A Big Question: Can Haris Medunjanin fit into a high-pressing 4-4-2 set-up?
It seems very, very very very likely that the Union are going to shift away from the slow build, kill 'em with possession 4-2-3-1 that they really did put to good use last year – easily the best year in club history, all things considered. New sporting director Ernst Tanner has been open about wanting to see a change in the team's approach, and a cursory look at his background makes it clear: 4-4-2, high press.
I'm not in love with this idea. First, because Philly were just a little bit of experience in central defense (which they earned last season) and one goalscoring winger away from being really good. And second, because the guy who was arguably their most crucial piece doesn't really fit into that system.
Medunjanin is a regista. I think he's the league's best at that spot, and was central to everything good Philly produced:
the touches from Medunjanin and @AleBedoya17 will get the oohs and ahhs (as they should), but this first time pass through the lines by @K_J_Rose is some @StephCurrySquad ish. pic.twitter.com/XR7YSLn5tC— Adam Cann (@adamtcann) August 20, 2018
What he's not is a ground-covering central midfield terror, which is what the high press pretty much demands out of the No. 6 role. If they really are going to go fast-and-furious, I don't see a spot in the XI for him.
Maybe it'll be worth it when all's said and done. Homegrown CM Derrick Jones seems a pretty natural fit, and there are other young players on the verge of pushing through. Maybe this is a case of moving away from what worked pretty well for something destined to work really well.
Maybe. But then again, maybe not.