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Samir_NasG
4th December '11, 11:28 AM
Watching football in the laste 90's and early 2000s there was 1 formation which dominated and that was the 4-4-2 or hybrids of it. It nearly always consisted of 2 rugged cbs, fullbaks with good crosses, 2 box to box midfielders, 1 tricky wideman, 1 wideman with a good cross and 2 forwards. These days no major teams use this formation bar maybe United. Why do people think this is?

Personally I feel it is because of the major money at stake at elite level European football there is simply far much to lose in LOSING! In the lower leagues in England many teams still play a 4-4-2 as it is the simplest to play as ever player knows their role.

daspecimen
4th December '11, 11:44 AM
I think it is the emergence of players like Zidane and such who require that creative freedom from a central position (without the defensive responsibility). You forgo the lack of defensive structure with them for the brilliance they are capable of at the other end.

I think 4-4-2 works still, and still has a place in the modern game albeit not as prominently.

good thread.

Samir_NasG
4th December '11, 11:52 AM
I think it is the emergence of players like Zidane and such who require that creative freedom from a central position (without the defensive responsibility). You forgo the lack of defensive structure with them for the brilliance they are capable of at the other end.

I think 4-4-2 works still, and still has a place in the modern game albeit not as prominently.

good thread.

Has had a massive impact, however these players used to play a number 10s but now these attacking players are more like and extra midfield man. Also the emergence of the Makalele type of midfield breaker has changed the game. Personally I think it's a shame 4-4-2s died a little and as much as I hate to say it this is why I enjoy watching Tottenham play.

M.O.G.
4th December '11, 11:55 AM
Has had a massive impact, however these players used to play a number 10s but now these attacking players are more like and extra midfield man. Also the emergence of the Makalele type of midfield breaker has changed the game. Personally I think it's a shame 4-4-2s died a little and as much as I hate to say it this is why I enjoy watching Tottenham play.

:stunned::stunned::stunned:

Samir_NasG
4th December '11, 11:57 AM
:stunned::stunned::stunned:

stop trolling please, trying to have a football discussion here. Shock you don't actually have an opinion to give.

M.O.G.
4th December '11, 12:10 PM
stop trolling please, trying to have a football discussion here. Shock you don't actually have an opinion to give.

Im just genuinely surprised an Arsenal fan said that, I have my opinions on 4-4-2, it's a pointless formation now to use in both the prem and international terms.

The players of today have a lot more natural ability on the ball and there are new roles within the game, could you see a Zidane playing the basic 'centre mid' position? That would take away his creative instincts.

I still prefer the same old 4 at the back though with the rb two cbs and lb but different games call for different formations, as long as you have the water carrier, the zidane-type (although obviously not on his level) you will have options.

Hij
4th December '11, 12:15 PM
It's not always due to people not wanting to lose. Do Man City play a 4-4-2? No. They play a 4-2-3-1 and batter teams.

Football is like everything, over time, someone finds something that works better and people have to change. Should post up some 1930's formations and then discuss why they changed as well.

Also didn't United play 4-4-2 against Villa and only score 1? lol


Personally I think it's a shame 4-4-2s died a little and as much as I hate to say it this is why I enjoy watching Tottenham play.

Tottenham don't always play 4-4-2.

Formations aren't as definitive as they say anymore either. If a striker at any point drops back into midfield, it's a 4-5-1. Tottenham did play a 4-4-2 the other day with Defoe, but hadn't they been playing with Adebayor as a loan striker for while?

Julio Cesar
4th December '11, 12:20 PM
We're playing 442 at the moment now because Taarabt isn't playing so we don't have to play 4-4-2 to accomodate him. The 4-4-2 isn't dead, however if the right players are not involved it can be a very rigid formation with a lack of creativity. At the moment, we've got Barton and Faurlin in the middle who have been excellent, SWP on the right and Traore on the left with Mackie (lots of energy and pace) up top with Helguson (6 in 9 and a beast in the air). The fact that we have so pace in the team and we have creative players in the middle means that it works, sometimes we go with Bothroyd and Helguson up front (like yesterday) and SWP on the left with Mackie on the right so Traore drops to left back, this means that we have to big men up front who can bring the quick wingers into play, our full backs are attacking when Traore plays left back which means that we can attack in numbers. A key part of the 4-4-2 is it being interchangable depending on your starting xi, in our team our players can move about, we can put Traore left wing, put barton on the right, put swp either wing, put mackie up front, put bothroyd on the wing etc. which means that we have options and it is not predictable, if you don't have options in your starting xi then you're going to struggle with a 4-4-2. It is a good formation which can be used to keep a solid structure in the team and so that you can attack and defend in numbers. Good formation and it isn't dead IMO.

