Tag: FC Barcelona

Teamwork: Understanding the 4-5-1 Formation

The 4-5-1 formation has become an increasingly established European formation. Coaches and teams alike in Europe have proved it is – if played correctly – one of the most effective soccer formations.

Some of the notable teams that use this formation are:

  • Spanish, European and world champions FC Barcelona;
  • English Premier League champions and European runners-up Chelsea FC; and
  • AC Milan of the Italian Serie A among others.

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Loyalty…What Loyalty?

Recently the discussion came up regarding team loyalty at all levels of play or should I say the lack of team loyalty. Every year, and more often than not, players at all levels are switching teams to seek greater personal fame, a larger pay cheque or immediate championships. The sense of loyalty where young players grow up supporting their favorite team and then playing for them is gone. This type of behavior hurts the game in the short and long run. Furthermore, it takes away from fan enjoyment. This type of non-loyalty is becoming common in all sport today including the NHL, NBA and the NFL. When there is a lack of respect, loyalty and honor, aspects surrounding the sport begin to lose value quickly. The expression “blood, sweat and tears” is no more.

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How to Maximize Ball Possession

Many teams in North America have developed a bad habit of playing the long ball. From a young age players think that it is acceptable for their first choice of attack, counter attack and defensive clearances to simply kick the ball down the field, battle for the next possession and hope to come out on top. It’s similar to the “dump and chase” style that some hockey teams will play.  Growing up, I played on a couple teams whose coaches taught this style of play. And those that did actually tell us to play this way certainly did not speak against it. This whole style of play needs to change.

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Defender’s Guide: Left & Right Back

The fullback, aka the left or right back, plays a very crucial role in modern day football.  It is not to say that it never played a crucial role, it suggests that in today’s day and age, the fullback is given much more room to maneuver, but much more responsibility as well.

In the modern day 4-4-2 formation, the fullback has very little support from a defensive standpoint.  Because the defense is arranged in a flat line and the two central defenders have the responsibility of marking the two forwards, the fullbacks are left to fend for themselves in many regards. 

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