ATG Managers Draft - QF - 2mufc0 vs Enigma (J. Mourinho vs E. Happel)

Who will win this game (also taking realization of the tactical blueprint into account)?


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Synco

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TEAM 2MUFC0 (José Mourinho)

Inspiration/blueprint

Jose's first Chelsea team (04-06)


Playing style, tactics

Before his United stint Jose Mourinho was an incredible manager who took on some of the best teams and managers of all time and bettered them, sometimes even with lesser teams (e.g RM vs Pep's Barca and his Inter and Porto teams), he also built on and established a resurgent Chelsea team after Roman Abramovich took over.

Mourinho's best teams were pretty dominant, he also knew when to park the plane as he would say and when to just let the hand brake off. In terms of tactics and play style, much like Sir Alex it was pretty simple, direct, pacey and at times physical. However, unlike Sir Alex, Mourinho didn't particularly rely on traditional wing play, although he did utilise wingers he also had no issues with wing forwards and play makers playing out wide (Joe Cole, Robben, Eto'o, Ronaldo, Willian, Hazard etc).

The attacking play didn't have a particular focus, but playing off a centre forward who was good at holding up the ball was a key feature, allowing the wide men and attacking midfielders to push forward and get into goal scoring positions. Pacey wide men were also a feature making them deadly when running into space during counter attacks.

In terms of defence, he normally lined up with two physically dominate central defenders, he also wasn't afraid to use an attacking full back on one side and a more defensive on the other, the goal keeper is required to be a good shot stopper with good reflexes. The midfield normally required bundles of energy and tenacity but he also wasn't averse to playing technical play makers in the middle (Alonso, Motta, Fabregas etc), however a key feature is the attacking midfielder or 8 who is given more freedom to attack and push forward but still required to put a defensive shift in.

A strong spine is essential with organisers/leaders in defence and midfield required as the defensive system was a collective effort for Mourinho teams, keeping it compact with high work rate across the park and then being able to release the ball quickly and directly to the forward line.

The attack was normally spear headed by a more physical centre forward who is good in the air and able to occupy the centre backs allowing surging runs from the B2B midfielders to be more effective. As discussed above the wide men can be both traditional and play making wide-men, however he did expect work rate from all attackers.

Player roles
GK: Gordon Banks - one of the best goal keepers of all time, great shot stopper and great reflexes.
CB: Jurgen Kohler - Physical, dominant and had some decent pace, an upgrade on John Terry.
CB: Marius Tresor - Like Carvalho a great all round defender, physically imposing but good on the ball.
LB: Ruud Krol - One of the best left backs of all time, was better going forward than Cole but just as good in defence.
RB: Djalma Santos - A bit more defensive than Krol, but can also contribute when going forward as required.
CM: Graeme Souness- Midfield enforcer in front of the defence but also good enough on the ball to pass around from deeper areas, because of his physicality he would be an upgrade on Makelele.
CM: Bernd Schuster - Technically brilliant footballer but also handy in the defensive phase. Moved forward into the attacking CM role where his creativity can be fully utilised.
CM: Lothar Matthaus - A beast of a midfielder who is asked to play the B2B powerhouse, his leadership will also be in the middle of the park
LW: Hristo Stoichkov - Attacking ability wise most would say he's up there with Robben, imo he's better, but offers a bit more work rate so would be home in a Jose team.
RW: Zbigniew Boniek - An excellent versatile winger able to cut in and go out wide, fantastic dribbler and great pace on the counter and has a great knack of getting into goal scoring positions, an upgrade on Joe Cole here. A hard worker off the ball with a great engine - the ideal Jose winger.
CF: Robert Lewandowski - like Drogba a striker that is great at being the target man, good in the air and physically strong and will keep the opposition CB's on their toes, also a bit better on the ball than the Ivorian so offers that bit more up front.


---------------------------------

TEAM ENIGMA (Ernst Happel)

Inspiration

Ernst Happel Feyenoord side that was predecessor of total football and its success domestically and winning the EC

Formation
4-3-3
Classic Happel formation - flat back four with a holder protecting the back four, AM in Platini who interchanges with Henry and breaking the lines, as Happel's blueprint.

