5 Reasons to Play With Two Holding Midfielders
Determining what tactical shape and formation your squad is going to play is almost always down to personnel, especially if you're not playing or coaching professional soccer.
The players that tryout, or have been previously selected or recruited, are what you have to work with, and the individual talent of the collective pool of players will determine what formation to play.
Here are 5 reasons to play with two holding-midfielders in your line-up.
1. Frustrate the Opposition
Playing with two holding-midfielders is a great way to frustrate your opponents and limit their ability to dictate proceedings in a match, by staying compact with two deep-lying players, you can limit penetration and avoid midfield lines being broken.
This formation will allow you to denying passing lanes and windows through the middle of the park, and is a very effective shape for antagonizing the opponent.
2.Numbers in the Middle of The Park
Setting your team up with two holding-players will allow you to create overloads through the middle of the pitch, aiding in group pressing to win the ball back and transition from defending to attack in the blink of an eye.
In possession of the ball, a double-pivot helps triangles bud all across the pitch and can be very conducive for developing a short-passing game that you see from teams like Arsenal and Bayern Munich.
3. Shield The Center-Backs
Deploying two holding-midfielders offers fantastic protection for your center-backs, the two deep-lying players are typically ordered to shield their central defenders from free players running at them on the dribble, or midfielders working to pick passes through the gaps between the back-four.
If you are playing a mobile, active, free-running opposition that have players that can trouble your defenders 1v1, choosing to shield them with two holding-midfielders is something to consider as you work up your game plan.
4. Compensate for Luxury Players
If your front-four is filled with fantastic, technical players, that are irresistible on the ball, but absolutely abysmal in their efforts to defend, then playing with two defensive center-midfielders is a good way to make sure you're not wide open to attack in transition.
Every team needs technicians who an cast a spell on the ball, and produce the goods in the final third, and sometimes these same players don't expend much energy defending, so choosing to play with two holding-midfielders is a great way to compensate.
5. Play on The Counter
Since you will be overloading the middle of the park, staying extremely compact and hard to breakdown, when you battle and win the ball back, your greatest threat for scoring will come on the counter-attack.
If you have a trio of pacey players up front, then playing in a 1-4-2-3-1 is a great line-up for hitting on the break and should be considered when you need to provide resolute defense, and lighting-quick transitions to goal, that leave your opponents bemoaning losing possession with numbers forward.