How it works and how to get the best out of 4-3-3 and total football?

LuckyScout78

Full Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2018
Messages
691
Today i will write about 433 and total football. How it works and how to get the best out of 4-3-3 and total football?

I will not go into history too much details and wide. Just a short intro of the history.
The history of this 433 and total football got back to a guy which name Rinus Michels. Who introduced this playing style into the football game. He managed Ajax from 1965 -1971.
Then he managed Barcelona from 1971 - 1974. And trough this introducing. Later, we have been observed of the amazing team with :

Messi - Xavi - Busquets - Iniesta - Ronaldinho + Henry/Eto.

Later it has been the inspiration to today Pep and City 433 formation and football style.



Now I will I explain which abilities it require in different positions. In the 4-3-3 formation.

We start with the backline. The backline here is not different from 4-4-2 formation.
With 2 CB. And 2 fullbacks that fly up and down the wide sides.

Then the big difference is the midfield. In a 433 there’s a 3 men central midfield players compare to 442 with central midfield duo.
We start with the deepest of the cm player who calling the deep lying playmaker. The DCM.
He is controlling and dictating the ball and game from the deep. Spread the ball around. Short or long as how opponent open up their game. He is link and connection between defend and attack. Even the defend can play long ball to the attack. Without playing trough him. But most often he is the mind and architect behind a team build up play and attack. He gets to has eyes to see the trough passes really quick to CF or the wingers. Special when the opponent teams just loose the ball, totally open and have a back line. Then have players with those precise trough passes are crucial.
And most of all he hold back more than the two offensive cm beside each sides of him.

Then we have the two offensive and creative cm players playing on each sides of the DCM/Nr.6. 2 nr.8 that are calling LCM and RCM. They are runners. Lead and run with the ball from midfield to attack. They get to have abilities to pass opponents in central midfield area and few touches combination short pass and movement football. Second best dribble in the team.

In the final third. We have the attacking line. The front 3. Two pacey and skillful wingers and sharp and clinical CF. The wingers are best dribbles in the team. They are good one on one.
And beside theirs high skill and top speed and acceleration. Theirs shall be capable to score around 10 goals average. Not only set up to CF, but have goals in theirs game too. Like the two nr.8, the LCM and RCM.

Then upfront and in the centre. The team sharp and clinical finisher and sniper. Best finisher in the team. No need to be a big target man that hold up. But a CF like Brazil Ronaldo and Benzema will work too. The super skillful and fast CF. The one on one CF.
All depends on the top consistent service he gets from midfield, wingbacks and wingers. If the services are of top quality and consistent. He will get big chances to puts it in and scores.


Now, I will set up an example of the max level in position that I have observed since I start watching football.
The starting line up XI in a 4-3-3 and total football. And with right and left back. I prefer and choose natural foot for left back. Like left foot for left back. Here they are :


GK : Manuel Neuer

Lahm - Lucio - Maldini - Carlos

Bruyne - Pirlo - Iniesta

Messi Bra Ronaldo Ronaldinho


There you have. An example of a max and complete 4-3-3 line up and XI.
Where we can Bruyne and Iniesta are runners and dribblers from central midfield. On each side of Pirlo who spread the passes around from his deep central midfield area. Not offensive as Bruyne and Iniesta. Pirlo holds it back more. Control, balance and dictate the ball and game from there.
Then we have the two pacey, explosives and skillful wingers. With top one on one ability and ability to score many goals from theirs wing position. In Messi and Ronaldinho. Same for Bruyne and Iniesta.
And upfront you have the CF, who had the best one on one ability. Beside beings super sharp and clinical. A super skillful and clinical CF.

Sum up. Those players at theirs peak. Are best players in each position in the 4-3-3 formation and total football. Together theirs make the team complete. With maybe only few, a little bit weakness.
World class players in each positions. The top level and top of the mountains. GOATs in football history.

But understandable. This is only a dream team. It will not happen in club football. That a football club will get equal good as this dream team. World class players in each position. On club level. Even today Pep and City and Liverpool 4-3-3 are not even close to this Dream team. But if you are getting as closest to the top and world class level in each position. Then you are creating a dominating and winning team.