Hij
4th December '11, 12:22 PM
You can play 4-4-2 against 4-5-1 if you are good at winning possession back and passing through a midfield with pin point passes as well.

Samir_NasG
4th December '11, 12:59 PM
Im just genuinely surprised an Arsenal fan said that, I have my opinions on 4-4-2, it's a pointless formation now to use in both the prem and international terms.

The players of today have a lot more natural ability on the ball and there are new roles within the game, could you see a Zidane playing the basic 'centre mid' position? That would take away his creative instincts.

I still prefer the same old 4 at the back though with the rb two cbs and lb but different games call for different formations, as long as you have the water carrier, the zidane-type (although obviously not on his level) you will have options.

I agree and disagree. No I couldn't see A flair player like Zidane playing centre mid but in the past he would have played near the striker a little like VDV does at Spurs. Hij the City point is kind of void they aren't battering teams because of the formation they are battering them because of quality, except in the champions league where the quality is so much higher. City would be a much more attacking team in a 4-4-2 but the nature of todays game doesn't allow them to play it.


You can play 4-4-2 against 4-5-1 if you are good at winning possession back and passing through a midfield with pin point passes as well.

Definitely. Just curious why most teams don't do it. Arsenals best teams have always played 4-4-2.

187
4th December '11, 01:20 PM
I think 4-4-2 works still, and still has a place in the modern game albeit not as prominently.

good thread.
.

It's not always due to people not wanting to lose. Do Man City play a 4-4-2? No. They play a 4-2-3-1 and batter teams.

Football is like everything, over time, someone finds something that works better and people have to change. Should post up some 1930's formations and then discuss why they changed as well.

Also didn't United play 4-4-2 against Villa and only score 1? lol



Tottenham don't always play 4-4-2.

Formations aren't as definitive as they say anymore either. If a striker at any point drops back into midfield, it's a 4-5-1. Tottenham did play a 4-4-2 the other day with Defoe, but hadn't they been playing with Adebayor as a loan striker for while?

Man City play a 4-2-4 bro...

United are shit, they don't have a don like Modric in CM to start attacks lulu... Rooney has to come deep y/h alot so they're basically playing 4-4-1-1 most of the time.

Spurs play the flat 4-4-2 / 4-4-1-1 formation that works well because of their workrate and pace tbh... :angry: VdV basically plays as a striker, dropping in the hole whenever... but cause of the pace of the wingers he can arrive late and bang like Lampard or like Stevie G used to... lulu

daspecimen
4th December '11, 01:40 PM
Teams like Spurs/Stoke are probably the most prominent teams with the 4-4-2 and its their wide men that make the difference.

It can make for a good style of football to watch, so I get where NasG is coming from.

Hij
4th December '11, 01:42 PM
.


Man City play a 4-2-4 bro...

:laugh:

Silva, Aguero and one other play behind the striker and are a 3.

187
4th December '11, 02:04 PM
:laugh:

Silva, Aguero and one other play behind the striker and are a 3.
:laugh:

Aguero's a striker bro... and usually he'll play ahead of Dzeko...

GK
Back 4
2 DMs
Silva - Milner/Nasri
Aguero
Dzeko/Mario

:dozey:

The front 4 can change positions all throughout the game...

Genetically Genuine
4th December '11, 02:31 PM
Man City would not be suited with the players they have to play a traditional 4-4-2, they only have one out-and-out winger in Johnson unless they were to maybe play Milner on the other wing.

Hij
4th December '11, 02:46 PM
Aguero's a striker bro... and usually he'll play ahead of Dzeko...


