A new formation we can expect to see move into the Premier League
During the Euros, there were many points to discuss and ponder upon – will England ever win a trophy? Should Ronaldo have taken an earlier penalty kick? Why is Balotelli so hot and cold? Yet one question may become more vital than all of these put together – will we be seeing more of the Spanish inspired 4-6-0 formation in seasons to come?
When the Spanish squad was first announced, people did question the omission of strikers such as Soldado, who had a brilliant season in the league, and concerns were raised over the fact Villa was missing through injury and whether Torres was the right man to take.
After seeing Cesc played as a striker, concerns began to grow more and more prominent, yet Spain managed to navigate their way to the final with a little bit of luck on the way, and anyone who saw their performance against Italy and their use of the 4-6-0 formation could not have criticised the way they moved the ball around and the genius of the talents that are Xavi and Iniesta.
The rave reviews and yet another trophy to add to the collection has won even more admirers, yet will we be seeing more of the formation that they utilised to such effect?
I am not talking about a parking the bus type formation, something Mourinho once accused Spurs of doing, yet it is worth considering that football formations have changed and evolved over the years, with the once ever present 4-4-2 giving way to the 4-3-3 and flying wings, or indeed the 4-5-1 depending on who your manager is, yet will we ever truly see the 4-6-0?
It seems ludicrous to suggest that an out and out forward will one day no longer be required in the game, a quality striker up top, either in the form of a big powerful and frankly on their day unplayable striker like Drogba, or a goal poacher like Van Nistlerooy who can both get 20 plus goals in a season.
It is also vital for people to remember most teams do not have a Xavi and an Iniesta to boss the midfield, or even if they have a player that comes close to such quality this alone cannot make the sheer amount of goals needed to win titles and important games.
The Spanish side, much like the Barcelona one of seasons just past, is one of a generation, and has combined what the top two teams in the world have to offer in Real Madrid and Barcelona, and on their day just look something else. It is doubtful that another side could recreate such a mesmerising performance, and certainly not in the absence of any centre forward.
Yes football will evolve, and formations will always be tinkered with – perhaps not to the Ranieri levels – but change is essential to keep the game moving forward, and credit where it is due, the 4-6-0 certainly worked for the Spanish during Euro 2012, but to suggest the role of a main centre forward is dying out in favour of a silky smooth midfield seems somewhat wide of the mark.