Spurs disarmed the Chelsea train by matching them up and going with the 3-4-3. Spurs are the only team capable of giving Chelsea a game with this formation. And after beating the league leaders with a new-ish formation, should Mauricio Pochettino stick with the 3-4-3?
It is often used as a crisis formation in the Premier League as it was by Brendan Rodgers in the 2014/15 season, it gave Liverpool them a 13 match unbeaten run. A run which started and ended with a defeat to Man Utd.
This run was hardly to do with the formation and it’s effects on the team but more the effect it had on Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian carried Liverpool through this spell playing as one of the two players behind the striker.
As is often the case, Liverpool did not have the players to play it and ultimately they got found out. Most teams do not have the Arsenal to play any kind of three at the back formation but for those who do, it can be very good to watch and very effective.
Chelsea have showed us this while bringing back to form the likes of David Luiz, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa. Hazard, in particular has benefited from this system, in a similar way to Coutinho, being given the freedom to stay out wide, come inside and make runs beyond Costa.
While the formation is obviously better suited to Chelsea, how it influenced the playmakers of both sides is noticeable and with Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen having quiet seasons up until a few games ago, this would, as seen against Chelsea, bring the best our of them.
Spurs do not really have any wingers and it is a perfect formation for such a situation with the two behind the striker given the option to play inside or outside in the knowledge that there will be overlapping runs from the wing backs.
With Spurs a side generally lacking in goals this is the formation to bring the best out of Alli and Eriksen.
Playing three defenders will also not be a problem for them. Eric Dier, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld are all very capable of playing in a back three.
It seems a no-brainer, as it would probably be playing to everyone’s strengths.