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spots, losses starting piling up in Washing

  • 11 Feb
    Since the Premier Leagues inception 25 years ago, English football has undergone some wholesale changes. [b]Dontae Johnson Jersey[/b] . With hi-tech new stadia and talent recruited from around the globe, the face of football has changed but how have teams, and specifically their formations, altered over the years?Modern systems require full-backs to provide defensive stability and attacking threat in tandem, a role in stark contrast to defence-orientated requirements of the past. At the other end of the pitch, the days of formidable strike partnerships appear to have disappeared, replaced by the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the lone centre-forward position or Adam Lallana in the fashionable false nine role. Watch NOW TV Watch Sky Sports for just £6.99. No contract. As part of Sky Sports News HQs evolution of football week, Danny Higginbotham takes a closer look at the latest trends...Defence: 4-4-2DANNY SAYS: This is still the best system, in my opinion. As long as it switches to 4-5-1 when out of possession its a formation that can outdo anyone, Leicester City showed that last season. The 4-4-2 formation was key to Leicesters Premier League title win The role of the full-backs is different in this system, at present we see full-backs play like wingers with both attacking at the same time. But historically when one full-back would attack the other would tuck in and make three at the back - if one full-back went, the other would not go.Defence: 4-2-3-1DANNY SAYS: This is a more traditional modern-day formation. One of the teams who utilise this system well are Tottenham. What they do very well is attack with both full-backs, who are expected to play both left-back and left midfield at the same time. The pace and athleticism of Walker and Rose has been key to Spurs direct style Spurs transfer from defence to attack so quickly and the full-backs are key to that as they break into open space with pace. One second theyre defending, the next the balls in the back of the net.The way that is done nowadays is down to the defensive side of things, teams want to maintain their defensive solidity when theyre attacking.This is achieved when the two centre-backs split and a midfielder drops back into the defensive line. Teams still have the strength that comes from having three at the back, meaning theyre less likely to be counter-attacked. Eric Diers defensive ability gives Spurs full-backs free reign to attack This has completely changed the role of the full-back, theyve got to be more athletic and fitter, because theyre responsible for the length of the pitch in attack and defence.Attack: 4-4-2DANNY SAYS: You used to see the big man and little man up front - Niall Quinn and Kevin Phillips for example - and you didnt really see centre-forwards isolated. As such the big man would occupy the defenders, allowing the little man to feed off knock-downs.Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry were another formidable Premier League partnership. They worked differently though, Henry would stretch the game and Bergkamp would drop deep. Henry and Bergkamp formed a formidable partnership during their time at Arsenal Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke were telepathic with some of the goals they scored. They had a real understanding, they would always interchange positions.Then there was Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton, another partnership that ensured neither striker was isolated because they had a partner.With this formation, wide players, and the full-backs to some extent, would try and create a two-on-one against opposition wide players who loved going forward but werent the greatest defensively.We dont see a lot of goals being scored from crosses now but when there were two centre-forwards, and potentially a midfielder and winger from the opposite side, we did. With Premier League squads being so similar, a slight tactical change could be the difference between winning and losing games. Sky Sports pundit Danny Higginbotham This was arguably down to the fact there were more out-and-out wingers plying their trade in the Premier League, but the fact centre-forwards were rarely isolated played a massive part.Attack: 4-2-3-1DANNY SAYS: Nowadays with 4-3-2-1 we often see the centre-forward isolated and reliant on the three players behind him for support and to provide him with the opportunity to score goals. