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.

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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 9v9

9v9 is one of the most exciting stages in the development of young players as it's the first time they are truly able to understand positioning, formations and how to play to the strengths of their teammates. In The Mastermind's hometown province of Ontario, 9v9 starts at the U11 stage and ends at U13, when … Continue reading Best Formations for 9v9