Barcelona started in a bad way, losing to Hercules at the Camp Nou and trailing behind Mourinho’s Real Madrid, who seemed set on breaking Barcelona’s dominance in Spain. This has meant that Guardiola’s alternative formation has had to change, and he has been experimenting with a system with one traditional striker dropping deep, with a supporting cast of three – composed of Messi, Pedro Rodriguez and Andres Iniesta. The creative midfield players are chosen by Pep to play in Zones 6 and 8, and, 13 and 15; the reasoning behind it being that they are the popular “half-spaces” that most opponents’ formations can’t cover. The form of Pique and Puyol also tapered towards the end of his reign which made Barca more susceptible to opposition attacks, the defence being an area he did not address. Every masterpiece needs a canvas; and Guardiola’s canvas was Positional Play – a football philosophy assimilated by the Catalan during his football journey around the world. However, the way Guardiola’s team used to defend proved to be the foundation on which teams built their defensive strategy on. Boateng would often pull wide and operate almost as a full-back in support of Lahm and Müller ahead of him. When I mentioned that “numbers are of least importance” for Pep, I meant that there is no way the team remains structured in a 4-3-3 in all phases of the game. Opposition bad control of the ball, bad touch, or bad pass. Josep Guardiola, Pep Confidential ... the 4-3-3 formation or a variation of it (3-4-3 / 3-1-3-3) has generally been in the helm. This formation like the 4-1-4-1 last year can also seamlessly morph into a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3, a 3-5-2, or even a 3-2-2-3 (as against Manchester United in the Champions League last year) as the situation demands. Alves is the attacking full back whereas Abidal is the full back that acts more as a third center back but also attacks the wing when needed. This is the exact reason why Guardiola hates the word “tiki-taka”; it means passing the ball for the sake of passing. Sergino DEST. The home side played a 2-2-6 formation, while the visitors went with an even more ambitious 1-2-7. It will get even better when Thiago returns from injury for he brings with him an added dimension where he can play double-pivot with Lahm (as Kroos did last year). This fluidity in changing positions is the key to unlocking defenses and scoring goals all while also taking into account the capacity of the opponent to hit the team on counters. He learns from his previous experiments, reinforces what worked while reanalysing the elements that didn’t (like Schweinsteiger not working well in his fluid formations and encouraging Lahm to play a box-to-box role this year) and tweaking them. My main purpose was to recreate Pep's all around philosophy based on players' movement rather than a particular formation or single roles. From now to the end of the season, we may yet see more new tactics and formations from the Spaniard’s box. For example, let’s take 3 players, Pedro has the ball and located in Zone 16, Xavi in Zone 7, and Dani Alves in Zone 8. The presence of Lewandowski has accentuated the talents of his midfielders. Embed from Getty Images. The 3-man backline sacrifices width for numerical superiority in dealing with opposing attackers while providing a man advantage in midfield. If yes, then Villa, Pedro, Iniesta, or Xavi can exploit the space left behind and make a run towards goal. The pivot pushes to the side to open up space for Xavi to drop deep and collect the ball from the keeper; acting as an extra man who isn’t marked. L foot. The common occurrence was Busquets in the defensive center of the circle, Xavi closer to him on the right, and Iniesta on the left but in an advanced position. In the second leg, Barca changed their formation to what was effectively a 3–3–1–3, with David Villa in a centre-forward role, allowing Messi space between the lines and completely demolishing Milan's shape, ending in a 4–0 Barcelona victory. If he moved up to support Lewandowski, Lahm would go right to provide width and again would be supported by Boateng. By the end of the 2008-09 season Barcelona had won a whole host of trophies. The team’s main focus was to overload the center in order to free the two wingers by getting them isolated against the full back marking either one. And if there’s one word that would aptly sum up all of Guardiola’s coaching adventures so far, it would be ‘dynamism’. Compact. ****- The field map has been taken from Spielverlagerung.com and the numbers for the zones have been added by me. Philippe COUTINHO. In his first three seasons at the club, Guardiola used the 4-3-3 formation that Barcelona have been synonymous with for decades. M. C. Torres 05/04/2015 0 The number of players … But, the uncompromising perfection by the gaffer for his style of play led him to immediate success. Xavi is the controller who sets the team’s tempo as required and recycles possession towards areas with less opposition pressure. This is reflected when comparing the match stats for the two sides. That’s not all; Guardiola has thrown in another new tweak in the Bavarian giants’ strategy, which has been quite fascinating. Valdes will be utilized to escape the press as he is the spare man thus creating 6 vs 5 with the full-backs being the potential outlets after Valdes receives the pass from Busquets. The extra man enables them to pass the ball out smoother. Guardiola has used a variety of formations including fielding three-at-the-back against Sheffield United this season, but usually lines out in 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1. And as brilliant a sweeper-keeper as Manuel Neuer is, he could not always save the day for them, especially against quality opposition. Looking at their system, one might think that Barcelona concedes goals