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 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.

PSG Fruitless Without Cavani & Mbappe

Paris Saint Germain have developed a well-oiled system under Thomas Tuchel. The tactical flexibility of players like Dani Alves and Julian Draxler have allowed the French giants to flourish in a number of different systems, seemingly chopping and changing their formation every week without ever missing a beat. However, without star men up top like … Continue reading PSG Fruitless Without Cavani & Mbappe

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

5 Ways To Modify Small-Sided Games

Over the past decade, small sided games have become the preferred method of teaching game mechanics in football. Whether for young players or pros, small sided games have been proven to have benefits in allowing players more touches on the ball, more decisions to make but less time to make them, more 1v1 situations, more … Continue reading 5 Ways To Modify Small-Sided Games

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 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