New York Red Bulls' new head coach Gerhard Struber spoke with the team's official podcast and shared some of his thoughts on tactics as well as what he's looking for in players. One moment that stood out in particular was the need for a mix of youth and experience. This season the team has leaned younger and will need to look for that experience whether its on the team now or outside.
"Young players, they learn very quick," said Struber. "They learn very quick. They are ready to learn things that are necessary in this philosophy, this style of play. We need, from the one side, the young players with the big heart to learn and also with smart decisions. But I need also experience in the team. I think when we have a good mix of that we are ready for good results."
While New York is one of the youngest teams in the league, there is experience on the squad as well. Players like Sean Davis, Aaron Long and Daniel Royer have years of MLS experience but the same cannot be said for other areas of the field or even the bench. The balance is off for New York and it has led to inconsistent moments and results throughout the 2020-21 season.
Struber isn't holding back his love for the high-pressure offense that New York has trademarked in the league. While it needs adjustments, the Austrian manager has expressed just how much he hopes to implement those tactics that have become known in all of the major Red Bull teams around the world.
"I had a big education in the last few years," said Struber. "Especially in the Red Bull style of play. I think the proactive playing style, everyone knows, especially pressing is a big part of this game. In the end, to have success, it's a big key to winning games. Also, in all four phases of the game, we have good answers. I think on the ball we have a good plan and we need a good positioning and, in the end, players that understand football in all four phases."
The new coach's excitement couldn't come at a better time as the team heads into their last game of the MLS season having already clinched a spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs. All that remains is a push to accomplished what has eluded the club all these years, winning MLS Cup. To do so will require the right kind of tactical adjustments which the team has not shown in the past.
It is still unknown is Struber will be able to take over the team this season. While New York appears to have intentions of having that happen in 2020, there are still lingering visa issues that keep the new coach on the sidelines. In the meantime, head coach Bradley Carnell will continue leading the club that seemed destined for regular season failure just months ago.
"I saw a team with big motivations," said Struber when asked about what he saw in the team before joining. "I can see many players in a very good direction. We have to work when I come to New York. Especially on structure. More in details and I feel I can see a team has a very good shape, with a very good motivation on the field."