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nice work pal, at first i was thinking why Evra IWB but then read fully and understood, the Scholes/Pogba role i like very much there good job. 

 

Now all you need to do is sort me a Riquelme based tactic :p either a Boco one or the one Argentina used against England when Riquelme dominated that game until he got subbed. 

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Very nice, but I think you might want to change the way the tactic is laid out. I've noticed that when you use that kind if shape the players tent to be "not in line with each other" in the defensive phase. Like now for instance when in the defensive phase the the DLP is going to be behind the CM when in reality they are supposed to be in line to form a flat base. I think the other roles at self explanatory but I'm not sure about ever tho, he went forward a lot, and at times underlapped Ronaldo so I'm not sure what role can replicate that.

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5 hours ago, goqs06 said:

 Man Utd 07/08 

missioncopym_817593d.thumb.jpg.32a0f5c200a51e802986461dfb5939fa.jpg

10 years ago - the 2007–08 season was Manchester United's 16th season in the Premier League, and their 33rd consecutive season in the top division of English football. The season was regarded as a success; despite the team's slow start in the league, they won their 10th Premier League title (their 17th top division title overall, just one behind Liverpool's record of 18 but no premier league titles) and beat Chelsea on penalties in the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final to claim the European Double.

This thread examines how Sir Alex Ferguson set out his squad (tactics), and how key players, Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes, helped the team achieve that feat.

Manchester United did not use a specific formation in their amazingly from 2006 - 2009.  Sir Alex Ferguson had used a variety of formations – 4-3-3, 4-4-2, 4-5-1, 4-2-3-1, 4-4-1-1 – and probably a few others.

 

Analysis

During the 07/08 season, United always featured a back four with two relatively deep central midfield players, namely, Carrick and Scholes. Ferguson generally used an additional midfield player, with a fluid front three of Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez - these three were known to be the "new Trinity" ( the 1st being Best, Law & Charlton). These 3 were:

(a) highly versatile, happy to play either on the wing or through the middle

(b)  wonderful understanding in and around the penalty area

(c) all three understood their defensive responsibilities.

Other key components included there being no real striker and consisted of hard-working defensive players like Park and Hargreaves.

Characteristics of the Team / Style / Play:

  • Pressing a bit
  • Slightly deep defensive line, creating two banks of 4 and two strikers up top
  • Defending wide (played narrow at times due to tactical reasons)
  • Play fast and direct
  • Playing out of defence starting with the centre-backs (Ferdinand or Vidic) or a deep playmaker (Carrick)
  • full-backs (Brown and Evra) providing natural width
  • interchanging (i.e. the new Trinity) roles and squad rotations (Nani, Giggs, Park and many others getting rotational game time)

 

man-utd-chelsea-tactics-champions-leaguefinal-2008.thumb.jpg.6c4ccfe228b28bac2f566d53efe0f25b.jpg

A typical 4-4-2 4-4-3 ish formation utilised during that season.

 

Tactics

 

 

 

ins.thumb.PNG.0f04079d3eddd85cd6379e6c56058d9e.PNG

 

  • More Direct Passing + Higher Tempo (fast and direct football)
  • Pass Into Space
  • Play out of Defence (starting play from the back)
  • Work Ball into Box (play patiently, put balls into the box)
  • Play fairly wider (stretching play & defending wide)
  • Drop slightly deeper

 

  • De Gea / van Der Sar: nil
  • Valencia / Brown: Hold Position, Fewer Risky Passes
  • Jones / Vidic: Mark Tighter
  • Bailly / Ferdinand: Mark Tighter, Pass it Shorter
  • Shaw / Evra: nil (interchange iwb/wb on att duty, at times evra would either underlap and overlap ronaldo in certain games)
  • Matic / Carrick: Tackle Harder, Mark Tighter
  • Scholes / Pogba: More Direct Passes, More Risky Passes
  • Martial / Hargreaves: Roam from Position, Cross More Often
  • Rashford / Ronaldo: Close Down More, Mark Tighter, Roam from Position, Get Further Forward
  • Mkhitaryan / Rooney: Roam from Position
  • Lukaku / Tevez: Shoot Less Often, Roam From Position, Move into Channels

