Liverpool FC: Liverpool's Formation Options with Steven Gerrard Returning
Talismanic Skipper Steven Gerrard will finally be eligible for selection come Saturday when Liverpool travel to London to face Tottenham Hotspur. Gerrard will almost definitely start the game and lead the side out, a sight that Liverpool fans have dearly missed.
But when Gerrard does play, what happens to the team? Who gets moved around? What formations can be deployed?
Let's take a look, but bear in mind, this is only my opinion. Don't shoot me for it. Enjoy guys.
4-3-3 (Option 1)
This formation is certainly one of my favourites. Kuyt, Henderson and Carroll would all be dropped, and the team would play in the Liverpool fashion—pass and move. The midfield would be nicely balanced with Gerrard and Adam attacking and defending with Lucas always providing cover.
That trio would be key to the side, as the ball would be played to either of them and the attack would start up from them. Pace from Downing and Bellamy would be great when attacking, and Suarez's movement would give defences real problems. Bellamy and Suarez could also switch to confuse the defence. This formation would be great at home in particular.
4-3-3 (Option 2)
This one is exactly the same formation as the previous, with just a few minor changes that would change the strengths of the team. Effectively, the attacks would still be started by the midfield trio, and then played out to the wing. Kuyt and Carroll would provide an aerial threat and would be subject to a lot of crosses.
This formation would work well against smaller teams defensively, and away from home.
4-2-3-1 (Option 3)
This one is my favourite, along with the next one. If I ever manage a football team, they will play in a 4-2-3-1. It attracts me simply because it has an excellent balance of defence and attack. The forwards will all support each other, so attacking is no problem, and neither is defending.
The ball would be distributed to them from the goalkeeper or back four and then played up to either Downing, Gerrard or Bellamy who would then start an attack. Henderson could replace Downing or Bellamy, Suarez could drop down to play as a winger and allow Carroll or Kuyt to start against more physical teams, like Stoke.
----Downing(Henderson, Suarez)---Gerrard (Suarez)---Bellamy (Suarez, Henderson)
----------------------------------------Suarez (Carroll, Kuyt)------------
A rotation system could be deployed, or if a key player is injured, there is always an able replacement.
5-3-2 (Option 4)
This one was used by Kenny Dalglish against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, and the game was won 1-0. That score line was perfect as this formation relies on defence and taking good chances. The midfield trio of Gerrard, Lucas in particular and Adam would be expected to defend primarily and attack where possible.
When the ball comes forward, Enrique and Johnson (Kelly) would be expected to help out and get crosses into the box and/or keep possession. The Midfield trio all know how to defend, and so the opposition would have to work hard to get through our lines.
No Carroll again? The two forwards were chosen because I think they are the most proven finishers. I expect Kuyt and Suarez to score when given the opportunity—I'm not so sure about Carroll just yet.
Again, rotation would take place. Suarez and Kuyt could be replaced by Bellamy and Carroll and should a midfielder be unavailable—well we've got a plethora to choose from.
This one would be used against difficult opposition away from home.
4-4-2 Diamond (Option 5)
This one is very interchangeable, as most players can be moved here or there for whatever purpose. As always, Lucas provides the cover and Gerrard and Adam will be the starting attackers. Downing would play just off the two strikers—either Suarez and Carroll or Suarez and Kuyt.
Gerrard could also be moved up into Downing's position, and Henderson could occupy Gerrard's, but in my opinion Downing should play. Suarez too should play every match he can—and Carroll, Bellamy and Kuyt will be left to fight for the remaining striker spot.
Thanks for reading guys, this one took a lot of effort. If you study each one of the formations, you will observe three things:
Gerrard is always as central as possible and never a holding midfielder.
Henderson is not first choice yet, though I am a big fan of his.
Carroll does not start until he has proven himself.
That rounds things off, hope you enjoyed it, please comment with what you think—I've never tried an article like this before!