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Technical Notes based on the 4-2-3-1 module

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elemen1pThe following pages are personal reflections and an analysis on the 4-2-3-1 module related to the dossier delivered and analyzed during the withdrawal of the CF Sudtirol A Vipiteno (2010 championship). In these pages I tried to analyze a possible module using an intuitive method of communication based on diagrams and drawings. In addition to the indicated module, the main concepts of zone play and other elements of collective tactics are expressed. Some topics could have been studied for the training they were addressed to. For any clarification, clarification, criticism ... I am at your disposal.

Genta Roberto

This form turns out to be in football field much used for its versatility and allows in conditions of a number of players dedicated to attack and then with characteristics offensive to be able to play simultaneously in a rose squad.

This form is extremely offensive in the possession phase and strongly defensive during the non-possession phase. The module requires the presence of side 2 of midfield (lateral trequartisti) very resistant and of a first point very physically strong able to make banks and 1-2 with the 3 trequartisti behind her. This module favors short and quick phrases at long launch due to the presence of only one tip that would not be able to guarantee the depth and then override the midfield and attack with that tactics would be unproductive. In the non-possession phase this module is transformed in an 451 or in an 4411 due to the lowering of the 2 half-tip side.

while in the offensive phase it can become an 433 or the canonical 442

The 4231 module is placed on 4 lines unlike for example the 442 and this feature facilitates offensive staggering. Even in the defensive phase we find more lines of marking and this implies greater difficulty on the part of the adversaries in penetrating in the direction of our door.

This type of module considered by many very static is excellent for less tactical formations that have little time to test patterns and is suitable to cover the field in a homogeneous way.

The 4 defenders in this module are anchored and also the overlap with one of the midfield side many times is not very suitable as these midfielders (trequartisti) normally they are half-tips not able to re-enter and implement a specific defensive phase.

Probably we would have in the line of the 3 midfielders of the half points to which will be asked (especially the side 2) to effectively return in the phase of non-possession (even the central 3 but that will be less important than the other 2) for this the central with the lateral 2s they can change in order to manage the forces in the best way possible.

In case an overlap occurs it will be the median that will have to return to the defensive sector by reconstructing a defensive line to 4. In case a negative transition occurs and the fullback is unable to return in good time, the median will jump into the defensive line and the half-tip, if more backward than the full-back, will go to the middle position.

The figure below shows the movements related to the change of role in the case of a negative transition.

The half-point on the backside's side slips into the middle zone and the full-back becomes half-way, temporarily covering that role.

However, given the characteristics that should have the 3 midfielders (purely offensive) it is not very decisive and effective to use a back-up for the overlap even if this type of choice is not excluded a priori.

The median 2 will play a role both in setting up the ball game for our defense and especially during the non-possession phase by placing an important barrier in front of our defense.

In the non-possession phase, the 2 half-points laterally and theoretically also the central one (many will not be possible) , they must categorically execute the rule of under the ball line thus building a defensive wall to 9 players.

Naturally these players will have to be strongly trained on resistance and speed and for this reason the athletic training will be intensive and sectorial.

The half-tipped 3 are in possession of the ball will come to be a part of the offensive sector making evident the agressiveness of the module used that will put in morphology in difficulty opposing defenses. In the case of a breakaway the median central 2 will be able to slow down the offensive attack and cover the central streets, often trying to slow down the opponent's game with the clear intent of returning the half-tips.

In the case of a team that is too long (ours) the first tip that will receive the ball will be without any support solutions and can only face an 4 against 1 or an 3 against 1, a situation that naturally will not be productive. For this reason a goal of our training will be to always keep the team very short. (the 4231 module facilitates this situation)

The tip in the described module can hardly face a defense deployed to 4 or 3, so often will have to use the exhaust on the 3 midfielders (half points) that then can continue the action and perhaps with an 1 2 bring into play the first tip that in the while you will be inserted between the lines.

As shown in the figure below, the transition to the tip generates depth, the point with a counter movement will have to approach to the ball (received from a median or a midfielder) download at first and passing behind the back to be served in the corridor.

The creation of the corridor must be managed and generated by the right half-point which, positioning itself as below, keeps the defender wide and in any case creates a possible passage to the central half-point.

