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Tactics Tuesday

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I have to say that I have become infatuated with the 4-3-3 of late. Not so much that I want to use it when I role out my own teams, no, I can’t, it is far too complex a system and requires extensive tactical awareness and discipline. In fact the mere thought of this makes me cringe that the team I love roles this out each and every week. I am even more surprised that it has been successful week in and week out, in fact since the night in Madrid Milan has been unbeaten, a very pleasant surprise indeed.

The real praise has to go to Leo. A few weeks ago many of us were calling for his head, I even politely asked that he step down and go back to being a very successful scout. But today this sentiment has changed for me and many of you, so if the commitment to Leo and the 4-3-3 will remain, and I hope it does, some changes need to be made to make this system work.

Reinforcements are a must, but they do not need to be massive or even expensive, they merely need to fit in the tactical system. Simply add cogs to the machine and further the efficiency going forward. Adiyah is a great start; he can play the attacking wing and spell Dinho and Pato if needed. Beckham works as well, he has a goal, and that is to play for England in WC10, and he will work damn hard to achieve it and if it means roaming up and down the right mid spot he will do it. So where does that leave us? In the end the immediate and very real reaction is to add a fullback, sure it works, it is a the prototypical workhorse spot, but is it really what we need right now?

So before you go into uproar hear me out. If the RB position is manned by Abate and Oddo and the LB spot is manned by Antonini and Zambro, that leaves Nesta, Kaladze, Silva, Favalli, and Bonera at CB with a few of those guys able to move to the flanks if needed. If the 4-3-3 works as it is supposed to the width is provided by wing players be it the attacking wing, mid wing, or even defensive wing. This is all based upon personnel. Pato and Oddo interchange nicely on the right flank allowing Ambrosini to tuck in centrally and block counters. This same system does not seem to work on the left, with Dinho moving centrally and Zambro rarely seeming to take up as much space he once he did. So basically we need width on the left, if Seedorf plays he also shades central, and the 4-3-3 suddenly leaves holes in places that are dangerous for other teams. Teams are more often than not right side dominate their attack typically forms from that side and if that flank is weak opponents, especially better opponents will exploit it.

So how do you fix it? Easily, really, and his name is Pasquale Foggia:

So hear me out, if Foggia is brought in, then he and Becks can provide width and a DM can be employed in the middle to disrupt attacks, and frankly we are team with a handful of them in Rino, Flamini, and Ambro. This gives Pirlo and Seedorf a much needed chance for rest, and also gives Leo tactical flexibility in how he employs his formation. Worried about the counter? Start Seedorf and Pirlo. A more open game and Foggia and Becks can get a run. By reinforcing the midfield with a creative player it allows the defenders to defend and the width to come from midfielders instead of fullbacks. Now Dinho can move more central and Pato and Borriello can go one on one with the CB’s making the team even more formidable than it has now become.

Does it have to be Foggia? Of course not, but a LM type player is really the only thing needed to move this team forward, sure it doesn’t solve the future, but this team is built for the here and now, so ask yourself do you want a youth movement and a season of growing pains, much like September, or do we throw caution to the wind and push the issue here and now…