We set up with a seriously game time needing Herrera slightly in front of Matic and slightly behind Pogba who had a floating role and it didn't and doesn't suit him, when I called his poor games last year, they were at 10. Herrera is very versatile, if Matic had of played 6 and Herrera was the 8 and knew his job, playing Mata on the right and one of Rashial on the left behind a number 10 ie Mickey T, or play Mata at 10 and one of the younger ones on the right, or play Martial or Rashford just off or behind Lakaku.
Pogba can't be dropped, partly because he is that good but partly because he's the poster boy, but him, Herrera who should be getting some reserve time as well imho, Shaw's been playing, you don't need to be injured or coming back to play in the reserves, if keeps you match fit, other teams do it.
Mickey T is not a wide forward or a winger in the Prem, he lets Valencia come forward to hit crosses and I think he hit one decent one all game.
Jones and Bailey were shaky but it just took long balls with Darmian trying to cover far too much of the left on his own, Matic bailed them out a few times but Herrera was too far forward at times then when attacking wasn't forward enough.
So long balls and balls to the left opened up gaps for them.
The first half arrow map (think it's the new heat map) clearly shows every cunt on the right, even our left sided attacker.
Give the ball to Lakaku, keep him in the box, play the ball in front of him and he'll score.
Him wondering where his supporting cast is and him dropping back and wide like Zlatan is no good to anybody because he doesn't have the skill in the game.
Matic, when I'm wrong I'll admit it, he looks great at 6, and he was really the player that stood out.
Pogba is looking great at 8 so for me, with the kids clicking on the left, and with the ability to rotate them after an hour when teams are tiring, we've got lucky.
So for me, it HAS to be 4231, you can shuffle the back four, you can even play Martial and Rashford if you want to but you HAVE to have Mickey T or Mata at 10. The link up play all round is better, Lakaku doesn't need to go a wandering and Pogba is where the action is in the middle, playing incisive passes, linking up with Mickey T and the wide men when they cut inside.
Against weaker teams, after match sharpness is there, you can play Pogba and Carrick or Matic and Herrera and do the same job.
That's why I think it was stupid to loan Perriera to Valencia, he looks the business and can actually play any of the midfield to attacking roles.
But if it ain't broke, don't fuck it up just to give players game time. Does anyone seriously think if we'd say rested Pogba, and started with Herrera and Matic with Herrera being the 8, and having Mickey T centrally with good link ups cutting in from the outside, that we wouldn't have got as good a result????
I think Lakaku would have had a better game, being more comfortable with an actual 10 feeding him.
Strange tactics cost us three points in my opinion.
You don't change a winning formula, and hitting long balls to Lakaku doesn't work most of the time, he doesn't have the close control especially when he has three players on him, play the ball in front of him and he'll score.
Well I suppose that's the knighthood fucked.