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Formation Alternatives - Part 2

Yesterday we talked and debated about our alternative formation, and I am delightful with some delightful responses from some intelligent VC members.

We agreed that it might work with the right personnel and can be changed slightly to 4-4-1-1, also in the first article yesterday I chose the players from what we have presently in our squad, leaving out our injured players and the AFCON duo representing their countries making the formation a tad lightweight.

Today I'll talk about the 4-3-3 formation which I believe will suit us as an alternative to the pivot dependent 4-2-3-1, we have quality and creative CAMs/wingers and exciting players who can beat other team's defenders without breaking much sweat which will be the key. I'll say it as I see it and you are welcomed to correct or add your own contributions.

4-3-3 of:-

Cech - Cole, Terry, Luiz, Azpilicueta - Mikel, Oscar, Ramires - Hazard, Ba, Moses>

This will be our strongest line-up balanced with both attacking and defensive flair, one thing standing out in this formation is the use of Oscar, instead of the more creative Mata, but if that is the case (using Mata in place of Oscar just for his creativity) then Rammy along with Mikel will have more tackling and mopping up to do if and when Mata loses the ball or is dispossessed off the ball.

But if we want a team that can handle a tough and also creative side then we'll have to go with Oscar as he is a more rounded player than Mata, only losing out to Mata in the creative department in which Mata has a bag full of innovations.

With this kind of formation we can destroy most teams on one condition, if our defensive midfielder and central midfielders are hardworking enough at reading the game and transiting fast enough on the counter.

Rammy would have a field day in this formation as we have seen with the selecao because of his freedom in the middle, but as we all know his passing ability is not crisp enough it might be a weakness if it is not improved or worked on, but my believe is that it can be improved and that is why there is a couple of training sessions to improve the players fitness and technical abilities at Cobham.

I for one think our best formation to excel is a 4-3-3 for the first half and if we are doing well we can change or revert back into the more defensive formation in the second half with a change of a few players.

Another point you'll note before I stop writing is that Barca have favoured this formation for all their trophy winning seasons, we can argue that we don't have a certain Iniesta, Xavi and Messi, we can also argue that the Spanish League is less physical than the Premier League, but with this formation too, Barca dispatch most teams in Europe with this formation and our players are not that bad in their technical abilities not to make it work.

Besides it would be an alternative to the traditional 4-2-3-1 which we can change back to depending on tactics, I am still battling on Oscar and Mata in the 4-3-3 formation, who would suit that formation between the duo?

Would it work?

That is another question guys, what do you think?




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The Journalist

Writer: Dessydore Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday January 24 2013

