Blackpool confirm Riga as manager: What to expect

What can Blackpool expect of their team under recently appointed manager Jose Riga.

The 56-year old Belgian saved Charlton from relegation from the Championship last season, although refused to stay on over the summer. Having agreed a deal in principle last week, the Seasiders announced the appointment on their official website - confirming that a one-year rolling deal has been agreed between club and player.

The coach has over 20 years of experience in football management, including spells with Standard Liege and as technical director for AC Milan's youth academy, and he is highly regarded by his peers - including Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who invited him to spend a week training the Real Madrid squad in 2011.

We take a look at how Blackpool can expect to line-up next season, as they attempt to move away from the recent relegation scraps that have characterised their existence.


When Riga joined Charlton, they were at the foot of the table, and in dire need of defensive stability. Because of this, he set his side up in a 4-1-4-1 formation, packing the midfield with willing tacklers, taking the strain off the defensive unit. However, when in attack, the style merged to a 4-1-3-2, with dedicated attackers joining the lone striker. A strong defensive midfielder is a must, as they take full responsibility for defensive duties when the reaming midfielders enter the attacking phase.


Possession was not a key trait of Riga's side, with a preference to sit deep with the four midfielders winning the ball and breaking into the final third quickly. A need for quick transitions is required, and, with the departure of Tom Ince, a creative outlet is needed to quicken the move between defensive and attacking phase. A seasonal average possession of 47% per game, and a 69% pass completion rate, show a reliance upon athleticism over technicality, and, although restricted by the existing players, Blackpool shared a remarkably similar style last season. Charlton also scored a higher percentage of their goals from open play, whereas Blackpool used set-pieces to their advantage. Despite 50% of their shots coming from outside the box, it represents a willingness to use the ball in open play, rather than playing for fouls.

Sporting Conduct

Blackpool were on the receiving end of much criticism for their in-match conduct last season. Having received 80 yellow and 10 red cards, manager Paul Ince also suffered a five match stadium ban for violent conduct towards a match official in the tunnel following victory at Bournemouth. Charlton, on the other hand, received only 58 yellow and four red cards for the duration of the season, and committed on average less fouls per game than their rivals. Although fair play represents nothing in terms of league position, it is much easier to support a team that plays within the rules of the game.

The appointment is impressive for Blackpool, as they undergo something of a transitional season. Whether Riga has an immediate impact remains to be seen, but many will be hoping that he is given the time needed to impart his vision upon his own personal squad.

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