In his first season at the Victory, Ange Postecoglou quickly established a framework for one of the most intriguing and thrilling tactical systems the league has ever seen. In simple terms, the most advanced players in the 4-2-2-2 formation were a foil for wide forwards Marco Rojas and Archie Thompson, who darted into the space vacated by Guilherme Finkler and Marcos Flores in central positions. The cohesion and understanding between the front four, and especially between Rojas and Thompson, was remarkable – but importantly, the system also encouraged individual creativity, and Rojas particularly flourished.
Melbourne Heart were underwhelming under John Aloisi last season – their 4-2-3-1, with Fred flanked by hard-working wingers and a fairly basic back six, was tactically uninspiring, while their results were similarly tame: decent at home, poor away.
As always, the Mariners are having to cope with losing key players despite success. Last year’s Championship triumph wasn’t enough to stop five starters from the Grand Final – Matt Ryan, Bernie Ibini-Isei, Pedj Bojic, Patrick Zwaanswijk and Oliver Bozanic – leaving for pastures new.
There are effectively three broad phases to the history of Brisbane Roar in the A-League – the pre-Postecoglou era, the Postecoglou era, and the post-Postecoglou era. Their poor results and performances in the phases without him illustrate how important he was to their incredible success during the October 2009 to April 2012 period, and it’s up to Mike Mulvey to buck the trend.
For someone who not many would have known much about – or even heard of – we have come to expect many things from Josep Gombau and Adelaide United this season.Continue reading
This site will feature in-depth tactical profiles of each of the ten teams for the upcoming A-League season, but first, here are some general themes.
Even without the context of a war-torn nation, Iraq would be hugely difficult to summarise – not only have they experienced great turmoil with their coaches, with Vladimir Petkovic seemingly on the cusp of the sack for failing to secure to qualification only months after Zico was fired, but they’ve also lost their two most important players, Younis Mahmoud and Nashat Akram, both withdrawing on the eve of this World Cup qualifier.
Australia’s task for qualifying for the World Cup was effectively about how they could perform against two different types of opponents. Continue reading
This is the sixth time Australia has played Japan since that famous first clash in Kaiserslautern at the 2006 World Cup, but never has there been such a disparity in their fortunes.
The 2012/13 A-League season saw a number of coaches promise to try and play “attack based, possession based football”, but two teams remain – the two that have consistently played structured, organised, counter-attacking football. Here are five key questions that will dictate the pattern of Sunday’s Grand Final.