Below, us look at six patterns von play you tun können use an the 4-2-3-1 formation. We will use tactical analysis and coaching to identify four patterns of play. These include are zum wide penetration, while ns other two are weil das central penetration. If sie are coaching the 4-2-3-1 system or you are participating in any high-level coaching courses together as ns UEFA A or b licence whereby patterns des play room a requirement you may find ns below valuable.

Du schaust: 4 2 3 1 system trainieren

While arising this series des passing and moving patterns, ich share what has actually worked zum me on ns training ground as well as taking influence from some von Europes ideal teams who operate in this formation. Bei particular, i observed a gewächs of Arsenal under die early Mikel Arteta era. The premier League side have produced a gewächs of good schon fast fluid attack football in the 4-2-3-1 formation, and they schutz developed a style under the young Spanish direktors that any purest von the game would appreciate.

In die below 3 images, we wollen use analysis to lakers a pattern of play i beg your pardon I have detailed listed below as Pattern: central B.In this premier League clash betwee Crystal Palace and Arsenal Mesut Özil, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (formerly of Borussia Dortmund) combine well kommen sie give Arsenal their zuerst goal.


Play begins with a forward pass zu Özil the CAM zum Arsenal, who an turn lays-off a soft pass zum Lacazette kommen sie progress die attack. In anticipation, LM Aubameyang start his run.


Due kommen sie his movement to lose the centre-back und his confident body form Lacazette zu sein best placed to play a penetrating pass. When Aubameyang proceeds his run kommen sie meet die through ball.


Aubameyang takes in excellent erste touch und finishes under low to die goalkeepers right.

A three-pass combination which resulted in a goal, a score that would not have been scored If not weil das the perfect passes, fine timed run und good body shape des the attackers.

Below we wollen look at:

Why trainer patterns des playOrientation des the 4-2-3-1Wide patternsCentral patternsGetting success

Why coach patterns des play

Bottom line, us train patterns of play zu help players identify and execute pre-determined passing and moving combinations kommen sie beat ns opponent’s defence. Periodically that may mean penetration zu score a goal, other mal it may deshalb mean playing through ns opponents forwards or midfield zu get v their defensive block or pressure.

If freundin are a coach, deshalb consider individual und team confidence. When ns attacking team is only playing bei reaction to one another, this method they space trying to discover moments and gaps out of pure randomness zu get success. At the same time, die opponent tun können anticipate and defend.

The likely outcome ist a gewächs of technical und tactical errors that subsequently result an higher turnovers, which weighs a players confidence. On the other hand, wie man you schutz a mannschaft that knows the system und they can execute theatre on minimal touches, und at such a high speed the opponent cannot constantly react to this, which bei turn, offers a higher chance of success.

Orientation von the 4-2-3-1

The characteristics of a particular bildete can only be emphasized über the style des play of the team that provides it. Die 4-2-3-1 ist a flexible bildete that offers a lot of versatility kommen sie possession-based groups that look zu create number superiority an defence and midfield.


Notice von the graphical annotation every players primary and secondary movements in attack represented von the grey arrows.

In the build-up phase generally, one von the 2 pivots kann sein drop into die defence to create a false back-three temporary as die full-backs breakthrough forward.

Higher up ns field, with vast midfielders drifting into die half-spaces too as the two central-midfielders supporting close indigenous behind this helps produce numerical superiority as well as optional flexibility an central areas. Together these five players run centrally, both full-backs then kann sein command their corresponding channels.

Along through that, ns two centre-backs assistance from behind while die centre-forwards remains the focal point an attack. The centre-forward operates as a classic number ‘9’ as a target player among other functions.

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In die above tactical annotation, we lakers a usual game momente where the 4-2-3-1 hold its value.The video camer has positional flexibility kommen sie operate on both sides des the field and deshalb between the lines von the opposition. This makes er a tougher player zu mark; also, die CAM is key in creating overloads und high-value goal-scoring opportunities bei the enemies final third.

Above, ns CAM obtain a lay-off pass from the CF, ns LM makes a penetrating run in the half-space which an turn serves to pull the opposition RB out von position. This allows the CAM zu either beat a through ball to ns LM if feasible or out wide to the LB zu continue the attack.

Wide patterns

All patterns kann be mirrored on both sides of the field. Die ‘yellow’ icons on ns field stand for mannequins, work hinweisen your own tempo as freundin may want kommen sie gradually introduce one, two or three defenders along with the mannequins over time.

All patterns des play are set up zu play versus a back four together represented by the positioning of the mannequins on die field. Weil das each pattern of play, i recommend positioning the mannequins in natural protective positions relative to die play.

These patterns des play develop assaults that permeate the opposition defence an wide areas. Indigenous there, freundin may want to introduce your own crossing und finishing principles or permit freedom zum the ball carrier zu dribble into the box und determine his own options.

Wide A:


RB plays forward to the RM; ns RM start wide wie receiving the passAfter the RB provides the initial pass, he makes a run an the channelAs RM measures inside through the ball to the half-space the CM move slightly wide von the RM zu receive the null unmarked and so to market himself the angle to play die next happen forwardThe timing- motion relationship von the der dritte tag pass zu sein crucial as ns RB needs to receive die pass before going offside also as die CM not delaying in his pass before losing die angle to play forward.The RM should try zu offer a cushioned pass into the run von the CM deswegen he kann sein play the third und final pass through one-touchThe RB have to hold ns width in his run deshalb that he has actually a great body form as he receives the through ball.

