The Trouble with 3 at the Back

The trouble with playing three at the back is that you use up your store of centre backs all too quickly. They either get injured or get extra bookings leading to suspensions.

Let’s face it, they’re not really cut out to cover large amounts of the pitch. All  that extra running will be bound to take its toll eventually.

Perhaps we ought to go to the other extreme and just play one centre back who plays higher up the pitch between the right and left halfs ……. let’s call him a centre half.

How about the full backs as the rear most defenders and the centre half just drops into the back line occasionally. This will leave us exposed on the counter, so the only solution is not letting the opposition have the ball at all. It will also stop the full backs getting forward down the flanks, so perhaps we would need dedicated wing men, perhaps even a left and right winger.

Two attacking midfielders will be essential to keep the pressure on the other team – inside right and inside left? So, starting to look like this ……..

Who could play in this line up?

………………..                               Leno

…………                        Bellerin                   Monreal

…….                    Torreira           Koscielny          Xhaka

Mkhitaryan    Ramsey   Aubameyang      Ozil         Iwobi

There you go, sorted for Southampton. Full out attack for the first half hour. Build a lead and bring Lacazette on for the second half to give Kos a rest in the second half.

Could work, don’t you think?


35 Responses to The Trouble with 3 at the Back

  1. LBG says:

    A reverse Christmas tree! Topical, but I think someone has been on the magic mushrooms!

  2. LB says:

    Well, it’s a plan…………..

  3. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Thank you Chas

    Ah, A Cunning Plan. I like it.

    Seems a bit old fashioned. pre-war even. This format shows us exactly why you should go into management.

  4. RA says:

    Brilliant analysis, Mr Chas!

    It is a set up for all seasons — the left and right backs [2 and 3] can move out to their relative sidelines, making it a 5 : 5 : 1 and …… well a bit like we play anyway — all out attack, and all out defence.

    Love it. 🤩

  5. VP of Oz says:

    the only change i could think of was bring Laca on for Kos but you’ve got that covered in the 2nd half
    Chas, you have perfected the team formation, there is no more to say but thank you

  6. caza says:

    we would lose without a second doubt due to the fact that we will be lacking true center backs committed to defending. we barely defend well with sokratis , mustafi, and holding talk more of having only koscielny who’s just returned.

  7. Rasp says:

    Brilliant idea chas … I can’t think why no one has thought of it before 🙂

  8. GunnerN5 says:

    Morning all,

    Interesting Chas in my playing days you knew the players position by the number on the back of their shirt, No need for a bench because substitutes were not allowed.

    Back in the day I was a number six and played in the left half position, complete with ankle high leather boots and a magazine for leg pads.

    So from the all out attacking set up of yesteryear they have managed to reverse the positions to create an all out defensive set up and bore us to death…………….

  9. LBG says:

    I see the reverse Christmas formation as a political solution to Brexit!
    The starred line is the backstop, which will be a floating border wall down the Atlantic keeping out 7-11 for good! The loan individual further out will be launched westward in one of the ring us recently arrived on our side of the Channel. Obviously this calls for new politicians at the heart of Government!

    1.David Attenborough
    2. Harry Rednapp 3Lucas Torriera
    4.Billy Connolly 5.Dennis Skinner 6 A.Joshua


    7Gove 8R-Mogg 9DisMay 10Johnson 11Farage

    Piss mOrgan

  10. LBG says:

    “Inflatables….But rubber ring will do!

  11. Big Raddy says:

    Hoping both Spurs and L’pool get through this evening.

  12. chas says:

    Interesting evening ahead in the CL.
    One of the English teams will probably end up in the Europa, I bet.
    spuds seem favourites.

  13. chas says:

    spuddies in with a punt with Inter losing

  14. Big Raddy says:

    Going well so far. Be so Spurs if they screw up

  15. oz gunner says:

    I hope we don’t concede a set piece with that lineup :/
    Koscielny would look like Gulliver in a sea of midgets.

  16. chas says:

    How can we concede a set-piece if we’ve got the ball all of the time?

