Past features

Past features

How the 2000s changed tactics #3: The decline of the three-man defence

March 24, 2010
How the 2000s changed tactics #3: The decline of the three-man defence

It’s a shame that the three-man defence has become so unfashionable in recent years, because tactically it’s a lot more interesting and varied than a four-man defence. It essentially did the same job – with one fewer player, allowing the side to dominate the midfield with an extra man.
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Posted in Tactics in the 2000s | 79 Comments »

Teams of the Decade #3: Manchester United 2006-09

March 20, 2010
Teams of the Decade #3: Manchester United 2006-09

Unlike most sides on this list, Manchester United have not used a specific formation in their amazingly successful last three seasons. Sir Alex Ferguson has used a variety of formations – 4-3-3, 4-4-2, 4-5-1, 4-2-3-1, 4-4-1-1 – and probably a few others.
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Posted in 1-10 | 30 Comments »

How the 2000s changed tactics #4: Off-the-ball movement

March 12, 2010
How the 2000s changed tactics #4: Off-the-ball movement

Movement is not a new thing in football – as outlined by Jonathan Wilson in Inverting The Pyramid, the hallmark of the legendary Hungary side which famously beat England 6-3 in 1953 was their players’ tendency to drift out of their natural position and switch with teammates, thereby confusing the opposition about who they...
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Teams of the Decade #4: Porto, 2002-04

March 8, 2010
Teams of the Decade #4: Porto, 2002-04

Almost six years on, it’s slightly difficult to describe what an incredible job Jose Mourinho did at Porto. Looking across this side and seeing names such as Deco, Ricardo Carvalho, Maniche and Costinha, the first reaction is to think, ‘Ah, it was a team packed full of good players’.
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Posted in 1-10 | 8 Comments »

How the 2000s changed tactics #5: Back to four ‘bands’ in formations

March 8, 2010
How the 2000s changed tactics #5: Back to four ‘bands’ in formations

Outfield football positions are still generally broken down into three types: defenders, midfielders and forwards. Go to any fantasy football website, or look at a UEFA squad list, and you’ll see players broken down into these three categories. Of course, this ignores the progression of football tactics in recent years, where the pitch is often...
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Posted in Tactics in the 2000s | 15 Comments »