Every soccer fan loves to talk about formations as if they’re gospel. The benefits of a 3-5-2 as compared to a 3-4-2-1 and vice versa seem like they should be very important to know, but it runs counter to some manager (I don’t remember who, so bonus points if anyone can come up with the name) who pooh-poohed all of that thing by explaining there are two questions about formations: one striker or two, three defenders or four; everything else is just semantic.
There’s definitely something to that: while the differences between a 4-2-3-1 and a 4-3-3 or a 3-5-2 and a 3-4-1-2 may seem of critical importance, players and coaches don’t usually think in those terms, or at least not entirely. Rather, it’s a matter of each player having a role, usually in a designated area of the pitch; commentators and fans assign the formations in a bit of post facto explanation of how players’ tactical assignments—which are much more important—end up looking.
That said, it’s still fun to talk about formations, especially as a shorthand for how to bring the best out of players. This edition of Fiorentina is particularly fascinating in that regard, as the best players don’t seem to fit together all that well. It’s also worth pointing out that Giuseppe Iachini has used a 3-5-2 for his entire career and has a pretty good grasp on how to run things from there, so shaking things up at the expense of the manager’s expertise could be a huge mistake, especially for a squad as mentally fragile as this Viola bunch seems to be right now.
That said, what shape should Fiorentina line up in tomorrow and for the rest of the year?
This poll is closed
3-5-2 or 3-4-1-2
3-4-3 or 3-4-2-1
Here’s your weekend thread for whatever’s on your mind. Stay loose.