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All systems go!

Posted on 15 September 2000  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

Steffen Freund reckons our new playing system is a winner.

The German midfielder took up his usual combative role in George Graham's new-look 4-3-2-1 formation against West Ham with all three strikers Sergei Rebrov, Les Ferdinand and Steffen Iversen in the line-up.

After getting used to the system in the first half against the Hammers we got on top after the break and deservedly went on to win.

The new style certainly offered width in the absence of Darren Anderton and with the England star unavailable for at least another month while he recovers from a groin problem, the system could stay.

Freund admitted: "I was a little surprised first of all but this system with three players up front was the key against West Ham.

"When you have that you can go forward all the time, hold the ball better up front and if we lost the ball, we had three strikers closing down the back four. It was therefore never easy for West Ham to play forward.

"It was definitely a good idea to change against West Ham. Darren Anderton is injured and then we have three tight midfielders and one more slightly in front. That was dangerous.

"Every player up front had one or two chances and we had one more player up there every time we had the ball. Of course it is perfect if you win the game but for me, this was a good system."

Whether or not the system is aired again at Charlton on Saturday is, of course, up to the manager. After Monday's win he explained: "We tried to play 4-3-2-1, with three in the middle of the park to counteract them and one up with Rebrov drifting and Iversen drifting. I thought it worked better in the second half than in the first. It takes a bit of time but overall I was pleased."