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Hey Mourinho! - 3-5-2 is the answer!

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31 July 2018 ...

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In a game of two halves, Manchester United held on to beat Real Madrid 2-1.

United ended their pre-season tour of America in style with their best performance yet, and most impressive result too. The Red Devils overcame Los Blancos thanks to two early first-half goals!

With Manchester United’s top brass struggling so repeatedly in the transfer market, it looks like there’s no way José Mourinho is going to get the right-winger he wants; he has said he will probably get one of the positions he wants: a centre-back - perhaps, Mina, Maguire or Alderwield. Given the problems that causes in the United side, the Portuguese coach may realise that 3-5-2 is a great solution for the entire season, not just pre-season.

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United's attacking options - Martial, Rashford, Lukaku & Sanchez etc ... They like to play centrally. Why not choose a formation that allows them to do so?

It will also be a squad whose full-backs are limited and could do with less responsibility than was placed upon them in 2017/18. Instantly you see that 3-5-2 solves those two issues, as playing wing-back lets the likes of Luke Shaw and Matteo Darmian focus more on attacking and not have to worry so much about scurrying back in defence.

3-5-2 also creates a solid midfield trio where the need for a genuine holder is alleviated by the extra centre-back. This means that a ball-player like Fred or Andreas Pereira or Ander Herrera could “hold” midfield with ease. This suits the three men United have on tour as well as Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard, the Englishman played in this exact system to great individual and collective success at the World Cup.

In attack, Romelu Lukaku would obviously suit the system as it would give him a partner in close proximity. Marcus Rashford would thrive knowing that any minutes he would play would come in attack, and, of course, Alexis Sánchez has always been at his most effective in a forward role with relative positional freedom.
 

Should this be the way forward for the 18/19 season?

 

- Credits to Squawka Football

Edited by goqs06
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Never thought about it given I'd been hoping for a well-implemented 433 with Pogba on the left of the midfield three...until the World Cup, then I really wanted us to sign N'golo Kante given he's so good he can effectively be the other two in the three (and Deschamps seemed similarly focussed on results over performances to Mourinho). 

One thing I would say is that despite coming to fame at Torino playing as a wing back, I have no idea if that system used very offensive wing backs but all I've seen from Darmian so far is that he's very defensive. I'd have more hopes for him going full Azpilicueta than providing an attacking outlet. As your projected lineup shows though, he'd be presumably fifth choice full back until Luke Shaw angers the boss by getting injured by a tackle.

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When Manchester United have the lead or are playing a good side away, Mourinho wants his wingers to sit very deep - almost like full backs - when United defend. So he likes to 'double up' on each flank with a full back and a winger. That is not possible in 3-5-2-system so I very much doubt that Mourinho will play use 3-5-2 in competitive matches.

Personally I'm not a fan of big clubs playing 3-5-2. It's tough to create chances with this system when the opponent sits deep and only is thinking about defending. Chelsea won the Premier League playing 3-5-2 but they did it with great defence. Offensively they weren't that great.

Edited by HansJoachimM

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55 minutes ago, HansJoachimM said:

When Manchester United have the lead or are playing a good side away, Mourinho wants his wingers to sit very deep - almost like full backs - when United defend. So he likes to 'double up' on each flank with a full back and a winger. That is not possible in 3-5-2-system so I very much doubt that Mourinho will play use 3-5-2 in competitive matches.

Personally I'm not a fan of big clubs playing 3-5-2. It's tough to create chances with this system when the opponent sits deep and only is thinking about defending. Chelsea won the Premier League playing 3-5-2 but they did it with great defence. Offensively they weren't that great.

Chelsea played a 3-4-3 and scored 85 goals that season, with Hazard playing out of skin and Costa getting 20 goals. What on earth are you on about

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3 minutes ago, Bluebird123 said:

Chelsea played a 3-4-3 and scored 85 goals that season, with Hazard playing out of skin and Costa getting 20 goals. What on earth are you on about

You're right. They played a 3-4-3 but I still don't think Chelsea where great offensively. They where very effective and took there chances but they didn't create that much. 

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Interesting post, @goqs06 :)

I think it suits all their players. Until Mourinho went to Man United, I never expected he would play three at the back so regularly. I wonder if it's more of a case of him viewing the game differently or simply that he thinks it suits the squad. 

I do agree with @HansJoachimM that breaking down smaller sides might be difficult. Perhaps for some of those games they could revert to 4 at the back, or switch to a 3-4-3.

In FM terms, there would be a lot of possibilities for the front two combination. Lukaku could lead the line as an AF or CF(a) and allow Sanchez to drift around deeper as a F9; or Lukaku could play deeper as a DLF(s) and bring others into play, with the pace of Rashford/Martial/Sanchez as an AF ahead of him ... as well as a tonne of other options.

