Football Tactics For Beginners:How To Watch Football-Part 2

You can read the first part here Defensive Phase I always try to analyse the defensive phase of a team before the attack. Most professional managers...
Ritesh Gogineni
Editor/Founder of The False 9. Inverted Wingers,Carilleros,Cattenacio,Double Pivots,Medianos,Mezzalas and of course The False Nines we have got it all here for the tactic-crazy football fan!

Latest Posts

Man City 3:0 Arsenal Tactical Analysis- The Master vs The Apprentice

When Mikel Arteta was an assistant of Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, they not only dominated England but were one of the best teams...

How will Pjanic fit in at Barcelona? A look at Barcelona’s 4-3-3 formation for next season

As the deal between Barcelona and Juventus regarding the transfers of Arthur Melo and Miralem Pjanic has almost been finalised, let's take a look...

A look at Nigel Pearson’s tactics at Watford

4/12/2019, Leicester City Stadium. Watford suffers yet another defeat, and the ominous bells of relegation are echoing louder at Vicarage Road. The board had...

Great Squads From History – Bayer Leverkusen 2001-2002

The 2001-02 great Bayer Leverkusen side is infamous for their incredible choke job in the last stretch of the season, losing out on three...

How will Arthur fit in Juventus’s midfield: Sarri’s thrilling 4-3-1-2 formation

Sky Sports News has confirmed that Juventus and Barcelona have agreed upon a £72.5m fee for the signing of midfielder Arthur. The Brazilian midfielder...

The Man of Ten Thousand Voices

A young man graciously welcomes me into a room radiated with TV screens, computers, control panels, and flashing LEDs.  A small group of men...

A Tactical Look at how Marseille qualified for the Champions League

After a 7 year exile from Europe’s elite competition, the club from the south of France has finally restored their Champions League status by...

Football Books

Best Football Analytics Books

We have compiled a list of the best football analytics books for the casual football fan. Football analytics and data science/machine learning in general...

The Best Football Books of 2019

It's been another eventful year in the world of football. As we look forward to 2020, we have compiled a list of the best...

The Best Football Books of 2018

It's been another eventful year in the world of football. As we look forward to 2019, we have compiled a list of the best...

5 Books every Soccer fan needs to read before the FIFA World Cup 2018

The FIFA World Cup is just around the corner and it's the perfect time to brush up your history and facts about the World...

Best Soccer Coaching Books

We have compiled a list of the best soccer coaching books which every soccer coach must have in his/her bookshelf. No matter whether you...

Is the 4-2-3-1 formation not suited for the Premier League?

While all the talk this weekend has been about Manchester United’s third successive loss, Mourinho’s previous club, Chelsea put in a listless performance of their own. Wayne Rooney’s continued inclusion made the headlines at Manchester, where as in London, it was all about Cesc Fabregas’ continued exclusion. Both of them have had highly successful careers, winning many major trophies but looking back, both haven’t quite lived up to the potential they showed us when they were in their teens. Why are we talking about Rooney and Fabregas, when this article was supposed to be on 4-2-3-1? You will get your answer at the end of the article.

Coming back to our topic, the rise in the deep lying playmaker over the past decade has changed the role of the number 10 in football. The number 10 is expected to press and stop the opposition’s deep playmaker, here is where both Rooney and Fabregas failed to evolve. Rooney has always given his 100% on the pitch and his team-play and workrate are unquestionable. But his tactical indiscipline and a lack of intelligent positioning led Ferguson to drop him for the Champions League Quarter final in 2012-13 against Real Madrid for Danny Welbeck. Welbeck performed his duties perfectly and shut out Alonso until Nani’s infamous red card. Another famous example is of Park Ji-Sung, who completely nullified Andrea Pirlo in a Champions League tie.

