Vital Football

Latest Aston Villa News

Why Villa should NOT play 4-4-2

Why Villa should NOT play 4-4-2

Being English, a lot of us seem to think that 4-4-2 is the way to play. But I really don`t think it is. I have mentioned it a few times in my, 'The Week In Villa` column, and our results can also point to my argument.

Here are ten reasons why I believe we should play 4-3-3/4-5-1.

1. Plenty of teams play it, so when we play 4-4-2, the opposition have the extra man in the middle. It was extremely evident against Chelsea, and if we play 4-4-2 against Liverpool, Gerrard will probably end up with the freedom of the pitch. Even teams that DO play 4-4-2 have creative 'in-the-hole` kind of strikers. Looking at our most recent opponents, Robbie Keane is a perfect example.
2. Petrov and Barry. Two cracking players, who would get in many teams in the Premiership. However, they have one negative point in common - both of them lack pace. With three central midfielders this is less of a problem, as they are generally in tighter situations with less ground to cover. When it is just the two of them, the gaps are larger, there is more ground to cover and their lack of pace becomes more of an issue. This is especially a problem when the opposition are on the counter attack.
3. We win the ball higher up the pitch most the time - this is perfect for our counter attacking style of play.
4. Offensively, it offers a lot more fluidity than the 'tram-lines` of a 4-4-2. It is harder to mark players, and it is so much more difficult for defenders to pick up the likes of Ashley Young and James Milner.
5. That also makes us more threatening on the counter, as generally, the wide players play 10/20 yards further inside than in the tram-line of a 4-4-2.
6. The starting position of a striker can be better, depending on whom it is. In terms of Gabriel Agbonlahor, he is more suited to the lone striker role because it is easier to make use of his pace. It is easier to run off the full-back and involves more 'coming in from the outside` - something Thierry Henry used to do at Arsenal all the time. Agbonlahor is nowhere near the class of Henry, but he is damn sure in the same league when it comes to speed.
7. Petrov generally plays the holding role. However if he does decide to push on, it leaves us less vulnerable as there are two midfielders to potentially slip in behind.
8. With Petrov playing that role, it also generally means it is Gareth Barry supporting the forwards when we play 4-4-2. With the lone striker formation, Barry has another midfield partner pushing on which keeps the defenders guessing more on who to pick up.
9. It also means that as they are coming from deep, they are harder to pick up.
10. The system also gives more freedom to the full-backs to push on. Of course, our full-backs are a source of frustration for most of us but in theory, it should mean that the full-backs - who get a LOT of the ball in the English game - can go forward with more confidence.

So, suffice it to day, I really do not believe we should 4-4-2! Yes there are times when it is appropriate (a plan B is important, and something we seem to be lacking) and I would love to see us sign a real top-class striker and if we do then it raises the question of what to do there, but to be honest I would like us to bring in another midfielder, one who has real offensive flair, but that is another discussion for another time.

Bottom line - if we play 4-4-2 against Liverpool tomorrow, I am convinced we will lose. Not saying I am confident we will win with one up top, but we stand a better chance of getting something out the game with that formation.



For the very latest Premier League odds


Free £15 bet when you spend £5 on The New Football Pools




Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Sheriff Kimbo
Date:Saturday March 21 2009
Time: 5:50PM

