In recent years with more brands coming on board and with a more commercial dimension to the modern game of football once has seen a huge shift in the way clubs are run and players are trained. While many fans, myself included may hate some of these changes it has also resulted in a brand of football that has to be much more pleasing to the eyes.
With the likes of Marcelo Bielsa, Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, and some of the other big coaches trying to incorporate a more fluid style of football we have seen a lot of teams try to play with a back 3 as it gives them a more dynamic structure in the defensive as well as the attacking half of the pitch.
While Chelsea has most recently dominated the game by playing a back three winning the FA Cup and the Champions League with a 3-5-2 formation. Another variant could be the 3-4-3 which also brought a lot of success to Arsenal when Mikel Arteta first came to the club as a manager. Sheffield United was one of the relatively unknown clubs that impressed everyone with their 3-5-2 formation and overlapping centre-backs.
The modern-day wing-backs are expected to be much more technical than their predecessors and play higher up the pitch. They have almost been shaped up as pseudo wingers to bring out more into the attack. The wide midfielders in such a formation play a pivotal role as they need the technical prowess as well as an acute sense of the games to know when they have to help out in attack and when they have to help out in defence so that their team has a solid defensive base as well as provides an intense attacking threat.
One of the factors that the naysayers can point out is that teams that play such a formation are more susceptible to the counter attacks or the wingers of the opposition teams and long balls that just cut through the midfield but it mostly comes down to how well the players have been trained and their positional awareness during the game.