FanPost

Playing in a 4-3-3, two different options

Otto Greule Jr

I've been thinking (as I'm sure we all have) about how to get the Sounders players on the field in a way that lets them succeed. I understand that I'm not a coach, and Sigi probably has a much greater understanding of these sort of things than I do from my coach, but I have two different ideas I would like to see discussed. Both are nominally a 4-3-3, but would play quite different.

The first is a more traditional 4-3-3 with Oba and Neagle acting as inverted wingers

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via this11.com

The problem with inverted wingers is that you lose width as they pinch to the middle. On the right this can be solved by having Yedlin push forward (though I think Evans could handle it as well). You then have to keep Ozzie closer to the right to fill the space he vacates. The midfielder playing on the left needs to be able to push up to the left to fill the space by the pinching winger. Ideally they can put in crosses from there. I think Evans would do a fine job at it, but even Burch could do ok in this role. Joseph would be playing in what is normally a CAM position, but I don't see him actually being a CAM. I don't think he'd actually ever stray that far from the center circle. His job would be to feed passes around, pressure the ball in the middle. Hold up the ball in the middle. And break up any counters that try to come through his area. I think this maximizes his strengths (ball winning, strength, passing) and minimizes his weaknesses (speed, endurance). The one issue I have though is it will depend quite heavily on Oba and Neagle putting effective ball pressure up the pitch.

The second idea came to me while I was watching Spain play Nigeria in the Confederations Cup. Cesc Fabregas was starting on the left wing. The broadcast crew actually referred to him as a "false winger". A light bulb went off in my head in regards to Mauro when I saw it.

Abe1hehat_medium

via this11.com

This is still technically a 4-3-3, but it plays very different. Mauro is rarely going to pinch in and attack the box. Instead he's going to play mostly wide using the overlapping runs of Yedlin to create crosses (or Evans). When he does move inside, he's going to be deeper and you'll rely on a more traditional CAM to move over to the right to fill the space. EJ and Martins would be pretty interchangeable at CF and LW, both staying high and attacking the box. This actually isn't too different than what we actually ran out last Saturday. The biggest change is a RB who can attack and swapping Neagle for a more creative player who can pass from all over the pitch. Again, defense is going to be the problem. To counter this I think playing both Ozzie and Carrasco in deeper holding roles is going to be important.

So those are my ideas. I'm sure there's flaws I'm overlooking, but that's what this is for: to open up a discussion.

FanPosts only represent the opinions of the poster, not of Sounder at Heart.

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