So even one slip-up can be costly. Perhaps that’s why they went for him over Sami Khedira. 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. To have two needle players such as Messi and Iniesta very close to the penalty box shifts the entire defensive focus towards them resulting in spaces for runs in behind by the wingers. 0. commenter. 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. The area targeted will be the furthest diagonal point away from the ball where a skillful winger would be waiting for the switch. Xavi is the controller who sets the team’s tempo as required and recycles possession towards areas with less opposition pressure. A front six of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, Angel di Maria, Luka Modric and Xabi Alonso had too much pace, power, and on-ball ability to be contained by the 4-1-4-1. However, despite this, one of his greatest exploits was his ability to coach the usage of wing-backs, especially with Dani Alves, who Barca acquired from Sevilla in 2008 at the start of Guardiola’s reign. Also, they could almost never capitalize on quick counter-attacking opportunities. Don’t believe a word of it! And as brilliant a sweeper-keeper as Manuel Neuer is, he could not always save the day for them, especially against quality opposition. If either of Dante or Boateng got drawn out wide on the right, Badstuber would deputise in their positions and Bernat would drop further back to take Badstuber’s place. 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. So utilizing the pace and power of Henry and Eto’o, while relying on Messi’s ability to dribble and draw defenders, was essential. The Formation. Tactically, Barca generally stuck to a 4-3-3 shape throughout the season, playing high up the pitch and pressing from the front. Shall he be marked by a holding midfielder to shield passes towards him? The overlying emphasis of this formation was to always have three central midfielders on the pitch at any point of time. In 2008–09, FC Barcelona started a new era with a new manager, former captain and Barcelona B coach Pep Guardiola, who led the team to the first treble in Spanish football history. 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. I really like playing the tiki-taka, possession-based and passing game in FUT. Josep Guardiola intègre La Masía, le centre de formation du FC Barcelone, le 28 juin 1984 en provenance du Gimnàstic de Manresa.. À partir de 1991, Johan Cruyff le sélectionne comme milieu central de l'équipe première. Pep Guardiola's unstoppable Barça (2008-2012) Relive the achievements one of the most phenomenal teams in sporting history. Iniesta the needle player that acts more as the attacking midfielder who carries the ball forward into dangerous areas taking advantage of his outstanding individual capacity to dribble. Also, Götze has gotten a greater role (Iniesta’s role) and is the leading scorer overall for the club with 5 goals which tells a story in itself. Barcelona. 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. The pinnacle of the 2010/11 season was the 2011 UEFA Champions League Final against Manchester United, a match which many considered a testimony of awe-inspiring display from a club at the highest footballing level featuring 8 players from the famous La Masia. His need for a more mobile holding player with good passing range saw him make the shift and that meant Rafinha would take Lahm’s place at right-back. Pedro as the traditional winger who hugs the touchline and gets in behind the defense. This tactic is used against defensively compact teams who congest the midfield, this leads to an increased need of technically excellent players who can control the ball under tight pressure from the midfielders and defenders. He is known for his willingness to implement new tactical systems that other, more conservative managers would shy away from. 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. 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. As has been relayed many times in the build up to his maiden term in the Camp Nou hotseat, the Dutchman will rely on a 4-2-3-1 with double pivots. It involved the full-backs playing almost as midfielders and with Lahm’s solidity no longer present at right-back, it exposed Bayern, who played a high defensive line, to individual mistakes and long passes. On top of them stood Bernat, Alonso and Lahm. In the 1980s Cruyff returned as coach, gave Barça its "dream team", instilled his ideas into every level of the club, and made his disciple Guardiola captain. “The team that interpreted Positional Play in a most extraordinary way was the Barcelona of Pep Guardiola,” says Marti Perarnau, the author who wrote two books about Guardiola’s stint with Bayern Munich. 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. age 28 172 cm. As always, Guardiola is thinking, scheming and looking to constantly adjust his team so that they don’t become predictable. This is also an underrated point among coaches. Also a few players such as Mandzukic suffered as he was forced to make runs out wide and become a provider at times instead of a goal threat and that saw him lose his starting spot to a midfielder with Guardiola preferring to play Müller as the lone striker instead. Here the opposition commits 6 players and decides to press Valdes. For this to work, the defenders and goalkeeper must be at the highest technical level as well as being confident when in possession of the ball. age 31 170 cm. Barca's 3-4-3 formation another tactical weapon for Guardiola. However, below I have mentioned some plays or excerpts from famous matches that resulted in goals for the Catalan team: United’s lines were broken by Iniesta’s pass to Xavi. The presence of multiple playmakers ensured that they could swap roles freely and the ones not on the ball could then run the channels effectively, complementarily opening up space for each other to operate in. From now to the end of the season, we may yet see more new tactics and formations from the Spaniard’s box. Font