No word in football has become more irritating than "double pivot". It's right up there with "low blocks" as terms that weren't part of the lexicon a few years ago but are now overused and often misused. they try to look smarter.
Over time, the term has become heavily associated with meaning "playing with two defensive midfielders". Yes, the way Louis van Gaal and David Moyes played it meant two defensive midfielders, but mostly it doesn't work that way.
Just because you're playing a double pivot doesn't mean you can't run forward. No coach ever said, "Oh, they're anchored just to sit deep." It doesn't work that way and people who watch the game and analyze it well realize that you have different roles in the team. You don't always have two midfielders sitting down to protect the four defenders, that's not the case.
These are not my words. Those are the words of Scott McTominayas he wrotethe athlete. McTominay is one of the reasons United fans are everywhere on the double axis. Makes up half of Pivot 'McFred',which is too averagea mid-table if you're serious about fighting for Premier League titles.
Partly because of this, United need to sign a high-profile midfielder this summer. Given the abundance of good attacking midfielders United currently have in their squad, many fans would like to see United switch to a 4-3-3 formation with the addition of a defensive midfielder so they get the best out of Paul Pogba and can Paul. pogba Bruno Fernandez.
This is not FIFA and in real life this team would be hilariously outclassed. That's not to say United can't play 4-3-3, but the formation itself is far more complicated than just a 'defensive midfielder plus two box-to-box guys'.
There are several ways to play a 4-3-3 with the success United had when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came on for the first time and Pep Guardiola's 4-3-3 with 'free eights' are the two at most frequently mentioned. Both share the same principles but fulfill them in different ways.
A cautious cheer erupted on Twitter on Friday when ESPN's Rob Dawson reported that Solskjaer was looking to change the team's configuration to a 4-3-3 this season.
️ Solskjær has informed players returning to pre-season training that he is looking to implement a more attacking 4-3-3 formation this season, which could mean the end of Fred and Scott McTominay's partnership in midfield. [Rob Dawson, ESPN]— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict)July 16, 2021
I'm a bit skeptical here. ESPN isn't exactly the most reliable source and Solskjaer has been very careful in setting up the club so that all levels of the academy play in the same way as the first team to help players prepare for the next level. Since arriving at the club, he has brought all the teams into the 4-2-3-1. However, this does not mean that this is ruled out, especially for the use of a rotational formation.
So it never hurts to ask yourself, "What if?" Looking at what United currently have in their squad and assuming they sign a quality midfielder, can they switch to a 4-3-3 player? What kind of players would you need in each location for each variant?
ultimately if youit couldneed to make the change? Would it really do them any good?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's interim 4-3-3
When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer joined the club in December 2019 he put the team on the 4-3-3 and we all know how the club fared in those first few weeks.
The problem with 4-3-3 is that you still need to protect your midfield and that formation wasn't much different than the 4-2-3-1 that Ole would field early next season.
Marcus Rashford played up front with Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard and Jesse Lingard playing skinny men. Full-backs Luke Shaw and Ashley Young would push forward to provide width.
In midfield, Pogba, Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic would start in a triangle, with Pogba free to move further out. He often ended up de facto in tenth position.
However, when Pogba pushed, we often saw Herrera fall alongside Matic in midfield. A double spin!
The key to this formation was balance. Ashley Young provided width down the right flank, allowing Jesse Lingard to push in and take care of the number 10's defensive duties, much like he did the dirty work of a box-to-box midfielder for England at the 2018 World Cup played break counterattacks and hide Nemanja Matic's lack of speed. The formation 'worked' because two people filled Pogba's defensive roles.
Fast forward to today. Assuming United sign the defensive midfielder, they still need someone to fill Ander Herrera's spot.
Bruno Fernandes plays a similar role when he plays for Portugal. He keeps the ball, doesn't take too many chances with passes and brings some creativity with him. He has the running energy that Herrera brought to the role and would be an improvement over Herrera up front but defensively he would be a demotion there.
More importantly, is this the best way to use Bruno Fernandes?
The logic here would be having Bruno deeper would advance the ball and having Jadon Sancho up front would still give you a creator at the head of the field. it can't beimproveBruno's version, but if you do thatequipmentbetter then it's a net gain.
Fred would be more of a substitute for the role of Herrera. He has the necessary energy and resilience. His death leaves a little to be desired, but he's good enough to be a pitcher.
But if Fred takes on that role, the big question remains: where will Bruno Fernandes go? Of course, he could fill Lingard's role at right-back but Lingard's main goal was to do the dirty work to make room for Rashford and Pogba. Brunohe canto do that, but it's a waste of your talent.
