Can the Reds play 3-4-3?

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Apparently, the fine-tuning on the training grounds and eventual understanding of the 3-4-3 game-plan was what saved Wigan Athletic from what seemed a helpless relegation demise, so if this week we receive confirmation that Roberto Martinez is our new manager, will he want the same for the Reds?

I’d like to think that it was more like a flexible 5-2-3 than a pure 3-4-3 but whatever the thought and approach behind it, Roberto Martinez managed to obtain safety quite comfortably achieving some incredible results in the process and effectively was influential in the final outcome of the PL title race as well beating the odds and Man Utd at one go.

From February onwards, when the system seemed to start bearing its fruit, Wigan beat Liverpool (Anfield), Man Utd, Arsenal (Emirates) and Newcastle, as well as Bolton, Stoke, Blackburn and Wolves, drew with Everton, Villa, Norwich, West Brom, and lost to Swansea, Chelsea and Fulham. That progression to safety bore 8 wins, 4 draws and 3 defeats. One would ask, ‘then why did they have such a horrific start to the season?’ and the answer seems to point at the fact that Martinez overhauled the tactical imprint of the team mid-way through the season and it paid off!

Now I am not fully convinced that Martinez has what it takes (vis-à-vis the pressures of a big club), however I have not read any negative reports on the Spaniard and Steven Gerrard himself has come forward to say he will support him all the way (possibly to quash any doubts or rumours that the players will do another ‘Hodgson’) giving a serious hint that he will in fact be Liverpool’s next manager.

If this is the case than I hope that Jamie Carragher is ‘promoted’ to assistant manager to learn the ropes first hand and to ascertain a ‘link’ between the new manager and the backbone of the team. If Roberto Martinez is confirmed manager of Liverpool Football Club, we need to follow Stevie G’s example and support him all the way.


    1. Just imagine:

      Then take all the other player variables and mix and match as you please!

      1. Yeah I guess we could play that formation you suggest Tonio but we wouldn’t get many points with 10 men :-/

        1. 10+1 – goalie is never considered in those equations as it is taken for granted his place is in goal! :-)

          1. Tonio i think your missing the point, 10 men is inclusive of your goalie.

            Just imagine:

            adds up to 10 last time i did math

          2. No he means you have the goalie in but only 9 outfield players. 3 defenders 4 in midfield and 2 upfront is only 9. Your missing a forward

          3. Tonio, you have written only 10 names, goalie included. It is 3-4-3, not 3-4-2.

            And regarding the article itself – where is the part where you actually discuss whether the Reds can play 3-4-3 ????

          4. Just proposed it coming from the style Martinez adopted at Wigan. It’s up to you guys to discuss….!

          5. The title asks the question. I did not enter the merit whether the Reds can play that style of game or not even though it seems interesting and possible.

  1. ill say:-
    suarez(kuyt)-carroll(another good striker)-ramirez(sterling)(bellamy)
    good young players like shelevy and others will emerge…
    sell downing…
    sell adam…
    sell maxi…..

  2. Tonio, sorry but even with Reina you still have 10 :) Maybe Carroll up from with Suarez and Bellamy?

  3. Okay guys apologies to all, formation now corrected! I must have been drinking detergents this morning!!!

  4. Wigan fan here…. Bobby plays a 5-2-2-1 formation. Hugely over rated manager though. Yes he did well in gettin us out of the bottom 3 but don’t forget he put us there. And has had us in and around there for 3 seasons, a step back wards since Bruce. He will be another flip for u I’m afraid.

    1. Hi Neil, have a question from a Reds fan to a Wigan fan. How much did Bruce spend in his time at Wigan and how much did Martinez spend? I do not know the answer to that so that is why I am asking.

    2. Also….5-2-2-1 you say. well if the wingbacks move 15 yards forward it becomes a 3-4-2-1, and if the lone forward moves 10 yards back, it becomes 3-4-3! Your captain Caldwell said the formation imprint was 3-4-3 with flexibility!

  5. Dont listen to neil, bobby is a wigan legend and a brilliant manager i hope you keep your hands off him!

  6. 3-4-3 formation would be perfect
    new winger,gerrad,lucas,bellamy,
    new striker caroll,suarez. Plus new signings. Tell me wat u tink about this lineup.

  7. Hi all,

    Everyone goes one about the 3-4-3 and hardly anyone gives Maxi any credit well as it stands when he played he was one of our best players scoring goes and more importantly was the most accurate passer so how about giving him a chance. This team would be solid
    I would play more of a 3-4-1-2

    Kelly, Skrtel, Agger
    Johnson, Gerrard, Lucas, Bellamy
    Suarez, Carroll/Kuyt

  8. Sorry, but Wigan does not play 3-4-3. Wigan defends in 4-4-1-1 and attacks in 3-4-1-2. When defending Wigan uses a classic 4 defenders formation but when the team goes to offense the Right Back moves to Right Midfield and the Left Back moves to Center back. The player that occupies the right midfield when defending joins the striker when attacking.

    Maybe it’s easier to explain with players:
    Wigan Defending:
    Al Habsi
    Di Santo

    Wigan Attackin:
    Al Habsi
    Moses-Di Santo

    How could this apply to LFC with the current squad?

    Liverpool Defending:

    Liverpool Attacking:

    It would be tough for Suarez but he has a great work rate so I think it can work. Our main problem would be with Adams lack of speed. The main advantage would be to let Gerrard play freely (right, center and left).

    Despite all this, I still don’t think Martinez is the right man for us but he’s the one with a tactical system that fits our squad. The likes of Klopp, Rodgers, AVB and even Guardiola use only one striker.

    1. This is a copy & past quote from Gary Caldwell, Wigan’s captain:

      “Roberto moved to a three-at-the-back system around November in a game against Blackburn. We drew 3-3,” he continued.

      “It took us a long time to get it as good as it got. Not many teams play 3-4-3 and it was a bold move.

      “It took hard work on the ­training pitch from the summer time. The system suited us.

      “When we signed Jean ­Beausejour to play at left ­wing-back that helped with the balance. It suited the strengths and weaknesses of the players.

      “A lot of good managers couldn’t cope with it. A few said Sir Alex Ferguson didn’t really know how to stop us the night we beat them [1-0].

      “They couldn’t stop us. It was a great credit to the players.”

      1. Tonio,

        I read what Caldwell said but I can go with his words or with what I’ve seen. I’ve watched 6 or 7 games from Wigan in 2012 and I stand by my reading of the tactics. I would stand by it even if Martinez told me otherwise :)

        Cheers mate!

  9. Completely agree with the discussion, Martinez is a very attractive proposition 3-4-3 seems the way to go though i would replace Johnson with Kelly.
    Need to back the new manager !

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