Bielsa 3331 formation

spids

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Jul 19, 2015
Messages
829
#21
No I think this is different,before dier would drop into back 4.now he is sitting infront of a 3 .with wing backs filling in it's totally different
I slightly disagree with this. When Poch first came we played 4-2-3-1 religiously. Then, 2nd season when Dier played in CM he would drop back in between the CBs to allow the FBs to push on, enabling us to switch between 4-2-3-1 and 3-4-2-1 "in-game". But after Wanyama came, and Poch realised he could not play him and Dier together in CM, we mainly played 3-4-2-1, with Wanyama in DCM alongside Dembele and Dier at RCB. The only difference yesterday was that Dier played DCM (in Wanyama's absence) and Sanchez played in the back 3 instead of Dier (with toby shifting across to RCB). The formation was ultimately the same as last year, but I do agree the the midfield shape was a bit different. This was because of personnel rather than formation IMO. With Sissoko in CM, it resulted in him and Eriksen playing on the sides of a midfield diamond with Dier at the base of it. When Wanyama and Dembele play they both anchor and let Eriksen and Alli play where they like.

Usual:
GK
RCB CB LCB
RWB DCM DCM LWB
AM AM
CF
Yesterday:
GK
RCB CB LCB
RWB DCM LWB
RCM LCM
AM
CF
 
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Messages
18,349
#23
Posted this in another thread but think it's pertinent here:

The set up in this game very much reminded me of the Ajaz mid nineties Champions League winners. Yes, Trippier and Davies are in theory full backs, but their position was so high up on the pitch that really they were widemen in the old fashioned sense, while Vertonghen and Alderweireld spent as much time in traditional full back positions as they did in the middle, especially on the ball.

Van der Sar
Reiziger Blind F.De Boer
Rijkaard
Finidi Seedorf Davids Overmars
Litmanen
R.De Boer

Kane
Dele
Davies Sissoko Eriksen Trippier
Dier
Vertonghen Sanchez Alderweireld
Lloris​
When it's Rose and Aurier instead of Davies in Trippier it will be even more reminiscent.

It just becomes spooky when you then look at our lineup and see 4 players who broke through at Ajax.
 

GetSpurredOn

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Joined
Jun 18, 2006
Messages
3,537
#24
There's definitely some fluidity in our setups now, predominantly based around the flexibility of the players to switch within the game without the need to change the personnel from the bench.
Watched the highlights today, and initially Eriksen definitely looked to be sitting that bit deeper into a CM role, so very much

Lloris
Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen
Trippier, Dier, Davies
Sissoko, Eriksen
Alli
Kane
As the game wore on and Everton were driven back, Eriksen moved to play higher up in and around Kane and Alli, so became more

Lloris
Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen
Trippier, Sissoko, Dier, Davies
Eriksen, Alli
Kane
The movement was fantastic at times.
 
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Messages
39,466
#25
I'm pretty sure this is what we played yesterday.Its highly complex and technical.Bielsa was a mentor for poch,maybe poch now feels he has the players total trust and they are so tuned in this is possible.will post a link to interesting article.
I think you are definitely more right than wrong, it pretty much was a 3331. We can argue all day about what it was at various phases of play, 3511, 31411 etc etc, in the match thread I just referred to it as a CM3 format, but on reflection I'm pretty sure this was some generic version of a 3331.

Similar but not quite, Bielsa would have had the base formation as something like:

View attachment 32458


With wide forwards, Eriksen in behind supplying the front three and then wingbacks coming inside to make a diamond midfield. I reckon.

We played more a 3-5-1-1 or 3-5-2. Just how the game panned out it ended up a very similar shape. The wingbacks had a lot of space to advance into, particularly Davies. Dier held his position whilst Eriksen and Sissoko were free to roam in front/either side of him.

