To the English, the formation is unheard of. Loyal servants of the 4-4-2, it is hard for them to accept such a ‘distorted’ setup. Nonetheless, the Premier League is taking in European influences than many might think, and the British fans are warming up to the continent’s varied style of football. Bit parts of it are due to the hiring of foreign managers and the success of international sides.
Nothing else is more European than the 3-5-2 formation. Football fans are witnessing one of its most successful reiterations under Louis van Gaal. It has survived the void time and again, because it does not define a playing strategy. Rather, playing styles moulded with it as the core.
The One Thing It Needs
A 3-5-2 definitely needs players that can play a number of positions comfortably. The modern problem with this old formation is that players today train to play certain roles. While some of them are able to play with variety, they are rare. Yet the one thing it requires, whether of coaches and players, is intelligence. Manuals can only teach so much, as such with what Soccer Tutor provides.
To make it work, everyone has to adapt, foresee and time most things. That is what made Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona so great, because they had great and smart players. But it is not a reason to give the system up the right characters are lacking.
Two Sides of the Same Coin
Italy and the Netherlands are the two countries that have adopted the formation religiously. Anyone will find it hard to look for a side in Serie A that does not play 3-5-2. After all, it is where catenaccio lives on, and it is something Italians call their own. Telling them to stop playing like them is sacrilegious, a fitting description.
While the Italians use the formation for defensive purposes, the Dutch utilises it for better forward play. Johan Cruyff, the fountainhead of the Dutch’s way of football, believes in the system wholeheartedly. He says it is the only way for total voetbal to work, which he discussed in detail, in a TV show.
Furthermore, no setup is more universal than the 3-5-2. South American sides use it, probably because of the Italian influence. Use it right, and teams have a chance to become unstoppable forces.