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Formations Don't Matter 2-3-5

Discussion in 'USA Men' started by yankeeRoyal, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. yankeeRoyal

    yankeeRoyal Member+

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    So, as we all know (I hope) soccer used to have a standard 2 fullbacks, 3 middies, and 5 forwards lineup. Then Brasil adopted a 4-2-4 in 1958-62 and it has been chaos and upheaval ever since.

    However, even back when every team played with 5 forwards and only 2 backs.....the same 3 total goals were scored. Using history as a guide.....it doesn't seem to matter where you position players on the field. The key is having eleven better players on the field.....not how they line-up at the starting whistle.
     


  2. Zycho32

    Zycho32 Member

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    Ookay, lemme provide a sort of elaboration for there are two versions of the formation discussed.

    The first one is the traditional 2-3-5, or Pyramid formation. It was invented back in the 1890's (formations prior to this were even more rediculous; 2-2-6 or 1-2-7 if you can believe it) and stuck around in the genuine big leagues up until the 1930's, when an Offside Ruling Adjustment lead to Arsenal creating what has become known as the WM.

    The WM is fundamentally a 2-3-5, with a few critical differences. To begin with, the center-half (The predecessor of the CM of today) was dropped back much closer to the defensive line, acting as a stopper versus the Center-Forward usually. This permitted the Fullbacks on either side to spread out wide to take on the attacking Wingers. On the attacking side, two of the forwards were more or less dropped back and became Inside-Forwards. Put all that together and you get the 'WM' in the formation name.

    There was a fundamental problem with the WM though, as it became entirely too rigid. This was exploited not by the Brazilians first, but my the Hungarians, who took the WM and refused largely to play to the positional requirements (for instance, the Center-Forward was actually further withdrawn than the Inside-Forwards) and they eviscerated the European Competition (and almost won the '54 WC as a result).

    Then in '58 came the Brazilians and their 4-2-4. And the rest is history.


    By the way, the USMNT was a complete follower of the 2-3-5 Pyramid all the way up to the '50 WC. And their record against their 'tactically evolved' European counterparts were nothing less than brutal.

    You can't even really say it was a wide difference in talent because the US Players actually went to the WM for the '50 WC and made a much better showing of themselves than in the previous three years.
     
  3. yankeeRoyal

    yankeeRoyal Member+

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  4. Spursfan1

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    depressing how behind the US is.
     


  5. Excellency

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    My first position was left inside forward in a 2-3-5 (for some reason I seem to recall it being called 5-3-2). The inside forwards returned deep to defend, the wings and cf did not.
     
  6. Zycho32

    Zycho32 Member

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    For all I know, the USMNT did the same thing after 1950. And in all fairness, that was so behind the times it isn't even funny. I don't think they shifted to anything more 'modern' until the early 70's, and even that is sketchy because all I have to go on are lineup reports.
     
  7. Excellency

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    Formations are like battle plans, they do not survive first contact with the enemy.
     
    yankeeRoyal and vaquero28 repped this.
  8. Zycho32

    Zycho32 Member

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    Here's some additional points.

    -The Pyramid 2-3-5 died out in Europe because the WM exploited the considerable gaps in the back corners. (To those who played the 2-3-5 growing up, how did you guys defend the edges anyway?)
    -The WM died out in Europe because it was too rigid and could be ruthlessly exploited even before the 4-2-4 came along, but I already mentioned that.