Tactics

High press, high tempo, quick transition
  • High line, offside trap: Happel was one of the first players to employ some sort of offside trap even as a player. The aim of the team is to put the opposition on the backfoot pressing him in midfield and his own half, get the ball back and start a counter. The back four consists of 4 defenders that are very good on the ball and able to play in different setups. All defenders are adapt on the ball and able to play it out of the back. Redondo is in his natural holder role linking the defence with midfield. The wingers are required to put pressure on opposition full backs and one of them tracking his man in defence when the opposition are attacking on the side or keeping shape when we are off the ball.
  • High press: whilst Happel's sides were very technical and attacking, they were also physical. We aim to play a high intense game and not allow the opposition many gaps or voids to find space when we lose the ball. The press is done as a collective unit and the team overloads especially the midfield. Nedved game will certainly be appreciated in his high intense style, whilst Platini is a no stranger putting his authority and control in the middle. Vieira and Redondo have solid frames that also add the physical side and height in midfield, able to win challenges both on the deck and in the air.
  • AM/CF interchange: Notorious innovation of Happel's Feyenord was the AM and CF swapping position. Can't think of better player to do so than Platini who strived in such setups and Henry is the type of player that has the off the ball movement and lightning pace to get the end of his passes. Henry is not a fox in the box type of striker that would only occupy the opposition defender but also a very fluid attacker that can pull the defenders out of their comfort zone.
  • Offensive patterns: quick incisive passing, a lot of movement off and on the ball. Platini is the key here with his ability to unlock tight defences and probably the GOAT with the greatest range and passing ability. He will also attack the box when has the opportunity and the space to do so. Neymar will bring his link up game and movement on the outside channel, whilst also pull defenders all over the place to create numerical advantage. The mixture of dribbling, pace, work rate makes the attack unpredictable and also gives a lot of options to break down the opposition if we pin them down.
Player Roles
GK - Lev Yashin - The first sweeper keeper and GOAT keeper. He is known for leaving his line and preventing goal and opposition threat before it happens.
LB - Roberto Carlos - one of the very best in history in his role - attacking full back. He will be a constant nuisance for the opposition defence, fluent in possession and having a great engine to cover in defence.
RB - Carlos Alberto - pretty much in his natural role. He will be an overlapping full back who can also close down the opposition winger and negate his influence.
CB - Fabio Cannavaro - alongside Nesta he was one of the best CB's in Italy at the turn of the century. At Parma he was very adapt in playing in a higher line and very capable defender on the ball, combined with a top notch pace and awareness. On top of that,despite his size his jump allowed him to win most of the aerial challenges against forwards higher than him.
CB - Ricardo Carvalho - elegant on and off the ball, excellent in the air.
DM - Fernando Redondo - if we are to describe the holder position and pick the greatest of them all - that's probably him. He will initiate moves from the back, distribute the ball and protect the back four. The holder was key for Happel's tactics and he would relish the chance to have someone like Redondo executing it.
B2B - Patrick Vieira - One of the best in his category. Adds physical presence to midfield. His understanding with Henry should also be appreciated, alongside his eye for a pass and his unparalleled combination of flair, skill, stamina, physical presence.
LW - Neymar - great link up play, confident in possession, great off the ball movement and ability to beat his man and create space.
RW - Pavel Nedved - Equally adept in both phases he will help the midfield and also attack, whilst adding endless amount of stamina in the midfield battle
CF - Thierry Henry - Fantastic all round forward that will exploit the opposition gaps, pull defenders outside their comfort zone and be at the end of Platini passes.

Alterations from the original
Not many changes. The biggest improvement is Platini who is a player that Happel would've relished to build around. The biggest issue his Feyenord had was breaking down opposition sides that camped back and defended in deep line. What we have done to improve that was the introduction of Neymar, Henry, Platini and Nedved. Whilst all stay true to the intensive style and creative side of our attack, that quartet has it all in terms of off the ball movement, picking up a pass and also scoring the much needed goal to break the deadlock.
 
