Pep Guardiola arriving at Manchester City come the next season has already been one of the stories of the Barclays Premier League history. We will take a look at how Pep approaches the game in tactical way.
What better way to analyse a manager’s tactics than to go step by step at how his current team is playing. We’ll take a look at how Pep has managed Bayern so far and what kind of tactics we can expect from him when he arrives at Manchester this summer.
Firstly, we’ll take a look at the general formation of Bayern and how the movements are done in order to outfox the opponents :-
It’s more of a 4-3-3 formation which turns to 2-3-5 when the Bavarians are in possession. Pep loves his wide players especially his fullbacks and wingers to create chances from wider areas by giving space to each other. On the ball, the fullbacks go very high up the pitch which makes the midfield three of Vidal, Alonso and Thiago to spread out a bit in order to remain in possession or when the fullbacks are caught higher up the pitch, they can go back and take up auxiliary fullback positions.
The front three squeezes many times in order to give fullbacks the opportunity to have a free run in wider areas. Sometimes they stay wide in order create that 2 v 1 situation on the edge of opposition penalty box.
Let’s take a look at Bayern’s shape when they are on the ball and analyse further with the help of tactics board :-
It becomes more of a 2-3-5 from 4-3-3 originally. As we can see in the image above, Alaba and Lahm are way forward and acting as wingers for most of the time.
The other thing Pep chiefly focuses on is the ability of his team to press higher up the pitch when they have lost possession. He also focuses on flexibility in the shape of his team. The auxiliary fullback positions which are taken by wide midfield players when they are caught out on possession shows signs of real flexibility inside the team. This allows the fullbacks to move forward with much more freedom and can produce good chances.
This is the image of Bayern’s shape while they were playing in the Bundesliga. As the image suggests, the three midfielders are slightly spread out when they are in possession. The fullbacks are actually looking like wingers now. The front three squeezes centrally to allow space for fullbacks to run into.
The flexibility of the front line is also one of the main focus of Pep at Bayern. The movements in and around the opposition box is always something to behold if you are a Bayern follower. Lewandowski and Muller especially are at thick of things, they move in a pair when they have to be a presence in the box, but when they are out of it, they try to be as flexible as they can making it very tough for the opposition back-line to mark. Muller, especially peels away on the right wing supporting the fullback in that position, or sometimes press the opposition tight space higher up the pitch to dislodge their rhythm.
So, this was all about Pep’s tactics at Bayern and we should expect something similar come next season at Manchester City. This is just an outline of how Pep works with his players and what are his main preferences as a manager. The ‘Super Boss’ as they call can really turn things around at East Manchester and can make them a real force to reckon with in Europe.
By Mizgan on 17th April, 2016
Twitter – @mizgans