The 7 Football Tactics, According to Expert

When it comes to football tactical formations used by managers (‘Diamonds’ and ‘Christmas trees’), these terms describe just some of the possibilities and strategies (Football tactics) examined by many a coach calculating their side’s potential route to victory.

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Soccer formations refer to how players on a team are positioned on the field and are determined by how defensive or offensive a team wishes to be. For example, if a manager notices that the opposition has several dangerous attacking players, he or she may select an extra defender – and thus one fewer midfielder or striker – in the squad to counteract that threat.

Formations are determined by employing the ten outfield players (all players except the goalie), and they specify the number of players in each section of the pitch, beginning with the defense and progressing upfield.

1. 4-4-2 Formation 

The most well-known football formation is the 4-4-2. This relates to:

  • Four defenders
  • Four midfielders
  • Two forwards

However, if one of the defenders is forced into a midfield role during a match, the team will play in a 3-5-2 shape.

Other formations can be defined with three numbers, although four-numbered (for example, 4-4-1-1) and occasionally five-numbered (for example, 4-3-1-1-1) formations can be employed as well. However, these are only minor variants on the three-numbered formations.

2. The Diamond Formation

This is a 4-4-2 configuration with one of the two central midfielders playing in a more advanced position and the other in a more withdrawn position. If you connected the four midfielders with diagonal lines, you’d have a diamond shape, hence the name.

3. 4-3-3 Formation

This is a relatively offensive formation with three more advanced players. In the forward positions, the 4-3-3 formation frequently includes two wingers and a striker. Many teams do not utilize this formation from the start of a game, but they will frequently use it if they are losing and in desperate need of a goal.

4. 5-3-2 Formation

A defensive formation in which three central defenders and two wing-backs operate in defense. The wing-backs are then expected to play both offensive and defensive roles. Depending on the wing-backs’ ambition, this formation can be aggressive or ultra-defensive.

5. 4-5-1 Formation

Many football games are thought to be won or lost in the midfield fight. The 4-5-1 formation uses five midfielders to try to win and hold possession of the ball in midfield, while just one striker is used up front. This technique is frequently used when a team has a lead and wants to suppress the opposition and keep them from getting back into the game.

6. The Christmas tree (4-3-2-1) formation

This is another 4-4-2 configuration variation. When visualized, 4-3-2-1 includes four defenders, three midfielders, and two creative forwards who play right behind the most forward striker – forming the shape of a Christmas tree!

7. 4-4-1-1 formation

Another 4-4-2 variation involves four defenders, four midfielders, and one striker playing in the position in front of the midfield but somewhat behind the most forward striker – known as ‘in the hole.’

Finally, a word about football formations

There are numerous different combinations available, and it is important to note that formations are not rigid and can alter throughout a game. Unlike in netball, football players are not restricted to any certain zone on the field, but are free to move wherever they like (or wherever their manager tells them to go).

A losing team may choose to play a more attacking structure, such as 4-3-3, whilst a winning team or one satisfied to keep what they have may choose to play a more defensive formation, such as 4-5-1. Sometimes a side will appear to alter so frequently that you won’t be able to discern what shape it is.

Of all, if a team is trailing in the final few minutes of the game, it may appear that they are playing 0-0-10 (and even the goalkeeper may get involved) as everyone rushes forward in a frenzied attempt to score an equalizer.

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