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Hello guys,

First of all i would like to clear the air of the statement, "the formation you set is the look in the defensive shape" as incorrect as i feel it can be tweaked to look however you want it to be just be setting a simple PI to your wide attacking forwards "mark tighter". this will instruct your wide forwards to track back their opposite numbers. Therefore the below tactic can also be tweaked to resemble a 4-2-3-1 if you fully understand how the tactic works. So for instance if you are using a 4-2-3-1 formation and you apply the PI "mark tighter" to your wide forwards your defensive shape would look like a 4-4-1-1 or 4-5-1 depending on the role set to your AMC. So if you use a 4-3-3 your defensive shape would look like a 4-5-1/4-1-4-1.

Secondly, this is my version of the mourinho man utd system, though it isn't purely the system as I tweaked it to suit my type of gameplay. So the below is just what I feel of how we play, it includes the 4-2-3-1 (4-4-1-1 here to get specific movement of players) and the 3-4-1-2 based solely on the Arsenal vs United game and designed solely to play against teams with attacking intent. So lets get to it, shall we?


i believe the best way to assign a player to guard your defense when the team is attacking is to put him on a DLP(def) duty and that is exactly what matic does when pogba plays alongside him, even as at that, he still comes forward occasionally and takes long range efforts scarcely. Like i said earlier, when we are defending with  low block, miki doesn't track back so ive given him the trequartista role. Pogba for me is a central midfielder with a support duty which i have heavily customized to have the passing freedom of a playmaker and the tenacity of a box-to-box midfielder. Lukaku simple enough a complete forward on support duty. Now addressing the fullbacks issue, I strongly disagree mourinho uses complete wingbacks, i myself consider them defensively irresponsible, which is why i went with a wingback with support duty as I've watched the play like valencia. i changed the leftback from fullback on support duty to wing-back because of solely luke shaw's talent. Defensively we're capable, second best defense in the league goals mainly come from rebounds from set pieces.

 Team Instructions.


Simple enough, normal tempo(if not lower at times. I don't think we've ever played a high tempo game this season), mixed passing, be more disciplined (preserve team shape, the mourinho way). Against teams that aims to defend and sit deep, i lower the tempo of the game to much lower to drag them out of position.

i credit my style of defense to my player instructions;

Front two asked to close down much more,

midfield four asked to close down more

fullbacks told to close down sometimes,

center backs told to close down less/much less.


i use opposition instructions that tell team to mark tightly the central midfield players of the opposition in order to win the the ball back in the best place to create play, the middle of the pitch. then tackle hard the opposition central midfield players, and all players are shown to their respective flanks because given the formation it is easier to defend the flanks. All this combines with the individual player instructions given to all wide men in the system which is to mark tighter an tackle harder, this ensures that they track back their opposite numbers in order to increase the possibilities of a turnover in the wider areas with the touchline being the third man a 3v2 will be created out wide.



As you can see this is a match against arsenal, tbf i didnt have the time to dig deep for the perfect example for our defensive shape, but this is close, as i said the trequartista will stay with the striker to have an extra man for the counter attack, (its also important that you use a good and "well inducted into your system" kind of player for this role as he is a key figure) the wide forward are already placed inline with the CMs but as at that i told them to mark tighter so as to make sure they don't lose track of their opposite numbers. from the opposition instructions, the aims is to shift the opposition wide because it easier to defend the flanks, trying to cause a 3v2 in our favour with the touchline as 3rd man. Wherever the ball is won back, theres sure to be a burst of energy when the chance for a counter arises. usually a 4v3 or 4v4 in our favour. We scored quite a number of goals on the break. Example...5a31a643609a6_ChelseavManUtd_FieldFull-2.thumb.png.1c514b9d5ab62afa0452b1a5b53f5d44.png

won the ball abck in defense and ball played to Ibra,


Ibra plays Luan (Trequartista)  through,


Gets his goal clean.

So now the 3-4-1-2 tactic.


Based solely on the match against arsenal, this is a refined form of the tactic as I made it to beat big teams, summary is, we defend with 8 men and attack with 2 men, now logically of the opposition wants goals they would have to commit men forward to break us down which in turn would would leave them at risk at the back against two quick forwards. Now the application of "get stuck in" TI would make players want the ball more and improve our chances of a turnover. Followed by a couple of direct passes and we get to the opposing goal an it ends with a shot.

Team Instructions


Glimpse of Defensive shape;


Counter Attacks;


SI restricts too many files, but one thing ;leads to another rashford gets a shot in the 6-yard area from a cross from valencia and scores. 



Arsenal EFL cup second leg behind of a 1-0 home win, we won the return tie 2-0 both from counters. Also at OT we beat sevilla in the 2nd leg of the europa league 2-0 comin back with a 2-2 draw at seville in the 1st leg.


Like I earlier said, This is not exactly how united play but more of an inspired system. If you made it up to this point thank you for your time.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Yours Truly,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Sherifddin Apampa,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Twitter: TheEngancheexpress, Sherifddin's Interlude.


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Now mind you, this tactic is more based on United's performances at the early stages of the campaign, but it has changed from that due to certain factors mainly;

Paul Pogba's absence, henrikh  mikhitaryan's dip in form and squad selections. So now reflecting on the games against Newcastle and Bournemouth, it is noticed that our play is widely generated down the flanks, and the AMC role would be an attacking midfielder other than a trequartista, with TIs to exploit the flanks and a changed width to balanced or fairly wide. It is something I plan on doing I my third season.

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