Best Formations for 8v8

Before the USSF switched to 9-a-side for U11 & U12, 8-a-side was the common standard. Today, 8v8 is not a common playing format. However, it is useful to discuss from a 9v9 standpoint, to elucidate what formations might be useful when a team has to play short. Here are the best formations for 8v8, a … Continue reading Best Formations for 8v8

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How Every Canadian Premier League Team Could Line Up

The Canadian Premier League is just four days away from kicking off! Heading into the season The Mastermind analyzed each and every team and their chances in this exciting inaugural season. Check out our Team Guides here! But something that everyone is waiting to see is how each of these teams are going to line up. Ultimately this league … Continue reading How Every Canadian Premier League Team Could Line Up

How the Best Managers in the World used Formations to Gain an Advantage

At the end of the day, a team can win playing any formation and there isn't necessarily any formation that is superior to another. However, some of the best teams in the modern era have perfected certain systems and styles of play, guided by the formation they use. Here is an examination of some of the best teams in the world and how their formation has led to their success.

How To Coach Pressing

Pressing has become an increasingly important aspect to the modern game. Some of the most successful teams in the world play a high pressing game, including Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich. As a result, it has received great attention worldwide and is beginning to be implemented everywhere as a strategy, including with young players. … Continue reading How To Coach Pressing

4-3-3 vs. 4-1-4-1: Tactical Flexibility

In the post 4-4-2 era, teams all over the world play a variety of different formations. These formations change game by game or even within games, so it is becomingly increasingly difficult to nail professional teams down to just one single formation. That being said, two of the most popular formations in the world right now are the tactically flexible 4-3-3 and 4-1-4-1, both of which have been used heavily by Pep Guardiola throughout his career. Ultimately the formation has to suit the players that you have and their developmental, psychological and physiological characteristics. But the 4-3-3 and 4-1-4-1 are two very similar formations. The 4-1-4-1 is perhaps a little more physically demanding and tactically complex, while the 4-3-3 is perhaps more rooted in wing-play and the collaboration of the midfield triangle. Although these formations are very similar, they can offer a team a completely different dynamic, depending on how a manger or coach wants to implement them. 

The Rise of the 3-1-4-2

In terms of formations and tactics, one of the major surprises of the 2018-19 season in Europe has been the rise of the 3-1-4-2, being implemented frequently in Spain, Germany, Italy and beyond. KEY ASPECTS The 3-1-4-2 is very similar to a traditional 3-5-2, with the main difference coming in the form of two defensive … Continue reading The Rise of the 3-1-4-2

Best Formations for 11v11

In the ever-changing world of football, dozens of formations are being used on a day to day basis around the globe. Choosing the right formation can affect the balance of the game, while the decision of which formation to play can also be instrumental in getting the best out of the players a manager has … Continue reading Best Formations for 11v11

Best Formations for 7v7

The 7v7 game arrives at the pinnacle of optimal learning for kids developing their footballing trade. The smaller size in field allows players to have more touches on the ball, creates more 1v1 situations and is an easy transition from 5v5 into an easy-to-understand formula for success out on the field. 7v7 formations are by … Continue reading Best Formations for 7v7

Playing in a Midfield Three

In the post 4-4-2 era, the 4-3-3 is one of the world's most popular formations. Not only is it attack-minded but it is inherently possession-based by providing an extra man in central midfield. That is one of the prime reasons why a midfield three has become the first choice of many managers around the world. … Continue reading Playing in a Midfield Three

Moulding Players into Specific Positions: A Case for Developing Confidence

At any level, there can sometimes be a mismatch that occurs between a player's preference for a position and their playing style. Don't get me wrong, as a youth coach, you should always play your players in the positions they want to play. Rotation is an equally important consideration. But sometimes there's a mismatch that … Continue reading Moulding Players into Specific Positions: A Case for Developing Confidence

3 Ways To Play in a 4-5-1

The 4-5-1 is the perfect formation for counter-attacking football and instills a defensive mindset in any team. As such it is a particularly popular formation for defensive-minded managers and is universally used to defend a lead. The 4-5-1 is also incredibly flexible, providing a lot of different ways managers can employ the tactic. Nearly every … Continue reading 3 Ways To Play in a 4-5-1