Another attack solution always with the edge of the first tip:

In this case the lateral trequartista will give ball to the first tip (which will come meeting), the same will download on the central playmaker who will give the ball in the corridor to him which triggered the action. In the figure below we see another type of action always linked to the principle of unloading by the first tip. The right side will give ball to the first tip that will approach, unload on the central which will give ball to the left side in the corridor. The left side can decide the best trajectory of insertion.

Simpler and faster action done only with a triangulation between the ball holder and the first tip. (See next figure)

The side from ball to tip and throws himself into the corridor receiving ball on his run. We see other possible attack movements: in this case a side midfielder has brought the ball to the back of the field and is having to decide on the solutions ... the opposing midfielder is looking for the second pole, the first point is directed towards the center of the door tending to the first post (unless otherwise indicated according to their characteristics), the central midfielder (trequartista), is positioned at the top of the large area and the right median is placed in support of the ball carrier, while the median inside is positioned at the center of the field giving coverage in case of transition.In this case the ball carrier can: put the ball on the second pole, lean on the top of the great arae finding the side midfielder, support the right midfielder, give ball to the first tip in the middle of the door.

Below are the chances that the drill will have in that position and based on that position the various players must respect their role and consequently their position. These movements studied at the table are used to start a new concept called "memory game"

Some defensive notes:

"Our formation does not follow the offside rule"

our formation will have to take particular care of the defensive phase and be able to oppose to the opposing teams a large number of players under the ball line. To do this it is necessary a good athletic condition linked to a particular resistance and speed on negative transitions.

The concept of "under the ball line" must be seen as a goal to be reached, because too many times those who are overtaken do not carry out pressure or position themselves in a way that is useful for training.

Let's see the marking principles of the area:

the movement relative to the exit of the defensive diagona should be performed as shown in the figure, with the full-back facing the ball carrier, the central 1 exited to make the diagonal and the opposing back fuller in place of the defensive central.

The diagonal we do provides the last diagonal 2 perfectly in line with each other and not the last one moved higher.

Now let's see the movement to be performed in the event that the full-back is jumped to make the interception to the ball carrier:

In this case, the full-back is skipped and we often see the unproductive run-up of the jump to the ball carrier. The movement that we ask our full-back is to jump into the diagonal (weakened) and then recreate an optimal coverage situation. Let's see how to deploy the defense in the event of a central attack: In the case of a central attack the defense closes and creates 2 very narrow defensive lines. The nearest central one comes out and a defensive triangle is created behind it.

If the ball carrier passes to his own side-mate, he will undergo the following change. The other defensive central comes out, the one that was outside is returned and the defensive triangle is recomposed

When not in possession of the ball as we have seen our module changes its connotations from an 4231 to a possible 4 4 1 1 (451 is unlikely to be obtainable) and therefore the defensive phase that we will analyze will be that linked to the 2 defensive lines.

Naturally, as already mentioned, the half-tipped 2s in the phase of non-possession must return to the defensive compartment.

Let's now look at the movements in relation to the position of the ball. First example is an attack from the left where we see that the 2 trequartisti placed themselves under the ball line and created a specular diagonal.

This is, of course, the best situation where the trequartists have had time to recede, but if a transition from possession to non-possession occurred, the situation could be as follows:

In this case, given the 4 2 arrangement, we are also in a situation of transition to have 6 players under the ball line (the medians in this module are very defensive). The close playmaker will go to pressure, the other 2 will try to conquer the position in the defensive diagonal in short time.

Let's see now the output for central interception: in this case the half points have had time to create the 2 defensive lines and for this we notice a defensive arrangement typical of the 442 module with the online defensive department and the midfield with the trinagulum arrangement .

In the case shown below, the positioning delay of the lateral half-tips is noted, probably due to a negative transition. In this case, the task of the nearest median is to go out with the clear purpose of temporising and then wait for the help of the side half-punches, only afterwards can a search for possession of the ball begin.

Another possible situation is that highlighted in the figure below where the central defensive is having to undertake an 1 against 1. In this case, the central will have to avoid direct confrontation (if not sure to steal the ball) but maintaining a non-pointing distance will only have to temporize waiting for coverage from the nearest player and the deployment of the defense in addition to the pressure of the median.

Below we can see how the temporalization of the central has allowed the defense to take sides

Let's now look at the case in which the opponent put (as we would do the rest) a very high first point in our defensive line. See figure below

In this case receiving the ball the first tip is to do a one on one and then create a very dangerous situation for us. The other central will have to gain space (at the time of transition between the midfielder and the opponent's point) and position themselves in order to create a second defensive line already at the time of receiving the ball of the tip. Naturally, even the full-backs will have to position themselves according to need.