easily due to the risky attacking positioning that the team carries out on the pitch. The mobility the Pole brings into that frontline allows Pep to use different combinations of attacking midfielders behind him. Furthermore, triangles and rhombuses all over the pitch are extremely necessary meaning that the players must be in their peak mental awareness to be able to connect with each other and ensure passing lanes are available at all times. The classic Barca 4-3-3 was most used, but there were occasional changes to 3-4-3 and even 3-3-4 if the game allowed. Pique’s forays forward also meant a covering job for Busquets to drop back and aid Puyol and Abidal. R foot. The one in the middle would usually sit deeper as a libero. And in attack, the formation moulds into a 3-4-1-2 or 3-4-2-1 using either one attacking midfielder (Götze/Kroos) behind two strikers (Mandzukic/Robben and Müller) or two attacking midfielders (Kroos/Müller, Kroos/Götze) and the lone striker (Robben/Müller/Mandzukic). We notice the use of cover shadows by the center forward and midfield players to intercept in case any passes were made towards the center. There’s also Robert Lewandowski at his disposal this year. After all, the man has re-defined formations and brought about a true evolution in that domain like never seen before. The wing-backs' overlapping capabilities overwhelmed oppositions as the formation essentially became 5 up front with threats from every angle. Instead, Font will make a new deal for Messi his No 1 priority if he takes power. And they would wait for their opportunities when the opposing defence would get unhinged to strike the final blow. ... the hallowed 4-3-3 that carried on through to Pep Guardiola … Six full seasons on, he stands out as one of the best managers in world football, the reputation of both Barcelona and his own personal brand greatly enhanced. Due to only one striker up top and a lack of wingers, the role of the wingbacks becomes more important. Lewandowski can play as a false 9, play wide by interchanging with the wide players and can even drop deep when needed. However, if such strategy doesn’t help in clearing the danger away from their goal, Barcelona’s players will cover all possible passing lanes to force the opposition into a long ball. As a manager Pep Guardiola has won 27 trophies – winning eight league titles in 11 years as a coach in La Liga, Bundesliga and the Premier League – he is considered by many as the greatest coach of his generation. If Pedro needs to cut inside to Zone 15, Dani Alves will provide an overlapping run and enters Zone 10 to reach Zone 16, whereas Xavi will provide support for both of them by shifting towards Zone 8, thus forming a triangle with him being its base point. Mercato - Barcelone : Pep Guardiola devrait jouer deux sales tours au Barça ! Barcelona mostly came up against teams playing with a 4-4-2 defensive formation, when it happened, Dani Alves would push up on the wing along with Xavi shifting towards him also, creating a 2vs1 situation with the opposition’s ball-side winger; the fullback wouldn’t be able to help because Pedro would be pinning him wide and back. Passionate fan of the beautiful game. mis à jour le 21 novembre 2020 à 20h34 Messi- the jewel to complete the Catalan’s masterpiece, best player above all who has the utmost freedom in dropping deep or moving to the wings, whichever Leo thinks, he does. He was also the added cover for the backline, slotting in for one of the centre-backs, notably Gerard Pique, whenever he ventured forward. However, the 3-man backline does provide an extra target against teams whose forwards press hard, like Dortmund. Whenever the game was at the dying minutes and Barcelona would be 1-0 up, they would pass the ball along all their 11 players on the field; in the aim of circulating the ball and tiring out the opposition until the game finishes. Carrière de joueur Carrière de joueur au Barça. Décryptage du jeu de cette équipe de légende dirigée par un maître de la tactique footballistique. To clarify more, I’ll be splitting the defensive side into two sections that can be found below: You read that right, with the ball. Barcelona. With a full-throttle 4-3-3 formation that his successors have been using ever since, Guardiola became the club’s most successful manager of all time by winning a stupendous 15 titles in only 4 seasons to surpass his idol Johan Cruyff’s record of 11 trophies. If no, Messi would get the ball in his favorite position and will either turn and run at the defenders or recycle possession with Xavi & Iniesta; both ways, big trouble. Font had previously said he would try to bring Guardiola back to Barca if he is voted in to succeed Josep Bartomeu. In that game, Barcelona reached its peak as they dodged United’s high pressing and physicality with a swift footballing display that ensured its presence on the Juego de Posición’s Hall of Fame. Henry stayed wide on the left, with Messi having more license to come in off the right wing, knowing that the energetic Dani Alves would be providing width. Abidal was hugely important in compensating for Alves. The 3-4-2-1 has been the one that Bayern have gone with more often and it is a very demanding formation. Being able to play football in a such stylish way and win trophies. Below is an illustration of how Barcelona presses the opposition in the middle of the field (i.e. Here the opposition commits 6 players and decides to press Valdes. Guardiola has deployed a 4-2-3-1 formation more than any other this season, including his first match in charge against Sunderland. To top that, you have Lahm, who can play any of those positions on either side. To counter it, the center backs split wide and two midfielders drop between them to open up passing lanes. PEDRI. And he has continued with it this season. Madrid were a side perfectly built to expose