The of 3-4-3 formation has undoubtably became the most sort after football formation in the world.

With Chelsea coach Antonio Conte famously used the formation since his time at Juventus and successfully implemented it last season when he won the Premier League championship, a lot lot of teams have now adopted the formation including Arsenal, Manchester City and our very own Zimbabwean teams.

The 3-4-3 formation is usually used when a team want to attack more during the game. In other words this formation is used by more offensive-minded teams. Those who follow Liverpool can tell thatĀ  the “Spirit of Istanbul” originated from the 3-4-3 formation used in the second half of the 2005 UEFA Champions League final against AC Milan.

Well, we can all see how good and effective this formation can be but lets look now at the other side why most coaches have adopted it but failed to produce results with it:

Lacking a creative play maker
With three strikers focusing only on attacking, the need for a creative play maker is vital. Most teams who adopt this formation end up performing badly because of they lack that kind of a player behind the strikers. Being creative does not mean to have great visual in ball distribution but the ability to hold it and release it in the best time. I think everyone can remember Paul Pogba during his time at Juventus.

Slow Wingbacks
The wing back (Full back) is probably the most important position in this formation. Unlike in the widely used 4-3-3 formation where the wing backs initiates the attack by over-lapping down the touch line and quickly shift back to defense, this time they are positioned in the midfield so that they can evenly balance their effort between the attack and defense – dynamic and mobility. This means they should be omnipresent along the flank – this drains a lot of energy i should tell. But a slower wing back will definitely put everything out of direction. This is something some coaches don’t consider.

Knowing the sweeper’s role.
They are three center backs in the formation which meansĀ  the defense have three ‘hearts’. In some cases the central CB will act as sweeper to the other two. However it should not be always him taking the role of a sweeper as other opponents attack directly towards the goal . Sometimes an anchor man can be used as sweeper or even a wing back depending on the game plan of the opponent. So this brings quiet a headache to the coach who should decide the sweeper as early as possible resulting making a bad decision.

Now that we have outlined some of the key things which fails the 3-4-3 formation, it is now clear that the formation is not the most effective but it requires the coach’s intelligence to win to win trophies. The 3-4-3 is just another ordinary football formation which can be transformed in to magic by the best selection.

To be continued…

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