Simplest formation?

Discussion in 'Coach' started by Twilliger, Jul 13, 2005.

  1. Twilliger

    Twilliger New Member

    Nov 5, 2004
    This is a specific question of the simplest formation for players brand new to each (this actually an over 35 team I am thinking). My debate is between the 4-4-2 and 4-3-3. The 4-4-2 is my choice for players unfamiliar with each other because, IMHO, it is the best for supporting defenders, shorter passess and keeping the ball on the ground. But we have been having problems scoring goals and attacking down the flanks, so experimented with the 4-3-3 but found that we struggled in the midfield, struggled to time the runs, struggled to find the right line for the thru ball.

    This team rarely practises together, bunch of oldtimers who have played a fair bit, but 3/4s are new to the team.

    What opinions are there on the simplest formation when players are new, and don't practise and you don't really know the players well enough to craft the system to the players.
  2. spartanpele

    spartanpele New Member

    Feb 17, 2005
    Probably the simplest formation to teach old timers (O30's who haven't really played much) is the 4-4-2, sweeper-stopper style.

    Its GK; a deep sweeper, left def, right def, and a stopper playing center def ahead of the wing defs (the back four is in a diamond shape). For the midfield you can either use another diamond (left mid, def center mid, right mid, attacking center mid), or go with left mid, 2-center mids, right mid. Then run two strikers up top.

    If everyone stays spread out, the angles s/b easly for doing short passes and the wing mids by staying wide will open up the middle. The defense just needs to mark a man, and if theres two players in one area, or players criss cross, the players need to simply talk about who is guarding who.

    Now if you want old school dump and run style (long short passes), then you might want to go with a 4-3-3 and the 3 fwds run like hell and pressure everything, and everyone stays in vertical lanes. But its very basic, very simple, and not attractive soccer at all.

    I'd suggest starting with the 4-4-2, keep it simple, and see how it goes.

    Best of luck...
  3. mzbrand

    mzbrand New Member

    Mar 26, 2005
    Arlington, TX
    I'm dealing with a similar problem, except that I'm working with u-9 girls. For some reason my league is forcing us to go 11 on the field this year, way to early in my opinion.

    I've been trying to introduce a back 4 defense, but I'm finding it hard to correctly train the shifting zones and wing backs. Lately I've been thinking about a 2-3-3-2 formation, with the wing defensive midfielders trained to aggressively defend the back corners. My thinking is that this would be simpler than the 4-2-2-2 that I was originally planinng.

    I don't know if this helps, but since I'm looking at a similar issue I thought I'd post my thoughts.
  4. spartanpele

    spartanpele New Member

    Feb 17, 2005
    Hey, you can always do a very simple approach as well. Start with a 3-3-3 and simply put that extra player either at Def or midfield based on how the game is going. Put your 3 best players right down the middle vertically to create your "spine" of talent and build around it.

    But lets face it...formations are just a starting point for point of reference. Once the ball is kicked, the players are constantly moving and shifting and often don't resemble anything looking like a formation...which is good. Too often people get caught up on formations as if its the secret panacea of a successful team. It isn't. The secret to a having a solid team is technique, tactics, being physical, and mentally strong.

    Keep it simple for the players...if you start getting caught up on too many formations or variations, they'll bog down spending more time worrying about if they're playing they're position correctly vs actually playing the game.

    Keep it simple....the players will thank you for it!
  5. BC_Ref

    BC_Ref New Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    11 aside a U9? We are apparently going to 11 aside a U13 for both boys and girls next season (this year, girls were 11 aside at U13, boys at U12). Seems a surprising move given the shift to small sided soccer.
  6. mzbrand

    mzbrand New Member

    Mar 26, 2005
    Arlington, TX
    You're telling me! I'm trying to switch to the local AYSA rec league who are only playing 8 on the field, but so far they won't take my team as a whole and I won't split them up.
  7. schmuckatelli

    schmuckatelli New Member

    Nov 10, 2000
    The problem with a 4-3-3 (particularly with advancing age) is that you need three real horses with a strong work rate to play the midfield. If you have that, then it could work for you, but if you don't it would be disasterous because your three forwards will be stranded when your team doesn't have the ball. A 4-4-2 may be a little less exciting, inasmuch as it will risk less, but everyone will be more involved in attacking and defending. Since you're playing in an over 30 league, being involved is what makes it fun.

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