Formula X: The Interchangeables

by   |   09/10/2018  2 Comments  [Jump to last]

Marco Silva’s first away win of the Season at Leicester City came with two great goals. It was also the best version of a Marco Silva team we have seen so far. The future for the Blues is taking shape, it will take time, but it is increasingly looking bright.

The one thing which, more than any other, points to how Silva wants the team to play, is the attacking formation he set up with at Leicester. Although Richarlison has been the teams best player out on the left so far this season, the argument for playing him down the middle (which increased with his appearances for Brazil in that position in September) had become increasingly louder among Evertonians. Tosun and Calvert-Lewin, although working hard have not been finding the net regularly since the start of the season.

At Leicester, Silva set the team up in a quick counter attacking 4-2-1-3 formation with Gylfi Sigurdsson playing just behind the attacking trident of Bernard on the left, Walcott on the right and Richarlison chosen to play through the middle:

Pickford
Kenny Keane Zouma Digne
Davies Gana
Sigurdsson
Walcott Richarlison Bernard

This formation had Everton on the front foot with an attacking quartet. It also allowed for the work rate of Sigurdsson when he had to drop further back. Gana and Davies were never isolated or out-numbered in midfield, as the team were able to quickly morph into a 4-3-3 with Sigurdsson making it a midfield three when Leicester were on the attack.

With Bernard, Richarlison, and Walcott acting as the first line of defence (although Walcott in my eyes is a weak link in this respect), the team was a dangerous counter-attacking unit.

Silva likes his wide players to be able to cut inside and play along the front line. This was how he set his team up at Watford, and how he played Richarlison while manager of the hornets. The attacking front three we deployed at Leicester have the ability to play these interchangeable roles along the front line.

Richarlison and Walcott have both played down the middle in the past and on opposite wings, while Bernard can, and has played as a number ten behind the striker in the past. It was noticeable at Leicester that Richarlison, especially, would drift out wide on a number of occasions, while Bernard moved into the Sigurdsson position when Tom Davies was substituted, with Sigurdsson dropping further back. What this formation allows for, is interchangeable roles between the front three, were they can change positions along the front line.

With such a fluid attack, the opposition find it hard to pick up the ever changing attacking trident and are dragged around the pitch, freeing up space for Sigurdsson playing just behind the three to exploit. Although not perfect as yet, Bernard and Walcott stuck mainly to the wings at Leicester; this formation worked with Richarlison and Sigurdsson netting the goals in the 2-1 win.

With this 4-2-1-3 formation, Everton now have a fluid attack, which can cause headaches for the opposition. We also have the option of changing formation to 4-3-3 with a more traditional centre forward with Tosun or Calvert-Lewin and two out-and-out wide men. The way the team set up at Leicester was an insight into what we can look forward to at the top end of the pitch in the future, and the fast attacking style Marco Silva is bringing to Goodison Park.

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Reader Comments (2)

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David Ellis
1 Posted 10/10/2018 at 07:16:40
Yes, I agree. And I like the Formula X moniker!
Matthew Williams
2 Posted 17/10/2018 at 12:18:32
I've always thought the perfect starting eleven will come about through accident rather than design!

At least now we have options throughout the team with new players still to start and a few youngsters coming up through the ranks... it all bodes well for our future to me.

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