Author Topic: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach  (Read 52241 times)

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baggie82

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Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« Reply #300 on: July 27, 2021, 03:06:11 PM »
Call them what you want. We need a consistent and hopefully prolific goalscorer. We don't have either at the moment.

I suspect CR played through the middle can cause some damage at this level.

skyclad99

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Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« Reply #301 on: July 27, 2021, 03:21:27 PM »
And therein lies the problem.

We are aware that the likes of Grant and Diangana are not good enough for the division above. I have reservations about Grant this season and I certainly think we need another forward. Sawyers, Livermore at al - Championship fodder and nothing more.

As it stands we have a competitive side but a promotion side? And even if we did it wouldn't be pretty next season.

Much still to do.

Over to you, Mr Lai....

Never going to happen, I am afraid that we are locked in purgatory for the forseeable future......
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Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« Reply #302 on: July 27, 2021, 03:46:54 PM »
i dont get the need for a classic old fashioned center forward, I would much prefer a SKP type forward especially if we are pressing high up and getting the ball forward quickly via Diangana / Grant / Robinson.

Do we need to hold the ball up and wait for the HRK / Austin / Zohore types to arrive?  don't think so.
As I understand it, Valerien's targeted long ball style requires a central forward who's good at holding the ball up and can bring the other 2 forwards plus the wing-backs into play. I'm sure he wants this switch of play to usually happen quickly rather than slowly, but the basic requirement of holding the play up seems to be much the same regardless.

On the face of it we don't really have anyone who's good at doing this, so it makes me concerned when people say we only need to sign one central forward. Obviously getting more than one would probably require Zohore to leave (assuming Grant is to be regarded as the left-sided forward, which seems to be his best position), but I just can't see Zohore being up to the task in more than one respect.

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Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« Reply #303 on: July 27, 2021, 09:32:49 PM »
The big problem we have a long with most teams with a limited budget is that agents hold onto their players until the final days of the window and hope for better deals or a bidding war, Most of our deals will inevitably be in that time frame I'm afraid, like it or not.
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Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« Reply #304 on: July 27, 2021, 11:56:05 PM »
As I understand it, Valerien's targeted long ball style requires a central forward who's good at holding the ball up and can bring the other 2 forwards plus the wing-backs into play. I'm sure he wants this switch of play to usually happen quickly rather than slowly, but the basic requirement of holding the play up seems to be much the same regardless.

On the face of it we don't really have anyone who's good at doing this, so it makes me concerned when people say we only need to sign one central forward. Obviously getting more than one would probably require Zohore to leave (assuming Grant is to be regarded as the left-sided forward, which seems to be his best position), but I just can't see Zohore being up to the task in more than one respect.

I think that if Zohore is anywhere near the starting eleven then we are in trouble.


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Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« Reply #305 on: July 30, 2021, 09:06:16 AM »
there is a fair bit of discussion about VI and style of play, recruitment to facilitate the style etc, my biggest concern about this is the clubs hierarchy having the tenacity to stick with a style / plan having recruited to fulfill the managers requirements. 

If when the inevitable difficult times happen, the board supports VI and shows patience, we will be ok I think, However there is nothing at all in our recent past to support this view with confidence, we know from history that they will react and look for a quick fix and a new manager will have a different set of requirements. thus plunging us into another cycle of chaotic change and re-build.

I really HOPE the 4 year contract is a sign of change and a more rigid commitment to a plan, HOPE is the the problem, heart says thats what they need to do, head says that they will revert to type. As we all know its the HOPE that kills you.

Time will tell, all we can do is get behind VI and his team and pray the club will do the same through the inevitable adversity when it comes.
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Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« Reply #306 on: July 31, 2021, 09:10:10 PM »
Just watched his post match Blues interview. Jeez does the guy come up for air!  ;D

Well done Val, I’m confident about this season.

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Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« Reply #307 on: July 31, 2021, 09:45:02 PM »
I hope to god he isn't as calm as he makes out with his post match comments regarding a striker. Blues were trash today and will be in trouble if they play like that. We need a striker. I'm hoping his comments were so we don't come across as desperate in the market meaning clubs won't try to pull a fast one on us.

