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#41285 - 04/03/08 07:00 PM 4-4-2 defending against 4-3-3
mico Offline
stranger

Registered: 04/03/08
Posts: 11
Hello everyone,
I'd appreciate your opinions on defending against three forwards. We play 4-4-2 system. Our last game we played against a team that played a very offensive 4-3-3 which caused us many problems defensively. Normally we defend well against 2 forwards. I'd be very grateful if anyone can provide some advice or tips.
(Our team is 16-19 year olds, and the standard of football is high).

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#41290 - 04/03/08 10:16 PM Re: 4-4-2 defending against 4-3-3 [Re: mico]
Willy Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/05/01
Posts: 2443
Loc: Washington DC Area
You can always utilize two defensive mid-fielders to counter an aggressive 4-3-3 team. That gives you 6 defensive minded players overall that can slow down their "usually" 5 attacking players. If needed, the two wingers can also drop back and help out if you are under pressure and that would give you 8 defenders against 6 attackers. If the opposing team pushes up their full backs to counter the congestion your team is causing, that opens up a great opportunity for counter attacks by leaving your two forwards against their two center backs. You might want to rehearse with your team those different possibilities. Keep in mind that a "very offensive" team is vulnerable to counter attacks if executed well. Good luck preparing your team and let us know how the game goes.
_________________________
"The difference between genius and stupidity, is that stupidity has no limits!"

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#41301 - 04/04/08 06:38 AM Re: 4-4-2 defending against 4-3-3 [Re: Willy]
coachkev Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/22/02
Posts: 5062
Loc: UK
Some ways to counter...

* Go 4 at the back with a screen player in front
* Go with sweeper and 4 at the back
* Full backs go man to man with the outside forward players
* Have 2 defensive screen players in front of a back 4
* Go 1-4-4-1 formation and the game plan is that whenever opponents have possession, at least 5 players behind the ball
and when you have possession at least 5 players attacking

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#41322 - 04/04/08 07:41 PM Re: 4-4-2 defending against 4-3-3 [Re: coachkev]
WillieB Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/27/05
Posts: 1557
First fo all your post is a bit like me going to the doctor and saying "Doctor, I don't feel well" and expecting the doctor to diagnose what is wrong with me.

It would help if you gave some more information such as
Where and why you think your defence is struggling to cope with three forwards.

Do you play Zonal or Man to Man marking?

Do you defend deep or high up the field?

Does your defence have pace?

I'm puzzled as to why 4 defenders can't manage against 3 forwards, let's face it you are numbers up.

Is it maybe just that they are much better than you?

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#41325 - 04/04/08 08:52 PM Re: 4-4-2 defending against 4-3-3 [Re: WillieB]
andre Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/08
Posts: 111
Loc: England
when defending against 4-3-3 your midfield must be compact and close to the defense, ask one of your attackers to join the midfield and stay close with their defensive midfielder(possibly the play maker),ask your two wide midfielder to mark the space either side lines so their wingers cant penetrate. Also your two full backs should mark their two wide attackers then you will have two CM against one and two CB against one attacker.


Edited by andre (04/04/08 09:15 PM)

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#41333 - 04/05/08 12:01 PM Re: 4-4-2 defending against 4-3-3 [Re: andre]
WillieB Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/27/05
Posts: 1557
 Originally Posted By: andre
when defending against 4-3-3 your midfield must be compact and close to the defense


Why? Why is it any different than playing against another 4-4-2?

 Originally Posted By: andre
ask one of your attackers to join the midfield and stay close with their defensive midfielder(possibly the play maker)


Why? I already have 4 midfielders against their 3 so why do I need to pull an attacker back? I have 2 attackers, tyey have 4 defenders so I'm up 2 players, 1 in midfield and 1 in defence, why do I need another one to come back?

 Originally Posted By: andre
ask your two wide midfielder to mark the space either side lines so their wingers cant penetrate.


Their wingers will already be penetrating as they will be in a forward position, i.e. behind your midfield.

 Originally Posted By: andre
Also your two full backs should mark their two wide attackers then you will have two CM against one and two CB against one attacker.


Aren't we making assumptions that the opposition forwards are playing 2 wide and one central, maybe they are playing 3 central?

Sorry to rip your post apart however I fail to see how anyone can provide any constructive advice based on the information given.

There are several ways to play the different formations, my 4-4-2 could be different from your 4-4-2. We could both play the same 4-4-2 however my style of play could be different from your style of play so the way my 4-4-2 works could be different from yours.

Other factors coming into it could be skill levels of the individual players and teams, if my ability level is way above yours then will it really matter what formation you play?

So Mico, give us some more information.

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#41359 - 04/06/08 07:32 PM Re: 4-4-2 defending against 4-3-3 [Re: WillieB]
andre Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/08
Posts: 111
Loc: England
Yes there are different ways to play the 4-4-2 also it certainly deponds on the players abilities.What said was the way I would play the 4-4-2(when defending). pulling back one of the attackers was because oppositions wouldnt hold on to three midfielders when attacking, midfielders would be supported by two full backs (otherwise the defending team should be so weak that they concede goals despite being outnumbered(8 against 6)).

The other reason for that is creating numerical superiority in the central zone of midfield as if they start with one of the full backs our wide midfielder will go to stop him from penetrating then we will have 3 against 3 situation in the central zone so we need one of our attckers to stay with their defensive midfielder and if one of our CM stays with their (the same side) winger and our opposite wide midfielder stays with their opposite winger(shift across)then we will be outnumbered and have our other CM free for dubbling up where necessary.

