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Coaching Corner

4-2-4 attacking

  • When attacking with this system, it is essential that the two centre forwards give depth.

  • One forward will come short to feet, while the other looks for the long ball over the top into space.

  • Both wide men will be advanced and can try to find a position between the opposing wide midfielder and full back. The idea is to make it difficult for the full back to mark you as he/she doesn’t want to be dragged too far away from their centre back. At the same time the opposing wide midfielder doesn’t want to be forced all the way back to his/her defensive line as it will result in both midfielder and full back doing the same job and marking the same player.

  • Both central midfielders will match up in midfield against the opposition’s two central midfielders. Their job will be to pick up any second balls from the attackers and to support the forwards if they manage to bring the ball down.

  • Your defenders will be looking to pass up to the four front players as quickly as possible.

  • It will be very difficult to play through the midfield due to the lack of numbers in that section of the pitch. However, it is always worth passing into the centre of midfield if it drags the opposition’s midfielder out of position and consequently makes more space for the front men to get hold of the ball. Your central midfield player will simply pass it back to the defender for him/her to then play up to the front man.

  • If your central midfielders are fit enough it can be worth one of them gambling, occasionally, to see if they can get the wrong side of their marker. They will not be picked up by the opposition’s back four because they are all occupied with the front players.

  • This is a good tactic to use, especially if you have a tall striker who wins flick-ons on a regular basis. This will give the central midfielder the confidence to make that run without fear of being caught out if the header is not won.

  • Tricky and skilful wide men are handy in this system as they will be one-on-one with their markers all the time and, if they have the measure of their marker, they can be devastating in this position. Regular crosses into the box are difficult to deal with at any level and will result in goals.
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