Enable player swap with Tevez/Rooney roles

 

Conclusion

There is a perception amongst some journalists that Ferguson is not a great tactician, but the more time that passes, the less this seems true. Away in Europe over the past couple of years, United have been devastating, and the way United set out against Arsenal at the Emirates by beating them 8-2 in 2011 shows that Ferguson is able to adapt to changing times and adopt new tactical formulas for success. He has utilised formations like 4-4-2, 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1, 4-5-1, 4-1-2-1-2 and much more during his long tenure as United boss from 1986 to 2013. However, one principle idea has not changed in the evolution of his tactics - the thirst and desire for attacking and entertaining football.

I've decided to make this post a more short one compared to my previous works in order to make it simple and concise.

This has been a 2-month project when I asked the community to see what tactical replications they wanted to see:

In December, I set up a poll to let the community decide via voting, ending up with Ferguson's 07/08 side edging out other topics like Brendan Rogers' Liverpool and Ancelotti's AC Milan:

I'd like to thank all my supporters, voters and mentors:

@Cleon

@Rashidi

@ifoundthatessence

@Rooneye

@Jean0987654321

@Bitner

@sherifdinn_

 

and many others!

Thank you so much... please follow my account if you like more of this content!

Absolutely great tactic and I just want to applaud this.I'm a man Utd fan and the 07/08 era really stamped fear and created a huge gap between us and every team in the league.

Sad that city are doing what they are doing at the moment though.

I will just like to ask,why so many PI's though.did you try to simplify some at least?.during your experimentation.

1 hour ago, felley said:

Have to say @goqs06, I think you have a tendency to overcomplicate your interpretation of tactics and this one is the most extreme yet.

You said it yourself that United defended in a 4-4-2 shape, so why not select that formation and move from there? Now if what you've posted above works for you then fair is fair, but to my eyes it's a mess of formation and instructions and I would struggle to work out where it was going wrong should I start having problems.

FWIW, from watching almost every game that season and if my memory serves me well, United defended in a 4-4-1-1 and used lightning breaks, width and fast interplay to create space in the opponents third. Carrick and Scholes allowed them to control the game against weaker opponents while they ground them down, while players like Park, Fletcher and Hargreaves gave them the ability to be more combative and sit deeper against higher quality opponents, drawing them out for a break usually spearheaded by Ronaldo/Rooney.

I'm not sure it was particularly the quality of SAF's tactical nous that saw the campaign end in success, more the typical Fergie/United team spirit coupled with the freedom given to certain players. United's key strength was the fact that their first team was borderline phenomenal and so many of them were in their prime. Van der Sar, Evra, Ferdinand, Vidic, Carrick, Scholes and Hargreaves were in their peak years - whilst Ronaldo, Tevez, Rooney and to a lesser extent Nani were top class talents who played with absolute freedom.

This would be my more simplistic take on how they played.

0708.thumb.jpg.2a3d4cfddb45843c3f36810b0ebb9acf.jpg

I've chose Standard because It never really felt like United were purposefully playing with an outrageous level of risk across the team. Against certain teams, they would push much higher up and compress their opponents into their half but from how I remember it, this would happen more naturally as Carrick and Scholes/Giggs controlled the game from deep.

Structured is used to create the relatively rigid banks that United defended in, as well as the clear distinction in duty between the front three and the rest of the team. United tended to play with one as a true forward (usually Tevez) and another two off the front with complete freedom to attack.

Player Instructions are:

  • Defensive Forward - Roam From Position
  • Shadow Striker - Roam From Position, Close Down Much More
  • Inverted Winger - Shoot More Often, Roam From Position
  • Wide Midfielder - Sit Narrower

 

And this is how I'd use the current United players to fit in...

lineup.thumb.jpg.6368d031a92a5d0adf1d0dc2f007ceb3.jpg

Lots of square pegs in round roles. Lukaku doesn't have the dribbling prowess of Tevez, nor is he as dangerous all over the final third. Lingard is perhaps a match for Rooney in terms of intelligence but is not as pure a talent. Martial is nowhere near Ronaldo. The midfield two could work but I would see Pogba naturally moving into a more advanced position. Mkhi is perhaps not defensively sound enough for his role. The back four are decent but nowhere near the individual quality that United possessed 10 years ago.

