I have never been a Chelsea fan until now. Well, I meant a fan of their resurgence, not necessarily the team. I have been doing a research on the reasons for the resurgence of the Blues, not because I could not pinpoint it, but I wanted to see how many opinions out there would match mine, or at least deviate from my opinions. Not to my surprise, the reason lies mainly on the right-wing-back and left-wing-back choice in a 3-4-3 formation. What is really special about this formation, and why should the Super Eagles adopt it?
- This formation is popular with the Italians. And Italy are known for having one of the best defense in the world. After having mixed results in his first games, Conte needed to return to his roots — the 3-4-3 formation — before he was able to steer Chelsea in a positive trajectory. Why is this formation defensive? It keeps 3 central defenders solidly behind, to prevent quick counters from opponents. And Nigeria has had defense problems in recent times.
- This formation relies on strong, workaholic wingers with stamina to run the flanks. Think Alonso and Moses for Chelsea. So glad that Moses is indeed our player, and now flourishes in his new role as a right-wing-back because he is just the kind of player that has the qualities to man the right flank. Do we have a player who can do the same on the left? My choice is John Ogu. He is big, strong and can last. I would rather have Ndidi play a twin defensive midfield role with captain, Mikel.
- This formation is especially a good one to adopt when a team lacks quality natural full back defenders. The Super Eagles at the moment lack good full backs. I believe Musa Muhammad will grow in to a great right-full back. But at the moment, it may be risky to depend on him in a World Cup qualifier. Echiejile is average, and has not improved, despite being around the senior team fold for over a decade now.
- This formation mutates into 5-3-2, when the opponent is on the off
ensive, choking play up on the rear and making life difficult for opposing sides, when on the attack. Also, the Super Eagles have midfielders who can play defensively. Chelsea has not conceded a goal in the Premier League since they switched to the 3-4-3 approach. The less goals we
concede the better, because we have attackers who would rarely fire blanks.
- It is best to play a formation based on what you have in your arsenal, instead of making players play unfamiliar roles. Based on the players we have, a 3-4-3 formation is ideal. If you don’t have it, you just don’t have it.
- Need I say, whoever is between the sticks will need even more cover, especially since our first choice keeper, Carl Ikeme, is out? Hence, 3-4-3.
- We have three blazing attackers who should be giving the sole task of focusing only on attack — Iheanacho, Etebo and Iwobi. We need the goals in Uyo, and they can get it without divided attention.