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  • Markus Babbel Is New Wanderers Coach


    mack

    Western Sydney Wanderers have appointed Markus Babbel, confirming the new manager at a press conference this afternoon.

    The former FC Luzern club manager will replace Josep Gombau, who was sacked by the club after finishing 7th in the 2017/18 A-League regular season.

    Markus Babbel, 45, is one of the most high profile coaching appointments in the history of the A-League, having played 51 times for the German National team, with a glittering playing career that included winning the Bundesliga and UEFA Cup with Bayern Munich, the FA Cup & UEFA Cup again with Liverpool and the 1996 European Championship with Germany.

    His coaching career took him to Stuttgart and then to Hertha Berlin, where he won the German 2nd Division title in 2010/11. His most recently appointment was at FC Luzern in Switzerland where he stablised the club back into the top half of the competition before leaving due mid-season after he decided to not renew his contract.

    Babbel spoke at the press conference about wanting a new challenge at the club, "It wasn't a difficult decision to come to the Wanderers, I am looking forward to the challenge". Tomi Juric was mentioned as having sold the club to Babbel, comparing Wanderers supported with the much quieter people of Switzerland. Babell will return to Europe for a brief holiday with his family, before returning to take on the role heading into the pre-season.

    Edited by mack


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    I know this may be at the risk of the ol' ban hammer but I felt Sotirio was solid on Saturday night. Seemed to use his speed effectively; put pressure on Sydney's defence and forced them to change their switch a couple of times - knew when to pressure. Also seemed to be making the right run (pending quality of the pass) on the attack and had SFC chasing him for long periods. He also stretched their defence. Understandably subbed off around the 60' min due to how much running he was doing. I was impressed. 

    Defensively - why we persist with playing long passes when we're building out from the back is beyond me (especially in our own half). I feel like a broken record - Baccus needs to drop in to the hole between Hamill & Elrich OR Hamill & Elrich need to be closer together with Baccus being the point in front (creating a triangle) to help the passing and transition. Late in the second half, Sydney FC were doing this with their backs and just passing out of harm's way. We were still persisting in playing a long ball between Hamill & Elrich when Sydney FC had been putting pressure on them to lose the ball - where what happened; creates an immediate counter. 

    Also having two close CB's that are a little bit deeper than the LB & RB (typical) can suck in Sydney's forward line and create passing lines and space behind. 

    I have no problem using the width in going forward, but Baccus & Grozos need to be the second option for the LB & RB when penetrating (again creating a triangle) not just Bonevacia or Majok - without them being that option there - it makes the wing so much more narrow to penetrate. Also having the 6 or the 8 a bit more centrally as an option for the LB or RB to pass too puts the opposition in two minds (are they going wide to Majok/Sotirio or are they going to centrally with Baumjohann). Without that linch being there - it's very predictable and as always - its easier to close down the wing than going through the middle. 

    The second half; Sydney FC went out to dominate the middle of the park and they achieved that - they put a 'square' of four players that set out to dominate; it worked. They didn't need to go down the wings as countering through the middle was far more effective & fruitful. It closed Baumjohann's passing lanes (if he got the ball) and made it difficult to pass to him from either Grozos or Baccus. What was disappointing was that we persisted in going down the wings (which would be the obvious to do given Sydney's imperative to dominate the middle of the park along with Rhyan Grant getting forward as a wingback creating space behind) but rather - we could've brought Bonevacia & Majok more centrally when we had possession in their half and utilise a closer 3 behind Riera. This coupled along with the overlap of Llorente & Risdon going down the wings to stretch the CB pairing of Sydney may have created opportunities for Baumjohann to open up and find Riera. Nice to say in hindsight and sounds great in my head but who knows in real life. 

    Risdon had a completely off game - I was furious with him at the time. His timing of his runs was poor, held the ball for a second longer than he should've when passing earlier was required and should've gone near post with THAT opportunity. I haven't seen a disjointed of a performance as I did with Risdon on Saturday night. 

    Grozos couldn't get in the game. He isn't an 8 but I understand why he was played there due to injuries. I think the overall injuries to our squad dictated that formation that we were never going to get a solid line up given who was available for selection. 

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    31 minutes ago, mack said:

    The Babbel "structure" looks very similar to the Gombau "structure". We're playing the same formation. We still have trouble scoring. We still have trouble keeping clean sheets. Opposition teams are still racking up 3 and 4 goals against us.

    We are having an even worse injury toll than under Gombau. Babbel talked about how he wasn't happy with the fitness levels so he started double sessions, now we've got 1 healthy central defender, Vedran hasn't been fit enough to be chosen ahead of Nizic and he's been hurt for 4+ months. Kearyn Baccus has already had a sook and looks to be getting the Babbel treatment and Bridge is probably out until the start of the season as well.

