What is Total Football?
"Total Football is a tactical playing theory in football where any outfield player adopts the role of any other player in the team.
It creates for a fluid tactical system in which no outfield player is fixed in their set role – as any player can switch to playing as an attacker, midfielder or defender, with the only player retaining their position for the entirety of the match being the goalkeeper."
"The success of Total Football philosophy is, however, almost completely dependent on the fluidity and ability of each footballer within the team, as well as their ability to switch positions quickly and accordingly based on the on-pitch events."
The RDF Total Football
Circulate the ball quickly.
Create wide triangles.
Positional rotations in an attempt to occupy spaces.
Occupy zone 14.
Cover all 5 vertical channels (Left flank, left-half space, central, right half-space, right flank).
Have runners in behind.
Attempt overlaps/underlaps to disrupt defending teams shape.
Maximum of two players in the same vertical channel.
Use the GK as an extra outfield player.
Have vertical and lateral passing options at all times.
Always have an overload against opponents press.
Strengths and Spotting Weakness in 3-3-3-1
Look to utilise the central midfield superiority.
Having a natural 'Anchor-Man' helps with both defending and attacking transitions.
The use of a Number 10 encourages play in zone 14.
The striker is supported by having two wingers, number 10 and attacking number 8.
If a Central Midfielder has to push out to defend wider areas, number 10 can drop to make sure the central channel isn't exposed (Number 10 has to react quickly).
Lack of natural support on the width - Use Wide-Centre Backs to offer support both in possession and out of possession.
No natural outlet out wide when building - Have a central midfielder drift out wide to offer support.
Vulnerable to counter-attacks - Squeeze and minimize the pitch. Use offside traps, holding midfielder, use tactical fouls and defenders with good recovery pace.