Why are two holding midfielders so crucial in the modern game?

“The efficiency that holding midfielders provide teams makes them very important in the modern football. International competitions are always fascinating tactically if anything for the inflexibility they confront managers with. Arrigo Sacchi, in charge of the Italy side who reached the final of World Cup ’94, stated it was “impossible” for a national manager to drill the same understanding that club level coaches are afforded due to the lack of day-to-day availability of personnel. The sporadic amount of time they have with players means it can be difficult for coaches to develop plans so they usually are forced to stick with philosophies they think are correct – and that in turn highlights the common trends in the thinking of modern coaches. And certainly, what has become oblivious from the recent World Cup in South Africa and indeed club football for the past few years is that the use of two holding midfielders in front of the back four is become crucial in the modern game.” (Arsenal Column)

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