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Whatever the question is...

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Be it where to best play Johnny H; Baines going walk-about up the wing; getting Osman out, without bringing in the other waster Bily; getting Coleman in ? two runs as sub and we looked a different team; more attacking action on BOTH wings; not leaving just two poorish decision makers on thier own at the back.

The answer is... THREE AT THE BACK:

Jagieelka, Heitinga Distin

I've been saying it since we signed Jags, an idea whose time has come?? IYWDM??
Derek Thomas, Brisbane     Posted 11/09/2010 at 22:16:23

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Joey Brown
1   Posted 12/09/2010 at 16:36:25

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Not a bad idea, but will never happen. Moyes is too set in his ways.
Jamie Tulacz
2   Posted 12/09/2010 at 17:02:11

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Agree on paper it looks like it makes sense, but can't remember any manager playing with 3 at the back for quite a while now. Which probably suggests to me that it doesn't really work as a formation.
Dennis Stevens
3   Posted 12/09/2010 at 17:00:11

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I've also mentioned this elsewhere Derek, but I don't think we'll see Moyes try it, unfortunately. The451 formation seemed a pragmatic formation as it suited the personnel we have available & one could argue that it no longer fits the bill & a change is required that gets the best out of our squad.
Andy Crooks
4   Posted 12/09/2010 at 17:02:54

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An excellent idea , Derek. Coleman is essential to such a formation and Fellaini must be on top form. Also,it leaves no room for Hibbert, Neville or Osman. I admire all three but not as much as David Moyes; therefore it will never happen.. Does it not make you think what a different coach could do with the same squad.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
5   Posted 12/09/2010 at 18:03:24

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Sorry, Dennis ? I've only just noticed your original comment putting forward this idea. I'm tempted to consolidate the responses but I know that just confuses everyone.
Ian Hams
6   Posted 12/09/2010 at 19:29:42

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Can you just imagine the confusion and mistakes that this would cause, bringing it in mid season would be impossible.

I'm not saying that it could not work but we haven't got the time now to bed the players into the system, this sort of thing needs doing pre season not once it's started.
Joe McMahon
7   Posted 12/09/2010 at 20:04:09

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It says in the David Moyes sacred scrolls that one must at all times play a 4-5-1 formation no matter who is available.

We are stuck with it end of.
Dennis Stevens
8   Posted 12/09/2010 at 20:41:45

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You may well be right, Ian, but if Moyes wanted to do it he has all week to practise in training & then he can try it out in perhaps a League Cup match.
It's not a million miles from where we're at now in some respects. The extra man means you have cover for the wing-backs. It also means that even if one of the three occasionally breaks forward into midfield, as both Distin & Heitinga are prone to do when an appropriate opportunity arises, there is adequate cover behind them. The midfield doesn't change too much, as Fellaini still performs the DM role & Cahill the attacking point of the midfield, it's just that with having only two other midfielders they'll probably tend to play a little more narrowly but no doubt they would still link up with the wing-back as necessary. However, it's all hypothetical & I doubt we'll ever see it in action.
Dave Richman
9   Posted 12/09/2010 at 21:14:49

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A tremendous idea, but you do know that there will be a beach in Johannesburg before David Moyes would do something like that?

I was flabbergasted at yesterday's team selection and so at the moment I'd settle for us having one striker in the next match.
John McLoughlin
10   Posted 12/09/2010 at 21:50:36

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Most teams in the world only play 1 up front now, Utd, chelsea, Arsenal, City, Liverpool, villa in our league. the difference from 451 to 433 is the wide players, we have midfielders out wide who dont score enough for my liking . Apart from Billy neither Osman nor Pienaar score enough per season. compared with Kuyt, Malouda, Johnson, Arshavin etc who occupy the same position at there clubs. I have no problem with 1 up front if the wide players contributed more goals.
Jay Harris
11   Posted 12/09/2010 at 23:59:15

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It was tried out for a very short period over a decade ago Derek and was found to be left wanting as it was so easy to play a ball into space behind the wing back and drag the "back three" all over the place.

Most successful sides are playng 4-5-1 which can also revert to 4-3-3.

Our problem is we need a quality Centre back and a quality forward as we have neither consitently.
Chad Schofield
12   Posted 12/09/2010 at 22:24:06

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John #10, I was going to mention the fact that most teams play 1 up too. Also that most CBs are used to playing as a two as part of a four, at lest in this country. However, given that it's normally one of the CBs communicating to the back four, then surely a back three could work as a stronger unit - in turn freeing up an additional player as we have a static three at the back to control off the opposition's attack.

