Let's talk about the 3-4-3

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Let's talk about the 3-4-3

Post by Art Morte on Fri Dec 26, 2014 6:36 pm

Against United: Created a host of chances, just couldn't take any of them. You could say it was a positive performance, even though we somehow managed to lose by three goals without scoring any.

Against Bournemouth: They had their chances, but in the end a comfy win for us.

Against Arsenal: Controlled the game, just couldn't make it count in attack.

Against Burnley: Arguably Burnley played the best against our 3-4-3. I'll take my hat off to Sean Dyche, Burnley played tactically the perfect game against us. They identified our weakest point - the midfield four - and put pressure on it. Gerrard and Lucas cannot do anything but pass it backwards or sideways when under pressure and it's a tough ask for either Henderson & Lallana or Markovic & Coutinho to work the ball up in controlled fashion between themselves on the wings. Burnley just don't have the required individual quality that it takes to score and win games in the Premier League, but the tactical side of their game could not have been better.


So, the question is, has the 3-4-3 been found out? Or was this just a below-par performance? Maybe other managers in the Prem won't instruct their players to press our midfield? What would you change? Personnel or formation? Or would you keep it as it is?

Stick or swap?
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Re: Let's talk about the 3-4-3

Post by Red Alert on Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:05 am

Again, we created so many "chances" in the other games because we were PRESSING; it had nothing to do with this change formation to 343 crap.

It leaves so many holes in our midfield and down the flanks, not sure what you people see that's so special about it. It's so easy to play against, and it's the reason why NO ONE is successful with it in the Premier League.

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Re: Let's talk about the 3-4-3

Post by iftikhar on Sat Dec 27, 2014 8:22 am

I believe the rationality of 343 stems from the fact that it can accommodate all of Markovic, Coutinho, Lallana & Raheem (which gives our attack some potency) while retaining both Gerrard & Lucas (in hope of some solidity in front of the back-line).

We have struggled with mediocre teams like Bournemouth & Burnley while succumbed against ManU & Arsenal. So the 343 isn't any solution (if consider top-four as still our objective) even with more clinical finishing.

I think the following are more viable long-term options/strategies:

--------Lucas--------
Henderson-Coutinho
--------Lallana------
-Raheem-Sturridge-

Emre can fill-in for Lucas or Henderson, Coutinho & Lallana can swap places and Markovic can fill-in for AM or Raheem.

------------Lucas------------
----Henderson-Coutinho----
Raheem-Sturridge-Markovic

Emre can fill-in for Lucas or Henderson while Lallana can fill-in for either of Coutinho, Raheem & Markovic.
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Re: Let's talk about the 3-4-3

Post by Art Morte on Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:46 am

@Red Alert wrote:Again, we created so many "chances" in the other games because we were PRESSING; it had nothing to do with this change formation to 343 crap.

It leaves so many holes in our midfield and down the flanks, not sure what you people see that's so special about it. It's so easy to play against, and it's the reason why NO ONE is successful with it in the Premier League.

Well, I agree that it leaves holes in our midfield - or gives the opponent at least one man advantage in midfield. However, I don't think it's a hopeless formation, but any formation that has Gerrard & Lucas playing together in midfield is bound to be vulnerable against man advantage and pressing from the opposition. So, I would like to see what would happen with a Henderson - Can partnership, leave both Gerrard and Lucas out or at least play only one of them.

Even then, though, it's a valid point to point out that the 3-4-3 isn't used almost at all and probably for a reason. Yet I think it suits our players and style better than the 4-3-3, for example.


@iftikhar wrote:I believe the rationality of 343 stems from the fact that it can accommodate all of Markovic, Coutinho, Lallana & Raheem (which gives our attack some potency) while retaining both Gerrard & Lucas (in hope of some solidity in front of the back-line).

We have struggled with mediocre teams like Bournemouth & Burnley while succumbed against ManU & Arsenal. So the 343 isn't any solution (if consider top-four as still our objective) even with more clinical finishing.

I think the following are more viable long-term options/strategies:

--------Lucas--------
Henderson-Coutinho
--------Lallana------
-Raheem-Sturridge-

Emre can fill-in for Lucas or Henderson, Coutinho & Lallana can swap places and Markovic can fill-in for AM or Raheem.

------------Lucas------------
----Henderson-Coutinho----
Raheem-Sturridge-Markovic

Emre can fill-in for Lucas or Henderson while Lallana can fill-in for either of Coutinho, Raheem & Markovic.

