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Over the last ten or so years, tactics have evolved past just formations. Managers analyse games differently thanks to technology and other tools available, looking for ways to exploit the oppositions weaknesses. One such development has been the emergence of 'False 9s'.
A False 9 is typically a creative player or Number 10 that plays in the striker role. It's a position, that in modern football, was pioneered by Pep Guardiola at Barcelona. Pep would usually use Messi in this role for two reasons. One, his ability to score goals and two, to get him in the middle of the pitch to initiate attacks with his vision and passing ability. It's success was due to Messi's brilliance, but also it allowed Pedro and Villa to make runs from wide for Messi to slide balls between the full back and center backs to score goals.
Another benefit of the False 9 is that it allows fluidity between the front 3. It is especially effective against teams that defend deep as the interchanging of position creates space, not only for the forwards, but also for midfield runners into the box. This is what Klopp has tried to do at Liverpool with Coutinho, Firmino and Mane and putting Lallana in midfield. It's a nightmare for a CB to deal with. Defenders are reluctant to engage the player because of the fear of leaving space in behind for a wide forward to exploit and possibly score.
Most teams however, still opt for the conventional striker, but even that position has changed. We now expect strikers to do more than score goals. Strikers are expected to have technical ability, hold the ball up and bring others into play. The best modern example of the 'perfect striker' would be Robert Lewandowski. The Pole is debatably the best striker in world football, with Luis Suarez. He has the strength to hold the ball up, he can play intricate football and his scoring ability is unquestionable. I suppose three years of Rondo training at Bayern under Pep is the reason for this!
Regarding which is better, I don't think there is a definitive answer. I think it comes down to managers preference. There is a time and place for both and if you have the players to execute both well, then you are definitely a force to be reckoned with. I think False 9s will become more popular over the next few years. As we know, football moves in cycles. We just have to see how it develops.
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