 

 

Your interpretation isn't bad at all.But I think he was going for the rather more accurate interpretation of the tactic which is the assymetric set up underlined in the image he got from the website.

 

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33 minutes ago, denen123 said:

Your interpretation isn't bad at all.But I think he was going for the rather more accurate interpretation of the tactic which is the assymetric set up underlined in the image he got from the website.

 

Maybe @goqs06 is more accurate in terms of attacking shape but - as you say yourself -  it's too complicated overall.

When trying to replicate a real life tactic, I think it's important to start out with as simple an interpretation as possible, then tweak to either match what you see or what will make it function more effectively. Now fair enough if you have time and a fantastic football/FM eye. Then you can watch any combination of instructions/mentality/shape and pick up on the minutiae in order to improve the tactic, but for most of us (definitely me!), simple is where it's at and it allows you to keep track of what changes are doing what.

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1 hour ago, sherifdinn_ said:

I think the other roles at self explanatory but I'm not sure about Evra tho, he went forward a lot, and at times underlapped Ronaldo so I'm not sure what role can replicate that.

I actually think the IWB is not at all what Evra did. The FM interpretation is more akin to how Pep is getting his wide defenders playing - coming properly into midfield during transition to attack and beyond. Evra stayed on the touchline and occasionally came inside much further up the pitch. My thinking was CWB because they have a default Roam From Position so he may on occasion come narrower.

What we saw IRL could end up being a bit too difficult on FM and again, needlessly complicated. In essence, Ronaldo had license to cause havoc from that wide position and Evra backed him up by never being too far from him. Some sort of attacking IF/IWB backed up by a supporting WB will be close enough.

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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.

lnHHr2X.jpg

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.

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26 minutes ago, mjp1 said:

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.

lnHHr2X.jpg

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.

That's actually a good point about Ronaldo... and Giggs did see plenty of time as a wide "too-slow-to-be-a-winger-but-still-technically-brilliant" type of player... but was it more that the front three switched positions fluidly?

IMO, I'd say the same about your tactic as the OP. Why complicate things by going asymmetrical? Why give yourself an extra problem to solve by leaving such a large gap down the right flank? A flat 4-4-2 regardless of any further instructions would instantly give you a more stable starting point

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5 minutes ago, felley said:

That's actually a good point about Ronaldo... and Giggs did see plenty of time as a wide "too-slow-to-be-a-winger-but-still-technically-brilliant" type of player... but was it more that the front three switched positions fluidly?

IMO, I'd say the same about your tactic as the OP. Why complicate things by going asymmetrical? Why give yourself an extra problem to solve by leaving such a large gap down the right flank? A flat 4-4-2 regardless of any further instructions would instantly give you a more stable starting point

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.

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9 hours ago, craigd84 said:

nice work pal, at first i was thinking why Evra IWB but then read fully and understood, the Scholes/Pogba role i like very much there good job. 

 

Now all you need to do is sort me a Riquelme based tactic :p either a Boco one or the one Argentina used against England when Riquelme dominated that game until he got subbed. 

@craigd84 Riquelme is the player regarded as the last "true" trequartista, right?

7 hours ago, felley said:

This would be my more simplistic take on how they played.

0708.thumb.jpg.2a3d4cfddb45843c3f36810b0ebb9acf.jpg

I've chose Standard because It never really felt like United were purposefully playing with an outrageous level of risk across the team. Against certain teams, they would push much higher up and compress their opponents into their half but from how I remember it, this would happen more naturally as Carrick and Scholes/Giggs controlled the game from deep.

Structured is used to create the relatively rigid banks that United defended in, as well as the clear distinction in duty between the front three and the rest of the team. United tended to play with one as a true forward (usually Tevez) and another two off the front with complete freedom to attack.

