Football is going through changes, and the top level of the men’s game looks very different from what it was 10 years ago. Some things are disappearing from football, such as raucous atmospheres and community, while others can be measured. Here are three things that are no longer as common in football:
1) The traditional 4-4-2 formation is becoming less popular. It used to be the default way of setting up a team in English football, but now it is virtually extinct. In the 2009-10 season, 43.9% of starting line-ups in the league used this formation. However, this season, only 6.5% of starting XIs have been arranged in a 4-4-2. Most teams now opt for a variation of a 4-2-3-1 setup.
2) The traditional crossed corner is being replaced by short corners. Crossing the ball into the box from a corner has proven to be an inefficient way of attacking, with only 3.5% of corners resulting in goals over the past 10 seasons. Teams are now looking for more effective ways to use corners, leading to the rise of short corners. In the last decade, the percentage of short corners taken in the Premier League has been increasing, reaching 20.6% this season.
3) Long shots from outside the penalty area are becoming less common. Teams are shooting from outside the box much less frequently, as these shots are less likely to result in goals. In the 2009-10 season, 45% of shots in the Premier League were taken from outside the penalty area, but that figure has gradually decreased to 32.6% this season. This is because long-range shooting is an inefficient way of scoring goals.
While these trends are noticeable, it’s important to note that football tactics are fluid and cyclical. Old formations and strategies may revive in the future.