Formations Thread - 4-2-3-1 / 4-3-3 / 3-4-3

Discussion in 'Manchester United' started by Sofabloke, Mar 20, 2017 at 8:30 AM.

  1. Sofabloke

    Sofabloke Member+

    Dec 24, 2003
    Mu
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Think this warrants a bit of discussion, is a few games we have now played a back three.

    Also interesting that along with Chelsea (who switched to 3-4-3 successfully a few weeks in to the season) Spurs are doing this also. The 3-4-3 they played at the weekend was credited with giving Ericson more freedom to play centrally.

    For our part it should allow the likes of Lingard, Mata, Mikhi, Martial etc. (ie WFs) more opportunity to assist centrally, plus give at least one of the CMs (eg Pogba) some more freedom to get forward.

    I think it could solve some issues for us and make us more compact when we play some of the bigger teams to come.

    One concern is we dont have a natural central CB (would have been ideal for a younger Carrick) as Smalling is a bit one-footed and his range of passing is limited. Bailly looked suited earlier in the season. Other concern is we havent had much free time to train in this system.
     
  2. MizzouMUFC

    MizzouMUFC Member+

    Apr 10, 2010
    Places
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    I don't think we're playing 3 at the back by choice. We're doing it because our quality at CB and LB is nonexistent. Jose is making up for that by stacking our back line.

    Oh and Mata isn't a WF. He's a 10 being shoehorned out wide.
     
  3. Ashur

    Ashur Member+

    May 31, 2015
    Another place, another time.
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    The the 3 at the back formation always gets plenty of stick, for being too defensive, allegedly. But used correctly, it's one of the most flexible formations there is, one that can provide defensive security, while being pretty explosive and open offensively.
    The role of the wingbacks is generally crucial in that setup as it provides direct support and strength in numbers on both sides of the ball. It's also crucial to have at least one or even two good ball CB among the 3 CBs as well, to be of some relief to the mids and provide some kind of outlet to our attack as well.
    Side note, if this is really the way we're going to go forward the rest of the way, it would stand to reason that a guy like Tuanzebe should be given a real chance in the first team. Not only to provide some depth and numbers at the CB spot, but also simply because this is a formation where he could potentially thrive in, given his own ability, especially with the ball at his feet. Inherently, there really isn't much wrong at all with that formation: just don't think we'll be getting maximum productivity from it yet, with the players we currently have.
     
  4. gatekeeper2

    gatekeeper2 Member+

    Jun 1, 2015
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    It's a temporary measure to get us through a grind, especially as player fatigue becomes more punishing. I don't see this as being the way forward under Mourinho next season.
     
  5. Diable Rouge

    Diable Rouge Member+

    Jul 17, 2006
    i like it. the 5 defenders give pogba enough cover to run up and down on the left channel. it also allows our playmakers to not have to worry about width. the only thing i would do differently is change from the current 5-2-3 to a 5-3-2 at the end of game (hence, controlling the midfield and recycling possession) instead of going full 6-2-2 which invites too much pressure.
     
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  6. MizzouMUFC

    MizzouMUFC Member+

    Apr 10, 2010
    Places
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Once we get some proper defenders, a Carrick replacement, and a dribbler we will go to a 4-3-3 permanently.
     
  7. Ashur

    Ashur Member+

    May 31, 2015
    Another place, another time.
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    #7 Ashur, Mar 20, 2017 at 11:00 AM
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017 at 11:08 AM
    What Jose is doing now, going from one formation to another is nothing new. It's something he's done in the past, in all clubs he's been in and we're seeing it again now.
    He will change the setup/formation whenever he feels it suits his needs, be it in terms of the personnel at his disposal or based on a particular and/or what a particular opposition dictates. Never has been slave to one particular formation and I don't see that changing in the future either...
     
  8. Diable Rouge

    Diable Rouge Member+

    Jul 17, 2006
    that's a great point ashur, 4-3-3 is not the end goal and jose has played about every system possible between porto, chelsea, inter, real and united. right now, i think the back 5 maximizes our output and hide some of our shortcomings.
     
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  9. Ashur

    Ashur Member+

    May 31, 2015
    Another place, another time.
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    #9 Ashur, Mar 20, 2017 at 11:22 AM
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017 at 11:30 AM
    If anything, I really have a feeling that the players he will be targeting this summer, will be one that give him greater latitude to change his tactical setup whenever he needs to.
    In midfield for instance, guys like Fabinho (even Paredes) would be great choices as pure replacements for Carrick, but it seems that he'll go for someone like Bakayoko. He'll not only provide the physical presence in midfield we are currently lacking and that Jose really wants. But someone like him can either play in a midfield 2 with Pogba or even Herrera, but would fit also in a mid 3 as well.
    In those circumstances, links to guys like Bakayoko or Franck Kessie make a lot of sense. It will be interesting to see which he goes at CB, now that Lindelof may be out of the picture. But the fact that he was linked to United for a while does make sense, in regards to the type of player he's looking for at the back.
     
  10. United 16

    United 16 Member

    Mar 25, 2016
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Why can't we try a 4-4-2 ?
     
  11. Chaz Striker

    Chaz Striker Member+

    Jul 26, 2005
    Denver
    Because we only have 1 winger. And we won't play our only decent side-back. And we have to play Pogba.
     