Player Instructions are:

  • Defensive Forward - Roam From Position
  • Shadow Striker - Roam From Position, Close Down Much More
  • Inverted Winger - Shoot More Often, Roam From Position
  • Wide Midfielder - Sit Narrower

I agree that your interpretation is simpler and still gets the same results, but I don't think a DF (S) isn't really accurate. Tevez/Rooney wouldn't press the opp. like mad like Costa. One of them would drop deep like a DLF while the other would push up higher, interchanging roles.

I'd have to admit that in the champions league, carrick and scholes sat deeper in the DM strata while in the league played in the CM strata.

Thus, in the CM strata:

Carrick: DLP (D)
Scholes: CM (S)

However the problem I've occurred is the roles for the DM strata...

Carrick to me is still a DLP (D), but I don't know what to choose for Scholes. Is he a Regista, Defensive Midfielder (S) with Get Further Forward, or a Segundo Volante like Roy Keane?

Thank you @mjp1 @felley @sherifdinn_ @craigd84 @denen123 for your feedback. Expect the OP to be updated with tweaks to the tactics and some gameplay results in the next few weeks...

Edited by goqs06

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As a I recall, we played a 442ish shape with Ronaldo with a free role and had the freedom to interchange with Tevez and Rooney so translating everything in this game might be difficult but we can get the base shape right.

Control/Fluid

GK

WB (s)-BPD-CD-CWB (a)

DLP (d)-DLP (s)-W (s)

IF(s)------------SS (a)

---------DLF (s)-----------

TIs

Pass Into Space

Play Out of Defense

Run At Defense

Higher Tempo

Whipped Crosses

PIs:

IF (s) - Get Further Forward, Roam From Position, Swap with SS

SS (a) - Roam From Position, Close Down Much More

DLP (s) - More Risky, More Direct

DLF (s) - Move Into Channels, Roam From Position, Close Down Much More

 

I'd prolly start with this, IMO

 

Edited by Jean0987654321

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Pointing that Rio ALWAYS played at Right center back, because Vidic played at Left Center Back to cover Scholes and Evra who were both bad defensive players.

Cheers,
Bitner 

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9 minutes ago, Bitner said:

Pointing that Rio ALWAYS played at Right center back, because Vidic played at Left Center Back to cover Scholes and Evra who were both bad defensive players.

Cheers,
Bitner 

Yep. I remember that well. The right side was Neville/Brown's and Rio's alone. I miss them :(

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1 hour ago, Jean0987654321 said:

As a I recall, we played a 442ish shape with Ronaldo with a free role and had the freedom to interchange with Tevez and Rooney so translating everything in this game might be difficult but we can get the base shape right.

Control/Fluid

GK

WB (s)-BPD-CD-CWB (a)

DLP (d)-DLP (s)-W (s)

IF(s)------------SS (a)

---------DLF (s)-----------

TIs

Pass Into Space

Play Out of Defense

Run At Defense

Higher Tempo

Whipped Crosses

PIs:

IF (s) - Get Further Forward, Roam From Position, Swap with SS

SS (a) - Roam From Position, Close Down Much More

DLP (s) - More Risky, More Direct

DLF (s) - Move Into Channels, Roam From Position, Close Down Much More

 

I'd prolly start with this, IMO

 

I’d disagree about the W(s) though. Both Nani and Giggs were more like Wide Midfielders who would cut in and link up with central midfield, but not as maurauding wing players hugging the touchline.

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6 hours ago, mjp1 said:

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.

lnHHr2X.jpg

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.

@mjp1 May I ask where you got this editor data which has all the vintage players and legends?

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2 hours ago, goqs06 said:

I’d disagree about the W(s) though. Both Nani and Giggs were more like Wide Midfielders who would cut in and link up with central midfield, but not as maurauding wing players hugging the touchline.

If we are talking about the position of Giggs, then I would say W (s). I don't recall Giggs cutting in much. Nani, certainly IW (a). Park Ji-Sung is a unique one but that position is easy (DW (s) w/ Get Further Forward, Roam From Position, Sit Narrower)

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49 minutes ago, Jean0987654321 said:

If we are talking about the position of Giggs, then I would say W (s). I don't recall Giggs cutting in much. Nani, certainly IW (a). Park Ji-Sung is a unique one but that position is easy (DW (s) w/ Get Further Forward, Roam From Position, Sit Narrower)

Agreed but Hargreaves is defo is a WM (Auto/Support)

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9 hours ago, mjp1 said:

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.

lnHHr2X.jpg

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.

