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A 2007/2008 Manchester United Inspired Tactic

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As a massive Manchester United fan I'm trying to recreate my favorite team of all time, let me know what you guys think. 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. I will be mostly trying to recreate the asymmetric 4-4-2/4-3-3 that was used by Sir Alex in Europe as shown below.

 

Sources

http://www.zonalmarking.net/2010/03/20/teams-of-the-decade-3-manchester-united-2006-09/

https://thebusbybabe.sbnation.com/2012/3/22/2889149/2007-08-manchester-united-european-tactical-template-ferguson

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/sir-alex-ferguson-manchester-united-cristiano-ronaldo-wayne-rooney-greatest-ever-side-a7766771.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zK57GHRd9k

 

The Tactic I'm basing my recreating on:

 

image.png.f8113b85d0e628211220c221aa0cb782.png

Key tactical points of the tactic:

- Similar to Spaletti's Roma 4-6-0 formation of having no true forward, in the attack the trident of Tevez, Rooney, and Ronaldo would often switch positions to confuse the opposition. 

- Due to the front three's understanding of each other and movement within the penalty area, Ferguson was able to essentially give the trident 'free roles' within the attack. 

- Carrick would drop deep and screen the defense, often taking the ball off the defenders and playing short balls to Scholes who would initiate the attack with switching balls to the flanks.

- The team would often invite pressure knowing they could destroy teams on the break.

- Hargreaves was essentially a wide midfielder rather than a winger, whose job was slightly more defensive and to retain possession.

- The gameplan was to get the ball wide and whip it into the box, however, when counter-attacks weren't on United would slow the game down through holding the ball with Carrick and Scholes to draw opponents onto them and then to launch long balls out wide. 

Tactic:

1937056669_Screenshot2019-06-06at13_06_00.thumb.png.c7ee8420ee68d114f6a9da67c29d24cc.png

 

I was uncertain with the specific roles to choose for the Attacking trident, went with Shadow Striker as I didn't want a playmaker but rather someone who would focus on goals. I chose an IF-A as I want whoever plays there to emulate CR7, starting off wide but cutting inside towards goals to be a goal threat. The midfield duties are to replicate that of Scholes, Carrick, and Hargreaves. The DLP will dictate the tempo of game emulating Scholes whilst the WM-Su will be there for defensive cover. I still haven't settled on the CB partnership roles as I want them to emulate the Rio and Vidic partnership. I might change to BPD-Co and CD-St and see how that works. With regards to fullback's, I want one attacking and the other to take fewer risks. 

 

Players I'm currently using:

1432593803_Screenshot2019-06-06at13_21_54.thumb.png.19c7526666e22836a183a906f7a4f235.png1430691974_Screenshot2019-06-06at13_22_09.thumb.png.5a26c41b95bd55b0db8bde6bdff7f426.png

Not the best squad, but I feel I have the players suited to re-create this devastating counter-attack.

Player Instructions 

GK: none

RB: none

RCB: Hold Position, Close Down More, Pass it Shorter, Mark Tighter

LCB: Mark Tighter

LB: None

LM: Roam From Position, Cross More Often

LCM: More Direct Passes, Mark Tighter

RCM: Mark Tighter, Tackle Harder

RW: Close Down More, Mark Tighter, Roam From Position

CAM: Roam From Position, Close Down More

ST: Roam From Position, Close Down More

 

Essential Player Traits:

GK: none

RB: Runs With Ball Down Right /  / Plays One-Twos / Knocks Ball Past Opponent

CB: Marks Opponent Tightly / Dives Into Tackles / Runs With Ball Rarely

CB: Marks Opponent Tightly / Tries To Play Way Out Of Trouble

LB: Runs With Ball Down Left / Gets Forward Whenever Possible / Plays One-Twos / Avoids Using Weaker Foot

RW: Gets Into Opposition Area / Cuts Inside From Both Wings / Runs With Ball Often

RCM:  Tries Long Range Passes / Look For Pass Rather Than Attempting To Score

LCM: Dictates Tempo / Shoots With Power / Likes To Switch Ball to Other Flank

LM: Gets Into Opposition Area / Shoots From Distance 

CAM: Attempts Overhead Kicks / Tries First Time Shots

ST: Cuts Inside From Both Wings / Runs With Ball Often

 

If you have any suggestions on how I can improve the tactic please let me know.

 

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2 hours ago, officialmkp said:

image.png.f8113b85d0e628211220c221aa0cb782.png

Based on the above graphic - as well as my remembrance of how Utd played at the time, I would go with this:

TQ     DLFsu

 

IWat      CMde    DLPsu      WMsu

 

WBsu     BPDco     CDst     FBsu

GK

Which essentially means building up attacks through the right before switching play to the left.

