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Football tactics

sidford

Well-Known Member
Oct 20, 2003
11,377
29,888
There doesn't seem to be any overall football tactics thread so putting this in here.

Found this article in Athletic really interesting. Always wondered what where the triggers for when teams went full on press and this article outlines it well. The second link is archives version of it so while it's not as slick looking as the original article it still has the graphics in it which is useful.


 

fishhhandaricecake

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2018
19,214
48,049
Anyone else think all the tactics these days have actually made the game a bit more boring?

Sure there are more goals than ever but this whole goalkeeper keeping the ball at his feet for ages until the striker chooses to press or not for example is a load of bollocks.

I like that teams pass the ball more and play out from the back and press more but every single team seems to play like this now so every match looks exactly the same and the teams are so so well drilled in every aspect it feels so contrived and rigid. Occasionally I’d like to see a bit of a throwback match with 2 big guys up top and 2 wingers who can get their head down and whip a cross in and the odd long ball etc, it’s all so predictable in how every single team plays these days and at times it’s boring.

For example take a player like Gazza back in the day who was all about freedom and dribbling and taking risks , playground football if you will, he simply wouldn’t exist in todays football because of the imo over focus on tactics.
 

rossdapep

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2011
22,142
79,640
Anyone else think all the tactics these days have actually made the game a bit more boring?

Sure there are more goals than ever but this whole goalkeeper keeping the ball at his feet for ages until the striker chooses to press or not for example is a load of bollocks.

I like that teams pass the ball more and play out from the back and press more but every single team seems to play like this now so every match looks exactly the same and the teams are so so well drilled in every aspect it feels so contrived and rigid. Occasionally I’d like to see a bit of a throwback match with 2 big guys up top and 2 wingers who can get their head down and whip a cross in and the odd long ball etc, it’s all so predictable in how every single team plays these days and at times it’s boring.

For example take a player like Gazza back in the day who was all about freedom and dribbling and taking risks , playground football if you will, he simply wouldn’t exist in todays football because of the imo over focus on tactics.
 

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aliyid

Well-Known Member
Dec 28, 2004
7,003
20,129
Always remember Big Sam being a massive advocate of data science in the early days and some of the stuff he was doing at Bolton was cutting edge.

He always gets parodied as a footballing caveman but far from it he was deep into all the opta data and player tracking side
 

fishhhandaricecake

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2018
19,214
48,049
Always remember Big Sam being a massive advocate of data science in the early days and some of the stuff he was doing at Bolton was cutting edge.

He always gets parodied as a footballing caveman but far from it he was deep into all the opta data and player tracking side
Tactically he does love a long ball but yea he also did bring data led approach to Bolton before it was a trend
 

rossdapep

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2011
22,142
79,640
Anyone else think all the tactics these days have actually made the game a bit more boring?

Sure there are more goals than ever but this whole goalkeeper keeping the ball at his feet for ages until the striker chooses to press or not for example is a load of bollocks.

I like that teams pass the ball more and play out from the back and press more but every single team seems to play like this now so every match looks exactly the same and the teams are so so well drilled in every aspect it feels so contrived and rigid. Occasionally I’d like to see a bit of a throwback match with 2 big guys up top and 2 wingers who can get their head down and whip a cross in and the odd long ball etc, it’s all so predictable in how every single team plays these days and at times it’s boring.

For example take a player like Gazza back in the day who was all about freedom and dribbling and taking risks , playground football if you will, he simply wouldn’t exist in todays football because of the imo over focus on tactics.
I know what you mean mate. I think if you just want to enjoy a game it can feel a bit boring.

I really enjoy the tactical side of it but I don't enjoy watxhing teams who over do it.

It's brought the game on a lot in terms of strategy but the flipside is it has created a situation where the majority of coaches just copy the trend rather than just play to a team's unique strengths like they used to.

Problem is, if you tried to play that old school way, you'd get slapped cause you just wouldn't be able to counter what the other team do.
 

rossdapep

Well-Known Member
Aug 25, 2011
22,142
79,640
There doesn't seem to be any overall football tactics thread so putting this in here.

Found this article in Athletic really interesting. Always wondered what where the triggers for when teams went full on press and this article outlines it well. The second link is archives version of it so while it's not as slick looking as the original article it still has the graphics in it which is useful.


Thanks for sharing!
 

fishhhandaricecake

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2018
19,214
48,049
I know what you mean mate. I think if you just want to enjoy a game it can feel a bit boring.

I really enjoy the tactical side of it but I don't enjoy watxhing teams who over do it.

