There are three thinks that I think contribute to the formation and system that coaches choose to play with. The qualities and personalities of the players on the team is most important. If you have a lot of attacking personalities then a system like the 4-3-3 makes sense. If you have a forward who holds the ball well and can play with their back to goal then you could use a 4-5-1 effectively. But each system can be played with a different style; possession, direct attacking, counter attack, etc.
The second contributing factor is the coaches preference. Most coaches are very comfortable with one or two systems and they would prefer to use them if possible. This makes it important for the coach to select players that fit with their preferred system of play.
The final factor is the current developments at the highest level. When everyone in the EPL was playing 4-4-2 that’s all you would see on the local youth team fields. Then the 4-3-3 started to become more wide spread. Now the 4-2-3-1 is the latest rage and everyone want’s to try and play that way.
Developing a Style of Play, our latest book from author, Jordi Pascual, is not a description of a particular system but rather, a step-by-step guide to developing your own method of playing the game. The book leads you through the thought process and decisions that have to be made not only about the system you play (4-4-2, 4-3-3, etc) but how your players will play the game within that system.
I think this is an important process for every coach to go through whether you're coaching a U10 youth team or professional team at the highest level. This book won't give you all the answers but it will make you think about all the right questions.
What contributes to the system and style your team plays? Share you thoughts in the comments section below.
Have a great day!