Tactics Journal

by Kyle Boas

Analyzing football tactics

Especially the time to take decisions

July 18, 2023 — Pep Guardiola talking about the things he learns from watching Brighton:

“Especially the time to take decisions. So Brighton is a master at having to pass the ball to the man free, but when I have to pass the ball to the man free, and they have to move at the right time. And this is the best team in the world, the best.”

Figure 1.1 - Adam Webster waits for Danny Welbeck to move to begin passing out of the counter-press.
Figure 2.1 - Adam Webster waits for the center-backs to jump before playing the ball into Pascal Groß.

Pep knows from working with Andrés Iniesta how important it is to make defenders jump, unlock space, and then attack that space when they move.

They have the right tempo, they pass to the man free, and the movements altogether. So there is a part of how aggressive they are with the ball that continues to be with Graham Potter, and I think Graham Potter has installed something really good in terms of responsibility and management. It doesn’t matter what happens, but the way they go through the process. They use the keeper. They don’t pass the ball after the movement of their opponent; the moment their opponent moves, they move. They pass the ball. When? It depends on who jumps. And in the right tempo, they are the best. The best.

Figure 3.1 - Jason Steele waits for center-backs Pontus Jansson and Ethan Pinnock to move forward before playing a long pass to Kaoru Mitoma.

This is the key to Brighton’s buildup. Wait for the opponent’s movement and then go.

Watch the full press conference referenced on BeanymanSports.

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