Time: 4:39PM

Your Comments

'll take the formation above over our present 4-2-3-1....its just that FSW cant think...with that 4-3-3 above...Oscar and Mata can still interchange thus causing all manner of problems for the opposition...Tubby is just a fat head..he cant reason..instead of thinking and being creative, he is developing his own favorites and appears to be ostracising certain players...good luck to him.
layorh12
Without mata in our team we won't get into the top4, don't care wot formation we playing mata needs to play. Mata makes us tick as a team, right now mata and cech are the 2 players we need to wrap in cotton wool because we don't have a replacement for them right now
Pila12
for me the best 4-3-3 formation is with : cech - azpi -cahill - terry --- luiz - rami - oscar --- mata - ba -hazard
kam.kh
ooops i forgot cole
kam.kh
It's not about formations it's about romance, which Rafa doesn't have for us and we don't. Rafa is average at best for us and its painful to bear his era knowing he won't be here in 4 months. This is the beginning of the new Chelsea which requires patience, wish I could fast fwd time to may.
shaka09
you make an interesting point about mata's defensive skills, we can't seem to score without him yet we can't defend with him
robbo7044
4-3-3 would have to be my personal favourite formation, however with the need to have Mata in the team, and for him to be inhis best postion, being in central role, I personally think the 4-2-3-1 formation is best based on current personal. He is just not as effective out wide, particularly when playing RW. Hes our best player so we need to build the team around him. Havig him play behind the striker in the 4-2-3-1 offers us the best chances of being defensivly stable with having 2x CMs to play behind him and at times beside him when one breaks forward. Our best team in my eyes is 4-2-3-1 Cech, Azpi, Terry, Cahill, Cole, Ramires, Mikel, Moses, Mata, Hazard, Ba. This offers defensive stability at the back (note no Luiz), durable 2 in the pivot with ramires still able to break forward, 2x wingers in hazard and moses who can interchange wings, with mata playing behind ba..
BlueKiwi
Yes I understand the importance of mata, if u noticed what he was about under rdm, he was one of our best in form player, but right now, he is so knackered and tired and can hardly take a decent corner kick, what we have is a very intelligent brain, but a body that can't execute its command to perfection, that is the reason I was routing for willian in another article today, he can be bought if we approach shakter with a good offer as willian is at loggers head with shakter for now, failing to report to their training camp... I really hope we consider this formation as I am personally sick of the heartaches attached to the 4-2-3-1 formation, @layorh, I can see that FSW is getting under ur normally calm self skin, I wish he can atleast make us get the champions league spot, but I am not too sure since he made our players all knackered at the same time
Desmondadonis
In the above we can use Ivan at RB against bigger less mobile teams and rotate him at CB with the others, we can also use Lamprd/Luiz or even oscar as CM if we need more deeper pass penetration if its proving ineffective.
BlueKiwi
@bluekiwi, ur formation is mouthwatering and the personnel u deployed might make it work, but it is common knowledge that rammy can't pass and to transit the ball from attack to defense can be slow and difficult, so what do we do? Should we play oscar in the pivot along with mikel for that reason and sacrifice his ambition as a no.10 ? A few members who I really admire believe oscar would suit the pivot, what's ur take on that?
Desmondadonis
True - Mata does look a little tired and perhaps when hes is rested or subbed coud we try a regular 4-3-3. Hes too lightweight for CM or CAM in a 4-3-3, and doesnt track back on the wings as well as the other wingers we have
BlueKiwi
@bluekiwi, we are on the same page in that reasoning, rafa needs to do something fast so we can still make top 3
Desmondadonis
I think we will still make top 3/4 with Rafa, but his subs have been poor at times, which i think has been more of an undoing than formation has. Biggest positive has to be Moses getting ame time and proving hes very capable with us since Rafa came in. Oscar 'could' play deep but we are then losing his goal threat to a certain degree by doing so and he has a fantastic skill set to play number 10. Its always going to be difficult thoughcompetiting for same role with Mata. It would be good if we used him as a bit of a utility - he can play number 10 when mata is rested, otherwise used deep?
BlueKiwi
@bluekiwi, that is the dilemma now, personally I don't want oscar playing in the pivot based on the mouth gaping performances for brazil at the olympic, if he can bring that brilliance to the EPL he'll be a ballon d' or contender in 3 years, besides I don't want the press to liken him to john obi mikel, but if we don't have any other option, I guess we can try it
Desmondadonis
Shaka, beat it! RDM had the Romance yet it didnt stop things from going wrong.
Ohans
If we want to play a 4-3-3 formation with Mata in the CM position and still be strong,we'd need Luiz and Ramires or Mikel along side him,that will go a long way to cushion the effect of his defensive lapses. I think he should be alternating with Oscar in that role as both of them will no make good forwards in the front 3. Hazard or Moses,Marin,Torres and ofcourse Ba are the contestants for the front 3.
Ohans