It wasn't perfect by any means, but the cm3 at least had some balance to it and put players in roles that suit them. Dier is much better when he can just sit and screen the defence, he isn't a mobile hunter for the ball who covers ground like our cm2 systems want. Sissoko I said when he signed the only way you would ever get anything out of him (and even yesterday was only ok really, lets not get carried away) he has to play in a cm3... Only took a year for Poch to realise this... And it just allows a better balance of roles and type of players - one anchor, one passer, one runner. You get a bit of everything.
Agree with much of that but not all. I think @coys200 is pretty much right, it was closest to a 3331. I know heat maps don't tell the whole truth, and this isn't conclusive proof but yesterday's kind of backs up the theory:

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 16.45.59.png



I get very much what you were saying, without the ball it definitely became a 3511, with Sissoko and Eriksen dropping back but as a default with the ball I'd say it was a 3331.




I slightly disagree with this. When Poch first came we played 4-2-3-1 religiously. Then, 2nd season when Dier played in CM he would drop back in between the CBs to allow the FBs to push on, enabling us to switch between 4-2-3-1 and 3-4-2-1 "in-game". But after Wanyama came, and Poch realised he could not play him and Dier together in CM, we mainly played 3-4-2-1, with Wanyama in DCM alongside Dembele and Dier at RCB. The only difference yesterday was that Dier played DCM (in Wanyama's absence) and Sanchez played in the back 3 instead of Dier (with toby shifting across to RCB). The formation was ultimately the same as last year, but I do agree the the midfield shape was a bit different. This was because of personnel rather than formation IMO. With Sissoko in CM, it resulted in him and Eriksen playing on the sides of a midfield diamond with Dier at the base of it. When Wanyama and Dembele play they both anchor and let Eriksen and Alli play where they like.

Usual:
GK
RCB CB LCB
RWB DCM DCM LWB
AM AM
CF
Yesterday:
GK
RCB CB LCB
RWB DCM LWB
RCM LCM
AM
CF


But that's what @coys200 is saying. The Dier dropping back thing only happened when we played 2CB systems, with Dier in CM. The difference this season is big, as we have switched from a cm2 system to a cm3 system, which tactically is massively different. And we've now done it in a 2CB system (Chelsea) and 3CB system (Everton).

The massive tactical difference is, in a 2CM system, in a proactive team (like we are) both CM's have to pivot and do all things in varying degrees. In the three system you just need a central insurance man being more disciplined and one dimensional and two pivoting either side who can be more progressive, helping you to overload from deeper, harder to pick up positions.
 
Last edited:

coys200

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May 22, 2017
Messages
3,803
Thread starter #26
The interesting thing is how effective it was yesterday.I honestly think it slightly confused Everton.Well more than slightly tbh.Theres some very knowledgeable people on here and even 24 hours later we can't really agree what it was.So imagine how Everton felt in real game time.Cant even begin to imagine adding Aurier and Rose to this,can't wait.
 

lukespurs7

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Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Messages
4,833
#27
I'm pretty sure this is what we played yesterday.Its highly complex and technical.Bielsa was a mentor for poch,maybe poch now feels he has the players total trust and they are so tuned in this is possible.will post a link to interesting article.
If it's 3-3-3-1 what positions are these?
Also some commentators and Komean said it was a Diamond in front of the 5 so 5-4-1, it also looked to me quite like the 3-4-2-1 we played a lot last year.

If I had to pick positions it would've come out as:
Lloris GK

Trippier RWB
Toby RCB
Sanchez CB
Jan LCB
Davies LWB

Dier CDM
Sissoko RCM
Eriksen LCM
Alli CAM

Kane ST

Some have also said it was a 4-1-4-1 but I don't think it was really as clear 5 at the back.
 

lukespurs7

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Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Messages
4,833
#28
I slightly disagree with this. When Poch first came we played 4-2-3-1 religiously. Then, 2nd season when Dier played in CM he would drop back in between the CBs to allow the FBs to push on, enabling us to switch between 4-2-3-1 and 3-4-2-1 "in-game". But after Wanyama came, and Poch realised he could not play him and Dier together in CM, we mainly played 3-4-2-1, with Wanyama in DCM alongside Dembele and Dier at RCB. The only difference yesterday was that Dier played DCM (in Wanyama's absence) and Sanchez played in the back 3 instead of Dier (with toby shifting across to RCB). The formation was ultimately the same as last year, but I do agree the the midfield shape was a bit different. This was because of personnel rather than formation IMO. With Sissoko in CM, it resulted in him and Eriksen playing on the sides of a midfield diamond with Dier at the base of it. When Wanyama and Dembele play they both anchor and let Eriksen and Alli play where they like.

