Date: 30th September 2013 at 6:12pm
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Liverpool fans have had mixed reaction to Brendan Rodgers’ new formation of 3-4-1-2 or as some like to call it 3-5-2. Rodgers has deployed this formation in the last two games against Manchester United and Sunderland and it has resulted in us “playing well but losing” against United and then winning against Sunderland.

After the Sunderland game, Rodgers shed some light as too why Liverpool are playing with this formation of having three centre backs and two strikers. “We’ve changed the structure of our team a bit to allow us to pass it better – we’ve still got a lot of work to do – but also to fit in with the type of players that we have,” said Rodgers.

“They (Suarez and Sturridge) have worked a lot in training – it’s not just something that has been dropped in. We looked at 3-4-1-2 towards the end of last season.

“We did some work on it, looking at Luis coming back, and they have struck up a very good partnership.”

So from what Rodgers has said, firstly, we have shifted to 3-4-1-2 so that the team can pass better. Secondly, based on the players we currently have available to play the 3-4-1-2 system suites them best and finally, the formation is able to accommodate both Suarez and Sturridge.

In having the three centre backs we certainly have a much more solid backline. We have a vast array of quality centre back in the squad and they can be chopped and changed if need be, so for the centre backs at Liverpool, this formation suites then well as they are able to get in more game time. If you look across the league, most teams play with a lone striker upfront, in having three men at the back for us, we should be able to deal with one attacking man and counter the oppositions threat from the wings by using our two wing backs.

This system for Liverpool relies heavily on the two wing backs, currently Enrique and Henderson, to provide the attacking width for the side and to track back to defend. Both are great athletes and able to run up and down the touchlines for 90 minutes but they both lack quality when it comes to attacking and crossing the ball. Henderson will not feature in this position for long as Glen Johnson will return and fill in down the right which would be a great move. We are stuck with Enrique down the left in this formation until at least January if we can bring in a proper left wing back. We do have Aly Cissokho now but he too is more defensive minded and would not flourish as a left wing back.

From an attacking point of view with the 3-4-1-2 system, it is clear to see why Rodgers wants to use this as it allows both Sturridge and Suarez to flourish as we saw against Sunderland. It may be early days but the signs are there that a partnership of these two could drive Liverpool to a Top 4 finish. If Liverpool revert to the 4-3-3 formation, the Suarez and Sturridge partnership could still work with Suarez being pulled out to the left but he seems much more comfortable operating down the middle and given license to roam upfront with Sturridge.

Should Liverpool stick to 3-4-1-2?

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28 responses to “Rodgers explains the reasoning behind playing 3-4-1-2”

  1. Joe Falk says:

    Lets keep it. Its working well and with Coutinho and Johnson in there we will be unbeatable. Just need to get another CM

  2. cou says:

    I think you’re a bit unfair on Enrique. I agree he isn’t top top class but he does a job for sure. Our team isn’t a crossing team anyway. Most crossed are handled well by defense. It’s more about playing balls into feet and he does that well. He also defends very well. It’s a very hard job in a 3-5-2 to attack and defend and he rarely lets anyone by. Only losing his man on set pieces a couple times has sullied his reputation. Aly Cissokho is also a very good attacker. We have barely seen him play but I’ve seen in a lot in the past and he attacks very well so I think he will change peoples minds when he returns.

    • RoyK says:

      Henrique is a bad defender. Only losing his man a couple of times on set pieces hasn’t sullied his reputation….. giving away the ball cheaply by attempting long ball passes has quite a substantial number of times since he joined us has!!!

      • Gary says:

        So you don’t want him attempting long balls|?!?!?! What about his pass to Suarez vs Newcastle. If I remember if he didn’t assist Suarez for that goal we would have lost the game. Back your team if its your team. Royk

  3. Trevor says:

    Gerrard is playing poorly this season and Lucas is carrying him thus the yellow cards. It is time for Rodgers to grow a pair and bench Gerrard from time to time.

    • Andy says:

      Iv lost count of the long passes Gerrrad has made to feet which have ended up in a goal or clear chances. If thats poor I cant imagine what good would be!

    • mike says:

      I beg to differ Trevor,u right Gerrard is playing poorly,bt its cuz of Lucas nt doing a good job ther,in past days with Alonso or Mascharano ther how did stevie perform?Lucas has no skill n cnt pass a ball,it puts stevie 2 play deeper n out of position,sell lukas n u will c my captain fantastic feeding strikers n taking long range shots agen

      • yak says:

        Ccertainly u sound ungrateful about what u said about Leiva..!