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Enigma_87

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Off the bat - it's a very good team @2mufc0 I have only few concerns and mostly it's the same as your last game - midfield and attack.

Boniek is a great replacement of Hamrin and IMO you have done a good job there to fit him stilistically.

On Lewa though I don't think the current version is particularly the best type for Mourinho striker. The current Lewandowski IMO doesn't work as hard and has the tendency of switching off during games and play like a target man. He can play as a complete CF and he is one of the most complete ones out there, but much like Kocsis he isn't the strong/selfless team player that one would expect to fit straight in Jose's setup.

The second thing is the midfield. Matthaus is certainly a great upgrade for Essien, but during the three years peak he played more of the Lampard role that you presented the last game. Schuster as an AM feels a bit off in that midfield trio and generally I don't think the balance is there. Schuster had Maradona during his time at Barca and wasn't the most advanced midfielder either.

Generally looking at the midfield unit - the versatility is there, but somehow at least for me I don't feel the balance and would've gone for a typical B2B like Tigana and kept Matthaus as AM.
 

harms

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That is a much better representation of Mourinho’s side. Although I still don’t like Souness as Makelele, surely, it’s not as simple as a better player = upgrade. A big part of Souness’ game was his offensive contribution and I don’t think that he’d enjoy being completely stripped from those responsibilities. This team would work – the pair of him and Matthäus are more then good enough defensively, but as a Mourinho’s team... but it’s a nitpicking argument, unlike those in the first round.

Hard to say much about Enigma’s team – it’s beautiful and looks like it fits Happel to a T, but obviously I know more about Mourinho than about him, which is a disadvantage for 2mufc0/Mou.
 

harms

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Schuster had his best spell at Barca after Maradona was sold and the former got more freedom offensively. He had led them to a league title and if I’m not wrong he even was Barca’s top scorer for 2 seasons. Looks like a very good fit for the Lampard’s role. @Enigma_87
 

Enigma_87

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Schuster had his best spell at Barca after Maradona was sold and the former got more freedom offensively. He had led them to a league title and if I’m not wrong he even was Barca’s top scorer for 2 seasons. Looks like a very good fit for the Lampard’s role. @Enigma_87
Cheers @harms . To be honest I've seen most of Schuster when Maradona was also in the team so that's useful info!

2mufc0 seems to use the 80-83 peak though not when Maradona was sold.
 

Himannv

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I like Matthaus more in the Lampard role - I thought that was just a perfect upgrade for a Jose team. I think Souness is great as an upgrade to Essien. The one that didn't fit too well for me was Schuster and you needed someone to play the Makelele role. Having said that, I think Mourinho can make this work with Souness playing as the DM.
 

GodShaveTheQueen

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I thought the Boniek pick was an inspired one, but I pictured him differently in a Mourinho team. Would have been perfect as the hardworking No.10 I think.

-----------------------Lewa-----------------
Stoichkov------Boniek-----Hamrin
-----------Souness---Matthaus------

He really should have gotten Law in place of Lewa and that would have been a perfect Jose front 6 for me.

The Happel team just keeps on getting better for me. Got to give Enigma the distinction for the best usage of Carlos in drafts, spectacular pick that for his team.

I dont agree that Matthaus should be playing the Lampard role in this game at least. Him on Platini is 2mufc0's biggest trump card.
 
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Synco

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@2mufc0's front three is a good one for a Mourinho team, imo. I also think the midfield three is shuffled the right way here, although it never seems to fit 100% in any constellation. But it's close enough, and I think this team would work well under Mourinho.

One thing I'm not convinced of yet is this:
RB: Djalma Santos - A bit more defensive than Krol, but can also contribute when going forward as required.
I could see that offensive contribution in a more dominant setup, when the team is camped up high, but not really as a two-way player in a transition team. (Krol is of course perfect there.)

2mufc0 seems to use the 80-83 peak though not when Maradona was sold.
Depends on how the 3 year peak is interpreted. For me, the question isn't so much "Did a certain version of a player play the same role 1:1", but "Would this version of a player be able to play that role just as well?" So imo you'd need to argue that this isn't the case.

If someone had criticized me for using "libero" Sammer in a CM role, I would have said the same.
 