each and every flaw of this system and it was a matchup nightmare for the German side. Ronaldo and Bale ran roughshod over the two ‘false full-backs’ and Benzema’s movement in combination with one of the two plus di Maria took the two centre-backs out of the equation as well. After selling off high-profiled players such as Deco and Ronaldinho, Barcelona played scintillating football throughout the season, winning the Copa del Rey, La Liga, and the UEFA Champions League Barcelona mostly came up against teams playing with a 4-4-2 defensive formation, when it happened, Dani Alves would push up on the wing along with Xavi shifting towards him also, creating a 2vs1 situation with the opposition’s ball-side winger; the fullback wouldn’t be able to help because Pedro would be pinning him wide and back. Barcelona. After bypassing the first line of pressure, the team will push its lines forward and dominate the midfield by congesting as many players in that area as discussed before. But little did the Portuguese know what Guardiola had in store for the rest of the season. Best images from El Clasico as Real Madrid beat Barcelona. To play that in today's game would be outrageous—Guardiola's 2-3-5 with Barcelona … Therefore, Pep’s team became famous for being “possession kings” but people understood it the wrong way therefore labelling the style as “Tiki-taka”. The Formation. The image below shows the team’s formation: For each player in the lineup above there’s a specific role to be carried out on the field: Barcelona’s engine is its midfield, and when such an awe-inspiring trio in Busquets-Xavi-Iniesta is in the team, it is hard not to depend on them. Below are some plays used by the team to complete their movement into the final third: Who’s better fit to lead Barcelona’s midfield line other than their own La Masia graduates? Josep Guardiola has described his playing principle like this; ... Barca didn’t do tiki-taka! His players have been trained to use their head before every pass, before every action; for each action there’s a consequent reaction after it. He would push forward when necessary, but his ability to sense danger and drop deep to operate as an additional third centre-back when required were irreplaceable. As explained, everything happens in relation to the ball and teammates. FC Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman already has his starting XI and formation for the upcoming 2020/2021 season. Josep Guardiola i Sala: Date of Birth: Jan 18, 1971: Place of Birth: Santpedor : Age: 49: Citizenship: Spain Avg. Alves’ ability to go up and down so regularly and with such frightening results made up for the lack of a right winger or right midfielder. This will immediately create a 3 vs 2 advantage for Barcelona without considering Valdes as a potential outlet. Some of the pressing triggers that Barcelona used, depending on the opposition, were: The picture above shows that the team’s high pressure is passing-lane oriented. Throughout his time at Barca, there were two players outside of Messi that were of utmost importance to make the formation work and make it dynamic – Alves and Abidal. September 24, 2020 by Sam Stobbart. goalkeeper): Messi stays between the two centerbacks, Villa and Pedro each with the opposition’s full back, Xavi and Iniesta stepping up to protect passes into the half space, Busquets protects the area in front of the central defenders, Alves and Abidal with freedom to either press the opposition’s wingers or push forward to overload the midfield, finally Pique and Mascherano/Puyol stay back to sweep any long passes behind them, with an exception being Mascherano having the authority to venture into midfield to block any passes to the midfield line. The area targeted will be the furthest diagonal point away from the ball where a skillful winger would be waiting for the switch. Another signature move from Barcelona was the diagonal cross from Busquets/Xavi to Alves who’s running behind the opposition’s defense. Avid reader of football articles with a special focus on possession-based teams. Both Fabregas and Sanchez could play in a multitude of positions, which is why they were bought. © Copyright 2019 - Ronnie Dog Media All Rights Reserved. 8 months ago, Victoria Myznikova. Isolation concept is extremely popular in basketball and this shows how Pep is universal in his methods and learning process. 24 posts Last Pick at the Park. The priority during the building up process is maintaining the possession and widening up the pitch too. to change formation. FM18 Tiki-Taka Tactic: A Different Version with the 4-3-3 Formation, Inspired by Pep Guardiola. Pep Guardiola's unstoppable Barça (2008-2012) Relive the achievements one of the most phenomenal teams in sporting history. La Liga 2020-2021. They had the ball much more than Real Madrid, and were far more efficient with it. For ever so quietly, away from the main stories making the rounds in the continent, Guardiola’s Bayern have made another impressive start and are looking the best amongst all the reigning league champions. Depending on what weakness a certain opponent has and what he wants to guard against regards his own team, Guardiola can pick his personnel. Below are the guidelines that should be followed in order to fully adopt the Positional Play model: Pep doesn’t believe in numbers and formations, they all go up in the wind when the game starts. Opposing teams simply could not handle the many different attacking formations in the form of an attacking double-pivot of either Götze/Robben, Götze/Müller or Müller/Robben. After covering the team’s attacking aspect, the defensive side should be focused on as well. He also covered for Busquets and Pique in their respective roles whenever Barca were in pursuit of a goal and pushed more bodies forward.
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