Tuesday, 30 December 2008

The W Formation

I had a recent enquiry about this old style formation and I have now received a more authoritative account of it by someone who played at the time:
'The W formation comprised of two fast, or tricky wingers, a centre forward. The two inside forwards were playmakers, and would see-saw depending on the flow of play behind the front three. The wing halves were also play makers charged with turning defence into attack. The cetre-half ( my playing position) was defence, and the pivot position for the full backs to operate the off-side trap when feasible. Of course this all went out the window when the Hungarians showed another way of playing the game, which I witnessed at Wembley. I often wonder if reverting to the old style ocasionally, would confuse the opposition.'


Anonymous said...

Don't know about the opposition, but it would certainly confuse our lot!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Wyn. I always thought that the front five played flat, whilst this makes much more sense.

Not so different from today's formations as I'd thought.

So you saw the legendary game against the Hungarians. What was the main tactical difference between them and us?

Pembury Addick

Anonymous said...

main difference between hungarians and charlton..they could play football with passion. we dont have a team any more !

Wyn Grant said...

[Posted on behalf of a contributor]With reference to comments on your blog from Anonymus "Pembury Addick" as to the difference of the Hungarian team to Englands in 1953. As far as I can remember, The Hungarians appeared to line up at the kick-off in the usual grid pattern, but then changed to what is probably the form it is to-day, It's difficult to say as we hadn't seen it before ( I think they called it "Total Football" However, apart from all that, the Hungarians had a player called Puskas, who you would have to have seen to believe, he was incrediblle, his passing was uncanny, he would hit his winger, who would be in full flight, such, that he wouldn't miss a step, and he would leave Eckersley standing ( Eckersley was the fastest full back I'd ever seen). They certainly didn't play the "W" formation, and it appeared that England were completely confused. The Hungarians were not playing where the numbers on their shirts said they should be playing. The passing was quick, and deadly accurate, remember this was with a leather ball, not the constant condition ball that is used to-day, They shot at every opportunity, and I always felt that Merrick gave up after the third goal. Along with Puskas were Hidegkuti, Kocsis, Bozsik, and Czibor all brilliant players. I have to admit we were standing with our mouths open in wonder of such incredible football, and I have never forgotten that afternoon, and felt privileged to have witnessed such a display of how the game could be played.
Mathews, was playing a hell of a game for England, and made many openings, but the others were loathe to shoot, waiting for the certain shot.
I believe it was a year later that England got a drubbing from Hungary in Budapest to the tune of 7-1, which finally changed the way the game was played all over the world.

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