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Author:  Joao Nuno Fonseca

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Like in all great competitions and principally European ones, great teams optimise tactical dynamics so much that they inevitably generate trends. Pep Guardiola’s FC Bayern Munich gave tactical lessons in many of its last season’s European and German league games that were clearly adapted to the defensive styles that their opponents imposed on them. Their players didn’t play better just because they had a better tactical structure during the offensive set-up phase. What really made the difference was the way they put solutions together and blended their capabilities.

There are different approaches at the start of the offensive process (1st phase): while some coaches prefer a more fixed backline of 3 centre-backs, others choose a way with more alternatives in which the so-called third man (often the centre-midfielder) plays according to the needs that the opponent imposes.

When an opponent such as TSG Hoffenheim pressed with a high line (2 forwards), the aim looked towards creating space on the wings in the midfield line, which didn’t allow spaces between the lines to advance.
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The importance of goalkeepers during these moments of the building of play, Manuel Neuer for example, is tremendous because the awareness of this situation of who applies the pressure is that which is going to allow the creation of spaces for passes to give rise to numerical and positional superiorities.
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Antonio Conte’s Italy in this Euro 2016 created simple and pragmatic dynamics that took advantage of a Spain that pressed with just 1 forward (against 3 centre-backs and Buffon). In strategic terms, the distribution of the 3 centre-backs envisions a prior analysis of the opponent in terms of pressure with their forwards.
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Antonio Conte created dynamics that made an effective building play (offensive set-up) possible, against a Spain that didn’t have an effective defensive tactical positioning. They allowed too much space in the central corridor.
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In teams with a high level of tactical awareness there is a tactical responsibility that alternates around and it depends on the demands that the game brings out.  The structural and functional possibilities of the whole offensive set-up have their essence in the interactional capabilities that the players generate.
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Joao Nuno Fonseca
Senior Football Match Analyst

Joao Nuno Fonseca hold an MSc in Sports Training with specialisation in Football under the guidance of the Professor Jose Guilherme. Start his professional career during University in Academica de Coimbra – 1st Division Portugal, as match analyst for the historical club. Won the Portuguese Cup in 2012 against Sporting Lisbon. Currently is Senior Football Match Analyst for ASPIRE Academy in Doha – Qatar and U19 Qatar National Team.

www.joaonunofonseca.com

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