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Thread: Exposing The 4231 Formation: An Analysis

  1. #31
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    Nothing wrong with the 4231 in principle, some of the best teams in recent history have used it.

    Koeman's "4231" however is an abomination.
    - The 4 attackers are always in a line. We play a 424 in attack, not a 4231.
    - The 2 DMs dont hold their position and have way too many attacking duties. They are often running into the box as dummy runners, or then playing a pass then running forward for the return vacating their defensive space. Frenkie yesterday was basically an auxiliary CF! This leaves us way too vulnerable to transitions when the ball is lost, it also results in the central attacking area becoming even more crowded.
    - Often 3x slow and physically weak 10s
    - Often no wingers
    - No value placed on midfield creativity and control
    - Then when we go one goal behind, the end up going into 226 mode losing any little semblance of balance we had, and making us even more vulnerable to transitions. When chasing the game this results in even a lot of time wasted defending counterattacks rather than controlling the game.
    - Messi doing what he wants
    - Plays Busquets

    How to improve:
    - Every game must have at least two forward runners out of Fati, Dembele, Braithwaite or Trincao
    - Max two out of Coutinho, Messi and Griezmann can start together. Coutinho can only play AM (never wide), Messi can only play False 9 (never wide).
    - Frenkie and Pjanic as the starting pivots, and HOLDING their position.
    - Stick to the 4231 formation if chasing, or go to 3 at the back at the max. Bring in fresh players or more attacking profiles (e.g. Pedri/Alena/Puig at DMs). But STICK to a formation that retains overall balance.

  2. #32
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    Agree with most. The runs by De Jong are due to Messi vacating his position to drop very deep. You have to compensate for this by displacing one of the two pivots forward (Koeman simply chose the fastest to perform this, since Busi would look comical doing it). Otherwise, you are too outnumbered upfront.

    To give Messi this freedom fucks up two positions. 1 is the pivot position with Messi there who won't be bothered to do any defensive work instead of De Jong if the game calls for it. And 2 is the forward position, for which De Jong is poorly equipped to perform.

    And you want 2 good wide players. Not one. So only 1 out of Coutinho/Messi/Griezmann should start, and it's obviously Griezmann for me.
    Last edited by serghei; 6th December 2020 at 07:30 PM.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by serghei View Post
    The runs by De Jong are due to Messi vacating his position to drop very deep. You have to compensate for this by displacing one of the two pivots forward (Koeman simply chose the fastest to perform this, since Busi would look comical doing it). Otherwise, you are too outnumbered upfront.

    To give Messi this freedom fucks up two positions. 1 is the pivot position with Messi there who won't be bothered to do any defensive work instead of De Jong if the game calls for it. And 2 is the forward position, for which De Jong is poorly equipped to perform.
    Yep exactly this. And what makes it worse is when Messi does this when starting from a false wide position. This exposes the wing defensively, and makes the attack narrower because De Jong's compensatory runs are down the middle, not wide to vacate Messi's theoretical space. And to top it off this fucks up Busquets as he is already a defensive liability in a midfield 3, and now he is left in not even a 2.

    Just a bad pattern of movement all round.

    The only way to avoid mass disruption for Messi's free role is to play him as false 9. Then the AM or winger can drop into his theoretical space without too much hassle.

    Remember the time when Rakitic used to drop into wide right to cover for Messi coming deep....geez the patterns we have seen to accommodate Messi...
    Last edited by Toecrusher; 6th December 2020 at 07:40 PM.