New Season New System 4-3-3 The Basics

I thought it might be a good idea to give everyone a quick insight into the system of football we will be playing next season as many of the sides I see put forward by fans are in my view, not how we will play.

Before I get into it, for all of you wanting your Bale fix here is this mornings 5am article:
Gareth Bale and the ring of truth.

The system Tottenham are expected to play this season is a tactically flexible 4-3-3 system. It is the system that Andre Villas-Boas used well and had success with at Porto. It takes only minor adjustments to transform it into a defensive 4-5-1 or an attacking 4-2-4.

It is a system of triangles and can be played with two defensive midfielders or as Spurs will play it this season with one defensive midfielder.

Walker Kaboul Vertonghen BAE
Paulinho Sandro
Bale Soldado Chadli

Walker Kaboul Vertonghen BAE
Paulinho Dembele
Bale Soldado Chadli

Playing with two defensive midfielders is a very defensive method and that is and will not be our way, the more attacking formation will be our framework to start from. You can immediately see a triangle in midfield, a triangle with a midfielder and two attacker two central defenders. With full-backs slightly in advance of centre-backs you get further triangles with a central defender and a midfielder or with a midfielder and a wide attacker.

Why triangles, well triangles make it easy to pass round opposition players. Whoever has the ball should always have a triangle of players giving him options of where to pass the ball. He can easily play the ball backwards or forwards.

Tottenham evolved last season from a static Parker to a flexible Sandro, until he was injured of course. The role now requires the player playing that role to have the technical ability to join his two fellow midfielders to move the oppositions midfield and pass around them. This is achieved by awareness and movement off the ball which aids creativity and fluidity.

Off the ball running is crucial to the system, crucial to how AVB used the system at Porto and how he wants to use it at Tottenham.

Imagine for a moment a midfielder make a move/run to take an opposition midfielder with him. That leaves a gap for one of his teammates to exploit. In Paulinho, Sandro and Dembele we have three players who can all make forward runs as well as defend. Our variations are therefore increased and the opposition problems multiplied.

At Porto AVB used a simple formula. One player drifted narrow, one player drifted wide, one midfielder defended, one attacked. Drifting wide and narrow you are pulling an opposition player out of position to create a hole. Now imagine this happening all over the pitch at the same time and you'll find plenty of holes with the opposition being constantly pulled out of position. They have to mentally work hard trying to figure out where they should be and what shape they are supposed to be in. This player movement to was central to Porto winning the treble so I think we can safely say, it worked.

The Spurs players have a season under their belt, a season of practicing in training. Our performances in the player movement aspect improved as the season went on, players were learning where they needed to be and what was expected of them.

Now instead of me drawing lots of arrows for you I've grabbed a You Tube video to give a quick overview of the system. In due course I'll bring you some more detailed ones.

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