Well, I agree with you, too, Ifty. I'm not sure why we haven't really played the diamond this season. And the 4-3-3 might work when Sturridge is back. I think I'd prefer either of them to the 3-4-3, because it looks like our midfield gets exposed in that one, at least if it's Gerrard & Lucas together. Also, when playing with three CBs, we are sort of a man light elsewhere on the field. Yesterday against Burnley, we needed that third guy in midfield to connect our midfield and front trio. In fact, when Emre Can got subbed on at half-time for Toure, I thought "good, we're moving to a four-man back line to get an extra man in midfield because we really need it". Obviously I then realized that Brendan's masterstroke wasn't quite that radical, he had just subbed Can on to play CB, but anyway... Anyway. We'll see what happens next. Our next few games (Swansea & Leicester home, Wimbledon away) should be winnable with any formation.
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Re: Let's talk about the 3-4-3

Post by Helmer on Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:09 pm

as I already said in the match thread, we need to press very apt for 3-4-3 to work. As marty says, it wont work with Lucas and Gerrard together in MF. Also, Can for Toure made a difference, so that change deserved some mention for Rodgers in the last game. You really need defenders like Can to make 3-4-3 function properly.

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Re: Let's talk about the 3-4-3

Post by iftikhar on Sat Dec 27, 2014 5:14 pm

I guess Rodgers will persist with 343 for another 4-5 games, till Sturridge returns. I hope he really optimizes this formation with right players and in right positions. IMO, 343 will yield best results with:

-------------Mignolet------------
-------Toure-Skrtel-Sakho-------
Markovic-Henderson-Lucas-Moreno
---------Lallana-Coutinho--------
-------------Raheem-------------
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Re: Let's talk about the 3-4-3

Post by Red Alert on Sun Dec 28, 2014 1:45 am

@Art Morte wrote:
Well, I agree that it leaves holes in our midfield - or gives the opponent at least one man advantage in midfield. However, I don't think it's a hopeless formation, but any formation that has Gerrard & Lucas playing together in midfield is bound to be vulnerable against man advantage and pressing from the opposition. So, I would like to see what would happen with a Henderson - Can partnership, leave both Gerrard and Lucas out or at least play only one of them.

Even then, though, it's a valid point to point out that the 3-4-3 isn't used almost at all and probably for a reason. Yet I think it suits our players and style better than the 4-3-3, for example.



It is a hopeless formation though.

Gerrard and Lucas shouldn't be played together (Leiva should be the starter out of the two) but that isn't the problem here.

We don't have the personnel at all for the 343. Or for the 433. So they both really should be redundant. Even if we did have the right personnel (which we don't) to pull off a 343, it wouldn't be as successful because again, there's still soooooo many space for the opposition to exploit and run into.

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Re: Let's talk about the 3-4-3

Post by Art Morte on Sun Dec 28, 2014 7:52 am

^ Well, it's supposed to be an attacking formation, so if we had the right personnel in the midfield four who could keep possession and break the opponent's pressing and get the ball in good situations to the forwards, that could yield some goals. Maybe we would concede some as well, but if you play the 3-4-3 you're probably hoping to score 2 or 3 yourself. So I don't think it's hopeless, but it's difficult to pull off.

Maybe my main issue with it is that I'm not sure should a top team nowadays be playing with three center-backs. If you're playing well, as a top team should aspire to, you'd be doing most of the attacking and the center-backs aren't involved in that. So, you're basically a man light in the areas (midfield and attack) that you really want to dominate. Maybe if one of the CBs doubled up as a DM when you have possession, allowing both CMs to push higher up.

Skrtel - Can - Sakho
Markovic - Henderson - Lallana - Moreno
Sterling - Coutinho
Sturridge

With Can pushing up to be a defensive midfielder when we have the ball, all out attack banana
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Re: Let's talk about the 3-4-3

Post by mr-r34 on Sun Dec 28, 2014 8:16 am

I still want to see a diamond again.

          GK
Man Skr Sahk Moren
         Can
     Hendo Cou
       Sterling
     Balo
       Lambert/Borini
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Re: Let's talk about the 3-4-3

Post by iftikhar on Sun Dec 28, 2014 8:43 am

@mr-r34 wrote:I still want to see a diamond again.

          GK
Man Skr Sahk Moren
         Can
     Hendo Cou
       Sterling
     Balo
       Lambert/Borini
The beauty of this formation (I wasn't very fond of it in the beginning) is that, with our present squad, we can have lots of options:

Lallana can play in the place of Coutinho, Raheem, Balotelli
Markovic can play in place of Raheem, Balotelli
Coutinho can play in place of Raheem
Raheem can play in place of Balotelli, Lambert/Borini
Lucas can play in place of Emre, Henderson

All the while keeping players at their optimal positions.
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Re: Let's talk about the 3-4-3

Post by mr-r34 on Sun Dec 28, 2014 9:36 am

That's why it's baffled me as to why we haven't used it much more often, there is so much versatility available in this formation which is something Rodgers has demanded from players ,yet he uses 343, which makes it difficult to shake it up a bit.