Šjor Bepo

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@2mufc0 @Synco we cant see the original Chelsea team in the spoiler, something wrong with the link
 

2mufc0

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I think using the more famous modern managers in this draft is a bit of a disadvantage as we know a lot more about them and hence can pick out small nitpicking faults, whilst guys like Heppel there are only a few articles here and there which don't really go into the amount of detail we have of the more modern managers.

But looking at the portrait Enigma posted of him i'm not sure Neymar is suited to this role:

The winger had to not only work on the ball, but off it too. Moulijn was tasked with harassing Celtic full-back David Hay every time he got the ball and ensuring that the Scots’ biggest threat, Jimmy Johnstone, was isolated from the passage of play to use the EC final against Celtic as example..
I can't see Neymar tracking back and harassing Djalma here. Furthermore, stylistically WvH is a different player to Platini particularly in defence, i don't see how this is a good fit apart for interchanging with Henry.

As for the game itself, going by Enigma's portrait Jose's tactics are exactly what are required to stifle Happel's setup:

Ironically, it was Feyenoord’s irresistible attacking football that eventually proved their undoing. Sides, fearing a potential onslaught, dropped deeper against the champions and without space to exploit they often struggled to break down the opposition, especially away from home, and Feyenoord beat just two of the top nine on their travels that year. The team also suffered disappointment in the Dutch Cup and faced a shock elimination in the second round by Groningen, who were ultimately relegated from the Eredivisie.
 
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Jim Beam

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High press:... The press is done as a collective unit and the team overloads especially the midfield.
Neymar and Platini in a high collective press? And that's 2014-17 version of Neymar? I even have doubts about Henry and Vieira in that aspect (played their best football in quick transition), but Henry - Platini is too good to ignore attacking wise. The problem with the collective press is that everyone has to be committed, no way you can get away if you commit to it only halfway. If you go against a good counter-attacking team with a high-press, but it is not working to the full extent you will be in trouble.

As for 2mufc midfield, Souness looks a bit off in that team.
 

2mufc0

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@2mufc0's front three is a good one for a Mourinho team, imo. I also think the midfield three is shuffled the right way here, although it never seems to fit 100% in any constellation. But it's close enough, and I think this team would work well under Mourinho.

One thing I'm not convinced of yet is this:

I could see that offensive contribution in a more dominant setup, when the team is camped up high, but not really as a two-way player in a transition team. (Krol is of course perfect there.)
This comment was more to do with Djalma being shoehorned as defence only RB, he could contribute when the opportunity arises that's all that is meant, i appreciate he will be more on the defensive end of the spectrum. On counters, his passing will be a big asset releasing those pacey wingers. Like you said, Krol is given more freedom to go up and down the lines.
 

Enigma_87

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Neymar and Platini in a high collective press? And that's 2014-17 version of Neymar? I even have doubts about Henry and Vieira in that aspect (played their best football in quick transition), but Henry - Platini is too good to ignore. The problem with the collective press is that everyone has to be committed, no way you can get away with you commit to it halfway. If you go against a good counter-attacking team with a high-press, but it is not working to full extent you will be in trouble.

As for 2mufc midfield, Souness looks a bit off in that team.
Neymar was committed in his first seasons at Barca.

After he came he needed some time to settle but became a very good team player and really has shown his teamwork and ability to track the full back. After he decided he wanted away and was the Messi type, his approach and general comittment suffered.



take a look at his heatmap 3 years apart. I think also @Synco posted some stats on him in the last draft showing him having even better defensive stats than Robben and generally Barcelona is suited for pressing the opposition and Neymar was part of that, whereas Messi has become more and more of a passenger in the last years.

A good info during his second season and comparison between his performances at national level and at Barca:


Tackling/Defensive work


It's noticeable how much extra work the Brazilian has put in in this regard over the course of this season at club level(16/17).

Luis Enrique, in an interview with GolTV (via Sky Sports) noted Neymar's contribution alongside those of Luis Suarez and Messi:
I think all three have shone throughout the whole season: in goals, assists, defensive work, movement.
It is impossible for all three to score a hat-trick every game. This is football not water polo or basketball.
While Squawka note just a single defensive action, suggesting an improvement should be made, there is no comparison between Neymar now and the player of last season who would sulk on the sidelines if he had lost possession.

