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Is the second striker a dying breed ?

Tuesday 26th April 2016
If you were born in the late eighties like myself, you would have grown up watching football where the teams lined up with the 4-4-2 formation. However, in this day and age in football it would appear to be a dying breed.

Let me explain, if one was to look at Manchester United who were famous for the 4-4-2 for example, they have changed their formation and not even they have the two-pronged strike force these days, like they did during Sir Alex's trophy-laden reign.

So by the looks of things, there isn't going to be a striker pairing like Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke anytime soon.

The main reason for the change of formation's in the Premier League from what I have analysed in games over the years is because of the influx of foreign coaches, who have brought their foreign methods, for want of a better way of putting it to England.

Just take Chelsea for example, in the case of the West London side they have always operated with the ‘lone striker' model. To give an example would be that Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres have rarely played together, it was always one or the other.

That worked well for Chelsea as they had creative players like Frank Lampard and in today's Chelsea's team, they have Diego Costa up front. The Spanish striker's almost telepathic understanding with compatriot Cesc Fabregas means these two Chelsea players when on song, can be quite a deadly combination.

If we look at other clubs who have a similar model such as Tottenham. In Spurs' case they have arguably the two best English players this year in Dele Ali and Harry Kane, together these two have helped fire the North London club up to the dizzy heights of second in the Premier League.

There are plenty of other examples of the link between midfield and striker, the example of Danny Drinkwater and Jamie Vardy is another. It's fair to say the face of the Premier League as far as people from my generation know it, will be changing forever.

Gone are the days where every team uses the same formation 4-4-2 with two wingers and two strikers, in are the days where ‘box to box midfielders' are the must have in every in every Premier League side. If you are a traditionalist like me, then it will come as quite the ‘culture shock' .

On the flip-side though, however, the box to box midfielder has brought us players like N'Golo Kante, who has arguably been the bargain of the season, only Dele Alli comes close. The majority of Continental teams use the ‘number 10' or the ‘false nine' system and the fact that English teams are becoming more ‘street smart' to other formations hopefully means that England's national team will benefit as a result.

It's painful to see England being out fought by other European countries, with more English teams adapting their team formation, which results in one striker upfront and having more flexibility, hopefully this will mean a more competitive England in major championships.

I am sure all England football fans would want that. I know I would.
Ayyaz Malik

Hi guys, I am Ayyaz. I type by day and I type by night, I type what others are thinking. I eat, drink and sleep football (I think in that order) . Watching football is part of my five a day. They say money makes the world go round, yeah right we all know it's football that makes the world go round. I am a Manchester United fan for my sins.


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