Formation v City

Sideshow Bob

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Why do we think Mourinho changed the formation today after the successes against Watford and Arsenal?
 

SuperRash

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I guess Jose thought that whatever formation we played City were gonna have much of the ball, so he wanted four guys on the counter attack? But like you say, it was successful against Watford and Arsenal that I think in hindsight it was the wrong call. To be honest though City were so good today and whatever we played it may have ended the same.
 

jsp

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Can’t play 3-5-2 vs City as they’ll destroy you out wide so I get why he changed it but the midfield were awful today they were outnumbered at times but we couldn’t get close to them and City squeeze the space on you so every time our guy gets it he’s under pressure.

It didn’t really work in those games as we had no control in the game even before going ahead at Watford we were never in control of the game.

I think if we had more midfield options he would gone for the 3 but with Pogba banned and Fellaini/Carrick injured we could only play a 2 and ask Lingard to come in and help when we didn’t have the ball.

Put any formation you want together they are better than us all over the park in every position apart from keeper they are stronger than us today.
 

Sideshow Bob

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I'm not that bothered United lost today, I'm more frustrated by how United played and the tactics employed by Mourinho. He got it wrong. There was no structure nor pattern of play and the team reverted to hoof ball.
 

SuperRash

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I'm not that bothered United lost today, I'm more frustrated by how United played and the tactics employed by Mourinho. He got it wrong. There was no structure nor pattern of play and the team reverted to hoof ball.
Yeah we were poor. The odd little flashes we looked threatening but City were a class above.

I don’t necessarily think City would have destroyed us if we had played 3-5-2. It’s easy to say in hindsight but I think we may have been a little more compact but saying that City can rip you to shreds at any point.

Damn City and their oil money! :p
 

jsp

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Same but I’m not sure how else he could’ve gone he had 2 fit midfielders not sure a back 3 helps us keep the ball all I’d say is could we have gone for a narrow 4-4-2 and put 2 strikers up against them because we don’t really have wide options anyway.

Sadly formations only really apply for not having the ball but City with the ball penned us in and there was no escape without Pogba no one brave enough to take the ball under pressure and play the way out of the Man City press.

Hoofing the ball to Lukaku never worked for Everton and it doesn’t work for us either it’s time to bin that plan in big games because it’ll get us nowhere.
 

maxt7

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We went 3-5-2 at Arsenal and got torn open so much that maybe that played a part in Jose’s selection. Personally when I saw the team come out I dropped my snowball and thought ‘he's going for this today’.

Head on the block time. I thought that despite how much of the ball City had they didn’t look as dangerous as Arsenal did last week. Difference being last week we defended better and attacked better. Today we were poor in both areas.

We missed Pogba of course but the last few weeks our ball retention hasn’t been great and that’s a big problem for us at the minute. It’s like we need someone to play in between Pogba and Matic to pick passes and keep the ball, because Ander has fallen off a cliff and Mata isn’t quick enough to go box to box. Combine that with a striker who’s score 5 goals against the big 6 in his last 40 appearances and your cooking up a problem regardless of team shape.
 

SuperRash

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Head on the block time. I thought that despite how much of the ball City had they didn’t look as dangerous as Arsenal did last week. Difference being last week we defended better and attacked better. Today we were poor in both areas
Yeah I do agree there to a degree, I thought City were brilliant in their ball retention but they had an air of arrogance about them, they thought they could just walk the ball into our net. Arsenal were a lot better but De Gea was world class on the day. We gave City far too much respect and paid for it.

The title is probably gone but we need to forget about City and just do our thing. Our next 8 games are very very winnable so just win our games and see where we are.
 

IDFD

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As much as it hurts to lose to City with Arsenal Liverpool and Chelsea dropping points and most of us resigned to the fact this City team were gonna win the league this season the weekend could have been a lot worse for us
 

maxt7

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True true. But we did gift it to them at times. I’m not denying Silva’s and KDB’s quality but there wasn’t any real build up in our attacks and we wasted possession especially in the first half.

I think keeping the ball is what we need to do better. Not keep it for the sake of keeping it. But there’s always times in big matches where you just have to keep the ball popping around for 5-10 mins to take the sting out of a match. And invite them on. Ok it’s hard with Smalling playing, but Herrera and Matic I though were guilty today of just knocking something up there without being composed and picking a pass.

I think we need to go get someone like this Goretzka guy who’s going to be relatively cheap considering his contracts up in the summer. He goes box to box. His tall. He can pass. His both footed. Think he’d be a better 3rd wheel then Herrera in the Matic and Pogba partnership.
 

jsp

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We did gift them two goals with poor defending but I don’t think we had a shot until about 40 minutes in and City 2 or 3 times got into very dangerous positions and got off very tame shots I remember 1 from Sterling and one from Jesus.

