The Sweeper System.

Discussion in 'The Beautiful Game' started by Rui Costa, Jun 15, 2005.

  1. Rui Costa

    Rui Costa New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    One of the things I've noticed watching football is that the sweeper system has virtually become extinct.I can't ever recall watching a team that applied this formation(Porto may have used it in their CL second leg clash with Inter, however, whether it was indeed a sweeper system, or Jorge Costa and co. were just drunk and staggering about aimlessly, I couldn't distinguish.)

    I have some questions for those longer than I on this Earth, and thus more well versed in the history of the game and more familiar with the concept;

    Who, if anyone, invented it?

    When, if ever, was it popular?

    Do you think its effective?

    Why isn't it fashionable today?

    Who are the greatest sweepers?(Baresi,Beckanbauer,Sammer???)

    What clubs have played this system?

    What national sides have played this system?

    Do you know of any managers who preferred this tactical approach?

    Do you know of any modern day sides who play this system?

    Can you name any modern teams whom you think would be suitable for this system?

    Who were the greatest teams to apply it?

    Whom do you think would make, or would have made, a quality sweeper?

    What qualities must a sweeper have?

    Discuss, with limited bad jokes about chimneys and brooms, sweeping.


  2. Hrvat

    Hrvat New Member

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    I am not an expert on this, I'll write what I know. The thing is Croatian national team and Croatian clubs have always played with a sweeper. It's the way our kids are teached to play in our football schools, but it's definetly true it is out of date.

    It isn't fashionable simply because «4 in line» defense is much more effective, especially when it comes to defenders going forward. When a team plays with four defenders in a line the side defenders (like Maldini and Cafu) have freedom to go up front. It is also important to point out that when you play with a sweeper the side midfielders have much more defensive tasks because they have noone to guard their back.. So, it's obvious that «4 in line» is a much better option. But…

    The problem is that if a team plays for sometime with a sweeper it's very hard to transform it to defense in line system. Some of our teams had tried that and quickly got back to the sweeper system. It's much easier to play with a sweeper because his main task is to correct mistakes that central defenders make. It is usually played by and older and experinced player, who doesn't necessarily need to be very fast or strong, but has to be intelligent.

    As far as I know most of Europe's youth teams play with 4 defenders in a line which means it is not too much of a problem for them to play it when they start play professional football. I think Croatia (and all the other contuntries where sweeper is played) should urgently stop teaching their children playing with a sweeper. Later it's much harder to change their habbits, and it's obvious that teams who want to play modern and efficient football have to play with 4 in a line.

    My conclusion would be that it's much harder to make «4 in line» defense work, but once a coach makes it work it's much more effective that the sweeper defense.
  3. Excape Goat

    Excape Goat Member+

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    When, if ever, was it popular?

    From 1970s onward, it was popular. Even Brazil and England adapted the system in WC 1990. I considered Sammer the last great sweeper. So I guessed that it became unpopular in the mid-1990s.

    Who are the greatest sweepers?(Baresi,Beckanbauer,Sammer???)

    Beckenbauer was credited as the player who invented it. I am not 100% sure, but most considered him to be the greatest.

    Who were the greatest teams to apply it?

    West Germany and Bayern Munich of the early 1970s.
  4. Cassano

    Cassano Member

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    AC Milan
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    Italy
    Who are the greatest sweepers?(Baresi,Beckanbauer,Sammer???)

    Franco Baresi was the greastest sweeper (called "Libero" in Italy) after Beckenbauer. He controlled the Milan defense in the 80's and 90's and was part of the squads that dominated the world in the late 80's/early 90's.


  5. Real Ray

    Real Ray Member

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    The trend to play flat-back-four, is probably a main reason you don't see it played as much at the pro level.

    A progenitor of the position IMO was Giancinto Fachetti. His attacking style changed the view of the defender-he clearly influenced Beckenbauer, and later played the position himself.
  6. Revelian

    Revelian Member

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    The Arse were good at it back in the day. Tony Adams was a ledge beyond the edge.

    I guess it isn't used as much anymore because of the benefit of the doubt being given to the attacking players now. This makes the sweeper system far too risky.

    Revelian
  7. Revelian

    Revelian Member

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    The Arse were good at it back in the day. Tony Adams was a ledge beyond the edge.

    I guess it isn't used as much anymore because of the benefit of the doubt being given to the attacking players now (offsides). This makes the sweeper system far too risky.

    Revelian
  8. Revelian

    Revelian Member

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    I posted twice.....what a tosser.

    Revelian
  9. Brownswan

    Brownswan New Member

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    No, just a good example of a sweeper post.
  10. lanman

    lanman BigSoccer Supporter

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    Aug 30, 2002
    http://www.iahssca.org/articles/01feb05_is_the_sweeper_back_passe.htm

    A generally very good article which should answer some of the questions posed. It's not completely accurate with regards the development of the flat back four and the tactics of Hungary in the 50's, but the information on the "Swiss Bolt" and the sweeper system is excellent.
  11. king_saladin

    king_saladin New Member

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    Followed by Pressallara? (sp?)
  12. SirManchester

    SirManchester Member+

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    This is my favorite position in football and rather underappreciated and overlooked nowadays, glad of this thread though, thanks.

    Beckenbauer surely is the greatest to ever play that position, being that he brought its full potential out. In other words, he did the most in that role. He is credited with inventing it and I haven't seen many or any players for that matter use it before him as he did. It was because of this role that W. Germany and Bayern were able to do so well in the 1970's.

    I can't think of a great sweeper since Sammer really either, its a shame because it brings a great new dimension to the game.

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