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Thread: Is 3-man defence right for us?

  1. #1
    rockball's Avatar
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    Is 3-man defence right for us?

    I have been supporting the 3-man defence experiment that Strama has conducted. Part of it was because of our failure to get any kind of stability with a 442, 4231, 433, 451 formations. However, it has been 3-4 months that we have consistently used a 3-man defence in 343, 352, 3412 formations but not improved our style of play or even acquire an identity. I was reconsidering this and thought that it may not be the right formation for our team.

    Mind you, this doesn't have much to do with our poor results but more with the fact that we are no better in quality of our game than we were 6 months back.

    First the positive aspect, the 3-man defence is best suited for our defence. We have two of the best young and upcoming defenders in Ranocchia and Juan. Both are at different stages of their development, but have shown that they can succeed at this level. However, they are still inexperienced and are prone to few errors frequently. This gives a chance to play both of them along with Samuel who is our most experienced and still our best defender.

    But the problem lies a bit ahead with our achilles heel, the ever so weak midfield. Now the 3-man defence is less versatile than the 4-man one and can be used in limited formations, which are 343, 352, 3412/3421. Forgetting the strike force, let's only look at the midfield which will have either 4 or 5 players based on the formation.

    - A midfield of 4 has 2 central midfielders both of which are good at defending and at least 1 has the ability to link with the attack. The only midfielder who can link with the attack is Guarin but with him in a midfield of 4, we become very vulnerable defensively.

    - A midfield of 5 has 3 midfielders in the center of the park. Now in this formation, the 2 strikers are isolated and hence it is very important that the midfield has some creativity. We don't have any deep playmaker, and we don't even have reasonable passing qualities to be able to hold on to the ball.

    - The wingbacks are very important and their impact can be seen by the number of goals/assists by players like Lichtsteiner, Asamoah, Maggio, Isla have scored for Juve/Napoli/Udinese over the last 2 seasons. However, none of our wingbacks have that kind of impact. Zanetti never has the end product, Pereira is more suited as a fullback than a wingback, and Jonathan.. well no words are needed here. Nagatomo has been most productive but then he only works when he gets a chance to use his pace.

    In short, no elements of our midfield work for a 3-man defence. The midfield problems also exist for a 4-man defence, but in that case the threat can be shifted to other areas like fullbacks, or moving to a 433 kind of system with more strikers but still not losing the defensive strength.

    The current experience with 3-man midfield in Serie A says that we need a lot of runners, and players with good abilities at both ends of the pitch. Clearly, we lose a lot of that when we start with Zanetti/Cambiasso/Gargano/Nagatomo/Alvarez/Guarin.

  2. #2
    Fapuccino's Avatar
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    It depends on what you want out of a formation. For example 4 3 3 can be both possession and counterattack.

    3-4-3 when were counterattacking is great. but 3-5-2 does not fit us. yes we have decent wingbacks (naga pereira) which is essential to this formation as you mentioned. but we're missing the 2 most crucial parts, a forward that can feed off scraps, and a regista.

    so 3-4-3 when we counterattack 3-5-2 no.

  3. Thanks (1): Ffi201zi002tlis

  4. #3
    Ffi201zi002tlis's Avatar
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    It's just on paper, in reality we played with 8-man defence.

  5. Thanks (1): Mad Biscione

  6. #4
    Y&h's Avatar
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    FIF Special Ones Comedic Post of the Year
    I like the article, please add formation pictures.


  7. #5
    Barbas's Avatar
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    Well, it is kinda hard to find a good formation with players we have at our disposal.

    With 3 CB, it is most likely we will use 2 WB. Unfortunately, only Nagatomo is good enough.

    If we use 2 midfielders and 3 forwarders, then two of the forwarders need to keep an eye on the opponent's fb/wb. Unfortunately again, Milito is old and Cassano does not have the stamina.

    If we use 3-2, than it will be compact in central midfield, who also can help defending wide, but we need one passer and one runner (the simple terms) along with DM preferably. We can use Cambiasso/Gargano/Mudi for DM and Guarin as runner. We lack one passer or another runner. Eventhough not very proven, Alvarez and Obi can be tried for the last position. Unfortunately, they love the clinic too much. I missed copa match where Duncan play so I have no clear idea about him. Also extra physical burden for RCM and LCM as they will have a lot of distance to cover, vertically and horizontally.

    2-1-2, well, it lacks width.

    For 2-man central defense, Rano and Samuel are slow and Juan lacks positioning ability. Means, we need one DM sitting deeps to give quick response helping these 2 cbs. For FB, Nagatomo, Pereira and Zanetti can be the options.

    For 3-1-2, we need one more CM beside Guarin and DM. AM will be Coutinho/Cassano/Palacio. Coutinho is green but can be tried there, Cassano can't do defensive duty, Palacio well I don't see he has what it takes to be an AM. I do not consider Wesley because of his situation.

    For 3-3, it will have more gap between midfielders and forwarders. No long passer available. Lacks one CM.

    For 2-1-3 or 4-1-1, the wing must be discipline in doing defense and they will need to work very hard. Just like in 2010. Guarin as one of CM but he really does need to be discipline and keep his concentration when doing defensive job. Cassano can be the AM or Guarin as an option depends on the opponent. Cou and Palacio will be main candidates for WF. Livaja as back up, but I think he is average there. Nagatomo does not seem comfortable for such advance position. Lack depth but doable.

    Well, that's just from available players point of view.

    As for tactical one, I am no expert on that. Not that I am an expert in anything else regarding football. But what I wanna see is all players move as one unit in defense and offense. Smooth transition, off the ball movement, looking for spaces and for CMs to arrive not tooooo late in attacking phase.
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  8. Thanks (1): Sqnalkel

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