lunedì 4 agosto 2014

Football League 2014-2015 coaching talking points

The new Championship season is set to star and there are a lot of storylines to take a look to. Some involve the new managers, particularly two: Sami Hyypia and Aitor Karanka. Former Liverpool centre-back was unemployed since being sacked by Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen in April and he found a new home at Brighton. Despite the sacking, Finnish managerial record netted a win percentage of 54.35% over two seasons in Germany, during the which Hyypia managed to keep Leverkusen in the race for a Champions League spot. Obviously, there are some concerns as he was sacked following a stretch in which Leverkusen managed up just five league points from a possible 27 with three consecutive losses consecutive to Schalke, Wolfsburg and Mainz. Former Liverpool captain is still young and he’s learning the management job. Even if he has a defensive oriented mind, his tactical knowledge is improving since he took the job in 2012. Hyypia is the third consecutive foreign managers for Brighton, following South American Gus Poyet and Spaniard Oscar Garcia. In his first press conference, Hyyppia stressed the importance to have his team more incisive in the transition to attack, a thing that recently lacked under tiki-taka supporters Poyet and Oscar Garcia. “I like a possession game but a possession game with the purpose to score a goal," he told "transitions are very important nowadays and we have been working on quick transitions from defensive to offensive. From what I saw from last year, that did not happen a lot... Now hopefully it will be different.”

Karanka is the latest fruit of José Mourinho’s coaching three to take charge of a team. The Portuguese disciple is approaching his first full Championship season as Middlesbrough’s manager. As his mentor, Karanka is a coach demanding total dedication from his players. He also shared his philosophy with Mourinho as the Spaniard enjoyed running mostly a strict 4-2-3-1 formation in the 32 games Boro played since Karanka was appointed. By the way, he showed flashes of flexibility last season as when he switched to a 5-3-2 lining up a five-men backline in the victory against Burnley. In general no one can argue that Boro found a lot of defensive stability since Karanka went in. The problem was in attack. That’s the main reason that lead Karanka to sign Real Murcia’s forward Kike for £3m. Boro’s hopes are that Kike will solve last season team’s struggle to score goals. Answering questions about why he stayed too adherent to his 4-2-3-1 formation, Karanka told that he didn’t have at his disposal the right personnel to field two forward. With Kiko, Karanka has the chance to be more flexible this term. 

Other than the former great footballers, there is also a couple of Belgians to take a look too. The former Millwall midfielder Bob Peeters arrived at Charlton as the third coach appointed by the club’s Belgian owner, Roland Duchâtelet, since he bought the club back in January. The 40-year-old replaced Jose Riga in the sideline at the Valley. Peeters has accumulated experience in the Belgian Juplier League  coaching Cercle Brugge, Gent and Waasland-Beveren. He already worked with Duchâtelet and it could help the relationship between the chairman and the manager. Peeters’ first goal will be to quickly install the newcomers into a settled team.

Another Belgian, Jose Riga, that man that guided Charlton to Championship before to be replaced by Peeters, will coach Blakpool this season. Riga survived through a though rollercoaster, being hired as Charlton manager in March, axed two months later, appointed by Blakpool in June and threatened to leave in July as his team have cancelled a stretch of pre-season friendly games in Spain due to the fact they have signed just eight players against the 27 footballers that left Bloomfield Road during this summer. Consider that Blackpool have signed a goalkeeper -- Joe Lewis on loan from Cardiff -- just four days before their Championship opener at Nottingham Forest. Riga is highly touted for his tactics and methods and has a reputation for developing young players. Well known as a 4-4-2 fan, Riga will have to show some kind of adaptability to his new roster.

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