Adding Fred in midfield gives him the balance he needs but forces Pogba or Bruno onto the wing (much like we did with Pogba in the latter stages of 2020-21). It also means you have just two more spots in the top three to fit Rashford, Greenwood, Martial, Cavani and Sancho.
All in all, it doesn't seem like the best use of United's talent. It should also be remembered that while Rashford and Pogba thrived in this formation, Anthony Martial only scored two Premier League goals for OGS in 2018-19. Jesse Lingard had a great game against Cardiff but never scored again. Is it really a good idea to go back to a formation that only benefited two of your four forwards?
Even though United now have better players than before, it just doesn't seem like the best way to maximize all their talent.
Pep Guardiola 4-3-3 with "Free Eights"
When people say they want a midfielder to play behind Pogba and Bruno (or Bruno and Van de Beek), the formation has that one in mind. De Bruyne and David Silva are two incredibly creative players and Pep has managed to put both in central positions with the freedom to move forward and attack. The dream is for United to repeat that with Pogba and Bruno.
This build is much more complicated than simply having a defensive player providing cover and giving creative players the freedom to move forward. It's arguably even more complicated than the previous 4-3-3.
This formation had to do with the creation and protection of space and who was assigned to which space. The most important aspect was the protection of the environment.
Fernandinho wasn't left alone to protect the midfield. Someone would still be sitting next to him, helping protect that area of the field. While United Matic helped by putting a midfielder alongside them (Herrera), City found another elsewhere on the pitch: at left-back.
When City had possession, right-back Kyle Walker would come in to form a three-man defense with the two defenders. Meanwhile, his left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko or Fabian Delph would be placed in midfield alongside Fernandinho to essentially form the pivot double.
That's why Pep used midfielders Delph and Zinchenko at left-back. Once in possession, they played the same roles they were used to. It's also why Gareth Southgate called up Delph as a midfielder in the 2018 World Cup squad and used Kyle Walker at right-back - the same roles they played at his club!
Can United replicate something like this? In fact, they can. In fact, they haveperfectplayer to do it.
Shaw, playing a slightly more central role wouldn't have been too outlandish for him. When playing left center in a three-man defense, Shaw often broke into midfield to create more of a three-man midfield.
When he got forward in his famous overlapping runs, he often ended up in the second midfield position, where he was quite effective.
Dropping down the middle alongside the midfielder isn't too dissimilar to some of the positions we saw during Project Restart last season.
And to top it off, we recently saw what Shaw can do in midfield rotation.
Now that you've seen Shaw emerge as one of, if not the, best left-back in Europe last season, you might be wondering, "Is this the best way to use Luke Shaw?"
That's a perfectly valid question and one of the great disadvantages of this system.
That brings us to the front. Every system needs someone to provide breadth. In Jürgen Klopp's 4-3-3, as in most 4-3-3s, this task falls to the full-backs. But as we've seen, Pep's full-backs don't go much further. One went to the middle of the field and the other joined the defenders.
In addition to width, these free eights need space in midfield to work their magic. To create all this space, Pep went against the general trend of using inverted wings and simply placed Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane on their natural sides to create breadth. With Sterling and Sane playing high and wide, De Bruyne and Silva had plenty of room in the middle of the park to do their thing.
This allowed De Bruyne and Silva to service half-spaces, lure defenders closer and then play the ball to Sterling and Sane, who could fire cuts into the box for touches. City have scored a ton of touches this season. Occasionally Sane and Sterling kept cutting, but then De Bruyne and Silva just opened up to provide creativity from broader areas. There has always been balance.
That would be very difficult for United to replicate. For starters, their ends need to be big and wide. When Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial play on the wings, they both constantly move to the center. That would create a jam in the middle and ruin everything.
New signing Jadon Sancho is the most natural winger they have but playing him high and wide and forcing him to hug the touchline is a huge waste of Jadon Sancho. It works best in the gaps north of the area.
If your wide players narrow, it would force your eights to move outward to give them space and cover space. Not exactly where you want Bruno, Pogba or Van de Beek.
On the left side you would find another problem. Pep's system required him to have his left foot on the left side of the field. With Luke Shaw having to squeeze into midfield, Mason Greenwood is the only other left-handed forward United have. Left is definitely not your best position.
