Date: 22nd May 2018 at 10:52pm
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While Swansea City continue their search for a new manager, and with speculation hotting up about the expected arrival of Graham Potter, we thought we’d take a look at the average positions of his last three games with Ostersund to try and understand a little more about his preferred formations and team setup.

Average positions maps in particular provide an interesting insight into a team’s shape, balance and how attacking or defensive they were during a game. A number of position maps for the Swans last season showed them to be defensive and negative, with a back five used and the majority of players sitting deep in their own half.

Potter guided Ostersund to a very respectable 5th position last season, finishing on 50 points, just 2 adrift of a Europa League place.

This season, however, they’re struggling slightly in 11th (out of 16), with 3 wins and 4 defeats after 9 games – scoring 11 goals and conceding 13.

Ostersund FK (4-2-3-1) 0 – 2 IFK Norrkoping

Ostersund suffered pressure in the first half against third-placed Norrkoping, edging possession with 53% but conceding 8 shots, 5 of which were on target of which 2 of them were scored within the opening 27 minutes.

They recovered in the second half and completely dominated possession and the attacking pressure, with 62% possession but only managing 4 shots (1 on target), while the visitors created nothing to try and add to their 2 goals.

The average positions map below shows Ostersund team shape, attacking from top to bottom in a 4-2-3-1 formation. The wide midfielders, Ken Sema (12) and Saman Ghoddos (93) push forward to support the striker, with the attacking midfielder (13) in support.

Team Shape After Substitutions

With a lack of activity down their left, Potter later made substitutions to add attacking support down that side, with their average team shape ending like this: (Substitutions shown below in the second positions map)

Potter adds better attacking balance on their left side, with Frank Arhin (7) making an appearance on the 71st minute. It was no surprise that with an effective 1-5-4 shape, Ostersund dominated but failed to find the net.

AIK 1 – 1 Ostersund FK (4-4-2)

Ostersund conceded after 21 minutes as second-placed AIK dominated the first half, creating 7 shots on goal, 4 on target compared to Ostersund only one that was blocked.

Ostersund improved in the second half, shifting the momentum to themselves with 55% possession and 5 shots, 3 on target, scoring their equaliser with just 6 minutes to play.

It was a different formation this time around with Potter switching to a back four. It was officially identified as a 4-4-2, and like the previous game, there was greater attacking emphasis down the right flank.

Right back Ronald Mukiibi (24) plays much higher than his opposite number Tom Pettersson, while Curtis Edwards (17) sits as a deep-lying midfielder, almost in line with the centre back duo of Noah Sonko Sundberg (77) and Sotirios Papagiannnopoulos (4). Right winger Hosam Aiesh (10) (who was later subbed) keeps to his wide-right role, while Ken Sema (12) on the left tucks inside, operating much deeper in midfield.

Team Shape After Substitutions

Again, Potter switches things up, replacing Douglas Bergqvist (6) for Brwa Nouri (22) , Tesfaldet Tekie (3) on for Ronald Mukiibi (24) and Dino Islamovic (99) replaced Hosam Aiesh (10).

The changes added support on the left, with Tekie filling the gap down that side in front of Pettersson, and Islamovic adding more central attacking support to the equalising goalscorer Ghoddos (93) and Fritzson (13). (Substitutions shown below in the second positions map)

GIF Sundsvall 2 – 3 Ostersund FK (3-4-3)

Facing a side who are now just a place above them in 8th, Ostersunds went into a 2-0 lead after just 31 minutes, before the hosts got a goal back to make it 2-1 at the break. Potter’s side restored their 2-goal advantage within 10 minutes of the restart before a 81st-minute goal proved to be too little too late for Sundsvall.

Potter changed systems again, opting for an attacking 3-4-3, and it actually was a 3-4-3, not the 5 at the back we had to endure for so long in the Premier League last season. Our use of a back five has tarnished the system’s reputation, as it can be an attacking formation when used well, with high-flying, quality wing-backs. Here, we seem them so high that they’re almost level with the central striker.

For me, this is the most interesting team shape out of the three, given that it’s a 3-4-3 and how it really should be used. Ken Sema (12) and Hosam Aiesh (10) are the full backs providing width. Curtis Edwards, who played almost as a third defender in the previous game is playing as a wide-left attacker here. Both him and Tekie (3) tuck inside and player deeper behind Ghoddos, who scored Ostersund’s third goal after 55 minutes.

Team Shape After Substitutions

Unlike the previous two games where Ostersund were chasing the game, here they were 3-1 up so Potter could make defensive substitutions to defend their lead.

Potter adds Widgren (19) for Hosam Aiesh (10) for defensive cover on the left side. Ronald Mukiibi (24) later replaces Tekie (3) and covers the right side. Islamovic (99) then comes on in injury, and his average position suggests he was there to try and keep the ball in the corner! (Substitutions shown below in the second positions map)

Potter is expected to be confirmed as our new manager by the end of the week, but nothing has been finalised or confirmed as yet, with only a verbal agreement thought to have been made.

Average positions maps credit: SofaScore

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