The formation of a football team determines how the clubs play; and this article analyses three examples.
One the toughest decisions for a soccer coach, is selecting which formation to play against the opponent. An important factor in this decision is the style of play of the opposition. A football formation list is not given out by coaches, unlike in other sports, therefore managers don’t know what the opposition side will look like until they get onto the pitch. This absence of openness suggests managers must do lots of researching on the opponents to figure out how they will play. One option however, is to ignore the opposition and play a formation that benefits you and adhere to it. This alternative is what the new Italian coach opts for, who was employed by the Chelsea owner at the start of this season. The Italian coach stays to a 4-3-3 formation consistently; it has been among the most successful football formations, with so many managers choosing it. It is an adaptable formation that enables you to play 3 forwards, but the wide players in roles where they can fall back and aid in defence when needed.
A formation that is often used by teams that are lacking the high quality of their opponent is the 5-4-1 formation. By playing this way, a group can overload the midfield and have a firm back line that can remain in front of their own box. While so many view this formation as defeatist, or drab, it is an efficient way of shutting out a better club for prolonged stretches of the game. If you play this formation you can anticipate to have very little control, with virtually no real out ball considering you just have a single attacking player. Teams may play this formation for the first 70 minutes and then change their football tactics in the final period to try and snatch success. The Cardiff City owner has quite often favoured coaches that can field this formation efficiently, as they do not have the same calibre players as some other clubs.
The most well-known formation is arguably the 4-4-2 formation that was massively famous in English football during the 2000’s. The formation was made famous by about the most successful teams in Italian history; the new AC Milan owner may well look for their coach to resort back to this formation as it has seen huge success over the years. Most teams nowadays opt for just a single striker, as it offers the midfield much more cover and flexibility. The advantage of the formation the Italian club employed, is that it provides lots of width and then two forwards who make great options for crosses from those wide places. Even so, the formation requires quality wingers, so if a team does not have options in this position, it works much better to play a formation that goes down the center.