Now, his first thought is to win back the ball and recycle possession, making him a much more useful exponent.
Steve Fletcher@stefleck
Why is Neymar better at tackling back than any of City's midfield ?
Arguably for Brazil he's not used for the defensive side of his game, and Squawka's metrics show that he has done precisely nothing in a defensive capacity for the Selecao.

ProZone also note that Neymar is required to do more of the donkey work at club level.
 

Synco

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Arguably for Brazil he's not used for the defensive side of his game, and Squawka's metrics show that he has done precisely nothing in a defensive capacity for the Selecao.
Not even sure - I just saw a 2013 game with a hyped up Brazil team relentlessly pressing Spain, and he was part of that. Of course just one game, and a year before your 3 year period, but still.
 
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Enigma_87

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As for the game itself, going by Enigma's portrait Jose's tactics are exactly what are required to stifle Happel's setup:
And this is what Platini/Neymar/Henry bring to the table.

Generally Happel lacked a huge star among his ranks. He was unlucky not to have Cruyff at his disposal in 78 and Platini is someone who would flourish under him and someone he can build around.

Same with Neymar - the key to his game is his off the ball movement and ability to create space. He's fluent in possession based system and has top notch link up game.

I can see Jose going with a cagey effort if facing a team of this quality and Platini/Neymar/Henry are exactly the types that can break the lines and decide the game.
 

2mufc0

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As for 2mufc midfield, Souness looks a bit off in that team.
I can understand where you are coming from, but imo personality and play wise he would really get on with Jose i think. Plus imo he was a really versatile player and could play the holding role if asked, then you also have Lothar next to him who can cover if he goes on a forward run.
 

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Neymar was committed in his first seasons at Barca.
First of all, Barcelona played a lot with 3-2-3-2 idea during 2014/15 season with formation almost going to 3-5-2 in the defensive phase. They were good enough to kill the teams in the attacking sense, but they struggle on the other side in the bigger matches exactly because of Neymar who wasn't fully committed in the defensive phase, so in bigger games, they sometimes went with Neymar upfront along with Suarez and with a change of formation.

In 2016/17 he played in the classic front 3 and he was ok, but again mostly relieved from the defensive duties. He is just not the man who I would associate with a high intensive press, nor Barcelona played the same press as before by that time or at any point in Enrique tenure. Platini is another one who I can't associate with it.

Henry and Vieira in Arsenal "Invincibles"

When it came to defending Arsenal prove to be equally effective. They wouldn’t press in the final third as intensely as many successful sides do nowadays, as only the attacking pair would close down on the opposition defenders. That was until the ball reached the center of the pitch, when Henry would again drift out to the left and Bergkamp or any player playing in his position (which was the case in many games due to his old age) would drop deeper between the lines to defend with the midfielders.

Those in turn would usually defend as a compact unit rather than stretching in wide places, though always keeping the line of four. Their main aim was to steal the ball in one on one encounters or press individually limiting the opposition’s short options and leading them to long ball forward.

This is where the defensive bank of four kept their shape and usually left no space for the strikers to move between them or played the offside trap effectively.
It is again a lot different from what is being asked here. Am not going here fully against it, that team is really beautiful in the attacking sense (among the best in the draft), but what 2mufc says is correct. Using a more modern manager is a bit of a disadvantage as you are nitpicking at the personal and tactics, but if you go by what you wrote I can't see this team working to the full extent in the defensive phase.
 

Enigma_87

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Also Platini was well known that he would raise his game when it needed and his work rate and ability to throw himself into challenges is what earned him quite a few injuries when he went to Italy.

Couple of examples of him going for it:





He's also no stranger of counter pressing as soon as he loses the ball - and this not allowing the opposition to start a counter straight away.





last three are from the same game against West Germany.

There are many other examples of course, but generally Platini was engaged in both phases and very intelligent player that could throw himself to prevent a counter/pass and also counter press when possession is lost .
 