They play 4-2-3-1 bro, come the fuck off FIFA

Of course, when you play with two attack-minded wide players plus one striker dropping off into the hole, 4-4-2 and 4-2-3-1 are, if not interchangeable, not significantly different.

Diss04
4th December '11, 02:56 PM
I feel like 4-4-2 still has a place but it looks more like 4-1-2-1-2 more often.

I think that the holding mid/attacking mid formation has a nice balance.

Hij
4th December '11, 02:57 PM
I feel like 4-4-2 still has a place but it looks more like 4-1-2-1-2 more often.

I think that the holding mid/attacking mid formation has a nice balance.

Agree. Often you have the guy leading the line (Adebayor) and the guy who drops back (Defoe) which is what I saw a lot for Tottenham in their last match. But obviously when on the attack, Defoe has the pace to get to the last man and then they have the two forwards.

Diss04
4th December '11, 03:29 PM
Agree. Often you have the guy leading the line (Adebayor) and the guy who drops back (Defoe) which is what I saw a lot for Tottenham recently. But obviously when on the attack, Defoe has the pace to get to the last man and then they have the two forwards.

I do think positional fluidity is important at the top level tho because smart teams know how to play against players with set positions. I mean, what formation do Barcelona play? 4-3-3? 2-4-1-3?

Brisboy84
4th December '11, 03:30 PM
They play 4-2-3-1 bro, come the fuck off FIFA

Of course, when you play with two attack-minded wide players plus one striker dropping off into the hole, 4-4-2 and 4-2-3-1 are, if not interchangeable, not significantly different.

Yep. A 3 of Milner/Johnson/Nasri-Aguero-Silva behind a frontman of Dzeko/Balotelli. Balotelli can also play in the 3 behind the frontman. Aguero also can play as the lone frontman.

Tottenham when playing with Adebayor-Defoe for example, play the traditional 4-4-2. VDV in behind Adebayor is more of a 4-4-1-1.

Barcelona's success with the 4-3-3 inspired teams to move from a 4-4-2 to a 4-3-3. 4-3-3 is very flexible. When defending you can revert to a 4-5-1 and back again easily. 4-4-2 still has a place though. There's times when it can be useful. A big disadvantage when playing 4-3-3 is the lack of natural width. The centre of the pitch can get very congested and you can get too narrow. Spain v England showed that.

Hij
4th December '11, 03:40 PM
I do think positional fluidity is important at the top level tho because smart teams know how to play against players with set positions. I mean, what formation do Barcelona play? 4-3-3? 2-4-1-3?

Formations as an absolute are on the way out. I think what you allude to with Barcelona shows that. You'll have a general shape and lads with free roles, or positions they are told to take up dependant on what the opposition do.

Samir_NasG
4th December '11, 03:56 PM
Tactical managers like Mourinho and Benitez will ensure rigid(ish) formations never truly disappear.

Matt91
4th December '11, 04:01 PM
4-4-1-1
4-3-3/4-5-1

is the future, most teams have a creative player that plays off the striker but isn't a striker, like as someone said Zidane or in our case Van Der Vaart


Has had a massive impact, however these players used to play a number 10s but now these attacking players are more like and extra midfield man. Also the emergence of the Makalele type of midfield breaker has changed the game. Personally I think it's a shame 4-4-2s died a little and as much as I hate to say it this is why I enjoy watching Tottenham play.

Not sure if you're saying we play 442 or not, cos we most of the time unless Defoe starts but it's normally VdV who plays off the striker in a number 10 role.

Not denying we don't play 442 cos we done it yesterday but I think we play a 4-4-1-1 more often with VdV playing in the hole, altho as others have said it's easy to change shape to a 442 once we take VdV off

Shower Posse
4th December '11, 04:06 PM
Man City I would say use a 4-2-3-1 formation and because of their fluidity in-game it changes to a 4-2-4 or 4-3-3 during the game

Personally I think this is they way forward not the formation so to speak but the ability to interchange in between positions and formations

Barcelona for example start of as a 4-3-3 at the start but in most matches there is only two defenders with Valdes playing as an extra player giving cover with his sweeping skills.

