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Change of Formation required 07:54 - Dec 8 with 574 viewsDennyx4

We are currently getting outnumbered in the central areas in nearly every game, with the top teams now playing a version of 3-5-2 or 5-3-2 depending on the wing backs capabilities.

When playing 4231, we have spare players wide (usually the full backs) who are not contributing enough to make the system work - the opposition however have two spare men centrally.

The two full backs are not doing enough offensively and also not necessarily helping enough defensively either.

I do think we have the players to go 352, and believe it would make us tougher to score against, as well as giving more support to the lone figure of Bonne.

Defensive three from Donacien, Edmundson, Burgess, Nsiala & Woolfenden
Wing backs from Burns, Coulson, Vincent-Young & Penney
Midfield three from Morsey, Carroll, Evans, Harper, El Mizouni & Celina
Front Two from Bonne, Chaplin & Pigott (possibly Jackson / Norwood)

My favoured 11 would be

Walton
Donacien, Edmundson, Burgess
Burns, Carroll. Morsey, Coulson
Celina
Chaplin & Bonne

But Vincent-Young or Penney could replace Coulson whilst injured

Also in tougher games like Wigan away potential to drop Celina for a Fraser / Harper or El Miz.

The only players not fitting the system would be Aluko & Edwards - but could work in a 343 and using a bit of width as a change option of the bench.
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Change of Formation required on 08:00 - Dec 8 with 531 viewsDubtractor

A change of formation could help, but if neither of Evans or Morsy can be bothered to do the basics off the ball and track runners then we'll still be overrun. Those 2 put in a disgusting performance last night.

This isn't just because Cook has gone either. It happened all game against Crewe, and has been an issue at various points all season

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Change of Formation required on 08:12 - Dec 8 with 507 viewsDennyx4

Change of Formation required on 08:00 - Dec 8 by Dubtractor

A change of formation could help, but if neither of Evans or Morsy can be bothered to do the basics off the ball and track runners then we'll still be overrun. Those 2 put in a disgusting performance last night.

This isn't just because Cook has gone either. It happened all game against Crewe, and has been an issue at various points all season


I understand that the players have to put more effort in too, but an extra player centrally just helps to stop players just running through the middle of the pitch.

Rotherham's goal was another key example, it has been happening for a few games now, not just last night.
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Change of Formation required on 08:22 - Dec 8 with 475 viewsWeekender

Ive been wondering that. When 442 was common alternative formations such as 4231/433 became popular as a counter.

Over time many most teams switched to a formation with one up front and we now see 3 at the back increasingly used to provide an extra man in midfield. it certainly works against us at the moment

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Change of Formation required on 08:40 - Dec 8 with 448 viewsSwansea_Blue

Change of Formation required on 08:12 - Dec 8 by Dennyx4

I understand that the players have to put more effort in too, but an extra player centrally just helps to stop players just running through the middle of the pitch.

Rotherham's goal was another key example, it has been happening for a few games now, not just last night.


And you can do that in a 4231 as there are 3 central midfielders. The advanced one can drop deep. It's all about how they are set up for different phases of play. We don't appear to know what we're doing and haven't all season, with quality individuals papering over many cracks.

it was different 2nd half when we brought Piggott on and really did go down to just 2 in the middle - then we really did abandon the middle of the park (especially how Evans and morsy had already been overrun, that was a suicide decision). But then we were getting beaten for fun in behind the fullbacks all night too, so it wasn't just about the centre.

In short, charlton were much better drilled than us, cared more than us and enjoyed themselves more than us.
[Post edited 8 Dec 2021 8:41]

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Change of Formation required on 08:50 - Dec 8 with 417 viewsDennyx4

Change of Formation required on 08:40 - Dec 8 by Swansea_Blue

And you can do that in a 4231 as there are 3 central midfielders. The advanced one can drop deep. It's all about how they are set up for different phases of play. We don't appear to know what we're doing and haven't all season, with quality individuals papering over many cracks.

it was different 2nd half when we brought Piggott on and really did go down to just 2 in the middle - then we really did abandon the middle of the park (especially how Evans and morsy had already been overrun, that was a suicide decision). But then we were getting beaten for fun in behind the fullbacks all night too, so it wasn't just about the centre.

In short, charlton were much better drilled than us, cared more than us and enjoyed themselves more than us.
[Post edited 8 Dec 2021 8:41]


I get that you can have three midfielders in that formation, however the full backs are just not working as our spare men.

