1. Fernando Torres – whatever you might think of his current form – is a striker and his game is all about running in behind the defence. Against Italy his finishing was poor, but his natural striker running gave another dimension to Spain’s passing game.
2. Italy, with two forwards, broke Spain’s defence a lot more times than 4-6-0 formation broke through Italy’s three center-backs defence.
3. Robin Van Persie found it very hard to score with Arjen Robben and Ibrahim Afellay as wingers. Holland were selfish and Van Persie failed his clear-cut chances. However, RVP had to adjust his game to Robben’s running and it drained a lot of energy from him. When Klaas-Jan Huntelaar came on, Holland looked more direct and dangerous and should have gotten a penalty.
4. France kept the ball better than England but their striker Karim Benzema only received one pass in the penalty area. One can assume that with Olivier Giroud next to him, he would have gotten freer and could have received more passes. England, meanwhile, looked more dangerous on the counter with Ashley Young as second striker and Danny Welbeck as “number 9″.
5. Germany played a sort of 4-2-3-1 formation, which has become the default formation for international football, but Lukas Podolski was basically a second striker on the left and it reduced a lot of the pressure off Mario Gomez. Germany’s goal was from a cross that was meant to either Podolski or Gomez.
6. The great Andriy Shevchenko scored two great header against Sweden. He had the energy to score because he was playing next to hardworking Andriy Voronin. Russia played the best football of the tournament with three forwards who had little defensive work because three hard working midfielders who worked behind them.
- So, what is the conclusion of these 6 points? Well, it seems that in international football – played mostly with knackered players, the one striker formation is putting way too much pressure on one individual to score. Playing with two strikers makes more sense in a game that every drop of sweat makes a difference.