You people tend to over complicate things by going assymetrcal. We already know we defended in a 4-4-2 why not start there. If you want ronaldo to play as an inside forward, why not okay him as a wide midfielder on (atk) and customize him however you want. I've done the same with another player and he got 15+ goals in a season.

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48 minutes ago, sherifdinn_ said:

You people tend to over complicate things by going assymetrcal. We already know we defended in a 4-4-2 why not start there. If you want ronaldo to play as an inside forward, why not okay him as a wide midfielder on (atk) and customize him however you want. I've done the same with another player and he got 15+ goals in a season.

I'm not trying to overcomplicate. That was basically our shape in defense. Ronaldo was gifted a free role meaning he didn't have to track back as much. IF makes sense

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4 hours ago, Jean0987654321 said:

I'm not trying to overcomplicate. That was basically our shape in defense. Ronaldo was gifted a free role meaning he didn't have to track back as much. IF makes sense

Indeed, Ronaldo, Tevez and Rooney were the focal point of United's attack. When set on the IF (S) Ronaldo plays like the focal point and dribbles higher up the pitch acting like the "main man". On the IW (A) role, he would be more like the "supporting cast".

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7 hours ago, goqs06 said:

@mjp1 May I ask where you got this editor data which has all the vintage players and legends?

I'm afraid I cheated and simply gave my current bunch of players nicknames to make it easier to understand :)

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6 minutes ago, mjp1 said:

I'm afraid I cheated and simply gave my current bunch of players nicknames to make it easier to understand :)

Oh I see 😆

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5 hours ago, sherifdinn_ said:

You people tend to over complicate things by going assymetrcal. We already know we defended in a 4-4-2 why not start there. If you want ronaldo to play as an inside forward, why not okay him as a wide midfielder on (atk) and customize him however you want. I've done the same with another player and he got 15+ goals in a season.

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.   

Edited by mjp1

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6 hours ago, Jean0987654321 said:

If we are talking about the position of Giggs, then I would say W (s). I don't recall Giggs cutting in much. Nani, certainly IW (a). Park Ji-Sung is a unique one but that position is easy (DW (s) w/ Get Further Forward, Roam From Position, Sit Narrower)

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.

Edited by mjp1

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This is my take on United from that magnificent season, based on the Champions League Final: 

5a522b117f8d5_ScreenShot2018-01-07at14_10_34.thumb.png.505ca8c5b4dcf257b4aafb14db63928c.png

As others have noted, Ronaldo played the majority of games on the right of midfield that season, but for FM purposes I believe it's more effective having him on the left, darting past the DLF-s when he drops deep as opposed to using the same space as the SS on the opposite side. Carrick could conceivably be a DLP-d, but i felt making him an Anchor Man was a bit more apt, giving us more defensive stability when the CWB forays forward. 

Player Instructions

DLP-S - More Risky & More Direct Passes

WM-S - Sit Narrower, Dribble Less, Cross From Deep

WM-A - Roam From Position, Cut Inside, Dribble More

SS-A - Roam From Position

DLF-S - *Close Down More, Roam From Position *If I had a player with Tevez's workrate, this instruction may not be necessary. 

Team Instructions

Play out of Defence - Encourages defenders to pass the ball into midfield, where the DLP (Scholes) can start attacks. 

Push Higher Up - Using DM's lowers the defensive line so i've raised it a notch to neutralise this. 

Higher Tempo - Encourages fast transitions which was a key feature of this United side.

Would probably add a few more pi's depending on how it played out, but this would be my starting point. 

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1 minute ago, jc577 said:

This is my take on United from that magnificent season, based on the Champions League Final: 

5a522b117f8d5_ScreenShot2018-01-07at14_10_34.thumb.png.505ca8c5b4dcf257b4aafb14db63928c.png

As others have noted, Ronaldo played the majority of games on the right of midfield that season, but for FM purposes I believe it's more effective having him on the left, darting past the DLF-s when he drops deep as opposed to using the same space as the SS on the opposite side. Carrick could conceivably be a DLP-d, but i felt making him an Anchor Man was a bit more apt, giving us more defensive stability when the CWB forays forward. 