They would also argue that they gifted us our goal with some poor defending, City totally controlled that game and apart from 5 minutes after our goal never really looked nervous.

The best move of the game was probably the one that Lukaku missed was some nice build up play that really should’ve got us an equaliser.

The difference in class was obvious with the ball though they are miles ahead of our players and a few of them lost their heads Rojo, Herrera and Young were all guilty of lashing out in frustration on a City player who was just to good for them today.

I think City aren’t really clicking up top at the moment but they are ruthless you make any mistake and it gets punished sadly we made 2 mistakes and they only made 1.
 

Edgy1968

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If it was me I think I would have picked the exact same side that Jose did, I was arguing with someone in the pub last night who was saying "ah Jose tactics, park the bus, don't attack bla bla bla" and it wound me up a bit because asked him what he would have done differently, couldn't answer it.

You know they will have a lot of the ball and with Rashford Lingard Martial you have pace to burn on the counter, only problem is you don't have that CM who is calm on the ball and can actually beat a man or pick a pass, makes me wonder what difference Pogba would have made but can't do anything about it so no point worrying.

Makes me wonder why Pereira is at Valencia instead of still at us, could have played a 3 in the middle and matched up against them and he can actually take the ball in tight areas and find a man further forward, Matic does what it says on the tin and Herrera just runs around but never really offers to much, I don't think Jose could have done much else yesterday to be fair but our ball retention was horrific, hoofing it up field was pure embarrassing.
 

jsp

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If it was me I think I would have picked the exact same side that Jose did, I was arguing with someone in the pub last night who was saying "ah Jose tactics, park the bus, don't attack bla bla bla" and it wound me up a bit because asked him what he would have done differently, couldn't answer it.

You know they will have a lot of the ball and with Rashford Lingard Martial you have pace to burn on the counter, only problem is you don't have that CM who is calm on the ball and can actually beat a man or pick a pass, makes me wonder what difference Pogba would have made but can't do anything about it so no point worrying.

Makes me wonder why Pereira is at Valencia instead of still at us, could have played a 3 in the middle and matched up against them and he can actually take the ball in tight areas and find a man further forward, Matic does what it says on the tin and Herrera just runs around but never really offers to much, I don't think Jose could have done much else yesterday to be fair but our ball retention was horrific, hoofing it up field was pure embarrassing.

I think a bit part of that is down to City and how they play they suffocate you and trap you in your own half so the only way to get out is to boot it most of the time but the balls out weren't into space or anywhere near Lukaku to stand a chance of bringing it down most of the time it was a real masterclass from City at times.

I think the difference Pogba makes is he would be brave enough to try and hold the ball up against City midfield and he wouldn't panic which might have given us a chance to play out with passes along the floor rather than giving players awkward passes that allowed City the chance to close down.

Pereira forced his way out on loan he clearly saw to much in front of him at the start of the season and obviously didn't think Pogba would get injured for 2 months and then banned for 3 games also Fellaini has been injured and Carrick etc. I think he made the right decision for himself being greedy.
 

maxt7

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Regardless of formation another thing I didn't get is why we didn't try and get at Delph more yesterday. Well and Walker as well considering he picked on an early card on Herrera. But surely Delph should have been a focal of our attacking ideas? His a centre mid playing full back. At one point they played Fernandinho, Otamendi, Walker (booked) and Delph as a back four.

I know we've discussed on here that we were awful with our ball retention yesterday. Which we were. On the other thread there's the Lukaku debate as to weather its just a lack of service thats affecting him. But surely the Smalling hoofs could have been targeted more towards their full backs and the space out wide? Surely even Smalling could do that?
 

jsp

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A Smalling hoof is about as accurate as a drunk at the urinal after 10 pints, that lad can just about do short passing he's never been able to hit long balls with any consistency it's the major weakness in his game.

There was an interesting bit by Henry during the game where he showed how Pep blocks you in with a ring of players basically making anything other than a hacked clearance impossible the full backs are always up high so you can't target them with long balls and we basically had Lukaku vs two centre backs and Otamendi bullied Lukaku yesterday for a little guy he's very good in the air and this season he's gone from liability to a solid player plus he's chipping in with goals.

Unless you've got players who are brave to take the ball and try to play through the press you're screwed vs City the only way out is going direct but you need to hit accurate passes to a striker who is good at holding the ball up and you need a guy up with I'm at all times to compete for the 2nd ball. Utd tried that yesterday but Lukaku just can't do that hold up role he's no good at it which makes me wonder why we keep using it as a tactic.
 

jsp

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I think it was everyone yesterday the ball was being hacked clear all the time because we were constantly under pressure.