As for your last point if they play with 3 central attackers they just make life easier for our defenders as they can be more compact. when any of their three attackers gets the ball he can be marked directly by the closest defender and dubbeled up by our free CM.

I hope now some people can provide some constructive advice based on the information given!

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#41361 - 04/07/08 07:33 AM Re: 4-4-2 defending against 4-3-3 [Re: andre]
mico Offline
stranger

Registered: 04/03/08
Posts: 11
Sorry for not giving enough information.
Firstly, I should have explained that when we attack we play a 4-2-2-2 formation, so we have 2 defensive midfielders and two linking attacking midfielders, these two aren’t restricted on just playing wide roles, they can take up positions anywhere across the pitch generally between the forwards and the defensive midfielders.
When we defend we play a 4-4-2, where the attacking midfielders drop back in (as quickly as possible) to form two banks of four, (the nearest forward will drop in and cover if the attacking midfielder is way out of his defensive position when an attack breaks down).
The problems that we faced in this game were that the opposition’s 4-3-3, was set up with one central striker and the other two holding very wide positions. We defend with a zonal 4. Our full-backs had difficulty holding their zonal positions (especially when the ball was in a central area) and tended to drift over and get close to the opposition’s wide attackers. This obviously stretched our back four across the pitch, and left some very wide gaps between the central defenders and the full-backs. But it did make it easier for them to defend 1v1 when the ball was played out wide.
Also, the opposition’s style of play was very offensive, often both their full-backs would join in their attacks, when this happened their central midfield player would usually (but not always) drop back in front of their two central defenders.
This left them open to counter attacks, and we punished them on several occasions, but we did also concede three goals.
I should also mention that I’m the assistant coach; the head-coach’s answer to the problem with our stretched defence was to pull back one of our attacking midfielders to form 5 across the back, I felt this wasn’t the right response, as it left us outnumbered in midfield. I thought it would be better to ask both the attacking midfielders to defend a bit deeper than usual, and when the ball is played to one of their wide attackers our attacking midfield should close in to help out to defend 2v1, and also for one of our forward’s to drop back to pick up their full-back if he pushes on to join in the attack on that side of the pitch.
I should have also pointed out that the opposition’s wide attackers were very talented and effective in 1v1 situations.
Generally, our defenders tend to defend deep. They are all quick. But so were the opposition’s forwards.
Our team are an under-19 team and we played against their under-21 team, and because we won the game the coaches have agreed that we should play against their full senior squad. Their senior team play the same 4-3-3 formation. And of course the players will be of an even higher standard, I expect them to attack in a similar manner but not to leave themselves so open on the counter.

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#41365 - 04/07/08 03:13 PM Re: 4-4-2 defending against 4-3-3 [Re: andre]
WillieB Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/27/05
Posts: 1557
 Originally Posted By: andre
Yes there are different ways to play the 4-4-2 also it certainly deponds on the players abilities.What said was the way I would play the 4-4-2(when defending). pulling back one of the attackers was because oppositions wouldnt hold on to three midfielders when attacking, midfielders would be supported by two full backs (otherwise the defending team should be so weak that they concede goals despite being outnumbered(8 against 6)).

The other reason for that is creating numerical superiority in the central zone of midfield as if they start with one of the full backs our wide midfielder will go to stop him from penetrating then we will have 3 against 3 situation in the central zone so we need one of our attckers to stay with their defensive midfielder and if one of our CM stays with their (the same side) winger and our opposite wide midfielder stays with their opposite winger(shift across)then we will be outnumbered and have our other CM free for dubbling up where necessary.

As for your last point if they play with 3 central attackers they just make life easier for our defenders as they can be more compact. when any of their three attackers gets the ball he can be marked directly by the closest defender and dubbeled up by our free CM.

I hope now some people can provide some constructive advice based on the information given!


WTF, did you actually read my post?

BTW, if your defence becomes more compact to deal with my three central forwards they will leave acres of space in the wide areas for my wide mids to attack.

And, what does this mean?

I hope now some people can provide some constructive advice based on the information given!

Mico needs to give the information, not you.


Edited by WillieB (04/07/08 03:27 PM)

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#41366 - 04/07/08 03:26 PM Re: 4-4-2 defending against 4-3-3 [Re: WillieB]
WillieB Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/27/05
Posts: 1557
mico,

From what you wrote it seems to me the biggest problem you have is your full backs drifting wide and leaving gaps in the middle.

My view is that if the ball is central the back four should be no wider than the width of the points halfway between the perpendicular of the 6 yd box and the perpendicular of the PB, i.e. no more than 32 yds from FB to FB however the FB needs to be close enough to the opposition winger to close him down in the event of a pass wide, the further the ball is from the wide player the further the FB can be away from the winger.

As play moves left/right the whole defence should move transversely with it.

When the ball is wide the far side FB should be around back post area and the defence should be staggered with the player furthest from the ball nearest the goal-line, i.e. the far side FB. This player's job is to defend the far post area (far post from the ball) and also the area behind the CBs. Some may suggest the far side FB should be in an advanced position, i.e. the back four is cupped, however while this may be ok at the top level I think at the lower levels the staggered pattern is safer.

As for U19s playing U21s, I'm not convinced that age is a big factor at these age groups, they are all grown men.

It isn't easy drawing diagrams on this forum otherwise I'd have drawn one.

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