So what makes a successful football team?


Is success all about the players, the manager or the system? Is it about skill, technique or training? Endless hours of debate can be had about these issues whenever a group of football fans gather together.

Thanks to the excellent translation efforts of my fellow Viola fan @forzaviola15 I had the opportunity to read an interview recently with Austria Wien’s manager Peter Stöger. His answers to two particular questions sheds some light on how he has turned around the fortunes of the team since being appointed in the summer:

Is it true you don’t spend a lot of time speaking about the system to your team, but instead focus on everybody’s individual tasks? What are the advantages of that?

I think it’s important that the players know what they have to do. That doesn’t have a lot to do with the system. Having a compact system is one half of the story, having the players really know about their responsibilities is the other. I can pass the ball along for hours and run across the pitch, but when something happens that we haven’t prepared, everybody needs to react. They have to know how to deal with dangerous situations.

So everybody has an individual emergency plan?

Everybody knows what 4-4-2 etc mean. In attack situations, we focus a lot on timing, but we mostly talk about defending. And in that area, the players need to know three to four things. They need to know if this or that happens I have to react in this way. Apart from that, we deal with problem areas and correct mistakes. Mistakes happen in every game, they usually decide its outcome. In that area, I work with everybody in the same way.  Of course, we work on passing and timing, but definitely not as much.

The club currently sits second in the Austrian Premiership.  If they can maintain their current form (and the sign are good) they have every chance of finishing as league champions.

Forza Viola! In Peter Stöger we trust 🙂

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