Which brings us back to Luke Shaw. Maybe having him in midfield isn't the best way? Maybe you're thinking about having it high on the sidelines to give it that width? It's a new idea, if not radical, but it would require you to use a player like Fred at left-back, who then slips into midfield (Alex Telles would be terrible in that role). Again, you end up with that extra defensive midfielder on the field and not a lot of attacking points for all your forwards.
Oh, and did I mention the fouls?
City's style of play made them very vulnerable to counterattacks. Luckily, Fernandinho was a master of tactical free-kicks. Adjusted for possession, Fernandinho committed 2.38 fouls per 90, a truly impressive amount and one of the highest for midfielders in the league. However, he was only hired seven times.
It's very unlikely that you'll be able to repeat the work Fernandinho did today without having his name on all the time.
When the time comes, United won't be able to do that unless Nemanja Matic has suddenly found the fountain of youth or signed a top-flight midfielder.Öwhen they suddenly have very high expectations and think James Garner might fit the role. Based on his few appearances in 2019-20, Garner appeared to already have the technical and tactical skills to play in the Premier League, it was more of a physical issue. Now that it's grown, Unitedit couldConsider it an option for this season.
If United sign a suitable defensive midfielder this summer, they'll have the team pieces to support any version of the 4-3-3, but both will require them to draw some of their best players from their prime positions. It wouldn't make much sense and probably hurt the team as a whole.
At first glance, keeping the 4-2-3-1 seems like the best way to maximize the talent they have on the team. On the other hand, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Kieran McKenna are smarter men to me and wouldn't make such a move without a plan.
Just sign a midfielder who has some passing ability so you don't rely too much on Paul Pogba and you'll be fine.
What is the 4-3-3 formation tactics explained? ›
What is a 4-3-3? The 4-3-3 is a formation that uses four defenders – made up of two centre-backs and two full-backs – behind a midfield line of three. The most common set-up in midfield is one deeper player – the single pivot – and two slightly more advanced to either side.Who invented 4-3-3 formation? ›
The 4-3-3 system can be traced back to the 1920/30s. Football was in a period of change. Herbert Chapman (Arsenal, Northhampton, Leeds) is credited with the development of the W M system. Football had now evolved from 2-3-5 to 3-2-2-3.How do you defend in a 4-3-3 formation? ›
- The attacking full-back moves infield to make room for the pass.
- The holding midfielder covers the run of the striker.
- The defending full-back moves up to cover the winger.
- The back four moves across and out.
The ability of the formation to field three central midfielders is one of its greatest strengths and one of the reasons for its popularity. A conventional 4-4-2 has only two central midfielders. Clearly, there is a numerical advantage in central areas for the team that uses three midfielders against a team the 4-4-2.What is the weakness of 4-3-3 formation? ›
One of the main weaknesses of the 4-3-3 soccer formation is that it can be extremely vulnerable to counter-attacking play. This is especially true when the 4-3-3 playing team's full-backs push up high to join the attack.How do you beat a 4-3-3 defense? ›
5-3-2. The 5-3-2 formation can effectively combat a 4-3-3 formation, thanks to its overloaded defensive positions. As we've already said, the wingers of the 4-3-3 are absolutely key to its success, so stopping those players is a must if you wish to succeed.What is the most attacking formation in football? ›
The 4-3-3 attacking formation is one of the most popular in the sport. All levels, from high school soccer teams to FC Barcelona, have found success with the 4-3-3 setup. This formation includes a line of four defenders, three midfielders, and three strikers.What is the most effective formation in football? ›
The 4-2-3-1 is the de facto best formation in modern football.What is the weakness of a 4-3 defense? ›
The 4-3 defense also has more inherent weakness in the secondary than the 3-4 defense, as there is one less linebacker in the scheme. This means that, if a ball carrier escapes the four defensive linemen, they will have fewer secondary defenders to deal with.What formation is best against 4-3-3 top eleven? ›
4-3-3 is very easy to handle. Standard would be 4-4-2 (possibly score more) or 4-1-3-1-1 (better defensively though may win by smaller margins). DMC & 3 MCs position can be a bit more creative according to opponents' strength.