Possible team instructions:

Positive / play out of defence, wider, overlap left, hit early crosses / counter, regroup / standard DL, lower LOE, slightly less urgent pressing, use tighter marking

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Posted (edited)

I just recently read cleon:s old topic about pseudo 442/433, which i been inspired by and could help you with your tactic.  

 

 

my tactic is now something like this (i need to test with segundo volante and regista on roaming playmakers position, but it will come) . You could try to play with control and normal passing and normal tempo. Its quite high, direct and flexible to emulate manu.  Other option would be counter with high tempo and pass into space.  

 

Other thing that you could try would be passing shorter and high tempo. I wouldnt go to much higher line/engagement, if i want to try to emulate old Manu tactic, but it can be used occasionally to put pressure on better teams.  

I first played with the same tactic, that cleon created, but it wasnt defensively as solid as i hoped and i could not press as i wanted. I still managed to get everton to place 3rd and second on my first two seasons.  Hope this old topic will help you!

 

liverpool pseudo433.png

Edited by Ilpoarm

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That image got one thing obviously wrong, Ferdinand always played on right and Vidic on the left.

I think you've gone over the top with the instructions, especially the overlap and exploit flanks. 

I would go with what @Experienced Defender posted, maybe CF-Su instead of DLF-Su.  I'd not use Look For Overlap either, I can't imagine Ronaldo being told to slow attacks down and wait for Evra to overlap on purpose.  Evra was great at getting forward so would overlap but don't think its something they would get Ronaldo to be more cautious and hold up the ball for.  Brown probably was a FB-S, but I think this was a limitation due to personnel, if G Neville wasn't injured and played i'm sure that role would of looked more like a FB-A, which I would prefer.

I think deciding the Ronaldo role just looking at that one game is hard due to Essien being the opposition RB.  He wasn't a natural RB and didn't get forward at all, maybe he was told to stay to cover Ronaldo but Ronaldo still dropped to be more inline with Carrick + Scholes like an IW than a IF.

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I appreciate that despite that image from the CL final in his actual tactic OP has recreated Ronaldo's role on the right. That's where he played most of the time, he was just switched to the left to attack Essien in the CL final. A bit like how if you had one of those graphics from the 1999 final you'd see Ryan Giggs on the right to attack a perceived Bayern weakness, but nobody would tell you Giggs wasn't a left winger. 

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9 hours ago, zlatanera said:

I appreciate that despite that image from the CL final in his actual tactic OP has recreated Ronaldo's role on the right. That's where he played most of the time, he was just switched to the left to attack Essien in the CL final. A bit like how if you had one of those graphics from the 1999 final you'd see Ryan Giggs on the right to attack a perceived Bayern weakness, but nobody would tell you Giggs wasn't a left winger. 

This is the problem with trying to emulate a diagram showing one game. It’s not representative of how the team actually played  

Similarly, it was usually either Giggs, Park or Nani on the other flank (in the 4-4-2 at least). Hargreaves only played there once, in the CL final because of Ashley Cole. 

Min the 4-3-3 it would often be Rooney on the left and Ronaldo on the right. 

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17 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

Based on the above graphic - as well as my remembrance of how Utd played at the time, I would go with this:

TQ     DLFsu

 

IWat      CMde    DLPsu      WMsu

 

WBsu     BPDco     CDst     FBsu

GK

Which essentially means building up attacks through the right before switching play to the left.

Possible team instructions:

Positive / play out of defence, wider, overlap left, hit early crosses / counter, regroup / standard DL, lower LOE, slightly less urgent pressing, use tighter marking

Thanks for the suggestion. Do you think I'll be able to create a similar trident to CR7, Rooney, and Tevez with this tactic though??

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1 hour ago, howard moon said:

This is the problem with trying to emulate a diagram showing one game. It’s not representative of how the team actually played  

Similarly, it was usually either Giggs, Park or Nani on the other flank (in the 4-4-2 at least). Hargreaves only played there once, in the CL final because of Ashley Cole. 

Min the 4-3-3 it would often be Rooney on the left and Ronaldo on the right. 

Yeah, Park at least would play a similar role to what Hargreaves did, only interpreted differently, they were both used more for their defensive work rate out wide. Whereas Nani was pretty much just like 2004-6 Ronaldo but smaller at that point in his career. 

The back four at least are easy though, barely changed. 

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4 hours ago, officialmkp said:

Do you think I'll be able to create a similar trident to CR7, Rooney, and Tevez with this tactic though??

If you have players of the same or at least very similar quality as these 3 guys, I guess it should work. Otherwise, they could struggle.

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