For a long time the English league was dominated the very traditional 4-4-2 formation. It seemed to satisfy what the English game was about. Two centre forwards, goals coming from wide positions and a balanced midfield with two wingers and two central midfielders.
In more recent times we have seemed to opt for more of a 4-5-1 setup. Two out and out centre forwards seemed to be a luxury, and teams with five midfielders seemed to overrun a team with four. This formation could often be a tad defensive, and often worked better on the back-foot. Chelsea played it very well, but were never the best team to watch.
The newest development seems to be a variant of Barcelona’s system which has seen them dominate football with a game built around possession and clever, intricate forward play. It’s a style of Total Football that Barcelona has favoured since the days of Johan Cruyff. Free running, pass and move forward players are central to it, and the way the Premier League plays it, it’s probably best described as a 4-2-3-1.
It allows the four forward players – sometimes including one out-and-out centre forward – to mill about the final third in an unrestrained way, and it makes for some very exciting football. Man City seem to be its current best exponents, with Silva, Aguero, Milner and Balotelli running riot amongst English defences and notching up a record goals tally.
This spells exciting times for the Premier League. If Man City can make a real impact and win the title they will probably dictate how the game is played. Fortunately, City are an attacking force and our other clubs may have to follow suit to be able to compete consistently.
Systems come and go, and by whatever name, they are often quite similar, but the new way we play the game seems to put emphasis on creative players who can unlock the door and score goals! Good news for the neutral. If you are looking for all of the latest football scores as they happen then why not come over to Latest Football Scores They also have on show some of the latest betting offers!