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About mjp1

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  1. As has been said, even more so because of Anderson being left footed. I can't remember if they switched when Hargreaves played alongside Carrick, but don't know if that ever happened anyway.
  2. No, that's the sides they played on every time they played together that season, and the season after. Here's the midfield for the match vs Barcelona for example. Carrick right, Scholes left. And here's a shot of the defence in action, Ferdinand on the right, Vidic on the left.
  3. For people interested, there are full matches from that season available on youtube, I wont link them here as theres probably copyright issues. There is a particular game against Newcastle (the 6-0 at home on 12/02/2008) where apart from Anderson playing in place of Scholes and O'Shea in place of Brown it's pretty typical of the home setup and a match where we won 2-0 vs Wigan away on the 11/05/2008 to seal the title with Ji Sung Park on the left hand side to mark a certain Ecuadorian who might be familiar to some.
  4. I'd politely disagree. The defensive shape of the team never really changed (even when there were personnel changes as in the Barcelona games), the variation was in how the 4 attacking players were deployed to exploit weaknesses and protect against opposition strengths. This changed a bit by 08-09 as Scholes started to wain and Fletcher played more, but in 07-08 it was the main constant in our play.
  5. The graphic is wrong. And it kind of does and I've laid out above. Man Utd defended in different ways depending on which side of the pitch teams attacked down. If they attacked down the left the aim was to get the foot in quickly and win the ball back as soon as possible for a quick release, knowing that Ferdinand and Carrick could get across and cover if it went wrong. Attacks down the teams right were focused on stalling until the left hand side of the pitch could get back into position, taking a more measured approach.
  6. Where Scholes and Vidic played on the left, Carrick and Ferdinand on the right.
  7. You've got Scholes/Carrick and Vidic/Giggs on the wrong side.
  8. Giggs was a weird hybrid that season, he didn't have the pace to run wide so he would dribble inside, but not in the classical IF of cutting inside to shoot or pass, he would often dribble into the box staying on his left to cross or cut back. His starting position was also narrower and deeper than it was even a year before.
  9. We didn't defend as a 4-4-2. Carrick would drop back and across, Scholes would tuck in and Giggs would help too. The aggressive press of Tevez and Rooney would generally make up for Ronaldo being purely an attacking animal by that point. Wide midfielder with attack wouldn't do justice to his starting position or his movements with and without the ball. If there was a specific threat down the right then Sir Alex would move Ronaldo to either a strikers position or on the left, but unless there was his presence alone on that flank was usually all the protection Brown needed. We actually defended pretty asymmetrically too, Brown, Ferdinand and Carrick would generally delay, frustrate and hinder to allow the more attacking elements on the left to get back in position without over-committing while Vidic, Evra and the midfielders would step up and try and win the ball earlier when teams attacked down the left (to release Ronaldo on the right with Scholes' passing ability). That's why it's important to get Scholes and Vidic on their correct sides in these formations which the diagrams in the OP get wrong. If you were talking about 06-07 then it would have been the pure 4-4-2 you describe, because Ronaldo was still a conventional winger and Giggs had a little bit more pace. Saha also didn't offer the same protection that Tevez did. With most groups of players this would probably be the better tactic to start from anyway, the point of SAF's tactics was to get the best out of the best player in the world at the time.
  10. I'm afraid I cheated and simply gave my current bunch of players nicknames to make it easier to understand
  11. Giggs, Nani and to a lesser extent Park. It was a hybrid, neither a 4-3-2 nor a 4-3-3, Rooney wasn't an attack midfielder, but neither was he an inside forward in that position, he was a striker but he dropped deep and wide left to make room for Giggs, who wasn't a central midfielder, but a wide midfielder who drifted inside. Simply put, because that is how United played. They made up for the gap on the right by having a far more reserved fullback in Wes Brown, having Carrick as the more reserved midfielder over on that side to cover and having the best player in the world requiring the opposition to at least double up on him. You could move Carrick into the CM(r) position as a DLP(d) and it would probably play the same, but the ML drifting inside and an out and out AMR cutting in were defining features of the formation. In a 4-4-2 there would be no real role for Ronaldo, in a 4-2-2-2 there would be no role for Giggs and in a 4-3-3 there would be no role for Giggs or Rooney. It really does have to be the asymmetric hybrid.
  12. I think an important thing that is being missed here is that Ronaldo played the large majority of his football on the right that season. The tactic in the OP is one we pretty much only used in the final. This is far closer to what we actually played for the majority of the season. The important thing about that season and the one after was Sir Alex's pragmatism with how he set up his "front 4", only the back 4 and midfield 2 were the same no matter what.