Does Guardiola's philosophy work in England?

"If we were to realize at least 50% of the moments that we are creating, then everything would have been different for us. Realization is our main problem, "said Guardiola after the quarterfinal of the FA Cup against Middlesbrough. - My previous teams played in their own and others' penalty areas at the highest level. "

No discounts on the difference in implementation will bring Man City closer to the level of Bavaria and Barca Pep, but with their help it's easier to understand what kind of failure we're dealing with. Another reason is not to focus only on results and not to ignore the quality of the game - Pep in self-analysis comes just like that. After losing to Chelsea, he said: "I remain confident, because 60-65 minutes we were very good. We need to continue in the same spirit. There were matches when our game was unstable, as with "Crystal Palace" and "Burnley", but we won without playing well and not deserving victory. Today's match I'm happy with. "

Studying press conferences Pep quickly reveals in him a person who always operates on the categories of "earned" / "did not deserve" a victory instead of "won" / "lost" and builds conclusions on the quality of the game. An imperfect, but objective method to go the same way is the expected goals.

According to the pure ratio of moments in view of their quality, "City" is even more powerful than "Chelsea". According to my subjective sensations, at the distance of the whole season these teams are more or less equal. For the text, this comparison is not very important - it is only important that the "City" on any system is much better than its results and closer to the team of Antonio Conte on the level of the game than the table shows. But, perhaps, still worse than the preseason expectations and exactly worse than the "Bavaria" and "Barcelona" of the times of Guardiola.

Problem # 1 - too much tactics

"Pep leaves nothing to chance. In every situation, he knows exactly what to bring to the players, especially with regard to tactical directions. I directly feel that 99% of preparedness is not enough for him - he wants 100% and full confidence that his ideas are ideal for a particular match and opponent. Not every player is able to immediately understand these ideas, but they can perfectly work, "- described the manner of the manager of" City "Leroy Sane.

"In tactical exercises, we must be very collected - Guardiola talks a lot about tactics and strategy. Of course, psychologically it is difficult, "- said Kevin de Bryune.

This strongly differs from the manner of the last champions of England. "When I talked to the players, I realized that they were afraid of Italian tactics. I have always admired those who develop new tactical systems, but he himself always believed that the main thing for a good coach is to build a team around the strengths of the players. I told the players that I trust them, we agreed only occasionally to talk about tactics, "Claudio Ranieri said.

"Claudio pays little attention to tactics every day. Approximately 10-15 minutes, we are working out the aspects that he would like to see in the performance of the team on the weekend, "- described the style of the Italian Mark Albrighton. With Jose Mourinho Guardiola on the part of attention tactics directly compared Khabi Alonso: "Pep pays much more attention to tactics. Jose has fewer concepts, but they are very clear and understandable. " And the fact that Pellegrini plunged into tactics less than Guardiola, is evident from the quotation of De Bruijne himself.

John Terry's words about Carlo Ancelotti from the book Quiet Leadership explain the relationship between the players' non-overload theory and successes in the Premier League: "Carlo came to the club with his ideas. He definitely wanted to implement many tactical aspects. In "Milan" he worked on tactics for a couple of days before each match. I immediately realized that in England it would not work, and we decided to talk to him, he accepted our arguments. After the conversation, he used a different approach, conducting only small tactical exercises the day before the match. The most important thing for us in this story was that Carlo really listened to us. Very few coaches are able to come to a new team and that's how to listen. "

What's next? This season, Antonio Conte sat on the bench Terry and made a wild emphasis on tactical work. Soon he will officially become a champion that will break some of the arguments above.

In the "Man City" only 2 English players (4, if you count Delf and Hart), and in the Premier League, it turns out, you can win with an emphasis on tactical work. Key difference Contte from Guardiola - he found the optimal scheme and developed a team around it. Pep is still looking for the best formation and too often adapting to the rivals. Determined in this regard, he will probably add.

Problem #2 - submarine style

Pep's list of tactical complaints for the league:

1. "In many countries, when a player owns the ball, depending on the location of the other players, it is possible to predict what will happen next. In England, football is too unpredictable, because the ball is in the air more than on the lawn. It's enough to watch only one match to understand the essence of English football: "Swansea" 5: 4 "Crystal Palace". 9 goals, 8 from standards. This is English football - I need to adapt to this. "

2. "Xabi Alonso told me:" You will have to adapt to rebounds! You'll have to adapt to rebounds! "I thought," Pick-ups? Okay. " But soon realized that in this league you really need to adapt to rebounds. "

3. "People say:" Use counterattacks. " But how, I'm sorry, should I use kontrataki when the opponent does not attack at all? "

The main was the second item. In the traditional style of Guardiola control of rebounds is not given increased attention. Rivals for La Liga and the Bundesliga used less distant programs against Pep's teams:

More importantly, most of the long-distance gear of the opponents of Bayern Munich and Barca was either drifting out under pressure or throwing on the flanks in order to launch a counterattack, rather than part of a deliberate strategy to increase the number of situations with the fight for rebounds.

This forced Guardiola to launch into a tactical search. "City" started the season on a 4-3-3 scheme, but when the opponents recognized the weak game of "citizens" in long-distance programs, it became obvious that one opornik is not enough to control rebounds. Guardiola tested the scheme with 3 defenders and 4-2-3-1. Playing with 3 defenders against most teams is unprofitable - Guardiola's philosophy involves playing in 3 defenders only against teams that use 2 forward, otherwise at the beginning of the attacks at least one player becomes "superfluous" (the consequence is that at least one player does not have enough in front).

4-2-3-1 - the most unloved scheme of mentor Pep Johan Cruyff: "In 4-2-3-1 there are" ten "and two players behind him, in 4-3-3 -" six "and two players in front. At 4-2-3-1, two players of the reference zone are forced to give accurate passes to 60 meters, having only one option to advance through the center. It's impossible". Similar arguments lead author of books about Guardiola Marti Perarnau - according to his version, the Spaniard turns to this formation, only "in very special situations," when the belief in the ability to control the support zone by one player is lost. This move means a weakening of Guardiola's concept, "as one of his principles is to create the maximum of options for moving through the center." To put it simply, with such a scheme of commands it will be more frequent to pass with the Latin letter U (winger - the extreme defender - central player - again the extreme defender - winger, without moving through the center).

After the experiments, Guardiola returned to 4-3-3, but now uses a more counter-attacking option. Extreme defenders are almost not connected, helping to control the rebounds, the team began to create less in the positional game, depends more on rapid attacks involving Stalinga and Sana. This game is far from the ideals of Pep.

"Sometimes we do not play very nicely, because we use a non-ideal style, but we have no choice. I think, most of all in England, Pepa surprises, how often rivals use long casts. He still believes that they will try to play football with us, as they do with the rest. But this does not happen. He devotes a lot of time and energy to studying their manner, explains to us where there will be free spaces in such a game, but in practice the rivals simply play long-distance gears. I think sometimes he asks himself: "What is this nonsense?"

What's next? So far there is not even a hint of a solution fully in line with Pep's ideals. But there are numerous statements of the Spaniard about the readiness to retreat from the ideals: "I do not want to change English football. Of course, I want him to change me. I came here to change. It's great. The whole career, 15-20 years, doing the same things - boring. "