Welcome to Empirical Purple

A blog by Simon Brady to cover a surprisingly wide range of geekiness, in a combination that no-one else does quite the same way. Probably. Either that, or it'll just be Simon talking about the likes of Football (usually the Soccer variety), PC & Tabletop Gaming, WWE, Movies, Music and occasionally even my actual job of Graphic Design, depending on what I'm up to in the world.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

It's the future, I've tasted it!

No, not garlic bread, but the 4-2-3-1 formation.

From the 'WM' formation of a sort-of 3-2-2-3, through 4-2-4 to 4-4-2, tactical formations progress ever onwards.

Spain use it, Germany use it, France use it (not that they're much of an advert for the beautiful game at the moment), Holland use it, Brazil use it. Other countries that I have yet to bother to research use it. Yet England, under Capello, are still steadfastly in the 4-4-2 era.

4-4-2 gives you a solid defensive line, a strong and versatile midfield, as well as attacking options. It appears to be the perfect, obvious formation that any and every team can play slight variations of. It is also, however, torn to ribbons by a five man midfield, so both uber-defensive and uber-attacking teams can rip a basic 4-4-2 to bits, if they're good enough at what they do. Which most national teams are.

4-2-3-1, on the other hand, can provide all the answers to beating 4-4-2. It gives you an extra defensive midfielder, which I'm partial to, in order to command and control the centre of the park. It gives an even stronger defence, with six men back, allowing the Full-Backs to bomb forward. The three offensive-minded midfielders roam between midfield and attack, supporting the defence and propping up the lone striker as and when.

The only thing this relies on is a World Class striker. You need a Torres (or Villa, injury-dependent), a Klose, a Robinho, Tevez, Robben or, hang about, a Rooney.

Three attack-minded players in the middle of the park allows you to exploit the talents of Gerrard and Lampard, fitting them in where they play for their clubs so brilliantly without forcing them to occupy the same space. It also gives room for a Joe Cole or a Theo Walcott, and would even allow the likes of Shaun Wright-Phillips and Aaron Lennon to blaze useless crosses three miles higher than Peter Crouch can jump whenever they felt like it.

Capello makes them wear suits, turn off their phones and turn up to dinner on time. Surely he can make them play a modern formation? I'm not asking for the 4-6-0 that Manchester United managed to win the Champions League with, where world class midfielders-come-forwards like Ronaldo, Rooney, Giggs, Scholes, Tevez and Nani seamlessly and telepathically rotate responsibilities and make defending against all 6 of them practically impossible. Just a little experiment in modernity, please, Fabio. Assuming you're still here by the time Poland-Ukraine 2012 comes around.

And assuming we're there, of course.

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