Does The Away Team Get The Ball First In Football 5 Reasons Behind the Deployment of a 4-5-1 System or Formation in A Soccer or Football Game

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5 Reasons Behind the Deployment of a 4-5-1 System or Formation in A Soccer or Football Game

Recently in the modern game of soccer or football, the formation or system 4-5-1 has been played a lot especially by smaller clubs or clubs or nations. Here are five reasons why such a creation or system is used.

First a system definition is required. 4-5-1 means deploying one goalkeeper, four defenders, five midfielders and one striker. An example of success in building a team is the Greek National at the 2004 European Football Championship where they emerged as champions with the deployment of such a system. And now for the reasons.

  1. Flexibility – Football or soccer is a fast-paced game in which the opposition’s attack can be changed if possession is lost. The deployment of the 4-5-1 system therefore allows for flexibility in both attack and defence. When attacking or possessing the ball, the left and right midfielders will act as wingers to push up the lone striker. Furthermore, one or two of the three central midfielders can also press forward to join the attack while the remaining midfielders drop back to help the defense in case of a break or counter attack by the opposition. In theory the midfield five will be able to pressure the opposition to win the ball back, without having to defend or take possession of the ball. Another example, a five man midfield would add more steel to the midfield area to reduce the pressure on the back to win or keep possession.
  2. Defending a one goal lead – In some matches, the game can be so close that a single goal can decide the outcome. So some managers like to use a 4-5-1 formation to keep the lead in the last ten to twenty minutes of the game. The flexibility of the system has already been explained under point 1. This system will enable the team to counter attack if needed when the opposition is careful to equalise. The second objective is to pass the ball against the clock and the best way to do that is to maintain possession.
  3. Playing away games – In modern league play, a point taken from a game is especially important if the game is away or against strong opposition. The reason is simple as most home teams will do their best to win at home and have their supporters behind them in the role of 12th player. For example, in recent games like Liverpool vs. Birmingham City or Manchester United vs. Reading, both City and Reading used a 4-5-1 system to disrupt the midfields of Liverpool and United. The system usually enables a team to come out with points or avoid losses at the hands of strong opposition. Such a point usually means victory for the smaller club.
  4. Playing against strong opposition – As mentioned in point 3, when playing against strong opposition at home, a 4-5-1 system will be used for the same logic of getting points or avoiding a big defeat. Such an attitude towards the game can be seen as a defeatist attitude, but staying in the top leagues around the world means huge revenue for the club. An example is the English Premiership where a team can lose millions if they are relegated. So some teams use it to ensure a low-scoring defeat or to tie a more attacking game for a point when facing opposition of similar standing.
  5. Injuries – This is the most common reason for deploying a 4-5-1 formation. The reason is very simple. Clubs usually have more defenders and midfielders than strikers. So if a club has a striker injury situation, it may be more inclined to use such a system than others. Furthermore, deploying players in familiar positions will yield better results than playing in untrained positions.

So the above reasons will help explain the reason for the 4-5-1 system or formation.

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