So we have reached the end of the 2nd season with Steaua and this post is going to be a reflection on where we are and how we are going to push forward to head towards European success.
We finished up last time at the winter break and we had made a few signings to strengthen the first team. After the last post was released we made one more signing. I felt that we were in need of a real gutsy ball winning midfielder and we splashed the cash, breaking our transfer record, £3 million for Stefan Ilsanker. An Austrian midfielder with very good mental attributes, he really stood out for me and blew every other ball winning midfielder we had out off the water.
The Liga 1 went very well, once again we were crowned champions and ended up 3 points less than last years campaign. We also won the Romanian Cup and the Super Cup, but were eliminated from the League cup early on. my error for playing a young side, but the board had no interest in that competition. Aside from that we have emulated last season by winning 3 out of 4 trophies, not bad for my 2nd season with the club. It pains me to say buy I am now ranked the 8th successful manager in Romania of all time.
Now although we have had a great season once again, I am a little disappointed that we lost and drew more games than last year, eve though we had a stronger side. Were we getting too complacent or was my tactics not up to scratch? I seem to be making a few tweaks to the tactics every few months, but after analysing the games where we came up short, I noticed a bit of a trend. I have mentioned before that we play an aggressive counter pressing, which I really enjoy watching and want my side to emulate this.
The first thing I noticed was our holding midfielder, I used was a Regista, the idea was for him to pick the ball up from deep and be the transition between defence and attack. The problem I found was he is supportive, so often he was sitting in between the 2 CM’s rather than holding just in front of the CB’s. This was defeating the object of the position, as he should be protecting the central defenders. The way I decided to tackle this was to change this role to an Anchor Man. He would hold his position much deeper, fizzing out attacks and simply playing the ball forward for a more creative player to start an attack.
The second and biggest change I have made is the tempo to which we play and defend. My idea was to have our tempo set to very high, thinking that we would constantly hassle the opposition into making a mistake or winning the ball high up the pitch. This also made all of our football played at an extremely high pace, a pace in which we were unable to handle. We made far to many mistakes and gave the ball away cheaply, causing our opposition to counter attack us far too often. Mostly we were punished because of this. So I have lowered the tempo to counter this issue, so the lads can attack effectively with composure, making sure they make the correct decisions and not give away cheap possession.
Now I still feel that tactically we could do better but I am struggling to see what needs to be tweaked. Here are my team instructions, I feel that we need a fresh pair of eyes upon them. I know that I must be missing something, but cannot put my finger on what it is.
If anyone wants to offer some advice or have anything they would like to add regarding my tactics then please comment or message me on Twitter or Tifo.
Stay tuned for part 5 coming soon.