End of the working day, 28 May 2020.

Atmosfera bar, Central Avenue, Mykolaiv.

MFC Mykolaiv manager Grigor PASHA and assistant manager Anatoliy DIDENKO are enjoying a swift half — well, actually their second swift half — and sharing a plate of snacks.

PASHA: So this, Anatoliy, this is what I’m thinking for the first tactic we train.

[Places a diagram on the table.]

10 May 20 1966 L

DIDENKO: Hmm, a tad asymmetric I see. Your thinking, boss?

PASHA: That too often symmetry is merely the default option. I see no reason why formations should be symmetrical in principle. In fact, if anything I suggest it should be the other way: asymmetric formations can require asymmetric responses from the opposition, which they may not be very good at. I mean, will anyone have trained for this?

DIDENKO: Quite possibly not. And then they might have to do some thinking and…

PASHA: …this is the Ukrainian first league. Precisely. And, to be frank, it’s such an imbalanced squad that it’s difficult to think of what else would work!

DIDENKO: I like the minimal team instructions. Don’t tie them down too much — or ask them to do things they might not be able to do.

PASHA: Plus we’re less likely to become predictable. [Chuckles.]


Editor’s notes:

  1. There’s a good dicussion of asymmetry on The Technical Area podcast: https://open.spotify.com/episode/78bNhEQtr28PYYvloX9HZR. The host, Gaffer Graemo, makes the distinction between symmetry and balance.
  2. In his audio blogs FM Heathen has been experimenting with dispensing team instructions altogether. Though evidently that would be a step too far for Grigor Pasha, the experiment throws up interesting ideas on how to use other managerial tools. 



2 thoughts on “MFC Mykolaiv go asymmetrical

  1. It´s amazing to see the content diversity but the consistent quality. Well done! Looking forward to see how this tactic works out for you. It looks interesting.


    1. Thank you. Might not look like it, but in fact originated with an attempt to replicate Alf Ramsey’s 1966 tactics. Then got modified. I don’t often use a target man but in this tactic it seems to work well.


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