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Re: Let's talk about the 3-4-3

Post by Helmer on Sun Dec 28, 2014 2:09 pm

@Red Alert wrote:^ Is Sturridge going to solve our defensive issues as well?

I mean struggling in attacking sense of the game. Without Sturridge we will struggle to score goals with 3-4-3 unless we start stretching teams, because markovic keeps drifting inside all the time and it just becomes too crowded in the middle, thereby it becomes too easy for the teams to defend although we hve have best attacking talent near their box. It is just a matter of time before teams start to utilise the shortcomings of 3-4-3 so we better need to press well and use width as much as possible.


Last edited by HEIL MEIN REDS on Sun Dec 28, 2014 5:21 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Let's talk about the 3-4-3

Post by Curtinho on Sun Dec 28, 2014 5:20 pm

The 3 - 4 - 3 has been great and we have the personnel for it. Burnley is a hard working side that likes to play long which is tough on the flanks when playing 3 at the back with wide midfielders. They are no slouches though and they've been giving problems to everyone pretty much.

Personally I think the formation is legit and given who we have on the team it's a great way of fitting our best players in the side and playing to our strengths.

If we fix our defensive shield (replace Gerrard with Can, or buy someone like Geis or a Schneiderlin type) and get a competent keeper we'll look even better in this formation. Rodgers starting to show his flexibility but people are still not happy.

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Re: Let's talk about the 3-4-3

Post by iftikhar on Sun Dec 28, 2014 6:06 pm

Rodgers starting to show his flexibility but people are still not happy.
It took him 20 bloody games to show this flexibility, what's there to be happy about!!! As if he is 6-year old kid and we should be elated with every little things he does.

We aren't bloody Swansea. We will be happy when he delivers to our stature.
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Re: Let's talk about the 3-4-3

Post by Don't call me James on Sun Dec 28, 2014 6:18 pm

@mr-r34 wrote:That's why it's baffled me as to why we haven't used it much more often, there is so much versatility available in this formation which is something Rodgers has demanded from players ,yet he uses 343, which makes it difficult to shake it up a bit.


It's quite obvious that Gerrard can't fit into this formation anymore as we saw at the beginning of the season, so of course Rodgers is too cowardly to drop Stevie and will find other formations to accommodate him.

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Re: Let's talk about the 3-4-3

Post by iftikhar on Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:20 am

Will faith in the 3-4-2-1 waver?
It was a roadblock to what was supposed to be a juggernaut beginning to rev its engine. The 3-4-2-1 that had disposed of Bournemouth and bettered Arsenal – in performance, if not goals – rolled towards Turf Moor and Burnley.

But the swashbuckling nature of the previous two performances was missing. This was a display without the swagger of Bournemouth or intensity of Arsenal. It was a grim reminder of how Liverpool, at times, have struggled this season.

The end result was positive against the Clarets, but more had been expected of the away side – unreasonably so, perhaps.

The 3-4-2-1 didn't work for large parts of the game. With Burnley's wide men, George Boyd and Scott Arfield, tucking inside, the Reds were outnumbered in the middle with six Burnley players taking on Liverpool's two central midfielders and three centre backs.

It also negated wide midfielders Jordan Henderson and Lazar Markovic, who were pinned back and had to help their team-mates instead of troubling the opposition further up the pitch.

Now, at home to Swansea, Rodgers must decide whether to keep faith in it after a slight setback - in performance, if not result - or look to tweak the system once more.

In theory, Swansea are a side who should struggle with the 3-4-2-1. Their wide men stay wide and employ a lone striker up front - the opposite game-plan Burnley adopt. In addition, Rodgers has, throughout his time at Anfield, been a manager who rarely loses belief in a system after one bad showing.

But it's something to think about, nevertheless. Daniel Sturridge edges nearer to fitness; how that affects the side, both in the run-up to his return, and when he is back in the side, remains to be seen. For now, 3-4-2-1 should remain – but it needs to work, and work well against Swansea, to feature as a long-term option.
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Re: Let's talk about the 3-4-3

Post by DeletedUser#1 on Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:35 pm

Keep it up.

getting the absolute best out of Coutinho and Lallana.

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Re: Let's talk about the 3-4-3

Post by Don't call me James on Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:38 pm

And also getting the best out of our defense. Without this system defense turns to shit again. We're still bad but not as terrible as before imo.

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Re: Let's talk about the 3-4-3

Post by Curtinho on Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:21 am

:coffee:

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Re: Let's talk about the 3-4-3

Post by Don't call me James on Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:30 am

@Don't call me James wrote:3-4-3 implies Coutinho and Lallana playing as forwards like Sterling which they really don't.

I would appreciate if people started calling it properly 3-4-2-1. :coffee:

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Re: Let's talk about the 3-4-3

Post by Don't call me James on Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:32 am

Seriously though, it's working for us. Let's not break something that's working.

