This has developed from a strikerless formation, into a very forward thinking 4-1-4-1. It is not exactly plug in and play, but with the right players situated in the correct roles, it can have an immediate impact with teams of all levels.
As part of a Pentagon save, it won the North American Champions League with Canadian side Forge FC. It helped guide Independiente del Valle past Flamengo in the Copa Libertadores final and in a joint save, it is being used to guide FC Groningen to the Champions League semi-finals.
At times your forward is the decoy, his movement opens space for the Shadow Strikers and the wingers coming in off the flank. However as the test showed, Erling Haaland had a wonderful time in this set up, scoring 48 goals in 42 games. You will achieve goals and assists with the four playing behind the main striker.
As there is only a Box to Box midfielder, you need someone with higher stamina, teamwork, work rate and pace. Don't expect high match ratings, this man is purely here for work ethic.
The IWBs support the midfield and help create passing triangles high up the pitch. You need defenders who are switched on in terms of anticipation and decisions, but with pace to cope with having to recover and deal with being outnumbered.
This is so key to your team understanding this tactic. Weekly Match prep, including teamwork and match tactics are needed to help the players understand what's going on, as well as Match Review after each fixture. Do this early and throughout the season and you will see the benefits.
For the individual players, train them for the position they are going to play and the tactic will benefit.
For the testing, only corners aimed to the near post were set up.
Discussion: Death by xG 4-1-4-1 // 199 goals in one season
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