OK, I’ll admit I got this one wrong, and quite frankly I’m glad I did.
Whenever I’ve been talking about Birmingham this season and their signings, I’ve been doing so under the assumption that this season the Blues were going to be sticking to the 3-4-2-1 system that we saw throughout much of pre-season and in the first couple of games in the Championship.
However, it looks as if we may be seeing a couple of tweaks in the future. Speaking to the club website ahead of today’s game, Pep Clotet talked about how he wants the team to be flexible when going forward:
“I have never said that we are going to play 3-4-3, or 4-3-2-1 or 4-4-2 or whatever. Obviously I understand people are talking about it (3-4-2-1) because they have seen it in games. But I always say I want a very flexible Birmingham, a Birmingham that can adapt, take the best out of our players in every situation.”
And I applaud him for that. It’s good to see that there’s a manager who thinks about these sorts of things and isn’t just willing to stick to one system come hell and high water. We saw what happened to Jose Mourinho at Manchester United last season, and whilst we’re talking about completely different levels of football, it’s still important to talk about the fundamentals of coaching, and being able to adapt is one of them.
However, whilst I am glad to see that Clotet is willing to show some flexibility when it comes to the team this season, I am still slightly concerned that he may not have the squad capable of pulling it off. There’s still a lot of imbalances in there, like only having one senior right-back available but having four left-backs. That doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room if you want to change things up and Maxime Colin can’t be part of the plan.
Hopefully this is where the youth team can be of some assistance. We’ve seen how Clotet is willing to give youth a chance by giving Jude Bellingham his debut in the Carabao Cup defeat to Portsmouth last week. Let’s just see if there are some more of them on the way.