Two games now two wins after that bad run, but our latest win, well that was something special. It may only have been a paltry 1-0 against Spurs. But it was against that devious 4231 they play. It has been a formation thats been especially challenging for the 4132. So this time I went to basics.
Firstly Spurs 4231 features quite a few dangerous forwards, they have Harry Kane who plays as a DLF and Chadli and Lamela who play as Inside forwards. Erikssen is annoyingly an AMC who looks like he’s been given quite a free role. Lamela tends to cut inside and Chadli, well he looks like he’s always staying on the flanks.Did I do any research prior to the game? No. All i did was look at the formation. And I had a simple plan. First identify the threats:
- 1. Their fullbacks need to be closed down, no way are they going to be allowed any time and space to make crosses
- 2. Lamela has an attacking IF, so he’s going to be a problem with his cutting inside while Chad looks like he’s happy to cross.
- 3. Harry Kane will drop deep and try and bring others into play, plus he’s a fairly solid poacher as well, so he’ll need to be handled.
Kick off time and its time to go OI crazy
My team instructions are simple…and this should be fun. I haven’t selected any form of passing, leaving it up to the players, but knowing that they will attack and I will defend, my side has been told to stay on feet, and pass into space, work into box and pressure the keeper.
To make things more delightful I OI hard tackling on the primary troublemakers. Since we can;t very well close the AMC down, we need to hard tackle him and show him wrong foot. I hope I don’t need to explain why i show a player the wrong foot, it should be fairly obvious. Otherwise, you really need to go learn how to play some kind of game that involves a ball, a foot or a stick. I used to play hockey all the time, and the one thing I always had to do was wrong foot the winger, but I had a wicked reverse stick. If you wrong foot a player, it takes a lot of skill to do something different, and that split second even in a simulation is an edge.
Hard tackling the AMC was the only option, you can’t close him down, or you run the risk of leaving gaps in a very dangerous area: the edge of the box I even set hard tackling to the fullbacks cos this will do a few things: bravery stat will kick in, and natural fitness will wear them down. Their match conditioning began to deteriorate and one of the fullbacks got subbed out.
As far as Kane was concerned, we opted to tight mark him, we have the defenders and its a wise move.
For the first 15 minutes we are all full game mode, its that big a match, and I need to make sure my settings work.. 15 minutes in we slice em open and my F9 shoots wide by the narrowest of margins. I begin to notice something happening in the game. Our high block strategy while working still sees Erikssen getting the ball too easily. We go comprehensive..
I make one final change to my set up, jump into my MC settings and tell him to close down much much much more. He has the stamina the workmate, anticipation and tackling and when he gets switched on, I get turned on. He’s the absolute perfect screen, breaking every attack down. Oh lordy is he OWNING them!
As the match wears on we begin to exert control, and create a barrage of chances from inside the box, its a fantastic effort, and then in the 28th minute we carve them open, pass around the edge of the box, and score from inside the penalty area.
Our goal was to isolate their forward line from the fullbacks, by match end Spurs got desperate pushing both MCs into attacking positions, but their backlines pass conversion rate had been nuked, Lamela, Erikssen, Chadli and Kane all returned 6.4 and all of them were frustrated at the end of the match. This was a masterclass of midfield domination, an epic match. I loved every minute of this 1 nil scoreline.
West Brom are BACK!
Every game is a cup final 6 games to go…
Update:.This is a scheduled post, its gripping me ahh the tension.and its now so close … Liverpool dropped 4 points in their last two games…we have a chance to go top! Chelsea standing in front of each door we are trying to open!
Club DNA is the building block of success Before you can turn your team into a billion dollar club, before you can even consider winning titles, if you haven’t thought [...]