    Last year Gombau got slated because he played Keanu Baccus and Scott against SFC and we lost 5-0. This year, with Riera back in (hurt for the 5-0), Babbel played an even younger midfield duo (Keanu & Grozos) and we get pumped 3-0.

    I'm struggling to find what difference the German "results come first" super coach is making to our team.

    I do see your point however lets take out the 2nd half performance and look at the first half. During the first half we had total domination, Brilliante and O'neill could not keep the ball for their team, Grozos and Baccus were controlling the game, and Hammill and Elrich kept Le Fondre and Buhagiar quiet. Also as much as complain about the ref in that 1st half when we had control we actually had the him calling fouls in midfield for us and kept the Smurfs pend in. This was based on Babbel original tactics to stop the Smurfs from having the midfield where as Gombau would have made us more open and have the players more free.  

    The 2nd half is where we lost it as Buhagiar and Le Fondre rotated and dropped deeper and put more pressure on our young boys and we lost the midfield, and it was where the smurfs made their chances. They also used the long ball and aimed for Risdon and Lloronte who get killed because they aren't tallest blokes.

    For me the weakness is exploited because of the players we have in DM aren't able control the game and stop the opposition once it becomes a battle for 50/50s. I mean we have seen it in all FFA cup games and that DM position is where we should spend the Marquee money because we don't have the player with experience to control the ball in the area and control the tempo once things go against us. 

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    12 minutes ago, spectacular291 said:

    Defensively - why we persist with playing long passes when we're building out from the back is beyond me (especially in our own half). I feel like a broken record - Baccus needs to drop in to the hole between Hamill & Elrich OR Hamill & Elrich need to be closer together with Baccus being the point in front (creating a triangle) to help the passing and transition. Late in the second half, Sydney FC were doing this with their backs and just passing out of harm's way. We were still persisting in playing a long ball between Hamill & Elrich when Sydney FC had been putting pressure on them to lose the ball - where what happened; creates an immediate counter. 

     

    This pretty much. Babbel has to figure out the puzzle of our DM and CBs because based on the games I have seen its our weakness once Corica figured that out we got killed in the 2nd half.

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    1 hour ago, mack said:

    The Babbel "structure" looks very similar to the Gombau "structure". We're playing the same formation. We still have trouble scoring. We still have trouble keeping clean sheets. Opposition teams are still racking up 3 and 4 goals against us.

    I think Babbels style of play is a lot different to Gombaus.

    Instead of passing the ball around to keep possession, we were playing more direct and moving the ball forward a lot more then we did under Gombau.

    One thing I have noticed in the first half and the game against heart is we seemed to have a pressing game to which at times we have shut down the smurfs play before they got forward in the first half. Those are the only positives I can see.

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    2 minutes ago, SBW said:

    I think Babbels style of play is a lot different to Gombaus.

    Instead of passing the ball around to keep possession, we were playing more direct and moving the ball forward a lot more then we did under Gombau.

    One thing I have noticed in the first half and the game against heart is we seemed to have a pressing game to which at times we have shut down the smurfs play before they got forward in the first half. Those are the only positives I can see.

    Agree. A pressing game is great but the energy expenditure is huge. Lesser skilled teams have often used this method to reduce time on the ball for better opposition players. But it rarely works in the end. Eventually the players tire and aren't as quick at closing down and more space becomes available. This is what happened second half on Saturday. Then the ball players start to influence the outcome more. Challenges become more clumsy and mistimed etc etc

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    1 hour ago, Sithslayer1991 said:

    This pretty much. Babbel has to figure out the puzzle of our DM and CBs because based on the games I have seen its our weakness once Corica figured that out we got killed in the 2nd half.

    Ziegler makes a massive difference, we are going to struggle until he is back  

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    1 minute ago, hawks2767 said:

    I think the question we ALL want to know is...

     

    Could Babbel keep Kerem Bulut onside ?

     

    Not all.

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    32 minutes ago, Smoggy said:

    2 months I think?

    Damn, I was hoping in time for the start of the season.

     

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    10 hours ago, mack said:

    The Babbel "structure" looks very similar to the Gombau "structure". We're playing the same formation. We still have trouble scoring. We still have trouble keeping clean sheets. Opposition teams are still racking up 3 and 4 goals against us.

    We are having an even worse injury toll than under Gombau. Babbel talked about how he wasn't happy with the fitness levels so he started double sessions, now we've got 1 healthy central defender, Vedran hasn't been fit enough to be chosen ahead of Nizic and he's been hurt for 4+ months. Kearyn Baccus has already had a sook and looks to be getting the Babbel treatment and Bridge is probably out until the start of the season as well.

    Last year Gombau got slated because he played Keanu Baccus and Scott against SFC and we lost 5-0. This year, with Riera back in (hurt for the 5-0), Babbel played an even younger midfield duo (Keanu & Grozos) and we get pumped 3-0.

    I'm struggling to find what difference the German "results come first" super coach is making to our team.

    To me the difference is that the 3-0 was not reflective of the game as a whole, for reasons already stated here.

    Whereas the 5-0 was also not reflective, but only in that it could easily have been 10.

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    Too much doom and gloom in here for mine, I saw many, many positives.

    - We are far more structured and disciplined in defense. The two holding mids drop in to cover our FBs when they put pressure on the opposition's overlapping FBs. We won back possession about 80% of the time when Easts tried to play through their FBs. When we get properly match-fit, we will be very hard to get in behind.
    - Quick ball movement AND cutting out lines of players with passes forward is creating real chances for us that we haven't seen for seasons. The old two-short-one-long, play-the-way-you're-facing football is simple, but very effective. When we get properly match-fit, we will be able to do this for more than 60 min.
    - Both Baby Baccus and Grozos took initiative at 2-0 down to turn players and pass forward. Against any team other than Easts there would have been a an opposition mid sent off.
    - Treejack is drawing multiple defenders which allowed much more space for Jaush and Roly. Big factor in Jaush having one of his best games for WSW.

    #1 initiative has to be improving conditioning. We are far fitter than last season, but then so was my O35s side. Babbel has once again built a solid structure that it looks like the players have bought into 100% and when we add fitness and time, I can see him building something worth watching (even at SOP).

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    31 minutes ago, TehSmileyBandit said:

    Too much doom and gloom in here for mine, I saw many, many positives.

    - We are far more structured and disciplined in defense. The two holding mids drop in to cover our FBs when they put pressure on the opposition's overlapping FBs. We won back possession about 80% of the time when Easts tried to play through their FBs. When we get properly match-fit, we will be very hard to get in behind.
    - Quick ball movement AND cutting out lines of players with passes forward is creating real chances for us that we haven't seen for seasons. The old two-short-one-long, play-the-way-you're-facing football is simple, but very effective. When we get properly match-fit, we will be able to do this for more than 60 min.
    - Both Baby Baccus and Grozos took initiative at 2-0 down to turn players and pass forward. Against any team other than Easts there would have been a an opposition mid sent off.
    - Treejack is drawing multiple defenders which allowed much more space for Jaush and Roly. Big factor in Jaush having one of his best games for WSW.

    #1 initiative has to be improving conditioning. We are far fitter than last season, but then so was my O35s side. Babbel has once again built a solid structure that it looks like the players have bought into 100% and when we add fitness and time, I can see him building something worth watching (even at SOP).

    I agree with all of that, my negativity comes from I still think the squad is one or two players short of really competing at the top 

    Hopefully we wlll address that before the season 

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    Full strength Smurf squad, WSW missing six senior players for various reasons. Makeshift central defence, two juniors running midfield, us missing sitters, and Smurfs taking advantage of one defensive error and and two standards = 0:3.

    I dare say that with Snake, Ziegler and motivated Kamau and Baccus on the pitch it would have been a different story. But it is what it is now.

    A possible reason why Kamau is absent: Babbel insists that the team defends as a team, works as a unit. At least one  player insisted that they doesn't do defensive work, as he seas himself as a creative player. Response Babbel: "then you are letting the team down", or words to that effect.

    Ziegler about Babbel: "He knows that sometimes, a team might not be the most talented but if they have the right mentality, they can win every game. That’s what he’s trying to teach this team. Regardless of whether he’s working with an Australian, English or German player, the only thing he cares about is if that person has the heart to give everything." - Exit Baccus Snr.

    Babbel in August: "I’ve coached Australians as well. Tomi Juric, Oli Bozanic and Nikita Rukavytsya are among them. Each of them was very skilful. On their day they were better than many, many other players. Still, the problem was that they couldn’t do it every week. Once every four games is not enough. You need to show your best at least three times out of four. I’ll wait and see how the team improves over the next two months before I decide whether to bring in another player or not. With the rest of the squad, I’ve been impressed. I go to work every day and have fun because I’ve got a team that want to get better. I’m not sure what we can achieve. What is for certain is that I will be pushing for us to win every game. And more than that, to be a team that is very hard to beat."

     

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    On 08/10/2018 at 12:32 PM, mack said:

    Last year Gombau got slated because he played Keanu Baccus and Scott against SFC and we lost 5-0. This year, with Riera back in (hurt for the 5-0), Babbel played an even younger midfield duo (Keanu & Grozos) and we get pumped 3-0.

