it's a formation that, if adopted by both sides in games - as the 4-5-1 we "pioneered" has been - will lead to incredibly dull games of football where both teams neutralise each other and rely on a lucky break / mistake from the opposition
it's a formation played by managers more scared of losing than determined to win
it's a formation which really should be used as a last resort when your "best ever squad" includes an £11m striker who has form for scoring 20+ goals in the Premier League.
it's a formation that requires width and balance. We have natural width on one side.
It's a formation that requires players to be able to break out of defence quickly on the counter-attack....
it's a formation that has won us ONE of our last six games in which it has been utilsed....football is about winning, not "avoiding defeat"
stick your "at least we didn't lose" up your arse
It is a last resort formation, which is why it was used 2 years ago in a last resort situation. This time round we may have had a 11m striker on the bench, who isnt nearly fit. He had his mind set on going to west ham and didnt put in the effort in in training which is why he is in terrible shape and Moyes was loathed to play him. As I said, we needed energy in the performance and having a very unfit Yakubu up front on his own would have had the opposite effect and Jermaine Beckford isnt ready especially for that kind of game shown by his inconsistent hold up play against Wolves and Villa. (Aside from that on another note, how often has Yakubu scored over 20 goals in the premier league?)
It won 1 out of the last 6 games....against Liverpool 3 times, United twice and Arsenal!! How often have we got results against them playing 4-4-2, 4-5-1, 4-4-1-1, 4-1-4-1? Very rarely. The fact that we only lost once (a game 3 days after the 120minutes against liverpool in the cup) against those teams, 2 years ago with no strikers shows how effective it can be.
Of course it is about winning, but sometimes you have to be realistic and know you arent in the best of positions. Last season when it came to the United game we were playing really well. We had a good shape with Donovan and Pienaar on the wings giving good balance, Saha still looked lively, Arteta was just back and Osman was in great form in the middle. This season we had lost 3 games out of 4, no option on the right, no striker worth playing in a game like that, Fellaini coming back to fitness and a midfield that had looked wide open in the opening 3 games. What choice did we have? Go and have a go like we did against Villa and get ripped apart on the break? If Villa had been any good we would have lost 3-0 in that game the amount of times we were exposed when we lost the ball.
The fact of the matter is we needed to be more solid. We needed to make sure we wouldnt be wide open and most importantly we needed the ball to stick up front. Someone who would give their centre halves a rough ride, keep the ball and bring the midfield into play. Yak wasnt fit enough, Beckford wasnt ready. So we had little option but to play Cahill....and look we had 52% of the possession. As I said, it isnt a long term solution and Moyes know that. I would be stunned if Yak doesnt start on Saturday, play 60 minutes then throw Beckford on for the last 30 minutes. But you can get away with being unfit at home to Newcastle, not Man U.
Bluetoffee...we werent positive on Saturday? 52%, more corners and more shots than them said we were a lot more positive then people realise. We really had a go in the first half then we were in a bit shock when they got the goals either side of half time. After that we gave it a go, got hit on the break but kept going and it resulted in the goals. I actually think we were more positive by having Fellaini up by Cahill rather than Arteta, and that is one of the things everyone was moaning about having Fellaini forward. He helped us get hold of the ball, keep it and feed into key areas for Pienaar better than Arteta did.
All in all, it wasnt a negative performance, everyone accepted we were good value for a result and it was a one off performance for a time lacking in valid options. Again, surely that is a manager being inventive and knowing how to get a result against an opposition with what he had available?