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4,168 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I posted this topic on the Belgian Forum some time ago, but with the arrival of the new forum, I figured it would be too much fun not to pick this topic up again (and I won't be making a habit out of recycling old topics, so sue me if you don't like the idea :D :tongue: ;) )

Here's the situation: you get a random team appointed to you with the job to coach them. With a limited budget of course (so no "dream team" possible), but with the tactic to turn into a whole. A bit like Championship Manager, but a little more abstract since it is about tactics rather than about players (of course it's not totally abstract: if you can use a player as an example of what you want for that position, go right ahead and spit it out ). And no, I don't claim to be a tactical genius ;) , so I go on (what I hope to be) common sense.

My team would then play in a flexible 4-4-2 with focus on the centra midfield, which would look like this:





remarks by number:
3: always the final man. should be a firm defender with a clear view and a no-nonsense tackle.
11: action maker, a bit smaller but with a good dribble
9: what I call the fysical striker. A good header who can shake his man off in a duel and then shoot.
6: defensive midfielder. strong points: ball recuperation and a good overview
8 and 7: flank players who rely more on speed and speed of execution which they especially can use when 10 is operating as a playmaker/"pivoteur"
10: attacking midfielder. In a more offensive match, he can post behind the strikers and act as a playmaker/"pivot". 6 can then either move to the center or get back-up from 4 who positions himself next to him for ball recuperation. The other defenders keep their position and stay behind the ball at all times.

That would have this result:
10 moving up:




or with 4 moving ahead as well:





When moving into a defensive strategy, 6 can easily blend in in the defense, thus moving into a 5-3-2 like this (or 1-4-3-2 if you will)






Strong point: during a game you can gradually change your strategy without moving more than two players at once, unless of course my nr.10 moves ahead and 4 joins 6 as a backup.

Weak point: a lot will depend on organisation and especially on my nr. 10. But then again, a lot of teams do and if all goes well, he'll abviously be my star player. :)

So that pretty much sums it up. What are your thoughts on this one? How would you let your team play? Would you go for the fearless attack or rather choose for a defensive style and maybe even a bit of catenaccio? Or do you have any remarks or questions about my team? Just give a holler and let me know. See you!

320 Posts
I like your formation binswhacker. Generally I think the 4-4-2 formation is very good. I only see one problem in it. So many teams play it and therefore you must expect the opponents to be tactically wellprepared.

I might have misunderstood your intentions with number 3, but if i haven't i have a question.You play with one sweeper, 2 backs and one central defender. If the sweeper must be the last man at all time he can't be told to mark a certain player all the time, cuz that would make it impossible to be the last player all the time. This is no problem when the opponents play with one striker but what would you do if you play a team with 2 strikers? who should mark the final striker?

I would like my dream team to play 3-5-2. The foration would be like this:

----------------1------------------ keeper


--------3------------5----------- central defenders

2--------------------------------6 wingbacks

-------------7-----8------------- central midfielders

----------------10--------------- playmaker

-------------9-----11------------ strikers

The players in this system would have the following dutys:

3 and 5: These 2 defendes are manmarkers. They must be strong in man to man situations and good headingskills would be a huge advatage in deadball situations

4: This player is my sweeper. He must be very good at reading the game, have good positioningskills and be able to start the attacks with good passes. A player like Rene Henriksen (Panathnaikos) would, imo, suit this position perfectly.

2 and 6: My wingbacks must be good at crossing. Their job is kind of demanding cuz they will have to close down the opponents wings and at the same time perticipate with crosses in attack.

7 and 8: Both of these players primary dutys are defensive. They will have to be able to give cover to the wingbacks when they rush up the field and. Players like Tofting (Bolton) and Jeremies (B. Mûnich) would be perfect here.

10: Like in binswhackers formation this player is really importent. In defense he will be given a completely free role and in offense he is the one who adds creativity and flair to the game.

9 and 11: One of these players must be a good header and the other must be fast and good at running in the depth.

Weakness: I think this formation would be in trouble if the opponent plays with 3 strikers. The defenders simply can't handle that many. The other teams must be the ones who have to adapt.
Also the team relies a lot on the offensive midfielder. If he has a bad game the play might be a little to predictable.