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Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« Reply #308 on: July 31, 2021, 10:22:56 PM »
I hope to god he isn't as calm as he makes out with his post match comments regarding a striker. Blues were trash today and will be in trouble if they play like that. We need a striker. I'm hoping his comments were so we don't come across as desperate in the market meaning clubs won't try to pull a fast one on us.

I think he might be serious.

Grant, Grady and Robinson are arguably the best front 3 in the league. Add to that Zohore who is a championship striker, Phillips who can cover across the 3. Wouldn’t be suprised if we strengthened other areas before a striker.

I’d still be looking for a bit nasty centre forward. Diagne would work well in this team.
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Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« Reply #309 on: August 01, 2021, 09:41:50 AM »
I think he is genuinely calm about the squad in general. I think there are a number of aspects to this.
 
At a basic level it is certainly better than the squads he was working with at LASK or Barnsley. He has a serviceable starting XI and everybody is fit or fairly close to being fit. Equally they seem to have embraced his philosophy and working hard both on and off the pitch. I suspect from his perspective this is far more important than one or two additional signings.

As a club insider he will have a much better understanding of the state of play with regard comings and goings so it is easier for him to be philosophical about these matters than a fan who is clinging to every little bit of click bait on the internet for an update. As such he can park recruitment in the big pile of things he can't do anything about and focus on the things that he can do something about e.g. working with the players he has got rather than fretting about the ones he hasn't got

However almost regardless of what he might think about the squad he is going to be calm in his public statements. To do anything else runs counter to his coaching philosophy.

As a coach he demands a lot form his players and part of the deal is in return he isn't going to throw them under the bus even by implication. He might have 5 games with this squad before the window closes and he has to get the best performances out of it he can and he does not do that by suggesting that he doesn't have faith in them. The team sheet will tell it's own story but the players have to believe that he believes in them.   

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Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« Reply #310 on: August 01, 2021, 10:33:43 AM »
Excellent post, Stan.
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Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« Reply #311 on: August 01, 2021, 10:48:58 AM »
At a basic level it is certainly better than the squads he was working with at LASK or Barnsley.
I agree with everything else that you said, but his LASK squad won their group stage and got into the Round of 16 in the Europa League (beating PSV, Sporting Lisbon, Rosenborg and AZ Alkmaar in the process). Are you suggesting our squad would be capable of that?

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Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« Reply #312 on: August 01, 2021, 12:19:15 PM »
Well put Stan. Great summary.

Might I also add to the mix that we supporters have a role to play and should also try to show faith in the selected players on the pitch. It's not going to be easy to try to suppress our normal moaning attitude to certain players and some of us will never take to some players regardless of how things go for them, but maybe a little less vocally critical and a bit more vocally supportive during the games might help.

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Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« Reply #313 on: August 01, 2021, 12:44:39 PM »
The LASK performance in the Europa League Group was possibly one of the single biggest over performances in European competition in the last decade. It was not a case of a small club suddenly unearthing a generation of talent that subsequently being picked off by bigger clubs. Looking at the squad most are still playing at LASK or at a lower level and not a single one of the players is currently playing at any level significantly higher than the Austrian Bundesliga.     

In terms of quality you absolutely wouldn't expect them to win promotion from the Championship and haven't replicated the Europa League performances.
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Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« Reply #314 on: August 01, 2021, 01:39:14 PM »
I know its only a friendly but it does seem that the squad are buying into his philosophy and way of playing. In terms of first 11 we need strengthening but its quality on the bench and squad thats most glaring. Last season Val used his 5 subs in a lot of games and with the high press and intensity we will need to utilize the squad. It's not urgent but by Sept 1 we will need a few additions.

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Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« Reply #315 on: August 01, 2021, 01:47:38 PM »
While I'm getting nervous about the budget and our ability to recruit players I think we need, I'm getting more and more confident in Ismael. Something about him feels quite special. His ability to improve average players is making me think he could add some real value to our youth players while also helping the likes of Zohore and Grant to have some impact.