I wasn't having a dig at Smalling he was one of the few yesterday who I thought had a decent game.
 

jsp

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romelu-lukaku-manchester-united-graphic-manchester-city_4179549.jpg


This is the graphic Henry did to point out what City do to pen you in and he played under Guardiola so he knows how it all works, basically you can't play into midfield and you striker will always be marked 2 vs 1 unless you are brave enough to leave 2 out which a lot of the time we weren't.

City have always been very good at this way of playing even under Pellegrini but you can see how it can go wrong because if you can break out of that box with numbers you are in on goal but it's very hard to do because if you play it over those defenders Ederson comes out and collects, if you play it up to Lukaku chances are 2 vs 1 the defenders come away with the ball, if you play into midfield chance are you lose the ball.

I really think the only way to beat this City side is 4-4-2 you have to leave 2 players up front at all times to stop them getting this many players forward
 

Mr C

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I didn't see it, but I listened on the radio.

I don't understand the city phenomenon. Are we saying Pep has come up with a way of playing football there is no way to counter it?

The problem at united is wedon't have the players. Our squad don't match our manager as far as I can tell.

I think yesterday I would have played Shaw and Micki. People who run with the ball, fast.

Our squad is still way short.
 

Red Warrior

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I don't understand, if I had watched that game and not known who the teams were I'd have said it was a top side against a relegation threatened side with a clueless manager who could think of doing nothing more than lumping the ball from every position to a forward with a poor first touch.

Surely we could have had a bit more fight in us, had more possession, kept the ball better etc.

Like a few have said, we gave them too much respect and we look like we were resigned to losing before we even kicked off.
 

jsp

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I didn't see it, but I listened on the radio.

I don't understand the city phenomenon. Are we saying Pep has come up with a way of playing football there is no way to counter it?

The problem at united is wedon't have the players. Our squad don't match our manager as far as I can tell.

I think yesterday I would have played Shaw and Micki. People who run with the ball, fast.

Our squad is still way short.

I don't think it's a new way of playing it's the way he's always played both at Barca and Bayern the difference is this season they're playing Pep's style of football well whereas last year they were playing it badly it was clear there were a lot of teething problems. He also changes the way they play during games he knew Lukaku wasn't on it so he was brave and put Fernandinho in defence to get an extra midfielder on then as soon as City got the goal he took off Jesus and put on a centre back so he could sit and counter attack as he knew Utd would start to come on to them.

There is a way to play against it but you need to be lethal on the counter attack and be brave enough to play through the pressing tactics, this was how his Bayern side was beaten in Europe but dominated domestically because at home they didn't have anyone good enough to beat their tactic but teams like Madrid or Barca could. What was annoying yesterday was City had an obvious weak spot with Delph at left back but Utd didn't seem to have a plan to try and exploit that from an attacking point of view everything about our tactics was how to stop City not how to create a problem for them.

I can't see how you can chuck Shaw into that game he's played 90 minutes twice in 18 months and on Tuesday he was struggling with cramp after 70 minutes and Mhiki is so out of form. Who would you drop for him?

I agree the squad is slowly turning into a Jose Mourinho squad but the quality just isn't there, the club since 2011 in my opinion has signed 4 players who could go down as greats at Utd. De Gea, RVP, Pogba & Martial. There hit rate on our signings just hasn't been anywhere near good enough to many players who have been signed aren't as good as the man they replaced so the quality of the squad has been decreasing year on year. I think Mourinho has been on the money with pretty much all his signings so far but it still feels like there's a long way to go.
 

maxt7

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A Smalling hoof is about as accurate as a drunk at the urinal after 10 pints, that lad can just about do short passing he's never been able to hit long balls with any consistency it's the major weakness in his game.

There was an interesting bit by Henry during the game where he showed how Pep blocks you in with a ring of players basically making anything other than a hacked clearance impossible the full backs are always up high so you can't target them with long balls and we basically had Lukaku vs two centre backs and Otamendi bullied Lukaku yesterday for a little guy he's very good in the air and this season he's gone from liability to a solid player plus he's chipping in with goals.

Unless you've got players who are brave to take the ball and try to play through the press you're screwed vs City the only way out is going direct but you need to hit accurate passes to a striker who is good at holding the ball up and you need a guy up with I'm at all times to compete for the 2nd ball. Utd tried that yesterday but Lukaku just can't do that hold up role he's no good at it which makes me wonder why we keep using it as a tactic.

I get that and its true that Pep is a master of a press and not just a standard normal press. His timings and when to go and press are fantastic and second to none. But even the death star had a weakness didn't it? Delph should have been the guy we went for. Either with Martial/Rashord's pace out wide. Or Rom pulling off onto him. Make it hard for a midfielder to play against pace and power in his unnatural position.
 

Mr C

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I'm not sure matters if Shaw would have to go off afer 60 - 70 mins anf Micki has been off form, maybe being thrown in would have reversed that.

I would have left out Young and Lingard.

