TECHNIQUE AND TACTICS

Mourinho’s tactical flexibility as key factor for Man United race

Author: Joao Nuno Fonseca

Understanding the culture, context, club, coach and player is shown to be fundamental today when beginning any training process and simultaneously any analysis of the game. We can already have many pre-defined ideas regarding that which we have acquired over time, but adapting all of this to the enfolding reality becomes fundamental.
If there is a team where consolidated progress is seen then it is in José Mourinho’s Manchester United. He has known how to make changes at the right times and in the positions that needed interactive adjustment.
In the last game vs Reading, at the start of the offensive process it was possible to see that the progression with the ball (attacking the space) was prioritised, as a way of unbalancing the defensive alignment of the opponent by attracting opposing players to the player progressing with the ball.

In the building phase, the importance of the frontward pass/delayed pass into the spaces conceded for attracting players of the defensive line. This allows the team to make decisive passes into the conceded spaces and to consequent unmarked players.

It was possible to see the long diagonal pass into the space on the opposite side of the opponent’s backline in the last game against Reading in the FA Cup. An opponent that drew their attention towards the area of the ball, freeing up space.

Attracting the opponent (dragging out individual marking) creates spaces that later serve for penetration of the full-backs.

Martial in spaces (mostly with inward movements), after progressing with the ball from the central defence to the central corridor.
The adopted basis of training must always be contextualised and adapted to the team’s needs. Not forgetting their identity (ideas), which above all strives for the collective performance. In teams with great tactical knowledge such as Manchester United, there is a tactical responsibility that alternates around, i.e., that depends on the needs that the game presents. The essence of the structural and functional possibilities of the whole offensive set-up is in the interactional capacities 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