Pentagon Challenge Update and a wacky formation: Gangwon

So I won the Skrill South against the odds with Weston-super-Mare but I felt like it was a bridge too far to reach the European Cup with them so I searched for a job at a top division club to push things forward.

I found a place at a newly-promoted club in Israel but when I noticed a couple of Korean clubs had vacancies I couldn’t resist taking a chance. I’d barely left WsM in the Skrill Premier but Gangwon saw something in me (in fairness I’ve managed Jeonbuk in the Korean first division before) and with their ¬£38m value took me on!

At Gangwon I steered the team away from relegation with five wins and a draw after joining six games before the end of the season, and in the early stages of my first full season in 2028/29, led the team to the top of the Korean Classic. We couldn’t keep it up though and went on a horrible run.

fixturesFortunately we won four of our last seven games and teams around us dropped points so we finished third in an Asian Champions League spot!

Six games in to the following season and we’re top of the table with 15 points, however, heavyweights Suwon are level with a game in hand. Seoul who’ve won the title in nine of the last 10 seasons are three points behind with a game in hand. We proudly beat them 3-1 on the opening day of the season.

In the Champions League we qualified for the second round early with four wins and a draw and have a game remaining.

asian champsNot bad for our first ever Asian campaign!

Tactics

I’m still reliant on my 4-4-1-1¬†shape, only because, even at a new club in a different country, it’s been so great for me yet again. However, I created something a bit niche in pre-season because I love a good experiment with tactics. It looks like this:

shapeIt goes against my usual considerations to not use wide midfielders but I wanted to test a back three with wing backs creating the width. Furthermore, I wanted to make the most of our wealth of talent in centre/ attacking midfield and this shape allows that. It also makes a change for me to use two strikers however I can take one out for an attacking midfielder if the situation necessitates it.

Once again, I’m loving managing in Korea – the money doesn’t hurt – we have more than we can spend especially with the four foreigners/ three excluding Asians rule. Young Korean players, no matter how good, don’t cost a lot which is great to build a talented squad which will grow and become a national powerhouse.

Follow me on Twitter @FMScrapbook

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