Player Instructions

DLP-S - More Risky & More Direct Passes

WM-S - Sit Narrower, Dribble Less, Cross From Deep

WM-A - Roam From Position, Cut Inside, Dribble More

SS-A - Roam From Position

DLF-S - *Close Down More, Roam From Position *If I had a player with Tevez's workrate, this instruction may not be necessary. 

Team Instructions

Play out of Defence - Encourages defenders to pass the ball into midfield, where the DLP (Scholes) can start attacks. 

Push Higher Up - Using DM's lowers the defensive line so i've raised it a notch to neutralise this. 

Higher Tempo - Encourages fast transitions which was a key feature of this United side.

Would probably add a few more pi's depending on how it played out, but this would be my starting point. 

You've got Scholes/Carrick and Vidic/Giggs on the wrong side.

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1 minute ago, mjp1 said:

You've got Scholes/Carrick and Vidic/Giggs on the wrong side.

As I said, my tactic is based on the Champions League Final. 

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3 minutes ago, jc577 said:

As I said, my tactic is based on the Champions League Final. 

Where Scholes and Vidic played on the left, Carrick and Ferdinand on the right.

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10 minutes ago, mjp1 said:

Where Scholes and Vidic played on the left, Carrick and Ferdinand on the right.

Not according to the Zonal Marking graphic, but whatever, does it really matter? FM isn’t real life, I’d rather my pacier CB covering when the CWB is out of position, likewise i don’t want my chief playmaker having to do lots of defending out of possession.

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pvbgMTU.jpg

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.  

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It doesn't matter:

1) they played different shapes within the style

2) the front trio swapped positions

3) different players played throughout out the the 3 years

Anyway, really like the OPs idea. Been playing around with this for a couple of years. My current shape is within the classic lopsided 4-1-4-1. Will post it up later. 

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1 hour ago, themadsheep2001 said:

It doesn't matter:

1) they played different shapes within the style

2) the front trio swapped positions

3) different players played throughout out the the 3 years

Anyway, really like the OPs idea. Been playing around with this for a couple of years. My current shape is within the classic lopsided 4-1-4-1. Will post it up later. 

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.

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Always find it strange that people choose the CL final starting XI as a base to build a tactic replicating United from this period: that starting XI only played together once, in that game. It was normally Ronaldo on the right, with Giggs or Nani on the left. Hargreaves barely played on the wing in any other match - he played there against Chelsea to stop Ashley Cole and so Ronaldo could target Essien, who was the makeshift right-back for Chelsea.

I'd say they defended in a 4-4-2, so would use this or a 4-4-1-1 as the base formation, but Ronaldo's attributes (work rate etc.) would make him defend less, whilst Rooney and Tevez would press a lot more to compensate.

The other main formation was with 3 midfielders, usually Carrick as the deepest with two hard-workers either side. Ronaldo would often play as CF in this system, with Rooney and Park or Nani wide.

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8 minutes ago, howard moon said:

The other main formation was with 3 midfielders, usually Carrick as the deepest with two hard-workers either side. Ronaldo would often play as CF in this system, with Rooney and Park or Nani wide.

E870E269-AB3C-4842-898B-B5461C783AAF.thumb.jpeg.c662b9a6240b08716915bb867caa8d2e.jpeg

Ronaldo would often drop deep and drift wide, releasing other players and causing havoc.

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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. 

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9 hours ago, mjp1 said:

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. 

And that man was current veteran right back, Antonio Valencia 🙌

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The OP has been updated with some tweaks upon reviewing some of your feedback. However some things are still retained with the Counter/Structured tandem and the asymmetrical formation.

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On 08/01/2018 at 06:03, howard moon said:

Always find it strange that people choose the CL final starting XI as a base to build a tactic replicating United from this period: that starting XI only played together once, in that game. It was normally Ronaldo on the right, with Giggs or Nani on the left. Hargreaves barely played on the wing in any other match - he played there against Chelsea to stop Ashley Cole and so Ronaldo could target Essien, who was the makeshift right-back for Chelsea.