 

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I wouldn't even bother mentioning the real result, it was there first pre season game and had even more B team players yet utd looked more tired in 2nd half. He also said he used a 3 to help Bailey as he had no other CBs.

From your plans Fellani who just got a new contract doesn't figure and Mata is also missing, arguably the most creative player.

I think it will be a 433/451 with matic, pogba and Fred starting plus sanchez, mata and lukaku up front.  Herrera, McT, fellani covering midfield, Pereira, lingard, and rashford covering front 3 roles. Maybe Pereira and lingard doing the most attacking central roles if needed due to injuries. Martial if not sold will likely be loaned unless things improve.

Edited by summatsupeer

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I think its a good post, and right now, a good fit.  Utd have played a small amount of 352 games under Jose but I don't think its his preferred style and I doubt we'll see it that much.  I reckon Fred was signed to play a 4231 with him and Matic holding for Pogba.  The right side up top as likely to be Lingard as anyone else, not sure Mata is the starter in fact Jose wants someone else here e.g. Willian or Peresic.  Tactically though a nice thought.

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3 minutes ago, Jean0987654321 said:

But yes, we could easily do a 352 IF we get another CB in but we won't :(

Also not a huge fan of the 3 CBs we'd have for such a system.  Southgate didn't like Smalling's distribution from the back and I'm not sure Jones or Rojo is much better.  Whilst Lindelöf may be able to pass a2b I don't know yet if he's cut out to be top level in a league like the Prem.  All more reasons pointing against 3 at the back for MU.  Only Maguire or Adweirald might alter matters.  Yerry Mina has very big question marks over him.

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34 minutes ago, Robson 07 said:

Also not a huge fan of the 3 CBs we'd have for such a system.  Southgate didn't like Smalling's distribution from the back and I'm not sure Jones or Rojo is much better.  Whilst Lindelöf may be able to pass a2b I don't know yet if he's cut out to be top level in a league like the Prem.  All more reasons pointing against 3 at the back for MU.  Only Maguire or Adweirald might alter matters.  Yerry Mina has very big question marks over him.

Yeah I'm shocked we're not getting rid of Smalling - I know Mourinho doesn't really bother that much about distributors, but he's awful at defending set pieces too, in the derby he had both arms around Kompany yet the City player still got up to score a header, and that method of defending will be thankfully going out of the game anyway. I personally think Lindelöf's first season could prove similar to Evra and Vidic's settling in 6 months (same with Sanchez actually) as although Jones-Rojo was a great combo two seasons ago, both have injury problems - I think we were meant to have Bailly-LIndelöf as our CB partnership last year, yet I'm not sure they got 180 minutes together due to Bailly's injuries then their both being dropped a lot in the second half of the season. 

Yerry Mina to Everton seems about their level - either he'd gel well with Keane then the big teams would buy one / both of them, or he'd suck and be packed off back to Brazil. If we're going to get all hyped about a centre back who scored 3 goals in the WC, how about we get re-hyped about Rojo, who finished with his weak foot like a PL-quality striker would with their strong foot? 

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At the risk of not crossing over into MU transfers thread I'd agree Rojo out and Mina in makes little sense to me as far as I know about the latter.

The other merit about this thread is two up top and I think Sanchez/Lukaku plus Martial and Rashford could make some great pairings.  But then you begin o eliminate Mata, Lingard and maybe someone like Pereira.  Maybe this is part of Utd's problem, too many player styles to fit just one system?

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This thread has nothing to do with FM. It should be in the general football section

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1 hour ago, Hovis Dexter said:

This thread has nothing to do with FM. It should be in the general football section

I’ll post a tactic of the proposed 3-5-2 later if you insist 

Edited by goqs06

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2 hours ago, goqs06 said:

I’ll post a tactic of the proposed 3-5-2 later if you insist 

Not the point... it's not an FM thread.

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@Robson 07 That surely should be a strength? I'd like Lingard to be kinda like Pedro before he left Barcelona - capable of slotting wherever in our attack someone needs rotated. I'm still half expecting Mourinho to ship out Pereira as soon as our WC players return he's exactly the grudge-holding type and wanted Pereira to stay in Manchester and not play last year rather than going to Valencia. Mata, as much as I love him, just really doesn't seem like a Mourinho player and I think he's probably only still here as nobody has shown serious interest in him.

I enjoy the thread but I have to agree it doesn't really seem like an FM thread.

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@goqs06  If you want to post real life Man Utd match reports / discussions, please use the Man Utd thread in the Football Forum.  It also looks like you've copy/pasted that report, so it'd be nice if you also posted credit for the original writer.

On the other hand, if you're after tactical discussion then go right ahead - although giving it an FM slant towards how to go about creating this in game would also be useful.

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