Gerrard at Glasgow Rangers mainly used a 1-4-2-3-1 formation with two pivots and a wide and high positioned left wing midfielder. Will see how it will be look at Villa.
In the first phase, he always used the full-backs who went very deep to help play the ball avoiding rivals’ pressure. The passing options were complemented by the central midfielders to cover for possible high and aggressive pressing on the flanks, however it happened rarely due to the high positioning of the offensive front three on the pitch making instant dangerous positions. This allows for flexible and quick transitions from 1-4-3-3 to 1-4-2-3-1 and back again.
Attacking Gerrard is flexible and designing his players’ movements he relies on developing automatisms and sharing responsibility for different areas of the pitch. Positional control and creating a quantitative advantage in specific areas distinguish this approach.
In ball possession they overload zones with the conscious intention of more passing options and opportunities to press immediately after losing the ball.
On defense they move very close to the opponent in zones parallel to the direction of the ball, narrowing the channels of play and eliminating passing options.
In the last phase of pressing they focus on individual pressure. In one-on-one marking system they cut off passing options.
The offensive three move in sync with the ball to prevent play through the center, while the wingers aim to exclude opponents’ playmakers from the game by temporarily creating free space on the flanks, only to overload the zone then and recover the ball after a rival plays the ball there.