Oughtibridge will be playing four-four-f***ing two
Starting with a blank slate has its perks. The biggest one in my mind is that you can sign players to fit your tactics. Now there are so many different ways to play football these days that it can get overcomplicated. 4-2-3-1, 4-5-1, 5-3-2, gengenpress, tika-taka, wing-backs, sweeper keepers, shadow strikers, even overlapping centre backs! For me there is one tactic that everyone can play with their eyes closed, 4-4-2, or variations of it. It’s the tactic that everyone grows up with. It's the one every English team used to play with until the influx of foreign players and managers. As standard it will be flat back 4, 4 across the middle, and 2 up top. This is the formation I played in from the age of 6 as an average left back, through the teen years as a tricky winger, and into my twenties as a centre back when drink, smoking and injuries caught up with me. Slightly adventurous going forward while being sensible at the back. This is what I am going to start with and see where it goes. I also have an attacking and defensive variation.
The attack variation is exactly what it says on the tin. Pushing my wingers further up the pitch with less defensive duties, as well as getting the full backs to bomb forward and help out in attack. Ball winning midfielder is also swapped out for a deep lying playmaker. Making the middle of the park more attacking in general, but still being sensible. Overall playing higher up the pitch and pressurising the opposition at every opportunity. The go to tactic when losing or trying to push on and nick a goal for the win.
The defend tactic is only to be used when hanging on at the end of the game. I will be using this tactic sparingly as its not in my nature to be too defensive. The main changes in this tactic is the two central midfielders drop in front of the back four. With one concentrating on breaking down the play while the other is looking to play out to the wide players or strikers as a way out of defence. This tactic is to slow down the play and try and frustrate the opposition. Well that is the theory behind it anyway.
This is the way I am going to set up the team from the very beginning and see where it takes me. It might be that we have to change things in the future but I am hoping that we will not stray away from the basics of these tactics. As there is little change in positions between the tactics, I will be looking for 2 players in each position. Therefore, I will be looking to have the squad size will be a minimum of 22 first team players. I want each player, in each position, to be of a similar standard. This is so when changes are made then there shouldn't be a drop in performance. I will also be looking for a couple of players to be versatile in a few positions. Just in case there are injuries/suspensions to the 2 first choice players in that position. I will also be looking for youngsters to go into the Under 23's and Under 18's. I will be looking for these players to be able to push for the first team by the end of the first season and into the second season. As a standard I will be looking to sign players under the age of 25. This is because, if I can, I will be looking to improve the players, increase their value, and then profit from the sales in the future. There maybe a case for a few older heads in the team to bring some experience and leadership to the squad. However if I can find the same ability and leadership qualities from younger players then I will always be looking to sign them first.
So, this is how we're going to set up. Now it's just the case of getting the team together. But first I need a backroom staff to support me in doing so that’s where I'll be looking first.