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This book sets out to illustrate how to effectively counter the 4-3-3 system, recognising the strengths of it and negating them as well as taking advantage of the weaknesses that it has.

After a brief summary of the main components of the 4-3-3, highlighting the strengths and weakness of it, we will look at some effective tactical planning to play against and beat it and also look at ways of practicing those tactics on the training pitch, through sessions and drills designed specifically to prepare in a manner to overcome the system.

It is important to realise that each formation has its strengths and weaknesses and that at the start of each match there is 11 players against 11 players.

These players, arranged on the pitch, make up the formation and each formation will cause problems for any other formation unless the players themselves perform.

The 4-3-3 can be interpreted in many ways, though I believe that the only variation of the system is in the midfield, where the central midfielder can eother play behind or in front of the other 2.

For the purpose of this book we will look at both these variations, ascertaining and dealing with the different problems that this can cause.

As with any strategy of dealing with a formation in a manner to beat it, I have tried to outline some basic principles of defending and attacking which can be retained throughout in an effort to make the method of beating the 4-3-3 easier to coach and for the players to implement. With this in mind I have split the pitch up into thirds, dealing with both the defensive attributes and offensive attributes in a progressive way.

For ease of reference, the 4-3-3 system is always portrayed as the Black Team with White Numbers. In my experience, simple instructions to players where they can carry them out on the field instinctively pay far more dividends than looking at elaborate ways to play.

Simplifying each issue is fundamental if the tactical aspects are to be successful. With this in mind I like to have a symmetrical plan both when defending and attacking, with the same defensive plans and attacking schemes respectively used for whichever side of the pitch the ball is on.

In this book therefore, when looking at the diagrams for coaching purposes, simply mirror the tactic shown for when the ball is on the opposite side of the pitch to the diagram.

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