In the end. 4-3-3 and total football and formation it’s there for every football to play and reaching. It’s doesn’t belong to a person or any club in the world. It’s no Cruyff or Pep style, formation and philosophy. It belong to everyone. It’s only ours human ego telling the world it’s my style and philosophy. But the truth is. Everything is there, ready to be taken and use.
So don’t get delude by human ego mind. It will closer our perspective and will not us see the truth and how things are relating to each others in this Universe.
Wish all the readers have a nice day and thank for reading ;)
 

Deery

Full Member
Joined
May 21, 2019
Messages
16,529
The easiest way to explain a 4-3-3 is you play with a 6, 8, and a 10, the players closest to the ball press it.

Really I think everyone on these boards know this stuff.
 

P-Ro

made his 2000th post in the 2019 caf awards thread
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
Messages
6,193
Location
Salford
Supports
Chelsea and AFC Wimbledon
Christ.
 

AngeloHenriquez

Full Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2009
Messages
12,434
Location
Location Location
Supports
Stevenage
Why is this a thing? That's one of many ways to use 4-3-3, Liverpool deploy a quite different use of the formation but considering ETH is typically 4-2-3-1, what's the motive for the thread? Don't want to be rude perhaps I have missed the point.
 

Irwin99

Full Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2018
Messages
5,657
Now do a 3-5-2 and why it's an unfairly maligned formation :cool:
 

Rozay

Master of Hindsight
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
23,455
Location
...
The easiest way to explain a 4-3-3 is you play with a 6, 8, and a 10, the players closest to the ball press it.

Really I think everyone on these boards know this stuff.
6 and a double 8 for me.
 

WeePat

Full Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2015
Messages
9,446
Supports
Chelsea
Wake up babe, new Luckyscout report just dropped
No spoilers please. I'm attending a viewing party this evening. The streets have been waiting for this.
 

General_Elegancia

Full Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2021
Messages
994
Location
Bangkok, Thailand
Supports
Liverpool, AC Milan
I would say in short term that 4-3-3 has a lot of methods to use. Real Madrid4-3-3( cdm/b2b sometimes, box to box/playmaker and controller cm), Liverpool 4-3-3 ( box to box, cm/ playmaker and cdm) and Barcelona 4-3-3 ( holding dmf, left attacking midfielder/cm and cm/playmaker). It has a lot of ways.

You can really use double8 with 6 , 2 creative midfielders with superb workrates with number 6 , all 8 or even 2 workhorses B2B with deep lying playmaker. 10s/ creative midfielders could play in this system too but it’s required some defensive workrates and a lot of them have shown that they can play in 4-3-3 too ( KDB, Overath, Iniesta, Netzer, Modric, Silva, Van Hanegem and a lot).

I think your team would be even better, if you change Pirlo to more defensive sound midfielder like Fernandinho, Busquets or even Fabinho. Both KDB and Iniesta provide god level of playmaking and you need someone who do a bit dirty jobs for your team( although KDB and Iniesta have superb workrate and some defensive skills).

Imho, I think Rudd Krol is the best fullback of all time in 4-3-3 system, since he was a complete fullback who was almost complete defender, excellent defender( one of the best from lb), great passer, great technique, had overlapping skill, crossing and he could play at inverted fullback too( watching his Ajax matches and you will see for sure). If I choose left full back in 4-3-3 systems, I will choose him over anyone in history of football ( including Breitner, Facchetti, Brehme, Carlos or even Maldini).
 

LuckyScout78

Full Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2018
Messages
691
Today i will write and go more specific in the LCM and RCM. To get the most out of this 433 formation and total football.

The best LCM i have ever seen in this LCM role. So i will give and call this role Iniesta role. He is just out of this world. Will take 10/20 years to see a player like him again. Pure pure pleasure to watched.

First i will put a video clips of him. Then i will tell the abilities and what he is doing. In that role. The LCM role.

RCM - DCM - LCM = Iniesta



If the Iniesta video will not been show. Then everyone who have seen Iniesta playing football. Don't need video to memorize Iniesta flair and skills. Still in ours minds. He skills and style is so well known. The one and only Iniesta.


I have called those players for runners. With abilities and top skills and flair. You don't hold those players back.
They have abilities to pass opponent players easily in central midfield area. All from theirs own area and in opponent half area.
And when they have passed some players. It will give situations where they can come up 2 against 1.
And beside high skills and flair. And hard to take the ball from them. Theirs ability to score is really high too. Like Iniesta. Iniesta wasn't only know for skills, flair and passing players. His finish ability was really high too.

