4-3-3 vs 4-4-2 Part 2
Oh, I forgot…
Should we keep 4-3-3 as the Dutch Housestyle, the Dutch School of Football.
We should. We should integrate it in our youth development systems and train specifically for positions, like wingers and central defenders and atttacking full backs etc etc.
It will make certain that our little country will remain to be a leading football nation and talent-developer (and exporter$)… Yes yes yes.
But, with the right tasks. Taking on opponents and crossing the ball in. I am all for that.
But I also think we should develop our players to be able to play 4-4-2. Because that’s what most other teams play. And I do believe in mixing at least 2 systems in the game-plan.
So, I am not against 4-3-3 and I do see the importance of our football identity, but when you do not have the right players to play 4-3-3 (Marco!!) than you should be flexible enough to move back to 4-4-2. Look at our midfielders… We’ve got Seedorf, Sneijder, Van der Vaart, Van Bommel, Afellay, De Zeeuw… Why only play three?
And look at our right wingers, we have…………Rafael???
Marco and Johan are the first to ridicule Louis and Co as school-teachers, but Marco is the rigid one… Marco behaves like the schoolteacher here.
And that for a chap who won soooo many cups with AC Milan (and one with Oranje) playing 4-4-2….
I can’t get my head around it, really….
What Marco has and has not won with 4-4-2 doesnt matter since he doesnt really make any decisions. I think he’s just the toy of Cruyff.
433 and 442 are just names we use to simplify matters.
yes, yes, the youth should be taught the 4-3-3 as I think it is a wonderful simply way for the young to learn. In fact, I am planning on using Foppe de Haan’s instructional dvd when I coach my sons u-12 team next year
Posted from United States
Well guys, after reading this great articles by Jan I have to say that I kinda feel a little bit sorry for San Marco. He is just doing everything Cruyff wants and it shows on the way he behaves. I think van Basten should stop listening to Cruyff anymore because I think Marco has the capacity to take decisions by himself. Johan had his time as a coach and if he is so desperate to show the world that 4-3-3 is the system for the greatest then he should come to Oranje as the Bodscoach to show the world what he is talking about but he asked too much money for the World Cup of USA 1994 when he was supposed to take over. He already gave the game so many things that he will be remembered forever as one of the greatest in the game, for some he was the greatest but right now van Basten is the coach of Holland and if he wants to play 4-3-3, 4-4-2, 3-5-2, 3-4-3, 4-5-1, 4-2-3-1 or whatever system he wants is his problem and the failure or success of the Dutch national team today is not because of Cruyff but the players and coaches around the team.
I think Johan Cruyff is the master of Dutch football but not because of that he should manage the Dutch team anymore. If he wants to do it then why not take the job???. Health??? He seems pretty healthy to me. Age???. Foppe de Haan is older that him. So, ok, we still will listen to Cruyff for some years and it will always be interesting to listen him because his opinions count but it doesn´t mean he is always right. Besides in soccer there many more systems than 4-4-2 and 4-3-3, I play soccer here in México and my team changes formations according to the players we have available and it doesn´t matter that much as long as the best man are on the pitch. If I, that play amateur soccer can play many systems then I see no problem for a top player, for sure that is not an issue for them because they are professionals that have played under the orders of many coaches and what I think is crucial for a system to work is to have leaders on every line on the field so the comunication is right and everybody can do their thing properly. System are important, but the most important thing is quality, talent, mentality, phisical strenght and creativity!
Posted from Mexico
i think u underestimate total football concept. Cruyff lived it , breathed it, materialized it every day of his professional football life, in order to be what he became.
Same for the players around him at that time, who most of them played together, in the same team (ajax or feyenoord, ..).
out of the whole 1974 dutch national squad, there was i think only rensenbrink who played outside of holland and was slightly less familiar with total football.
So yea, i think it takes more than a lot to master it. Definitely more than what MvB is trying to do with the reality of todays dutch players.
Better follow de Haan i guess, swallow a bit of pride, and adapt to be able to win…
I do not understimate the total concept of football man because mainly for that is the reason that I love Dutch football. But Dutch football, French football, Brazilian football or any type of football is not ruled by a system. Sometimes you´ll need one system and sometimes you will have to change it all over because of injuries, the type of players you have at your disposal during a period of time or many other reasons. And not because you change the system it means that you will have to change your style and philosophy as a team. If you are an attacking team you will always go forward regardless of whatever system you use. What I am trying to say here is that Cruyff is almost telling van Basten that he will fail and be a bad Dutch soccer coach if he doesn´t use his 4-3-3 system and that is not true.