Wide B:


The RB takes a short touch front as ns trigger weil das the CF to drop short zu receiving ns passAlthough it’s a long erste pass, ns CF should lay off the second pass v one touch if possibleAs the null is travelling to the CF, the CAM makes bei angled run into die channelThe CF lays turn off a pass to die CM, who then plays to die RM.At this point, die RM wollen want zu offer a high to low movement and holding die width such the he has actually both die space and the angle to play die final passIdeally, die CM should give the RM a pass the he can play consequently play forward with on one touch if possible. The position und body shape ist crucial here.Again ns extra touch tun können be die killer zum the final pass, deshalb the quality von passes ist essential.The camer should angle his run to allow himself a higher degree of flexibility together he aussehen to beat die offside line bei meeting the final pass.From here, this would certainly set nach oben a an excellent cross kommen sie finish opportunity.

Wide C:


The RB bring away a brief touch forward together a trigger weil das the CF to come short indigenous his highest possible point kommen sie meet die passAs the bass is travelling die CAM makes bei angled run bei between die lines and at a adequate distance from die CFIf the quality of the first pass zu sein good, then die CF tun können lay off a pass into die run of the electronic came with one-touchAt this point, die LM should be making his angled run zu create a run that would satisfy a potential penetrating pass. An doing so, ns LM would serve to create space for the LB by bringing the opposition full-back with ihm on his run.At this point, die LB should look to hülle the floor quickly zu get high in support und continue to develop a high-value attack.

Wide D:


The LB dribbles forward with the ball at a half pace und with good close control von the ballTo simulate when in opposition player would interact the drücken sie on the LB publication the ball at in advanced however realistic position from die half-spaceAt the moment the ball should be exit from the LB die CF provides a short run deep to receive the ball unmarkedAgain receiving a good pass from ns LB, the CF lays turn off a quick pass to the CAM who is moving wide des his central position away native pressureIt zu sein at this point so the LM renders a disguised movement kommen sie go deep but then to spin die defender on ns outside und make a run forward bei the channelAs ns LM can not afford to slow his run, the CAM must look to play a timely happen forward through die gap to meet ns run von the LM before he ist offsideThis ist a good position to construct a ‘cross’ zu ‘finish’ opportunity.

Central patterns

The major difference bolzen central und wide penetration zu sein that central patterns in the opponents half generally result in players arriving bei good goal-scoring positions. As zum wide fads that come to fruition, they commonly result bei wide crossing positions or dribbling avenues into the kasten from a vast position. That ist unless ns pattern includes the final ball into die box. Note, every patterns of play tun können be mirrored to both sides des the field.

Central A:


The RB carries the null forward bei the half-space kommen sie develop overall shorter passing distances which an turn wollen serve to help ns passes move weist a greater tempo und with better efficiencyUnless pressed ns RB must react to play the zuerst pass to the movement des the CF who makes a kind run deepAs the ball is travelling the CAM’s movement ist key, together he needs kommen sie arc his run such the he remains hinweisen a adequate distance from the CF kommen sie be in option for a pass too as to help himself oase a positive body shape as he meets ns final pass facing towards the goal,The frühen zeitpunkt pass has zu be a perfect pass to die strikers desired foot deshalb to allow a one-touch lay turn off to die CAM.The RM have to remain large as the serves zu create die width von engaging the opposition full-back and being a secondary option should the final pass not be executedPassing qualities, and also timing and movement von the runs, room critical to getting success

Central B:


The RB tote the null forward an the half-space to in advanced positionThe beginning position des the video camer must it is in high and wider to ns CF, which would certainly be a organic staggered position in open play.The cam receives a pass from ns RB and if he kann sein play his zuerst touch as a pass to die CF the shouldThe CF makes high to low movement away from die CB just moments before ns CAM’s passThe CF’s body shape ist crucial together he need to be looking zu receive the ball facing the opposition goal.It is the subtle und fine details that determine ns success as the CF needs kommen sie be so late on his run notfall to be marked und have a good zuerst touch zu receive und play forward.From die time ns CAM passes to ns CF, ns LM have to be do his run punkt full-speed zu beat the trailing defender, bei this case, ns full-back.Should the final pass not be available die supporting LB is so an option out wide kommen sie continue ns attack.After die CAM plays a pass to ns CF, the may so make a curved operation around the CF kommen sie be bei option in the room on the opposite side.Passing quality, human body shape and well-timed runs cannot be overstated as critical components for getting success.

Getting success

The greatest challenge is getting players zu identify all weist once the trained pattern of play at die same time in a 90-minute complement through your tactics. However, with die right conditions of open play an training, we tun können develop each players capacity zu read ns game and identify those moments. Take a look weist my recent coaching articles: ‘Coaching: Patterns von play in 4-4-2′ and ‘Coaching: Patterns des play bei 4-3-3′ to lakers how i coach my players kommen sie identify and execute those practised patterns of play bei a competitive game.

Options central and wide: We oase outlined a total des six options zum a mannschaft who dram a 4-2-3-1 gebildet to look for out, create und execute. Happen qualities, also as ns right timing und movement, will always be grundlegend essentials zu get success. In the beginning, wie working with your players, small it down to one or max two patterns in a week. Permit them get used zu this, learn ns pattern well und build confidence.

What-If’s: *This is usually where a trainer has to nur his worth as a mentor, together there möchte be lot of opportunity zum stoppages an the conditioned game, helping ns players discover their what-ifs wollen be crucial zum developing a confident possession-based team.Remember it zu sein essential for players to identify not only your patterns of play but so know their what-ifs, if ns desired outcome can not be reached.

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Mindset, repetition and patience: Try notfall to hurry success auch early, the more sie handover performance property to die player and create ns correct perspective within the group the sooner freundin will seen the rewards of this training. Facilitating a mindset of discovery und problem resolving over fehler avoidance and forcing opportunities wollen significantly improve ns players finding out as well zu help create the desired outcome.

If you enjoyed und found this short article valuable, or you still have some concerns or want to discover more on patterns of play bei the 4-2-3-1 formation, write kommen sie me on twitter