I also believe that a 4-3-3 formation can enable us to cope very well in the absence of Mata. This is because a combination of Oscar and Luiz along with Ramires in the first 3 will provide enough creativity and fluidity which we mostly get from Mata when he is in a central position. The front 3 of Moses(when he is back) ,Hazard and Ba will be very forceful,enough to keep any defense busy and uncomfortable. I reassert here that a switch of systems can only be better for us.
Ohans
This is all nice in theory but i am convinced that beyond formations our greatest problem is lack of the needed personnel. Our squad is so thin in the central mid field , attacking midfield and strikers that we have to keep playing the same players over and over. We have not addressed this thus far in the transfer window and if we dont no change in formations will save us. By March-april players like Mata, Cech Ba and Hazard will be so tired that their effectiveness will plummet. I am afraid..very afraid.
GabeU
@ohans, ur theory have really convinced me of a way forward, surely a trio of luiz, rammy and mata would be superb with both luiz and rammy sweeping for mata, I believe this formation would suit our fluid style, and we truly need one more natural winger in case we play a park the bus team, they will be whipping in crosses and take on defenders if it is required, @gabeu, my friend u are saying the lads would get tired by march, are u hoping they hold out till then? Because to me the whole team is already tired!!!!! And they are just trying to hang on.... I saw it coming and I have been complaining about it for a long time, now except for the red card that will keep hazard fresh, the whole team would still be lethargic in their approach of games, if u noticed, we only play fast fluid footie on the first few minutes of starting a game, we tend to fizzle out at the 35th minute to just pass the ball around, I am already afraid and I am afraid
Desmondadonis
Yea Desmond, the problem is how to get it into Rafa's thick head that we need something like this. We have a lot to gain from it. I believe rotation will be better effected in a 4-3-3 formation,moreso when combined with the present (4-2-3-1) system. This is because different players are suited to different systems so majority will be carried along,while some will slot well into a 4-2-3-1,others will flourish in a 4-3-3 . Furthermore, some opponents are better defeated using specific pattern and formation. So there should be a kind of switch between system,imo,depending on the type of players we have and how much we want them involved,also depending on the opponent's weak points. Am not saying it is wrong for a club to identify with a particular system,Juve favour a 3-5-2,ManUre a 4-4-2,so we might well be known for our 4-2-3-1 system of football...but shouldnt be limited to that. ManUre like i said uses 4-4-2 but even in the said system shapes are changed by SAF from game to game. He does switch between a crowded midfield of diamond formation and a flat 4-4-2 all depending on the available players and opponent's strengths and weaknesses.
Ohans
Being aware of the qualities of Mata,i'd say that the best position for him is a second striker.He has the creativity and the scoring ability to play in that role and his defensive duties will be minimalised.Mata and Lamps will rotate as in the SF position doing Rooney's tasks in MU,while two of Moses,Marin and Hazard will play on the wings providing us width.Oscar and Luiz/Rambo will be the CMs in this 4-4-1-1 formation,thus providing us with both strength and creativity in midfield.The most disturbing disadvantage of our current formation is that it is too Mata dependant and the other players are not used in their best positions and when Mata takes a day off the team suffers big time. Instead,if the wingers take the lion share of Mata's burden,he will utilize the empty spaces in the middle of the opposition's defence and the whole team will benefit of the change.
Simeon23
It is important for coaches to make formation change based on the form of the opponents like Michael Laudrup did against Everton and Chelsea. I haven't see in RB yet.... Likewise we didn't have enough players to accommodate formation change.... Let's hope we could get a good tactical coach for upcoming season.... We need players to be fit for 3-5-2, 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1, 4-4-2, 4-5-1 or anything we could think off... Good luck...
DrWatsons
@ohans, I really wish rafa will use his brain, we can be really sucessful with this formation as u mentioned and we can still retain the 4-2-3-1 formation depending on the tactics and weaknesses of the opposition, @simeone, I am happy u noticed that mata can't excel as we want in the middle, he'll flash and will petter out, he'll do something we'll scream his name to heavens, but yet again he'll fizzle out, he is not consistent and yet most of us are in denial, mata is not a player that we can bench, but we need to identify his best position and set the teams up to be independent and not dependent on mata, I said it in my other 4-4-2 article that mata is suited behind a striker but I was insulted, I wish we see this sooner rather than later, oscar would push him out if he could bring his UCL form to the PL, or willian if we buy him, @dr watsons, I agree to that too and I am dismayed that rafa can be like this, I was skceptical about us appointing him, but he failed to win me over, he haven't done anything to impress me whatsoever and I don't think he has it in him to make changes that will win us games, I think he just selects the players and hope for the best, I won't say no to laudruup and adiviveash as our coach
Desmondadonis
 

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