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Understanding Football Formations

The beautiful game of football needs no introduction. Crowned as the most popular sport in the world, football has mesmerized millions and millions of viewers all across the world. The pace, the deft touches, the brilliant passes and the breathtaking goals have all contributed towards football being widely regarded as the King of Sports. But what makes football so appealing, fascinating and intriguing is the style of play, the strategies, the tactics and the techniques that teams adopt to thwart the opposition. Almost like a game of chess, football in spite of the relentless speed and the physical tussle, is a sport that is crafted by the brain and executed by the body.

Very often, you would have heard commentators and experts talking about team formations. What exactly is a team formation? What is the importance of team formation? How exactly does it impact the outcome of a game? Quite sure, you would have asked these questions to your friend or dad without getting an appropriate answer. Let’s have a closer look at team formations and try and understand the significance of it.

Now what do you think 4-2-2 signifies? It simply refers to four defenders, two midfielders and two forwards. As you know that a team can have only 11 players with one of them being the goalkeeper. So that leaves the other 10 players and team formations revolve around these 10 players. Over the years, teams have experimented with different team formations to maximize the use of resources.

Formations were unheard of until the 1950s when the 4-2-4 system was introduced. The 4-2-4 was the first formation to be described using numbers. Prior to this system, a lot of emphasis was on attack and teams would employ 6 to 7 forwards in a match. The 4-2-4 formation was one-of-its kind and attempted to combine a strong attack with a strong defence. 4-2-4 was first used with success at club level in Brazil and became a cornerstone of their World Cup wins in 1958 and 1970. The success of the 4-2-4 combination lay in the fact that the 2 midfielders would play both a defensive and attacking role.

But modern football is not about one team formation. Over the years, many formations have come into effect and have been very purposefully used by teams all over the world. Let’s have a look at some of the most popular team formations used in modern football. เว็บบาคาร่า อันดับ1

1) 4-3-3: In plain and simple terms, this formation refers to 4 defenders, 3 midfielders and 3 forwards. This formation is a modified version of the 4-2-4 and allows the use of an extra midfielder thereby strengthening the defence. This formation was used to great effect by Brazil in the 1962 World Cup which they eventually won.

2) 4-4-2: Four defenders, four midfielders and two attacking forwards form this composition. One of the most common formations in modern football, the 4-4-2 system puts the onus on the midfielders to support both the defence and the attack. It is a very popular formation in Britain especially.

3) 4-3-2-1: A 4-3-2-1 system includes 4 defenders, 3 central midfielders, 2 attacking or offensive midfielders and 1 forward. Commonly described as the Christmas Tree formation, in this approach, the middle of the three central midfielders acts as a playmaker while one of the attacking midfielders plays in a free role.

There are many other interesting team formations that modern-day teams employ and a lot of it is dictated by the team strength and the opposition. There are some teams that put more emphasis on the defence while there are teams that place the importance on offence. Traditionally, there are teams that are known to be defence centric while some of them are attack centric.

Indeed, football is not only about what you do on the field but also what you do off it. Strategies, approach, techniques play a crucial role in deciding the fate of a match. We did learn a bit about team formations in this edition and hopefully this would help you understand the game better. Please do have a look at my article “A Look at Football Positions” to comprehend on-field positions.


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