We are often left with 2 v 2 at the back and Bonne up against three central defenders on his own.

The full backs have to deliver more to make 4231 work, and currently they are not helping offensively or defensively.

The 352 gives you an extra centre back to deal with the two (Washington & Stockley from yesterday), but also gives Bonne somebody to work with, without getting outnumbered in midfield.

The third midfielder at present is caught between a rock and a hard place - either help out the midfield and make it 3 v3 in there or support Bonne & leave the midfield one man down, but no support for our striker. Just think the 352 solves the issue.
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Change of Formation required on 08:51 - Dec 8 with 414 viewsKieran_Knows

How can you change a formation when the squad is built for 4-2-3-1?

All this clamour for 2 up top as well, deary me.

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Change of Formation required on 08:53 - Dec 8 with 409 viewsportmanking

Change of Formation required on 08:51 - Dec 8 by Kieran_Knows

How can you change a formation when the squad is built for 4-2-3-1?

All this clamour for 2 up top as well, deary me.


I'm not even sure the squad IS built for 4-2-3-1. Not how a 4-2-3-1 SHOULD be played, anyhow.
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Change of Formation required on 08:57 - Dec 8 with 391 viewsrickw

I really don't think the formation matters - most teams play different formations these days, we've seen with some of England's weird systems even the strangest looking system can work if the players are well coached....

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Change of Formation required on 09:07 - Dec 8 with 374 viewsstrikalite

Yep it's what I'd play anyway for what it's worth, but it needs to be high press and are we brave enough as a team to do that? As you rightly say the 4-2=3=1 is fine with flying wing backs but we're missing that aren't we, so effectively we have six defensive minded players out of ten on the pitch, when we get pushed back it's pretty easy to defend..

Swap Burgess for Woof(because he's better on the ball)and get El Miz in the middle maybe with Morsy with license to get forward and you have a deal :)

The beauty about two upfront is you are involving possibly four strikers....two obviously playing, make a change after 70 minutes for the third to be involved and if one gets injured that's your fourth .....you have to have firepower, right now we're not worrying defences enough, Bonne is totally isolated time after time..
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Change of Formation required on 09:23 - Dec 8 with 338 viewswiltshireblue

Change of Formation required on 08:57 - Dec 8 by rickw

I really don't think the formation matters - most teams play different formations these days, we've seen with some of England's weird systems even the strangest looking system can work if the players are well coached....


I'd agree with this. Whilst I don't think our current formation is 'right' the overriding failure comes from the general players application and commitment to the cause on the pitch.

Clearly not being overrun in midfield helps and gives them a boost of confidence so I would support a new formation to bolster the central midfield. But I don't think this is the root cause, but rather a way of trying to plug the gaps of a relatively unmotivated squad with a captain who I don't believe wants to be here which can't be a good thing and others who play like they shouldn't be here (Evans).

I can't remember the wording Mick Mills used last night but essentially on a rare breakaway we had he noted the Charlton desire to get back and defend was greater than our desire to support our breakaway attacker.

And that's it in a nutshell really if we can't be bothered to have that natural drive to apply ourselves man by man the overall formation becomes a bit more irrelevant. Until we get that desire and application any change of formation I think will simply be to plug some gaps rather than excel and achieve good performances.

I believe Cook was devoid of the alternative plans and didn't have the support staff / coaching staff there of the high enough quality / experience. But I also believe that as a professional footballer you have the responsibility to apply yourself on an individual basis regardless of what is going on around you.

I know me as a fan I admire the commitment, passion and effort of a player even in a loss and ask for nothing more but the scary thing is we seem devoid of it throughout the team at the moment
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Change of Formation required on 09:39 - Dec 8 with 286 viewsDennyx4

Change of Formation required on 08:51 - Dec 8 by Kieran_Knows

How can you change a formation when the squad is built for 4-2-3-1?

All this clamour for 2 up top as well, deary me.


We need to be adaptable, doesn't mean to say 4231 is put to bed forever, just at present trying to negate the obvious weaknesses that we have in the full backs, and the lack of bodies centrally compared to the teams we are playing.

I think we have the players to play 352 within the squad, as per the original post.

The two up top, wasn't the rational for the suggestion in changing formation, but don't necessarily see that as a bad thing?
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