Tactical evolution key to mitigating United’s weaknesses

Patrice Evra

In the three seasons between 2006 and 2009 Nemanja Vidić and Rio Ferdinand formed possibly the best central defensive partnership football has ever seen. Ferdinand was no push over in the air, enabling United to play deep when necessary. Meanwhile, the pressing game with a high defensive line was no problem either because Vidić had […]

Swansea victory offers insight into Moyes’ tactical plan

Swansea City v Manchester United

David Moyes has made a good start to his Manchester United career as the Reds solidly beat Swansea City on Saturday. The new United manager is notoriously reactive and one cannot assume that the Scot will continue with the tactics used in Wales, but  important details as to how Moyes will utilize the squad he inherited […]

Ferguson’s new Euro challenge

Champions League

The United States naval Special Warfare Development Group, commonly known as SEAL Team Six, became famous for killing Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan on 2 May 2011. SEAL Team Six, along with its brother unit DELTA, is responsible for eliminating some 3000 alleged terrorists and capturing 9000 more during its deployment in Iraq. During the […]

Everton vs. United: a tactical observation

Despite the score, it was Everton that dominated the Saturday’s game. The Merseyside club edged Manchester United in possession and attempted 19 shots to United’s seven. The Reds, a few patches of good play notwithstanding, were under constant siege, and while United’s defenders had a better game, ultimately, it was luck that got the Manchester […]

Moving forward

Manchester United

Sunday’s 6-1 defeat to Manchester City at Old Trafford was the second biggest loss in Manchester United’s history. Sir Alex Ferguson described the match as “the worst result in [his] history.” Still, the arrow of time points firmly towards the future and United must move on, starting with a visit to Aldershot Town on Tuesday […]

Ashley Young: a tactical profile

Ashley Young

Ashley Young is a curious character. Not as innately talented as Ryan Giggs or Cristiano Ronaldo, yet the Englishman has managed to establish himself on the left-flank at Manchester United following a £16 million move from Aston Villa in the summer. Plenty of fans were surprised by the move, questioning Young’s value to the club. […]

Ferguson’s right-back question

Chris Smalling

Sir Alex Ferguson likes width. Throughout the 69-year-old’s tactical tinkering over the years the one constant has been his reliance on wingers, or at least wide-men. United’s recent game against Norwich City at Old Trafford epitomises the Scot’s philosophy. On Saturday United found it difficult to break down a well organised Norwich defence and Sir […]

Why Fergie may persist with youth

Danny Welbeck, Wayne Rooney positions

Sir Alex Ferguson has done it again; the 69-year-old Manchester United manager has created a new tactical template, with players to go with it. United’s formation this season might nominally be a traditional 4-4-2, yet the deployment is anything but ordinary. Two, not one, strikers drop deep as wingers push forward. With no dedicated holding […]

Champions League final 2011: tactical preview

Alex Ferguson

With the Champions League final approaching, Sir Alex Ferguson must find answers to several key tactical questions ahead of the game at Wembley next weekend – from Manchester United’s formation, to dealing with Barcelona’s plethora of attacking options. In the first of a week-long series of build up articles, Rant’s Jay Shon looks at the […]

Champions League Final 2009: a tactical retrospective

Figure 1

Barcelona vs Manchester United, Stadio Olimpico, Rome. 27 May 2009. The 2009 Champions League final, which will be repeated at Wembley in 22 days time, resulted in a hugely disappointing loss to Barcelona in the final. Rant looks back on that final and wonders whether Manchester United will make the same tactical mistakes again? Both […]