Managers have used many tactics to their game style throughout the contemporary era of football. While some like the offensive style, others are willing to sit back and attack on the counter. Some of the world's greatest managers have adopted a defensive mindset and have found success as a result. On that point, here are five of the most active managers in football who have the most defensive-minded playing style:
5. Sean Dyche (Burnley)
Sean Dyche is a well-known Premier League manager. At Watford, he began his managing career as an assistant to Malky Mackay. Following Mackay's move to Cardiff City in 2011, he was appointed as the Hornets' permanent manager. A 4-4-2 formation is preferred by the former Watford boss. The four in midfield, like the four at the back, are extensively involved in defending deep, which allows the opposition to play their game. Burnley, on the other hand, has a patient and resolute approach that makes it difficult for the opposition team.
4. Unai Emery (Villarreal)
The Spaniard is a seasoned manager with a track record of success in the UEFA Europa League. In his managerial career, Unai Emery has won the Europa League a record four times. He loves to play in a 4-2-3-1 formation, but has also used 4-4-2 on occasion. With two midfielders playing as a double pivot, his team is set up to defend and press as a team. His squad isn't afraid to sit back and wait for the opposition to make a mistake before capitalizing on it.
3. Massimiliano Allegri (Juventus)
Massimiliano Allegri is an accomplished manager who has spent his entire management career in Italy. From 2010 to 2014, he was the manager of AC Milan before joining Juventus from 2014 until 2019. This summer, he returned to the Old Lady for a second time. Allegri was linked with a move to the Premier League, but nothing came to fruition. With a defensive mindset, the former Milan manager loves to utilize the 3-5-2, 4-3-1-2, or 4-3-3 formations.
2. Jose Mourinho (Roma)
The legendary Jose Mourinho was the one who introduced the concept of "parking the bus" into football. Over the years, the Portuguese has proven to be a fantastic manager, adhering to his philosophy of winning at all costs. Mourinho has previously held managerial positions at Chelsea, Real Madrid, Manchester United, and Inter Milan. The manager has favored a 4-2-3-1 system on numerous occasions. Every member of the team is expected to contribute to the team's goal of marking the opposition and assisting their teammates.
1. Diego Simeone
Diego Simeone has been an outstanding manager for Atletico Madrid, as seen by his accomplishments with the Spanish club. In La Liga, the Argentine has been blamed on numerous occasions for generating problems for Real Madrid and Barcelona. With Atletico Madrid, he won the La Liga twice, the Copa del Rey once, two UEFA Europa Leagues, and two UEFA Super Cups. Given the kind of teams he has faced over the years, this is a remarkable achievement. Simeone favours a 4-4-2 shape in which practically every player is involved in regaining possession of the ball.
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