My latest thoughts include a look at the Montreal Impact's tactical options as per formations. I go deep into Felipe's position on the pitch as the Brazilian is having a good year statistically but is so-so tactically. I continue the questioning around the Impact's mentality to win at all cost and how it might affect the players..
What is Felipe's Best Position on The starting XI?
We all know Felipe is is a technically gifted player. I will not be using the typical stereotypes that could apply to him such as:
(*) He's Brazilian hence he has to be good. Like all Russians that are amazing at hockey, Felipe has to be great in soccer.
Anyways, Felipe had a fantastic first year with the Impact. His vision and skills were pretty impressive. Unfortunately for the Boy From Engenheiro Beltrao, this year has been a nightmare. Flashes of his great skills were seen at times but he was and still is clearly inconsistent.
At the same time, Marco Shallibaum has put him in different positions, not all to the midfielder's advantage. He played as a holding midfielder beside Patrice Bernier and also played on the wing.
But his best position is clearly behind the striker as a 9 1/2. Last Saturday, against D.C. United, was one of his best performances of the season. As a 9 1/2, Felipe needs space to spot Marco Di Vaio's different runs as the Italian striker finds space behind the other team's back four.
With Daniele Paponi's poor display lately, Felipe will have a spot behind Di Vaio on the starting XI.
Win at all Cost?
After winning the first 4 games of the season and being on top of the East for a while, the Impact want to go all the way to the MLS Cup. But at what cost?
With that mindset, there's no place for the young players of the Academy. Maxime Tissot and Wandrille Lefevre have barely played all season. This lack of rotation has caused the older players to suffer from this mentality of winning at all cost.
Alessandro Nesta is way too old to play so many consecutive games, especially in such an intense schedule. Jeb Brovsky and Hassoun Camara are practically playing all the games, including cup and CCL games.
There is an obvious squad depth issue with the team. Since the Impact do not consider the young players as reliable members of the squad, the club will have issues dealing with the heavy MLS and CCL schedule.
4-3-3 /4-4-2/ 4-4-1-1 Simple Numbers or An Effective Formation?
I have a theory and feel free to judge.
In a 4-3-3 formation, you need fast wingers that can cross the ball to a physical and effective #9. Unfortunately, the Impact have neither so we can forget about that formation, at least in its intended pure form.
With the valuable addition of Hernan Bernardello, the Impact can play in a 4-4-2 formation. It takes a very strong holding midfielder to do so and the new Argentinean DP can fill that spot. With Bernier, both players can be a dynamic , technical and dangerous duo.
The front players will need to be more efficient though. Daniele Paponi has not been the player that many of us liked when he started with the club. And we all know that Andrew Wenger is not the second striker the Impact need or maybe even want.
The 4-4-1-1 of last week was excellent when the game started against D.C. United. With a lot of fast movement, Felipe is taking advantage of Paponi's poor play and is getting involved in , for and around Di Vaio.