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Thread: 3 man defense vs 4 man defense

  1. #1
    .h.'s Avatar
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    3 man defense vs 4 man defense

    Not one of my articles, written by Damien on my blog, so this is just a repost. Comments should be posted there rather than here if possible


    As we all know, on the dusty road, since Gasperini to Mazzarri, 3 men defense has not been fruitful for Inter, at all. No need to elaborate this part of the discusion, all the facts are there, since the results are obvious and transparent.
    In this post, I will just elaborate more on the topic of why is 3 man defense a dire and static formation.
    Whilst having 3 designated CB’s in your system, you cut the numbers for your offensive options, tactics and general flexibility of your team. The general 3 men defence system is NOT flexible at all (which was yet again proven in Mazzarri’s 2013/2014 campaign). It is easily predictable as well. It has no space for modern football transition maneuvres.
    Say, for example, a 3 men defence team faces a modern ‘’False 9’’ oriented team (which is filled to the max in the midfield department). What use is the extra central defender? The ‘’False 9’’ team, with its fluid and fast transition game and ball movement, attacks from all sides, with so many different players at once. It is made for field dominance, and will rarely lose the ball in ur own half. Our team, the one with 3 men defence, will have no capacity whatsoever to make a counter attack against this kind of opponent, even if it manages to steal the ball.
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    Last edited by .h.; 09 Jun 14 at 19:07.

  2. Thanks (1): ScottishInterista

  3. #2
    Wings's Avatar
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    Don't have a WordPress account, so I'm going to reply here.

    As much as I dislike the 3-man defense, I don't think your article properly analyses the 3-man defense. The idea of a 3-man defense not being flexible was pretty much disproven by Mazzarri at Napoli, where Campagnaro was given license to leave the back line and track deeper forwards. As for the 3-man defense being unable to counter, it's actually two counterattacking club sides (Udinese and Napoli) plus counterattacking World Cup teams like Uruguay or North Korea that brought it back into vogue. When you have teams sitting deep like those teams do, the 'numbers game' (i.e. matching up your defenders to opponents' attackers) doesn't matter as much, and having the extra CB helps you deal with the extra pressure you invite in the box.

    The point on the false 9 is a good one, and we saw how our three redundant CBs struggled against Totti. But of course false 9s aren't very common (especially in Italy), so that's not really an issue Mazzarri's Inter (god I hate saying that) faced. There were other issues that Mazzarri couldn't cope with.

    And while I would agree that Juventus's failure in Europe shows that the 3-man defense (at least without _significant_ tweaking) is not really a viable option in Europe, the article sort of avoids the main issue why Juventus have looked so dominant at home. It's because we saw a bunch of teams imitating Juventus with 3-5-2 and hard-running midfielders. And those teams trying beat Juventus with Juventus's game are never going to catch up. No surprise that the team that pushed them closest (Roma) and the two teams that defeated them (Napoli and Fiorentina) offered something different, both in terms of formation and stylistically.

    Do I think Mazzarri's done a poor job of implementing 3-5-2, yeah of course I do. But imo this article sort of avoids the main issue.

  4. Thanks (1): Fitzy

  5. #3
    .h.'s Avatar
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    I've made it easier to register on the site now, but I'll pass on your comments to the author

  6. Thanks (1): Wings

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