As confirmed in another post on here, Darko Milanic, recent coach/manager/blokey-in-charge of Austrian Bundesliga side SK Sturm Graz has signed to be the next Leeds United coach/manager/blokey-in-charge . My post isn’t going to impinge on that one but I would like to ask one simple question, what will he bring besides his toothbrush and toiletry bag?

I have briefly written elsewhere on his management stats and performance. He brings pretty decent headline figures of a shade over 50% wins (50.40%) and 24% losses which means that us Leeds fans can expect to be sad/miserable/upset/despondent [delete as necessary]  only around 1/4 of the time or around 11.5 games per season and we’ve got 3 of those out of the way with the Millwall, Watford and Brighton games. One thing I noticed when putting that article together was his preferred playing formation was the ‘4-4-2 double six‘. I’ll be honest with you, my only experience of a ‘double six’ was rolling one to get out of jail in Monopoly so I had to have a nosey into that one. Put quite basically it is a 4-4-2 formation but with two holding central midfield players and two others employed as either standard left/right midfield players or pushed up in a more attacking midfield role.

The ‘4-4-2 double six’ seems ideally placed to offer the centre backs both an additional layer of protection and also it allows teams to defend against the gaps that appear behind a traditional midfield and in front of the defensive four. Could this be what Milanic employs as his ‘go-to’ formation? Will Rodolph ‘RA4′ Austin and Lewis Cook be his preferred ‘holding midfield’ twins?

4-4-2 double six

This is how the Leeds team would have looked (right) yesterday lining up before the dismantling of Huddersfield had Milanic been the coach and if the 4-4-2 double six been used. If he were to use this then the ready-made defensive ‘holder’ in RA4 and in Lewis Cook we have a more natural passing ‘holder’ should things need to be altered or phases of play dictate changes; think of a Championship version of Schweinsteiger and Khedira in the 2010 World Cup. In fact, German coach Joachim Löw exploited the fact that England didn’t play a ‘holding screen’ if front of their back four saying “We knew that Gerrard and Lampard always support the forwards and that the midfield would be open, there would be spaces.”

Until he turns up and his first team roll out of the tunnel and line up – who knows what he will do and how the team will play.

I mean, it’s Leeds United, why would we expect anything to be straightforward?

  • Tare

    Should we ask that what he should not do? Inventing the wheel again or winning formula based on NRs selection of players?


    • spellz

      Yes, lets not re-invent unless needed, the group of players recently have been playing fine without a need for change, we have actually been playing very well on the counter attack too, we currently look promising.

      • Graham

        Spellz – we currently look like a footballing side – that’s good enough for me

        • spellz

          Yes, it has been a long time since I felt we could actually win a game by two or more goals.

    • Graham

      Pretty sure Massimo Cellino will tell him what not to do to be fair. The 4-4-2 double 6 is nothing more than a fancy 4-4-2 with two designated ‘holders’ so you’d expect if he did to mix up steel and grace, Austin and Sloth/Cook etc.

      I agree, the last two games we have looked more dangerous due to the fact we’ve been more creative.

      We are playing football; times are good.

      • Jake123

        Your wrong, we are set up with Cook and Bianchi as holding midfeilders, Sloth and Austin are free to roam forwards……. Everyone At leeds will advise milanic to carry on that methodology unless he opts to try some of the players like Benedicic and Adryan

  • Tare

    My honest approach for the issue is that Darco Milanic checks the resources at the club and works with NR in order to make this transition phase as smooth as possible. In the other I am very well awared that any new coach wants to stamp his authority at once. But NR is really Mr. Leeds and a person who has got on with Mr. Cellino so far so why not Mr. Milanic?


    • Graham

      Agree again with you, the transition needs to be as smooth as possible. Cellino trusts and respects Redfearn and I hope that ethos spreads through the team, management, indeed the whole club.

      • Thommohawk

        I think if things go tits up under Darko from where we are at right now that A) his reign could be shorter than Brian Cloughs, and B) Redfearn will have the job on a full time basis quicker than you can say Leeds!

        Personally I’d have given Redfearn the job full time since he proves he gets the best out of this team and we are unbeaten under him. Including the 5-1 mauling of Huddersfield last season when things were all sorts of pete tong.

        • PMH

          Redfearn deserves the appointment, but managing for Cellino is a poisoned chalice, and I would like Redfearn to stick around for a while longer. Darko does sound like a decent prospect, in any case, so maybe this is for the best. I do hope the owner can settle down and let the footballers get on with it. A period of peace and quiet would be very welcome.

          • Thommohawk

            I disagree with the poisoned calice part to a degree, yeah he goes through manageres (sorry ‘coaches’) like underpants but Redfearn has been achieving what Cellino has been looking for….

            Cellino is right though, coaches are like watermelons they’re all the same most of the time. And let’s be honest it’s him who is for the most part deciding on the players to buy and sell – and it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s the one picking the team.

