The current formation has 4-2-3-1 as platform. Leonardo is a young coach and as a Brazilian he loves attacking football.
He was a higlhy talented winger so it's obvious that his teams try to play football in such a way. Last season he used in Milan 2 MC, he used Pirlo as AMC and he used Huntelaar and Ronaldinho as well. In some cases he used all of his attacking minded players in the squad and he just used two MC, who weren't even defensive midfielders. So this attacking overload was called from Galliani - Milan's Vice President-as 4-2-Fantasia.
Leonardo managed some very impressive results with the current formation. Maybe its utopic to use in modern football this kind of formation but reality shows the opposite. Since he took over Inter this season he tried to create something simmilar.
In the backline Ranocchia, Chivu, Maicon and Zanetti created a solid backline. In MC, Cambiasso and Stankovic were the MC, Sneider as AMC Pandev as left winger, Eto'o in the right wing and upfront Pazzini or Milito. So he made the same but this time his formations were much more balanced and he tried to play attacking football in an orthodox way. However his basic idea remained the same: attacking, unpredictable football, quick tempo and velocity touch football.
Leonardo has win many fans with his fancy style from the bench. As a coach he shows that he has become wiser and more mature after 1,5 year in the benches. Time will show the real potential of coach Leonardo. One thing is for sure: His attacking ideas and his fluid play is a big shock for conservative narrow minded italian football. Ask the teams who faced these formations how they felt. Not so comfortable I bet.
For sure when you play derbies you need to be more pragmatist and on the ground. The biggest difficulty when you play dominating football is how you will open up a tight defence.
This tactic is ideal to open hard and tight defences especially when you team is fast and technically gifted. I recommend this tactic to the users who take quality teams but for some reason their teams are not productive enough.
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4-2-fantasia - Imported from his experience with Milan, Leo did use it against Samp and from the first minute against Cagliari.
4-3-3 - The trident with three center forwards. This move was used in Bari, but the goals came when Sneijder entered for Milito.
The Christmas tree - The 4-3-2-1 was seen against Bayern Munich. They lost the game but created many opportunities.
4-2-3-1 - A already known system to the Inter players and was used by Inter against Fiorentina.
4-3-1-2 - Also used against Roma in the 5-3 win. The most beloved formation for the Inter coach.
Milan - It will be two months at Inter tomorrow. Two months and five paintings, mostly about winning. Leo will be at Inter two months and his paintings, the paintings of Leonardo, are all about important and versatile players. These modules represent his tactics either at the start of games or during. With fantasia or trident, Mou-system or the Christmas tree. They all have been used. From Inter-Napoli January 6 to Inter-Genoa March 6, Leonardo is the architect to hunt down Milan.
Trident Five different modules, from the first minute or during the game, to search for the right attitude and to find the key to attack and defend with full arsenal. Leo has always said: "I have a versatile team that can play in many formations and with players who can fill multiple roles." The examples are many: Thiago Motta who can play in the center or on the side, Nagatomo either left or right (in Genoa), Eto'o also on the right (in Florence), Zanetti whom Leonardo can use him anywhere, Cambiasso is almost the same, Kharja as central midfielder or as a trequartista, Chivu on the left or as central defender. In short, versatility is the key. The only system that hasn't worked well is the 4-3-3 and one example is against Bari. "I like playing with three strikers," said Leo but that system is rarely seen and used (and rightly so).
Fantasia and Pandev And then there is always the "4-2-fantasia" as kryptonite to all the defenses even though that it didn't go well against Juve (Eto'o hit the crossbar instead of an empty net) but it did against Sampdoria and Cagliari. That formation was his label at Milan and at Inter, he has been preparing Sneijder and Kharja. Another token that allows him to prepare his 4-2-1-3 is Pandev and the idea of bringing him off the bench has been used often.
Cambiasso, tree and Mou In all this, it should be noted about the important of Cambiasso on the field. It is not a secret that he is the "translator" (with gestures and references) on the field when changes were made between those who decide (Leo and Baresi) and who will do them. There is also the Christmas tree formation with two trequartisti behind one lone striker. This move was forced to make against Bayern due to the absence of Pazzini. They did create many chances even though they didn't score. In addition there is the 4-2-3-1 that was often used by Benitez and Mourinho but the favorite of Leo is the 4-3-1-2 with Sneijder behind Eto'o and Pazzini. With that, Leo will form a team against Genoa and he is also dreaming about it in Germany with the miracle return of Milito.
Source: Gazzetta dello Sport