With former Granada boss José González installed as Malaga’s new head coach, fans of the Costa del Sol team will be hoping for a change in fortunes (and they will need one if they are to avoid relegation) but can also expect a distinct change in style.
Though he lacks top-flight experience, having only managed 33 games in La Liga, González has a successful fight against relegation on his CV – he saved Granada from the drop on the penultimate game of the 2015-16 season.
However, his experience in the lower divisions with the likes of Cadiz, Cordoba, Albacete and Rayo Vallecano has certainly defined his style. This is what we can expect to see:
Teams managed by José González tend to have defensive organisation at their core and a strong focus on game management.
They defend in numbers, often with ten men behind the ball, and look to break quickly, using well-rehearsed counterattacking moves.
A 4-4-2, with a twist
The coach believes that 4-4-2 provides a solid team block to keep attacking teams at bay and sufficient numbers in attack.
The key to this is a second striker that can help in midfield but quickly get up in support of the number 9.
Throughout González’s career so far, this position is occupied by a player not normally considered a forward. From the players currently available to him, Adrián González, son of former boss Míchel, could be most suited.
On the wings, González prefers using ‘inverted’ wingers which could see a new wide role for Diego Rolan on the left while a role up top for Adalberto Peñaranda is likely with the attacker having worked with the new boss at Granada.
A threat from set pieces
The side will certainly be well-drilled in training and González will be looking to add set pieces to the side’s attacking repertoire as well as cutting out unnecessarily risky play at the back.
González’s first game in charge comes away to Eibar on Monday night.