What is 4 4 4 1 1

Game systems - basics of 4-4-2 (the diamond)

We refer to this as the "diamond" and it starts right in front of the back four with number 6, our "six" and defensive, central midfielder. Behind the two peaks we have the attacking, central midfielder with the number 10 as a pass point.

The six is ​​the defensive protection in the diamond game and keeps the back free for the ten. It is often referred to simply as a "clearer" or "vacuum cleaner", perhaps a kind of "pre-stopper". The ten is the playmaker, but also responsible for protecting the six if it should act out its offensive urge.

The tens must have a good eye, be technically very strong and have enormous creativity. Ok, in modern football every player should have these skills. Let's put it this way: he should be able to control these things even more.

The two positions on the right and left side of the diamond are still missing. These positions are taken by the players with the number 7 and 8. If we take a closer look at the graphic, we can see that the two players are in half positions in the field. You don't really play in central midfield, but neither do you play on the wing positions. If they were to switch to the wings, a large gap would arise in the center.

The diamond serves the central midfield intensively, where there are many opportunities to play. On the wings there is also a problem with the diamond, which is often referred to as "lame on wings". The game inevitably shifts strongly to the center, which is why the two full-backs have to repeatedly take the wing positions offensively. There is an outnumbered situation in the opposing half of the game and many triangles are formed. Louis van Gaal therefore called the diamond "mathematically ingenious".

But sometimes there are also wrong solutions in mathematics. The offensive direction of the diamond is of course interesting, but where it is played there are of course risks. If the ball is lost, the team is suddenly very open on the defensive, the diamond is very susceptible to counterattacks. However, a safe passing game and an extremely high willingness to run on the part of the entire team offset this risk. The diamond is constantly shifting towards the ball. If the opponent comes over his own left side, the left midfielder attacks, the six and ten shift to the left and the right midfielder occupies the center.

Those who value creativity in the midfield are in good hands in the diamond. In the "Flat Four" the game is more static, the playmaker is missing, but it is defensively more secure and the wings are occupied. In the diamond, the midfield is compact and the gap between the central midfield and the storm is smaller.

The 2 (attack)

As the last formation in the 4-4-2 with diamond we still have our two strikers.

Not only are you the front line attacker, you are also the first line defender. In doing so, they not only cause danger directly in front of the opposing goal, especially due to the good coordination of the walking paths, they can also repeatedly switch to the wings. With the opponent in possession of the ball close to the goal, one striker attacks the owner of the ball and the other obstructs the pass paths.

So much for the basics of 4-4-2 with a diamond, of course the system is much more complex. Which 4-4-2 do you like better now, with "flat four" or with diamond?

Basics for other game systems in football:
Game systems - basics of 4-4-2 (flat four)
Game systems - basics of 4-2-3-1

Uwe Bluhm