In Bielsa we trust, he is miles ahead of us mere mortals
02 Aug 2019 06:14pm, by YorkshireSquare
When it comes to tactics Marcelo Bielsa is light miles ahead of us mere mortals...
People will look at our business this summer and question the strength of our squad in certain areas. Why do we have so many wingers and so few centre backs? Will we play 4-1-4-1 or 3-3-1-3 and how do the players we have fit in that formation? But people make too much out of numbers when it comes to formations. With Bielsa ball players aren't restricted to positions and that is the key to causing havoc against teams set up more traditionally. If our left back suddenly pops up on the right wing then who on earth in the opposition teams is meant to be marking him because guaranteed the opposition right winger won't track him all the way back to the opposite side of the pitch.
Players like White who are able to bring the ball out of defence opens up space, likewise having a fluid attack who switch, rotate and cover each other defensively causes chaos amongst the opposition defence. Bielsa ball is all about creating positions on the field, work it so we have a numerical advantage thus enabling us to have the space to create chances. That is why Bielsa prioritises the attacking attributes of our defenders because he needs all our defenders to be comfortable on the ball so they can pop up anywhere on the pitch and not lose possession.
When it comes to tactics Marcelo Bielsa is light miles ahead of us mere mortals. That is why he can do baffling things, such as selling Jansson, but that they make sense to him because he knows exactly what he needs. Whilst the players he has won't be exactly what we think the team needs he is judging them by a different set of criteria to us. For anyone to say a particular formation is the best way, or that we needed a particular player would just be foolish as Bielsa's way is the only way for him and his research and statistics. If he thinks playing ten strikers and a defensive midfielder and no keeper was the way then it would probably work!
Bielsa ball in action against Cagliari
Any formation is reliant on the players at your disposal and whilst we could look at our squad and say we only have two centre backs, Cooper and White, with one of them not having played at Championship level Bielsa probably thinks we have an abundance of centre backs as he will see all our fullbacks and defensive midfielders as being able to play in the back three.
This is where Bielsa differs so much from other managers we see, and why it's hard for some to wrap their heads around what he does. People are so used to seeing rigid definitions of roles and positions which is why we see that most overused of phrases 'square pegs round holes' when part of Bielsa's games is to soften up those pegs to fit numerous holes - which is exactly what we've seen with Phillips, Shackleton, Roberts, to great effect. So is the formation really reliant on players in this case? If anything it's the opposite with Bielsa, players moulded to fit his formations.
We should be really excited for this coming season because we have generally kept the same players but Bielsa will have had chance to take them to another level this summer having already improved them massively last summer. The interchanging that looks set to happen up front between the wingers and No.10 positions could be unbelievable to watch and I you can see us almost becoming Keeganesque this season, whilst we will be vulnerable at the back at times, we could be scoring 30 or 40 more goals than last season.
In Bielsa we trust! We have to, he’s the best shot at promotion we’ve had in years!
Content by weasel and mothbanquet from the Starting line-up? thread on our message boards.