Obviously teams play more fluid formations, and currently having the Defensive Midfielder, Heitinger on Saturday, is supposed to sure up into a back five when we're under threat, it's just that he got caught too many times in no man's land. Equally, in principle a 4-5-1 should allow you to go to 4-3-3 when on the front foot, but as regularly pointed out, with Osman migrating to his more favoured central position it's left to Hibert to provide any crosses and contain any threat down their left.

I think it's a good idea, and perhaps if we continue to leak goals as we have, Moyes might explore the idea post-Christmas or the 11/12 season.
Martin Faulkner
13   Posted 13/09/2010 at 08:20:13

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10 years too late. M.O'N had limited success with it at Leicester and Celtic but he needed giant centre forwards because the full backs tend to cross from deeper than an actual winger would. As jay says the smarter passing teams would tear us apart behind the fullbacks.
What we need is a mangaer with the balls to actually drop someone, Distin Heitinga and Jagielka all vying for 2 CB spots so what does moyes do? puts Heitinga in Fellaini's best position and drops a striker to accomodate Fellaini!! FFS !! We only looked dangerous on saturday after he finally relented and put a striker on (Yakubu has hasn't played yet and instantly looked a better option) I think the lad Gueye deserves at least a decent half hour run out on the left, he's got pace and has proved he can put in a good cross, pienaar switch to the right. Can't understand why he spent so much on Billy and yet still play osman.
Shaun Brennan
14   Posted 13/09/2010 at 09:02:44

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I would like to see Distin dropped. He's garbage.

Martin was completely right, we did only looked dangerous when Moyes went for an attacking option. After going two goals behind. That's not with just bringing the Yak on, but also Seamus Coleman. Whenever he had the ball, he wanted to go forward, at one instance he miscontrolled and ended up winning a free kick on the edge of the area.

As for the Yak, I was really pleased to see him back. He certainly was a handful. The work he put in for Osman's shot on goal was brilliant.

Chris Fisher
15   Posted 13/09/2010 at 10:10:23

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Just take Distin out and put Heitinga in, Distin is a liability. Also are you suggesting we drop Baines? I don't really get this.
Derek Thomas
16   Posted 13/09/2010 at 10:33:46

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The game is and alway was, won or lost in the midfield, 3 at the back can give you the, by now, seemingly compusory 5 out of the 451 and IF 451 is used by 'everybody ' as is said then we would have to be pretty poor at the back not to cope with 1 and still leaves you with 2 upfront.

One of the keys to coaching is to use a system that fits what you have... and we have 2 wingbacks in Baines and Coleman.

As for, they may be crossing from too deep both Baines and Coleman like to play the one two, with the option of shooting or getting to the bye line and pulling it back.

What if one gets injured? what is the plan B...like our current plan A of seemingly random changes and poor results is doing the biz... Hello!! there never has been a plan B. unless you count hving 11 or 12 fit players and going 460.

It won't work? we will never know, I know this, not much is and waiting for a season defining incident is not my idea of plan B.

Sorry about the mini rant but in football terms we have, like most jumped on the 451 band wagon. You have to be driving the band wagon, setting the pace, not trying to keep up.
Jamie Rowland
17   Posted 13/09/2010 at 11:57:54

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It works on Championship Manager 2010 but thats about it.

3 at the back means we would need a set of skilled box-to-box wingers/midfielders. And we dont have that.

Its a dream and thats all...next you'll be saying the answer is to play two up front! :D
Gareth Humphreys
18   Posted 13/09/2010 at 12:56:00

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Anything with Distin in it tends not to work.
Matthew Mackey
19   Posted 13/09/2010 at 13:39:21

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It's not the tactical numbers 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 or 4-5-1 that fucked us up on Saturday. It was something with a human face which goes by the name of Silvan Distin.

Please don't insult my intelligence and say he had a good game. He was awful, absolutely awful against the Manure. You can play any numbers game you like, but if the individuals are not good enough then it will always end in tears.

Dennis Stevens
20   Posted 13/09/2010 at 16:22:52

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There was an argument that Moyes originally went for 4-5-1 because we didn't have good enough midfielders to play 4-4-2, I suppose one could argue that the case for 3 at the back is made by our not having good enough centre backs to play just 2 of them, based on recent form.
Peter Moore
21   Posted 13/09/2010 at 21:49:21

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Who would you have on the bench??
If one of the 3 gets injured or is shit(ie Distin) who takes their place, a fullback?
Please
Dennis Stevens
22   Posted 14/09/2010 at 00:46:40

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Peter, I'd have Yobo on the bench because it wouldn't make sense to let him go if you're playing 3 at the back. However, we've also seen both Hibbert & Neville perform effectively at centre back when required. It might also provide an opportunity for Duffy to gain some more first team experience. Of course,if Moyes did shock us all by switching to this formation he might consider looking to add another centre back to the squad in January.

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