How did football tactics develop? (2-8)

We started with the first ever football tactics: 1-9 in a previous post. But today we will talk about the tactic that followed the 1-1-9. This tactic is 1-2-8 which was considered a leap in the football tactics world at that time. This type of tactic was born around the year 1890, which was heavily used by most football teams.


What is it, how did it come to life? and how did it develop?


This tactic was called the ‘pyramid’ tactic, and it brought more balance than 1-1-9 tactic. The 2-8 football tactic was adopted by the British teams for many years, because it guarantees the defensive balance (somewhat) of the team. This tactic would at least guarantee a sense of defense to the team when the rival team would play a long ball towards the defense line. The ball would obviously pass all 8 players. Then, two players would face the attack. One player who acts more like an interceptor. The other would be the Libero to cover the other defender.


After several years, this formation developed to become more inclined to a 1-2-3-5 (yes, they continue with pure attacking game plans). However, it came with a better distribution of the players on the field. With this tactic we see more balance in midfield than in the previous tactic.


Sub-tactical plans


With the development of football and offside rules in football, other plans began to emerge and branched out from the 1-2-8 plan. Namely 2-2-6, as well as 1-2-7. Here, the clubs began trying to develop their defensive streak after they noticed the number of goals scored by the opponent.

That was especially noticeable in cup matches as the focus was to have a good defense in order not to concede. This means winning the valuable title. The title was then considered the symbol of pride for these clubs.


In the next post, we discuss more football tactics that were developed after amendments to offside laws, which secured big titles for one of a major English club. Make sure you subscribe to the newsletter to get notified on any new post.


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