Football Formations Series
Part 1: The 4-4-2
Introduction to the 4-4-2 Formation
Author – Vaibhav Biradar
(Reading time ~ 3 mins)
The premier league is now blessed with all the managerial superstars in football. Be it the Italian Antonio Conte or Spanish genius Pep Guardiola, seasoned premier league campaigners like Arsène Wenger and Mourinho or the German tactician Jürgen Klopp. Formation is THE most important aspect of a manager’s job. The formation the manager decides to play affects the game in most significant ways. He has to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of both his players and the opposition as well as injuries to the players, while deciding which formation will get him the best result.
So what exactly is a formation?
It’s a set that tells the positions of players on the field. It determines how many players play defense, midfield and forward. The first number always describes the number of defender and the last number describes the number of forwards. The goalkeeper is never mentioned in a Football formation. For example, a 4-4-2 formation suggests that there are four defenders (two center-backs, two fullbacks), four midfielders (two central midfielders, two side midfielders), and two forwards in the setup.
The first in this formation series focuses on the classic 4-4-2. Some might say it has gone out of fashion. But the incredible story of Leicester City suggests otherwise. They are the underdogs, who against all odds won the Premier League, while playing a 4-4-2 system through out the season 15/16. Here is a look at the formation used by the champions in detail.
Learn about about the formation that won Leicester City the Premier League!
While considering any formation, the most important thing to gauge is the players that you have and their capacity.
The two strikers in the front are the key elements of the 4-4-2 formation.
The two strikers are responsible for carrying the attack forward without requiring too much help from the midfield. The striker duo in the 4-4-2 are expected to have good understanding of each others game. They are expected to be fast , good with the ball at their feet and good work rate. Ideally, one of the two strikers should be very good with his back to the goal and should have a good aerial presence.
If the opposition have better / more players in the midfield, there is a risk of your team getting outplayed in this midfield. In such cases it may be wise to adapt to the situation and drop one of the 2 strikers back or choose a different formation.
Image Credits : Reddit
Coming up next – Formation Part 2: 4-3-3