Vladimir Ivić could soon be heading to the Premier League as Watford are understood to be close to signing the Serbian manager after leaving Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Having spent his young managerial career in Greece and Israel, Ivić is yet to establish himself on the world stage, but has made waves wherever he has gone in his career and the Hornets will be hoping that England I can do the same.
Here’s everything you need to know about Ivic.
Ivic has already won plenty of silverware / Laszlo Szirtesi / Getty Images
Ivić is all about going to the club and finding immediate success, having won silverware in his first seasons in all three jobs so far.
Starting with PAOK’s under-20 team in 2013, Ivić won the league title in his first season. Promoted to the senior side, he needed just one year to win the Greek Cup.
He moved him to Maccabi, where he won the league title in extraordinary fashion.
Air Ivic’ pic.twitter.com/vlS17RPd18
— maccabitlvfc (@MaccabiTLVFC) June 27, 2020
The 2018/19 season was Ivić’s first with Maccabi, and he won the title with a record 31 points, losing just one league game all season.
In 2019/20, Maccabi repeated this feat again. With their only defeat on the last day of the season, they went on to win the league title.
Ivic isn’t afraid to change formation / TF-Images/Getty Images
Perhaps most impressive about Ivić’s success is his willingness to adjust his tactics to counter specific threats – José Mourinho-esque.
“I know what I want and perhaps more importantly, it’s realistic to realize what I envision,” Ivic told Dance. “Personally, I like attacking and aggressive football with a lot of pressure, but I develop a scheme according to the situation.
“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 made me change. Forced. My imagination.
“So I switched to 3-5-2 because only in that system I can use and integrate the existing skills (of the players).”
Vladimir Ivic: “We won because we played organized and strong football” https://t.co/t1gW0T88qm pic.twitter.com/ju0oc8W6Q0
— maccabitlvfc (@MaccabiTLVFC) December 29, 2018
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 teams didn’t score many goals, Maccabi often won games 1-0 or 2-1, but there was the occasional 4-0 thrashing that made it all worthwhile.
That’s something Ivić is keen to change as he likes attacking football, but he has yet to fully figure things out at that end of the pitch. Luckily, he’s defending down to a tee.
Ivic isn’t afraid to ruffle some feathers/Gabriel Maltanti/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 sink below his high standards, and is never afraid to dish out the hairdryer treatment if need be.
Ivic has often struggled against English sides/Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
A former attacking midfielder, Ivić enjoyed considerable success in his playing days, but coming up against English teams was rarely fun for the Serb.
His first taste of English football came against Newcastle United in the Cup Winners’ Cup, and after losing the first game 2–1, he played 90 minutes immediately after in a 1–0 win. However, that’s when things started to go downhill.
1999 saw him lose twice against Leeds United. In 2003, he was dropped from the squad when his team defeated Newcastle. He was on the bench for a 1-1 draw with Bolton in 2007, a 0-0 draw with Spurs in 2011 and later came off the bench for a 2-1 win. Weather
It’s safe to say that Ivić probably wants some revenge on English football.
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