The 4-3-1-2 has actually been offered a lot recently by both young managers, simply as much as older managers. Just as the beautiful video game has evolved, so has actually the 4-3-1-2. Native the 1980’s argentinian variation of the 4-3-1-2 through a pure playmaking 10, to Marco increased with his MönchenGladbach counter-pressing and fluidity in attack. The 4-3-1-2 itself is really fluid and also offers a many variarity.

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As discussed above, the Argentinian 4-3-1-2 was mostly to facilitate the attacking talent the Argentinian national team had during the 80’s, such together Riquelme and also the so late Diego Maradona.

Up with 00’s a renewal of the 4-3-1-2 came earlier on the team sheet for optimal clubs, through José Mourinho’s 4-3-1-2 at Porto, winning both continent cups during his time at the club. Among the 4-3-1-2 best attributes is the for a hardworking team with less talent, the development to better achievements 보다 the amount of the part. As José Mourinho’s next demonstrated. You can argue that José Mourinho’s Inter morphed right into a 4-3-1-2 in the champion League, with Chivu ~ above the left dropping back and Eto’o pushing up to Milito v Sneijder in the hole.

Carlo Ancelotti’s Milan also used the 4-3-1-2, but unlike José’s, Carlo’s had method more flair and creativity come his side, thus having flanking destroyers such together Ambrosini and Gattuso protecting Andrea Pirlo (Rui Costa in this line-up), who’d spray long passes come the attackers and Kaka’.


More modern-day usage is Maurizio Sarri’s Empoli and also Juventus sides, Massimiliano Allegri’s 2010/11 Serie A winning AC Milan side, Marco Giampaolo’s Sampdoria side v Fabio Quagriarella that scored 57 purposes in three seasons throughout Marco’s tenure in ~ the club, Marcelo Gallardo’s first season at flow Plate utilizing it more defensive oriented variation to develop stability to slowly push his side right into using a 3-4-1-2 and Marco increased who has installed a high level of fluidity in his past RedBull Salzburg and also now his MönchenGladbach side.

Part summary: The production of the 4-3-1-2 to be to facilitate a pure playmaking 10. Yet as fitness levels, counter-pressing and the fade far of a pure 10 rose, the development shifted function.

Modern use

The 4-3-1-2 offers a the majority of fluidity. It have the right to easily shift into defence and offense aswell. By having the 4-3-1-2 together a basic formation, allowing change into various other formations such together 3-4-1-2 easily, the can develop problems for the opposition together the press and also their protective shape deserve to be disrupted and also thus be the end of sync or fully useless. As limited positions have readjusted into zonal area play, the 4-3-1-2 have the right to look a lot choose a 4-4-2 diamond, without trying. Football has nearly gone complete abstract with minds such together Marco Rose and René Marić in ~ MöncheGladbach, where their 4-3-1-2 conveniently transforms into something like a 4-2-3-1. The 4-3-1-2 can basically morph into a more possesion oriented formations and an ext counter oriented formations aswell.

Build-up and offense

As play out native the ago has obtained popularity and keeping possession aswell, this is just how the 4-3-1-2 commonly takes shape during a goalkick. The fullbacks (2 & 3) will commonly look to stay close come the centerbacks (4 & 5) to sell a passing option. Through teams pressing this set up periodically will be simple to counter if the fullbacks are isolated in the press and also easily compelled to go long. That is why the the 10 and also 11 fall deeper and will roam from place while the 9 will certainly be ready to peel away v a ball into space.