And compare to DCM. The DCM use to hold more back, balance the team and dictate the ball

The LCM and RCM have more attacking minded role and job. More attacking minded. They belong to attacking players. More than defenders.
Theirs creative is in the way theirs get the ball from around the midfield, make run with the ball and link up with the attack.

Contra if you use a players like United's Fred. Who is on this level is good with the ball too. But good is not enough like Ten Hag said. You need top abilities of skills, flair and one on one skills.

Like this : will never works out in a 433 and total football :

Raphinha - McTom - De Jong - Fred - Sancho. Competing for top 4. this 3 cm trio and include the wingers will not work out to achieve top 4 in premier league. Might good enough for midtable goals.

And the other positon on the other side of the DCM is RCM. This role i think Kevin De Bruyne if not the best. One of the best in RCM role. Again. You don't tell De Bruyne to hold back and limit his attacking abilities.
No managers in this world will use Iniesta and De Bruyne as DCM player.
It because 433 and LCM & RCM required and demanded those abilities and qualities to get the most out of that formation and kind of football. Total football.

LCM and RCM are not wingers. But they one on one ability, skills and flair are top too. So in needs depend on the level of the opponent you can use Iniesta as left winger too. But Iniesta and De Bruyne best role are LCM and RCM.


Now we go to the RCM. It demand and requiire the same abilities and qualities as LCM. So i will not mention againt.
We go right to a video clip of the world class player Kevin De Bruyne. Like Iniesta. When De Bruyne is first on the run. Its really hard to take the ball from him. Then he link up the attack and front 3. Maybe 4 against 4 or 4 against 3 on counter attack:




Now we ask and look closely if Frenkie De Jong has what it needs and demand to play as LCM?
Do De Jong has same top skills and flair as Iniesta and De Bruyne.
Abilities to make good run with the ball. Pass and beat players?

Then i will put a video of De Jong. To compare him with those two above. Special Iniesta and LCM role:










You can see the skills and flair are there. Clearly. De Jong easily pass players. But not a typical wingers.
So for me. I think De Jong suit best as LCM. Where you give him more attacking freedom. To roam and run forward. To help and link with the attack.

And I have said before. With top skills and flair of Iniesta, De Bruyne, and De Jong. Tell them to hold back theirs creative attackind mind and limit. Its really waste of talent. Talent of skills and flairs. Which is so so much need in a 433 and total football.


So to sum up this post. Addition to my first original post. To get the most and best out of 433 and those top qualitys players. Don't use and tell them to play DCM and hold back a bit. Give them freedom and to help the attack. Don't limit theirs creative.
Then you will limit the 433 and total football too. In same meaning. You will not get the most out of 433 and total football.
Specific roles just need the best players in theirs role. You don't just play Fred or McTom in those roles. If you goal is to win the league or top 4.

But in the end. I just use Fred and McTom as example. I could use others names that have same level and abilities of Fred and McTom. When it come to top skills and flair. Don't misunderstand it.
They will not work as RCM and LCM. But as nr.6 it can might be different. Maybe more suit as the nr.6 DM in a 4231 formation. Like this

Raphinha - De Jong - Fred/McTom - Rashford + Bruno + Ronaldo

This 4231 and 2 CM duo are different.

But talking and analyzing the 433 and LCM/RCM. Your teams needs top skills and flair of Iniesta, De Bruyne, Da Silva, De Jong in those roles.

Ok. Thank for reading and wish mine readers have a good day;)
 
Last edited:

P-Ro

made his 2000th post in the 2019 caf awards thread
Joined
Nov 21, 2014
Messages
6,193
Location
Salford
Supports
Chelsea and AFC Wimbledon
Today i will write and go more specific in the LCM and RCM. To get the most out of this 433 formation and total football.

The best LCM i have ever seen in this LCM role. So i will give and call this role Iniesta role. He is just out of this world. Will take 10/20 years to see a player like him again. Pure pure pleasure to watched.

First i will put a video clips of him. Then i will tell the abilities and what he is doing. In that role. The LCM role.

RCM - DCM - LCM = Iniesta



If the Iniesta video will not been show. Then everyone who have seen Iniesta playing football. Don't need video to memorize Iniesta flair and skills. Still in ours minds. He skills and style is so well known. The one and only Iniesta.


