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Edwin Herzog, 1937: Pefferkorn's article regarding 3-3-4

Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2022-02-14 22:33:33

Data providers: Isaque Argolo.
Edwin Herzog | 10/01/1937

Not caballistic numbers, just a new formation — the English three defenders game and the Holits four-striker system mixing — it is already used in France.

The new off-side rule has brought profound changes to football tactics. These changes did not take place from tomorrow to tomorrow, they did not immediately follow the publication of the rule change in the official gazettes. It was only slowly, step by step, that the recognition of tactics needed to change. It took even longer for the changes to take shape. It took years for the strike line to take on a new form, with more years to be taken to reshape the defense systems. In the meantime, of course, the ability of each of the pioneering teams to play a role also played a role in the birth of the new formations. The experiments then led to the creation of new formations, new tactical ideas that swept a real revolution across the globe, wherever the round leather ball nestled itself.
This revolution is still going on. The controversial moods have not calmed down yet, many places are still looking for the only saving war order that would provide the best, the most expedient, for the new off-side rule. A lot of ideas, a lot of new ideas have come up in this search, and the time will surely come when a new formation, such as the well-known division of the football team with two defenders, three covers and five strikers, and consisting of three single and closed rows. In the meantime, however, a lot of water will flow down the Danube and a lot of ink will run off the manuscripts of the controversial articles.
These came to mind when we came across the latest issue of Football in Paris, in which Pefferkorn, one of the excellences of French journalism, wrote an article entitled: "Are you a believer in the formation of 3-4-4?" For the sake of clarity, what does Pefferkorn mean by the formation of "3-3-4" in the introduction?
These three numbers indicate the teams that stand up with three defenders, three half-backs and four forwards. This formation therefore takes over the centre-half withdrawn from the defense system developed by the English as the third defender, and in attack it embraces the Holits four-forward game, in which the centre-forward is withdrawn — almost between the two half-backs — to thus direct the work as an offensive centre-half.
The first column of Pefferkorn's article shows the image of Myrka, the centre-forward of F.C. Charleville in the second division of the french championship. It was Myrka who first played the four-striker game in France. F.C. Charleville reached the French Cup final last year with this tactic.
In his introduction, the French journalist immediately states that the principles of the WM formation, which are almost universally accepted in the West, are still being denied in Central Europe. Central Europe, Pefferkorn notes, is still breaking its spear with five forwards, three half-backs and two defenders. (Pefferkorn would have put it more correctly, "There are still those in Central Europe who do not want to know what changes have taken place in the game's tactics as a result of the introduction of the new off-side rule.") adherents of old tactics usually get lost in the infertility of pushing the page.
— It’s pretty piquant — Pefferkorn says —, that it is precisely those who plan to defend the attacking spirit that sustain the five-strike system.
Pefferkorn does not intend to confront the WM formation with a classical offensive system, but notes that the Central Europeans, even if they did not receive the WM formation, were forced to deal with it at least to the extent that if the opponent were playing against them, what would be the antidote? Of course, the Central European teams have not always been able to find the antidote to this, and this is the reason for their multi-goal defeat.
In contrast to the WM formation, the concept of a 3-4-4 formation can be explained as follows:
When the centre-half is pulled back as a third defender to strengthen the defense, there is a gap in the half-back row, right in the middle. The WM formation tried to fill this gap by pulling back the two connectors. The question is, didn't this fill go too far? This is how the two connectors with the two halves form a four-membered row! On the other hand, the number of strikers is too low, even though scoring would be the most important task. From this line of thought, the idea may have emerged that the striker line should be made up of four people and that the new line of cover should consist of the same number of players as before, that is, the same number as the newly organized back line.
And if we keep four strikers in front, it's much smarter to keep the unity of the wings. From this it voluntarily follows that the centre-forward becomes the person who has to detach himself from the five-line and pull back to assume the role of attacking centre-half.
An interesting circumstance is that almost simultaneously with the publication of Pefferkorn's article, the problem of four-strike play has become topical in Hungary. In his statement, Mihály Pataki, the tactical leader of Ferencváros, considers the final structure of the green-white team to be the most expedient in the following formation:
Kemény Toldi Kiss Táncos
Dr. Sárosi
Lázár Hámori
Korányi Polgár Tátrai
This formulation corresponds exactly to the 3-3-4 system and would be a very interesting experiment in the Hungarian history of the football style revolution. Anyway, this solution would provide Dr. Sárosi with a place where his abilities could prevail. He would get an excellent overview of this place and could perfectly control the game of the offensive line, but he would be relieved of catching his opponent's centre-forward.
It is gratifying that such serious and interesting tactical issues are now becoming more and more relevant among our teams today. If our knowledgeable professionals deal with these problems with enough love and knowledge, it can also be expected that in this now fierce style battle of the game, an idea may develop that will become especially Hungarian and that its triumph will start from here, as soon as world-famous acquired Central European style of play also started its conquest from Budapest.