System 2: 1-1-3-4-2
SYSTEM 2: The structure of this system is based on 4 defenders, 4 midfielders and 2 strikers.
The defensive principles are the same with System 2 as with system 1.
The 4 midfielders: With System 2 there are two shapes that can be created in the midfield. There is a ‘diamond’ shape and a zigzag shape similar to a ‘N’ shape. I say similar because you would need to stretch the ‘N’ shape sideways in order to create the correct positioning of the players. If you do not stretch the ‘N’ shape then the players positioning would be too compact.
In order to create the diamond shape the players need to be set up in the following positions. Left midfield, high centre midfield (top of the diamond), deep centre midfield (bottom point of the diamond) and then a right midfield.
The ‘Diamond’ shape: This shape creates and extra player in the middle of the field and provides support behind the front 2 strikers, especially when defending 16 yards. This formation strengthens the middle of the field and could therefore be used against an opposition team that enjoys attacking through their midfield.
The zigzag shape changes according to the game. Assuming you are playing a team you uses 1-3-3-1.
The strikers are very important when playing this system; they have to be fit, as they will be required to perform a lot of running across the width of the field. It is impossible to high press a 16yard free hit with only 2 strikers. There is too much running required and too much space around them to high press. However you can allow them to play the ball wide and then cut the field in half at a shallow level so that if they wanted to switch they would have to be brave enough to switch the ball deep in the defensive 25 zone.
When utilizing the ‘diamond formation the high midfielder at the top of the diamond can assist the 2 strikers by filling the gap in the middle of the field, not committing into any tackle in this area and allowing their player in the middle of the field to receive it and then applying max pressure forcing the ball to move wide or back again. The 2 strikers have to shuttle across the width of the field always trying to keep the ball in front of them, and making sure that their outside defender does not creep up the field and get ahead of them. When the ball is being played around the back and it moves into the outside defenders zone then the outside midfielder steps up and assists the two strikers in applying pressure and forcing the ball down the line.
On occasions the sweeper of the other team may start to walk the ball up in the middle of the field in an attempt to target a player higher in the field. This requires very good communication from behind as it is central and in order for the high CM to put pressure on this player and not the 2 strikers the players behind need to give the CM the go ahead to step. The striker will only put pressure on a sweeper that is carrying the ball if they are in the width of the field but once again this requires communication from behind, as players will have to slot over and up in order to ensure that the ball side is being marked tightly. In the middle of the field in this situation the deep CM will have to be aware of what the oppositions central defender and CM are doing. The deep CM will need to be aware of both these two players movements and will also have to be disciplined enough to hold the central zone and not move to the side of the field where their opposition may be leading to. The sweeper will have to try position themselves in the line of the target ball. The outside midfielders must ‘tuck in’ at this stage. What this means is that the outside midfielders will move slightly more infield and closer to the CM trying to force the sweeper to target wide rather than straight through the middle which will then allow the team to regroup and defend from the width again.
ADVANTAGES of System 2: