I'm not going to write a lot about the club to begin with other than you should know they are a fair sized club in Germany that have fallen on harder times, FCN languishes in Bundesliga-2 when they should always be a top flight team.
The squad feels different on my return with my favourite player from before missing. The prodigal son was (is) Niklas Stark, now at Hertha Berlin but long term I have earmarked our reunion. The players are good though for this level so we should compete despite Stuttgart and Hannover being favourites. Financially we're secure.
On arrival I had three formations in mind for the football I want to play but equally was prepared to scrap those plans if none fitted with the players. Those formations were
We don't have enough good strikers to play a pair together up top and certainly don't have the depth to maintain a pairing. This moves me away from the diamond.
We have 2 or 3 attacking wide players making the other two formations possible and it all comes down to whether or not we play with two holding mids plus a no.10 or if we invert the midfield triangle.
I really like one of our holding mids, a guy called Hanno Behrens who incidentally I made captain, and with Ondrej Petrak and Patrick Erras also in the DM stable I plump for this shape.
I much prefer the 4-2-3-1 with a double DM although I understand that for others it may be easier to set up with the holding mids in the next strata. Not for me though and as I go through these posts I'll explain why I think this is such a good formation tactically if got right.
I can't overstate how important the DMs are in this formation, how much ground they will cover, and the number of passes they'll make. With the super promising Patrick Erras injured at the outset, and this position being key, there is no question that I will have to add to the squad in this area. More on that later as I don't want individual posts to be too long.
In the meantime here is a screenshot of captian, Hanno Behrens. I really like his physical size with the combination of these qualities: natural fitness / stamina / teamwork / work rate. For me that's a great grouping of attributes in any midfielder. I made renewing his contract along with a few others an absolute priority as he is definitely the first building block.