It is plausible to say that Sérgio Conceição refounded FC Porto, considering the 433/4141 that was part of the club for so many years. His personality, for so many club fans, brought back principles and values that seemed to be just dust in the wind, such as, intensity, agressiveness, high pressing.
Although, since Conceição signing in 2017, there has been a lot of players going out, and a few coming in, it has been noted the his 442 (either flat or 424) can be compiled with the following principles:
- Agressiveness and high pressing: Immediate pressure on the ball carrier when he reaches the side corridor or when he plays the ball interiorly. Coordinated movement of the entire team, which moves forward in the pitch and cuts passing lines. Sergio Conceição seeks players with great intensity and aggressiveness. That’s how he puts into practice his game ideal at this moment. Here, in this subprinciple, more than tactical and technical issues, we talk about behavioral aspects. Sérgio Conceição doesn’t intend only to shorten spaces, he wants the balls to be recovered;
- Keep (or try to) the team close to scoring areas;
- Block inside connections: The forward conditions the build-up between the center backs and the inside midfielders move forward in the pitch and block inside passing lines. The intention is to force the opponent to either play to outside positions or to play long balls;
- Cohesive and dynamic bloc: When, by strategic option and the impossibility of blocking the short build-up from the opponent’s defensive zone, FC Porto establishes a cohesive block, where the position of the ball is the reference. In FM it is important to make more advanced players tracking back.
An important detail is that the 442 it is not quite as so, being more a 433 with the right midfielder operating as a wide playmaker ( advanced playmaker in a 424) and occupying central zones and freeing space for the right FB.
I don't intend to extend the theory since there is a lot of online reading, so I'm just sharing what I have developed and tested both with FC Porto and Valencia.
Finally, I'm sharing two versions: 424 and 442 flat