Tag Archives: League One

Is 3 5 2 The New 4 4 2?

This post looks at the emergnce if that is the right word of the 3 5 2 Formation.

Is it the new  4 4 2, which in recent years has become our default, almost formation in the English league?

The 3 5 2 Formation is not exactly new, and has been employed by a number of foreign coaches over the years, with great success.

How it works, is like this and it is accepted that there are variations of the formation, according to the coach or manager employing the tactic.

With that in mind, lets look at some of the teams who use this formation:

Accrington Stanley

AFC Wimbledon

Wolves

Newcastle United

Sheffield United

Czech Republic

MK Dons

The formation relies on the use of very speedy, and effective wingbacks.

Those Wingbacks can either be, Wingers, or they can fullbacks pushed up operating as wingers. Ashley Young is a great example of a winger turned full back over time.

If you are using fullbacks pushed up as wingers, then effectively you are leaving wingers redundant, which is in the case of AFC Wimbledon, who use 3 Central Defenders, primarily because Wally Downes who implemented the system is a defensive coach, so you could almost say he was using a 5 3 2 version, though that is digressing from the point.

The general idea is to play two full backs and one central defender, so that you keep the players positionally as close to their favoured posistion as possible, without too much disruption to the team flow.

The 3 5 2 offers a lot of flexibility to the changing needs as the game unfolds, compared to other formations, such as the 4 2 3 1, or the 4 3 3.

Wolves and Sheffield United are two great examples of this, because both clubs, have progressed through the English Football League Championship and now are in the premiership playing this formation.

It is a system that is very difficult to play against, because when it works well, the team employing it, very often outnumber the defensive team and always have the flanks overloaded through the use of the over lapping ‘outer’ defenders.

This is the reason, that Arsenal, struggled last night against Sheffield United, England came unstuck in their recent match against the Czech Republic, Wolves were able to go to the Etihad and beat Man City 2-0, while Accrington Stanley beat Ipswich on Sunday 2-0 in League 1.

In fact Sheffield United are probably the best example of how this system works effectively, because together with Wolves they have used the system the longest, Sheffield United started using it in League 1, when Chris Wilder took over.

The defending team, have absolutly no idea, where the attacks are going to come from, especially as in the case of Wolves, who employ an attacking midfielder in their version of the system, while Sheffield United, newly promoted, don’t.

It will also be interesting to see, if Newcastle United, continue to use it, because they have just reverted back to it, to cater to the teams strengths and in doing so, their results have improved.

The one downside to the system, is that though you have numbers in attack, should you get caught on the counter attack, if you lost possession, then you are liable to potentialy concede goals, through lack of cover.

Either way the teams listed in this article who use the system, will be worth following and their progress noted this season.

Preview: Portsmouth v Burton Albion

This evening sees Portsmouth take on Burton Albion at Fratton Park, in the English Football League 1 clash.

For Portsmouth it marks the return to league action after the international break, where they had to postpone their last match with Southend due to International Call ups and when they were due to play Bury. Last Saturday they played Norwich City U21 in a rearranged Leasing Cup match – as Bury have sadly been expelled from the league.

Kenny Jackett’s men will be raring to go having beaten Norwich U21 3-1 with no new injury worries, aside from Lee Brown (Achilles), Marcus Harness (thigh), Bryn Morris (groin) and Jack Whatmough (knee), who were already ruled out.

Gareth Evans is also fit again, after missing the game against Norwich with a dead leg.

Burton however have doubts over Liam Boyce (hamstring) and Scott Fraser (dead leg) – who were both withdrawn on Saturday – and Jake Buxton (ribs).

Portsmouth currently sit 18th in League 1, with just 1 win in the last 5. Burton Albion, who under the guidance of Nigel Clough, are unbeaten in their last 6 games and lie 11th in the table

As Kenny Jackett explained, it will be a tight and tough game.

Burton will be a well organised and resilient outfit to break down, so it should be a good game, as the head to head count below shows:

HEAD TO HEAD
Overall
Pompey: 2 wins
Burton: 1 win
3 draws

At Fratton Park
Pompey: 0 wins
Burton: 0 wins
3 draws

 

Preview: Sunderland v Rotherham United

We look ahead to the Sky Bet League One Match…

SUNDERLAND host Rotherham United at the Stadium of Light, as they look to build on a positive start to their Sky Bet League One campaign.

Jack Ross’s side have made a good start to the season as they look to go one better than the last, having lost in the Play-Off Final. The Black Cats have started with five wins, two draws and one defeat from their seven matches in the league.tar

The Black Cats come into this game on the back of a 3-1 victory over Accrington Stanley at the weekend and having lost just one from their last seven in all competitions.

Rotherham United, managed by Paul Warne, have won three out of four games on the road this season and will be looking to build on the emphatic 6-1 victory over Bolton Wanderers on Saturday afternoon at the AESSEAL New York Stadium.

Speaking ahead of the fixture, Black Cats boss Ross told the Media at Monday’s press conference that winger Duncan Watmore is still missing, however striker Charlie Wyke is back after suspension and injury.