Early days, but it's looking like an inspired choice of manager.
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Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« Reply #316 on: August 01, 2021, 01:53:29 PM »
While I'm getting nervous about the budget and our ability to recruit players I think we need, I'm getting more and more confident in Ismael. Something about him feels quite special. His ability to improve average players is making me think he could add some real value to our youth players while also helping the likes of Zohore and Grant to have some impact.

Early days, but it's looking like an inspired choice of manager.

Agree with this - we also have a clearly defined style of play which we have not had since Pulis.

It is clear we’re going to press and it’s clear it’s going to be aggressive. There will be no half measures.
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Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« Reply #317 on: August 04, 2021, 09:04:15 PM »
With the season about to get underway I'm a little apprehensive about our chances for automatic promotion. Don't think we have strengthened at top of park to get us in top two. Ishmael prove me wrong  :P

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Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« Reply #318 on: August 04, 2021, 09:36:04 PM »
I think he might be serious.

Grant, Grady and Robinson are arguably the best front 3 in the league. Add to that Zohore who is a championship striker, Phillips who can cover across the 3. Wouldn’t be suprised if we strengthened other areas before a striker.

I’d still be looking for a bit nasty centre forward. Diagne would work well in this team.
I would argue sheff utd Fulham and even Bournemouth have A better front 3 than ours

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Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« Reply #319 on: August 04, 2021, 10:34:15 PM »
I suspect CR played through the middle can cause some damage at this level.
I keep reading that and thinking "Cristiano Ronaldo" and agreeing.

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Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« Reply #320 on: August 05, 2021, 09:09:46 AM »
There is an article this morning in the Telegraph by Jonh Percy who interviewed Valérie, but it’s behind a paywall.

Does anyone have a subscription and, if so, would you post it here for other members to read please?

Ps the article is titled “ 'I want us to be horrible to play': Valerien Ismael on revolutionising West Brom for a promotion push”
« Last Edit: August 05, 2021, 09:13:08 AM by AlbionFan »
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Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« Reply #321 on: August 05, 2021, 09:15:00 AM »
I did just post it but then remembered someone said it's dodgy to do so? Can anyone clarify if it's ok to copy and paste it, if so i will repaste it.

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Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« Reply #322 on: August 05, 2021, 09:29:03 AM »
You've paid for the content it is entirely yours to do what you wish to do with it. Obviously out of courtesy to the author acknowledge the source. It may inspire others to take up a subscription to the Telegraph. 
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Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« Reply #323 on: August 05, 2021, 09:36:18 AM »
I did just post it but then remembered someone said it's dodgy to do so? Can anyone clarify if it's ok to copy and paste it, if so i will repaste it.

Think I’m right in saying the admin are happy for you to copy and paste the story, it’s when people just post the link to the story I think annoys them…
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Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« Reply #324 on: August 05, 2021, 09:37:56 AM »
Ok thanks both, here we are then, from John Percy of The Telegraph :-



It is almost three months since West Bromwich Albion dropped out of the Premier League, but the Valérien Ismaël revolution is already in full swing.

He is sitting high up in the Hawthorns’ Smethwick End outlining his philosophy and vision for the future, and it instantly becomes clear that Albion’s new head coach means business.

Since his appointment in June, Ismaël has grabbed West Brom by the shirt collar and given the club an almighty shake, removing any lethargy and disappointment after relegation.

They start the Championship campaign on Friday against Bournemouth with Ismaël’s reputation high after taking Barnsley to the play-offs last season, utilising a relentlessly energetic, super-pressing approach which was the equivalent of a bludgeon to the senses of opponents.

West Brom will be one of the favourites to achieve promotion and under Ismaël, they aim to become a team nobody will want to face.

“It’s all about high-intensity on the pitch, being unpleasant for the opponent and giving everything for 90 minutes,” he says.

“In our stadium, with our fans, it has to be horrible for the opponent. We have to create an atmosphere of fear when they come here.

“Togetherness is very important and we need everyone. When one slips, we are dead - that is the motto.