Strenght: This formation has plenty of defensive players and it has players who make good crosses. Furthermore I think that the fact that there are only 3 defenders will make the team abe to have a lot of ballpossesion.

14,672 Posts
Because I'm a lazy sob I'll just copy/past my main reply of the Belgian forum here and leave the Belgian notes out (btw Binswhacker, that recycling is part of the idea of the forum. It's not our aim to attract all the interesting topics but to centralmise them. Meaning that you can still post the main-idea in a suited forum, but ALSO post it here).

First of all I believe a good coach first looks at his squad and builds taktics from the qualities he has. Never the less there should be a clear idea behind every line up. Something very few coaches have in Belgium.

Anyway my favourite system is the 3-4-3 Ajax played. You get attractive football and results (which to me are of secondary order). Another good system is the 3-5-2 (or 3-4-1-2
as it was reffered to) that As Roma played last year. Unfortunately those are systems that only work when you have outstanding players (e.g. Litmanen at Ajax and the fantastic Cafu at Roma).

For a normal team I would go for a 4-4-2. Unless you have 1 real good defender and 2 wingers who can take a whole side than I would opt for a 3-5-2. But let's stick to the 4-4-2.

We'll start at the back. In the centre the ideal combination is an intelligent defender, who can also help in the build up, (but in the first place is a defender).

Alongside him is the defender who can neutralise any forward. The backs once again are one the first place defenders, it's nice if they have good attacking qualities, but if they can't defend, they are out .

Then midfield: this is important in my views on modern football. Although I regret it, we more and more see that the classical playmaker doesn't work anymore (that is if you play a 4-4-2). The creativity comes from the sides. Even the best playmaker in the world Zidane, couldn't do it for Juve in a 4-4-2. La Vecchia Signora too changed to the system that was soo succesfull for ManU and Valencia.

Still this way of organising the midfield has one important condition that some ignore. It's not because your flanks bring the creativity, that the centre should be filled with 2 workers. Sure they should do the recuperation, but if they don't have a decent passing you're lost. Those central midfielders need to be able to clinch to a ball, to bring some rest. If they don't, the whole balance of the team is lost.

Does this mean I believe players like Stoica or Aimar are lost? No not really. They shouldn't be midfielders though. These kind of players aren't number 10's any long. Their best place is a 9,5. A bit like the number 11 in Binswhacker's system. The difference is I would have such player positionned in a more backwords way.

Risk is that the deep striker, indeed physical, but with enough technique to play with his back to the goal, is let alone too much. Therefore the wingers (from midfield) should play high enough so they can support him.

A last note that I always would play out of the base of possession, on the half of the opponent (creative football based on technique you know ) although some of the best coaches (from Cuper till Sollied) claim the other way around.

4,168 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Rasmus said:
I might have misunderstood your intentions with number 3, but if i haven't i have a question.You play with one sweeper, 2 backs and one central defender. If the sweeper must be the last man at all time he can't be told to mark a certain player all the time, cuz that would make it impossible to be the last player all the time. This is no problem when the opponents play with one striker but what would you do if you play a team with 2 strikers? who should mark the final striker?
Well, the main strength of my team is that is adaptable towards the strenghts of the opponent, even during the game. The meaning of my final man is bit double since, apart from the original footballing of course, I consider the final man to be a sort of last resort, the guy with a simple, firm yet correct and fair tackle to get rid of a sudden (counter-)attack.

If a team opposing mine comes with two or three strikers, I would put my central defender (4 in this case) a little back, maybe even next to the final man, or a bit ahead depending on:

- how deep the opposing strikers play
- their speed and need of room (Emile Mpenza still needs quite a lot of room whereas Constantinou or Van Nistelrooy shouldn't be given an inch)

But then again, my final man wouldn't be the guy to leave any breathing space whatsoever. ;) however I would not often go for a man-to-man situation, actually. Maybe if the situation really calls for it, e.g. player of mine gets sent off, being behind in the last ten minutes,... That kind of thing.
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