Enigma_87

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First of all, Barcelona played a lot with 3-2-3-2 idea during 2014/15 season with formation almost going to 3-5-2 in the defensive phase. They were good enough to kill the teams in the attacking sense, but they struggle on the other side in the bigger matches exactly because of Neymar who wasn't fully committed in the defensive phase, so in bigger games, they sometimes went with Neymar upfront along with Suarez and with a change of formation.

In 2016/17 he played in the classic front 3 and he was ok, but again mostly relieved from the defensive duties. He is just not the man who I would associate with a high intensive press, nor Barcelona played the same press as before by that time or at any point in Enrique tenure. Platini is another one who I can't associate with it.

Henry and Vieira in Arsenal "Invincibles"

It is again a lot different from what is being asked here. Am not going here fully against it, that team is really beautiful in the attacking sense (among the best in the draft), but what 2mufc says is correct. Using a more modern manager is a bit of a disadvantage as you are nitpicking at the personal and tactics, but if you go by what you wrote I can't see this team working to the full extent in the defensive phase.
You have to bear in mind that the opposition would play a deep line - I'd count on Jose to play deep against a big club/team and look for openings on the counter. Also press is also related to movement and closing passing lanes - all of our players are used to that and can do it high in opposition half.

Neymar as I've said has raised his game in defensive sense after the first season at Barca, we can agree to disagree on that notion if you don't, but on all accounts he is not a passenger ;)

Vieira had a great engine and can run all day, bear in mind that it's not the Invincibles on show here, so we aren't replicating those tactics and both Henry/Vieira are perfectly capable of pressing the opposition and have high energy levels. It's not a question of whether they played like that during the Invincibles season but rather they can do it here, and IMO they are capable of doing so given their abilities.

On a side note, pressing the opposition as a unit doesn't of course mean that everyone will be running like Nedved, but rather everyone will be engaged in it. I truly believe that Neymar/Platini and Henry, who are the three flair players are able to do so and they have shown glimpses of that in different set ups.

Also what Neymar/Platini bring to the table is an effort to improve on some of the deficiencies Happel teams faced during not having the quality to break teams down, so naturally you can't have a team full of Nedved's and some will give more to the task.

On a sidenote too - Happel understood what some of the players were about and worked to get the best out of them. Coen Moulijn was a talented winger that put some shift in but also had his own idea of football understanding:

Hans Kraay was a tough defender in Feyenoord in those days. "Coen was unique. Coaches tried to tell him how to play but he’d shrug and do his own thing. Like Messi. He played on intuition. His move to the inside was unique. He was able to make the opponent stand stiff like a puppet and he’d race past him. He didn’t look like much though. When I saw him first up close I didn’t even recognize him. He looked like an accountant."
In any sense Neymar if being tasked to close spaces and track his full back - has proven can do so and would comply. Platini - again in a big game will raise his game and step up to close lanes, throw himself in an occasional tackle and also try to get the ball back as soon as possession is lost.
 

Enigma_87

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I think using the more famous modern managers in this draft is a bit of a disadvantage as we know a lot more about them and hence can pick out small nitpicking faults, whilst guys like Heppel there are only a few articles here and there which don't really go into the amount of detail we have of the more modern managers.
I disagree here.

First of all whilst we know a lot more about modern managers means it's easier to pinpoint potential replacements and make a team out of players that have the same style. Even going by Jose interviews you can see players that he liked but didn't end up playing under him.

His tactics are also well known and the drafter will always have the advantage of thousands of reports, stats, formations, analysis, whereas with former managers is always a bit of a hassle going through not that many sources, grainy footage and so on.

The second thing is - Happel teams have very proactive approach which shortens the pool for certain players. You need both - quality players and players that fit the philosophy. It's one trying to replicate total football, whole another thing Greece NT from 04 for example.

And from experience anyone who tried to replicate Barca/Dutch teams in the past in drafts has always been in disadvantage, because the "nitpicking" is a lot bigger compared to the counter attacking setups :)
 

Enigma_87

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Any other neutral views on the game? Should be classic defense/attack philosophies with two of the more prominent figures in that particular sense :)