Of course this arrangement of roles should be helped by the same tip that normally going towards the ball will automatically create the double defensive line.


Now let's look at a particular situation: in this case the right-back has possession and is pressed by an opposing player. One of the games we can do is the one called crescent, as shown in the figure below.

In this case, however, one of the 2 medians should have approached to allow the passage staggered in depth and as a result depicted below the right mezazapunta would have to take the field waiting for passage. This described is a type of restart that must be applied. See figure below

Now let's see how it could continue this restart with a staggered action that involves the discharge of the tip for the central half-point.

Naturally, as depicted, it is essential that the receiver of the ball makes a movement against the ball and does not stop to wait for the ball. The median who receives the ball if marked and unable to effect a pass to the right half-tip (will be warned by the partner that will indicate the close marking) will perform a maneuver of unloading and will try to restart from the opposite side. See figure below

The passage to the median remember that it will be performed in total safety because the loss of the ball in that position would put our training in difficulty in the most dangerous part of the field (central part). The movement of the median must be performed with a race towards the ball carrier with times and spaces related to the action.

Above we see a passage of the fullback to the median that with the right movement has approached the ball carrier and being free can trigger an action in depth (unlike the previous case where he had to download back).

Now let's see in the case of opposing pressure how to gain depth without risking:

in the figure below we see that the ball holder is marked and the passage to the tip could be intercepted and for this reason this silicon is not recommended.

Now let's see how we can achieve the same result without risking interception by the opponent.

Players who do not have the ball will have to put themselves at the disposal of the bearer in order to give easy and effective solutions.

Let's now look at another typical movement that is often performed incorrectly and that closes the way to the ball holder.

As you can see in the figure below, the ball-back is with a midfielder or a half-point that prevents progression . The midfielder does not run away shutting the field and is often positioned in order to receive the ball, but this step facilitates the action of marking by the opposing teams. The midfielder should instead widen and move away from the bearer, possibly waiting for a triangulation with the right median.


Let's now analyze a new concept defined in many ways with the term defense attack that can be inserted perfectly into our module.

Normally when one of our midfielder with the ball at his feet is turned towards our door, the logic knows that the opposing team goes up, while with the ball facing the opponent's goal he goes into the cover and then goes down.

Now if in the ascent phase of the opposing team we make a cross on the half-points that are previously matches, we can trigger a highly unpredictable action.

Naturally the methodology of the lunge at the points must be analyzed and tested to avoid that the launch can be intercepted and can generate a negative transition (ball loss).


In the case of a postponement of the goalkeeper will have to be our medians to try the interception of the ball so managing to have covered shoulders (in case of failure to intercept) by our defensive department.

The first point must remain very high and in the case of interception the threequartisti will have to take a quick attack action.


Let us now look at the provision that our formation must take in the case of a corner kick against it.

A player is positioned on the first post, 2 players are positioned in the center of the area without marking and with the only task to intercept the ball, outside the area a player is positioned in the crescent and controls the opponents positioned outside the area (zone), all the other players practice a narrow man mark within the penalty area.

In case the first tip should return to our team on the corner corner (due to possible aerial skills) , the half-point considered as faster will go to position itself in place of the first point.


Now let's see how we position ourselves on the corners in our favor.

First of all it can happen that one of our defender is invited (given his skills as a head hitter) to go to the corner and in this case we can make 2 choices. We can leave a defense to 3 or drop a median and then re-propose the deployment with 4 defensive players (choice dictated by the coach depending on the needs).

That said, let's see how we should position our formation on the corner kick in favor.

As we notice in this case a player guarantees the possible long corner positioning on the second pole (point of arrival), one on the first pole guaranteeing possible short balls that can, in advance, be positioned on the net or spizzed in the area. A player will guarantee the center of the area, another will place between the central and the player placed on the second post. A player will position itself outside the penalty area, while one will support the beater (this step is very interesting because it is able to get the defense out)

In the figure above we see how the passage to the support of the batsman (who must not be there already, but must arrive promptly) it can create havoc in the area by moving the defensive center of gravity towards the new ball carrier. Unpredictable and effective in this case would be a ball placed on the second post that would find the opponent in countertempo.

Other articles: Zone play

Author: gentaWebsite: www.tecnoprogress.itEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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