Next season the Premier League is not going to be the same that we have seen over sometime. The top three sides of the League have changed their managers and this is surely going to alter their on field strategies, at least if partially. While we have already seen Jose Mourinho and David Moyes operate in the English Premier League, it will be the first time that Manuel Pellegrini takes charge of an English side. He will be on the hot seat at Manchester City and will take a shot at the most frantic league in the world. Thus we are sure to see some tactical changes in the league next season from these three top sides as they battle it out against each other.
Jose Mourinho’s preferred tactics has always been 4-2-3-1 right from the days that he came to England. One of the biggest secrets of Mourinho’s success with Chelsea during his first term has been this tactic when the rest of the clubs were still stuck at 4-4-2. He has employed this formation at Inter Milan and Real Madrid as well, which has fetched results. Upon Mourinho’s return to the London outfit, no one expects him to change from this formation and his team is also expected to bode well with this. The Mata-Hazard-Oscar combination in the midfield just in front of the 2 Pivot players, if utilised well they would prove to be a pain for any opposition.
Benitez used 4-2-3-1 for a major part of his tenure at Stamford Bridge last season, which may help Mourinho continue from where he left off as new players along with players who have already worked with the Portuguese coach might have had an idea about playing in that system. Now wingers, are equally important in this formation as much as the two pivot players and Chelsea have numerous players to play on the wings , a position that Mourinho does not have to worry a bit. It will be interesting to see what Mou does with David Luiz as he is known to favour ball playing centre backs and in Luiz, Mourinho can get it all. If the Blues manage to lay their hands on one decent striker before the season starts, then it is a job well done.
The Manchester City
City will be the team to watch out for as the season starts as Pellegrini succeeds the team after a successful stint with Malaga. It will be a harebrained conclusion to draw that City will stick to a particular formation as Pellegrini has shown the tendency to evolve from game to game. One thing is for sure that City will employ two strikers whenever they get a chance and their depth in the squad will also allow that with ease. The new boss will be presented with a truck load of stars right away and having already managed big names at Real Madrid, it will be interesting to see the Chilean tactician at work. The likes of Yaya Toure, David Silva, Samir Nasri will be joined by new recruits Fernandinho and Jesus Navas, so what can we expect from City this season?
Quoted by the Guardian, Pellegrini when asked about his tactics replied:
“to be attacking, to try to take control of the game, to take responsibility, to be attractive. There are small differences of course, depending on what players you have, but there is a footballing concept and a concept of spectacle that is non‑negotiable.”
Although it is not clear what formation Pellegrini might deploy at the Etihad as he is known to change his formations regularly, newly recruited Jesus Navas could add a whole new dimension to City’s attack and with a resurgent Samir Nasri along with Fernandinho and others City may once again have a dominant midfield setup. It is with the striking department similar to Chelsea that the problem arises, with Tevez’s situation still not clear, City will have to bring in a new striker to partner with Aguero before even thinking of challenging for the title.
Moyes must be looking to make a perfect blend of Sir Alex Ferguson and his previous Everton side’s tactic to make a new system. He has always been the old fashioned manager who prefers 4-4-1-1 system and his United side may not be very different. The only thing he must be looking at is to make the defense more compact to resist to City and Chelsea’s challenges. Forget about Rooney’s situation, considering he stays, Moyes will have to sort out his starting position. The ex-Everton manger usually deploys (at-least in the last couple of seasons) players with physical abilities as the second striker (Fellaini, Cahill) rather than creative players like Rooney and Kagawa. So if he continues with the formation, the manager has to get it right that United’s players are a touch creative and cannot shift to a 4-5-1 to defend when the team is in trouble. And if Rooney does leave Old Trafford, the whole equation changes here.
Playing down the flanks have been United’s strength and Moyes is no stranger to wing play, but United does not have capable players to have an impact. Their under performing stars Luis Nani, Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia have to be replaced before the season starts.