It's no secret that we're big fans of Jordan Allen here on RSL Soapbox, and that's been the case for a long time now. His ability to pinpoint what's wrong tactically is something we can add to the list of qualities we admire about the kid.
One of his qualities we're excited by is that he speaks openly and frankly about the tactical side of the game, and it's something you don't get with a lot of players. You won't usually find everyone talking about the formation in a nuanced way, and while there's no real problem with that, it does give us a chance to really think highly of the players who do.
We're talking about players like Tony Beltran or former RSL man Ned Grabavoy, both of whom have been great sources of genuine tactical discussion.
This week, in an interview on the official RSL radio show, OnFrame, Allen talked about some of the problems the team has experienced with the formation. Below are two excerpts from that interview, which you really should check out in its entirety. (Emphasis ours.)
I think a big part of our success moving forward is going to be if we can be more involved in the build-up play. I think at times we've been a little bit too north and south trying to find the killer ball right away. I think when the 4-3-3 is played correctly, your wingers are tucking in, they're going outside, they're getting the ball early. People think of it sometimes as a counterattacking formation, but it's really a possession-oriented formation. It's important to get those wide players involved in the build-up, that it's not so direct all the time. I think once we start doing that, we'll start playing a better brand of football, and I think we'll start creating a lot more opportunities.
I think it takes a while — especially when you're not having the same consistent lineup week-in, week-out. It takes time, especially when guys aren't healthy all the time. We've had problems with suspensions; that also doesn't help. But we don't want to use that as an excuse — we still want to be picking up the results, even if we're not playing the way we want to. I think in the next month or two, we'll start to see a little bit better brand.