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. 

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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

Why Every Coach Should Use EA Sports FIFA 19

One of the biggest dangers in the world of coaching in youth sports today is the concept of "joy-sticking" - whereby coaches control every act their players do and do not give their athletes freedom to be autonomous in their decisions. What is described in this article may be controversial as it is a literal form of "joy-sticking". However, this article presents the various ways that playing EA Sports' FIFA video game can be useful in analyzing your players, tactics and playing style, especially if coaches are mindful that what they do on the game may not translate into the real world. Although it is only a video game and a literal form of joy-sticking, every coach can benefit in a lot of ways from creating and playing with their team on FIFA 19. 

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

Picking The Perfect Starting Eleven

Picking your starting lineup for a football match can be a difficult task for any manager. There are so many different considerations from fitness levels to injuries to work ethic to commitment to your opposition to the way different players mesh together or fit into the intended style of play. This guide aims to help … Continue reading Picking The Perfect Starting Eleven

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