It is often hard to work out exactly what Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl wants each individual player to do in his setup.
Every member of his team has a set role in defence and attack and the pressing style the comes from this has certainly made an impression in the Premier League so far.
Now though, a training ground video has shown some interesting markings on a pitch at Staplewood that suggest how things work in attack.
The video (below) shows an attacking drill. Lines split the pitch into five sections vertically towards the goal, with three attackers facing two defenders and a goalkeeper.
Southampton’s attacking movements become clear
It is hard to make out the players involved apart from Nathan Tella who eventually scores, but the movements become clear as the drill plays out.
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Tella starts centrally and passes to his teammate, who then drives centrally towards the defenders whilst Tella makes his run into the outside right section.
The ball is passed out to the left as the left winger stays in the outside left section. Both players on the flanks stretch the area that the defenders have to cover and make it harder to defend.
The central player roams between the left, right and central sections to provide a passing option as they look for a route to goal. These movements have actually been seen in matches and have produced goals this season – a fluid front four using these areas of the pitch to create space and chances.
Use of pitch markings on training pitches is an idea that has been used by other teams. Pep Guardiola uses them to adjust his players to his methods at Manchester City because of the importance of half-spaces in his style.
Now it appears that Ralph Hasenhuttl uses these to get his 4-2-2-2 system working to full efficiency, and it is methods like this that will get his players carrying out their jobs in the way he wants.