What is the disadvantage of 4-3-3? ›
The 4-3-3 shape can sometimes leave teams lacking slightly in defensive areas, particularly if their full-backs push up high. This is particularly true in the event of opposition counter-attacks, which can be especially dangerous if a team is playing a high defensive line.What formation is best for pressing? ›
Triangles are very effective for many aspects of the game, but a diamond shape is likely the best shape for pressing. Without the top of the diamond pressuring the ball carrier, the player on the ball has far more time to make a decision.Do people still use 4:3? ›
Far from being a relic of the past, the 4:3 aspect ratio is still a default format even though cinematography and filmmaking ratios have mostly changed to widescreen. But with some modern filmmakers returning to 4:3, the format is going through a renaissance.What is the defensive width of a 4-3-3? ›
Width of the defensive line, should not exceed 40 yards. Slow down the opponents play with a compact defensive block.What is the most defensive formation? ›
Generally, 4-5-1 is seen as a pretty defensive formation. The sole striker, the often flat midfield 3 and flat back 4; all these elements can be used to emphasize defensive solidity rather than attacking intent.What formation beats a 343? ›
Concentrating on wing play is a good way to beat a 3-4-3 shape, because it pins back the opposition wing-backs and prevents them from making crucial offensive moves.What NFL defense runs a 4 3? ›
NFL teams that use the 4–3 defense as of 2022 include the Washington Commanders, New York Jets, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers, Indianapolis Colts, Carolina Panthers and Kansas City Chiefs.What soccer formation is best for attacking? ›
1. 4-4-2 Soccer Formation. The 4-4-2 is a popular attacking tactic and has been used by teams, including Atletico Madrid, Leicester, and Manchester United, with great success. It's one of the easiest soccer attack formations to learn and play, and the chances are that most of your players are already familiar with it.What is the most defensive formation in soccer? ›
1. 5-3-2 Soccer Formation. The 5-3-2 is among the toughest soccer defense techniques. Having up to 8 players at the back creates a massive challenge for the opposing team's attackers to penetrate.What is the easiest soccer formation? ›
The very youngest soccer players play matches without a goalie and the 4 v 4 formations are the simplest of all. If there is a goalie then it becomes a 5 v 5 game. With only 4 players per team on the field at once, there are just 2 viable formations in youth soccer.
What is the least used formation in football? ›
4-1-4-1 is one of the least used attacking formations in modern football due to its requirement of specific players in specific positions. The sole defensive midfielder plays a crucial role in this formation between the back four and midfield four.What is the best defensive formation to stop the run? ›
The 5-2 is built to stop the running game. It has five defensive linemen and two linebackers. This is a popular defense in high school and middle school where running is often the primary offensive play. The 4-4 is another popular defense to help stop the running game.What is the best formation for a strong midfield? ›
If you want to have a strong defensive setup and be protected from dangerous counterattacks, the 4-1-4-1 formation is a good choice. Both the defensive midfielder and the two central midfielders are a tactical medium that can be used against three central midfielders (e.g. 4-2-3-1).What is the most versatile soccer formation? ›
The 4-2-3-1 formation has become the de facto best option for most top clubs in world football. There are some exceptions—such as Barcelona's 4-3-3 and Juventus' 3-5-2—but the lion's share of teams making a splash or looking to do so utilise this handy system.How do you beat a team that is better than you? ›
How to Play Against a Better Team
- Keep a positive attitude. ...
- Solidarity – no surrender! ...
- Mark man for man. ...
- Keep talking. ...
- Don't forget about attacking. ...
- Don't lose your discipline.
One of the best soccer formations for weak teams is 4-5-1, as it's really easy to set up and isn't overly complicated to maintain. We also like 4-4-2 and 5-4-1 for the same reasons, and they're excellent formations to try if you don't have the strongest players in your league.What is the best football defense to stop an outside run? ›
6-2 Youth Football Defense
It is not the only run-stopping defense, but it is the simplest and the best. Every player knows their gap assignment before the ball is ever snapped. That is the best way to stop the run. That is why NFL teams get into a 6-2 defense on the goal line.
The 3-4 defense is more flexible for defending the pass and plays on the edge. This is because it's easier to drop a linebacker into coverage than a defensive end. However, the 4-3 defense is generally better at stopping inside run plays because there are more defensive linemen in the game at once.What formation counters 4-2-3-1 Narrow? ›
Using a midfield diamond can be a good way to nullify a 4-2-3-1 structure, as shown by Italy in the Euro 2012 semi-final which saw them beat Germany 2-1. A midfield diamond shape allows teams to dominate central areas and suffocate opposition midfielders by getting tight and letting full-backs provide width.What formation is against 442? ›
Perhaps the best way to line up against 4-4-2 is by playing a 4-5-1 shape. This allows you to overrun the opposition midfield, while maintaining plenty of width both for attacking purposes and in order to stop wide midfielders from causing problems via counter-attacks.
