This is the worst mistake you can do when talking about football and describing certain positions in a team with numbers, as they have no say in all those different line-ups, systems and way of play.
Looking at the Leicester team in a 4-3-3 and a team playing a 4-4-1-1, you have different roles to different systems an numbers float within it.
At Ajax and in Dutch football you have a strict role system regarding their 4-3-3 set up, and they talk of certain number in a certain position, and that is no problem, if you play in this type of system and adapt that style in full, but to just use it random makes no sense at all.
Lately we have seen the talk of a Vardy being number 9, having two number 8, and no number 7 as it has no substance and just makes everything difficult to understand.
A good coach once said that teams do have different styles and use numbers differently, playing different and build up their team as they like, please stop talking about numbers when analysing Leicester.
But if you analyse a team playing in a strict 4-3-3 system, with one sitting midfielder and two on the side, having two players out wide, and one forward, no problem, but with a different approach and especially a floating style it makes no sense at all.
To explain the number use in a 4-3-3 set up, you have the goalkeeper wearing the number 1 shirt. 2 is the right back, 3 is the left back, 5 is the central stopping defender, 4 is the one on his side often playing in a deeper role, number 10 is the right midfielder, 6 is the holding midfielder, 8 is the left midfielder, 9 is the centre forward, 7 is the right attacker, 11 is the attacker to the left.
This system does not have the traditional number 10 as you can see in a 4-4-2, or a 4-4-1-1 being just behind the main forward wearing number 9, but again mixing it all up, just makes it all confusing and has no substance in football talk.
Today players use numbers randomly and have them from 1 to 50 or even higher counts, so please describe the team in letters instead of talking of numbers.
Liverpool in the days when players wear 1 to 11, had the following set up in 4-4-2, 1 – 2,4,6,3 – 5,8,10,11 – 7, 9, Leeds also played 4-4-2, with the following, 1 – 2,5,6,3 – 4,10,7,11 – 8,9, and it was different for most teams but the traditional would be in 4-4-2, 1-2,5,6,3-4,7,8,11-9,10, but as we learned it, different teams changed it, so they had their own count.
So as a rule, not talk about numbers when describing a player, or his position, as the numbers are used in a system in an Ajax set up, when you play a strict 4-3-3, with a sitting midfielder, if you change the triangle, the numbers have a different meaning, so again not misuse this anymore, please, it’s just confusing and not correct.
Leicester is under Enzo Maresca seen in different systems. Listening to all the experts explaining this is interesting as they do it a bit more difficult than it is. Leicester played with a traditional 3 men back line against Burton, having Choudhury in a defensive midfield role and giving extra defensive responsibility, but never falling down as a traditional right back, as Leicester kept possession. Leicester do play a hybrid three in midfield, and just float around with Marcal and Albrighton not really as high in the field as you would expect, but instead pushing Praet and Ndidi higher up in the field, but then floating up and down, in real having 6 players in the midfield area. Not easy to understand, but it made Leicester have massive ball possession control.
Against Coventry, in the first game, Maresca played Ricardo Pereira as a right back, but moving him into the role Choudhury covered in the Burton game, Pereira also coming on and in his minutes just playing in this role without moving down in the defense
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