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What Crystal Palace fans can expect from Oliver Glasner

Crystal Palace has recently announced the appointment of Austrian coach Oliver Glasner as their new manager. Following Roy Hodgson’s departure, the job at Selhurst Park seems to be quite challenging. Although Glasner might not be a well-known name in England, he has an impressive track record. He led Frankfurt to the Europa League and Champions League knockouts and is now ready to take bigger steps in his career, with England being his next destination. It’s worth noting that he was previously linked with a move to AC Milan for the summer, with rumors circulating that Stefano Pioli might leave San Siro in the off-season.

Let’s get a bit into Oliver Glasner & his tactical approach that Crystal Palace fans can expect:

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Out of Possession:


To keep Hütter’s 3-at-the-back formation intact, Glasner implemented a 3-4-2-1 setup at Frankfurt, with Kamada and Lindstrøm playing as the #10s. When defending, Frankfurt would shift into a 5-3-2 formation, with the wingbacks dropping alongside the three center-backs. I find this strategy intriguing for Palace, especially with the available players. Joachim Andersen and Marc Guehi are the obvious choices for the two center-back positions, while someone like Chris Richards could fill the third spot. Chris is highly versatile and proficient with the ball, and he also has the potential to play in a defensive role. Though Guehi is currently injured, Rob Holding could temporarily take his place.


His Frankfurt didn’t employ a high-intensity pressing like Klopp’s Liverpool. Instead, they opted for a compact defensive approach, with an aim to shield the central areas of the pitch and prevent the opposition any space of operating through the middle.


Moreover, keeping the compactness in the midfield – the double pivot at the center of the pitch prevented opposition players dropping between the lines as in the picture above. And this narrow playstyle helps his team to maintain a good structure to counter press whenever they lose the ball at the center of the pitch, as exemplified in the picture below.

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In Possession:


Oliver Glasner’s build-up play relied on the synergy between the wing-back and the number 10 where the #10 would often drop deep into the half-spaces, while the wing-back would push forward to occupy the available spaces as seen in the picture above. Moreover, there also would be positional shifts when the wing-back pushed up (Da Costa #24), prompting the defensive midfielder to shift wide (Hrustic #7), while the inside forward (Kostic, not shown in the picture below) would cut inside.


With Frankfurt playing a narrow style of play which in-turn opens up for quick switches of play with the wingbacks on the opposite side who can be unlocked with just a quick diagonal pass. Their incredibly quick verticalisation especially during counter attack make his team extremely hard to defend against.

These offensive way of play would help players like Olise and Eze a lot, it would not only capitalise on their opportunities in free spaces but also make certain they have a passing option throughout for an easy out. Moreover, the pressing patterns are organised in a way that the players aren’t always running behind the ball, which could also ascertain Palace’s best talent stays on pitch for longer time and take the games deeper. Watching how he handled Lindstrøm and how Glasner worked his way to ascertain he would get the ball in most optimal and decisive spaces — there should be a lot of optimism among Palace faithful’s about it.

Speaking about his use of wingbacks in offensive sequences, someone like Daniel Munoz who enjoys working with offensive spaces can benefit greatly when given that opportunity to occupy higher spaces.

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Oliver Glasner – a conclusion

There is a lot to love about Glasner and the possibilities that Palace could explore with him in-charge. Oliver Glasner is one of the most successful Austrian managers alongside Ernst Happel and could be destined for the top, and this Crystal Palace job could be his make-or-break opportunity.

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