Quantcast
4-4-2 - The Underrated Formation - FF - Football Forum - The Liverpool Way Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
LF:D

4-4-2 - The Underrated Formation

Recommended Posts

Seems out of fashion to play this formation.

 

Teams want to have three players in CM.  That often means having a lone striker.

 

But I think this is a formation that needs to be used far more, especially by the lower teams.

 

Teams can want to pack midfield to not get totally dominated.  But in reality, the top teams are still going to dominate possession, whether you have a two man CM or a three man.

 

The amount of times you see a weaker team come to a top club & can't get out of their half due to having a lone striker.  I think it would make much more sense two have two upfront and then when the ball goes go long, then they have far more chance to keep the ball, that lone striker isn't isolated and they can cause the opposition a threat.

 

I know LFC are having great success playing three upfront in a 4-3-3 type formation. Other top teams do too.  But most of the time in these formations, the two wide players are told to stay high up the field.  So the midfield three are covering when Salah or Mane don't track back, which can happen from time to time.  Barca when they had Ronaldinho, Messi, Eto'o (or Henry) you wouldn't see them track back often.  

 

I watched Lyon last night play City and I thought they were a breath of fresh air in their approach.  They played 4-4-2, at times Fekir would drop in to help the CM, but no more than a supporting striker would (a Beardsley to the Aldridge or Sheringham to the Shearer type).  He just sat on Fernandinho if he threatened to go forward, so in effect they had three in CM when needed.  But when Lyon attacked, they had played to support the attack & as a result they gave City problems. 

 

I feel clubs show too much respect to certain teams, especially City last season.  They were beaten before the game started with their approach and it played into City's hands.  People talk about some of our players struggling when pressed (Henderson for example gets criticism for this, which is valid at times).  But the City midfield couldn't cope with it last night, they've shown they couldn't cope when we did it to them too.  I know Lyon have a very good attack, but I think plenty of Premier League teams could be just as bold & they'll be far more likely to get a result rather than camping in their own final third & hoping for the best.

 

Leicester won the league not so long ago by playing 4-4-2.  Atletico Madrid have won La Liga & competed heavily with Real & Barca the last few years, playing 4-4-2.  

 

It's a formation that should be used far more, time to bring it back into fashion.  

 

I think all formations can work.  It's about using the right one for the players you have & your approach.  But so often I see teams just playing 4-5-1, when they'd be far better off making a slight adjustment in their intend & approach.  Make it more like 4-4-2 & they'll get more rewards.  

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think these things are generally cyclical - you get the visionary managers that have great success with a certain shape, and then they get aped by everyone else until another manager has great success with a different formation.


Our last attempt at an old school 4-4-2 was Suarez and Carroll, and it just felt so archaic. I'd far rather the flexibility that our current set up has, though I take your point that for anyone outside the Top 6 it could offer more chances.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Barnesey said:

Our last attempt at 4-4-2 was with Sturridge and Suarez and a diamond in midfield.

 

The current formation is as much 2-5-3 as 4-3-3.

First point - I agree, it was majestic. 

 

2nd point, it would only be referred to 2-5-3 in possession.  But formations are always looked at how they look without the ball & it's 4-3-3.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's less fluid than the 4-3-3 variants in terms of interchanging and attacking play, so the big teams that don't exclusively play on the counter (basically everyone except Atletico) usually stay away from it.

 

And also if you're a small side, you need two good strikers for it to be worth it (which is definitely not a given for most sides) or you need someone like Okazaki at Leicester who will work as hard as a midfielder would, which again is rare. It worked for Lyon because they had two ultra talented forwards but small teams will normally just settle for an extra midfielder instead as they don't have that type of quality which would make it worthwhile. 

 

But as most formations, if you have the players that are right for it, it will work. The two banks of four are brilliant for defending deep and if you have good strikers and quick wide players you can spring really good counters. I don't think anyone who knows anything actually thinks that 4-4-2 is inherently archaic. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, 3 Stacks said:

And also if you're a small side, you need two good strikers for it to be worth it (which is definitely not a given for most sides) or you need someone like Okazaki at Leicester who will work as hard as a midfielder would, which again is rare. It worked for Lyon because they had two ultra talented forwards but small teams will normally just settle for an extra midfielder instead as they don't have that type of quality which would make it worthwhile. 

My issue is a lot of teams do have two very good strikers & don't use it.

 

Also teams are buying for 4-3-3.

 

I also some players have not had as good of a career as they could have had due to 4-4-2 being very much out of fashion for a time.  Walcott for example should have been a central striker, like Owen.  That's where he burst on the scene for Southampton & then he was converted into this wide forward, like so many players are it seems - Rashford, Martial, Mbappe etc etc. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Numero Veinticinco said:

I’m not a huge fan of 4-4-2, for a number of reasons, none of which I can’t really be arsed going into. We are unlucky to switch to it anytime soon, so I’m pretty content. 

I don't think it's right for us. I agree there!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, aRdja said:

Last season we played it a number of times e.g. when we won 7-0 against Spartak.

We pretty much play a lopsided 442 in most games. Salah is the striker and furthest forward on the shoulder of defenders, Firmino is the second striker/number 10. Mane plays left, Milner plays further right midfield than the other central midfielder does on the left, so we most often have a two in the middle.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×