Saturday, July 14, 2012

9. Team of midfielders

3 defenders and 7 great players, ‘Pep Einstein’ discovers the formula for total football  3 – 7 – 0 = Club World Cup trophy  Pep: “And that’s because needing forwards to play in attack … is relative.”

 18/12/2011 Santos 0 FC Barcelona 4

This is one of my favourite. Once again they had some problems with injuries, with David Villa facing a very long term injury after breaking his leg in the semi final and Alexis had his problems with inuries. When pushed into a corner, Guardiola comes up with his most brilliant ideas, he always thinks so many steps ahead and so did this time. Before the season begun, there was always the talk that how he manages to fit Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets and now Thiago and Cesc into midfield. This was the first game when he put all 5 of them into same linup and what came out was something magical. 
This is how they were bacicly lined up. Pique-Puyol-Abidal the 3man defence. Dani and Thiago played more outside, but often cut in from their flanks and changed a lot of positions. Since they had no big man up front, the Santos defence struggled to mark them because they had 7 players to make runs behind them and it's really ahrd to pick them up.

Defensivly, Barcelona were very narrow and compact, because Santos had no wingers to attack them, so it was a very good way to defend against them although most of the defending they did by just keeeping the ball 70% of the game.
 Here's once sequence of the game that sums up the whole system. Look at the formation, how they move, how they change positions, how they make runs into box and how they defend.

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