It's not really about who I would have added or left out, I think we needed players who could attack, with the ball, at pace, and not just lump it back to them.
 

Edgy1968

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I think were putting Citeh up on a pedestal a bit here, yes they were good and yes they pressed us high up the pitch, very similar to Liverpool but they didn't really create to much considering they were cramped in our box for most of the game and their two goals came from two mistakes at set pieces, plus we could easily have had a pen and should have made it 2-2 with 5 minutes to go.

We needed to be braver on the ball and give it to people in tight spaces, a few one twos, and quick football/passing and were away because KDB and Silva are not going to track back, you have Fernandinho holding it all together. Yes they are good but imo they are very beatable, hate the way we seemed to think we were playing a prime Barca and not City, we should have gotten at them, got in their faces and really make them work, all we done was back off back off back off let them have the ball in that first half, when we harried and got a them in the second suddenly they were misplacing passes and looked a bit panicky, Pogba in there instead of Herrera or with him and its a different game, replace Lukaku with Pogba and play 433 we have more options, not out numbered in midfield and have that player who can take a ball in a tight space and can easily hold off and beat anyone they had in the middle of the park.

They were good yes but they weren't that good
 

jsp

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I'm not sure matters if Shaw would have to go off afer 60 - 70 mins anf Micki has been off form, maybe being thrown in would have reversed that.

I would have left out Young and Lingard.

It's not really about who I would have added or left out, I think we needed players who could attack, with the ball, at pace, and not just lump it back to them.

So you'd want to waste a sub because a guy isn't fit enough to play 90 minutes and have to chuck Young who's playing quite well on for the last 20-30 minutes anyway?

Mkhitaryan performance over 2 months has been so bad that he can't even make the bench the guy was embarrassing against Chelsea a few weeks back and Lingard in that time has stolen his spot delivering a couple of MOTM candidate performances and you want him dropped. I know on paper who the better player is but you have to go with current form in football and right now Lingard is a nailed on starter, I thought he did ok yesterday as well certainly did enough to keep his spot in the team.

Surely we had that in Rashford, Lingard, Martial & Lukaku those are 4 very attacking players but City just dominated the ball so much we could never really spring on them and when we did City just foul you. They are really good at that and one complaint about the ref yesterday was he let quite a few of these cynical fouls go on both sides.
 

IDFD

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The ref annoyed me all game. Booking Herrera for diving but failing to book Sterling or Jesus when they were at it. Silva and Walker both could easily have seen reds.
 

jsp

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The ref annoyed me all game. Booking Herrera for diving but failing to book Sterling or Jesus when they were at it. Silva and Walker both could easily have seen reds.

I thought the ref was pretty even until he booked Herrera for his dive fair enough it's not a penalty and he dived but he'd let people get away with it all game so clamping down on Herrera seemed over the top. I can only assume he wasn't 100% sure on the Jesus one so just played on whereas he was 100% on the Herrera one which I think he got right.

The tactical fouling by City every time we tried to break forward wasn't properly punished and neither was the time wasting after they went 2-1 up but that's modern football I guess top teams are very good at these tactics and Utd have used them to their advantage when leading in games as well.

The whole diving bane rules do my head in anyway fair enough Herrera got a yellow but Jesus should also get a retrospective yellow for it to add to his total you can't just punish those who con the ref and ignore those who fail.
 

the nuts named eric

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What was annoying yesterday was City had an obvious weak spot with Delph at left back but Utd didn't seem to have a plan to try and exploit that from an attacking point of view everything about our tactics was how to stop City not how to create a problem for them.
@jsp That's JM's modus operandi, don't try to make a team worry about my guys, make my guys worry about a team. Not how I want United playing!
 

jsp

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Well the retrospective rules means Jesus should get a 2 game ban

No it doesn't because you can only be charged IF the ref gives a penalty kick or the incident results in a player getting a red card as a direct result of you diving.

That's why the rule is nonsense because it doesn't reward the team who've been wronged in any way and the punishment for getting caught by video is ridiculous compared to the punishment getting caught in a game 1 yellow card vs a 2 game ban. Also, in cases like yesterday where 2 players clearly tried to cheat to win penalties neither is being punished by the video replay and only 1 got a yellow card.
 

jsp

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@jsp That's JM's modus operandi, don't try to make a team worry about my guys, make my guys worry about a team. Not how I want United playing!

Yep we all knew what we'd signed up for when he came but the worry has to be does he have the answer against the modern managers? He seems to know how to stop a Klopp & Pochettino team but he hasn't quite worked out the formula for beating the Pep Guardiola side yet.

I still think he was a necessary evil at the time we were in a downward spiral under Moyes and then LVG, Mourinho was a panic button option but it's not the long term answer and the way I see it he does 2-3 years then someone else takes it on from there.
 

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