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Author: Joao Nuno Fonseca

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Every football team in the World reinvents itself with new players, and necessarily experiences transformations to reach high performance – if possible with quality play.

In this final phase of pre-season the preparation of games takes on a determining role in being able to see the coach’s ideas and that which he wants to be their way of playing implemented in the context of games. Therefore, from my point of view, pre-season must not be a period that is different to the rest of the season, but a period in which you have to assess and analyse the trends that the coach thinks are the most favourable for his team to grow.

In Antonio Conte’s Chelsea, it is already possible to see that the coach privileges the protection of the central corridor with a well-oriented pressure creating numerical superiority in one of the corridors for recovering ball possession – which makes total sense, in a League such as the Premier League.
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In Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, it is already possible to see that his ideas are being executed by his players. In this image it is possible to see that with the carrying/retention of the ball by Fernando, it is possible to attract/accumulate opposing players into a certain space and simultaneously have teammates unmarked and with space to receive the ball without pressure.

Or in other words, Pep Guardiola wants his players with more capability to unbalance the play in order to have more advantageous situations for being able to enhance their qualities and make the interaction in tactical terms more fluid.
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In Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United, it is possible to see the importance of the frontward pass/backward pass in the offensive set-up in the spaces conceded in the middle to attract defensive players (that sometimes try to close up the gap). This allows his team to make penetrating passes into the spaces conceded and consequently create unmarked players.
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For all of this to happen it is because the base of the training adopted by these elite coaches is contextualised and adapted to the specific means where it is inserted. Each of them has their own identity, all of them distinct, but that which envisages the group’s performance for a tremendously demanding season. They stabilise the principles that they want to instil in their teams and at the same time they enhance group dynamics that they wish to implement in order to obtain a performance that allows them to win and be able to be ready for the next challenge.
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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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