Let's talk tactics
- Thu 16 Aug 2012, 7:50AM
- Posted by Chris Eccles
With the new season now only days away, the eyes of the press are beginning to focus on some of the finer details of the impending campaign.
Roberto Manicini’s pre-season experimentation with a 3-5-2 formation has The Manchester Evening News talking tactics with writer Stuart Brennan saying,
"City are conscious of the fact that the 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1 system they used last season was sometimes heavy going against defensive and committed opposition and have looked at new ways of opening up teams who park the bus.
"The 3-5-2 was also used [last season] as a means of closing out games, of defending leads by adding an extra body in central defensive areas, with wide midfielders covering back and still offering an attacking threat."
Considered by some a relatively defensive formation, City’s fine attacking Community Shield performance has shown that the 3-5-2 formation can also be used positively, allowing the full-backs to surge forward to join attacking play.
Brennan goes on to say that the formation may not be Mancini’s only plan for the season and is more likely, "another string to their tactical bow, a means of keeping other teams guessing ahead of kick-off, and a Plan B if the tried and tested tactics don’t quite work."
This view is supported by coach David Platt who told the M.E.N.,
"All pre-season we have played with an offensive back three. We went to it last year a little bit to close games off, but what the manager has tried to work on all pre-season is the ability to be able to go to a back three if we want to, and be more offensive than defensive with it.”
Sky Sports tipster David Tindall thinks that City are clear favourites to retain the title this season saying,
"While Robin van Persie's decision to join United has balanced things up a little, I still think Manchester City hold the aces when it comes to this season's title race.
"City have made the seismic leap from title contenders to title winners, they look justifiable favourites to put their new-found belief towards securing a second successive Premier League success"
Tindall also believes that the fixture list computer has been kinder to City as he explains,
"If you want one last line of reasoning, check out their respective fixtures lists after Champions League matches. City have 5 at home, 1 away; United have 1 at home, 5 away (Liverpool, Newcastle, Chelsea, Villa, City). Expect Sir Alex to point that out sometime during the season!"
David Platt thinks that new City midfielder Jack Rodwell can become a star at the Etihad, telling the Daily Mirror,
"I think he has very good potential and is already a good player now.
"We feel we have the right platform here to develop his potential to the full. We've had an opportunity to take a player who we believe will be of benefit to us not only now, but in the future.”
From our brand new signing to a player rejuvenated after well documented issues last season, The Daily Star says that Carlos Tevez is fired up and ready for the new season.
The City striker told the paper,
"I’m returning feeling renewed and I’m really up for having a great season. I’m better now and only thinking about playing football. I feel useful and valued and that is fundamental for me.
"It has been a long time since I’ve scored a goal like that (against Chelsea), like the ones I used to score when I was at Boca, and this speaks of the confidence I have."
A few more beauties like the Community Shield wonder strike would be very welcome indeed this season.