Usual:
GK
RCB CB LCB
RWB DCM DCM LWB
AM AM
CF
Yesterday:
GK
RCB CB LCB
RWB DCM LWB
RCM LCM
AM
CF
Brilliant simple overview love it!! And so yesterday's version could be called a 3-3-3-1 I suppose as people have said.
Interesting stuff.
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2004
Messages
39,466
#29
The interesting thing is how effective it was yesterday.I honestly think it slightly confused Everton.Well more than slightly tbh.Theres some very knowledgeable people on here and even 24 hours later we can't really agree what it was.So imagine how Everton felt in real game time.Cant even begin to imagine adding Aurier and Rose to this,can't wait.

I don't think Aurier and Rose would have been any better yesterday than Davies and Trippier (and I've not been a huge fan of Davies generally). I think Rose has become better while injured in everyone's mind. He's still a pretty wasteful player. That ball by Davies for Kane was as good as any I've seen Rose play. Wish we'd have bought Sessegnon, he'd have been the bollocks in this system after some developing.
 

GetSpurredOn

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Joined
Jun 18, 2006
Messages
3,537
#30
Lloris
Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen
Trippier, Dier, Davies
Sissoko, Eriksen
Alli
Kane
5 at the back, is much more like a 3 at the back, with advanced fullbacks. Sit them on the same row as the deepest of the midfield diamond. Suddenly it starts to resemble 3331, or rather 33211 anyway with Alli slightly higher up that Eriksen and Sissoko.
Moving forward, this system makes so much more sense, as it would allow for any two player combination of Dembele, Winks or Onomah, sitting alongside Wanyama or Dier. Barkley seems like a good fit for that system too. Alli, Lamela, Eriksen could all play in that wider CM role too, with Son or even Kane as alternatives playing off the striker, where Llorente fits in.
 

Locotoro

Prince of Zamunda
Joined
Sep 2, 2004
Messages
5,669
#31
No I think this is different,before dier would drop into back 4.now he is sitting infront of a 3 .with wing backs filling in it's totally different
I think it's a simple case.

Poch can see when we play Trippier and Davies they need the defensive cover behind them when they venture high up the pitch. With Dier playing in a holding role it allows 3 CBs to split without compromising defensive solidity in the centre of the pitch. This allows them to join the attack quick high up and spread the opposition defence in turn giving space to Alli, Kane, Erikssen.

We end up with two very good crossers of the ball pushed high up the pitch, Dier sitting deep and Sissokos athleticism providing the extra man at both ends when the ball transitions. If we did that against Burnley we'd have won comfortably.

I'm not sure the same approach will be used when Aurier and Rose play.
 
Last edited:

SUIYHA

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Joined
Jan 15, 2017
Messages
501
#32
A big part of Poch's success IMO is that even our own fan base are having debates about what formation we've been playing. Back in the day it was 4-4-fackin-2, you knew roughly what everyone's role was on the pitch and how they were going to attack you. Now even we find it hard to identify exactly what the formation is. Must be an absolute nightmare for opposition managers and players to plan for - to understand where there are going to be gaps they can exploit and how they can track the runs of our players.

Eriksen and Alli were both poor in the first few months of last season but once we switched to the 3-4-2-1 they both exploded into form because teams found it much harder to figure out the game plan, then we added Son into the mix in the final few months. Even when teams see our starting XI, they need to try and figure out who's playing where and what their roles are - and we will switch it up during the match.
 
