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Minkreo Birwe’s Canon Sport of Yaounde 3-4-3 tactics

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Tactical Analysis: Coach Minkreo Birwe’s Canon Sport of Yaounde (Cameroon) 3-4-3 tactics Explained and Illustrated

What is the 3-4-3 Formation? 

The 3-4-3 is composed of three centre–backs (and the goalkeeper) at the back. Then in midfield you have two central midfielders with two wide midfielders who act as wing-backs as well as wide midfielders (forming 4 at the midfield). Up front there are two wingers and one central striker.

Due to this layout, it is a very attacking formation: that is to say that you can have up to eight players attacking at once.

It is quite vulnerable in defence simply due to the fact that there are only three dedicated defenders.

For the 3-4-3 formation to work, you need tactically astute players who fully understand their role on the team. They must be flexible and know how to respond both with and without the ball.

If they are not, you risk being overwhelmed in defence as your opponents exploit the gaps and space that the 3-4-3 formation leaves open at the back.


But if your team does master this formation, you can certainly be on the front foot for a large part of the game and pin your opponents back with the sheer number of players you commit forward.

MUST READ: Three of the Most Common Football Tactics Explained

Variations in coach Minkreo Birwe’s 3-4-3 Formation

Coach Minkreo Birwe usually vary his midfield and attack at certain points in a game.

Lets see how Canon Sport changes shape during games while using the 3-4-3 formation.

Minkreo Birwe's Canon Sport of Yaounde 3-4-3 tactics
Minkreo Birwe’s Canon Sport of Yaounde 3-4-3 Setup

Triangle Attack and Flat Midfield

During this system, coach Minkreo Birwe sticks with a flat midfield 4 and an attacking midfielder (usually Joel Ngon who gives threading passes) behind two strikers (one big and one fast for instance usually Simon Mukete and Enanombel respectively) and in some cases a physically imposing central striker (Simon Moukete) who holds up the ball and brings others into play, the two forwards on either side can either act as playmakers or wingers or, as is more likely, a mix of the two.


For maximum confusion of the opposition, coach Minkro Birwe’s Canon Sport front 3  may all continuously swap position, drop into space and generally wreak havoc.

Triangle Attack and Flat MidfieldCongested Midfield with Two in Attack

In certain games or at certain points in a game, we have seen coach Minkreo Birwe change or utilize a 3-5-2 formation.

The attacking midfielders (usually Joel Ngon, Ngede and Tchikeu) of coach Minkreo Birwe’s 3-5-2 formation are usually given the freedom to go anywhere in the field.

This coach Minkreo Birwe Canon Sport’s system utilizes a defensive midfielder who acts as a DESTROYER (usually Kofana and Nyobe in most cases).

Coach Minkreo Birwe’s two center midfield players will play a more defensive role and control the midfield by disrupting the opponents attack. Their movement will consist of going about 20m inside the opponents half to show support to the attack by giving options for a pass back mostly through their wingers and wing backs or full backs.

Congested Midfield with Two in AttackCoach Minkreo Birwe’s Tactical Attacking Strategy with the 3-4-3 Formation

Coach Minkreo Birwe’s Canon Sport has many attacking options thanks to their 3-4-3 formation.

The build-up starts from the central defenders (Ndege in most cases) who tries to pass the ball to a midfielder or to a forward.

Against two opposite forwards, the highly defensive midfielder is free to receive the ball. As such the Minkroe’s central defenders can pass the ball to him either directly or using a central midfielder.

When the opponent presses high with three forwards, coach Minkroe’s goalkeeper would pass to a wing back or central midfielder.

Canon Sport creates goal scoring opportunities by controlling possession and creating passing angles thereby overloading the opposition in certain areas in the field.

While the main bulk of the attacking play comes from the forwards, the whole of Coach Minkreo Birwe’s team heavily contributes their best for it to be a success.

The 2 forward players (Enanombel and Moukete) are supported by the attacking midfielder  (usually Ngon) and the 2 wing-backs (Eloundou and Matoukou) from the midfield 4 who gives width  upfront. This can create pandemonium for the opposition as six players hover around their box.

With a defensive midfielder mostly acting as a destroyer (usually Kofana and Nyobe in most cases) and supporting defender behind the attacking force, they recycle possession by switching play when they are unable to make a break through on one side.

It should be noted that the role of coach Minkroe Birwe’s defensive midfielders is not just to destroy (clear-off) the ball but also act as a deep lying play maker who connects the defensive line  with the midfield  line.

The outer central defenders of Minkroe’s 3-4-3 tactic usually Abanda and Onana create numerical superiority on the wing by driving the ball forward to an out and forward-going wing back thereby creating overloading in the oppositions half.

With so many players in the opposition’s half, Canon has a lot of attacking options to choose from or make upfront. This makes Minkreo Birwe’s 3-4-3 formation so attractive. It gives the players a lot of runners to choose from. To create enough gap or passing lane in the opposition’s defence.

Canon Sport goes an extra mile with enough movement within team as even the two strikers (Enanombel and Moukete) would usually drop in the half space to receive the ball.

Coach Minkreo Birwe's Tactical Attacking Strategy with the 3-4-3 Formation
Coach Minkreo Birwe’s Tactical Attacking Strategy with the 3-4-3 Formation

Coach Minkreo Birwe’s Tactical Defending Strategy with the 3-4-3 Formation

Canon Sport’s forwards play a key part in the defensive side of the 3-4-3 formation as it is up to them to pressure the opposition’s defence, force them into mistakes, and win the ball high up the field.

This helps to keep the opposition back in their own half.

However during defense, coach Minkroe Birwe formation is usually switched to a 5-3-2 with close minimization of the opponents space. This 5-3-2 during defending ensures the opposition cannot operate from the central axis of the field as they can hardly find free space.

However, Minkreo’s defence is vulnerable with only three at the back, As such, the forwards must be energetic and defend from the front.

As such Canon Sport’s opponents are forced to play on the wings. In the case Canon players would run as a unit to the side of the ball. The wing back in the other side will act as a centre back.

By staying forward, the Canon sport’s attackers can dissuade the opponent’s fullbacks from joining in attacks as well as stop the opposition from passing the ball forward when possible.

Coach Minkro’s 3-4-3 formation emphasizes that, all of the defenders keep their cool and not dive into a challenge carelessly  as they will often have few players at the back to cover for them if their challenge goes wrong.

That is to say that, they should stand off and avoid making tackles if they are not certain of success so that the team can get back in position.

Coach Minkreo Birwe's Tactical Defending Strategy with the 3-4-3 Formation
Coach Minkreo Birwe’s Tactical Defending Strategy with the 3-4-3 Formation


​The 3-4-3 formation is incredible to use if you can get it right.

Every single player needs to know exactly what is demanded of them and you can put the opponent under immense pressure with the high energy display that the formation demands.

It is a very demanding formation both physically and mentally and the players have to be on top of their game to make it a success.

Communication and coordination are key to organizing the team while the technical abilities each player has helps control possession and force the play up the pitch.

Such players on the team afford the coach a high level of tactical variation.

In this attacking formation, you will have a fun time playing offensive football.

And if you attempt the formation with younger players it will help them to gain a greater understanding of the beautiful game and how each and every one of their teammates are crucial to the success of the team.


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