The 3-6-1 Can Be a Total Failure…

The 3-6-1 formation is pretty common among German teams. However, there are many examples on when this soccer formation didn’t improved so well.

One of the most well known examples is the US national team that adopted it during the 1998 World Cup and failed miserably.

The US national team was usually playing with the 4-4-2 but the coach (Sampson) changed it to the 3-6-1 only two months before the first game in WC 98.

The US team produced only one goal in three games and their adventure was over.

The 3-6-1 formation

The idea behind this formation is to clog up your opponents in midfield and then pounce with counterattacks.

Your opponent’s defense will also get confused about which and how many players your team will put in offense attacks.

However, this formation requires great stamina in order to keep coming forward in waves.

It can be a good idea to use it during rainy and cold days. However, if the day is pretty warm this formation can be totally unsuccessful.

Do Not Change The Formation During The Game

One thing you need to count on as a player is that a coach should not change your team’s formation too often during a soccer game.

This is pretty important for young or new to soccer players who could get totally confused.

So if your coach is experimenting with many different formations during a game tell him that it is better to stick to a one general formation (for example 4-4-2) then experimenting too much.

A Coach Should Not Get Directions from Players

However, you should be aware of that a coach doesn’t like to get directions from players as he believes that his decisions are the right ones.

Don’t tell your coach how the team should play because any coach with little self-esteem will reject your proposal.

Only a coach that’s truly humble can keep your suggestions in mind without getting offended.

It is pretty fun to play in offense while adopting the 3-6-1 formation. However, you will have more responsibility in defense and you really need to take that task seriously.

This is not the time to show off – you need to show that you can be part of the team.

Your team will have a big advantage on the midfield but you will also need to move higher upon the field in order to create goal scoring chances.

The reason for this is that your team will only play with one striker and without your help he will not come very far.


As already mentioned, this soccer formation can be pretty successful if adopted correctly.

However, it can also end in disaster if you and your teammates are not prepared to work hard.