Things to Know About Manager Vladimir Ivić

13 August 2020 03:45

Vladimir Ivić could soon be heading to the Premier League as Watford are understood to be close to recruiting the Serbian manager after his departure from Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Having spent his young managerial career in Greece and Israel, Ivić is yet to establish himself on the global stage, but he has made waves wherever he has gone thus far in his career and the Hornets will hope that he can do the same in England.

Here's everything you need to know about Ivić.

1. He's No Stranger to Instant Success

Ivic has already won plenty of silverware | Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images

Ivić is all about going to a club and becoming an instant success, having won silverware in his first seasons in all three of his jobs so far.

Beginning with PAOK's Under-20 side in 2013, Ivić won the league title in his first season. When promoted to the senior side, he needed just one year to win the Greek Cup.

That earned him a move to Maccabi, where he stormed to the league title in extraordinary fashion.

2. His Sides Have Smashed Records

The 2018/19 season was Ivić's first with Maccabi, and he ended up winning the title by a record-setting 31 points, losing just one league game all season.

In 2019/20, Maccabi repeated the feat again. They cantered to the league title, with their only loss coming on the final day of the season.

3. He Loves Using Different Formations to Attack

Ivic is not scared to change formation | TF-Images/Getty Images

Perhaps the most impressive thing about Ivić's success is that he has shown a willingness to adjust his tactics to counter specific threats - José Mourinho-esque.

“I know what I want and, perhaps even more important, what I imagine is realistic to implement,” Ivic told Danas. "Personally, I like attacking and aggressive football, with high pressure, but I tailor the scheme according to the circumstances.

“For example, we played most of the championship in a 4-2-3-1 formation or 4-3-3, and after the second round of the play-offs, the absence of the five most creative players forced me to change my concept.

“So I switched to 3-5-2 as only in that system could I use and combine the existing skills (of the players).”

4. But His Football Isn't Always Attractive

One criticism of Ivić is that he can be too efficient at times. His teams are so focused on winning that it's not always fun to watch.

His sides don't score an enormous number of goals, with Maccabi often winning games 1-0 or 2-1, but there was the occasional 4-0 thrashing which made it all worthwhile.

It's something which Ivić is keen to change as he loves attacking football, but he's yet to fully figure things out at that end of the field. Fortunately, he's got defending down to a tee.

5. He Doesn't Have Star Players

Ivic is not afraid to ruffle some feathers | Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

It doesn't matter who you are, if Ivić thinks you're underperforming, he'll tell you and he won't be afraid to drop you.

The boss has benched some of his top players in the past as a warning that they cannot dip below his high standards, and he's never scared to whip out the hairdryer treatment if needed.

6. He Usually Has a Tough Time in England

Ivic has often struggled against English sides | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

A former attacking midfielder, Ivić enjoyed plenty of success in his playing days, but coming up against English sides was rarely fun for the Serb.

His first taste of English football came against Newcastle United in the Cup Winners' Cup, and after falling to a 2-1 loss in the first game, he did play 90 minutes of a 1-0 win soon after. However, that's when things started to go downhill.

1999 saw him lose twice against Leeds United. He was dropped from the squad when his team beat Newcastle in 2003. He stayed on the bench for a 1-1 draw with Bolton in 2007. He drew 0-0 with Spurs in 2011 before being benched for a 2-1 win later that season.

It's safe to say that Ivić probably wants some revenge on English football.

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Source: 90min