I love a good build up. It is so fascinating to see every player moving in unison, the team moving up the pitch little by little while moving the ball around, always a step ahead of their opponents. A good build-up is like a well oiled machine.
I selected this build up from the PSG – Ajax Champions League game, and made a video highlighting the individual movements of the players. I focused on the key situations, as well as the direction, speed and rhythm of the key movements during the play.
This video is about the kick-off from the Porto – Athletic Bilbao game. I see many teams play the ball to the winger straight away from the kick-off, basically making it a set piece. But Porto didn’t do that, and it tickled my fancy…so I made a video about it.
What are the best ways of starting the play from the kick-off according to you? Do you know about any teams who are particularly good at that?
Yesterday’s video post on Xabi Alonso proved to be very popular, and I received a lot of positive comments. It means a lot that the people in the tactics/analysis community are reading, watching and enjoying what I put out.
Thank you very much!
The below situation is from the same game; it features a play between Alaba, Alonso and Lahm, which ends with Lahm turning towards goal with plenty of space around him.
It looks so easy to play as a number six. You are supposed to have far more space than a striker, you just receive an easy ball from the defenders, and you pass it on, right? Wrong!
Details, details, details.
One of the things that fascinated me the most when reading “Pep Confidential” is how much detail Guardiola puts into teaching his players the correct body position when they receive the ball.
Xabi Alonso must know something about the subject, given that he set a new Bundesliga record with 204 touches in the match against Cologne. After all you can’t receive the ball more than twice per minute on average if your body position is all wrong.
I used some footage from the 2-0 Bayern victory against AS Roma to see how Xabi Alonso positions himself in different kinds of situations.
This is the start of a longer term research project. I am going to put up one video per day, each about a different situation with Alonso in it. I am going to compare his choices to those of Daley Blind and Daniele De Rossi down the road as I learn more. Please leave a comment with your take on the situations. Sharing and debating the ideas of each other is the fastest way to progress.