders to the forwards.
His ball retention/pass percentage is nowhere near good enough for a CM. He'd need to play much more conservatively and recycle possession more. He could probably do that but we'd lose a lot of those decisive horisontal passes that make him so integral to our way of playing.
 

Crashoutcassius

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Not a good day for the droves of posters that think you just play a diamond and it's easy
 

VorZakone

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Ah yes, a bad game and now it's a bad formation again because there were never bad performances with other formations.
 

jamesjimmybyrondean

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Formation is one thing but when you can't beat a press and can't move the ball quickly I don't see how changing the formation will change much
 

Crashoutcassius

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Ah yes, a bad game and now it's a bad formation again because there were never bad performances with other formations.
Think just laughing at all the people that said it was obvious we needed to play diamond after going 7 months unbeaten with wingers. Diamond is good in games and good at getting big names on the pitch at United but no evidence it is going to help us
 

The United

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Well. The diamond...

As I said before, we do need wingers for PL and the way we want to play.
 

Adam-Utd

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VDB did the diamond much better than Bruno, and not having martial help hold the ball up and win fouls made all the difference.
 

saivet

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Does not work in the Premier League...
I don't think this is necessarily the case, we just didn't play it well at all. With the right coaching and blend of players, near enough any formation is playable.

An issue we had today was McTominay coming very deep and centrally and with the formation you ideally need to have good width from the full backs and neither AWB or Shaw provide that.
 

spiriticon

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I don't think this is necessarily the case, we just didn't play it well at all. With the right coaching and blend of players, near enough any formation is playable.

An issue we had today was McTominay coming very deep and centrally and with the formation you ideally need to have good width from the full backs and neither AWB or Shaw provide that.
I can't remember a diamond that was played with any sort of success in the PL for the last 20-25 years, and we've had many good coaches in the PL in the that time.
 

Leftback99

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Didn't take long for the issue of completely no width to be exposed. It will never work consistently with Shaw and Wan Bissaka.

On the other hand, we aren't going to perfect a new system in the space of a week.
 

charlenefan

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We don’t have the strikers or the FB’s to play it. I feel we played it in midweek to give players who needed minutes them but it wasn’t the answer today
 

Bebestation

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We didnt play Diamond today.

We played a 4222.

We have two defensive players with Pogba and Bruno in front.

A diamond only requires one defensive player at the tip, 2 free roaming CM and one attacking midfielder.
 

Lentwood

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I can’t think of one modern football team who have effectively deployed a “diamond”

We need to kill this idea quick. Our best formations are 4-2-3-1 with Pogba in the stands, 4-5-1 with Pogba in the stands, 4-4-2 with Pogba in the stands, 5-3-2 with Pogba in the stands or 4-3-3 with Pogba in the stands
 

Lebo

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Bring back our front 3 as we know it and have 3midfielders. I don’t know if this has been said already but 4-3-3 still remains the best formation if you have brilliant players.
It gives tactical flexibility of reverting to 4-5-1 when defending and 3-4-3 when attacking( DM join backline and fullbacks push up).
 

Berbasbullet

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I can’t think of one modern football team who have effectively deployed a “diamond”

We need to kill this idea quick. Our best formations are 4-2-3-1 with Pogba in the stands, 4-5-1 with Pogba in the stands, 4-4-2 with Pogba in the stands, 5-3-2 with Pogba in the stands or 4-3-3 with Pogba in the stands
I see what you’re saying! Pogba is our outstanding player! Got it!
 

automaticflare

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I can’t think of one modern football team who have effectively deployed a “diamond”

We need to kill this idea quick. Our best formations are 4-2-3-1 with Pogba in the stands, 4-5-1 with Pogba in the stands, 4-4-2 with Pogba in the stands, 5-3-2 with Pogba in the stands or 4-3-3 with Pogba in the stands
unfortunately I am starting to agree mate.
 

Lentwood

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unfortunately I am starting to agree mate.
Thing is, I’ve been guilty of being suckered by Pogba as well. He has the physical and technical attributes to be one of the best midfielders to have ever played the game but he’s just not an effective football player.

He’s 28(?) now and unfortunately he’s never going to be able to overcome the plethora of bad habits that plague his game. Hanging on to the ball in tight areas, taking too many touches, encouraging challenges and physical confrontations, switching off defensively, lack of awareness of space and tactics...if he were 20 I could possibly say “let’s give him one more year”...but the bloke should be in his prime and the damning thing is he’s yet to actually demonstrate he can effectively play one position on a football pitch
 

TheMagicFoolBus

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To play a diamond midfield successfully, you generally need players who are all-rounders who can cover for each other - it can't be a rigid formation and has to feature interchanges / fluidity. Right now you just simply don't have the midfielders. This isn't a slight against United specifically - I don't think a diamond midfield has ever really worked at the top level since Chelsea in 2008-2010 or so. That midfield was Makelele holding, Essien to the left, Ballack to the right, and Lampard further forward. The keys for this working were 1) Ashley Cole controlling the entire left flank and 2) the fact that all four of those players could drop deep and cover or step forward as necessary. Fred and McTominay are simply too limited to play a formation where almost literally all your eggs are in the midfield basket and you're relying on the individual quality of those players to win the game.
 