It depends on the players you have at your disposal still
because like mentioned earlier ITT if you have a creative mid you don't want to limit him by giving him too much defensive capabilities

An example of this is Anderson at Porto was Attacking Mid/Left midfield cutting in he hardly had an defensive capabilities than came to United and in my personal opinion he was shouldered with too much defensive respnsibilites now he his attacking capabilities are suffering. When he was partnered with a ball winner during the little time Hargreaves was fit he used to run rings midfields but ahh well shit happens :sad:

The Don
4th December '11, 04:41 PM
Formations as an absolute are on the way out. I think what you allude to with Barcelona shows that. You'll have a general shape and lads with free roles, or positions they are told to take up dependant on what the opposition do.

.

was tryna tell my bredrin this and he wasn't having it, the conversation was me telling him 4-5-1 and 4-3-3 are in effect the same thing depending on diff phases of the game and that player roles and style are more important than any formation

we could line up in a 442 with anelka and drogba up top but that is 100% becoming a 4411 as the game progresses

and city's 4231 is different to alot of teams version will be because of personnel i.e more playmakers than wingers

edit; i wanna see if a defensive shift would ever catch on in england, there were probably times where anything but 442 was seen as retarded and too big a change in the 90's, a lot like a flat back 4 is now

nortside
4th December '11, 07:42 PM
i miss the 3-5-2/3-4-3 with wing backs system

you can still play 4-4-2 as man utd have shown @ the top level but that's because they focus on wing play a lot

Eric Cantona
4th December '11, 07:55 PM
4-4-2 >>>>>

v7hEqCdAwjs

quality
5th December '11, 11:30 AM
We play a 4-4-2, the champions last season play a 4-4-2, Man City at points play with two up. IMO formations aren't really important, people go through phases of copying the latest trends, its how you set up. 4-4-2 with a Rooney or Van der Vaart becomes a 4-5-1 at points anyway.

Hij
5th December '11, 11:33 AM
We play a 4-4-2, the champions last season play a 4-4-2, Man City at points play with two up. IMO formations aren't really important, people go through phases of copying the latest trends, its how you set up. 4-4-2 with a Rooney or Van der Vaart becomes a 4-5-1 at points anyway.

Man United do not always play 2 up top. And agree with the bolded bit. It adapts dependant on what the manager feels is important - harrying the ball in midfield to win possession and start a counter, or to simply pack the midfield to try and grind out the last few minutes, occasionally going on the counter.


4-4-2 >>>>>

v7hEqCdAwjs

Would rep.

quality
5th December '11, 11:41 AM
The only problem with tactics is when a manager joins a club with a set formation/way of playing and doesn't consider his personnel, tries to put square pegs in round holes.

You can see that with Gasperini and his 3-5-2 at Inter this season, and to an extent Villas Boas playing a high line with one incredibly slow centre back (Terry) and one retarded centre back who doesn't know how to hold a line (Luiz).

Hij
5th December '11, 11:52 AM
The only problem with tactics is when a manager joins a club with a set formation/way of playing and doesn't consider his personnel, tries to put square pegs in round holes.

You can see that with Gasperini and his 3-5-2 at Inter this season, and to an extent Villas Boas playing a high line with one incredibly slow centre back (Terry) and one retarded centre back who doesn't know how to hold a line (Luiz).

I think this is why we sunk back under Benitez when Carragher slowed, we went further and further back. Trust me, if you have the right defenders, the high line and squeezing the space between your forwards can get an opposing team virtually trapped in their own half (we did this a lot in 2008-2009) when Rafa's football peaked.

But I think he came undone in not dropping Carragher and the team gradually has to go further back to accommodate him. This led to giving teams more possession at Anfield, and slowly but surely this started to tell in our play and in our results. There were other factors but that was my main feeling. But Carragher was undroppable, and rumour has it that he and Purslow worked together to force Rafa out and bring in Hodgson who would play Carragher no matter what (and we sank even further back we were virtually playing our back 4 on the edge of the box :laugh:). Purslow thought he was playing Football Manager - Joe Cole wasn't even Hodgson's signing, he made it himself as it was a 'no brainer' (so fucking thankful he's gone!)

