Fergie set to switch to 4-2-3-1 at Man Utd?


31st, May 2007


4-2-3-1.gifWhat implications does the Nani/Anderson/Hargreaves triple deal have for the way Man Utd will play next season? The Sun reports that United fans can look forward to a new formation in 2007/08: ‘Sources close to Fergie say he will play a 4-2-3-1 formation next season — using Ronaldo, Anderson and Nani as his three attacking midfielders behind Wayne Rooney.’
If we ignore the fact that these ‘sources’ are no more reliable than a bloke down the pub, then a 4-2-3-1 formation is conceivable. Man U’s first team could look something like this:
Foster; Heinze, Ferdinand, Vidic, Neville; Hargreaves, Carrick; Ronaldo, Scholes, Nani; Rooney

On paper a 4-2-3-1 formation suits United’s squad. If Rooney had a reliable striking partner – you can’t say that of Saha (injury-prone), Smith (great attitude but not quite up to it), Solskjaer (almost past it) or the returning Rossi (great potential but a bit lightweight) – then I’m sure Fergie would be keen to stick with a 4-4-2 formation but that’s not the case.
Owen Hargreaves is obviously the key to this 4-2-3-1 formation. As one half of the defensive ‘2’, he allows his partner (Carrick or Fletcher?) to move forward and distribute the ball to the attacking trio, which could mean a trident consisting of Ronaldo, Nani and Anderson – that’s a scary triumvirate, with more than enough pace and skill to scare the best defenders in the world.
Anyway, there’s little chance that either Nani or Anderson will figure prominently in United’s starting elevens in the first couple of months of the season. Fergie has never been afraid to blood young talent (Sharpe, Giggs, Beckham, Scholes, Ronaldo etc.) but he knows that there’s a huge difference between the Portuguese league and the breathless rush of the Premiership. I imagine he’ll want to give Nani and Anderson a few months to settle in before unleashing them, initially as impact substitutes.
And with a rejuvenated Paul Scholes to call on and Ryan Giggs now free from international commitments, there’s no urgent need to throw Nani and Anderson into the fray.

Posted in Man Utd, Transfers & Rumours

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  1. Joe says:

    England should play like that. All the big teams are doing it (Chelsea, Liverpool, Man U v. Roma & Milan), so the players are used to it: Foster-Neville/Richards-Terry-Rio-Cole/Bridge/Baines/Taylor-
    Hargreaves-Carrick-Gerrard/Lampard (depending on form and opposition)-SWP/Lennon/Bentley-Rooney/JC-Owen

  2. OmegaSupreme says:

    Look how many goals Totti’s bagged playing something similar, could be fruitful. Still useful to have a poacher on board too.

  3. Clasher says:

    Good to have Drogba in that system as the single one in attack, or somebody strong, good in headers, seeing partners on the field. Rooney maybe doesn’t well suit it, imho he often fail to play back to the opponents goal, taking all on him and playing it to the unmarked teammates ready to shot. But it’s good system, probably the only reason why england wasn’t playing that way is that steve hasn’t it in his notes (does he even have any notes?);)

  4. Anonymous says:

    Heinza in it. You having a laugh? Clearly evra. No anderson??

  5. Anonymous says:

    harsh times for fletcher and carrick ; D

  6. Anonymous says:

    i think that it will be 4-4-2 which will play at times like 4-2-4 witht eh top 4 interchangeable. hell put nani on the right wing, anderson and the left and then rooney in the hole and finally hell try convert ronaldo like what was done to henry and ronaldo will be the spearhead.

  7. Allen says:

    I just don’t see how Rooney would do well in that situation. He likes to come back for the ball. Seems like this formation begs for someone to be up top who’s going to stay up there even when they’re struggling to get touches on the ball.
    Don’t forget OH has shown versatility during his time at Bayern Munich. I wouldn’t be surprised if SAF isn’t looking to use him to fill in for Gary Neville at right back or even as a replacement if it goes well.

  8. Ollie, Pies Ed. says:

    Agree 100% with your analysis Clasher – Roo is not an out-and-out Drogba-esque centre forward. But Man U don’t have a Drogba figure to call on.