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a good example of the modern-day lone centre-forward as he carries out both attacking tasks.In the traditional formations, the smaller forward would work the channels but Ibrahimovic is often found stretching defences.At other times he allows the three supporting midfielders to attack the space in front of him, allowing him to operate in behind, as seen with his goal against Bournemouth. Watch Zlatan Ibrahimovic ruthlessly exploit the space vacated by his fellow attackers to score his first Premier League goal at Bournemouth The role of the striker has changed along with formations. The notion of a centre-forward is to create a gap between the midfielders and the defence.If you have a single centre-forward who wants to drop deep, the three midfielders behind him can push on into the space he has vacated. While if the forward holds a high line, that opens up space in the middle of the park for those behind him to play into.False nineDANNY SAYS: People talk about the false nine as though it was invented recently. Johan Cruyff actually brought it in at Barcelona in the late 80s and it was very successful.Liverpool are one of the teams who use the formation really well at the moment, with no recognised centre-forward in the line-up. Danny Higginbotham examines the evolution of formations and the changing role of strikers within football Jurgen Klopp plays with two holders in midfield in Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum and the four players in front readily interchange positions.They have utilised the formation so well that they vacate the number nine area completely and, in recent weeks, Adam Lallana in particular has had free rein to roam into the position. Its all about the players off the ball creating space for runners from deep to run in to.Ultimately, there are a lot of different tactical approaches and, with Premier League squads being so similar, a slight tactical change by managers could be the difference between winning and losing games.You can watch Englands tour of Bangladesh, plus Premier League football and the Japan Grand Prix on Sky Sports. Upgrade now and enjoy three months at half price! Also See: Premier League video Fixtures Table Live on Sky [b]Dontae Johnson Seahawks Jersey[/b] . "Opinion: Womens World Cup is the best Soccer of the year," Hanks tweeted to his 8.73 million followers on Friday. "Hey FIFA, they deserve real grass. Put in sod. [b]Rashaad Penny Seahawks Jersey[/b] . And by all indications, the team is expected to select phenom Connor McDavid with their selection. The Buffalo Sabres, who were knocked down to the second overall pick after finishing with the worst regular season record, are expected to take the other generational player in Jack Eichel.WASHINGTON - Randy Wittman learned long ago to focus on what he can control. Thats what he did over the past 2 1/2 years with the Washington Wizards. Wittmans approach helped turn the Wizards from pushover to playoff winners. Now hell have a chance to stick around following a 44-38 season, a 15-win improvement from last year, after the Wizards gave him a contract extension. "I think over the last couple of years what weve begun to establish here, continuity I think is important," Wittman said Wednesday in the hallway near the practice court at the Verizon Center. "Im appreciative of the opportunity to continue on." The Wizards reached the playoffs for the first time since 2008 and won their first post-season series since 2005. They accomplished it in the final year of Wittmans contract and under a preseason mandate to make the playoffs from owner Ted Leonsis. "I was here when it was not pretty. When you see it change, when you see the things that youve implemented begin to work, you want to continue on," the 54-year-old Wittman said. Wittman guided the Wizards to a first-round win over the Chicago Bulls before losing in six games to the top-seeded Indiana Pacers in their Eastern Conference semifinal. "Over the last 2 1/2 years really, Randy has established a great culture, a hard-working culture, a defensive-oriented team," Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld said. "Weve been a top-10 defensive team in the league the last two years. Weve made good progress. We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but were headded in the right direction. [b]Michael Dickson Seahawks Jersey[/b]. quot; Asked if retaining Wittman was an easy decision," Grunfeld stated," Yes, it was." Having already coached rebuilding squads with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves, Wittman took over as head coach when Flip Saunders was fired in January 2012. As was the case in those other spots, losses starting piling up in Washington. Wittman has the worst regular-season record of anyone who has coached at least 400 NBA games — 191-329, a .367 winning percentage — since the league started in 1946. "Job security is fleeting, as we all know in this business," said Wittman, who played in the NBA for nine seasons. "If you worry about it, youre not going to do your job well." With John Wall sidelined, the Wizards opened the 2012-13 season with a 4-28 record. When their point guard returned, Washington finished 24-25. With Wall healthy and turning into a first-time All-Star alongside backcourt partner Bradley Beal, Washington ended the 2013-14 season fifth in the Eastern Conference. Washington has plenty of decisions remaining. Two starters — centre Marcin Gortat and forward Trevor Ariza — are unrestricted free agents. Overall, 10 players are entering some level of free agency or the organization must decide whether to exercise a team option. Though Wittman and Grunfeld have stated a desire to the keep the core intact, the roster could certainly look different next season. But the man on the sideline will be familiar. 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