I'm finally glad that Agger and Skrtel are getting a run in the team because we look much better for it.

Chelsea's line was a lot further back against Newcastle and the result turned out a lot different. Infact Chelsea looked fucking solid. The amount of crosses Newcastle had that were just headed away, or the counter attacks put to an end. I think Villas Boas is showing he can adapt- even if it has to be away from his preferred system.

But he has a job replacing Lampard and Terry and perhaps Drogba, the same way Dalglish will have to replace Kuyt, Carragher and Gerrard soon.

quality
5th December '11, 12:01 PM
That's interesting re: Carragher tbh.

I wouldn't have said Chelsea looked that solid, Newcastle had enough chances to have won and the game was pretty open generally (maybe that comes from midfield though). Terry got stuck in, and he's still a decent defender with the ball in front of him tbh. Not sure about Cech anymore really.

Hij
5th December '11, 12:26 PM
Last 20 minutes Newcastle came into it . If not solid then much improved IMO

Zoffie
5th December '11, 09:37 PM
Formations are of more importance in the defensive stance of the game.

Take Spurs.


Adebayor vDVaart
Bale Parker Modric Lennon
BAE King Dawson Walker
Friedel

Adebayor
Bale vDVaart Lennon
Modric Parker
BAE King Dawson Walker
Friedel

Adebayor
Bale ------------- Lennon
Modric Parker vDVaart
BAE King Dawson Walker
Friedel


Right now they have a line up that can possibly be considered or converted to all 3 of these widely used formations.
(For those that might say something about vDVaart in midfield he has played in a midfield 3 loads of times & before he left Ajax that's all he did)

Why I say formations are important is despite player positions not being rigid & formations blending into each other, is especially when players are reverting to defensive positions, in the defensive part of the game these are the positions that the players try to get back to occupy or cover for.. The one of the formation they are supposed to be playing

There are other differences as well, that are all subtle but can be the difference in a game, for instance, apart from the defensive differences in a 442 another slight difference is in the mindset of vDvaart (or to make the example more authentic Defoe would be playing alongside Adé in a true 442), he would push up against one CB whilst Adebayor would occupy the other, whereas if he they are playing specifically with a second striker, the striker becomes more central & the 2nd striker operates in the space behind him.

When you play with one striker, strikers have more of a duty to stay in central positions in case there is a cross into the box.. (someone needs to be there)

Zidane by the way played 442 for almost all his career, didn't he? Today maybe he wouldn't have learned the whole role of a central midfielder, but Zidane didn't stick behind the striker or operate that aM role, he'd come & collect the ball from the defence as well as operate in offensive areas.

I think more & more players & managers define what type of team we are going to see, rather than formations, but they all lplay in to each other.

For instance a typical Mourinho 4-3-3 at Chelsea is a different formation to the Barca 4-3-3 especially seeing as Mourinho didn't like a formation that had bombing fullbacks. Some attacking 3's have three strikers, some have 2 wingers & one central striker, some are glorified 4-5-1's with more defensive wide-men positioned as if they were real wingers, but in practise they do not stretch the game.

Spurs are great to watch, but, I think it's more because they have fulfilled a good amount of roles with quality players.
Rather than the formation being 442, sure I think it has helped as it's a nice & simple formation

..but, I believe you can have a 4-3-3 that doesn't have to be about possession football even though it does lend to that aspect, the same way you can have a possession based 442 depending on the players you fill the formation with.

The Messiah
6th December '11, 12:03 AM
Great thread.


Personally I feel it is because of the major money at stake at elite level European football there is simply far much to lose in LOSING! In the lower leagues in England many teams still play a 4-4-2 as it is the simplest to play as ever player knows their role.




I think it is the emergence of players like Zidane and such who require that creative freedom from a central position (without the defensive responsibility). You forgo the lack of defensive structure with them for the brilliance they are capable of at the other end.

I think 4-4-2 works still, and still has a place in the modern game albeit not as prominently.


Has had a massive impact, however these players used to play a number 10s but now these attacking players are more like and extra midfield man. Also the emergence of the Makalele type of midfield breaker has changed the game.

