Teams of the Decade – explained

January 11, 2010

This list is not attempting to name the best twenty sides of the decade, rather, on a site focussed upon tactics, it is attempting to outline the twenty most interesting sides in terms of the way they played, or in the way the team was set out on the pitch.

There are, broadly, three types of teams that feature on this list:

1. Teams who used unusual formations. They may or may not have been successful, but they experimented with an unusual shape that made them interesting to study from a tactical point of view.

2. Teams who achieved more than was expected. This is generally achieved by teams playing systems that maximise their strengths and minimise their weaknesses, and therefore can be held up as an example of how to successfully employ tactics in football.

3. Teams who were consistently successful. One-off success can often be attributed to a fortunate set of circumstances or a few key players performing at the top of their game, but sides who are consistently successful generally do so because of a thoughtful, creative and positive strategy.

Everything here is up for debate. The list – of course – but also the success (or lack of) of each team, the reasons for their performance, and even the formation of each side.