Tactics Journal

by Kyle Boas

Analyzing football tactics

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Positive orientation when receiving the ball

Pep Guardiola focuses on orienting the body to receive the ball to continue forward. Never with your back to the goal. Always positive moving forward.

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Figure 1.1
Figure 1.2

This is a negative orientation. The easiest one or two touch immediate passing options are all back, towards your own goal.

Figure 2.1
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Figure 2.4

This is a positive orientation. Create separation and open the hips towards the goal, then receive the ball to play it forward.

This desire for positive body orientation was instilled in Pep during his playing days at Barcelona under Johan Cruyff. Cruyff told him:

When you have the ball, the first thing you have to do is look forward, as far as you can. Play towards Romario, towards Laudrup. In the distance. If there is no space in the distance, play here (short). But if you can play in the distance, do it.

If you don’t orient your body towards the opposition goal, then you can’t immediately look to play the ball forward.

Figure 3.1

Orient your body to the side and you have the option to play it forward, down the wing or turn to play it to the center-forward. Always be a positive passing option.

Figure 4.1
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Figure 4.3

Orient your body facing your own goal, and you see nothing.

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