Strategy for international breaks: Anglo-Saxan Chronicle 74

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This is the first international break since I joined FC Saxan. I’ve decided my strategy will be:

  1. Always organize at least one friendly — more if necessary — to maintain the match fitness of those players who are not away on international duty.
  2. Bring in players on trial in order to: (a) bring the squad up to 23 (11 starters and 12 subs); (b) have players available on the bench to relieve players who are tiring and thus at risk of injury; and (c) not have to start players who are already fully match fit; (d) have an opportunity to scout potential recruits.
  3. When selecting the starting XI, prioritize those squad members who are not match fit.
  4. Experiment with tactics.
  5. Use the first week of the break as an opportunity to focus training on ball control.

In this break, we played two matches in the September Trophy that we hosted. In the first match (which we won) we played 4-3-3. I didn’t much like the football it produced, but gaining some familiarity with a reserve formation does no harm. In the final (which we lost, to a Romanian club’s B team) we experimented with 4-2-2-0-2 narrow, which was truly horrible. As a result, I feel even more strongly wedded to the narrow diamond we’ve been using in the league.In the event, I

In the event, I learned very little, except for confirmation that our supposed second choice goalie, Tanasoglu, is never far from a mistake. None of the five trialists we had in made an impression.The downside of friendlies

The downside of friendlies is, of course, the risk of injury. Ursu sprained an ankle and is out for six weeks, so we’re down to two fit strikers.It all felt a bit scratchy. I’m looking forward to resuming with the league and, pretty soon, the Moldovan Cup.

It all felt a bit scratchy. I’m looking forward to resuming with the league and, pretty soon, the Moldovan Cup.