Fabregas, on the other hand has always been accused of lacking the work-rate and being too direct and loose with his passing. Growing up in La Masia and coming of age in the Premier League has its advantages, but Fabregas now seems unsuitable to both the English and the Spanish leagues.  After joining Chelsea, Mourinho deployed him in a double pivot alongside Matic and the duo looked unstoppable initially. Matic did all the dirty work and Fabregas started racking up the assists. Trouble arrived, when Chelsea lost form and were not dominating games anymore. Fabregas struggled defensively in a double pivot and was often pushed to play higher ahead of a Ramires-Matic axis. But in a 4-2-3-1 formation, Oscar with his tactical discipline and work rate is a better choice at number 10 and Antonio Conte so far, has picked the Brazilian.

Although it’s very early in the season to draw any conclusions, two top managers, who are struggling to impose their identity on their teams, are stuck with a 4-2-3-1 formation without suitable players in their squads. For a 4-2-3-1 formation to work,the double pivot is crucial.

The efficiency and the compactness that the double pivot provides, makes it vital to the modern game. The double pivot actually is the usage of two holding mid-fielders in front of the defence.  One generally more creative than the other, is termed as the “Deep Lying  Playmaker“.  All the 4 semifinalists at the 2010 World Cup used the double pivot.  Spain,Holland and Germany all made their own interpretations of the 4-2-3-1 whereas Uruguay played with a classic 4-4-2(atleast on paper) but unlike in a typical 4-4-2, the Uruguayan central midfielders stayed deep and acted as a double pivot. The Double Pivot or the players playing in that position are the ones who determine the tempo and also the overall setup of the team. You choose Busquets and Alonso as your double pivot like Spain did, then obviously you will dominate possession. Or if you are Germany and play with Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira, you would be devastating on the counter with Sami’s energy and Bastian’s intelligence. Or you can also park the bus like Netherlands did against Spain in the world cup final, with Van Bommel and De jong.

-Football Tactics for Beginners:The 4-2-3-1 formation

Currently, Matic-Kante and Pogba-Fellaini are the double pivots for Chelsea and Manchester United respectively. Matic and Kante although good defensively, lack the passing ability to bring the attacking players into play. Where as, Pogba and Fellaini are themselves unsure on how to interpret their roles in the pivot. Pogba’s performance against City clearly showed that the Frenchman was not bothered in helping Fellaini maintain shape and protect the defence. The lack of defensive nous and the playmaking ability in the pivot is especially exposed, when up against a midfield 3. And when the opposition players chase you like mad dogs (Like City,Liverpool and at times Arsenal do), then you are in deep deep trouble. Liverpool’s midfield completely overran Chelsea’s a week after City did the same to United. Even when you manage to keep the ball, there is no creativity in midfield to bring the attacking players into the game which means that most of the attacking transitions fail. Liverpool have their own issues against smaller teams which sit back, but in the big games, they

It is quite likely that both Mourinho and Conte will ditch the 4-2-3-1, at least in the big games. We have already seen, Wenger switch to a 4-3-3 sometimes on Arsenal’s away days. Like in most cases in football, the success of the formation depends on the players, and in this case, the lack of a genuine deep lying playmaker in United and Chelsea will probably make them abandon the 4-2-3-1. Michael Carrick and Cesc Fabregas might still be able to do the job against smaller sides, but against Liverpool or City, they will struggle. Santi Cazorla does a decent job for Arsenal, but with current repertoire of central midfielders available, 4-3-3 will be a strong option for Wenger. A switch to the 4-3-3 might give Fabregas a new lease of life where as the same switch at Old Trafford will surely see Rooney’s days of being in the starting lineup come to an end.

- Advertisement -
Ritesh Gogineni
Editor/Founder of The False 9. Inverted Wingers,Carilleros,Cattenacio,Double Pivots,Medianos,Mezzalas and of course The False Nines we have got it all here for the tactic-crazy football fan!

Related

Man City 3:0 Arsenal Tactical Analysis- The Master vs The Apprentice

When Mikel Arteta was an assistant of Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, they not only dominated England but were one of the best teams...

How Chelsea will lineup with Ziyech & Werner next year: Lampard’s thrilling 4-3-3 formation

Chelsea have already wrapped up the signings of Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner who will join the squad for next season and reports have...

