David Wagner's Norwich City hammered Preston 4-0 in the Championship with a vibrant style of attacking football. Ben Lee breaks down the tactical analysis. 

Ben is a City season ticket holder and author of the NCFC Analysis twitter account, which unpicks every Canaries' game with an analytical report highlighting tactical strengths and weaknesses.

This is what Ben made of Wagner's impressive league debut at Deepdale.

Preston versus Norwich City: The Gegenpress has arrived

Score: 0 - 4

Possession (pc): 37 - 63

xG: 1.52 - 3.57

· Norwich's structure in possession

· Creating passing angles

· Rotations in the final third

· Gegenpressing and defensive transitions

Base formations:

Both sides were set up in 4-2-3-1 base formations, but Norwich were very rarely in this shape. McLean was, generally, much deeper than Sara.

The Pink Un:

In possession, McLean often dropped between the centre backs, or between one centre back and a full back, to create a back three. This is a relatively unknown tactical concept called La Salida Lavolpiana, it was a key rotation within Norwich's attacking structure. McLean dropping deep gave Aarons and Giannoulis freedom to move high and wide.

Sara moved into the position of a single pivot, providing a link between the defensive and midfield thirds. Norwich’s rotations created a 3-1 rest defence, with six players stretching Preston's back four. Norwich's width came from the full backs, while Hernandez and Dowell occupied the half spaces.

These rotations suit the players within the system. As a number 10, Kieran Dowell is suited to occupying the half spaces. Aarons and Giannoulis are most dangerous when given creative freedom, and McLean thrives when given time on the ball to pick passes.

Key to ball progression is the creation of passing angles. In possession, Norwich created diagonal passing angles between the defensive and midfield thirds. The width provided by the attacking six created numerous passing options into the attacking third.

With McLean dropping to create a back three, wide triangles were created on both sides. There was a triangle on the right between Dowell, Aarons and Omabamidele; and on the left

between Hernandez, Giannoulis and Hanley. At times McLean would create the wide triangles instead of the centre backs. These wide triangles provided a direct link between the defensive and attacking thirds.

The Pink Un:

One phase of play Wagner admitted he was yet to work on, ahead of the Blackburn game, were the rotations in the attacking third. Against Preston, there were numerous rotations Norwich used in the final third:

1) With Hernandez and Dowell occupying the half spaces, the width was provided by Aarons and Giannoulis. The full backs would often overlap to create overloads against Preston's full backs.

2) Dowell and Hernandez occasionally moved wide - vacating the half spaces - leaving room for underlapping runs from Aarons and Giannoulis. This was a common occurrence on the left wing, with Hernandez preferring to stay wide.

3) Dowell began another rotation when he dropped deeper to support the ball, leaving the half space open for Teemu Pukki. Sargent was then able to move up front to occupy the central zone vacated by Pukki.

4) If Giannoulis was involved deeper in the build-up, Hernandez provided the width allowing Sargent to move into the half space.

Norwich committed players forward to execute the counter press (gegenpress), and to trap Preston in their own half, when possession was lost. If Norwich's counter press failed, they transitioned into a 4-2-3-1. If Norwich were unable to regain possession in Preston's half, they dropped into a 4-4-1-1.

In less than two weeks, Norwich's intensity - both in and out of possession - has increased dramatically. On Saturday, Norwich were able to trap Preston in their own half, thanks to their intense counter press. Fast transitions, in possession, also caused significant problems for Preston.

In addition to an increase in intensity, Norwich's attacking structure was much more organised against Preston. This created clear routes for ball progression in the build-up. After David Wagner’s first league game in charge of Norwich, there are clear signs of improvement.

You can read all Ben's previous analysis of Norwich City games via his social media accounts.

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