Is the sweeper set for a return to prominence?

Matthias Sammer, a classic sweeper
“Jonathan Wilson recently wrote in his excellent ‘The Question’ series about the possibility of the return of the sweeper to football. The sweeper prospered as the ’spare man’ in a three-man central defence up against a two-man attack, so now we have two-man central defences up against one-man attacks, should one centre-back not become a sweeper? The idea is music to the ears of anyone who fondly remembers Euro 96. The player of the tournament was Matthias Sammer, the sweeper in the German 3-4-1-2 system that went onto win the tournament. As well as being the most important player in defence, clearing up behind the two markers, he also had license to go forward and launch attacks, and found himself scoring (in open play) on more than one occasion.” (Zonal Marking)


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