Judge Ipswich Town by looking at their squad and you might be rather underwhelmed, but following a fine start to the season and a string of impressive displays new manager James Poxon sees his team sitting top of the Championship.
Ipswich chairman Marcus Evans shocked football by appoitning a little heard of coach as the clubs new manager. Indeed many people outside of Spain had heard of him. Poxon had been working under Athletic Bilbao coach Marcello Bielsa as one of his attacking coaches whilest he completed the UEFA coaching badges. Bielsa and Poxon share a love of football and tactics and obsessed about creating a tactic that could be used by a small team to play attacking football. The Ipswich Town position came up Bielsa gave Poxon a glowing reference. Evans didn't hesitate and signed him up on a 2 and a half year contract.
Poxon is a tactical obsessive and ruthless in his relationship with his players. The players have all beeen told that none of them will play every game and that he will rotate his starting lining up every single game. This is to keep his players fresh and hungry both physically and mentally. His training levels are kept at high throughout the season and constantly working on teamwork and defensive duties.
Poxon's standard formation is a 2-4-1-2-1 which could also be called an attacking 4-5-1 or a defensive 4-3-3. It is an inherently attacking formation that aims to take the game to their opponents, pressing the opposition and then stretching the play when in possession. The two wing backs surge forward whenever possible, trying to outnumber the oppostions fullbacks, and also drifting into more central positions to provide a goal threat. Ipswich get as many as 8 players in the final third at times and outnumber the defending team. Poxon believes that possession is nice for teams like Barca, Arsenal but feels the importance of pressure and killer balls is more important. Poxon was asked is he is a fan of possession football to which he replied "why take 30 passes to get into the box when you could do it in 5?"
(home tactic) (control tactic) (away tactic)
The home tactic is used against teams that the home side are expected to beat. Using the wingers and the wing backs to outnumber the oppositions fulls backs to create chances. If Ipswich find themselves struggling to cope with the oppositions numbers in midfield or find themselves not seeing enough of the ball they revert to the control tactic with manager Poxon shouting instructions to his side to ensure they win back possession and steady the ship somewhat. Poxon always uses his away tactic for every away game as it gives the right balance of defensive and offensive play. Ipswich's back 6 work hard to snuff out any attacking threay and limit the opposition to shooting from range. In attack the side throw forward upto 8 players to penetrate the oppositions backline
Poxon uses his players in a variety of roles and has used wingers in the central midfield position to add extra pace into the midfield used midfielders in defence if he feels his defensive distibution has been poor and even attacking midfielders in a defensive midfield role to help with countr attacking movement. Most interestingly is his use of the Trequatista in his away tactic. This is a role that requires experience and special skills but his use of a 20 year old striker and an 18 year old winger in this position has been surprising. By changing his teams style to play more narrow means the Trequatista sees plenty of the ball between the oppositions midfield and defence.
Ipswich make several changes depending on their opponents but all rely on a defence that is a back 2 when attacking and a back 6 when defending and an attack which pushes as many as 8 players forward. Poxon maybe a rookie manager but his forward thinking has seen his Ipswich side remain unbeaten in the opening few months of the season and scoremore goals than any other team in the country.
*****please note this is completely ficticious but the tactics are here for you to try*****
****this tactic was inspired by SS11's The Italian Job 4-2-3-1(false 2-4-3-1) I highly recommend looking at this tactic****
Download link here:2-4-1-2-1 (modern day 4-3-3) - Downloads - Football Manager 2013 Tactics, Wonderkids & Cheats
The download is for the away formation which is more effective. To change this to the home formation just change the Trequatista to a winger and the teams mentality to attacking. Change the passing to focused down both flanks.
Any questions please feel free to ask