I'd say they defended in a 4-4-2, so would use this or a 4-4-1-1 as the base formation, but Ronaldo's attributes (work rate etc.) would make him defend less, whilst Rooney and Tevez would press a lot more to compensate.

The other main formation was with 3 midfielders, usually Carrick as the deepest with two hard-workers either side. Ronaldo would often play as CF in this system, with Rooney and Park or Nani wide.

Oo ok, thanks for the heads up! 🙂

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On 07/01/2018 at 17:02, Jean0987654321 said:

I'm not trying to overcomplicate. That was basically our shape in defense. Ronaldo was gifted a free role meaning he didn't have to track back as much. IF makes sense

When selecting the roles I nearly chose Ronaldo as a RMD (a), but then upon further analysis I realised he didn’t look for space too much.

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Well done to the Goqs06 for the work so. Enjoyable reading and quite liking everyone else's views on the set up too.

 

I've taken some of the ideas in this thread and started to adjust to fit my own thoughts on the system and also to link to how i want to develop a long term save on the game too. So what I did at the start was I identified the key players from the 07/08 team (14-15 players), reviewed what roles they were likely to use in and then tried to match them up like for like with our current squad to identify what is missing and gaps to fill. 

 

Its working out well so far, I'm mainly playing 2 different formations:

Main formation - 4-2-1-2-1 (works out as flat back 4, 2 DM's (set up here rather than CM just for positioning in match engine), MR, AML AMC and CF) gone with a AML instead of right to try turn Martial into my Ronaldo

2nd Choice - 4-1-2-2-1 - (works out as a flat back 4- a DM, 2 CM- AMR & AML, CF) 

 

I'm missing a Tevez and Giggs type players though, have sort of matched up attacking players - Ronaldo/Martial - Rooney/Rashford - Saha/Lukaku - Tevez/???? - Nani/Malcom (signed in game) - Park/Lingard - Giggs/????. Anyone got any suggetions? Hate Mata and Miki so they are both straight on the scrap heap.

 

I've also matched up my midfield as Carrick/Carrick - Scholes/Pogba - Anderson/Arthur (Another signing) - Hargreaves/Matic - Fletcher/McTominay.

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On 1/10/2018 at 22:07, simonbyrneno.4 said:

Well done to the Goqs06 for the work so. Enjoyable reading and quite liking everyone else's views on the set up too.

 

I've taken some of the ideas in this thread and started to adjust to fit my own thoughts on the system and also to link to how i want to develop a long term save on the game too. So what I did at the start was I identified the key players from the 07/08 team (14-15 players), reviewed what roles they were likely to use in and then tried to match them up like for like with our current squad to identify what is missing and gaps to fill. 

 

Its working out well so far, I'm mainly playing 2 different formations:

Main formation - 4-2-1-2-1 (works out as flat back 4, 2 DM's (set up here rather than CM just for positioning in match engine), MR, AML AMC and CF) gone with a AML instead of right to try turn Martial into my Ronaldo

2nd Choice - 4-1-2-2-1 - (works out as a flat back 4- a DM, 2 CM- AMR & AML, CF) 

 

I'm missing a Tevez and Giggs type players though, have sort of matched up attacking players - Ronaldo/Martial - Rooney/Rashford - Saha/Lukaku - Tevez/???? - Nani/Malcom (signed in game) - Park/Lingard - Giggs/????. Anyone got any suggetions? Hate Mata and Miki so they are both straight on the scrap heap.

 

I've also matched up my midfield as Carrick/Carrick - Scholes/Pogba - Anderson/Arthur (Another signing) - Hargreaves/Matic - Fletcher/McTominay.

that could work out. I've been testing out the tactic so far, and it's been working well so far.

Capture.thumb.PNG.b41d4caec2cb7e2c15c96024594f48da.PNG

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4 hours ago, simonbyrneno.4 said:

Sanchez could be a good player to take the Tevez role :idiot:

Not a bad choice if you look at his stats, but you'll need to retain him him the striker role.

