Pep's Attacking Strategy - City versus B/M versus Barca

Discussion in 'Bluemoon forum' started by CityInWashingtonState, 4 Nov 2017.

  1. CityInWashingtonState

    CityInWashingtonState

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    I'm interested in hearing from long time followers of Pep, how his tactics have adjusted across the teams he has managed.

    For sake of this thread, let's start with Barca.

    Moderators - this thread is not "Pep's performance" - I'm not interested in performance - I'm interested current strategy, versus strategy employed at B/M and Barca.
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    As a follower of City with general interest in world football - meaning I've not spent nearly enough time to consider myself expert or anywhere near so - here's my take....

    As compared to previous sides (Barca, B/M) - it strikes me that Pep has incorporated something new in the way that City attacks. Namely, explosive pace at sideline positions.

    Sane at AM on the left (and were he fit) Mendy at LB; on the right we have Sterling and Walker.

    Our attack (though we've abundant talent in the mid as well) exploits pace on the sides (wingers and backs) to get behind opposition defenders and then make telling passes across opponent's back lines. We also threaten to score from purely central attacks but for me this doesn't seem to be our biggest threat.

    This, for me, seems far different than the primary attack threats opposed by Bayern or Barca.
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    We also have significant threats due to height on set pieces - Otters/Kompany/Stones adds a height-advantage, set piece attack which certainly Barca did not have to this extent, and, I'm guessing (didn't follow Bayern that much) that Bayern didn't have to the same extent that we have.
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    Barca - built on Messi - attack through the middle primarily - very weak on headed goal threat.

    B/M - built on Robery, but Lewandowski provides threat through the middle - not a short squad per-se, so headed goals on set pieces also a threat.
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    City - built on pace from the sides. Excellent players throughout of course, but against set defenses our biggest threat seems to be crosses from the side.

    On set pieces we're extremely good too - Otters/Stones/Kompany are all very good on offense and can offer a much bigger overall aerial threat than Barca and I'm guessing BM (Lewandoski and maybe Boatang).
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    Anyhow, the above is my simplistic, not-particularly-well-articulated take on how City's attack differs from that of Pep's sides under Barca/BM.

    Of course Pep's ball retention/high press/position-oriented (get into the right position on offense, no three in a line (triangles per se), which leads to the right position on turn over - move to the ball if your closest but cut off passes otherwise) - is the same throughout.

    Do you agree? Have I missed anything?
     
    Last edited: 4 Nov 2017
  2. Andrew___K

    Andrew___K

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    Not sure that dividing teams by types of goal threats (headers or not) is enough to distinguish tactics/strategies. As for speed on wings, almost all his teams had it - Henry-Messi, Villa-Pedro, Robben-Ribery, Coman-Costa etc. I think we have to take into account all aspects of teamplay to see what's happening. And it's impossible to separate attacking from defending as both phases are heavily interrelated.

    Here's my attempt to separate those teams:
    1. Barca - extremely safe circulation of the ball with great ability to pass through 8/10 areas thanks to players' capabilities in tight spaces. Almost zero counters (famous '15-passes' rule). Only short patient passes that help to maintain structure and make pressing easier ("you don't need to run more than 10m if you don't pass long").
    The attacking play wasn't entirely designed by Guardiola, it was already present when he arrived. His main impact in 1st year was adding systematic pressing within the frame of emerging 'tiki-taka' style that brought Spain 2008 Euros.
    There were some away games with counterattacking setup (for ex. Madrid 09-10, Espanyol 10-11), still the team tended to pass through midfield in extremely safe way.

    I don't see many teams of that ilk nowadays. The only one that stands close to that Barca, albeit with worse performers and more 'riskier' vertical play, is IMO Sarri's Napoli. Perhaps they're even better in terms of build-up, but lack superstar forwards, defenders and squad depth to convert it into better results.
    Shakhtar is another interesting example.
    Guess Bosz is trying to create something like this at BvB, but isn't doing well so far.

    2. Bayern had several different teams under Pep, the only one that seemed more or less 'complete' was 15-16 BM. The basic approach was quite unorthodox:
    - get the ball to defenders, midfielders (usually Alonso)
    - quickly move it to one of the wingers, creating 1-on-1 (the most common way is Alonso's long diagonal pass)
    - winger dribbles and makes a cross
    - the whole team attacks the cross and rebound, then plays quick combination in the final third to get to a shooting position.
    - if not successfull, get the ball back by collective pressing, rinse and repeat.
    That team struggled to create through the middle (Thiago was in crisis, Kroos sold, and the board bought Vidal, who is not really suited for quick passing football), the focus was on wingplay.

    What's interesting, Madrid won 2CLs using the same approach. Wouldn't be surprised if Zidane got the idea from Pep himself in 2015 during coaching courses. They also use wingplay and don't attack through the middle systematically. The main weapon is crosses and teams' ability to convert it into goals. They also safely circulate the ball in the deep and are able to defend by possession.

    If you sit deep against such team, they score from numerous high/low crosses.
    If you decide to press their main deep circulators of the ball (Kroos-Modric, fullbacks), remember that they're very press-resistant, so it's requires a lot of energy. Besides, when you get the ball, you need to use it very patiently and rarely lose. Probably Madrid's main vulnerability is their play without the ball, their pressing is not flawless. Pep's teams don't have such deficiency.

    3.City. From what I've seen this season, it's very close to the second approach. City are good in possession in deep areas, not so good in higher zones and prefer to use fast transitions when attack. Use low crosses a lot. The epitome of the style is de Bruyne - not so press-resistant player that is deadly in transitional situations. The teamplay looks like a mix of possession and transitional football, the ability to penetrate through middle will be added gradually (that's where 'needle players' like Bernardo Silva are indispensable).

    Another analogy could be Enrique's Barca, though City press better, have less skilled but more disciplined forwards.
     
    Last edited: 4 Nov 2017
  3. Neville Kneville

    Neville Kneville

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    My own simplistic addition; 2nd balls & power. Pep discovered the importance of that in the Prem last season & we are much better at that kind of thing than those two.
     
  4. Chi-town blues

    Chi-town blues

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    2 nd balls? but we are full of midgets. Apparently.
     
  5. Neville Kneville

    Neville Kneville

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    We are now brilliant imo at picking up scraps, wheras we became totally shite at it, under Pellegrini.
     
  6. Gorton_Tubster

    Gorton_Tubster

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    from my point of view..... Aggression is the thing he has brought to the team, belief in ourselves.

    It was interesting listening to his press conf about how the game against Napoli and going toe to toe and attacking principle at all costs helps the team deal with those situations in future. It was a group game, we could have played it safe for the point but the aggression in our team to bring it back twice and fight fight fight lends itself for when we are in the knock out stages, we are better prepared, same as after losing a game.... I am waiting for us to lose one, I dont want us to, but when we do it will be (another) test of how resilient we are, how we fight back. We need to prove that yet, only then will I be happy we are absolute contenders.

    I think he has the above mentality in all his teams
     
  7. domalino

    domalino

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    Picking up Second balls isnt to do with height, it's about positioning and spacing.

    Pep talked about this quite a lot in press conferences followong the leicester and Everton defeats last January, he made the team narrower and worked for a week on making the spaces between our players smaller.
     
  8. manimanc

    manimanc

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    Fcbarca who posts on here is your best bet, he has a pep duvet and everyfink.
     
  9. Chi-town blues

    Chi-town blues

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    :)
     
  10. mccity

    mccity

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    Speaking of, I asked a similar question to him in the Xavi + Iniesta vs Silva + De Bruyne thread


     

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