We have seen many Dutch teams playing different systems and being succesful like de Haan´s team because you can´t change the feeling of the players. Dutch football always will go forward and if you try whatever system you want you have to make your players go forward as a Dutch coach or you will be going against the style of football of the Netherlands. What I think it would be a pitty is that someday a coach tries a more defensive style of play like Advocaat used at times wasting all the power upfront.
It would be great for Dutch football to stop this discussion of the systems and concentrate more on the style of play and philosophy of Dutch football as a whole. The best players in the world will always be able to play in different systems because is not the system that makes them great but the technique, imagination on the pitch, speed, concentration, mental strenght and many more qualities that have to be considered and then pick a system that can suit the best qualities of those players and field the players in the right positions.
We can think of Ronaldinho, he plays 4-4-2 at Brazil and 4-3-3 at Barcelona and he plays brilliant for both club and country. Or even Ruud, for Holland he has played many times a 4-3-3 system and scored many goals but with Manchester and Real playing a 4-4-2 he did it awesome too.
Anyway, I love Dutch style of football, the day that we see a Dutch team playing catenaccio then I will be sad because the Dutch represent hapiness and skill on the pitch and always try to win adding something to the game. That has to be respected but I really don´t care what system we play as long as we win and play our style and with San Marco we starting winning, but now we are suffering a lot to do that and we are far from playing nice soccer, so that´s is why I say van Basten should try fo find his style as a manager and ok, he can listen to Cruyff because he is the master, but I think he is just doing everything Cruyff says and should start taking his own decisions more and more. When that happens we will see a more mature coach and perhaps things will change for him as a coach. I really wish van Basten will have good luck because if he does he will make us all really happy but as far as things go he will have to work a lot to acomplish that. Hope he will, if not the KNVB have many good options to choose from.
Posted from Mexico
Let me comment on this by saying that Oranje played a dreadful qualification leading up to 74. No total football in sight. Keizer was expected to play on the left, Israel and Laseroms at the back. Haan was a sub and Jongbloed wasn’t even thought of by the public as a serious goalie. The team clicked by coincidence. Mansveld, Israel, Laseroms were injured. Keizer was a bit over the hill… Michels put the young Haan and Rijsbergen at the back and JC said that if defense was a bit waek, we should try to play on the opponents half, to keep pressure off. And therefore, JC said, we need a goalie with speed and football skills to defend the huge area behind Haan. There was no grand plan. It was how things sometimes come to be.
We should look at what Dutch Total Football is and not at systems. Systems don’t say a thing. You can play very negative with 4-3-3 and very offensive with 5-4-1. Look at Dynamo Kiev and Russia in the 80s. They were a true football machine. Which system did they play?
Total Football is: fast paced passing, positioning play (going there where space is, without neglecting your basis tasks), finding the free man, using the width of the pitch and using different paces (tempi?) in the play. And lost but not least, pushing the opponent back by pressing early (strikers becoming the first defenders) and players leaving their position to help other players in pressing on the ball, i.e. Haan pressing onto midfield, Krol playing like a winger, Neeskens playing like a center striker, etc etc.
Another thing JC / Michels introduced was adapting to the strengths and weaknesses of the opponent. So if the opponents leftback was the lousy build up guy, they’d leave him free in their pressure play. Result is that the players under pressure would pass the ball to him and therefore enabling Oranje to get possession back due to his poor passing… Stuff like that.
Furthermore, in total football the leftback should be able to play rightwinger. The striker should be able to play central defender… That is trainable. JC used to put his best players (Schip, Basten, Winter) on all sorts of positions in the team, to teach them to play these different positions. It’s a broad concept, total football. Much much more than “just” applying 4-3-3.
Posted from Australia
Im sorry, but i fail to see why is it u think that i am insisting we stick to 433. I never said total football was system-dependant or anything.
On the contrary id describe total football exactly how u did Jan.
YET, the same problem remains, that i cant understand how u cant see.. Its not that our players of today cannot play 433, or any other system.. its that they cannot play total football is what im saying. When i refer to RVN, our football hero of today, being horrible in total football world, i think its true. lol, and ill definitely get a good laugh trying to see VB make him fulfill his defensive duties.
