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Up until around 20 years ago the 4-4-2 was favoured by the majority of managers, including one of the greatest to ever manage, Sir Alex Ferguson.

It remains in use today as a suitable shape to form a compact block, exhibited in the tactics used by managers such as Diego Simeone and Sean Dyche.

They opt for this formation as it is able to prevent teams from progressing centrally, where they are most dangerous, with its central box consisting of two strikers and two central midfielders, flanked by two wide midfielders able to both tuck in and press wide.

In this piece of tactical theory, I will be discussing what the main weaknesses of the 4-4-2 set-up in a mid/low block are, and how a team can go about exploiting them. This analysis will essentially act as a step-by-step thought process as to how you can create a tactical set-up if the opponents’ defensive structure is known.

4 - 4 - 2 IN ATTACK

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