Sleeps in Firmino's jersey
- Mar 29, 2011
A pretty straight-forward 4-3-3 with a fluid attacking trio. The tactical highlight of this set up is the role of Karl-Heinz Rummenigge — frankly, we’ve got a bit tired of shoehorning him on the right, while at his peak he was absolutely unplayable as a free-roaming center forward. Kalle’s goalscoring had massively improved after Müller’s departure from Munich in 1979, as he was finally made the focal point of their attacks — and in the first 2 seasons in a new role he had scored a staggering 75 goals for his club and another 13 goals for West Germany. It was almost a Ronaldo-like transformation, from a scorer of great goals to a great goalscorer — the amount of «striker’s» goals that he had scored in that era was quite impressive. On either side of Kalle we have perfect wide players for such formation — Rensenbrink was a creative wing-forward that guaranteed 20+ goals per season (and even scoring 31 in his best year) & Simonsen was a fantastic all-round threat — hardworking, two-footed & outrageously gifted.
In midfield it’s a traditional set up with Charlton in his preferred inside left zone, Bozsik as s slightly deeper midfield playmaker (again, basically in his preferred role as a right half back) & Pirri in his later incarnation as a defensive midfielder/libero, covering the zone behind them. Bozsik's long passing is going to be especially handy with Kalle's fantastic runs — while you can't bet that they're going to understand each other perfectly, like he did with Breitner, still, having someone capable of providing Breitner-esque long balls forward is definitely going to be quite handy. Don Elías is marshalling our defense, on the wings we have Cabrini & Gerets, who were attacking enough to provide serious threat, but also quite disciplined and capable defensively. Maxime Bossis rounds this defense quite nicely — he has all the needed attributes to play this role and he’s pretty much perfect in covering Gerets runs on the right.
"That those channels between the centre-back and the full-back are vulnerable is no great revelation. The vast majority of strike pairings would look to probe in those areas. Pulling them deeper, into the gap between defensive and midfield zones, complicated matters for the defending side even further, which is why the Christmas Tree formation, the 4-3-2-1, pioneered by Co Adriaanse at Den Haag, practised briefly by England under Terry Venables and dissected in his Coverciano thesis by Carlo Ancelotti, enjoyed a surge of popularity in the early 90s.The problem with the Christmas Tree, though, was that, even with attacking full-backs, it lacked width and so was relatively easy to shut down...Add a third centre-back and the full-backs could be pushed much higher, as wing-backs and beyond. And so was born the 3-4-2-1."
Deployed in recent years by the likes of Conte and Guardiola, both of whom shamelessly stole the concept from Brendan Rodgers, the 3-4-2-1 was chosen to provide Cruyff and Zico with as much creative liberty as possible. With two genuine wing backs in Demyanenko and Alexander-Arnold providing the width, and the intelligent and selfless Seeler leading the line, Cruyff and Zico are afforded a level of positional freedom to probe for space and interlink that will be difficult for the opposition to handle.
We're playing a moderate-high defensive line and aim to play the match on the front foot. All 3 CBs have played in a 3 man defence at some point, with Azpilueca having excelled under Conte in this very role in the same formation, and Bratseth having peaked as a libero for Werder Bremen. All three of them have pace to burn, as does Demyanenko at LWB, and all are accomplished in possession. Ahead of them, Redondo and Tardelli function as a DLP/B2B combo, with Redondo taking the lead in our deeper build-up play.
'21 year old current player in an all-time draft who plays for Liverpool' is a particularly unfertile starting point for winning votes, but I wanted him as soon as I decided on my formation and tactic. He's made 122 appearances in the 3 year time frame, encompassing imo one good and two world class seasons. Defensively, he's no great shakes in this company, although after those struggles in back to back games against Rashford and Zaha he's had few notable slip-ups that I can recall, and acquitted himself well against a Marcelo/Cristiano Ronaldo flank in a CL final. It's obviously his attacking game that i've selected him for though, and in that area he's hit a freakish level already. 6 goals and 33 assists in 113 matches for Liverpool in the timeframe tells its own story, and the quality of his passing and crossing is up there with the best I've personally seen from a full back.
Cruyff and Zico:
The obvious question that pops up whenever someone gets their mitts on two GOAT-calibre players like Cruyff and Zico are whether or not they're compatible. Firstly, I don't see any obvious personality clash there, with Zico seemingly being a modest, amiable sort who isn't likely to get embroiled in an ego-clash with Cruyff. Secondly and more substantively, I don't view Zico as a particlarly dominant playmaker, but rather someone who would often play a more restrained role in the deeper build up and spring to life in the final third, where his interplay with Cruyff would be a treat to watch. The tactical framework should enhance their compatibility too, with the attacking WBs stretching the play horizontally, and the versatility and intelligence of Seeler's movement patterns creating space and opportunities for positional interchange.