|Could Spain sweep all before them with a 3-4-3?|
|Written by Administrator on Monday, 28 May 2012 09:36|
The past season has seen a great shift in the tactical expressions of some very big teams in Europe. As we head into Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine, we look at some of the tactical and team variations that could lead to one of the 16 lifting the European Cup in July. And one of the favourites for the tournament will of course be the reigning World and European Champions, Spain.
Spain has been dealt a double blow with the injury to Carles Puyol who is so vital in the centre of defence for La Furia Roja. As if that was not bad enough, Spain’s record goal scorer confirmed on Thursday evening to Vicente Del Bosque that he would be taking no part in Poland and Ukraine. Spain scored a grand total of eight goals in South Africa to lift the World Cup, the least number of goals ever scored by a World Champion. Of those eight strikes, David Villa grabbed five of them. His importance to the national team was stressed by Del Bosque’s predecessor, Luis Aragones’, who made the very tough and very controversial decision to drop “El Capitano” Raul from the national team. He was ostracized in Spain for his supposedly rash and illogical decision – Raul was La Furia Roja’s greatest scorer at the time. But Aragones stuck to his guns and went to Euro 2008 without the nation’s greatest ever scorer…and won it!
David Villa’s contributions to the Spain team since have made him the darling of the Spanish public. He is probably the only Barcelona player who has a national appeal in Spain. Well, aside from Don Andres Iniesta who is fondly remembered and applauded at every stadium in Spain when he is substituted for his World Cup final strike. Villa’s loss has been greeted with more questions for Barcelona and surprisingly Pep Guardiola. Some have argued that Guardiola playing the national hero out of position in favour of Leo Messi through the middle may have contributed to Villa’s injury woes.
Surprisingly, Barcelona has been one of the three teams in the top leagues to play a 3-4-3 system this season. Most times, we have seen a 4-3-3 system as the default settings for the Catalans. The thing with Barcelona though is that the multiple role often performed by Dani Alvez mean that the tactical formation the Catalans start with is not the one they progress with through the match. Often he plays so high up the pitch Barcelona look more of a 3-3-4. Certainly this is the case against teams that do not offer much going forward and choose to sit very deep like Chelsea did at the Camp Nou. But most times, Dani Alvez will come forward and become part of the midfield as Busquets drops deeper to sit in front of the back three. Messi drops to sit in front of his midfield team mates making Barcelona look more of a 3-1-4-2. And with a good number of Spain’s first team members coming from the Barcelona, should Del Bosque opt for a 3-4-3 system, it would not be a problem for them to implement.
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