            But I admire Cellino, he is completely barmy but he is decisive and he’s proven with Hockaday that he won’t stick with someone to justify his own decision making.

          • Mike

            I disagree that hes picking the team, because his “wonder kid” discovery(Adryan) would have gotten on the field by now.

          • Thommohawk

            Fair point. I suppose we include AC Milan youngster Benedicic in that bracket too…. be hard for anyone to break into the team at the minute as it’s basically picking itself and the players are gelling – they’re getting better and more cohesive with every match.

            My only concern is this Milanic guy might upset the apple cart and halt the progress. But as I’ve said if he does he’ll be out on his ear and I believe at that point (if it happens) Redfearn will be given the job full time. IMO but I’m betting those conversations have already taken place between Cellino and Redders.

  • Tare

    I think that the Global fan base has huge respect for NR Mr. Leeds not just those recenct results but solely on his determination and commitment for the biggest club in UK soil; THE LEEDS UNITED. This is my view and undersigned vault.


  • stelufc

    expecting a German style of play which will probably suit us as it will work for both the home grown players and the Italians. those saying we’ve got another “unknown” are clueless, he’s a former Yugoslavia international and strum & maribor have played in the champions league

  • Tare

    I must say this loud and clearly, there is no English/Italian based players THIS IS LEEDS UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB nothing less nothing more. Tare

  • Ron

    Sorry to throw a spanner in the works re. Formation preferences, but where will Adryan play? We haven’t signed him on loan with a hefty ownership option because he can’t play football. Toss Mowatt, Byram and Sharp into the mix as well and for once we appear to have some depth. Could Leeds finally be home to a first-world problem?

    • Graham

      Some advocate a 4-2-3-1 system with the two holding midfield helped by a 3 man ‘real’ midfield and lone striker. I agree, Adryan has to play somewhere but he needs the minutes under his belt too – Wednesday against Brentford would be nice…

      • Irving08

        Adryan will have to stand in line, like all the others. Just because he was once an Brazilian wonder kid means nothing (so was Paulino).
        Yesterday’s team was just about the best I’ve seen at Elland Road in a long time. It had enough players that were comfortable on the ball that it could accomodate even the inimitable Austin. The all-Italian spine of Silvestri, Bellusci, Bianchi and Antenucci (surely our best front man since Viduka) is as good as anythng in this Division. Sloth is plainly a thougtful and skilled operator, while Cook gives us break-our ability from the back. Only Byram, amongst those not in the starrting eleven, would improve it.

        • Thommohawk

          Glad he’s scoring but I’ve been more impressed with Doukara so far as opposed to Antenucci – just not seeing it thus far with him. Mind you he’s scored twice in 3 matches or something so far so his goal return isn’t half bad for a new player lol

  • Rebel White

    I think Jake123 is correct, currently Bianchi is key to the defensive midfielder position and is growing more into the position with each game. He supported Berardi quite a bit as well against that dangerous winger from Huddersfield. It would be scary to think of Austin holding in front of Bellusci. Anyone charging through the centre was going to be shredded by one or the other!
    The formation will stay as is for now, but injuries, suspensions and the development of the “new” players will probably see a gradual switch to accommodate their strengths. I believe the technical ability is in the squad to adapt successfully, if required.

    • Graham

      There’s rumours on FB group I’m on that Milanic wants to play a 4-2-3-1 with two holding mids and 3 natural midfield players.

      I’m just glad we’re scoring to be brutally honest.

      Rebel, Austin would have to do the defending as I reckon that Bellusci would be charging forward again – what a run and chip…

  • sean

    What will he bring to the table is his knowledge of technical way of playing along with his management of so many foreign players that are accustomed to playing a technical style of football. Obviously what he brings to the table remains to be seen and proven so i believe it is only fair to wait and see and fingers crossed MC made the right all round decision , rather than right from the start looking for past mistakes or issues to try and tarnish this guys record /image before he has even begun. Lets just hold off from digging dirt to try and turn support against this addition before he has even been given full introductions to all parties concerned. Lets really give this guy a real fresh start/ canvas to start from and maybe even give the guy a bit of support rather than waiting with excitement for him to trip or fall to then pouce on him to then be able to publish all things negative. WHY?? i really don’t know why some people have the urge to consistently point out and highlight anything that could been seen as negative to ensure there time at leeds is not off succes but anything else but succes again why?? Just cause he not the coach certain bloggers,tweeters garbage writers would have liked they try there best to tarnish MC’s choice right from the get go!!! I ask myself are these real LEEDS UNITED supporters or the ones that love to be proven right??!! For there tweeting followers , what a whoppa

    • Graham

      I’m not digging dirt; I even quoted his win/draw return which means that points should be coming to Elland Road nearly 3/4 of the time. I personally cannot wait to see what Brentford brings us.

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