With the introduction Emery we take a look at his previous formations and how they will fit into Villarreal’s current roster of players. Exciting times for Villarreal fans,
4 2 3 1
This is Emery’s go to formation which he received a lot of success with Sevilla and Valencia They key to this role is a creative Midfielder who is good at shielding ball but is strong enough to play defensively if needed. Emery utilized Banega perfectly in this role in the past.
The CAM starts in the heart of attack and slowly drops back as the game progresses. This allows other midfielders to press forward. This is extremely effective however it does depend on that player having a good balance of defence and attack. This is something Villarreal don’t have. Commentators will be surprised to see Trigueros is suited better in this role than Zambo
Think of it as a 1 -2 specialist. Zambo starts his charging runs from Midfield with plenty of space. He plays a quick 1-2 with Trigueros and goes onto goal. Iborra will be the weakness here. He was effective in the system before under Emery. He has lost pace in since then. Arguably he could play in that CAM role. For me he lacks the attacking prowess to be effective there.
4 3 3
The other formation Emery tends to favor is 4 3 3. In the past this hasn’t been massively effective for Villarreal or arguably Emery.
Attacking wise having Ontiveros and Samu attacking as forwards is frankly quite scary and would work. This would be Liverpool style with Mane and Salah with Gerard needing to pull back. Ideally Moi would be preferred on the Right wing as he provides stronger defencive skills
The weakness here is the same. There is no one in that midfield who is defencive minded. That DM will need to stay back the whole game. Something those 3 will never do. Villarreal really missed Cáceres in this. He would have excelled in this role as you rarely saw him pass the half way line.
In both formations Samu’s lack of defencive skill is a major issue. It means whoever plays at right back is in for a lot of work. Zambo did get better at covering but it severely restricted his attacking style. If Villarreal are going to pay 25 Million they need to utilize it.
One thing to note is that Alcacer makes neither of the starting 11. This is a potential headache. He won’t replace Gerrard in any starting line up no matter how well he plays. 433 he could play central with Gerrard RF. In this situation you lose attacking Samu.
How its solved?
First signing should be a strong DM similar in style to Bruno, Rodri, Busquets. Its been discussed before lack of height. If you have Iborra and Zambo in the Midfield that rules that out. Having a slightly smaller but more aggressive player is not a bad thing. Kante, Makélélé spring to mind
Signings and what we need for this to work
There have been several calls for a Santi like player. Was Santi effective in the 433?. He shined the strongest in 442 . Our attention around an attacking midfielder is confusing. It seems to suggest we are still grooming Zambo to be the CDM.
An well rounded player would be in ideal in this situation. Parejo stands out. Someone who has defensive abilities but provides a strong attacking threat. Free agents looking at Aleix García. Not popular but cheap former cantera. Given enough game time could prove doubters wrong.
Finally a CB, this is easier to fit in but is rare to find a player of quality. Albiol and Pau Torres have been immense. The trouble is signing someone who will be a back up Albiol. Fans can’t see Albiol being benched anytime soon. Possible names Cristian Romero, Gabriel or Victor Ruiz.
Let us know what you think in the comments below. Should Emery stick with what he knows or get the best out of 442?