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Analysis: Adi Hutter ready to excite at AS Monaco

AS Monaco’s appointment of Adi Hutter as their new manager is certainly an exciting one as the club aim to propel themselves back towards the top of Ligue 1.

Wanting to bring in someone fresh after Philippe Clement failed to qualify the team for Europe due to a disappointing end to the season, it’ll be fascinating seeing how Hutter fares.

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Having enjoyed plenty of success in the past that includes winning league titles in Austria and Switzerland, guiding Eintracht Frankfurt to the semi-finals of the 2018-19 Europa League and being voted coach of the year by German newspaper Bild and the Union of Professional Footballers, he joins with an impressive list of achievements.

Arriving with a defined style, which should see Les Monegasques play in an attackingly-geared manner going forward and favour a high pressing approach out of possession, Hutter will look to immediately instill his philosophy.

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“We are very pleased to welcome Adi Hutter to AS Monaco. Over the last few years, Adi has proved himself in a number of different leagues, as well as on the continental stage,” insisted Director of Football Thiago Scuro.

“This wealth of experience, combined with his leadership qualities and lively, forward-looking style, is exactly what we are looking for as we aim to take the first team to the next level. Welcome Adi.”

To start with his offensive plans, and the Austrian tactician will most likely set up his side in his preferred 3-4-3 shape (or a variation of this), despite also using a 4-2-3-1 at times, which the players should adapt to smoothly either way due to Clement often implementing both of the aforementioned systems.

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Wanting his wing-backs to provide the width and to stretch opposition rearguards horizontally and vertically, the likes of Caio Henrique and Vanderson especially, plus Ismail Jakobs, Krepin Diatta and Gelson Martins, will be ideal fits for these roles courtesy of their attacking skills and ability to not only drive at opponents, but also to deliver enticing crosses and cutbacks.

Eager for his teams to switch the play to isolate the wing-backs, feed them with through balls over the top and for them to embark on dangerous blindside runs (that are so hard to defend) into the area when the ball is on the opposite flank, watch for these aspects to feature heavily.

Meanwhile, it’ll be interesting to see how he deploys his front three, which could either be two strikers and one attacking midfielder or one forward and two 10s, as ASM have a host of players who can fill these posts.

Picking three from Breel Embolo, Takumi Minamino (who were coached by Hutter at Borussia Monchengladbach and Red Bull Salzburg respectively), Aleksandr Golovin, Wissam Ben Yedder, Kevin Volland, Eliesse Ben Seghir, Myron Boadu, Maghnes Akliouche, Diatta and Martins will be quite the conundrum for him, but also give him many vital options and combinations.

Set to pull defenders all over and keep them guessing to create space to run in behind, get free between the lines and wreak havoc inside the area, it’ll be fascinating observing how their frontline mechanics develop.

It also warrants mention how the trio of attackers, who will be regularly in close proximity to one another, should be able to engage in quick combination play to speed up attacks to increase their chances of generating openings and hurt shorthanded opponents on the break while placing doubt in the minds of defenders.

Seeing as the wing-backs will be encouraged to get high and wide and the attackers urged to rush into gaps between defenders to push backlines deep, it’s not uncommon to see Hutter’s teams morph into a 3-2-5 animation at stages.

Expected to want his side to build out from the back patiently before breathing life into attacks with vertical passes when the time is right, the goalkeeper, back three and central midfield duo will be key towards their success.

Showing in the past that he’s happy to adapt the positioning of these players in build-up to mix things up, create overloads and open passing lanes, watch for little tweaks like the mids dropping deeper and wider and the outside central defenders spreading out towards the touchline and being given the freedom to advance upfield.

This base also ensures they have solid coverage in case of a turnover, with ASM’s current energetic mids in Youssouf Fofana, Mohamed Camara and Eliot Matazo all ideal to act as excellent ball winners when possession is lost.

Shifting the focus to the defensive end, and Hutter will most likely instruct his troops to press high in an attempt to suffocate adversaries, force errors and win the ball back high to get at unset defences.

Typically favouring a man-oriented approach to stifle opponents with a high line to accompany this when harrying assertively, his approach works wonders when it’s executed as desired.

If the press is broken, his teams are also content sitting in a mid or deep block to wait for an opportunity to spring forward on the counter, where they usually have multiple outlets to expose opponents.

When it doesn’t all work out, as seen in his spell at Gladbach, where his team conceded over 60 goals, things can go very awry.

Although a decent chunk of the goals his team let in back then arose from individual errors and lapses in concentration in both open-play and set-pieces, many came about when his team were exposed in transition due to them pouring numbers forward when attacking as well.

Obviously the wide zones were an area of concern, for their foes knew huge gaps were left behind the onrushing wing-backs. The lack of coverage also wasn’t helped by the mids regularly bombing on, thus limiting their capacity to counterpress effectively to nullify transitions swiftly.

With ASM conceding 58 goals in Ligue 1 last term, it’s imperative he addresses their shortcomings here. But considering Hutter’s had over a year away from coaching, it’ll be anticipated he’ll have devised some measures to tighten things up in terms of his outlook in this phase.

Knowing he has what it takes to transform teams with his proven base formula for success, Hutter will be confident he can get Monaco back to firing on all cylinders.

Although it won’t be easy, once he settles in, finalises the finer tactical details and the players begin to adapt to his framework, there’s every chance he can put Les Monegasques back on an upward trajectory.

As the days pass by and the season edges ever closer, for now, though, all eyes will be on which players come and go in the transfer window and how the early weeks of his tenure unfold as he looks to stamp his mark at the Stade Louis II.

Thankfully, he’s been given plenty of time to familiarise himself with the players and his new environment, which should certainly increase his chances of being a hit.

Ready to tackle the challenge ahead with gusto and to get his side playing to their strengths and in his image, the Hutter era at Monaco looms as a hugely exciting one for the club.

Watching how it unfolds will be captivating, as both he and the club will be doing everything possible to ensure Monaco return to the upper echelons of Ligue 1 sooner rather than later.