Hence, our players of today can barely play 2 positions, and very very rare are those who can do more than two. No leftback today can play any rightwing, thats for sure.
This is where Van Basten goes wrong. Not that his using 433. But that he is expecting something from the players they cannot deliver. total football concept on the field!! And i remind you im not saying that the players are any worse, theyre just diffirently adapted and composed than before. They are much more used to defensive, english-sryle type of football than anything else.
Good points Rami, it seems many of today’s players aren’t total footballers, but specialty footballers.
Posted from United States
Well Rami, now I gent your point!!!. And it´s true what you say, it would be very diffilcult that today´s team can play total football concept. What I think should never change for Dutch football is the will to attack and to be creative and play dominant soccer, it is hard but it makes no harm to try. =)
and the reason for that is our -weaker by the year- league back home, giving our players very little incentive to stay.
The big bucks are not there, the fame and coverage are also no longer there, and most importantly the opportunity to play in big competitions is becoming smaller and smaller.
So yea, I find it sure that “theres no harm to try” Mario.. but we should start with the national league, find ways to enhance and progress it.. or else theres just no point, we might as well start playing like the others and forget about this whole dilemma.
I was a bit confused who you – Rami – meant, with “you don’t get it”… . It’s getting confusing.
I do get your point, but I am not fully in agreement with it.
You see, I believe most of our players in Holland are in a way brought up with total football. Some very deliberate (Ajax school, Sparta, Heerenveen, Feyenoord), some maybe a bit by coincidence. Remember that most defenders in Holland are former midfielders/strikers. Even Jaap Stam, the archetypical defender, was a striker and midfielder before he settled for the defender role at Willem 2.
So Kromkamp, De Cler, Emanuelson, Gio, you name ‘m, they all know how to play midfield roles.
I also do not think Ruud is useless in a “total football” concept. You need to give him more credit I guess.
We did have some players who were poor in “total football”. Kees Kist, Dick Nanninga (where the hell is Ish???), Andre Hoekstra…they were players who got to Oranje on the basis of other skills, but most can do more than one job.
Where MvB goes wrong is the way he instructs his players (is my opinion) and another one is the lack of real football skills at the back (centrally). Most players we had there (Arie Haan, Ronald Koeman, Danny Blind, Frank Rijkaard, Frank de Boer) were former midfielders. Marco should give up on putting real defenders in there, he should trust the team to take care of the 2 lonely strikers most opponents have (sometimes maybe only one!) and put a player like Sneijder, Landzaat (yes Landzaat!) or De Zeeuw there. Or Schaars. I always wanted to see COcu play there, but he hardly ever did. Even Edgar Davids played some great games on that position. That’s where Marco goed wrong. He wants two defenders centrally and puts two offensive backs on the flanks. These backs will bump into our wingers, there’s not enough space. I’d say, keep on central defender in there for one strikers, one of the two backs to pick up the other striker. So any given time, it’s the other back and/or the central defender with football skills can come up into midfield to support the build up.
I do agree, that if a coach like Adriaanse or van Gaal would try this concept with a nation like England or Germany or Italy, it wouldn’t work, coz there defenders are real defenders.
Posted from Australia
I said, “I cant understand how u cant see”..
I see your point too, and i agree that they are more versatile than english players for example, and they are brought up most of them on the concept of total football, and the clubs u named are surely still the backbone of total football concept.
But u have to admit also that our players leave the country too soon. Its not only total football anymore.. todays players have a mix of everything in them. During the peak days of total football Cruyff and his bunch were much more adept at it than our players are today.
Posted from Canada
Yeah yeah, that’s true. Today, you have one good season, players leave. Take Kromkamp. Played for Villareal and Liverpool already and never made his mark. I see that point. Another difference with the “old days” is that clubs then could keep players for a longer period together, with all benefits. Today, with the Bosman thing and all, it’s much much harder.
Some clubs even had to get cheaper players from Eastern Europe of Africa in because European Union players are too expensive. And players from Eastern Europe have had a different schooling altogether…
That’s why I support the “use Dutch players” doctrine, but it’s not easy.
A super player for Feyenoord will make 1 Mio euros in gross salaries. Nett, that’s probably half, say 500k euro’s. In England, a good player makes 1 Mio Euros nett. Easily… it’s market mechanics, you can’t blame the players who go for that, really….
Posted from Australia
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