Playing around with a save last night in which I started unemployed & little reputation. Managed to nab the Cambridge United job in the BSP in November, we were in 18th spot & an average team with no morale.
I employed a 'standard' strategy away from home and a 'control' strategy at home. There is no other word to describe our performances (4 games in November - 4 losses). I know I was a new manager and my tactics were only 75% familiar but we were bad. 15+ fouls per game, 12+ shots against per game (and no more than 5 for), 40% or less possession per game. I knew I was managing an average side but this was bad.
I employed a defensive strategy and made tweaks to my players. The aim of my tactic was to keep the opposition out, and try to grab a few goals on the break or by frustrating the oppo with a slow build up and deep D-Line.
To my delight it worked, better than I could have imagined. (Bearing in mind my tactics were now unfamiliar now)We went on a run of 11 games ( Won 9, Drew 2 - Scored 17, Conceded 3) unbeaten by the end of January, also beating two League 2 teams in the FA Cup.
The main differece I noticed was in the ratings of my players which rose like a shot, my strikers started scoring even though we were "defensive" and also the match stats - I didn't commit more than 5 fouls in any game (and the oppo now regularly commited 15+) and had the highests tackle percentage I've ever seen. We were getting 55% possession and at least doubling the oppositions shots per game (usually because theirs was kept low).
Now, obviously I haven't tested this tactic with anyone other then Cambridge, and even this has only been 13 games but I was just wondering if anyone else had ever used a defensive strategy to the same effect? I can't think of a reason why it wouldn't work with someone like Man United - defensive strategy so we keep the goals out, but with the fire power up front I'm confident we would still bag some goals.
Since I've been using it I keep thinking to myself, the defensive strategy is the "ethos of the team". Whilst my players individually are MORE attack minded in their own play than when using the "standard" strategy, yet "as a team" we are defensive.
Anyone ever done something like this with the TC?