What’s your first choice midfield then?

Walrus

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Lots of debate, lots of options. I’m sure this has been asked at some point before, but:

Assuming everyone is fit and fresh, what’s your first choice midfield?

For me it’s McTominay, Bruno and VdB.

Work rate, leadership and creativity in spades there.
 

el3mel

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VDB and Bruno should be nailed on starters. The third position is between Scott, Fred and Matic but I think I'll try Fred of them first and see what he'll do.
 

Bastian

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It's not an easy question really. After Greenwood, I think Pogba is our most talented player. But I'd still rather see VdB and McTominay behind Bruno. We need much more energy in midfield. If McTominay gets a decent run of games I think he can still grow a lot as a player. VdB has shown already, in his very limited game time, that he's got so much to offer, and he works hard.
 

V.O.

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The diamond should work now that we've got Telles on the left and Wan Bissaka has decided that he's Batistuta. :wenger:
 

Tyrion

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Pogba Bruno
Matic​

Iirc, that was our midfield when we were at our best. VdB would be the back up to the front 2 and McTominay would back up Matic.
 

AneRu

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I think McFred and Bruno will always be our most defensively secure combination because of the energy and work rate Fred and McT bring. I think, for the time being, we should use that midfield and look to have DVB/Pogba coming on as impact subs at least until results stabilize.

I know Fred didn't have the best of games but I think we all know that he needs a number of games to really get going but I think he is so crucial with his tenacity off the ball.
 

ChaddyP

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I dont think anyone should be first choice, i think some games and situations call for different players and we should use the squad
 

siw2007

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McTominay Fred
Fernandes​

Not necessarily playing our best individuals but I think this is best for the team, we play with more aggression on and off the ball. We can bring on Van de Beek and/or Pogba later on if we need to shift the balance of the team to a more creative system.
 

Dante

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Manchester United only have 3 midfielders worthy of that description: Matic, McTominay and Fred.

Bruno, Pogba and VdB share some similarity to midfielders, but none of them actually are. If you wanted to play two of them at the same time, you'd need prime Makalele behind them to pull it off.

So, if you assume Bruno is a nailed on starter, you need to pick two out of the rest to sit behind...

Matic is too slow to cope with our high line. Pogba doesn't work because he's too careless in possession and too poor at pressing. VdB doesn't have the defensive awareness. And since we don't have a young Makalele in the team, the inclusion of the latter two is moot anyway.

So Fred+McTominay get in by default. Neither is top class on his own. But as a pair they work beautifully together. People on this forum love to talk about the 'double pivot' whilst misunderstanding it entails. Fred+McTominay actually are one. They're excellent at taking turn to sit and press. And because they share those burdens, it's much easier for them to pick the right positions at the right times on their sides of the pitch.

Matic makes a better DM in a midfield 3. Fred+McTominay make a better defensive pairing in double pivot. And whilst the latter option may not be the most creative, at least they make us more solid through the middle. That in turn allows Shaw/AWB/Bruno to play higher up the pitch. So it's swings and roundabouts.

A boxer can't go into a fight swinging big on every punch. He'll get knocked out before he lands one on his opponent. Sometimes a strong defence is the best way to get yourself into an advanced position. We already have enough weapons to cause problems when we do.

Fred+McTominay: they attac but they also protec
 
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Crashoutcassius

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if we have to win a one off game against a random team and you ppick your 11 blind...

mctom, fred, bruno cm

it has enough to create vs most teams assuming we have quality in the other options

rarely does this midfield no dominate the middle. fred and mcsauce cover so much ground it is incredible
 

AFC NimbleThumb

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I can’t get over the fact we have Paul Pogba & Bruno Fernandes at the club yet people are willing to accept mismanagement as a reason they can’t play together.

I refuse to believe there’s no system that couldn’t get better out of such talent.

The fact we’ve tried nothing other than 4-2-3-1 is an abomination.
 

noodlehair

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Fred McTominay
Fernandes

I know there is "debate" but I'm not sure why as it seems pretty obvious to me. This is the midfield that worked well last season and the only one that's come close to performing this. It's the only combination that isn't lacking in energy or sharpness.

I'd be tempted to find a spot for VDB based on what I've seen but I'm not sure where he fits unless we change the system a bit.

Pogba and Matic do not cover enough ground...or if they do don't cover it nearly quickly enough. I would say they lose the ball less often than Fred or McTominay but those two probably lost the ball less between them today than Pogba and Matic do each on average in a game...and Fred/McTominay tend to lose the ball trying to play a forward pass, rather than because they wanted to walk about with it in their own half.
 

mav_9me

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I am not sure about our first XI but I am pretty sure 2 out of Bruno, Mata and VdB have to start if our front 3 are not all available.
 

Tarrou

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The only one thats proven to work so far

Fred, McT and Bruno

Though I'd like to see VDB in there at some point

Pogba needs to step up to get back in and I hope he does

That Bruno, Pogba Matic midfield is bloody horrific against good sides. Teams slice through it with ease.
 

MrSingh2002

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Pogba Matic VdB
Fernandes
Cavani Rashford

The below players could also slot into that formation easily:
McTominay
Fred
Mata
Martial
Greenwood

We have no good wingers so why play a lineup with two wingers? 442 Diamond until we sign good wingers or the two young signings are worth starting.
 

AltiUn

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Fernandes, Pogba and Fred. We should have tried out some midfield combinations in the League Cup when we had the chance, having no pre-season means we'll have to experiment in meaningful games now. Van de Beek should be trialled in Pogba's position as well. I don't mind McTominay but he's the worst of our current midfield options and shouldn't be playing unless we're facing an injury crisis.
 

acnumber9

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Fred McTominay
Fernandes

I know there is "debate" but I'm not sure why as it seems pretty obvious to me. This is the midfield that worked well last season and the only one that's come close to performing this. It's the only combination that isn't lacking in energy or sharpness.

