Football tactics: The 4-3-3 False 9

I may not be the greatest manager or even a manager of any football team because I’m just 15 and not good enough or passionate as some people say but I love to study the beautiful game. So here’s my review one of the new and most mindful formation of the modern football- the 4-3-3 false 9

False-9 is more of a position than a formation. Many managers found success employing that position in their teams – Francesco Totti for Roma, Robin van Persie for Arsenal. But Lionel Messi, first under Pep Guardiola and then under Tito Vilanova, changed history playing in that position. False-9 is a striker who drops deep (into the midfield) rather than playing in the opposition box. The striker or the false 9 plays a playmaker/attacking midfielder rather than a target man. He’s the type of striker who pulls the defenders towards him and seize a side rule pass to one of the two wingers or false strikers I think to score. If the centre backs doesn’t try to stop the the striker (I.e. the false 9) the team will move higher up the pitch and will try to shoot if got an opportunity. The wingers in this formation always get in behind or cut inside

How to break it ?

The simplest solution of breaking this complex formation is to have a deep lying playmaker type pivot (defending midfielder) tasked to mark the false 9. The “park the bus” (when all players on a team play defensively I’m their own half with the goal in mind to draw or defend a narrow margin) can be done to break this typical attacking formation.


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