Is Martin O'Neill about to change formation for the match against Birmingham City?

Martin O'Neill is preparing us for a change of formation on Sunday. I don't know this for sure, but he is today talking about formation and basically telling us it's the players and not the formation that wins you matches.

Now, I'm not saying he is preparing his excuse, but I think he is preparing us for a change and what he is saying isn't entirely wrong, it is about players. However, if he played the eleven players that lined up for Darlington against Lincoln and put them out in a 4-4-2 then I fancy they'd lose but they might not lose by as many if he played ten men behind the ball.

We all know and accept it is about players but it is also about how best to play those players and it is why Barcelona can play 4-3-3, because they have the quality throughout the squad that allows them to usually score more goals than the opposition and why I believe 4-5-1 is the best formation for us.

Regular visitors will now formation is a big thing for me. I'm not going to say it is why we beat Liverpool or Fulham but I will put it down as a factor. It maybe also isn't the only reason why we had such a good run last season until we reverted back to 4-4-2 when we signed Heskey, but again, I will say I think it was a factor.

Ironically, the last time we played Birmingham City, we played 4-4-2 and scored five goals, but I think they are better this time and I think while it might be a mistake to change around a formation that has got us six points from a possible nine in the league, if that is what Martin O'Neill decides to do, then that is what he decides.

Martin O'Neill
People can get carried away with formations. In this day and age, everyone seems to have a view, more so than ever before, with phone-ins and the internet.The truth is eventually winning football matches boils down to players. Of course you go out with a strategy and a plan and you set off with a formation.

But the teams who are able to be flexible and change their tactics will be successful.Every result in football is not based on your formation. If a team wins one week with a formation and loses the next with a different one, it doesn't automatically follow that the formation change was the reason. It might be to do with the opposition being better on the day.

In my opinion, if you have talent and discipline in your team, you will go a long way.

I am not saying he is wrong, but he wasn't aware that other teams were playing so many more players than us until he went to a managers meeting recently so maybe he doesn't know that we had a very good run playing 4-5-1 and it all started to go sour when we went back to 4-4-2 last season. You just don't know.

{rokbox title=|Aston Villa 5 Birmingham City 1 :: Martin Laursen will be watching | thumb=|images/stories/laursen300.jpg|size=|640 480| album=|fiveone|}images/stories/fiveone/laursen.jpg{/rokbox}

Anyway, it is a big match and one that I fancy will be won by the team that wants it more on Sunday, but if that team also plays to the strengths of the players in the team I think it might also be a factor.

I know there will be a split on this. Some will agree 4-5-1 or call it 4-3-3 when attacking is the best for us and some will also say that 4-4-2 is the best, but at the end of the day, or the end of this season anyway, we will only know for sure after we have looked at all the results, but if we were to use results from this season, it is pretty clear that 4-5-1 is the best way for us.

Much like Martin O'Neill, this is just my opinion and I hope he doesn't change it, if only for continuity, because I still fancy we will win on Sunday, because we are just the superior team. But if he changes it and we lose, then some, maybe even me, might point to the change of formation and the break in continuity as the reason.

Click here for a desktop wallpaper that Martin O'Neill should have on his laptop.