The halfspaces are really important in possession. Every successful team that provides the 4-3-1-2 one of two people overloads the halfspaces with the 9 & 7 or 8 & 11. Occasionally the 10 could drift come the halfspace aswell producing an even bigger overload. The 7 or 8 will place themselves to obtain a pass from the centerbacks therefore they can turn quickly or pat a one touch pass to the fullback or 6. When the beautiful video game has gotten means more liquid over the years, the main difference in between the 4-3-1-2 and the 4-4-2 diamond is that the 6 in the 4-3-1-2 will support strike more, and doesn’t look to drop in in between the centerbacks and also create a 3 at the back. The reason why the halfspaces are used in the contemporary game is due to the fact that they are difficult to zonally mark, guy mark and press. Commonly a player sprints right into the halfspace and also if your marker runs through them there is currently created room where the marker should have been. It is in it the oppositions centerback, fullback or centermidfielder, an are has been created to be exploited through the 4-3-1-2. With the 4-3-1-2, there are a many players prepared to move right into the halfspace.

The direct ball native the centerbacks to a targetman is also a viable choice with the 4-3-1-2. If stop say, the number 11 decides to drop deep, he has 9, 10 and also 8 prepared to obtain the flick down, pass or header. Or a 3rd man run, which has actually become an ext popular end the years. The concept of the 3rd man operation is that the objective is to get the round to the runner (third man). If the 11 drops, top the sphere to the 10, and also 8 has actually run beyond into the room created by the defender following 11, a 3rd man operation has successfully been created. Long balls directly over the defenders can likewise a good option, you’d ideally want one of the strikers to run right into the channel between the fullback and defender and get into the ball to either score himself, cross it come the other striker or reduced it earlier for a end up from one of two people the 7, 8 or 10.


In defence, counter-pressing and zonal marking can be used, and it frequently depends ~ above where and who lost the ball. Throughout the press, the two flanking midfielders (7 & 8) will press the oppositions fullback, which deserve to leave gaps in the midfield as the 10 is often marking the oppositions DM. The is why a more defensive oriented 6 is offered to anticipate where the gaps deserve to create and fill them in and not to leave also much space himself. The main benefit is the direct marking the the oppositions centerbacks and defensive midfielder against a 4-3-3, one of the many used formations. Do it tough for possession-based teams to circulate the ball in between the main triangle in your setup. A fence to this is the the oppositions fullback regularly is left in room to receive the round from the goalkeeper, while ns addressed the difficulties by using the fullbacks in the build-up, the was based on the hypothetical presumption of playing versus the high press, yet in this instance either the near striker will have to come close him down and also leave his marker, therefore a male unmarked and a passing option or the midfielder has to sprint up and close him down enabling the leftback time and space to pick a pass.


The 4-3-1-2 additionally has problems taking care of high and vast wingers, pinning the fullbacks back, making them useless in defence and also nullified in strike by having a way deeper starting position once the ball has actually been won back. While the 4-3-1-2 doesn’t absence width in attack, in defence the story is a little different. The absence of large cover can produce problems because that the team making use of the 4-3-1-2 versus a 4-3-3 for instance is that while the much side fullback is noting the wide attacker, the oppositions fullback has a many of space to receive a ballswitch from the other side. Think the Andrew Robertson and TAA longballs. The midfield must shuttle end to cover, an interpretation either the striker should drop and cover the fullback or leaving him unmarked and also hope the leftback can win the ball. This constant double thread and also having come support assault by providing width have the right to be tired on the fullbacks, yet footballers this days are physically fit favor never. Or as some has actually begun, when not pressing the 10 becomes the most forward defender, and also the 9 and also 11 drop and go broad to sheathe the fullbacks, making the a 4-3-3 form in defence. However this is only on a video game by video game basis, and in-game tweaks. Simply as the 4-3-1-2 is an excellent at.


Tactical summary

Both respond to attacking and possession football have the right to be play while deploying the 4-3-1-2. Yet it will constantly be the readjust in speed that will capture the the contrary out.

The fluidity of the formation, exactly how it easily morphs into much more attacking or defensive formation is a good weapon. Through the way football has evolved through the years, this is only a positive thing because that the 4-3-1-2 formation

The defensive positioning in some instance can it is in poor and can display the weakness of a narrow formation in defence.

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The 4-3-1-2 is a flexible formation that offers great pressing opportunities, marking options and a totality lot of variation in attack. The development can be greater than the sum of its part or be really individual top quality heavy, escape of how its collection up.