Joined
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Messages
39,466
#33
If it's 3-3-3-1 what positions are these?
Also some commentators and Komean said it was a Diamond in front of the 5 so 5-4-1, it also looked to me quite like the 3-4-2-1 we played a lot last year.

If I had to pick positions it would've come out as:
Lloris GK

Trippier RWB
Toby RCB
Sanchez CB
Jan LCB
Davies LWB

Dier CDM
Sissoko RCM
Eriksen LCM
Alli CAM

Kane ST

Some have also said it was a 4-1-4-1 but I don't think it was really as clear 5 at the back.

In possession it looked something like this:

TA---------------Sanchez------------JV

Trippier-------------------------Dier--------------------------Davies
V----------------------------------------------------------------V
Sissoko---------------Alli--------------------Eriksen
V-------------------------------------------V
Kane

Without the ball:

TA---------------Sanchez------------JV

Trippier--------Sissoko---------------Dier-------------Eriksen--------Davies

------------Alli

Kane​
 

JimmyG2

SC Supporter
Joined
Dec 7, 2006
Messages
7,209
#34
Was Lloris not playing yesterday or for the last 3 seasons?
Never gets a mention.

In any case we are strictly we are playing 3 at the back
and an auxiliary sweeper keeper.
I don't care what bloody Bielsa says

If only the players wouldn't fuckin' run about so
we might just get this sorted.
 

TottenhamMattSpur

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#36
Everyone goes on about Bielsa but he's never been at a top club and stood out.

What's the fuss about? I know he is credited with developing the 4231 and the pressing style but it's not like he's a highly decorated winner is it?
 

coys200

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Messages
3,803
Thread starter #38
Everyone goes on about Bielsa but he's never been at a top club and stood out.

What's the fuss about? I know he is credited with developing the 4231 and the pressing style but it's not like he's a highly decorated winner is it?
I think bielsa is/will be almost like a famous artist.At the time of his creation he was mocked and not really understood.I think you need intelligent players to play his way.Maybe he never had them .And maybe it's only poch and pep success that has shown a light on him.Maybe he was just ahead of his time.
For me the most notable think about yesterday was how isolated dier looked at times.There were moments in first 30 mins the centre of midfield looked really empty.But it may be poch feels so confident in back 3 personal it gives this formation more freedom.Maybe he was just waiting to get a Sanchez type player in.

But as said preparing to play us must be a nightmare.
 
Joined
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Messages
39,466
#39
Everyone goes on about Bielsa but he's never been at a top club and stood out.

What's the fuss about? I know he is credited with developing the 4231 and the pressing style but it's not like he's a highly decorated winner is it?

He has won things; Championships in Argentina, runner up in their CL, Won the Olympics with Argentina, basically got Chile playing a great brand of football that saw them start winning things later on with his successors, got a very unfashionable Atletico Bilbao to the Europa Cup final (knocking out SAF's ManU on the way). In Europe he's never been given a top job with a club with a remote chance of winning much, part of that is possibly his personal reputation as slightly obsessive genius/lunatic (El Loco).

More than anything he's seen as someone who's innovated and introduced ideas that have enabled some of the teams he's managed to over achieve through his tactical applications, and also a coach who's ideas - or the best bits of them - have influenced and been adopted and adapted by numerous other managers, some with incredible success.

The first time I really started paying attention to him was after watching his Chile team at the 2010 WC, which was the only team I'd seen outplay that all conquering Spanish team, then again outplayed Brazil in the knockout stage but lost 3-0 just because Brazil had quality attackers and skanked them. His next job was Bilbao and I'd never seen a team rip apart a ManU team like his team did both home and away. I personally had never seen football so intoxicatingly ferocious, it was orgasmic.

His methods are often not for the faint hearted, at their best they are high energy, ultra committed, super intense and as a result he can burn players out or just plain piss them off and his teams can often blow up, either in games or in later parts of seasons.

His teams are always front foot, aggressive, proactive teams. Personally I love it, but I accept it's not always practical or workable, certainly not in it's purest form.
 
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