There were 'Makalele-types' and 'Zidane-types' in 4-4-2s, just not as set in that role. Think about the Petit/Vieria, Keane/Scholes, Pirlo/Gattuso partnerships. There's one clear ball-winner type and a more creative type. In fact Real played 4-4-2 with Zidane and Makelele as the centre pairing... funny that...


I do think positional fluidity is important at the top level tho because smart teams know how to play against players with set positions. I mean, what formation do Barcelona play? 4-3-3? 2-4-1-3?
.

Fluid formations are the way forward. The teams mentioned still playing 4-4-2 in this thread, become 4-2-4s and 4-4-1-1s during the course of a game.

MoneyMan
6th December '11, 12:40 AM
442 has declined mainly due to the decline of traditional strike partnerships, like a Heskey and Owen, i.e. one big bugger to win and hold up possession then a smaller quicker guy to lay it off to and run into the box.

What with the increase of more skillful and technical players like Suarez who can do pretty much all the work, winning the ball, taking it past defenders and then going on to shoot themselves, there is no need nowadays for the old style.

I much prefer the modern format of having a Messi or Zidane creative player in the "hole" behind the attacker(s), as I think it makes for a more free flowing game.

Samir_NasG
6th December '11, 07:29 PM
Great thread.









There were 'Makalele-types' and 'Zidane-types' in 4-4-2s, just not as set in that role. Think about the Petit/Vieria, Keane/Scholes, Pirlo/Gattuso partnerships. There's one clear ball-winner type and a more creative type. In fact Real played 4-4-2 with Zidane and Makelele as the centre pairing... funny that...


.

Fluid formations are the way forward. The teams mentioned still playing 4-4-2 in this thread, become 4-2-4s and 4-4-1-1s during the course of a game.

France rarely played that as a pairing and did the 2 play together at Madrid? I always thought it was Redondo in the Madrid midfield but I could have my years mixed up. You are right that it has worked before having a breaker and playmaker in a midfield 2 but you missed one important part of the equation out - although attack minded players the likes of Zidane, Vieria, Lampard etc. were of a big build, where generally playmakers are not.

Zoffie
6th December '11, 07:50 PM
Great thread.
There were 'Makalele-types' and 'Zidane-types' in 4-4-2s, just not as set in that role. Think about the Petit/Vieria, Keane/Scholes, Pirlo/Gattuso partnerships. There's one clear ball-winner type and a more creative type. In fact Real played 4-4-2 with Zidane and Makelele as the centre pairing... funny that...


Exactly.. but, Petit & Vieira I don't see a creative in that duo & then Pirlo & Gattuso only played together at AC Milan in a diamond which has the base of a three, like most formations have today.


Seedor---Gattuso
Pirlo

mac
7th December '11, 08:53 AM
Now that reps gone, does it really matter?

The Messiah
7th December '11, 02:32 PM
France rarely played that as a pairing and did the 2 play together at Madrid? I always thought it was Redondo in the Madrid midfield but I could have my years mixed up. You are right that it has worked before having a breaker and playmaker in a midfield 2 but you missed one important part of the equation out - although attack minded players the likes of Zidane, Vieria, Lampard etc. were of a big build, where generally playmakers are not.

Strength


Exactly.. but, Petit & Vieira I don't see a creative in that duo & then Pirlo & Gattuso only played together at AC Milan in a diamond which has the base of a three, like most formations have today.


Seedorf---Gattuso
Pirlo

They both had qualities which they offset each other with. Vieira and Petit could both pick a pass and could both defend. To put it another way they were both half Makalele and half Zidane in their qualities - but with less Zidane - if that makes sense.

Seedorf, as good as he was/is was 'replaceable' in that formation. Pirlo and Gattuso were indispensable and made that formation work in their prime.

Zoffie
8th December '11, 06:07 PM
Seedorf 'replaceable' in what world?? When Gattuso was out for a while, they did fine with Ambrosini in there.. When Pirlo went out of the team for whatever reason they were shite & when Seedorf didn't play they lacked that dynamism in the centre he brings.