Attack the best form of defence

“If Manchester United’s comebacks are a tradition, the formation for many a fightback is old-fashioned. The system Sir Alex Ferguson is most associated with is 4-4-2 or, he would argue with reference to split strikers, 4-4-1-1. But when United need goals and have nothing to lose, it becomes 4-2-4, the shape Brazil brought to prominence in the 1958 World Cup. It is a risky formation but when United have to gamble, they push both wingers right up against the opposition defence, with both full-backs advancing in their slipstream. It can leave the two centre-backs isolated and the two central midfielders outnumbered – and as United’s pair usually aren’t tacklers by trade, it means they effectively only have two defenders.” ESPN


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