It's brought the game on a lot in terms of strategy but the flipside is it has created a situation where the majority of coaches just copy the trend rather than just play to a team's unique strengths like they used to.

Problem is, if you tried to play that old school way, you'd get slapped cause you just wouldn't be able to counter what the other team do.
Completely agree
 

fishhhandaricecake

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2018
19,214
48,049
I know what you mean mate. I think if you just want to enjoy a game it can feel a bit boring.

I really enjoy the tactical side of it but I don't enjoy watxhing teams who over do it.

It's brought the game on a lot in terms of strategy but the flipside is it has created a situation where the majority of coaches just copy the trend rather than just play to a team's unique strengths like they used to.

Problem is, if you tried to play that old school way, you'd get slapped cause you just wouldn't be able to counter what the other team do.
I think the main issue with more old school tactics would mostly be the lack of possession, playing in a less rigid tactically structured way would enable modern teams to have easy overloads and time and space to dissect teams and work triangles etc. They’d also not be quite as well drilled defensively and in transitions so would possibly get picked apart a bit by a more modern more tactically astutr

No doubt modern teams are far better drilled etc, you could kind of compare let’s say Fergie’s Man.U when they came up against Pep’s Barca, it wasn’t just that the Barca team had Messi, Xavi, Iniesta etc it was also that tactically they pressed better than Fergie’s Man.U and they kept the ball a lot better, but I would liked to have seen Man.U’s 1999 side against Pep’s Barca as I could see them having given them a better game than certainly the 2011 Man.U 4-4-1-1 which included an aging Giggs in CM, Fabio, Valencia, Park, Hernandez, hardly starwalts of the Utd glory days.
I reference Man.U as I suppose they represent the best PL era more old school tactical team under Fergie where for the most part they played 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1.

Football does go in cycles and I do wonder if at some point it might swing back away from always playing out from the back, always short passing, always trying to high press etc. You could almost shock a modern day side by playing in a more old school way, but then a modern side would play a 6 across the back low block and know when to press and trigger and so it would be really difficult for the sides of yesteryear to get their crosses in.

I’d love to see how Fergie’s 99 team and Wengers 4-4-2 invincibles would do today against City for example.

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fishhhandaricecake

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2018
19,214
48,049
Part of me does also think that to an extent football tactics sum up modern society in that everything is overanalysed and at times overcomplicated.

At the end of the day football can be quite a simple game I mean for quite a while Redknapps pretty basic 4-4-2 was working absolute wonders for us, although appreciate that was a little before todays playing out from the back high press era but still, AVB followed him and tried to play a more modern tactical approach and he was no where near as successful for us as Redknapp was, if it wasn’t for Bale AVB would’ve been sacked way sooner.
 

FrankSpencer

Well-Known Member
May 23, 2007
1,236
4,133
Anyone else think all the tactics these days have actually made the game a bit more boring?

Sure there are more goals than ever but this whole goalkeeper keeping the ball at his feet for ages until the striker chooses to press or not for example is a load of bollocks.

I like that teams pass the ball more and play out from the back and press more but every single team seems to play like this now so every match looks exactly the same and the teams are so so well drilled in every aspect it feels so contrived and rigid. Occasionally I’d like to see a bit of a throwback match with 2 big guys up top and 2 wingers who can get their head down and whip a cross in and the odd long ball etc, it’s all so predictable in how every single team plays these days and at times it’s boring.

For example take a player like Gazza back in the day who was all about freedom and dribbling and taking risks , playground football if you will, he simply wouldn’t exist in todays football because of the imo over focus on tactics.
Agreed, I strangely find Man City boring to watch!
 

fishhhandaricecake

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2018
19,214
48,049
Even though I’ve just said some of today’s tactics can be a bit boring, at the same time the way Pep has transformed the game following on from Cruyff is incredible.

The Pep documentary on I-player ‘Chasing Perfection’ is really good.
 

sandrosbeard

Member
Aug 22, 2013
16
52
I've read a couple of interesting books on tactical changes through the years, I'd recommend them to anyone nerdy that enjoys that side of the game.

Michael Cox - zonal marking, the making of modern European football

Jonathan Wilson - inverting the pyramid


Both go into great detail over how formations and styles have changed through the years, and how managers "stole" ideas from teams before them and tweak them to suit the more modern styles.
 

GutBucket

Well-Known Member
May 26, 2013
6,843
11,542
Always remember Big Sam being a massive advocate of data science in the early days and some of the stuff he was doing at Bolton was cutting edge.

