Scotland manager Craig Levein made tactical history last week when he fielded a 4-6-0 formation away to the Czech Republic. We like his leftfield thinking and have come up with some suggestions of our own that make the Christmas Tree look withered and needleless.
No manager has ever thought about playing three goalkeepers before, mainly because the rules don’t permit it, but how many goal-bound efforts have you seen thwarted by defenders on the post? So why not employ two defenders in those positions on a permanent basis? In front of those you can operate a traditional back five, protected by two holding midfield players playing just behind a man in the ‘hole’.
Always force your opponent away from the danger areas. How many goals do you think are scored from the wings? Very few. Hence this narrow formation known as Column Meany (because it’s like a column, plus it’s mean because it won’t concede many goals, plus we love Colm Meaney) which will force opponents wide.
Different to the Column Meaney, this fluid formation sees the rows of two get gradually more spaced apart and then narrow again, forming a circle of players that run around, protecting the ball from the opposition. We call it the Wagon Train.
This formation is called the Cat Killer. It involves all ten outfield players gathering in a huddle halfway up the pitch, by the left hand touchline. They then whisper to each other, occasionally looking over their shoulders at the opposition and giggling. The opposition, assuming that they’re being mocked, become naturally curious as to the nature of the conversation. With opponents distracted, the goalkeeper gets the ball and runs the length of the field to score. Classic counter-attack.
If it’s good enough for table football, it’s good enough for us.
Pictures: Getty Images