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07 Jan 2021 16:39:41
Question for Reds and Eds, especially Ed001.

My reply to an earlier post about Gini got me thinking about adaptable managers.

To me, being able to adapt formations and tactics to best fit both the players at your disposable and exploit the weaknesses of your opponents, is the mark of a truly great manager.

In Klopps 5 years at our club I have seen him adapt and show that flexibility to great effect.

In my (not very educated! ) footballing brain, I think of Fergie as being another example of this flexibility and people like Pep and Jose to be examples of very good managers but ones who lack that flexibility - they have a system and seek to refine that system rather than experimenting with others.

Would you agree with that view point, and if so, which other managers both have exhibited and have the potential to exhibit that greatness?

{Ed001's Note - to a degree I agree, though Pep has shown a little more flexibility this season than previously, it is only a little. Fergie's was more of a result of him being an old school manager and leaving the coaching to his assistant. Rather than the formation and tactics being adapted to suit the players, he had a new assistant who would adapt the tactics to suit their beliefs every few years. It was more that he picked the right assistant for the players he had. Result is the same though I guess. It is just that Fergie is from a totally different type of managerial era, so difficult to compare.

To be honest, not many get the chance to show an ability to adapt, nowadays. Usually they are replaced before the players have changed enough to need them to adapt. What you see is them come in, spend time building towards their way of playing and then they are sacked before they have time to have to alter their thinking or step up to a better job. I don't know if there are any that have had the chance to show it.

You look at the ones at the Red Bull clubs or Brentford, for example. The style of play is laid out by the club and everything is geared towards it. All a head coach does is come in and work to get the players to play that way. They only have a limited amount of flexibility allowed to them.}

Agree0 Disagree0

07 Jan 2021 18:58:56
On that vein Ed001, I don’t think I can recall a time when such negative tactics have been used by so many teams, often as the basis for their entire footballing philosophy if you can call it that?
It’s really disappointing me, and it’s so awful to watch, especially with no fans present.
The only similarity perhaps is the catenaccio approach of the Italians in times past?

{Ed001's Note - the sad thing is Catenaccio did not start off as a defensive style of play at all. It got perverted by the copycats.}

07 Jan 2021 20:17:15
Much as tiki-taka didn't start as possession for possession's sake.

07 Jan 2021 20:22:13
I’ve said it before but imagine football with zero points for draws. Both teams trying to win the football match or they end up with no points. Football must be the only sport individual or team where it’s acceptable to set up for draw before the contest even starts.

08 Jan 2021 00:37:31
Thanks for the detailed reply Ed001, it’s a shame managers aren’t given that time.

Klopp has shown that adaptability. Did Ged or Rafa?

Also, of those managers who have had a bit of time - Eddie Howe at Bournemouth for example - do any of them spring to mind as showing the sparks of greatness, in your opinion?

{Ed001's Note - Ged did have a go at changing style, but it never paid immediate dividends in terms of results, so he reverted to type. Rafa is an odd one as he showed with Valentin he could play a different style but he just wouldn't until it was too late in the season with us.

The only 2 I can think of who have had the time are Howe and Dyche. I can't judge Dyche as he has so little money. If the new owners back him then we will see. Howe had no idea how to get the system he played to work properly, let alone develop it. Not even the slightest spark from him!}

08 Jan 2021 11:00:58
I can name a few who have adapted their tactics, formations based on available players and opponent -

Cesare Maldini, Carlo Ancelotti, Vicente Del Bosque, Giampiero Gasperini.

Despite their rep as defensive coaches I'd say Italians are more utilitarian than most others. Most others find a style that works and sticks with it buying or coaching their players into that style. In particular the crash of the Italian league forced a lot of coaches to adapt their tactics and formations to their staff because they couldn't buy new ones.

{Ed001's Note - that's not really true, their style is not playing one way, their style is to fit around the opponent and look to cancel them out. That doesn't change, they don't suddenly go gung ho against a weak opponent. They continue to set up to exploit the opposition's weakness. It is as fixed in form as Pep in its own way.}

08 Jan 2021 11:57:31
JK23, there used to be a time in the Nigerian League in the 80's where you got a point for a goalless draw BUT you got 2 points for a score draw and 3 points for a win. I think that could make a huge difference.







 

 

 
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