What formation is best against 442? ›
Known for its fluidity in and out of possession, the 4-3-3 formation can counter the 4-4-2 by quickly becoming a 4-5-1 formation in defense and switching to a 4-3-3 when attacking. With three central midfielders against two, possessing the ball in the middle park and controlling the game is more easily achievable.What is the difference between 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1? ›
Both formations have 4 at the back and 3 forwards who can play inside or on the wings. The difference seems to be in the midfield with the 4231 having 2 holding midfielders and the 433 having only one, but don't most teams use a defensive, attacking and controlling/box-to-box as their midfield 3 in either system?What is the disadvantage of fraction? ›
Answer: Difficulties In Calculations:One of the biggest disadvantages of using fractions is when you need to do calculations with them. The reality is that fractions calculations come with their own set of rules that you need to follow. For example, you can only sum two fractions that have the same denominator.What triggers pressing in football? ›
A player reacts to a 'trigger' that suggests there's a chance to win possession – such as a poor first touch or pass. A player loses the ball but immediately applies pressure on their opponent (an approach called 'counter pressing').What is the most common formation in a football game? ›
The 4-4-2 formation is the most common formation in football. It is t ypically used by teams that want to be solid defensively while also h aving a good amount of attacking options.What is the best formation in the world? ›
The best soccer formation statistically – 4-2-3-1. It is essentially the best formation out there. It uses four defenders with two defensive players in midfield, three attacking midfielders, and a lone striker.When did 4:3 become obsolete? ›
For years, the classic 4:3 (or 1.33/1.37) aspect ratio has been on life support. What was once the standard aspect ratio of motion picture film, began to fizzle out as early as the 1950's when various widescreen formats were introduced, such as cinemascope.Why did they stop 4:3? ›
But movie theaters reacted to TV with the widescreen revolution, including CinemaScope and VistaVision, which resulted in 1.33/1.37 being dropped from legitimate filmmaking in favor of wider ratios. And so from the mid-1950s to today, most movies are in an aspect ratio wider than 4:3.When did 4:3 stop being standard? ›
For television, the original screen ratio for broadcasts was in fullscreen 4:3 (1.33:1). Largely between the 1990s and early 2000s, at varying paces in different nations, 16:9 (1.78:1) widescreen TV displays came into increasingly common use.What is the best formation for 3/4 3? ›
The best formation to counter the 3-4-3 is the 4-2-3-1. In a 4-2-3-1 formation, a team can dominate in the defensive and midfield areas, nullifying the attacking threat that the 3-4-3 poses.
Which is the most effective defensive formation? ›
If you want to have a strong defensive setup and be protected from dangerous counterattacks, the 4-1-4-1 formation is a good choice. Both the defensive midfielder and the two central midfielders are a tactical medium that can be used against three central midfielders (e.g. 4-2-3-1).What is the easiest football formation? ›
From the perspective of coaching balance and cohesion, the classic 4-4-2 formation is perhaps the easiest to master for any team. With this system, players can be deployed in two simple banks of four, with one of the strikers potentially dropping in to supplement the midfield.What is the most balanced formation in soccer? ›
4-3-3. We'll start with one of the most popular formations around. Both Liverpool and Manchester City have enjoyed serious recent success using the 4-3-3 formation. It's often favoured for the balance it offers between defence and attack, allowing teams to dominate possession and press the opposition high up the pitch.What is the easiest soccer formation to teach? ›
The 4-4-2 is possibly the most popular soccer formation in the world because it is one of the easiest to understand. It also happens to be one of the most balanced formations since the two central midfielders need to put as much or more focus on defense as they do on offense.What is 3-4-3 tactical analysis? ›
Tactical Analysis of the 3-4-3
The libero is supported by two other central defenders whose main function is to cover and be cognizant of balls floated in behind him when possession is lost. They also are the first to receive the ball when play is initiated by the goalkeeper.
The Double G (or double 2i) look is the best against a Wing-T offense. With any Wing-T or Slot-T offshoot, the defense must address the guards. It is imperative for the defense to eliminate these to lineman from ever being able to pull.What is the best counter attacking formation? ›
The first formation that is really good for setting up counter-attacks is the 4-1-2-1-2, this formation is a relatively narrow setup for your team, and this may not sound like the most likely way to catch your opponents out, but it can be deployed correctly.Which teams run a 4 3 defense? ›
NFL teams that use the 4–3 defense as of 2022 include the Washington Commanders, New York Jets, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers, Indianapolis Colts, Carolina Panthers and Kansas City Chiefs.