Grigor Pasha writes: In my previous post I explained how my first season with Farul Constanta in Romania’s Liga 2 got off to a dire start — bottom of the league after 6 matches, with only two points.
Clearly time for a rethink. I retained the 4-1-3-0-2 formation but made three big changes.
First, I decided to play a still higher line.
Too often, opponents had been receiving the ball in line with the defence (often from crosses, often to a player stealing in behind the full back on the far side) and then scoring with only a touch or two. I raised the line in an attempt to take opposing forwards further from our goal and leave them with work to do.
Second, in attempt to clamp down on crosses and also stop people stealing round the back to receive them, I instructed the defence to play wider. And we devoted training time to this.
Third, because defending more widely can result in gaps in the middle, I switched the defensive midfielder’s role from deep-lying playmaker to half back.
Along with a fourth factor, these three changes did the trick: we took 21 points form the next 11 matches. By mid-November, relegation was no longer looking probable.
In case you haven’t guessed, the fourth factor is explained here.
Image credit: ‘Good luck’ by Sifter (Alex Watson), generously made available under a CC BY-NC 2.0 licence.