  17. chas says:

  18. LBG says:

    Storming start to the day, reminding the Spuds who rules norf London, Chas.
    Thought your other 0632 was early pic of Tower Bridge?

  19. chas says:

    Caption for 8:32 photo……….

    Early colour photographs of London are scarce but beautiful treasures. This rare autochrome of a traffic jam on Tower Bridge is amazingly original colour (not hand-tinted) & was taken by Roger Dumas in June 1924. It is the most gorgeous & precious snapshot of a time long gone

  20. chas says:

    It was making me laugh last night, the commentator of the Inter game kept saying that they were the Spurs of Serie A and everyone was expecting them to be Spursy last night.

    Well, they proper Spursed it up last night, unable to beat PSV at home, even outdoing the original bottlers.

    Still, BR got what he wanted seeing the spuds and the dippers progressing – though I’m sure them not being in the Europa had something to do with it!

  21. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Precisely chas, though it would have been great to knock either of them out of the EC. Also, the pleasure of seeing them on a high today and depressed after the next round 😀

    Fine pics this morning.

  22. fred1266 says:

    Arsenal legend Tony Adams is set to become the next president of the Rugby Football League (RFL).
    The former England footballer will succeed Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham in the role as a figurehead of the sport in England.
    Adams won two Premier League titles and three FA Cups with the Gunners, but it is his work with rugby league’s welfare programmes through the Sporting Chance charity he founded in 2000 that has been key to his appointment.
    “Tony Adams is known and respected throughout sport and beyond, not only for his outstanding playing career with Arsenal, but more recently for his pioneering work with Sporting Chance,” said RFL chairman Brian Barwick.
    “The charity has helped more than 400 rugby league players since the RFL entered into an official partnership with Sporting Chance in 2011, and Tony himself delivered seminars at Wigan and Hull earlier this year.
    “The game has recognised the importance of mental health, for players and everyone else involved, and Tony’s election is another significant step in that regard.”
    Adams, who has had stints as a manager at Wycombe Wanderers, Portsmouth, Gabala and Granada since retiring as a player, added: “It will be an honour to become the next President of the RFL.
    “I am passionate about working with everyone in the sport to raise the profile of mental health, wellness and resilience, for players and for everyone in Rugby League.
    “I’d like to play my part in championing this brilliant sport on the national stage.”

  23. RC78 says:

    I think that with 3 at the back, we can get the most out of Bellerin and Kolasinac and you know that Emery wants his Full-Back to be very involved in the game.

    This set up requires us to have m Midfielders though. One that will play DM/HM, one that will play CM and one that will play AM/CM. Both the CMs need to also make runs forwards on the wings not only drive to the opposing CBs…So that system leaves little room for a player like Ozil and to a certain extent Mikhy BUT it does give us the best out of Torreira and…Ramsey (or Guendouzi).

    The two forwards also need to be dynamic and read the game well. For me, the 3-5-2 system is better than 3-4-3 as I feel that we are indeed too exposed in a 3-4-3 on the counter so if we line up three at the back, our most balanced team would be:

    Leno – Mustafi, Sok, Kos – Bello, Torreira, Xhaka, Ramsey, Kola – Laca; Auba

    In a 3-4-3, you need to be more cautious:
    Leno – Mustafi, Sok, Kos – Bello, Torreira, Xhaka, Kola – Laca; Auba, Iwobi

    Both systems though would really suit Holding, Guendouzi and AMN as well.

    I think for the Europa league, we should let the kids play: Martinez, Nketiah, Willock, Smith-Rowe and then also have players like Iwobi, El Neny, Jenkinson, Koscielny, Monreal in the squad.

  24. chas says:


  25. chas says:

  26. chas says:

    This makes me think about the state of this country at the moment and what everyone wants to do.

  27. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    As you say, Matchday.

  28. Big Raddy says:

    6.44 must be photo-edited. Poor woman would never fit a toilet seat!

  29. Big Raddy says:

    There is a New Post

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