    -There's a fundamental problem with the 'Formations Don't Matter' philosophy. Mainly, the only style I have EVER heard of which truly applied this concept was Total Football in the 70's. And that required a level of Elite-Level-Versatility which few people could match. (Shoot, I can really only think of one- ONE- US Athlete in the history of American Sports who could've played in that system, and he played Basketball). Everyone else who can't reach that level, whether internationally or domestically, ends up occupying a set position or role, which forces the usage of Formations.
    -Formations themselves are more of a structural foundation for set plays and strategies, emphasizing as many strengths as possible in the roster while hiding whatever weaknesses they can. You won't see eleven people rigidly stick to the formation for all 90 minutes- this isn't American Football, which can get away with such rigidity because they frequently start and stop play- but you will see a loose adherence to it, especially when dropping back on defense or making a diagrammed attack run on the opposing goal. Basically it's more play-and-strategy oriented than Basketball used to be.
    -I hate to be a Richard, but I have to point out that when you note that the average amount of goals scored hasn't changed between a historic time and the modern days, you're not supposed to draw that conclusion in a relative vacuum of data. This isn't like absolutely NOTHING changed about the game other than how they lined up. You have changes in rules, changes in overall athleticism, organic shifts in strategy to combat the established doctrines which in turn breed MORE shifts in strategy. So many different things poured into a proverbial melting pot and stirred up.

    ...put it this way; put one team in a 2-3-5 and another team in a 4-4-2, and you'll have to have a SIGNIFICANT difference in talent before the former team can conceivably beat the latter.
     
  9. yankeeRoyal

    yankeeRoyal Member+

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    +1.

    A lot depends on the competition as well. A 2-3-5 becomes a 4-5-1 when you're getting dominated.
     
  10. yankeeRoyal

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    Goals are objective, as are wins. Everything else is talk. So especially when speaking of historical comparisons, I keep to facts and try to leave out the poetry and style arguments. Cheers. :)

    If I line up my team in a 2-3-5 and we are killing your boys in a 4-4-2. I'm happy.
    If your team is killing mine. I drop the wingers back to defense....a 4-3-3.....and hope to weather the storm.
     
  11. Excellency

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    Actually, the inside forwards come back to central mid, the centerhalf goes back to dmid and the left and right mids become fullbacks which is what I think happened in reality.
     
  12. yankeeRoyal

    yankeeRoyal Member+

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    i'm a rebel. :)
     
  13. Excellency

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    You took a short cut.
     
  14. sidefootsitter

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  15. TheNearPost

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    True, but that was still an adjustment of shape...

    http://www.zonalmarking.net/2012/10...ngerous-lead-two-men-a-significant-advantage/

    [​IMG]

    Again, I think it might depend on the game. There are games that are way too fast paced for formations to matter. There are others in which it's a chess match and you're required to analyze things like shape, or the king will be staring at the wrong end of a rook's path.

    I would also say that as far as "SAF posted a 4-4-2 lineup" goes, we need to be careful. The media might call it a 4-4-2, but it's probably something completely different in the head of the manager. It normally is.
     
  16. yankeeRoyal

    yankeeRoyal Member+

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    So the 2-3-5 and then the WM both died out because they were "ruthlessly exploited" by new formations? Do you have any historical evidence to bolster this thesis?

    How did those of us who played the 2-3-5 defend the edges? The two backs would pick up the wingers everybody else would drop back.
     
  17. yankeeRoyal

    yankeeRoyal Member+

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    Agreed, much depends on the opponent. If you were coaching v Barcelona and started in a 4-5-1, and I was coaching v Barcelona and started in a 2-3-5.......we'd both likely end up in a 6-3-1
     
  18. TheNearPost

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    If the two backs picked up the wingers... wouldn't that leave the center of defense wide open since the wingers are, well..... wide?

    Again, I love tactics, but I'm still pretty young so this is going back to a time that I'm not well-versed in.
     
  19. Spursfan1

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    Actually quite often you will see teams push both back forward and leave only the CBs back.

    Especially with SPain.
     
  20. Zycho32

    Zycho32 Member

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    Historical evidence? I would probably point out that the last team to win the World Cup with a 2-3-5 was Uruguay in 1950. Last team to win with a WM in the World Cup was West Germany in 1954. The last time a WM formation won a European Championship was in 1964. And to be honest, that's virtually the entirety of my evidence, but unless I'm reading false information here (Book I'm taking this from is 'The Complete Book of Soccer' which was edited by Chris Hunt) then it seems the WM ceased to be a viable formation to win the two biggest international titles of the time by the late 60's. I don't know about the rest of the regions. I do think the US continued to use the 2-3-5 OR the WM all the way up to 1970 and maybe a year or two further, but never really won anything anyways.

