There has been a lot of talk recently within the WAGNH community regarding which formation RDM will use next season. His favoured 4-2-3-1 would certainly be the most obvious formation for the defending European Champions to use, However it's certainly not the only option. I recently read another fan post on the site promoting the 4-3-3 for next season. It certainly provided food for thought. It was a comment on that same post that i found the most interesting however, and that was the suggestion of the 4-3-2-1. I'll demonstrate how this could work after the jump.
Now obviously this formation is reliant on the signing of Oscar but hopefully this deal will happen. If not then it may not be as easy to deploy as i can't see any other players being able to play in the wide defensive midfield role. Another option may be Schurlle to play in this role. It is certain that Lampard would not be able to fit into this formation unless wishing to play him in a more advanced midfield position, although i don't see this as an option considering the better alternatives that we have as a club in that position such as Hazard and Mata as well as Marin who would be able to be used as a backup.
The main weakness of the formation that i can see is indeed that it may not be as flexible as other formations as the wide midfielders are key to the formation working. I feel that Ramires is made for the role. I am not the most informed person on how Oscar plays and I am solely going off of highlight videos and what the rest of the community has said. From what i can tell he is used to playing in a more advanced position, yet the reason i can see him doing well in the role is because of his tendancy to track back and defend and his speed. Also his age is another factor as he is still at a very young age and can be molded into many positions.
Let me quickly explain how the formation would work. The back four is pretty self explanatory. Hopefully we have another right back to cover Ivanovic whether this be a long term solution such as Debuchy or simply another player just to cover such as Maicon it doesn't really matter. We should also see Bertrand and Cahill getting regular playing time throughout the season. The CDM role should be occupied by Mikel and theres not much different here to what we've seen with Mikel and Essien in past seasons in the 4-4-2 diamond formation and also the 4-3-3.
Now this is where it gets interesting by using 2 wide midfielders such as Ramires and Oscar not only are they given license to push forward and assist with the attacking but it also means that if the full backs are to push up then there is sufficient cover defensively. This is mainly why I've positioned Ramires on the Left as I feel that Cole will need more cover than Ivanovic. It also allows both Hazard and Mata to play more centrally and at the same time being able to drift out wide if need be. Hopefully this helps to get Torres scoring too.
P.S. I realise this probably isn't the most complete post, I just wanted to gain your views on alternative formations to 4-2-3-1.