Fox Football Fix: Adam Peacock


So Josep went to Brisbane needing three points and one strange thing happened. 

So Josep went to Brisbane needing three points and one strange thing happened. 

He put in plans to play a 4-4-2.

Possibly the most un-Josep thing Josep has done with a football team since we’ve come to know him in Australia. 

He didn’t do it in Adelaide. Far from it. He was open to the odd idea from his team there when it didn’t start well, and gradually gained their trust to the point his relationship was more big brother than coach carrying big stick. 

But he didn’t change his system. 

So even though the cultural icon he developed his ideas from – FC Barcelona – is currently using a 4-4-2, it was a surprise to see Josep put two out and out strikers, Oriol Riera and Brendon Santalab on the pitch to start a game. 


So why change now? Simple. The players available forced his hand! 

It re-opens that dusty old shoebox with the age-old debate stored away in it – what makes a team tick; the system and players, or players and system? 

Systems are so in vogue. Is it FIFA? 12-year-olds waste hours with their friends tweaking that 3-5-2 to a 4-3-3 to one up them on a Playstation. 

Is it the shrinking world of football where we can flick a Foxtel remote in little old Australia through seven channels of football from all parts of the globe? 

Is it the simple case of everything in the modern age being over-analysed? 

Whatever the case for systems, there is one truism. They are worthless without players. 


If the players are good enough they’ll find a way to make it world, like, for instance, if a room full of brilliant doctors were working in a dilapidated hospital in a third world country… they’d find a way to make it work. They’d need only the basic instruments to make it work because their genius lies within rather than what surrounds. Give them a better system to work in, suited to their strengths, and yep, wow, chances are the outcome will make you smile. 

Now I’m not saying Mark Bridge and Brendon Santalab and Oriol Riera are about to perform a triple bypass with a Stanley knife but what I will say is put them together on an A-League field together and there’s more than half a chance they’ll make something happen. 

Like Friday in Brisbane. Like the next time they’re on the park together. 

There is some renewed hope, with good reason, because Josep saw a system that didn’t quite suit who he had to fit into it and put aside what he was telling himself would work but clearly wasn’t. 

His dream system can wait for another day – maybe another season – when he has the players. 

Now watch him on Wednesday against Adelaide go back to his 4-4-3 and make all of what you read irrelevant!

Or not, because Wednesday could be another day Josep rolls out a different system. 

He’s done it now before.