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Did Herbert Chapman really invent the W-M formation?

The orthodoxy has it that the W-M formation was developed at Arsenal by Herbert Chapman in the early part of the 1925‑26 season in response to a heavy defeat at Newcastle. The orthodoxy, though, may not be correct.

The Football Association, worried by the increasing negativity of football and the widespread use of the offside trap, had changed the law in summer 1925, ruling that just two defensive players were required to play an opponent onside, rather than three as had been the case. The most obvious immediate effect of the change in the offside law was that, as forwards had more room in which to move, the game became stretched, and short passing began to give way to longer balls.

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guardian.co.uk
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