Good Old Fashioned English System
Mike Bassett .. "Ladies and Gentleman, England will be playing four-four-fucking-two!!!"
Name is in the title. Forget your ball retention, high pass completion rate, possession stats - lets hit teams with a bang playing with two, quick, direct out and out wingers and get balls in to the big Centre forwards. No - not Pulis style. If employed correctly this produces a very effective, free flowing style of football. In defence you have two solid banks of four which will contribute to a fantastic back line. Overall, when employed correctly clean sheets are almost a given.
I have built this tactic over a style of football I have wanted to create for a while now. First off, if your in love with this Spain-esque football - close now. This is not the tactic for you.
What this tactic does is play to the strengths that you need to build from. Personally, I love my old fashioned wingers, widemen who look to commit there full back and whip crosses in to the two big, bustling centre forwards. People call this anti-football, no - I call it effective football. To state this is an anti football tactic or "Pulis style" would be tremendously naive. Work off the type of players I mention further down, give it time, build up a team ethic and you WILL have success, I am that confident.
Here is my first season with Wolves in the championship
Second season once promoted, currently in December
GK: Pretty bog standard, nothing to worry about in particular - just a good goalkeeper.
RB/LB: Think of these lads as more centre halves than full backs. They play very narrow, almost next to the centre halves and help contribute to the solid two banks of four. They need to be strong and tall, small full backs like Ashley Cole will not work. See my full backs and they will give you a perfect example. However, in attack they will support the wingers and pump crosses into the penalty area for the two attackers.
CBs: Nothing particularly special again. Strong, tall, demanding and not afraid to put a foot in. Think John Terry, or a modern day Terry Butcher.
CMr: This lad will act as a holding player. Karl Henry was so important to my side it was unreal. These lads are the unsung hero's if you like, personally they are my player of the season. High stats in Positioning, Strength and Marking are an absolute must. They also need to be fairly tall.
CMl: Important player. Like his partner, he needs to be able to be strong, good marking/positioning stats and tall in order to hold those two banks of four. However, passing and creativity are also hugely vital. I signed Charlie Adam for my Wolves side to partner Karl Henry and he is man made. However in my Championship season Jamie O'Hara and Tongo Doumbia did very good jobs in this position.
RW/LW: For me, my favourite players. Peszko and Sako were hugely vital for me in my first season, likewise was Hunt. However this season I have really produced the goods in these positions. I signed Thomas Ince and re-signed Matt Jarvis from West Ham and my god, these two are destroying sides and creating havoc. If you can get any wingers that are quick, hug the touchline and have a high crossing stat you are on for a winner, believe you me.
CFr: The Target man. Ideally, I would love to have Andy Carroll here, however I just couldn't manage it. But to my delight I managed to re-sign another one of my former players, in Steven Fletcher and he is great for this role. He wont be flicking it on for the poacher as much, but he needs to create a real partnership with his partner, something him and Doyle have managed to do. They will pester defences with there closing down and off the ball running and this man in particular will get himself in a great position for crosses. Has to be tall, strong and good in the air/finishing.
CFl: By rights, Doyle shouldn't really work here, but his height means he does. In an ideal world I would have somebody like Jermaine Defoe/Gabby Agbonolor/Darren Bent. Somebody quick, pacey and can finish - but also strong. He will also contribute a number of goals.
The two wingers and two centre forwards are massive to how this tactic produces the goods. You get a mixture of pace and crossing ability in the wide areas - and strength, heading ability and pace as well as the obvious finishing ability upfront and your on for a winner.
The success I have had I feel has been very, very good. Despite Wolves being favourites to go up they had no given right, plus I walked it. I conceded for me a record low, and for me also scored a record high. I have also started like an house on fire in the Prem!
I love it when I hit teams on the counter with the pace I have in the side, it kind of resembles Martin O'Neill with Aston Villa.
Give it a go. Don't start getting it "football snobbery" on me because you wont get 150% possession stats. For me this is real football.
- Target players that have an absolute bare minimum of 8 in Teamwork, Determination, Work rate, Stamina and Strength. Building a spirit and a side that can last 90 minutes is 30% there in my opinion.
- Pitch Size - If your the best/one of the best in your respected league then use Maximum, other wise standard.
- Opposition Instructions - DON'T use them. They totally disrupt the flow of the defensive side.
- Match Preparation - Providing you have a good assistant then set him in charge.
- Shouts - NO.
Highly appreciate anyone who gives it a go. Any questions/advice - fire away..
Good Old Fashioned English System.tac