Comments

0
By all means at Anfield but sorry I was bored stiff with one up front at home it never worked if you remember? Plus it has turned Gabby into a player who has gone from looking for the ball through the gaps or over the top to one that tries to play with his back to goal but doesn't have the touch to do it. His pace being his only real asset he needs to be looking for the ball over the top not playing with his back to goal. Just because we fluke a few away wins when JC was out doesn't mean we should return to it now we have 4 fit strikers.
Villan57
21/03/2009 18:23:00
0
100% agree with this post. The players we have at our disposal are definitely best suited to it. As for at home, we should play it but not with Gabby. It should be with Carew when fit and Heskey if not. I am convinced that we would now be at least six points ahead of Arsenal if we MON had not tried fix (by playing Heskey) something that wasn't broken!
Nigel-not-Reo
21/03/2009 19:58:00
0
I think you're bored at home cause most teams come to Villa Park to defend & we aint great at breaking them down, regardless of formation. I'm also not saying there is NO place for 4-4-2, just explaining why it's NOT a fluke that we had better results with that formation.
Sheriff Kimbo
21/03/2009 19:58:00
0
thats the most sensible post i've seen on here. your right about home too but to fix that we need a creative midfielder.
themightyatom
22/03/2009 09:18:00
0
I feel the 4-5-1 is the way to go. It makes us harder to breakdown and makes it easier for young and jimmy to get on the ball and do what they do best. I cant stand the long ball game we use so much when Carew is playing as they are all aimed for him to get his head on, but with just Gabby up top the long ball, when used is much more dangerous as they are aimed in behind the back and Gabby's pace allows him to nip in and get scoring chances.
Tallaght Villan
22/03/2009 11:12:00
0
Agree entirely and can't argue with any of those well put points Sheriff. MON must see the light.
Villan444
22/03/2009 11:17:00
0
Youre so right, you were in a title challenge when you played 4-5-1, with Barry Nigel + Stan in midfield. Why you bought Heskey and changed a winning system ive no idea!
HuddersfieldYiddo
22/03/2009 17:06:00
0
HY, please tell this to MON as he's the only one that has missed it!
Nigel-not-Reo
22/03/2009 18:12:00
0
Interesting article, obviously well thought out, and it clearly provides food for thought. Cant say that I fully agree with it, although I can appreciate and understand exactly where Sheriff Kimbo is coming from.
glensider
09/04/2009 23:12:00
0
I personally think that playing with two out and out front men, John Carew and Gabby Agbonlahor for arguments sake, see's us provide much more of a threat to the opposition, certainly in games played at Villa Park. We lack creativity in midfield as it is, to curb our goalscoring potential too, would in my mind, be a big mistake. Interesting.
glensider
09/04/2009 23:15:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Aston Villa Articles

Kodjia Gets Player Of The Month Gong - Nov

Striker Jonathan Kodjia has been named the PFA Player of the Month winner for his efforts over the course of November, and manager Steve Bruce...

Bruce Previews Leeds Clash

Manager Steve Bruce has held his pre game press conference ahead of this weekend's clash against Leeds United.

Video Interview - Steve Bruce On Mind Blowing Xia Plans

Mind blowing plans for Aston Villa... nice!

Something For The Weekend (554)

Villa hope and faith requited...

Archived Vital Villa Articles

Vital Villa articles from

Site Journalists

J P Fear
Editor email
Profile
Mike Field
Editor email
Profile
Steve Wade
no email
Profile
Villa_Grizzly
no email
Profile
Turkish Penguin
no email
Profile
Glensider
no email
Profile
Chris Heath
no email
Profile
M Calucar
no email
Profile
JuanPablo Angel
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Villa v Leeds (away) will:
Suggested By: Mystic Mug
Win48%
Lose28%
Draw23%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Newcastle 19 13 1 5 40 21
2 Brighton 18 11 5 2 38 17
3 Reading 18 10 4 4 34 6
4 Birmingham 18 8 7 3 31 5
5 Leeds Utd 18 9 2 7 29 1
6 Huddersfield 18 9 2 7 29 -3
7 Sheff Wed 18 8 4 6 28 0
8 Norwich 18 8 3 7 27 -1
9 Derby County 18 7 5 6 26 3
10 Fulham 18 6 7 5 25 4
11 Aston Villa 18 5 10 3 25 3
12 Preston 18 7 4 7 25 2
13 Forest 19 7 4 8 25 1
14 Bristol City 18 7 3 8 24 2
15 Ipswich 18 6 6 6 24 0
16 Q.P.R. 19 6 5 8 23 -8
17 Brentford 18 6 4 8 22 3
18 Barnsley 18 6 4 8 22 0
19 Wolves 19 5 6 8 21 -3
20 Burton 18 4 7 7 19 -5
21 Blackburn 18 5 4 9 19 -7
22 Wigan 18 4 6 8 18 -4
23 Cardiff 18 5 3 10 18 -12
24 Rotherham 18 1 4 13 7 -25
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
What next for Mercedes?
Latest Vital Boxing News
BBBoC to Hold Hearing After Blackwell Incident
The Vital Football Members League

Recent Aston Villa Results (view all)

Aston Villa Fixtures (view all)

Dec 3 2016 5:30PM : Leeds United (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 10 2016 3:00PM : Wigan Athletic (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 13 2016 7:45PM : Norwich City (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 18 2016 12:00PM : Queens Park Rangers (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 26 2016 3:00PM : Burton Albion (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 29 2016 7:45PM : Leeds United (H)
Sky Bet Championship

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.The Fear47
2.HeathfieldRoad187433
3.JuanPabloAngel33
4.sirdennis29
5.BodyButter22
6.TuBBz19
7.Wurzel19
8.DeanoVilla15
9.Stephen Jay Hawkings15
10.Melon Donkey12
Vital Football Comment