Man U

Manchester United: This MUST now be the BEST XI


Manchester United team coming together

Manchester United didn’t play particularly well at Crystal Palace on Saturday – they ground out the victory without showing us anything like their best.

But you can also say that they looked solid and weren’t even close to conceding a goal. In fact, we think that this is the most compact that Manchester United have looked all season.

For one of the first occasions, Manchester United adopted a 4-2-3-1 formation with Mata, Rooney and Januzaj providing ammo for RvP. As we said, it wasn’t the most convincing performance by Manchester United, but it is surely the way forward with the players available.

What we did see was Juan Mata much more involved in the game. He has been marooned out on the right wing of a 4-4-2 formation so far in his Manchester United career. Playing in a more narrow formation yesterday he floated around and looked really dangerous at times.

The suggestion, by some, was that Manchester United didn’t have enough width because of this new formation. But Januzaj regularly got his boots white and we think that this team will find its feet if allowed to continue like this – especially when Rafael da Silva comes back in to offer more wide threat on the right.

The additional bonus of playing this formation is that it makes the midfield much more solid. With Carrick and Fellaini shielding the defence and getting forward when possible, Manchester United looked far harder to play through. Finally, Vidic and Ferdinand gave a masterclass in defence.

If Manchester United are going to salvage anything from this season then they need to play with this team and formation.

Manchester United in the league:


De Gea, Rafa, Rio, Vidic, Evra, Carrick, Fellaini, Mata, Rooney, Januzaj, RvP

In Europe


De Gea, Rafa, Rio, Vidic, Evra, Carrick, Fellaini, Kagawa, Rooney, Januzaj, RvP

Manchester United fans, let’s have your thoughts.

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  1. bruce

    Feb 23, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Playing this formation might just save Moyes his job.

  2. Ahmed mahmoud

    Feb 23, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    What about phil jones and evans and raphael were not mentioned, my formation is mata should play with carrick and fellaini should play mild field at the same time in any epl match so that it it will be solid

  3. Andrew

    Feb 23, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    Rafeal is a liability now. We need to have either Smalling or Jones playing right back in all the remaining matches this season. Evans needs to be at centre back alongside Vidic. I cannot see Rio and Vidic being able to play all the games, so we need Evans to be the one consistent player always playing in defence.

    • neil

      Feb 23, 2014 at 5:48 pm

      What about rafael to be sold and Saidi janko from the youth taking his place. Look this guy up on YouTube. One for future. Valencia to be sold and Zaha next season his replacement. Coentrao for left back. Mm interesting. Exciting times ahead

  4. Vishal

    Feb 23, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    It’s the first thing I thought to myself as well when I looked at the team sheet-that this is potentially our strongest team…….Young’s crossing is useless and rarely penetrates meaningfully, plus Januzaj has a better chemistry with Evra, and Valencia has forgotten how to beat a man. I know it’s only Crystal Palace (however this is the kind of season where any team can be a match for us) but finally using Mata in a roving role behind the strikers could be a revelatory moment in the season.

    Summer should be all about strengthening the defence and getting a box-to-box midfielder that can score goals (Vidal or Guarin). Kroos would also be a great option.

    I’m excited about this summer, and perhaps a season out of the Champions League will do us well. It’ll allow this team to focus on gelling together, and there’s no reason to think we could finish out of the top 3 next season.

  5. pius nani

    Feb 23, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    I love this’s really strong but I will make 2 changes to it. Rafael should play right back instead of smalling nd also make nani play on the left coz janujaz is not effective on the left wing, much better when played on the right wing

  6. princ felix

    Feb 23, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    The line up is good, but see this . De gear, rio,vidic,evra,jones,?charick,filani,mata,kagawa,?rooney, vern perce.

