Over five weeks this series will show you how to tighten up your defence so you can win more matches. This week we show you how to defend as a team MORE
11v11 formations 4-3-3
Attack is very strong but midfield weak with only three in there
Very fluid – it can be played out with a triangular midfield, one defensive midfielder and two attacking ones, or a flat three across the midfield. Three strikers usually form a potent front line with the centre forward stretching the opponents’ defensive line as the furthest striker, while the wide forwards exploit the space that is created from the movement of the target man.
The flip-side of having three strikers up top is the reduced number of midfielders. Most strikers are reluctant to tightly track back with the opposition full backs, so the opponents can cause problems if they have full backs who love to bomb forward at every opportunity.
The whole pitch is covered, so players understand the need for good support play especially in the three-man midfield. You should ensure your players have the opportunity to experience every position in this formation to help their development and understanding.
Wide attackers are the workhorses of the formation. The forward works in tandem with the wide attackers and, in turn with the two central midfielders advancing. A varied style is used, as the formation’s expanded tendencies allow crosses, inverted wingers, long shots or through balls.
The midfield comprises one defensive anchor accompanied by two all-action pure central midfielders who are required to be very mobile all over the pitch and contribute in every move. When defending, the defensive player becomes vital to creating a triangle with the two centre backs.
Classic four across the back with one deep midfielder to add some protection (and also provide the key link between defence and the attacking midfielder). Offers plenty of protection with good support play. Full backs can attack to give a wider perspective against strong defensive teams.