The good old 442 soccer formation. It's the BLT of formations, simple, popular and loved.
So you want to play this formation on the pitch but you don't know too much about it? No problem, the in's and out's of the formation with detailed specifics on each positions role on the field on both sides of the ball.
Detailed overview of which professional sides use this formation and why it's successful for them.
As well as the requirements and demands this formation takes on from an individualistic stand point and as a team. Okay Mourinho time to learn all there is about your teams shape.
The most famous professional side that plays in a 4 4 2 is Atletico Madrid. Next time you watch them play watch how low they sit in the formation when they are defending deep in their own half. Also pay close attention to how the two top strikers interact with each other and how they move off one another.
We know their Coach Simeone loves playing this formation but because it's what he knows but if you notice he always has at least 3 capable strikers that work and can score goals. Having capable hard working strikers is essential to a 4 4 2 soccer formation getting the goals necessary one end but being the first line of solid defensive pressure.
Another team that plays in a 4 4 2 soccer formation is Leicester City of the Premier League.
With a striker like Jamie Vardy you can't blame them, sure they combine with him here and there when they need to but they are looking for route 1 over the top to the speedy clinical striker.
Just like Suarez with Atletico, Vardy works his socks off defensively then transitions beautifully to get on the other end of balls over the top.
I know I know some of you may thinking this formation is out of style and for the direct unattractive teams. Get that out of your head and think about what suits the players the coach has and if it's a 442 so be it.
Sounds like a pretty attacking set up doesn't it? Like any formation it's how you use it.
A typical old school English team can play a 4 4 2 super direct all out offence, where an Atletico Madrid can use it to sit deep and defend with 11 and both are effective.
So if you have the right players and style of play it can be whatever you heart desires.
When determining whether the 4 4 2 soccer formation is for your side you need to ask yourself a few questions.
1. Does this formation provide what I want?
2. Do I have the players necessary to accomplish what I want?
3. Does this formation suit the players I have?
After you've answered these three questions you can start to decide if the well balanced 4 4 2 is for you.
Does this formation combined with the players you have provide a natural fit for your team to be successful? Or are you trying to fly with eagles when you're working with chickens. That's why they pay you the medium bucks coach!
As a player it's important to understand not only the responsibilities of your own position but of others as well. This deeper insight to what's expected of others as well can only help you become a better player. Sometimes knowing others roles helps you understand your own better.
The Defensive line can play:
In a 4 4 2 soccer formation the back four should:
The Midfield line can play:
ohhhh we could go for days, the 4 4 2 in the middle has several variations.
As a unit in a 4 4 2 soccer formation the middle four should:
You need to make sure these two midfielders have a good work rate and are able to deal with teams that line up with 3 center midfielders.
If these players are one way players then get ready for the red sea to open in the middle of the park.
In a 4 4 2 soccer formation the Forward line can play:
If you're not getting what you want from your strikers consider playing two players who have complimentary but contrasting styles in attack. For example a physical good hold up striker with a speedy run in behind type of striker.
Even if you need to move someone up top who isn't a typical striker sometimes giving the opponents back line two different weapons to deal with can cause them issues.
Some things never go out of style, jeans, mullets, mom tattoos and the 4 4 2.
If you're that lone striker up top in a different formation you may want to tell you coach to give you somebody to work with up top, I mean it can't be you, it MUST be the formation right?
Many coaches like this formation because it allows for free flowing offence and you don't give up too much at the back. This set has been proven over time to be successful with the right pieces implemented, so if you hit a cold streak don't go blaming the formation.
Formations and team philosophies go hand and hand. If your coaching philosophy is that of a discipline nature and you have a formation which lacks to stress that theme then you may have some holes in your armour. Find a set that fits what you are preaching and teaching daily, the 4 4 2 might be for you.
It may seem the goalkeeper has the same role in every formation (stop the damn ball from going in) but there's much more to it than that.
If you're playing a formation with a little less defensive support like a back 3 or without a defensive center midfielder than the keeper needs to be quick off their line and act as a sweeper at times.
Just look how Manuel Neur from Bayern Munchen has revolutionized the position by coming off his life and clearing balls that fall in between himself and his defenders.
Goalkeepers in a 4 4 2 soccer formation play a vital role larger than just shot stopping, the sooner you incorporate your goalkeepers qualities into your soccer formation decision making the sooner you can get the best out of each and every player.
Do you have a great story or tip about this formation?