I still don't think it's sustainable long term but we actually have the right players to fit this system.

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Re: Let's talk about the 3-4-3

Post by DeletedUser#1 on Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:04 am

Can I ask why people think it's not a "viable" long-term option ??

Despite result not being great, we looked dominant and great against 2 of the better teams in this league at Man U and Arsenal with this formation. The league is full of absolute scrubs. City/Chelsea aside, every team can be had with this system.

What this system does brilliantly, is putting our most creative and technical players near each other so they can do little 1 and 2s, interchange positions and cause havoc.

Unlike that dire turgid 4-2-3-1 which had Coutinho and Sterling miles apart.

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Re: Let's talk about the 3-4-3

Post by Don't call me James on Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:29 am

Defensively it gets ripped apart by teams with good attacking players. Look at the United match. They created like 3 chances all game and scored from all of them.

If your defense isn't good, which ours isn't, this formation gets found out very quickly. Teams learn how to play against it. Heck Burnley already showed how to play against it. I don't know why Swansea and Arsenal just sat back letting our midfield get the ball and no press us as Burnley showed this system could be disrupted very quickly.

Last season we had a little spell using 3-5-2 and did well at the beginning until teams found the formation out.

It's not sustainable mate.

It is my personal favorite formation as I play it all the time on FIFA because it allows for most attacking players on the pitch at once, but just not ideal in the long run.

When I mean long run, I mean we won't be winning shit with this formation. Like EL for example. Can't play like this in Europe and expect to progress far imo unless you have both the CM's spot occupied by expert defensive midfielders and much better keeper and defenders with defensively oriented fullbacks.

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Re: Let's talk about the 3-4-3

Post by DeletedUser#1 on Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:41 am

@Don't call me James wrote:Defensively it gets ripped apart by teams with good attacking players. Look at the United match. They created like 3 chances all game and scored from all of them.

If your defense isn't good, which ours isn't, this formation gets found out very quickly. Teams learn how to play against it. Heck Burnley already showed how to play against it. I don't know why Swansea and Arsenal just sat back letting our midfield get the ball and no press us as Burnley showed this system could be disrupted very quickly.

Last season we had a little spell using 3-5-2 and did well at the beginning until teams found the formation out.

It's not sustainable mate.

It is my personal favorite formation as I play it all the time on FIFA because it allows for most attacking players on the pitch at once, but just not ideal in the long run.

When I mean long run, I mean we won't be winning shit with this formation. Like EL for example. Can't play like this in Europe and expect to progress far imo unless you have both the CM's spot occupied by expert defensive midfielders and much better keeper and defenders with defensively oriented fullbacks.


This is not 3-5-2 though Man. It's completely different.

Also, you bring up the Man U game, we ripped their defense apart much more than they did. If we had our main striker fit, we'd have scored more than them. Plus, the goals we conceded there were a lot more of an individual errors as opposed to systematic problem.

Arsenal's second goal was the closest goal we've conceded that is "systematic" about this formation. But all formation have their weaknesses.

A top 2 team in the world atm, Bayern Munich, plays this formation.

If you think of our 11 game winning run last season, it was almost a variation of this. Gerrard was so deep, you could actually argue he was playing as a 3rd CB

-----------------Mignolet---------------
---------Skrtel-----Gerrard--Agger---
--Johnson----Coutinho--Hendo---Flanno
------------Sterling--------Suarez-----
-------------------Sturridge------------

formation aren't a fix of course and change numerous time during the course of the game, but the concept was to get our best players (Cou, Sterling, and SAS) playing as close to each other as possible and it worked a treat.


This formation suits both Moreno and Manquillo better. Grants Can a whole new position. Most importantly, it has allowed us to PRESS more aggressively and likes of Markovic, and Lallana seem very comfortable in it as it allows a lot more tactical diversity.

As for the Burnley game, they pressed like mad men at the beginning, and the issue that caused us problems were panicky centre backs on the ball. It was a lot better in second half when Can came on. When teams press like that, it also exposes them to risk if we get past their press...as evident by the Spurs game early this season.


Early days, but we'll know a lot better about success of this formation by the end of January.

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Re: Let's talk about the 3-4-3

Post by Curtinho on Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:28 am

Yeah the whole thing about it not being sustainable sounds like rubbish. Burnley is a team of low talent, high energy players that run all over the pitch and make things difficult for any team. As soon as we started pressing and they ran out of a bit of gas we were controlling the match and creating a bunch of scoring opportunities. Any team will have trouble with hard pressing teams. Can you remember more than one scoring opportunity that Burnley actually created though? Aside from the shot off the post, which was an individual mistake by Skrtel, they didn't really create much of anything. This tactic has been very defensively sound.

I'm optimistic about it, but I have been since the beginning.

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