Author: Adarsh Nim
Pep Guardiola has done wonders at Barcelona following the Johan Cruyff philosophy of football, and the same could be said for his domestic winning at Bayern Munich in Germany.
Pep Guardiola has always delivered the best league performances among all the elite managers in modern football, but it comes at a price certain price of demand i.e. his likeable footballers, which includes from Goalkeepers to strikers. At Manchester City, Pep has certainly revolutionized his football philosophy.
The Sky Blues under Pep Guardiola looks like a hungry shark with a ball. Always ready to score more and more goals. Pep demands a ball-playing goalkeeper, which is Ederson at Man City. While other teams look quite significant without the ball, Manchester City looks quite dangerous with the possession of the ball. Pep’s men try keeping the ball with them as much as possible, which automatically reduces the chances of the opposition to create a problem for the City’s defence and score a goal.
When it comes to tactical advantage, Pep Guardiola’s men are often seen in a diamond shape with four players close to each other and passing the ball while building some confidence on the ball at the same time.
With Ederson coming off his line and bringing in the numerical advantage at his side in the midfield, City can push themselves much higher into the opposition’s half, trying to create more spaces and chances to score the goals.
Pep Guardiola’s system uses the fullbacks as inverted fullbacks, with Kyle Walker/Cancelo and Mendy/Angeliño/Zinchenko coming into the midfield to help the defensive midfielder cover up the spaces left behind by Kevin De Bryune and David Silva who are moving upfront. With Fernandinho already playing the majority of the season as an unorthodox centre-back in Laporte’s absence, it has been Rodri and Gundogan who are given the position to hold the midfield as a deep-lying midfielder and replace Fernandinho’s place.
Rodri is the pivot player for Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City who connects the defensive line with the attacking line, in which Rodri is very good at. With both of the Pep’s fullbacks coming into midfield, it’s Kevin’s and David’s duty to find the attacking options and create as much of the scoring chances as possible, with the likes of Sterling, Aguero, Mahrez, Bernardo Silva, Jesus and Sane to finish the game.
When Manchester City has got the possession, they often shift to 2-3-4-1 with Laporte and Stones at the back and Walker and Mendy in the midfield accompanying Rodri. And when Manchester City loses the possession, they rush backwards and instantaneously change their formation to 4-5-1, with the likes of Sterling, Sane, Mahrez and B. Silva defending and helping their team to win back the possession.
Here, Aguero and Jesus’s position are very vital because Pep is already a very demanding manager and expects a lot of hard work on and off the pitch from his players especially attackers, who constantly needs to press the defensive line of the oppositions.
With Manchester City, who have mastered the art of keeping the possession and tackle the high press of the opposition it becomes very hard for them to break City’s fortress. And when it comes to build-up play, City is one of the best in Europe. No matter what the oppositions try to do, Pep Guardiola some way or the other always finds a way to score a goal. And most prominently Manchester City’s build-up is not natively depended on one particular payer but all the eleven players play a key role in it, which makes them nearly impossible to stop.