        • Chris says:

          People are so blind. The weakness in our team is not Gerrard or Enrique. It is MR. LEIVA. Watch our next game against Palace to see how our Mid will perfom without Lucas

      • Gary says:

        WOW, some peoples levels of knowledge on this forum is astonishing. Gerrard is done. He doesnt have the level of Stamina that Lucas has. You can tell by his mobility this season that he is a passenger. He was zippy in his first game for Liverpool, but the run of games has taken its toll and he needs a rest. He doesn’t offer the defensive tactic to stopping opposition attack and intercepting balls. Heck he doesn’t even attempt it whereas Lucas is attempting the challenges. Just watch closely and all Gerrard does in the defensive position is shuffle his legs, the level of anticipation for a intercepting a pass isn’t there. Lucas has the legs whereas Gerrard doesn’t. He is carrying Gerrard, Look at Southampton. It takes more than one player to harrass an opposition’s attack. Lallana, Lambert, Shniederlin, all worked in tandem to disrupt Liverpool’s rhythm in the center of midfield. Gerrard doesn’t work enough with Lucas. His set pieces are top class, and he has always been known for his set pieces, but his defensive side of his game has gone downhill because he is in the twighlight of his career. Rodgers needs to give the captain a rest here and there.

  4. kop king says:

    If it aint broken then dont fix it! BR would be silly to change from this formation. It is working. City tried it last season and ditched it but we should soldier on. When Coutinho is back we will be amazing. Maybe we should get Coentrao in jan for the left then we would be complete

  5. paul says:

    Why get rid of Enrique he has pace strength ok could concentrate a bit harder but himself couthino and suarez all link up well, some of our best plays come down the left, a few more goals would go a long way, keep 3 5 2

  6. vickyGodsday says:

    The formation is puting pressure on us. in Sunderland game we all withness that we came out with three point in that game is because is a bottom sunderland team. Therefore, no to 3 -4 -1- 2. BR Better our game with 4-3-3. And it has shown and proving that CM is our major problem now. Sort it in january.

  7. RoyK says:

    Henrique lacks quality when it comes to crossing the ball????? I thought that was the only thing he can do….cos my grandma can defend better than him!!!

    • Miles says:

      I’ve seen your grandma play. Trust me, she is very definitely a far more superior crosser of the ball than our so-called first-choice left back.

  8. mataio says:

    bar stevie, enrique is the best crosser/long passer of anyone in the team

  9. Southampton’s Wanyama had the best compliments for Gerard in that he found it difficult to play against him and he believes that only by playing against the best can he grow as a player.
    I would agree with him that SG is still the best there is and delivers in every game. The changing structures and also the injuries to key players can harshly affect any player.
    So I want us to be objective with our citisim of Stevie G. He remains my HERO.

  10. mike says:

    Enrique is perfect ther,jst need a good stopper back to cover for LB nd RB which Lucas cnt do,I dnt knw why B.R keep playing Lucas,can someone pls tell me why? Agger/Cissoko/Sacko and Torre wud be perfect ther on ATTACK and in cover-defence.I like the formation,jst need Gerrard behind the strikers in that formation.

  11. M.young says:

    We need cDm lucas is not good for all mutch these player we must get alexsong,wenyama,mulumbo

  12. Hanif Abeck says:

    I think is time Gerrald has to retire,he cant mark,keep the ball,he is giving pressure to Lucas,he has done alot to my team Liverpool this is time to step down,he is just not the same,play lucas and henderson waiting for Allen to recover alongside sterling to the right,moses left,suarez-sturridge upfront,Enrique,Sakho,skertel,Toure in defence,Mignolet in goal this can be a good Liverpool team,Countinio coming in and another experinced CM or 2 in january we can challenge for the tittle,I guess even Gerrald himself knows that he is not the same and the coach is afraid to make a decision.

  13. Chris says:

    Lucas does not give us a goal threat. We need DM mids like like paulinho or shwansteiger.

    • Dave says:

      He gives opposition plenty of goal threats with his stupid , clumsy challenges at least one a game . He is Garbo as we used to say , adds nothing . And then you get people well idiots saying Stevie not giving him enough support , full backs are asked to get up and down the park , wingers to track back and help defend , strikers to defend from the front , centre backs to carry the ball forward and weigh in with a few goals Stevie and Hendo go box to box , and all he gets asked to do is protect the back four ( whatever that means ) unless it means give the ball right back to the player you received it off , we will win nothing with him in the side TWO CUP FINALS WHILE HE WAS OUT . Coincidence ? Me thinks not

  14. Paul S says:

    Cissokho is a wing back almost by definition. much more like johnson than enrique. he is much more suited to 3-5-2 than jose. other than great, good article

  15. johnno says:

    I am so heartend to hear other LFC supporters highlight the weakness of Lucas. Hes a great fella, a definite squad player and he is brave but with him in the team its like weve got 10 men! Great point from Dave about 2 finals since he signed 4 us and that was the season he was out injured. For others 2 say he is carrying Stevie G is ridiculous. Stevies legs might not be wot they once were, but he covers more ground and at a greater pace than Lucas. Since Stevie has moved deeper our defensive record has improved. At the same time we are not scoring as many goals at the other end. This is not a coincidence!! I would like to see Stevie play in Moses position (just behind Suarez and Sturridge) while Coutiniho is out, however that would leave us really short of quality in the centre of midfield. With Lucas out of the Palace game i think Hendo will move in to c-m and young Sterling to wide right and i think/hope/pray that we absolutely batter them!! C’Mon u Reds!!!!