United Soccer Coaches' IAN BARKER on turning basic formations into systems MORE
9v9 formations: 3-2-1-2
PROS: A very well-balanced formation with players spread out across the It is built around a diamond in the centre of midfield.
CONS: Players must hold their shape or they will leave gaps, making this formation vulnerable to dribbling players breaking through. It also has to be aware of players able to outrun the midfield and onto long balls.
Central defence is very solid and well protected by the midfield triangle. Full-backs should tuck in but defensive cover on the wings is vital if they get dragged out of position. The central defender must be aware of danger from all angles in front and behind and must cover movement of the full-backs.
Midfield triangle forms a solid diamond with the central defender. It is strong defensively but in attack it needs support from full-backs and relies on an attacker dropping deep to collect the ball. Defensive midfielders must push up to support the attack.
Great for counter-attacking, if the team wins the ball and everyone moves quickly to support the two attackers, they can get behind the opposition defence and catch them out with good quality passing and movement.
This is a good formation for learning about covering all areas of the pitch, and because the positions work in threes, the players will gain an understanding of how support play can give them overload situations in attack and defence. The central triangle/diamond gives good reference points for where players have to recover to when they have to defend.
One good tip is to switch players through the positions so they have a clear idea of what other all the other players have to do in those positions.