Please do feel free to check out this very detailed video on how we made this tactic, and also to see more in depth stats in the testing phase. Any support is highly appreciated.
The pressing principles seemed a touch disorganised when Roberto De Zerbi first took charge. Their 3-4-2-1 shifted all over the place, with players dispersed across several lines in no apparent order, from a 5-3-2 to a 4-4-2. It was enjoyable in a few aspects. De Zerbi's tactical preparations in defence, which is typically more of a regimented phase than a chaotic one, were also difficult to properly understand.
But more recently, Brighton has frequently lined up defensively in the manner that one would anticipate from their starting lineup. This defensive posture in the 4-2-3-1 alternates between a 4-2-3-1 and a 4-4-2.
After Mac Allister won the World Cup with Argentina, De Zerbi's started the partnership of Alexis Mac Allister and Moisés Caicedo in midfield in all games but the final one. This has been a stunning combination of Graham Potter-era genius, finding a way to maximise Caicedo's incredible energy while preventing him from playing only defensively. It has been a stroke of genius to play next to an assertive "6" who also happens to be creative with the ball, and De Zerbi has obviously understood the importance of his midfield combination in dictating the game's tempo.
His "build up" ideology in fact encourages opposition pressure. He desires this because it widens the gap between the opposition's lines and enables them to catch the other team off guard if they outperform them. Once they have gotten through the first line, De Zerbi also wants the attack's speed to soar. De Zerbi is a unique manager who has brilliant conceptions and ground-breaking ideas. You push? His teams would always have a free man in the buildup. You maintain a low profile? His soldiers possess the skills and knowledge to outperform you.
Discussion: De Zerbi's PERFECT FM23 Tactics! (TITLE WINNING!)
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