Flaws in the Mexican system

Posted on June 2, 2010

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Mexico plays a fluid 3-4-3 system that is brilliantly described here by Zonal Marking. This formation is exciting to watch in action when Mexico have the ball as there is constant movement of the almost every player but I believe that this system has some serious flaws.

MEXICO ARE VULNERABLE TO ATTACKS DOWN THE FLANKS.

Mexico

Against Holland, Mexico conceded two very identical goals that clearly expose the flaw in their system. Mexico’s wingers do not track back to protect the fullback but instead stay forward. If the opposition is playing with a winger and fullback, they can double up on the Mexican wingback and create very good crossing opportunities(as shown in the diagram above).   In the video below, this is what happened against Holland as both of Van Persie’s  goals came from deep crosses, one from the left and the other from the right.

WHO IS PICKING UP WHO?

A 3 man defense is a bad idea against a one striker system because you have 3 players picking up one so you will be outnumbered in another area of the pitch. One of the 3 Mexican centerbacks should have been picking up Van Persie but Holland’s front 4 are constantly swapping positions so man marking is next to impossible against them. Forced to zonal mark and deal with Van Persie’s movement, the 3 centrebacks were not sure who should pick him up and he was able to escape them at least twice.

In conclusion, Mexico may be exciting to watch going forward but they are vulnerable down the flanks and they will struggle playing against a one striker system if that striker is full of movement. I will be looking out for these 2 things during the world cup.

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