I have called those players for runners. With abilities and top skills and flair. You don't hold those players back.
They have abilities to pass opponent players easily in central midfield area. All from theirs own area and in opponent half area.
And when they have passed some players. It will give situations where they can come up 2 against 1.
And beside high skills and flair. And hard to take the ball from them. Theirs ability to score is really high too. Like Iniesta. Iniesta wasn't only know for skills, flair and passing players. His finish ability was really high too.

And compare to DCM. The DCM use to hold more back, balance the team and dictate the ball

The LCM and RCM have more attacking minded role and job. More attacking minded. They belong to attacking players. More than defenders.
Theirs creative is in the way theirs get the ball from around the midfield, make run with the ball and link up with the attack.

Contra if you use a players like United's Fred. Who is on this level is good with the ball too. But good is not enough like Ten Hag said. You need top abilities of skills, flair and one on one skills.

Like this : will never works out in a 433 and total football :

Raphinha - McTom - De Jong - Fred - Sancho. Competing for top 4. this 3 cm trio and include the wingers will not work out to achieve top 4 in premier league. Might good enough for midtable goals.

And the other positon on the other side of the DCM is RCM. This role i think Kevin De Bruyne if not the best. One of the best in RCM role. Again. You don't tell De Bruyne to hold back and limit his attacking abilities.
No managers in this world will use Iniesta and De Bruyne as DCM player.
It because 433 and LCM & RCM required and demanded those abilities and qualities to get the most out of that formation and kind of football. Total football.

LCM and RCM are not wingers. But they one on one ability, skills and flair are top too. So in needs depend on the level of the opponent you can use Iniesta as left winger too. But Iniesta and De Bruyne best role are LCM and RCM.


Now we go to the RCM. It demand and requiire the same abilities and qualities as LCM. So i will not mention againt.
We go right to a video clip of the world class player Kevin De Bruyne. Like Iniesta. When De Bruyne is first on the run. Its really hard to take the ball from him. Then he link up the attack and front 3. Maybe 4 against 4 or 4 against 3 on counter attack:




Now we ask and look closely if Frenkie De Jong has what it needs and demand to play as LCM?
Do De Jong has same top skills and flair as Iniesta and De Bruyne.
Abilities to make good run with the ball. Pass and beat players?

Then i will put a video of De Jong. To compare him with those two above. Special Iniesta and LCM role:










You can see the skills and flair are there. Clearly. De Jong easily pass players. But not a typical wingers.
So for me. I think De Jong suit best as LCM. Where you give him more attacking freedom. To roam and run forward. To help and link with the attack.

And I have said before. With top skills and flair of Iniesta, De Bruyne, and De Jong. Tell them to hold back theirs creative attackind mind and limit. Its really waste of talent. Talent of skills and flairs. Which is so so much need in a 433 and total football.


So to sum up this post. Addition to my first original post. To get the most and best out of 433 and those top qualitys players. Don't use and tell them to play DCM and hold back a bit. Give them freedom and to help the attack. Don't limit theirs creative.
Then you will limit the 433 and total football too. In same meaning. You will not get the most out of 433 and total football.
Specific roles just need the best players in theirs role. You don't just play Fred or McTom in those roles. If you goal is to win the league or top 4.

But in the end. I just use Fred and McTom as example. I could use others names that have same level and abilities of Fred and McTom. When it come to top skills and flair. Don't misunderstand it.
They will not work as RCM and LCM. But as nr.6 it can might be different. Maybe more suit as the nr.6 DM in a 4231 formation. Like this

Raphinha - De Jong - Fred/McTom - Rashford + Bruno + Ronaldo

This 4231 and 2 CM duo are different.

But talking and analyzing the 433 and LCM/RCM. Your teams needs top skills and flair of Iniesta, De Bruyne, Da Silva, De Jong in those roles.

Ok. Thank for reading and wish mine readers have a good day;)
@Vidyoyo you know the drill
 

KirkDuyt

Full Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2015
Messages
18,838
Location
Dutchland
Supports
Feyenoord
Amazing thread, how did I miss this :lol:

Frenkie de Jong is not an attacking player. Really. I don't think he has ever shot on goal.
YES I KNOW HE HAS
 

tomaldinho1

Full Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2015
Messages
11,307
That last paragraph on ego really comes out the blue. A passionately written piece which seemingly meanders its way to a typical conclusion before hitting you with a philosophical twist, 10/10.