Different Styles of Football Tactics Through History 

3 Popular Football Team Tactics in Europe 

Football is one of the most loved sports on the planet. One of the reasons that many people enjoy following and watching football matches is the fact that each and every game is different. This is because there are a million styles and tactics for teams to choose from.

In fact, many football experts may even argue that professional teams can play a fluid game and create tactics on the go. Put simply, there is no “right way” to play football. Some tactics have proven more effective than others throughout history, however. 

There are many different formations and tactics that have become popular for teams all around the world. Some tactics date back to the early 1900s while some of the newer styles of playing, that popped up over the last few years, have taken the footballing world by storm. 

So which tactics and formations are the best? This article will take you through three of the most popular formations and styles that football teams have used in the past. Let’s jump right into it! 

3) The Classic 4-4-2 

If you ask anyone what the “right way” to play football is you may get an answer which refers to the classic 4-4-2 formation. This formation is a simple one to understand. Any team that employs a 4-4-2 will have a bank of 4 defenders with 4 midfielders in front of them. Spearheading the team will be the 2 strikers.

Playing a 4-4-2 gives each team a great deal of balance and the players will be organised to cover every inch of grass on the football pitch. This formation hugely depends on the wide midfielders being able to get up the field and cross the ball to the strikers.

Some of the best teams to ever use the 4-4-2 include the treble-winning Manchester United side of 1999. 

2) Tiki Taka 

If you’ve ever heard of Barcelona or Lionel Messi, then the words Tiki Taka may not sound too foreign to you. The Barcelona sides managed by the pioneer of Tiki Taka, Pep Guardiola, are considered some of the best teams of all time.

Tiki Taka is an easy style of play to understand, but it is undoubtedly one of the most difficult to play for a team of professional footballers. It requires awareness, intensity, and high levels of technical ability to pull off. 

In the simplest of terms, Tiki Taka requires the players to constantly keep the ball moving through quick and intricate passing. No player can be on the ball for more than 3 touches.

1) Counter Attacking 

While Tiki Taka requires complete control of the football match, counter-attacking allows the opposition team to control possession and be on the attack. It’s a bit like comparing real online pokies with blackjack. In one, the player is on their own, in the other, the player must attack the dealer to win. The point of counter-attacking is to preserve energy, defend astutely, and then attack in bursts with accuracy and effectiveness. 

Counter-attacking teams necessitate a bank of extremely solid and technically able defenders. It requires intense concentration and relies on not conceding any goals throughout the game. Attacks may be few and far between, but successful counter-attacking teams are some of the hardest to break down and actually beat. 

Jose Mourinho, the antagonist to Pep Guardiola, pioneered some of the best counter-attacking teams this generation has ever seen. 

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