It was one of the main reasons why the 2006 World Cup was less entertaining than previous years, and the reason why so few of the football superstars shone at the World Cup. It’s the 4-5-1 formation.
Unfortunately, I predict the dreaded 4-5-1 will have a big impact on the Premiership this season, and we’ll see more teams adopting the strategy based on how effective it was at the World Cup.
For many teams in the Premiership, they’ll see it as one of their only hopes of avoiding relegation and grinding out results. It’s worked well for Bolton, and I can see other teams using the method. The strategy works well to crowd the midfield and prevent attacking teams from getting forward. Many EPL managers, who can’t compete against the heavyweights (Chelsea, Arsenal, Man United or Liverpool), may feel that this is their only option.
However, let’s hope that the 4-4-2 (or similar attacking formations) will prevail and EPL managers will quickly see that it’s difficult to win matches using a 4-5-1 (unless the 4-5-1 morphs into a 4-3-3 if the wingers attack down the sides, like Chelsea).