Jump to content

Formation - The Future of modern day Football


Recommended Posts

Van Gal tried a "3 @ the back" system with ManU but for whatever reason it didnt come off.

Conte has changed the formation  @ Chelsea to a 3-4-3 with some astounding success

I think the secret behind this (not ignoring the calibre of players available) system is that Chelsea have

1 - "ballplayers" capable of building attacks up from the back 

2 - 2 Dominant central Midfielders who can be disciplined under pressure and protect the back 4 but also able to pass and move the ball on up the pitch

3 - The 2 wide MF-ers not only track back but can both tuck in keeping a compact 4 in MF and support the attacks

4 - The 3 forwards are not only class but are not one dimensional players capable of pulling defenders out of position

Conte always emphasises the word "work", something Chelsea players have been very cultured into from Vialli to Mourinho and back again. 

Fitness, work-ethic, positional sense and tactical awareness are absolute in implementing such a system.

On paper it all seems very logical and fesible for an organised team to be able to implement a system that has the 3-4 part as the defensive wall with the front 3 prepared to work back and be available to get on the front foot quickly when they dont have possesion. Then the 3 forwards supported by the 2 "wide" MF's - a back 3 being enough for cover for counters pushing up allowing the 2 CM's to be feeders for the creatives.

This way of playing obviously requires players with the afore mentioned traits plus good movement, strength, mobility and ability on the ball to get it to work. But it seems possible at that level.

I wonder if this Conte system will catch on in the PL.

Maybe we can adapt the 3-4-3 formation so that is more like

           Elphick Chester Baker

Adomah      Jedi     Tish      Amavi

          McCormack    Ayew


Defence - Maybe our lack of passing quality from Elphick/Chester/Baker could be excused at Ch level

Midfield - Jedi holding/breaking up play, Tish doing the running

Adomah & Amavi with a lot to do - Tracking back/Wide MF'ers/Winger

Ayew dropping deep to pick the ball up/Floating across the "off the front-line" taking players on

Mc Pressing when not in possesion License to roam in possesion

Kodjia - being Kodjia scoring for fun.

Maybe we could dominate games more (not stat-wise), condense play to our advantage (more skillfull attacking line of Adomah, Amavi, Ayew, Mc & Kodjia) push teams back and control the pressure.

If it worked and got us up we may be a step further going into the PL (By then maybe a few teams will going 3-4-3)

We have to upgrade anyway so maybe we would have a basis of Chester, Adomah, Tish, Amavi, Ayew, Grealish & Kodjia (plus Gollini) for our 1st 11

Elphick, Baker, Bacuna, McC as Squad players capable of playing the system

We would have to buy anyway to survive in the PL, good buys would make our 1 season back more comfortable

1x GK (Gollini proving himself + a back up/or a proven PL GK)

2x Central defenders (L&R)

2x CM's

2x Wide players

1x CF

I have feeling Conte has something going.

Bruce is experienced enough to not lose his nerve trying something scaled down if it showed some signs that it could work.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting post.

You mention the quality of players that Chelsea have and I think that is key. I don't think you can just decide to play a specific formation and make it work without the specific personnel required to carry it out.

3 at the back wouldn't suit us. For one none of our centrebacks are comfortable enough on the ball to build attacks.

It's a nice idea but I think what Bruce is doing now can be built on.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me its principles of play over formations, doesn't mean formations cant and wont help you win games, but the reason you change formation is to get more of a attacking or defensive principal.

Having said that the difference between victory and defeat at the pro level can often come down to the slightest of tweaks. And pro players being notoriously fickle, a change of formation may give them something in there opinion to latch on to as a catalyst for change.


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There aren't any modern formations. Just variations of what's happened before. What has changed is the role asked of the players in them formations. Ball playing centre halves. Players rotating etc 343 is flavour of the month. It'll get found out eventually as do all formations then it's if clubs want to continue with them. We look solid with a back 4 so keep that then tinker with rest in front of them. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't get the british resistance to 3 at the back, it's made a big comeback in Italy for pretty much 10 years. Mazzari at Watford always played it here, Conte did it at Juve with great success too, Guardiola plays it quite often. Allegri has used it a lot, Zeman, Spalletti a while ago, and now has tried with De Rossi in a 3, Sarri at Napoli likes it. That's just off the top of my head, the list is a lot longer than that. We ourselves had some success with it the last time it was in fashion over in the UK. The idea that football should be 4-4-2, or the european equivalent standard of 4-3-3 and that's it has always baffled me. 

Obviously it depends on your players and also what your coaches are comfortable with, no point trying to do hours of rehearsing patterns of play when the guy taking the session has never played it...

Did Bruce play in a 3? I can only remember him and Pallister in a 4, but I'm pretty sure Ferguson **** about with playing midfielders in a 3 at the back a few times?

Edited by romavillan
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, bannedfromHandV said:

It helps a lot when you have an in form hazard and costa

They've got quality all through that side, the football was amazing on Sat from what I saw on MOTD. We don't have one player with a first touch as good as any of them. What was most impressive though was the way they found space, the movement was incredible to make options for who was on the ball. You could see they had worked really hard on it. Conte had Juve playing like that a while back. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I remember one of our best seasons in Premier League we played 3 at back with Southgate, Ehiogu and God with 2 full backs. I think its a good system but need the players for it. we tried our 3 centre backs at Ipswich I think and it looked awful.

to play it you need a good defender on the ball and a defender with pace to cover which not sure we have at moment. FWIW Bruce played 3 at back with Hull

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, sheepyvillian said:

Graham Taylor was playing 3 at the back way back when , mind you ,what a decent back 3 it was : God , Mountfield and Nielson . Aston Villa ,leading the way .

It was ever thus .

I remember Eghiogu God & Southgate too.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those two sets of 3 were fantastic

Then Steve Staunton thought he was "ready to move to CB as an experienced defender" when really he was a slow shit LB who turned himself into a slow shit CB who just pointed his finger at everybody else deflecting the blame from himself.

Steve Staunton, F*****g Steve "F-Head" Staunton.

I remember him hoofing up balls down the flanks so that Colymore could "go fetch" whilst the opposition had 2 men after him and none of our players supporting him cos Stan never passed anyway.

Stan would lose the ball - ball would come back - Staunton would be either outpaced, outmuscled by the forwards or be out of position, shouting at our defenders claiming "I'm the defensive line - stay level with me"

What a useless c-unit

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Create New...