I'd be tempted to find a spot for VDB based on what I've seen but I'm not sure where he fits unless we change the system a bit.

Pogba and Matic do not cover enough ground...or if they do don't cover it nearly quickly enough. I would say they lose the ball less often than Fred or McTominay but those two probably lost the ball less between them today than Pogba and Matic do each on average in a game...and Fred/McTominay tend to lose the ball trying to play a forward pass, rather than because they wanted to walk about with it in their own half.
Tonight was the third time those three have played together in the league. The first time was a 1-1 draw with Everton, the second was a 1-1 draw with Spurs where we had to bring Pogba on to get us back in the game and tonight was 1-1 when we had to bring Pogba on to help us actually win the game. I don’t know where you get this idea they’ve played together lots and been a huge success.
 

sammsky1

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Any combination that doesn’t include Pogba. Watching today’s first half, it was so clear that pogba is a defensive liability, prone to creating extra pressure for our defence. And while he does sometimes offer an offensive option, the downside is simply not worth it.

perhaps a diamond with Mct at base and alongside Fred with Bruno at top, but id prefer Donny replace Pogna in that structure.

So Pogba can be a super sub, until he sorts his shit out and is worthy of a 1st team place.
 

mav_9me

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Any combination that doesn’t include Pogba. Watching today’s first half, it was so clear that pogba is a defensive liability, prone to creating extra pressure for our defence. And while he does sometimes offer an offensive option, the downside is simply not worth it.

perhaps a diamond with Mct at base and alongside Fred with Bruno at top, but id prefer Donny replace Pogna in that structure.

So Pogba can be a super sub, until he sorts his shit out and is worthy of a 1st team place.
Agree completely
 

Red_Orchestra

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To me, both McTominay and Bruno are undroppable.
With that being said, between current form Fred and Pogba for the other CM role. I'd go with Fred hands down.
To add to that, I'd probably would try VDB as a floating playmaker on the Right (The Mata Role)

??? --- Bruno --- VDB
----McTom----Fred
 

el3mel

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I can’t get over the fact we have Paul Pogba & Bruno Fernandes at the club yet people are willing to accept mismanagement as a reason they can’t play together.

I refuse to believe there’s no system that couldn’t get better out of such talent.

The fact we’ve tried nothing other than 4-2-3-1 is an abomination.
They indeed can't play together. Not as long as Pogba is a passenger off the ball and we don't have a a dynamic top defensive midfielder. Has nothing to do with mismanagement. Just won't work long term.
 

Johnson Yip

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Our intensity was at its best without Pogba & Matic, and our defence couldn't afford a static duo in front of them. I think we should keep Fred and McTom at the middle, with VDB an option every now and then.
 

MadDogg

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If we're going to play 4231 then the base of our midfield needs to be two out of Fred, McTominay and Matic. It just gives us the solid base that we can then build everything else around. Personally I prefer Fred and Matic. We lose some of the pressing ability with Matic playing instead of McTominay, but gain superior passing and ball-playing. It also gave us a better record last season in the league than either of them with McTominay (Fred and McTominay did do well in the cups against weaker opposition though).

Then we have Bruno, Pogba and VDB fighting for the #10 role, which obviously Bruno has to be first choice for now. The question is whether any of them can also play on a wing to good effect so we aren't so reliant on our main three attackers playing every game (although Mata has started the season very well and has generally played well whenever he's played with Bruno). Or hell, maybe either Bruno or VDB could even be an option as a false 9.

Honestly, none of us have any real idea how VDB will go. A few probably watched him a decent amount at Ajax, but that was in the dominant team in a weak league. Most of us have only really seen him since he joined us, and so far he hasn't really done anything noteworthy other than some nice flicks and moments around the box. Maybe he will end up being able to play in one of the deeper positions or off one wing, but for now he seems to be only an option for #10.
 

Lentwood

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As long as we never have Pogba in a two in midfield I think we’re fine.

Personally I would go for van de Beek, Fernandes and Fred in a three man ‘flat’ midfield, similar to how Liverpool set-up

That would allow me then to have Martial, Rashford and Greenwood playing ahead of them as a fluid three
 

AFC NimbleThumb

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They indeed can't play together. Not as long as Pogba is a passenger off the ball and we don't have a a dynamic top defensive midfielder. Has nothing to do with mismanagement. Just won't work long term.
Guess we’ll see going forward. People got what they wanted yesterday & game wasn’t won until Pogba came on the field.

So long as our best 3 consists of McT & Fred we won’t be up to much. We need 2 starting midfielders.

Playing Pogba in a 4-2-3-1 for months on end then finally seeing it ain’t working is. . . mismanagement; we’ve finally changed that though it seems.

I asked for a dynamic DM in the Matic replacement thread & was hounded cause he’d had a few decent games; we really should try a 4-3-3 but I’m only good at Football Manager so what do I know; apparently functional & limited are the standard for us going forward.
 

Ashish Negi

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I think time has come for MCT to step up. Fred with his Physique can't be trusted to play Matic role. In long term if Pogba future is at MUFC then my midfield will be.

Bruno/DVB- Scott- Pogba/Bruno
Or
If decided to Play diamond.

Scott
Bruno- Pogba
DVB/Mata
 

GioF

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For me I’d play with Fred holding and Pogba/Bruno further forward. Give us the pace needed to cover the ground with having two attacking midfielders going forward.
The reigns need releasing from Pogba. No point restricting him to play next to Matic in a withdrawn role.
 

red4ever 79

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We need to get our good players on the pitch, people who can pass, receive and move. So Bruno, Mata, VDB with someone behind them.
Would like to see
Matic VDB
Bruno
Mata