had previously said he would try to bring Guardiola back to Barca if he is voted in to succeed Josep Bartomeu. “The faster the ball goes further up the field, the faster it will come back at us,” says Guardiola when journalists doubted his style during a press conference. Defenders fell into a dilemma when playing against Barcelona with Messi as a false nine: Playing out from the back is the strategy followed by Barcelona in the first phase of the game, the build-up. This is done in the aim of either stretching the opposition’s midfield line thus creating gaps to pass into, or shift the opposition’s midfield towards one side and strike them with a switch of play to their under-loaded side. Their ability in keeping hold of the ball in small spaces and escaping pressure helped the team in reaching the opposition’s goal with fewer markers blocking their way. Subsequently, Guardiola converted Messi into a full-fledged striker from a winger, and Eto’o and Henry would depart. Eto’o at the time was at the height of his powers, while Messi had still not reached his magical peak yet. After all, the man has re-defined formations and brought about a true evolution in that domain like never seen before. Those movements happen for a reason and not by coincidence as many think; they are carried out for the purpose of generating numerical superiority in areas proximate to the ball. When Leo drops into midfield, shall he be followed by a central defender? However, the full-backs under this system were part of a mobile triumvirate that would move up and down with Lahm and would more often than not join up with the two central midfielders to make a four in the middle occupying the space vacated by the two wingers who’ve joined up in attack. Opposition bad control of the ball, bad touch, or bad pass. The two withdrawn strikers or attacking mids play a critical role as they alternate between shifting wide or tucking in behind the main striker. A direct long ball from defense to attack is not favorable as this will isolate the team’s center forward against the opposition’s defense. We have also seen Bayern operate in a 3-3-3-1 in a couple of games where three clear lines of three (defenders, holding mids, attacking mids) stack up on top of each other with a lone forward up front. The ability of scoring, creating, dribbling, influencing the game without even touching the ball due to the intensive marking that is used on him, thus creating space for his teammates, a player with such ability shouldn’t be on the wings, he should be in the center of play, the main catalyst for the team’s style; that’s what Pep saw in Messi, and boy did Messi repay his coach’s faith in him. This formation was built to explore Bayern’s depth in midfield especially around the ability of Toni Kroos to distribute, move up and down the middle of the pitch and also play as a playmaker. Isolating each winger with his respective marker, gaining an advantage in terms of quality. It’s a result of deep analysis and opposition research, and that’s where Guardiola excels; in the minutest of details. The one in the middle would usually sit deeper as a libero. 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 three superiority categories mentioned above are a main factor in being able to achieve a smooth ball circulation to kill the game. Pique’s forays forward also meant a covering job for Busquets to drop back and aid Puyol and Abidal. 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. 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. Instead, Font will make a new deal for Messi his No 1 priority if he takes power. The two wide CBs had to have to mobility to help cover the width of the pitch. What aids in this tactic is the positional superiority of the team during the attacking phase, compact and proximate to each other, that will help in performing the pressing scheme in a swift and effective way. 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. Best images from El Clasico as Real Madrid beat Barcelona. Follow me on Twitter: ----- DISCLAIMER: THIS VIDEO IS MADE FOR AND TARGETED AT ADULTS. “I will never forgive myself, I have failed,” mentions Guardiola to Manel Estiarte, his assistant, after Barcelona’s triumph over Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League final. © Copyright 2019 - Ronnie Dog Media All Rights Reserved. Also, unlike at Barca, this Guardiola team played a good number of good long balls because – a. their defenders weren’t the dribbly kind like Pique and b. the presence of aerially gifted players such as Müller and Mario 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. And it was that versatility that got them off to such a flying start last season, eventually helping them win the Bundesliga at a canter. And they would wait for their opportunities when the opposing defence would get unhinged to strike the final blow. Le disciple de Cruyff Toute grande équipe est entraînée par un grand coach, celle de Barcelone n’échappe pas à la règle. Can you believe that 2008-09 was the last time that Messi scored less than 49 goals in all competitions? Guardiola has deployed a 4-2-3-1 formation more than any other this season, including his first match in charge against Sunderland. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was bought in as Guardiola wanted to find a different way of scoring goals, but that experiment didn’t go very well and he used him sparingly. 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. When the German went wide right, Lahm would step into his attacking role while Boateng would support him on the flanks. He finally has the dynamic possession-based striker he's always wanted. His philosophy is the total opposite, it implies that possession acts as “means to an end” with the end being to move the opposition and disorganize their defensive shape for his team to attack the opposite side. As soon as Barça’s players lost the ball, they would swarm around the ball carrier and his potential options in what was named as the “6-second rule”.