RCB = Right Centre Back
LCB = Left Centre Back
RWB = Right Wing Back
LWB = Left Wing Back
Deep CDM = Deep Centre Defensive Midfielder
CAM = Centre Attacking Midfielder
LAM = Left Attacking Midfielder
RAM = Right Attacking Midfielder
RS = Right Striker
LS = Left Striker
Okay now that we know what the positions are now I am going to talk about it. This formation is pretty simple and fast for transitioning.
Things to consider for this formation to work:
- The wing backs must be fast and fit or the team will be punished in attacking opportunities
- The deep central defensive midfielder must stay deep or else there will be a hole for the opposing team to exploit.
- The attacking mid-fielders MUST be able to react quickly when transitions occur
- The right and left striker's runs must be smart and communication between them is vital or else transition occurs faster
Right now that we've got over the important factors of the formation it's time to go in depth.
In this stage of the game we have the ball. No matter where you have the ball the Wing backs should be making runs into exploitable areas, whether it would be beyond the opposition's right and left backs or in front of them. It is important however that it's not just Long Ball FC, because then it makes it easier for the opposition to anticipate the plays. Because the wing backs are making runs it opens up a little bit of space for the attacking outer attacking mid-fielders to drop in. It is not impossible to keep possession without playing a through ball to the wing backs. The centre attacking mid and deep defensive mid are your two main outlets because they have a larger view of the game, specifically the defensive mid. This defensive midfielder should be accurate with his long passing. You can also use your strikers as a target man to bounce off to one of the attacking mid-fielders. This drags out the centre backs or defensive mid-fielders from their position, allowing the other striker to exploit the area. Given that the wing backs are making runs forward in ball possession, the idea of the formation is for crossing. If the wing backs can get a cross into the box, you have two strikers that are there for support in the box and three attacking mid-fielders that are outside of the box in case of a small clearance. The attacking mid-fielders are also encouraged to have shots from outside the box. One last thing to mention in ball possession phase is being creative and not staying as a flat attacking midfield line, move around change positions with each-other, fool the opposition. Now that we have gone over ball possession it's time to go over Ball possession opposition.
Ball possession opposition:
This transition phase must be quick, especially for the attacking mid-fielders. What the defensive structure in this formation want is to force the opposition out wide so that it is easier to press them. Covering in the formation is vital as well, which is especially why the attacking mid-fielders have to react fast because the right or left attacking midfielder might have to cover the wing back that has been caught out. The wing back can then safely tuck into the attacking mid-fielders position until it is safe to change or transition into ball possession occurred. One thing this formation does well is block the inside passing channels which is what we want out of this formation because if players are to get into the middle then our team are susceptible to an easier shot from the opposition. You could also bring back the strikers to screen with the attacking mid-fielders so it creates a 4-1-5, not allowing the opposition to play through us unless a long ball or through ball is launched from them, which is what we want from the opposition. The last thing to mention about the phase is corners. Defending corners can be difficult sometimes because some players don't have knowledge of positioning. There are separate zones in which players should fill. There doesn't need to be players on each post because you are putting yourself at a disadvantage with the loss of two players. Instead, refer to this image which I will explain: http://this11.com/play/abIbyk0akx.png. There is cover for every little zone that is usually exploited in a normal corner and when a clearance is done, there are players to advance forward to stop the second chance shot. It is important however that these players don't dive into fake shots (be mindful that there should be people covering the player which is defending).
That is the 4-1-3-2 formation explained in some detail for certain situations. Please consider this formation as it is very useful when used correctly.