3-4-3 vs 4-3-3 vs 4-2-2-2- WTF?! Confused by all these crazy starting line ups Guardiola uses? Ever wonder what a ‘9’ is? Let alone a false ‘9’? Stay tuned for a series of posts explaining as quickly and easily as possible what all this nonsense means, and why Barcelona under Guardiola has completely revolutionized the modern game. And I’m not talking about from back when the dudes wore girl shorts, I’m talking about in the last 5 years.
Check out this quote by Mourinho, the “special one”, in 2006 at Chelsea.
“You can have players who don’t run. In our team at Chelsea we have three attacking players but I don’t want them chasing full-backs and making themselves tired…” In essence he was content to wait until the ball was brought into his half and the defense could break it down.
Now if you’ve EVER watched Barca, chances are you know this sight well
That’s right. Its Pedro ninja kicking a defender to get the ball back. In all seriously, Pedro, Villa, Sanchez, whoever is playing up top have a relentless work rate when they lose the ball. Barcelona’s defense starts with the forwards, and as Pep put it, its easier to go 20 meters go goal than 50m if you wait till the ball is in your own half to win it back.
The ultimate proof: Real Madrid now under Mourinho has adopted the full field press, and it has been arguably more aggressive than Barcelona’s. Clearly, losing to this Barca side over and over again over the last few years has caused Mourinho to rethink his justification of players who ‘dont run.’