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According to WhoScored, this was the first time all season that Manchester United had lined up in the typical 4-4-2 formation that has become so accustomed with the club.
And especially without their best creative midfielders at hand, the 4-4-2 simply wasn't the formation for United to choose—giving further credence to the midfield diamond formation that the Red Devils have had strong success with this season.
Ferguson himself has spoken of the success that the diamond could bring for United this year, if they can effectively dominate possession and the midfield.
If it turns out we play the diamond consistently it would be revolutionary because it is going against our history. But the level of the game in England and Europe now is so high that making yourself unpredictable is going to be a strength.
Teams will have to think if we are going to use two out wide or the diamond because we have players capable of doing both things.
Without Kagawa or Cleverley in the starting side, the argument could be made that United did not possess the technical skill to pull off the diamond formation.
But I disagree.
Neither Giggs nor Carrick could get going in midfield, and they dragged the Red Devils attack down the field as a result. Had they been in the diamond, Hernandez could have been better used in attack, and van Persie would not have had to do as much defending as he did.
Both veterans are able to hold the ball and maintain possession, which is required in the diamond. And against a relatively weak attack like Norwich, United also possessed the defensive solidity to establish the midfield diamond.
It was just a shame the formation didn't get utilized by the Red Devils this weekend. The result might have been entirely different if it had been.
What did you learn from United's loss to Norwich City?
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