    And I guess I have to ask a question. If a 2-3-5 can be squished into something like a 4-5-1 out of necessity, then what's the point of the 2-3-5 to begin with? Trying to kick the opposition into submission with 5 Goal Scorers lined up front?

    Guess I shouldn't have added that 'I don't want to be a Richard' bit.

    But lemme add this segment of information concerning the birth of the WM which I should've alluded to in greater detail (from the same book by the way);

    In the 1920's you had to have three defenders in front of an offensive player receiving the ball. And a Fullback playing for Newcastle United by the name of Bill McCracken who exploited this rule frequently by dashing upfield and timing it good enough to cause frequent offsides violations. In fact, this forced the FA to change the Offsides Rule to require only two players to be in front of the offensive player receiving the ball. This change took effect before the 1925-26 season (oddly enough AFTER McCracken retired as a player, if his wikipedia article is accurate). Scoring took off that year, 6373 Goals for all four divisions of the English Football League (4,700 for the year prior).

    Almost immediately the WM was created by Herbert Chapman(Manager of Arsenal FC) and Charlie Buchan(Forward and Team Captain of Arsenal FC) which coincided with the change in the Offsides Rule- and was successful enough that the WM became the accepted formation over the standard 2-3-5 for English Football by the 1930's.
     
  21. yankeeRoyal

    yankeeRoyal Member+

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    Thank you for your research and polite posts. Cheers!
    As I say in my title: Formations Don't Matter. A 2-3-5 or a 4-5-1 can become any formation once the whistle blows......so there is little point in any formation except to give players a broad idea of what the coach wants at the beginning of a game.

    I think the 2-3-5 came about because people recognized how difficult it is to score. Imagine a 5 on 2 break.......how often would that result in a goal? I would say 1 chance in 10.
     
  22. Zycho32

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    Thanks for the kind praise.

    Actually, the 2-3-5 was originally created to put more players in the midfield and defense as opposed to putting more players on offense.

    When the 2-3-5 was invented in the 1890's, the prevailing formations were of the 'English' and 'Scottish' varieties. If you can believe it, the English version was a 1-2-7! The Scots meanwhile, brought out a more advanced 2-2-6 system.

    According to the book, the English system was prevalent on a forward with the ball dribbling it forward until he lost possession, whereupon another forward behind him would retrieve the ball and continue the advance. The Scots system had more of an emphasis on passing and teamwork and actually dominated the 'soccer' scene until the Pyramid came about.
     
  23. Excellency

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    Interesting, the English system sounds "rugby-like" altho I don't know much about rugby. Did soccer evolve out of rugby?
     
  24. Lemonade

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    A formation directly correlates with a player who has a specific skill-set and assignment at the various positions and thus matters. A 4-x-x is different from a 3-x-x and it changes quite substantially how the back line behaves and how an attack is initiated. And if you look at after game heat maps you can see, that most players constantly fall back to their assigned positions.
    What 4-2-3-1 doesn't mean is that there will always be 4 in the back, 5 in the middle and one in the front, it is just a simpler way of writing CB-CB-LB-RB-DM-DM-AM-LW-RW-FW. But then you will run into the problem on how to easily distinguish between a FB in a 4-2-3-1 and a 4-4-2
     
  25. vaquero28

    vaquero28 Member

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    I started out playing the 2 3 5. However in the 70s we changed to a 3-2-3-2 where I played the center offensive half and more or less orchestrated play. Today that would be called a 3-5-2 but since the field is divided into 4 areas of responsibility (rungs) it technically is a 3232. That is a formation that Brasil used and was called the WW (as the opponents see it) back then. It is mobile, easily adaptable from defense to offense and when a team gets used to it and disciplined it can be very successful. Movement as a team is important no matter the foundation and any formation breaks down at it's weakest link especially if play is not universally two ways by every position. New names but basically the same...
     

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