Craig Levein – Pioneer or Plank?

Posted on October 11, 2010 by

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Following Craig Levein’s recent comments about his much talked about 4-6-0 formation I decided to look a bit further into his reasoning and post game comments. I suppose in some way I should consider myself privileged as I witnessed first hand Craig Levein’s ground breaking formation, 4-6-0. Yes, 4-6-0, the equivalent of having a gun with no bullets and about as useful as Anne Frank’s drum kit.

 After Scotland’s limp defeat Levein said “We will be sitting here in two years from now and teams will be playing like that on a regular basis. Mark my words, I don’t know when it will happen – one, two, three years down the line. People will be playing with no actual striker”  If I ever happen to watch a team play like Scotland did on Friday then I will stop watching football. Obviously Levein fancies himself as a bit of a Mourinho, and as one Scottish friend said to me “he is putting himself in the shop window for potential Championship/lower premiership employers”

Everyone knows that Scotland are not blessed with the greatest set of players right now, but how can you approach a game aiming for a 0-0, something which Levein openly admitted was the plan. Personally I think International management has turned Levein a bit crazy, the gap in between games is too much for poor old Craig to handle. When asked about his approach to Czech game he stated “I’ve studied and looked at them for months. My intention was to go there and hopefully get a 0-0 or better. It didn’t work but for me the game plan was sound”. Months of study and he came up with a 4-6-0 formation against a Czech team ranked 37th in World, below powerhouses like Algeria, Gabon and Australia.

Even goalkeeper Petr Cech came out and said he has never had a quieter game in his career, for Chelsea or Czech Republic. Cech added “Before the game we were nervous because we had already lost to Lithuania at home, I’ve never experienced anything like that in my whole career. I didn’t have a save to make.” Of course, hindsight is a wonderful thing but even if Scotland did manage to get a 0-0 would the reaction be different? I think not, Levein would have still be accused of playing far too defensive and it would have been two points dropped.

With Spain coming up tomorrow evening Levein has admitted he will change the system back to a 4-5-1, but I wonder how long until we see Levein’s pioneering 4-6-0 system back in action, October 2011 Liechtenstein away?

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