What is a 4-3-3?
The 4-3-3 is a formation that uses a line of four defenders, made up of two center backs and two full-backs, behind a midfield line of three. The most frequent configuration in midfield includes a player further back, the pivot, and two slightly more advanced interior players on each side. The attacking line is made up of two wingers, usually with legs changed, who play on each side of a single center forward.
Where does the 4-3-3 originate?
Before losing to Uruguay in the 1950 World Cup final, Brazil began using a four-man defense in a 4-2-4 formation. It was this design that they later developed at the 1958 World Cup, which they conquered. In 1962, Brazil made a deeper adjustment to create a 4-3-3 formation, with coach Mario zagallo asking his attacking players to retire in midfield. At the next World Cup, in England in 1966, the hosts and champions used a more defensive midfielder, Nobby Stiles, in a 4-1-2-3 formation. Although 4-3-3 was used in Italy, Argentina and Uruguay for many years, the Dutch national team in the 1970s and Ajax in Rinus Michels Y Stefan Covacs they were two of the famous teams that looked for inspiration to use this design. The tactics of these teams led to the concept of total football and encouraged players like Johan Cruyff to use the 4-3-3 when he also became a coach.
What are the responsibilities of the players in the 4-3-3?
The main responsibility of the wingers is to isolate opposing full-backs and attack in one-on-one situations, either outside their opponents to cross or diagonally inside to team up. This last option is frequent for wingers on foot changed or inside forwards looking to get out of the band, also with options to shoot on goal. Wingers that hold an outside position can help enable a space to be filled by inside runs. Meanwhile, a winger that moves inside creates space on the outside for the unfolding of a side.
The only centre-forward in the formation moves down the field as the attacking action unfolds, pinning down the opposing centre-back closest to the ball. The striker can drop short to associate and generate superiority in the center of midfield, or provide direct runs behind the back of the rival defense. These runs are often about trying to get to deep balls, and in the process pushing back the defense. This, in turn, will create central spaces for midfielders or wingers to occupy.
Advantages of this system
- The occupation of space, since it is found with breadth and depth within the field of play.
- We have two players in the same lane, in the case of the winger with the winger, this can generate more effective solutions.
- The two interiors are important, because their position allows them to receive behind the pressure line.