With the advent of tactics since the early 1990’s when players were no longer given the license to go out and play freely, we have seen modern football amalgamate with pulsating tactics with thorough research on the opposition thanks to the advancements in the latest technology. Fruitfully, the game as a whole has evolved over the past two decades with more concerns on how the manager wants his team to play rather than the free flowing football which is rarely out on display these days.
When you talk about managers like Pep Guardiola, Rafale Benitez , Antonio Conte or Marcelo Bielsa rather than the Arsene Wengers or Alex Fergusons, you would find their teams play a lot tactically in order to get results which might not be pleasing to the eye but at the end of the day, it does the job for the team and wins titles at the end of the campaigns. So we here at Soccersouls decided to provide our readers a column on some of the most bizarre tactics and formations which are on display in World Football currently.
The 3-6-1 used by Australia in the 2006 World Cup:
Unfortunate to be knocked out by a controversial penalty to the Italians, the Soceroos played a brand of mesmerizing football which made the world stand up and take notice of their bizarre tactics employed. They played a highly unlikely formation throughout the tournament which tweaked every time they took the field but had two things in common- a three-man defence and a lone striker. This meant the then Australian manager Guss Hiddink with all his tactical acumen play an alternate of the 3-3-3-1 or effectively the 3-6-1. The two wing backs and the holding midfielder were instrumental to their fine run throughout the campaign and their transition from defence to attack was nothing short of spectacular. This also enabled them to play a very high possession based game and teams by overloading the opposition penalty box.
Marcelo Bielsa’s 3-3-1-3 formation in Chile and Athletic Bilbao:
If you would ever ask me which attacking formation would you love to watch in the next World Cup, I would say watch out for Chile. Last World Cup Bielsa’s 3-3-1-3 was perhaps the best team to watch tactically, same goes for Bilbao during the Bielsa years. A very attacking formation which is influenced on pressing the opposition higher up the pitch and attacking the opposition in a very direct approach, but one which is however very risky at the back while protecting your goal. Remember Athletic Bilbao’s demolition of a strong Manchester United side at Old Trafford?
The effective 4-3-2-1 formation:
The old Italian teams effectively used this formation much to their effectiveness on the International stage. Playing with a holding midfielder, with two wingers overloading the opposition areas helping the lone striker up front is the main idea behind this formation. The wingbacks isn’t that much of a priority in this system which is deployed to counter the opposing side and hitting them on the counters.