  12. Ashur

    Ashur Member+

    May 31, 2015
    Another place, another time.
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    #12 Ashur, Mar 20, 2017 at 11:46 AM
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017 at 11:56 AM
    Been wondering the same thing, given the players we have. Jose has played a 4-4-2, with a diamond midfield,something we could absolutely do. But truth be told, it's a formation that would make us very narrow (at least the way we'd probably line up), probably congested in some areas of the pitch and would be nowhere near as flexible or functional as the other setups we've used.
    Truth is, be it with a flat mid 4 or a diamond, the 4-4-2 is really an outdated formation nowadays. Leicester use it successfully because they have the right players for it, but also because their game in general is very simple and passive/reactionary.
     
  13. MizzouMUFC

    MizzouMUFC Member+

    Apr 10, 2010
    Places
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Now? Because we don't have the personnel to pull it off. As Ashur mentioned, we would play a diamond midfield 4-4-2 but that would leave us much to narrow and we'd be reliant on our wingbacks for width. Valencia can pull it off (but wouldn't offer anything offensively) but nobody that Jose plays at LB can do the job.

    Also, I'm pretty sure we're playing with 3 CBs right now because Jose doesn't trust any pairing to get the job done and it's hard to blame him. Our CB options are nowhere near what a top team should have. Hell, our best two CBs are probably Bailly and Rojo and because of their individual limitations they can't even be paired together.
     
  14. Diable Rouge

    Diable Rouge Member+

    Jul 17, 2006
    because pogba lol. the flat 4-4-2 is actually making a comeback in its compact version and can be very useful for counterattacking sides (leicester but alsto atletico and monaco, to great success).

    to not leave themselves too open, teams usually play with one winger and one full back "tucked in" - it could be mkhi and, say, shaw with valencia and martial providind width. rashford could also go long or wide with zlatan being the target man.

    the real problem is that pogba is not tactically disciplined enough to play in a midfield 2 with no cover whatsoever, and it would be a waste of his offensive talents anyways. i guess he would have to play as a pseudo wide playmaker for a 4-4-2 to work. juve did play a diamond on their way to a UCL finals loss but i'm not a fan of that particular formation.
     
  15. johno

    johno Member+

    Jul 15, 2003
    in the wind
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Country:
    --other--
    I would have less of a problem with a back five if we played Shaw at LWB. I would like to see us full strength with the 523 or 343 however you call it.
     
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  16. MizzouMUFC

    MizzouMUFC Member+

    Apr 10, 2010
    Places
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Agreed. That's why I mentioned that nobody that Jose plays at LWB is capable of doing the job. Shaw is tailor made for that role.
     
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  17. Ruud v.Nistelrooy 10

    Staff Member

    Jun 4, 2006
    Ba Sing Se
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Country:
    Jamaica
    nerp.

    Shaw's overlapping runs aren't good enough at the moment. his offensive output as a whole isn't good enough in truth. defensively he should be fine. i'd like the guy to play but i'd have reservations as with the rest of the LBs.

    if anything i'd think it would be Darmian's forte even if his form of late has been patchy
     
  18. Chaz Striker

    Chaz Striker Member+

    Jul 26, 2005
    Denver
    You're basing your opinion off of what exactly?
     
  19. barroldinho

    barroldinho Member+

    Aug 13, 2007
    Ex-pat in HB, CA
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Country:
    England
    3-4-3 is weak against formations that facilitate strong flanks.

    Even a 4-4-2 with skilled wingers, and capable overlapping fullbacks can force the wingbacks home, robbing the midfield of width.
     
  20. Sofabloke

    Sofabloke Member+

    Dec 24, 2003
    Mu
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    A 4-4-2 against a 3-4-3 should exploit the wide areas, though risks loosing the middle. However not that many decent wingers in the EPL (or the wider game) these days - probably why Chelsea and others can get away with it and one of the reasons it is making a comeback.
     
  21. MizzouMUFC

    MizzouMUFC Member+

    Apr 10, 2010
    Places
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Criticizes Shaw's ability to contribute offensively and then says we should play Darmian there. o_O
     
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  22. johno

    johno Member+

    Jul 15, 2003
    in the wind
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Country:
    --other--
    Darmian is shit. He looked good in Italy, but he looks like a bang average championship fullback over here.
     
  23. Stud83

    Stud83 Member+

    Jun 1, 2005
    A major problem with playing 3 at the back is we don't really have any CDs capable of moving the ball up or running into the open space even against the poor teams (let alone good ones). If Darmian was half as good as Azpilicueta, maybe we could've tried playing him on the right side behind Valencia or on the left behind Shaw. Bailly is too wild, watching Jones making forward runs is painful, and Smalling is... Smalling.
     
  24. MizzouMUFC

    MizzouMUFC Member+

    Apr 10, 2010
    Places
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Smalling likes to charge forward with the ball every once in a while and then once he gets in a good position he proceeds to pass the ball back to one of our CBs. He's the very definition of useless.
     
  25. Ruud v.Nistelrooy 10

    Staff Member

    Jun 4, 2006
    Ba Sing Se
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Country:
    Jamaica
    i never said we should. i said if anyone would fit the role it's him. i was never in favour of the formation...
     

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