How will Ole fit in Bruno & Pogba together: Man United’s thrilling 4-2-3-1 formation

Before the lockdown due to Covid-19, Manchester United were possibly playing their best football for a long time. The arrival of Bruno Fernandes in...

Do Chelsea need to mix it up at home?

As the weeks tick by and the business end of the season approaches, it's becoming clear to a lot of fans that Frank Lampard...

Manchester United’s biggest transfer mistake of last summer

Manchester United's disastrous run under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer starting after their famous victory in Paris can be explained due to a multitude of factors....

Goal Analysis: Manchester United 1: 2 Crystal Palace- van Aanholt (90’+3 minutes)

Manchester United suffered a home defeat to Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday after conceding a late Patrick van Aanholt goal. United...

Man United’s predicted lineup against Crystal Palace- Ole to choose to pass over pace

Manchester United face Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday in the English Premier League. United can't afford to drop more points so early...

Mason Mount: Chelsea’s Golden Boy

When Frank Lampard was appointed, Derby County fans everywhere collectively held their breath in the hope of whom his widely spoken about “contacts” might...

Latest Posts

Jürgen Klopp Pressing system

Jürgen Klopp is regarded by many as one of the best managers in the world. He started his managerial career with a German Club...

Man City 3:0 Arsenal Tactical Analysis- The Master vs The Apprentice

When Mikel Arteta was an assistant of Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, they not only dominated England but were one of the best teams...

How will Pjanic fit in at Barcelona? A look at Barcelona’s 4-3-3 formation for next season

As the deal between Barcelona and Juventus regarding the transfers of Arthur Melo and Miralem Pjanic has almost been finalised, let's take a look...

Three best Premier League transfers of all time

The Premier League is famous for its lavish spending on player’s transfers. Top clubs like Liverpool, Manchester City, and Manchester United have been spending...

Don't Miss

The Football match which started a war

Plenty of football stadiums have statues standing outside of them. There's strange one here and there (Michael Jackson formerly outside Craven Cottage springs to...

Dimples, Kangaroos and Bohemians

One of the main tram routes in Prague is the 22. This goes all the way from Bíla Hora, the site of one of...

Barcelona Vs Real Madrid:The Dream Team vs The Galacticos

An imagining of a match between two famous El Clasico sides. The 1992 European Cup winning Barcelona team, known as “The Dream Team” versus...

The Original Invincibles- Preston North End 1888/89

In the wake of Manchester City’s record-breaking claim to the Premier League, The False 9 will look back at some of the greatest club...

Súper Dépor! The rise and fall of Deportivo La Coruña

At the Start With the exception of a 2nd place finish to Helenio Herrera’s Atlético Madrid in 1948/49, Deportivo La Coruña have historically plied their...

Transfers

How will Pjanic fit in at Barcelona? A look at Barcelona’s 4-3-3 formation for next season

As the deal between Barcelona and Juventus regarding the transfers of Arthur Melo and Miralem Pjanic has almost been finalised, let's take a look...

Three best Premier League transfers of all time

The Premier League is famous for its lavish spending on player’s transfers. Top clubs like Liverpool, Manchester City, and Manchester United have been spending...

Where will Kai Havertz play for Chelsea? A look at Lampard’s exciting 4-2-3-1 formation for next season

There have been several rumours surrounding Kai Havertz's transfer to Chelsea and Havertz's current boss, Peter Bosz has indicated that the winger might not...

Man United expected lineup against Sheffield United: Pogba & Bruno to start together for first time

Manchester United salvaged a draw against Tottenham in their first game post the lockdown. Their performance improved after the substitutions of Paul Pogba and...

How will Arthur fit in Juventus’s midfield: Sarri’s thrilling 4-3-1-2 formation

Sky Sports News has confirmed that Juventus and Barcelona have agreed upon a £72.5m fee for the signing of midfielder Arthur. The Brazilian midfielder...