After just two matches each team, the World Cup is taking an ominously Latin route. I buck the ridiculous English tendency to suffer inferiority in the face of Brazilian aura. Mainly because they seldom deserve what they achieve. Yet this year they stand apart and if it leads to the championship then they will indeed be worthy on current evidence.
The reason is that they deploy the most innovative and potentially devastating tactics. I’ll call it their 6-6 formation.
Even those not disposed to follow football have probably heard talk of formations; 4-3-3, 4-4-2, 3-5-2, 4-5-1, Christmas Trees and Diamonds.
What Brazil are doing that is so fascinating starts with the approach to defence and attack. They have a standard back-four. Then they have four attacking players. These all seem to be largely interchangeable, playing anywhere upfront, constantly swapping around.
Their real breakthrough is with the two remaining outplayers. In this case, they are Felipe Melo (no.5) and Gilberto Silva (no.8). Watch out for them next time. They only operate in a 40-yard zone, either side of half-way. Yet they are always the extra two attackers when swarming on goal or extra two defenders when under pressure. The speed with which these pair enable the switch between six attackers and six defenders is frightening. Yes, I’ll admit they’ve only played N Korea and Ivorians so far and have at times looked as shaky as every other fancied side, but this building block appears uniquely theirs to go on and win the thing, given the extra man it seems to give them.
This tactic reminds me of when I’ve seen the most successful solution selling. Whether you yourself attain ultimate glory, there’s usually a team involved. Winning tends to repeat itself when you’ve a reliable technical head that can lend themselves just as adeptly to pre-sales and implementation situations. Have you got such resource mobilised?