As you already know, Rudi Garcia has put an awful amount of faith into the 4-3-3 formation since he arrived in Rome two years ago. With several different attackers readily available during Garcia's tenure, it is a bit odd that the Frenchman continues to opt for the almighty 4-3-3. So, today we dive into why Rudi has decided to stick to his bread and butter, rather than giving his squad a change of pace.
Since 2013 Sabatini has gifted Rudi Garcia a plethora of wingers. With the likes of Juan Iturbe, Gervinho, Victor Ibarbo, Iago Falque, and Mohamed Salah joining the squad, it does make sense to play a wide formation to accommodate all the new players. With that said, there is much flexibility in wide attacking options, allowing players to stick to their positions without constant disruption.
Lack of a True Striker
With this hectic mercato about to wrap up, it is a relief that Roma has finally acquired a true Striker. Before Edin Dzeko, we saw the likes of Mattia Destro, Seydou Doumbia, and Francesco Totti being deployed at striker. With much inconsistency coming from Destro and Doumbia, and Totti being played as a false nine, Roma struggled to find it's true striker. With the 4-3-3 (false nine) formation, Totti is allowed to play centrally and set the wingers up to score, rather than the other way around. In other words, Garcia opted for the 4-3-3 (false nine) to accommodate the lack of a true goal scoring threat at striker, which put more pressure on the wingers to score.
The Gervinho Problem
It always seems like a joke when an out of form Gervinho is slammed into the squad ahead of players who look keen to make an impact. And it truly makes us wonder, why does Rudi adore the Ivorian so much? You could argue that Rudi Garcia is in a relationship with Gervinho's sister, or that he is heavily invested in his FIFA Ultimate Team, but the most likely explanation is that Rudi is trying to find Gervinho's form from the 2013-2014 season. Weather you support this gamble or not, Gervinho will most likely play his preferred position of LW where he can be in an advanced position and attack the opposing fullback.
Roma's strongest position over the last few years has been its midfield. Kevin Strootman, Miarlem Pjanic, Radja Nainggolan, Seydou Keita, and Daniele De Rossi have given Garcia the headache of who to start in the center of the pitch. With all the CM's making a case for themselves, Garcia has chosen to deploy three central midfielders at once. The 4-3-3 formation allows Rudi to utilize the majority of his talented midfielders, instead of benching them in exchange for another striker, which Roma seemed quite thin on last season.
Although Rudi Garcia has many wingers at his disposal; it is no excuse to continuously play the same formation time and time again. Instead of keeping a slow, possession based buildup, it seems like Rudi desires a pacey, counter attacking team that can go out and run past the opposition. With the 4-3-3, this formation certainly fits that tactic. But what happens when teams decide to pull back their attackers and park the bus like last year? Can Rudi train his wingers to be patient and play slowly against opposing defenses?
Maybe a more possession based 4-3-1-2 formation is necessary, where Roma can slot Pjanic as the attacking midfielder and have his best midfielders behind him and his most intelligent, calm, strikers ahead of him. Or maybe a 4-2-3-1 with a CAM to control play and pick out wide midfielders easier. Either way, Rudi needs a change of tactics to succeed this season.