March 22, 2023

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New Krasnodar: Alonso is a deep playmaker, searching for the ball between the lines, Cordoba is a landmark striker

10 texts by Dmitry Dolgikh to read

10 texts by Dmitry Dolgikh to read

They press flexibly, but failed against CSKA in the rebounds.

In early January, Krasnodar announced the appointment of Vladimir Ivic as head coach. In Israel, Ivic said that he believes in aggression and intensity, but considers himself quite flexible: “I like attacking aggressive football with high pressure, and I adjust the scheme based on the circumstances. Most of the games in the season we played in a 4-2-3-1 formation. 4-3-3 are also possible, but in the playoffs, due to the lack of creative players, we had to change the lineup – so we switched to 3-5-2.

Changes have also taken place in Krasnodar’s roster: after the suspension of the contract, central defender Junior Alonso returned, central midfielder Kadi Borges and winger David Moses were signed.

At the winter training camp, Krasnodar dealt with Bunyodkor (1:0), Sochi (1:0), Rostov (4:0) and lost devastatingly to Spartak (0:4). Ivic’s team also flew out of the RPL Path in the Russian Cup: they lost big to CSKA in Moscow (0: 3), and then won a minimal victory in the return game (1: 0).

What has Krasnodar prepared for the return of the RPL?

How Krasnodar attacks: a lot of penetrating passes from Alonso, combinations on the left and dependence on playing along Cordoba

In the game with Bunyodkor (1:0), Krasnodar worked out flank combinations, where Junior Alonso and Christian Ramirez became deep playmakers.

Alonso was responsible for penetrating passes, while Ramirez combined work on the flank and runs with the ball into the support zone (contrasted with the high position of right-back Sergei Volkov). Often, Christian stayed deeper on the ball, while Eduard Spertsyan and Olakunle Olusegun switched positions and used John Cordoba (going down) with Mihailo Banyac (coming to the left from the position of the right eight).

For example, here you can clearly see how Olusegun went from deep into the middle, and Spertsyan got the ball at a speed near the penalty area thanks to Cordoba’s cool shift.

After the victory over Bunyodkor, Spertsyan said that Ivić demands to take the ball between the lines. Krasnodar worked a lot on finding the ball in different zones, but the main algorithm was to shift Cordoba under Alonso and Ramirez, after which John looked for an incoming partner in a touch-two.

Closer to the resumption of the season, Alonso became the main playmaker. It is possible that this was influenced by a slight injury to Ramirez (he was injured in the first game of the Winter Cup). However, even after the return of Christian Junior, he was constantly looking for midfielders and Cordoba: in the first episode, Alonso opened under Safonov and gave it forward, and in the second, he threw it at John.

Often, Krasnodar used an asymmetric system: the central defenders remained deeper, Ramirez was a little lower on the flank, Volkov rose as high as possible, while the eights (for example, Spertsyan and Kadi) ended up almost next to Cordoba (or helped the flanks), and the attacking three were located narrowly.