“Only a few teams, like Manchester City, Barcelona and Real Madrid, are able to dominate the opponent in possession. My teams are able to dominate any team with intensity, and it doesn’t matter who we are playing.”

Ismaël is an impressive man, speaking with clarity and total conviction in his philosophy. A former centre-back in his playing days, at nearly 6ft 4in he is someone you want to keep happy.



He is also big on discipline, and made it clear days into his tenure that he would not tolerate any hangover from last season, when West Brom finished second-bottom with only five league wins.

Matheus Pereira, the Brazilian winger, has been frozen out in pre-season after informing the club of his desire to leave.

“We told the players very early on to forget what happened last season,” says Ismaël. “This is a restart for everyone. We are looking forward and it’s clear we need everyone in or out.

“When you are in, it’s 100 per cent. If you’re out, you’re out. We want to work with people who want to work with us and are proud to play for West Brom. This is what I want to see and the message is clear.”

Ismaël will be 46 in September and has worked as a manager for nearly a decade, with a wide breadth of experiences.

He has fought for promotion in Germany with Vfl Wolfsburg II, guided Austrian club LASK to the round of 16 in the Europa League [where they were beaten by Manchester United] before last season’s remarkable turnaround of Barnsley.

“I believe in my philosophy and over the last two years I’ve played 100 games with it at every level from Champions League qualification, the Europa League group stage and Championship,” he says.

“It’s a journey as a manager. You start the work, you fail or get rejection, then stand up and go again to improve your skills.

“I always knew how difficult it was to do this job but you stay strong and true to yourself.

“I’ve learned so much already. The big difference as a player is that you’re focused on just yourself, staying fit and recovery. As a manager you are responsible for everyone else.”

His achievements at Barnsley, losing narrowly over two legs in the play-off semi-final against Swansea, were inevitably going to attract interest from rival clubs.

Crystal Palace considered him in their managerial search before appointing Patrick Vieira, but it was West Brom who paid the £2 million compensation fee. Their commitment to him was underlined by the decision to offer a four-year contract.



“Barnsley was a successful story. It was always my dream to work in English football,” he says.

“It was the right choice and now West Brom is the next logical step forward for me as a manager.

“The intensity will not change, whether it is Barnsley or West Brom. The difference [here] is the squad and its quality. My expectation is that we will have more possession here than Barnsley.”

Ismaël has inherited a squad with a blend of experience and emerging young talent, though some fans do have concerns over the depth.

He has high hopes for record £20 million signing Grady Diangana (“he has huge quality, it could be a massive season for him”) and midfielder Alex Mowatt (“the exact profile of player we need”), who signed from Barnsley on a free transfer.

Pre-season has been meticulously planned, with short training sessions lasting usually 45 minutes. His players have to be super-fit to play under him, while he expects total professionalism away from the club.

Ismaël is also very reliant on data and analytics, offering a fascinating insight into his philosophy.

“We play 3-4-3 and all the players - the three centre-halves, wing-backs, the No. 6 and front-three - need to hit numbers to make sure we have that intensity,” he says.

“The numbers will be total distance, high-speed and sprinting. After that you have another measure which is the player load.

“When I choose a player he must not drop below the average line. If they do, the question is are they injured or unfit, or do we need another one.

“This is my way to success and the good thing with the data is that you don’t need finance, or an agent telling you things, it’s about finding the right player for the position.”

Ismaël has fully immersed himself into his new role. Days after his appointment he watched the documentary “Full Throstle” which details the history of the club. He has also met with representatives from The Albion Foundation, the club’s official charity partner.

He lives in nearby Sutton Coldfield, with his family - wife Karolina and daughters Lupita and Cataleya - remaining in Munich, though they are expected to attend the first home game against Luton.

The Ismaël revolution will be televised on Friday, as the 46-game slog begins. “It’s a tough, crazy, but interesting league. There are so many ways to play,” he says.

“Sometimes it’s just about set-pieces so we need to adapt and be flexible. We need to become a more complete team.

“We have the squad to do this and we’ll be completely ready against Bournemouth."