Formations are an integral part of football as noted by Marca. Herbert Chapman, coach of Arsenal back in the 1920s, was the one to devise the WM system, a shape that fielded three centre-backs behind a five-man midfield. That’s the formation of choice for all three of La Liga’s biggest clubs at the moment. Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid all use it.
Ronald Koeman has used it in seven games this season, of which he’s won five and drawn two. It enables him to free Sergino Dest and Jordi Alba on either wing while retaining defensive solidity. For Diego Simeone, it enables him to free Kieran Trippier and Renan Lodi. For Zinedine Zidane, it enables him to release Lucas Vazquez and Ferland Mendy.
Zidane has used the shape three times, winning every game. Simeone has used it the most, opting to set his Atletico team up with a back three in 20 games this season, the balance of which is 14 wins, three draws and three defeats. Greater defensive security, a better tactical balance, more decisive use of the ball, greater width. There’s quite a few benefits to the shape.