The most important part of football tactics is the formation of teams. Formation of teams classifies the members in numbers who function as defenders, midfielders and attackers respectively. It is not like all the changes and development of the formation and systems in football occurred in a while. The formation of teams kept changing and developing as per requirements or in order to improve the system since football was discovered.
Formation is a simplified way to plan the positional tactics of a football team. It makes it easier for the team to describe itself and give its best in the match. The formation you see in modern Times has a long and vast history of changes. Here is a historical overview of the most utilized formations in football.
This formation only includes one defender, one midfielder and the rest of the 8 attackers. It may seem inconceivable to you but it existed a while ago in the 19th century or pre modern era of football you can say.
A team of 10 members consisting of one defender, one midfielder and the rest 8 attacks might seem crazy today. But today’s game would look no different if there is minimal passing and full attack with non stop dribbling.
A major reason behind all the dribbling was the lack of sophistication in football. Also the offside rules were completely different from what you see today. Until offside rules were changed in 1925, the rules stated that a player cannot be ahead to the ball and consequently he had to dribble it forward.
This formation was one of the most standardized formations which lasted for quite a long time. It was used by the originator of football in Britain. Don’t you think that the formation transitioned from 1-1-8 to 2-3-5 directly. It did not happen in a day or month. Many other unsuccessful formations were taken into practice in between. With the introduction of offside rules in 1925 the formation was developed more adapted to offside.
Another interesting formation introduced after 2-3-5 was W-M. It refers to the two clusters consisting of 5 players each. The Attacking cluster of 5 was positioned in the shape of W and defender cluster as M. This formation was innovated by great football theoretician Graham Chapman in the early 1930s. Various teams used this formation in the world cup of 1950 except for the winning team.
After the introduction of offside rule in 1925, numerous new playing systems and methods developed. This formation was one of them that was taken into practice. Formation 3-2-5 benefited attackers and that’s why the third defender was considered necessary. Still it was a direct emphasis on attack. Among the most successful teams which used this formation is Arsenal.
You might ask how can the team be divided into four units when there has always been only 3. Well, this was a very different formation than the normal ones. It was introduced in Italy consisting of 4 units instead of defender-midfielder-attacker configuration. But once taken into practice by Italy, this formation helped the team win the 1934 and 1938 world cups.
This formation was invented in Brazil. It was first tested in the Brazilian League and was most used by Brazilian teams. Brazil also won the world cup in 1958 by using this formation. Brazil became the country to this formation most. They used it again in 1970 and consequently got the supreme results.
This was a modern football formation that was first used by England in the 1966 world cup. Another special fact about this modern way of organizing a team is that it was the only formation without any wing forwards.
This formation with 5 defender players and only one attacker seems crazy. It was developed by popular inter coach Helenio Herrera. It was mainly focused on defence but also allowed counterattack. Italian teams had the most success with this formation. The Italian national team also won a silver medal in the World Cup 1970 by using this formation.
4-4-2 is a sophisticated form of 4-3-3 which was used by Swedish clubs including Malmo FF and IFK Gothenburg. The Swedish team achieved international success with this formation. But its invention originates in Russia as Soviet Russian coach Victor Maslov introduced it. It focuses on collective play strategy. It’s success can be estimated by the fact that it is still used by some countries specially in British top football.
Another most utilized formation is 3-5-2 which emphasize on individual skills. It proved lucky for Germany as it won the world cup in 1990 using this formation. It is also used today in some countries. It is yet unknown when it first came into practice . But it is said that it was materialized when Miroslav Blazevic coached Dinamo Zagreb.