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On 1/7/2018 at 02:14, felley said:

Have to say @goqs06, I think you have a tendency to overcomplicate your interpretation of tactics and this one is the most extreme yet.

You said it yourself that United defended in a 4-4-2 shape, so why not select that formation and move from there? Now if what you've posted above works for you then fair is fair, but to my eyes it's a mess of formation and instructions and I would struggle to work out where it was going wrong should I start having problems.

FWIW, from watching almost every game that season and if my memory serves me well, United defended in a 4-4-1-1 and used lightning breaks, width and fast interplay to create space in the opponents third. Carrick and Scholes allowed them to control the game against weaker opponents while they ground them down, while players like Park, Fletcher and Hargreaves gave them the ability to be more combative and sit deeper against higher quality opponents, drawing them out for a break usually spearheaded by Ronaldo/Rooney.

I'm not sure it was particularly the quality of SAF's tactical nous that saw the campaign end in success, more the typical Fergie/United team spirit coupled with the freedom given to certain players. United's key strength was the fact that their first team was borderline phenomenal and so many of them were in their prime. Van der Sar, Evra, Ferdinand, Vidic, Carrick, Scholes and Hargreaves were in their peak years - whilst Ronaldo, Tevez, Rooney and to a lesser extent Nani were top class talents who played with absolute freedom.

This would be my more simplistic take on how they played.

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I've chose Standard because It never really felt like United were purposefully playing with an outrageous level of risk across the team. Against certain teams, they would push much higher up and compress their opponents into their half but from how I remember it, this would happen more naturally as Carrick and Scholes/Giggs controlled the game from deep.

Structured is used to create the relatively rigid banks that United defended in, as well as the clear distinction in duty between the front three and the rest of the team. United tended to play with one as a true forward (usually Tevez) and another two off the front with complete freedom to attack.

Player Instructions are:

  • Defensive Forward - Roam From Position
  • Shadow Striker - Roam From Position, Close Down Much More
  • Inverted Winger - Shoot More Often, Roam From Position
  • Wide Midfielder - Sit Narrower

 

And this is how I'd use the current United players to fit in...

lineup.thumb.jpg.6368d031a92a5d0adf1d0dc2f007ceb3.jpg

Lots of square pegs in round roles. Lukaku doesn't have the dribbling prowess of Tevez, nor is he as dangerous all over the final third. Lingard is perhaps a match for Rooney in terms of intelligence but is not as pure a talent. Martial is nowhere near Ronaldo. The midfield two could work but I would see Pogba naturally moving into a more advanced position. Mkhi is perhaps not defensively sound enough for his role. The back four are decent but nowhere near the individual quality that United possessed 10 years ago.

 

 

@felley I'm ok with a flat 4-4-2 but I'd disagree with your Brown and Tevez roles. Brown was absolutely a conservative full back, so FB (S). Tevez never pressed so much but dropper deep, so DLF (S) or F9 (S).

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On 1/7/2018 at 10:06, goqs06 said:

 

I'd have to admit that in the champions league, carrick and scholes sat deeper in the DM strata while in the league played in the CM strata.

Thus, in the CM strata:

Carrick: DLP (D)
Scholes: CM (S)

However the problem I've occurred is the roles for the DM strata...

Carrick to me is still a DLP (D), but I don't know what to choose for Scholes. Is he a Regista, Defensive Midfielder (S) with Get Further Forward, or a Segundo Volante like Roy Keane?

Thank you @mjp1 @felley @sherifdinn_ @craigd84 @denen123 for your feedback. Expect the OP to be updated with tweaks to the tactics and some gameplay results in the next few weeks...

My take would be Carrick: DLP (D) 

Scholes: CM (S) / SV (S)

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On 1/8/2018 at 16:06, goqs06 said:

And that man was current veteran right back, Antonio Valencia 🙌

I remember watching that match! 

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On 1/7/2018 at 23:27, mjp1 said:

pvbgMTU.jpg

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.  

That's more for the CL final, not the average shape for the entire system.

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4 hours ago, simonbyrneno.4 said:

Sanchez could be a good player to take the Tevez role :idiot:

I'd try Dybala :) (do you know the wae?)

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