4-4-2 : Flat back Four with a Zonal Play

By Soren Schamberg

The 4-4-2 can be a very versatile system of play, allowing teams to overwhelm their opposition when attacking by sending the wide defensive players up the sides of the field to support the attack or push the midfielders more central to overload the other teams final third just outside the 18 yard box. It also allows a team to stifle their opponents build up play with a strong group of players in the central part of the field. 

A drawback to this formation lies in its vulnerability to diagonal offensive runs behind the flat two central defenders and in the aerobic demands on the wide players making continuous runs all match long when supporting attack.

While attacking, advancing out the back of the field will depend on the wide players coming back and in some cases, moving with the play all the way up the field. Switching the field of play can create opportunities for overloads, while the central players become the fulcrums to move the play up the field with 1-2 passing and even sending long diagonal balls behind the opponents defense for through balls.

While defending, having the two central flat defenders control the center is the main tactic employed while being cautious about over committing and leaving the other central defender alone. The main deployment then would be to have the central defenders main strategy to hold up any build up to allow the wide defenders and midfielders to get back into a defensive position. Implementing a zonal defense establishes the ability for the defenders to hold up in the most effective position based on the opponents attack and not getting sucked into dangerous areas of the defensive third.

By Soren Schamberg

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the Author

Leave a Reply 0 comments