Ross also stated as things stand, the Black Cats have no fresh injury concerns from the weekend’s win over Accrington. This is despite a couple of players being involved who had been carrying injuries.

Speaking after the victory over Bolton on Saturday Millers boss Paul Warne said: “I always think we can be better,”

“If I didn’t I’m not doing my job properly. We’ll watch the game back tomorrow then prepare for Sunderland. We’ll see what things we could have done better.

“We had plenty of chances, first-half. The set-piece caught us cold, even though we haven’t been able to have them watched, I knew set-pieces would be a problem. Someone fell asleep, so that’s a problem.

“But, overall, to score six goals at home in the sunshine, it was a good workout against a good Bolton side. We weren’t playing against an Under-21s – anything but. They did cause us problems, at times, but more often than not, the lads answered the questions.”

Warne admitted that “The lads were trying to score,” saying “We were putting dangerous crosses in. We haven’t had much luck over the last five or six games, I don’t think. Whereas we had a lot of luck today, like Carlton’s second goal with how it fell to him and a deflected shot. You could argue that the scoreline maybe flattered us, I don’t know if we were deserved of more goals but we were definitely deserved of a win.”

Warne believed that he thought Bolton would start really well, saying: “I thought they (Bolton) would start really well. They had a brilliant following and they stood to a man to the final whistle and clapped their team off, which was hugely impressive.

“For them to score early on was a good character test and the lads passed the test.”

Match Prediction

Sunderland 1-2 Rotherham United

Away Ticket News

Ticket Details for Rotherham United fans ahead of the game, it’s been confirmed that Millers supporters can pay on the night at the Stadium of Light ahead of their clash.

There will be no increases in price of tickets on the day of the game – meaning they are priced at:

  • Adults (22-64): £18
  • Senior (65+): £15
  • Under 22: £10
  • Under 16: £17

Proof of concessions will need to be shown at time of purchase and also on the turnstiles at the Stadium of Light on the day of the game. If anyone is unable to show proof of concession at the turnstiles then they’ll be refused entry with no refund possible.

Tickets will remain on sale at the AESSEAL New York Stadium’s Red and White Shop, online at Rotherham United Shop or via phone on 01709 827768 until 12pm Tuesday 17th September.

How is the League One table looking so far

As we approach week eight of the League One season, there have been a few surprises up and down the table.

Flying high

Wycombe Wanderers have been the surprise package under Gareth Ainsworth this season, as the Chairboys sit top of the table, unbeaten this season.

Defender, Joe Jacobson has been the stand out performance so far as he has managed to grab four goals already this season.

Second place, Coventry City are level on points with the Chairboys, but sit behind them through goal difference.

Another side unbeaten this season, Mark Robins’ men have been producing eye watering football at their temporary home, St Andrew’s.

Coventry City’s temporary home, St Andrews Trillion Trophy Stadium

Ipswich Town are currently sitting in third place, a point behind the top two, but with a game in hand.

New signing, James Norwood has looked like signing of the summer in League One so far this season, as he currently has five goals in six games for the Tractor Boys, who will be fighting for promotion under Paul Lambert this season.

Facing the drop

However, Portsmouth, a team who looked to be fighting for promotion, is struggling in 18th place with only one win this season. No one would’ve predicted this start from Kenny Jacket’s side.

Kenny Jackett is feeling the pressure at Pompey

Another side struggling is Southend who are second from bottom, losing six out of six.

The Shrimpers have only scored four goals this season and conceded 17, which is the joint most amount. The Seasiders have a lot to do if they want to stay in League One this season.

Bottom of the table, Bolton Wanderers currently have -11 points, but with a new owner and an addition of 10 new signings, the Trotters will be hoping to pick up more points to try and get out of the relegation zone.

The Sky Blues host Gillingham tomorrow

Five years ago this week seen Coventry City return to a packed out Ricoh Arena when they faced tomorrows opponents, Gillingham, after a years exile to Northampton Town’s, Sixfields Stadium.

Now the Sky Blues are playing at Birmingham City’s, St Andrews Trillion Trophy Stadium, against the Gills, with no Ricoh return looking imminent.

However, the Sky Blues have had a lot to cheer about in the opening four games of the season, with Mark Robins’ men unbeaten so far.

It’s been a very hectic week for the club, as they came from 3-1 down and nine men to draw away at promotion favourites, Portsmouth. As well as recruiting exciting prospect, 21-year-old, Callum O’Hare from Aston Villa, on loan till the end of the season.

Tomorrow, Robins will be without suspended Fankaty Dabo and Gervane Kastaneer, who both received second bookable offences at Fratton Park on Tuesday.

New loan signing, O’Hare is likely to feature in the match day squad.

Robins also revealed that winger Jodi Jones isn’t far off a return back from a serious injury, which he picked up at the start of last season.

Coventry’s opponents are yet to get the ground running this year as Steve Evans’ men currently sit 19th with two draws and one defeat.