tjb

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The diamond isn't the problem...the lack of intensity and ballwinning ability from Pogba, Fred and Mctominay was the problem.
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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I have said it before. Playing 442 diamond with Pogba is going to be disaster. Because whoever play on that left or right side midfielder will need to work their socks off and cover a lot of grounds like Seedorf & Gattuso. And Pogba isn’t that type of player. It can work few games but not every match especially week in week out because that’s Pogba is, inconsistent. It’s just impossible to play Bruno & Pogba together in 442 diamond. Donny would have been better yesterday or honestly 4231 would have also been better choice yesterday without Pogba in the XI and Mata replaces him. In other word, drop Pogba.
 

jamesjimmybyrondean

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We didn't have all the pieces of the puzzle. We needed Martial to come deep, hold the ball, link up play and Fred on the right. We struggled to beat their press and that is a problem for us whatever the formation. Also struggled to move the ball quickly which is another problem we have irrespective of the formation. I think we should still go with the diamond or now that Martial is back, the 4-2-3-1 but without Pogba.
 

LuckyScout78

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To get the best out of a Diamond. You get to right ingredient/factors = right players and top level.
To get the best out of a top super car. You get have perfect wheels. Every ingredients have to be on top level.

And to understand the diamond formation. You get to know what it needs in all positions. Special the 3 men midfield. It’s the engine of the team. You get to have it right.
Now i will explain what it need and demand.

RCM - DCM - LCM

DCM = Deep laying playmaker. Really good to dictate and control the game from the deep. And beside him he has to creative runners.

RCM & LCM = Two creative runners. They are better with the attacking and the creative. Ideal and perfect RCM and LCM = Iniesta, Xavi and De Bruyne

City 3 CM = Da Silva - Fernandinho - De Bruyne
Prime Barca = One of the 3 in the history = Xavi - Busquets - Iniesta

Ask yourself. Are De Bruyne, Iniesta and Xavi deep laying playmakers? How were those 3 as a players. Aren’t they midfield runners?Make run and pass players from midfield to attack?

And the CAM is a central attacking midfield player. The link between midfield and the two CFs. A free role in the attack and behind two CFs in defensive.

Now. The question now is do United have the players to suit the diamond?
My answer not the highest level of a Diamond. But i think good enough to get top 4 and close to the best. But everything need time to gel and to work out. Things take time.

Mine rating and analyzing of United squad to suit the diamond. Special teams who sit deep. Is with this line up.

DVBeek - Matic/Fred - Pogba + Bruno - Rashford - Martial. Just let them work and gel together.

But against top teams in premier and Europe. I might go for 451. So stay compact and close the wide sides. Against teams United shall dominate most of the match. Diamond formation will suit better. You have 2 CFs whose will stretch the opponents defend. But against top teams. I am not sure United are ready to dominate the yet. Then counter attack. Stay compact with 3 really quick attack players is the answer. Like this :

Greenwood/Mata - DVB - Fred/McTom - Bruno - Rashford + Martial. With this line up. The key is when United break up opponents attack. Then play it up on the left side to Rashford or Martial. Most of United midfield players are right foot players. So it will be more easily to pass it to the left. Then you have a quick Rashford to combine with Martial. DVB and Bruno are quick too. So with this counter attack. I think Bruno will suit better than Pogba. Because Bruno usually is using few touches than Pogba and normally a bit quicker the ball and delivering of the passes.

This 5 men line up and combination might suit against parking bus teams too. But i think the Diamond with 2 CF and a CAM will suit better. Because Rashford is better as a CF. Rashford is been able to drible some CB in the box. And Greenwood is not a natural RW too. So...against top teams. Teams, those will give United space. Then super speed, good ball skills and a sharp and clinical finish what its needs.

So sum up and conclusion. Again, to make a diamond shine. The ingredients and players have to be right. As highest level as possible. Then the diamond will shine and works.

BUT. If you have a top quality RW. Then the 4231 can be ideal and perfect too. Special with Sancho. Like this:


Sancho - Bruno/DVB - Martial + Rashford. Against tight defend. Maybe with McTom - Fred/Bruno as the 2 cms.

Against top teams in Europe:

Sancho - McTom - Bruno/Fred - Rashford + DVB/Bruno - Martia/Greenwood

But now United don’t have Sancho in the team. A really good and natural RW. So depending on the level and qualities of the opponents. I will switch from diamond and 451 formation. I like 5 men midfield to close the wide side. And 451 make it more clear and easier to press as a team. Then the wide players can press opponents players with the ball into the middle. Where it is tight.

That is why i think and believe diamond or 451 will suit United best. 4231 with Bruno as a nr.8 and Greenwood as RW will work too. Against teams United shall dominate like this :

Greenwood/Mata - Bruno - McTom/Fred - Martial + DVB + Rashford

With the addition of DVB. I think you can Bruno a bit deeper, as a nr.8. Beside a nr.6. A defensive one.

So again. It depends really on the qualities and level of the players. To make all formations work. Beside really good coaching on the training pitch. Gel the players as a strong unit. Beside individual skills.

In the end. You need the important invisible factor too. Like luck. Really important. Beside good and right football decision as most time as possible on the pitch. Lesser poor decisions and mistakes.
All the factors and ingredients have to be in place. To make a bigger picture that is calling success and becoming the best. There are more beside football factors and ingredients. The bank of luck....has to be deep and big.
A lot of money to spend = good luck and karma. And winning and fighting mentality factors too. So the diamond and formations are clearly not the only reason and ingredient. Behind a team success. All the puzzles have to be in place ;)