  7. abakharr

    Feb 23, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    We could’t pick our best players after jst facing cp, nd d ystrd’s mtch was evn crossles. Januzaj who was rspnspl 4 d crosses has been playing wth our chnces! I thnk mata shld take the left wing nd valancia 2 play d right, rafael 4 r.flbck nd evans 2 wthdrw Frdinand

  8. Joseph Jere

    Feb 23, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    Nice formation but I would also make some changes. We don’t have a right winger who can feed our two guns. So we need a Vale25 replacement. Btn the three guns ( Rooney, RvP , Mata), One shud be reserved in every match in case of some emergencies( red cards or injury) .And finally find a replcement for Evra, NO 8 and NO 4.

  9. Michael

    Feb 23, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    Let’s not get too carried away because of last night’s result, and especially not with Januzaj!!! Kagawa should be playing alongside Mata and Rooney in da league and give Januzaj his chance in the UCL or Valencia. If we over rely on him, he’ll grow big-headed!

  10. emmanuel

    Feb 23, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    We can never survive with this Young guy adan januza he is a good player but is beta we play kagawa instead of him dat will be better……4 2 3 1…is a gud formation …de gea,,rafael,,evans ,,Vidic,,Evra,,,carrick,,,fellaini…mata..rooney..kagawa nd van persie is beta ……….united. All de way…

  11. Mojeed

    Feb 24, 2014 at 6:55 am

    At some point, I had lyk ManUtd formation to be 3-5-2. De gea, Jones, Vidic and Evans in defence. Evra, carrick, Fellaini, Valencia/Rafael, Mata. Rooney and Van Persie. Dz formation might do at some point

  12. Mo

    Feb 24, 2014 at 8:45 am

    This way would work with Flair and creativity…..

    De Gea

    Rafeal , Vidic , Jones , Buttner


    Januzaj , Kagawa , Velencia

    Rooney , Van Persie

    P.S – Mata is cup tied so i cant add him to the line up.

    • SexBomb

      Feb 24, 2014 at 9:15 am

      I love how attacking the formation is, but don’t you think that we will be left too soft in the midfield if Carrick is the only CM in the whole team? Buttner is a liability in defense as well, but the guy is quite good going forward. If we had a Toure-like figure instead of Carrick that formation would be sick to watch – our attacking five on their day are amongst the best in Europe, but we still need that figure in the midfield to give us some stability.

  13. Ridwaan

    Feb 24, 2014 at 9:13 am

    The formation was good to see but I think the major improvement has been the style of play. keeping the ball grounded and retaining possession. Was so awesome to see hardly any long balls for a change. we should stick to this style and concentrate on getting our ground passing on par with Barca and Bayern. This is one of the reasons why Kagawa hasn’t been utilized as he should be. His style is that of Barca’s. If the rest of the attacking players had to just practice plays with him, it would be a deadly combination.

  14. trevor

    Feb 24, 2014 at 10:41 am

    the team that played on Saturday with Jones right back.
    For the life of me I can not see why the manager has given Fletcher another contract. He is the slowest player in the Premier. With the new players he will be signing in the summer I just cant see him getting a game.
    And also give Giggs the boot. Moyes rates him better than Fletcher and Kagawa as seen on Saturday so why give Fletcher another contract

    • Mo

      Feb 24, 2014 at 11:36 am

      Trevor i agree with you 100% ALL THE WAY WITH BOOTING Giggs an Fletcher..
      at Sexbomb and Ridwaan …. I dont think the Midfiled will be soft as Rooney would play a 10 role as well and Kagawa just roaming the gaps doing flowing football as United suppose to be doing… I know that Fellaini is a Rowbust player he could fill the place of Carrick if you are saying the Midfield is abit soft… But sure if i could play Mata. My team would look like this…

      De Gea

      Rafeal , Vidic , Jones, Buttner


      Kagawa , Janauzaj


      Rooney , Van Persie

      and if he signs KROOS and Gundogun , Cavani

      Miedfield who be unstopppppppplable


      Krooos , Kagawa


      Rooney , Cavani/ RVP

  15. Jermaine Goulbourne

    Feb 24, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Thank you, I’ve been saying this for months and months…..

  16. majinga sammy

    Feb 24, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    I thinks all ur formation are good from the 4 3 2 1 or 4 4 2 but Moyes shold take not he jst have to include both kagawa and velincia to make our team balance and be abel to win trophie.

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