West Brom linked with a move for German tactician: Here’s how they’ll play under him

Bruno Labbadia is being touted as a potential candidate for the vacant managerial role at West Brom, according to reports.

The former HSV head coach is among the coaches linked with a move to the Hawthorns this summer, and is believed to the front-runner to take over the vacant managerial position at the club.

According to Express & Star, West Brom have held the second round of discussions with the former Wolfsburg boss.

Bruno Labbadia: Manager profile

Labbadia is one of the most popular coaches in the Bundesliga, having had 16 years of coaching experience since starting his career at Darmstadt back in 2003. A three-year spell at Darmstadt was his most successful coaching tenures in his career.

However, he also notably managed HSV twice, though both the spells at Hamburg turned out to be a disaster. Labbadia was most recently in charge of VfL Wolfsburg.

The 53-year-old did an astonishing job to lead the Wolves back into the midst of German elites after a turbulent campaign last season that saw them finish in the relegation playoff spot.

Labbadia, however, left after failing to guide Wolfsburg to the Champions League, missing out by just four points. And he is now once again a free-agent.

From a tactical perspective, Labbadia is a detail-oriented coach. He likes his team to dominate the possession, which is rather evident given the fact that Wolfsburg had retained fifth most possession of the ball in recently concluded Bundesliga campaign.

Playing out from the back plays a vital role in Labbadia’s vision, with the two centre-backs usually distributing possession all around the pitch. As for the fullback, they are often ordered to move forward and make overlapping runs in-behind the opposition defence. And this allows the two wide-attackers to operate as inverted wingers as they often cut-inside and link-up with the two advanced midfielders.

Hence, it only seems natural that the German loves the 4-3-3 setup, with a defensive midfielder being complemented by two advanced midfielders.

The holding midfielder would usually drop deep and distribution possession, with the two centre-backs moving out wide during possession phases, creating a temporary three-man backline – something that is widely used by current PSG boss Thomas Tuchel.

During defensive phases, Labbadia’s 4-3-3 shape turns into a 5-2-3, with the holding midfield almost acting as the auxiliary centre-back and the two full-backs helping out the central defenders. The advanced midfielders then drop deep and usually form the second line of press.

This could be an exciting tactic to implement in the Championship. Therefore, it would be interesting to see if West Brom to manage to hire someone like Labbadia next season.

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