    Not quite. He also played a CB as RB, a RB as RW, a RW as LW, put in Clisby as LB, had Baccus Jnr hanging there as sole DM in his first professional game, and left senior players on the bench. Gombau approached the game like a training match, he lost the respect of the team that night, and never regained it. We could have lost that game 10:0, we were never in it. Last Saturday was very different.

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    4 minutes ago, FCB said:

    Not quite. He also played a CB as RB, a RB as RW, a RW as LW, put in Clisby as LB, had Baccus Jnr hanging there as sole DM in his first professional game, and left senior players on the bench. Gombau approached the game like a training match, he lost the respect of the team that night, and never regained it. We could have lost that game 10:0, we were never in it. Last Saturday was very different.

    Well said. Le Fondre should have got a retrospective yellow from Match Review guys for the dive to get the penalty.

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    5 hours ago, Paul01 said:

    Well said. Le Fondre should have got a retrospective yellow from Match Review guys for the dive to get the penalty.

    That will never happen to an ESFC player.

    Edited by HillsPanther
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    11 hours ago, FCB said:

    A possible reason why Kamau is absent: Babbel insists that the team defends as a team, works as a unit. At least one  player insisted that they doesn't do defensive work, as he seas himself as a creative player. Response Babbel: "then you are letting the team down", or words to that effect.

    Ziegler about Babbel: "He knows that sometimes, a team might not be the most talented but if they have the right mentality, they can win every game. That’s what he’s trying to teach this team. Regardless of whether he’s working with an Australian, English or German player, the only thing he cares about is if that person has the heart to give everything." - Exit Baccus Snr.

    Kamau thinks he doesn't need to do any defensive work? Does he know that luxury is reserved for the great #9s and #10s only? The only person on our team who could get away with a bit of loafing is Bummy. Even then, he's probably not that advanced compared to the others to afford him that luxury. if you're going to loaf, you have to produce assists and goals by the bucketload.

    Ditto Baccus Snr's attitude. 

    11 hours ago, FCB said:

    Babbel in August: "I’ve coached Australians as well. Tomi Juric, Oli Bozanic and Nikita Rukavytsya are among them. Each of them was very skilful. On their day they were better than many, many other players. Still, the problem was that they couldn’t do it every week. Once every four games is not enough."

    Ruka couldn't even do it for a whole game! One touch, great. Next touch, horrible! Entertaining player. Totally frustrating, but entertaining.

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    On 08/10/2018 at 2:00 PM, beatsurrender said:

    Agree. A pressing game is great but the energy expenditure is huge. Lesser skilled teams have often used this method to reduce time on the ball for better opposition players. But it rarely works in the end. Eventually the players tire and aren't as quick at closing down and more space becomes available. This is what happened second half on Saturday. Then the ball players start to influence the outcome more. Challenges become more clumsy and mistimed etc etc

    Yeah, controlling the game without the ball can be done. (See: Mourinho, Jose) (Not this year obvs tee hee)

    But a "pressing game" is best done by a team who can then retain possession. So you use pressing to win the ball back and then keep. (See: Guardiola, Pep)

    We clearly haven't got the players (and never will) to retain possession for huge amounts of time. But then neither do other A-league teams, so the question is how much do you press to get the ball back, given that the other teams will struggle to keep it if you press well?  This question is all the more important because pressing is more difficult in the hot Aussie months. 

    Arnie had the smurfs doing it well, as they only pressed in certain spots, and rested otherwise. And it wasn't always the same spot on the field, so I guess it depended where he saw a weakness. But, as has been stated here numerous times, they also seem to not be given yellow cards. It's ridiculous the amount of times their midfield or Rhyan Grant commit cardable offences but don't get them.

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    7 hours ago, btron3000 said:

    One touch, great. Next touch, horrible! Entertaining player. Totally frustrating, but entertaining.

    This also appears, and the only line featured, in the wanderers recruiting handbook. 

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    In Australia & other lower league environments high intense pressing isn't (generally) intended to regain the ball in order to recycle possession and start building up from the back against packed defenses, it's to force turnovers in the opposition half of the field to launch quick counters against disorganised defensive units.

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    50 minutes ago, mack said:

    Do you think he could get through an interview without talking about mentality?

    Probably when the team improves it! Even then, as he says, there’s no Bayern Munich etc. In a salary capped league, mentality goes a hell of a long way.

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    1 hour ago, StringerBellend said:

    Very much 

    Interesting view on Roly

     

    Why Roly moved to the wing:“Because Roly is sloppy”.

    Bang. Good on you. I like he said it and also that he commented on Roly needing to see this in the papers, so he’s thought about it and decided to call him out. Put pressure on him, piss him off, whatever it takes to fire him up. There’s been a slight improvement already, but it’s gonna be tough knocking a lifetime of habits out of the bloke.

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