Grigor Pasha writes: After the best part of three weeks in post, I finally got the chance to watch the boys in action: a friendly — the first in the newly formed pre-season league named Coastal Combination — against third tier Chernomorets Burgas 1919.

Time to try out my WM tactics.

Posing as a tactician

WM? Yes, I realise that makes me sound very old. And, having been born at the end of the ’50s, I am indeed on the cusp of being old. But I’m not old enough to have watched WM, still less to have played it.

No, this is an exercise in retro football. What I know of WM has been gleaned from reading, from listening, and from watching a few grainy videos.

It was some years ago that I read about WM, but I remember thinking , ‘Mm, I just wonder whether this might be made to work anew?’

My reason for bringing it out of the cupboard just now is that it ought to suit the unevenly distributed resources in the Pomorie squad. We’re strong on midfielders, defensive and central, and attacking midfielders. But we have a meagre supply of playable defenders and strikers.

I figure, if you’ve only got one half-way decent centre half (as I still call them), play with a formation that uses only three defenders in total.

02 Nov 19 WM

To make myself sound up to date I took the boy Tanev aside before the game — he’s 32: that makes  him a boy in my book — and said, ‘I’m looking to you to play as a carrilero today’.

‘What’s one of them?’ he asked.

‘Oh, don’t worry about that,’ I said. ‘Just go out there and run about a bit: you’ll get the hang of it over time.’

How the hell am I supposed to know what a carrilero is? It’s just something I’ve heard our young data analyst chunter on about. God, I feel so sophisticated having a data analyst: it’s like wearing a pair of designer sunglasses.

Anyhow, I was delighted with what happened on the pitch. We won 4-1, though of course the result isn’t very meaningful. What I loved was the way the lads turned on the style. Lots of short-passing and then the option of spreading it out to our show ponies on the flanks.

The fans loved it. All 54 for of them. Even the 9 who came up the coast road in a mini-bust from Burgas seemed to have found the show entertaining. Should I quit while I’m ahead?

True, we let one in. Our defenders were outnumbered and the half backs evidently have yet to get their heads round the role. But with only three defenders, we are going to concede. After the match the FD told me he’s not going to budget to pay out many clean sheet bonuses.

I had to explain to him that all that matters in a game of football is that ratio of goals for to goals against.

Let me finish by introducing you to le garcon, Grimaud. If it hadn’t been for the fact that he’s only just arrived at the club, I confess I would have sought to offload him straightaway: I don’t players who lack bravery. But I rather took to him today: you know, he was a little bit naughty on the wing.

02 Nov 19 Grimaud

Du Malone writes: FM Brooklyn has provided an alternative treatment of WM in a notably well-developed post here:


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