2 Excellent Soccer Formations for a Slow Team

There are a lot of soccer tactics and formations that a team can pick from. Picking the right formation and tactics is a key factor to having control on the soccer field during a match.

In order to pick the best tactic for your team, you’ll need to know what your team players are good at, and what they are bad at. If you think that your team is slow on the field, then here’re the best formations that you can use with them.

The 4-3-3 formation and the 5-4-1 formation are 2 of the best soccer formations for slow teams. The 4-3-3 formation allows the team to keep the ball for a long time and the 5-4-1 formation helps the team maintain great defensive position.

Why is the 4-3-3 formation good for a slow soccer team?

If your team players are slow, then there is no way that you can benefit from moving fast towards the opponent’s goal and try to score a goal.

You also don’t want your opponent to have the ball for long periods of time because your team might struggle to extract the ball from the opponents if your team members are slow.

With that said, you need a strategy where you can keep the ball for yourself as long as you can, and a strategy that can help you reach the opponent’s goal at a slow pace.

A method that combines the 2 goals above is called the Tiki-Taka, and the 4-3-3 formation is the best formation for the Tiki-Taka soccer strategy.

Tiki-Taka is a very simple tactic in soccer that works as follows:

  • Keep the team players close to each other.
  • Use very frequent short passes between the players until you reach the opponent’s goal.

The reason that this method is great for slow soccer teams is because the players will remain close to each other and rely on their pass precision and accuracy rather than relying on their running speed.

Another great thing about this tactic is that the team that uses it gets to keep the ball for long periods of time.

As you can tell, your opponents can’t score against you if they do not have the ball. The longer you keep the ball to yourself, the less chances your opponents will have in order to exploit your slow team players.

The team uses very short passes that brings them closer and closer to the opponent’s goal. Once they are close enough, they deliver the final strike and score a goal.

As mentioned before, the 4-3-3 formation and Tiki-Taka requires that your team players have a very high pass precision and accuracy.

If your team doesn’t have such very high pass accuracy, then you need to consider the other option for your slow team.

Why is the 5-4-1 formation good for a slow soccer team?

If your team can’t perform fast attacks because they are slow, and if they do not have a high pass accuracy on the soccer field, then their only option is to prevent the opponent from scoring instead of constantly trying to score themselves.

If you can’t score, then at least do not allow your opponent to score either, and here comes the role of the 5-4-1 formation.

The 5-4-1 formation allows you to have almost your whole team on the defensive side of the field.

Most of the team players will have to stay close to their goal and defend it. In this strategy, the team will have a very low ball retention rate(they will not have the ball for long periods of time), but they will make sure that the opponent is always away from their goal.

Having almost 9 defenders makes it hard for any opponent to score a goal. 

If your team is slow, the 5-4-1 formation will increase the density of your team’s defense and make it harder for the opponent to penetrate through the high number of defenders no matter how slow they are.

One of the most defensive tactics in soccer is called ‘Park the Bus’, and the 5-4-1 formation is an excellent choice for such a tactic.

The “Park the bus” strategy is just what I have mentioned earlier. Create as much defense density as possible in order to prevent the opponent from scoring instead of trying to focus on scoring goals yourself.

In case you are wondering about the name, “Park the bus” refers to the fact that you are trying to park a bus in front of your net to block it from any opponent’s ball kicks.

The term “Park the bus” was used by the Soccer manager Jose Mourinho for the first time, and later the name became so popular and described teams that use extensive defense mechanisms during a soccer game.

SO, if your team is slow, then you need to park the bus in front of your net in order to prevent your opponent from scoring.

But how do you score goals in such a scenario?

You either don’t score goals, or you rely on long balls. When you use the 5-4-1 strategy, you will be relying on your single striker in the game to score goals.

Once your defense extracts the ball from the opponent, the first thing they do is that they try to throw a long ball to their attacker and hope that he/she manages to score a goal.

Before I end this article, I’d like to add a few extra notes that might be beneficial when you have a slow soccer team.

1- Be careful of the offside trap.

You might think that using the offside trap is a great idea to prevent your opponent from scoring, But this is not the case if your defense is slow.

An opponent can very easily outrun your defenders. All your opponent has to do is stand onside, wait for their team player to throw the ball to them, and then outrun all your defenders and become face to face with your goalkeeper.

With that said, slow defenders can turn the offside trap against you. Be careful!

If you don’t know what the offside rule is, then check this article out.

2- Make sure that you have team chemistry

This is important of all kinds of teams, but it is especially important for slow teams. If your team is slow, then they will have to work together more often on the field because none of them might be able to reach the opponent’s goal by themselves.

So make sure that your team players have great chemistry on the field.

To summarize

Slow teams should either use the 4-3-3 or the 5-4-1 soccer formations. The 4-3-3 formation helps the team move slowly towards the opponent’s goal while the 5-4-1 formation helps them prevent the opponents from scoring. 

If you are a slow team, make sure that you achieve good chemistry among your players and be extra careful when using the offside trap.