The formation of a football team determines how the teams play; and this short article analyses three instances.
One the hardest decisions for a football 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 offered out by coaches, unlike in other sports, so managers don’t know what the opposition side will look like until they get onto the pitch. This lack of openness suggests coaches must do plenty of research on the opponents to find out how they will play. One solution nevertheless, is to disregard the opponent and play a formation that complements you and adhere to it. This alternative is what the new Italian manager opts for, who was assigned by the Chelsea owner at the start of this season. The Italian coach sticks to a 4-3-3 formation consistently; it has been one of the most successful football formations, with so many managers settling on it. It is a flexible formation that allows you to play 3 forwards, but the wide players in positions where they can fall back and assist in defence when necessary.
The most famous formation is perhaps the 4-4-2 formation that was hugely renowned in English football throughout the 2000’s. The formation was made well-known by just about the most effective teams in Italian history; the new AC Milan owner may well look for their manager to resort back to this formation as it has experienced big success over the years. Most clubs nowadays opt for just a single striker, as it provides the midfield much more cover and mobility. The benefit of the formation the Italian club applied, is that it gives loads of width and then two forwards who make excellent options for crosses from those wide places. However, the formation needs top 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.
A formation that is sometimes used by teams that are lacking the quality of their opponent is the 5-4-1 formation. By playing this way, a team can overload the midfield and have a strong back line that can stay in front of their own box. While many recognise this formation as defeatist, or bland, it is an successful way of shutting out a much better team for long stretches of the game. If you play this formation you can expect to have very slight possession, with virtually no real out ball considering you only have a single attacking person. Clubs may play this formation for the first 70 minutes and then adjust their football tactics in the last period to attempt and snatch victory. The Cardiff City owner has quite frequently favoured coaches that can field this formation properly, as they do not have the same calibre players as other teams.