Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Should United adopt Liverpool's formation?

To the dismay of on-looking United fans Liverpool broke Chelsea's long unbeaten home record at the weekend, even though the winning goal was a fluke, there was nothing really lucky about the victory as the Scousers' hit the post too when Alonso beat Petre Cech all ends up, only to see his freekick rebound off the woodwork.

In truth it was a fairly comfortable win for Liverpool and the result means that they are serious title contenders for arguably the first time in over a decade.

Having watched the match with Chelsea on TV at the weekend, there was much to admire about the visitors display, perhaps most of all their combined discipline and work-rate. At no stage in the game did Chelsea look like winning or even scoring, save for Ashley Cole's wayward second-half attempt.

Organisation is the cornerstone of this current team, the Merseyside Reds play with two central midfield players in front of the back-four, this defensive shield allows Steven Gerrard to roam freely - he can support the attack or defend when required, it is the perfect position for the England midfield star.

A few weeks ago I punted the suggestion that Wayne Rooney should be deployed in a similar role to Gerrard. I described this switch as the old Paul Scholes position, it is the one earmarked for him when Veron arrived first at United, but for whatever reason Scholesy never became fully accustomed to this roving role.

Rooney would be perfect for an advanced central midfield attacking role, because he can tackle, shoot, pass and run all day long. If Fergie took this option he could also play Tevez on the left, Berbatov down the middle and Ronaldo on the right. Fergie could then slot in Carrick and Fletcher, Anderson or Hargreaves, Giggs or Scholes.

Far from being a negative formation it would be the complete opposite given United's firepower.


  1. I don't think that role would work with Rooney, he has not got the discipline to just play in one position and would take away one of his strengths which is to roam around the 18 yard box finding space to score. Maybe in a few years when he is more mature he could fit in the position of Scholes but he is not ready for it yet.

  2. I think this type of formation makes perfect sense. I have thought through out the season that Rooney would do very well in an attacking mid-field role. Most of his best work is done outside the 18 yard box with many of the goals he scores the result of making a run into the box, latching onto a pass and slotting home. A formation such as this would get Tevez on the pitch and allow Rooney's energy and creativity to drive the attack.

  3. Hi,

    Liverpool supporter here, reading your blog with interest.. (not on here to goad)..

    The thing we have found for that formation to be effective is that;
    a) It needs a genuine wide player, which you appear to have in Ronaldo (it never was quite right before Riera came in) but more importantly,
    b) it needs the two wider attacking players to be comfortable defending against the opposition full backs, therefore be prepared to run their socks off backwards and forwards, as I'm sure you've seen with Dirk Kuyt..

    Question is, would Tevez and Ronaldo be prepared to get back enough to cover your full backs...???

    Intersting blog... :)

  4. Casandra.
    We will have to disagree then!


    That's a good point asking if the wingers will provide enough cover for the fullbacks, but our fullbacks are better than yours!

    Ronaldo doesn't provide much cover, but what he gives to the team going forward means that opposition fullbacks are reluctant to push forward so it kind of balances out on his flank for the most part. Tevez is a grafter and I'd have no fears about him doing the work.


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