Patrick Vieira has instilled new tactics in New York City F.C. from playing mentalities to formations. He has used two formations this year, but his primary is the 4-3-3 and you have to wonder if it’s really succeeding.
NYCFC’s home field hasn’t been much of an advantage this year as the squad has suffered three out of their five losses in Yankee Stadium. In the first couple of games, Vieira went with a very narrow 3-2-2-3 formation and eventually he threw out the window.
It took NYCFC nearly two months to grab their first home win of 2016 and many questions were raised.
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Let’s be honest now, Yankee stadium is a baseball field. No matter what you turn into, in the end, it was made for nine innings, not 90 minutes of soccer. Vieira has no choice but to deal with it and maybe it’s time for a different formation.
While playing away, NYCFC takes advantage of the wider fields and plays on the wings most of the time. While playing at home, Vieira should really think about switching the formation to a diamond and making it a 4-1-2-1-2 set up.
When you have a glut of midfielders, this should be your go-to. It’s a very narrow formation and most of the action is played in the middle, something NYCFC can take advantage of at home. Vieira could still have four in the back and still allow Ronald Matarrita and RJ Allen to push forward.
This formation also forces Vieira to use a defensive midfielder and Andrea Pirlo is perfect. Despite his age, Pirlo is experienced and knows how to orchestrate the rest of the midfield. In the middle, Vieira has a wide range of options with Frank Lampard, Mix Diskerud, Thomas McNamara and Mikey Lopez.
Personally, with Lampard slowly getting back at 100 percent and McNamara’s success this season, those two would make a great duo. Right in front of them, Vieira can stick the rookie Jack Harrison or Kwadwo Poku.
As we get to the two forwards, David Villa is an automatic selection. Who can play besides him is the real question. Patrick Mullins is at his best when he comes on as a substitute so he’s out of the equation.
It would be interesting to see Steven Mendoza as he’s got the speed and the shot. Khiry Shelton is also an option, but his inconsistency might scare off Vieira.
For right now, the 4-3-3 seems to be working for Vieira’s side, but it’s not a bad idea to keep the diamond formation in the back of his mind.