He always gets parodied as a footballing caveman but far from it he was deep into all the opta data and player tracking side
His Bolton team with Okocha is legendary and was super fun to watch.
 

Gassin's finest

C'est diabolique
May 12, 2010
37,580
88,366
When I gave up my ST a couple of seasons back, I decided to get a NOW TV sports subscription instead. I gave my dad the login so he could watch it as well. He was very grateful, especially after his cancer op and recovery, and he watched every game they had on. Absolutely loved it.

Last week I saw that I was paying nearly £40 a month for it now, so I decided to cancel given that I only watched Spurs on it, and even then very infrequently due to life commitments. Also I need to budget better now. I called my Dad to say sorry, and he said "oh, you do what you have to son. I stopped watching it ages ago, its all the same boring shite."

His opinion is that everything is far too tactical now, everyone is obsessed with domination and not losing. He could predict when they were going to pass it back to the keeper. Pass it out from the back, if anyone gets tackled they roll and cry a bit. If someone scores a goal then there's 5 mins of the ref talking to his mate in VAR, who is just doing his mate a favour (as Mike Dean let on) and usually makes a bad decision. Then they all have a tantrum about it. Tedious.

Its simply not as fun and enjoyable as it was when he was going to matches, from the 50s through to the 80s. 4-4-2 may seem reductive now, but it made for some damn entertaining football.
 

Trix

Well-Known Member
Jul 29, 2004
19,506
330,388
When I gave up my ST a couple of seasons back, I decided to get a NOW TV sports subscription instead. I gave my dad the login so he could watch it as well. He was very grateful, especially after his cancer op and recovery, and he watched every game they had on. Absolutely loved it.

Last week I saw that I was paying nearly £40 a month for it now, so I decided to cancel given that I only watched Spurs on it, and even then very infrequently due to life commitments. Also I need to budget better now. I called my Dad to say sorry, and he said "oh, you do what you have to son. I stopped watching it ages ago, its all the same boring shite."

His opinion is that everything is far too tactical now, everyone is obsessed with domination and not losing. He could predict when they were going to pass it back to the keeper. Pass it out from the back, if anyone gets tackled they roll and cry a bit. If someone scores a goal then there's 5 mins of the ref talking to his mate in VAR, who is just doing his mate a favour (as Mike Dean let on) and usually makes a bad decision. Then they all have a tantrum about it. Tedious.

Its simply not as fun and enjoyable as it was when he was going to matches, from the 50s through to the 80s. 4-4-2 may seem reductive now, but it made for some damn entertaining football.
It will come back around, and eventually it'll be the perfect counter to whatever system is dominating football at that time. One team will do it brilliantly and everyone else will try and copy it it with less success. That's how football has been for a hundred years+.
 

Gassin's finest

C'est diabolique
May 12, 2010
37,580
88,366
It will come back around, and eventually it'll be the perfect counter to whatever system is dominating football at that time. One team will do it brilliantly and everyone else will try and copy it it with less success. That's how football has been for a hundred years+.
I don't think it goes in cycles so much. From reading things like Inverting the Pyramid and The Mixer football has only ever evolved. I don't ever see the WM ever making a comeback for example.

Although if you mean more attacking, cavalier football in general, as we're seeing at spurs this season, then yes possibly. Football is in a bit of a dirge at the moment if you ask me, from over saturation and domination.
 

fishhhandaricecake

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2018
19,214
48,049
When I gave up my ST a couple of seasons back, I decided to get a NOW TV sports subscription instead. I gave my dad the login so he could watch it as well. He was very grateful, especially after his cancer op and recovery, and he watched every game they had on. Absolutely loved it.

Last week I saw that I was paying nearly £40 a month for it now, so I decided to cancel given that I only watched Spurs on it, and even then very infrequently due to life commitments. Also I need to budget better now. I called my Dad to say sorry, and he said "oh, you do what you have to son. I stopped watching it ages ago, its all the same boring shite."

His opinion is that everything is far too tactical now, everyone is obsessed with domination and not losing. He could predict when they were going to pass it back to the keeper. Pass it out from the back, if anyone gets tackled they roll and cry a bit. If someone scores a goal then there's 5 mins of the ref talking to his mate in VAR, who is just doing his mate a favour (as Mike Dean let on) and usually makes a bad decision. Then they all have a tantrum about it. Tedious.

Its simply not as fun and enjoyable as it was when he was going to matches, from the 50s through to the 80s. 4-4-2 may seem reductive now, but it made for some damn entertaining football.
Lovely share mate ❤️
 
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