Why the 4-3-3 has made football formations redundant

Much is made of formations in the modern world of football, with each and every top team attempting to innovative and reinvent the beautiful game. One of the most popular formations throughout history is the 4-3-3 formation. Those who view the game with a simplistic mindset would tell you it involves four defenders, three midfielders and three attackers. That certainly appears to be the case on the face of it, but is that how it works in reality? Or is 4-3-3 an amalgamation of several different tactics, effectively killing off the concept of a starting formation?

Bundesliga 2021-22 Matchday 5 – Tactical Review

The Bundesliga continues to entertain as ever, with intriguing tactics, goals galore, and surprising results. Matchday 5 saw Bayern smash VFL Bochum for seven, and things go from bad to worse for Leipzig as they slip even further down the table. Here is our tactical analysis of some of the key matches.

What’s gone wrong for Jesse Marsch at Leipzig? – Tactical Analysis

Ahead of Leipzig's weekend clash with FC Koln, Die Roten Bullen entered Matchday 5 on just 3 points, beating (and battering) only Stuttgart in their opening four fixtures. It's safe to say that's far from the start Jesse Marsch would have been hoping for in his first five matches at Red Bull Arena. 13th place is not necessarily a reflection of how they've played so far this season, but it is also certainly not where anyone would have thought they'd be at this stage. So what has gone wrong for Jesse Marsch's team so far? We take a look at some of the key issues in our latest tactical analysis.

How Crystal Palace Shocked Tottenham Hotspur – Tactical Analysis

After weeks of succeeding with narrow 1-0 wins in a 4-3-3 formation, Nuno Espirito Santo decided change was needed. To be fair to Nuno, without the injured Heung-Min Son and Steven Bergwijn, change likely was needed. But unfortunately the Portuguese manager adapted in the completely wrong way, and Crystal Palace, yes Crystal Palace, tore them to shreds.

Bundesliga 2021-22 Matchday 4 – Tactical Review

The Bundesliga continues to entertain as ever, with intriguing tactics, big results and a tight title race in these early stages. Matchday 4 saw Bayern smash Jesse Marsch's lifeless Leipzig to bits, Borussia Dortmund scrape out a narrow win over Leverkusen in a seven goal thriller, and Wolfsburg, yes Wolfsburg, continue their win streak at the top of the table. Here is our tactical analysis of some of the key matches.

Premier League Tactical Review – Matchday 4

Matchday 4 of the 2021-22 Premier League season will forever be remembered as the day Cristiano Ronaldo made his return to Manchester United, and scored a brace in his first match back. But many more BIG things happened this weekend, including Crystal Palace thumping table toppers Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal picking up a big win in their relegation six-pointer against Norwich, and City continuing their impressive clean sheet run with a 1-0 win over Leicester. Here is our tactical review of Matchday 4.

How Leverkusen Exposed Rose’s Midfield Diamond…To No Avail – Tactical Analysis

Borussia Dortmund are heading towards one of their worst seasons in years, and it is in large part due to the tactics of their new manager - Marco Rose. But quite confusingly, they continue to grind out wins. Rose has set his team up to play in a diamond midfield formation, that suits one single player in the squad, and nobody else, yet somehow they've escaped complete desperation two weeks in a row. The Black & Yellows currently sit second in the table as things stand, three points off the top, but they are very lucky to be anywhere near that.

The Longball – Premier League Preview Show – Tempers flare in Brazil, Ronaldo’s coming home, and the transfer window slams shut

The international break is over! John and Declan managed to escape Brazilian police to bring you this preview ahead of the weekend's matches, discussing everything Cristiano Ronaldo upon his return to Old Trafford, the debut of a fun new game called Phonebook, and a starting 11 of the best valued transfers of the summer window!

The Most Popular Formations in MLS [Quick Take]

Similar to our prior overview of The Most Popular Formations in Europe’s Top 5 Leagues (2020-2021 season), we now look at the most popular formations in MLS during the 2021 season (up until the time of writing - early September 2021). With most sides over two-thirds of the way through the regular season, it’s prime time to find form and compete for a playoff spot. And while preparation for success is managed differently by all, settling on a formation (or at least a general style of play) is a great sign that a team has found its collective identity. As such, final tallies for the season will undoubtedly change, but here are the numbers as they stand... 

Rosters Reimagined! A Post-Transfer Market Tinkering of the EPL’s Big Six [Quick Take]

The transfer window has closed and we’re left with a week of international football to wonder what money truly buys. So for kicks, let’s incorporate the new lads in alternative formations for the Premier League’s “Big Six” and see what cleverness or calamity results…