Barcelona is a celebrated team in World Football that has tested the fluency of Total football in different terrains to attain telepathy in a humanoid environment. Without a doubt, Pep Guardiola had a stellar side when he took the reigns of the first team but he instilled his own ideas and pasted his own picture in that platform which is often overshadowed amidst the acoustics of that alluring attacking line up that had a Messiah, Martian, and a Marine that manufactured results without malice.
Here are 4 reasons that prove Pep poised Barcelona for success:
Installing astounding as well as authoritative leaders at the back
Pep Guardiola has always preferred big strong defenders at the back. Ones that can be authoritative and bring physicality in a tough environment to shield a result. Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique were his persistence and power at the back; often giving impetus to Barca from behind. Puyol especially had that mean streak and the organizational skills to reprimand and retrieve according to the match situation.
Pique took over from Puyol as a leader but it was unfortunate that the manager wasn’t able to sign the personnel that suited his perception after Puyol’s departure which hurt the side moving forward. Pep signing of Stones last season proves my point of his preference for physicality and he is installing the same belief at Manchester City.
Barcelona signed mid card makeshift defenders after his departure that dismantled the side. With the signing of Samuel Umtiti, they have finally realized that need is essential than nifty to create a niche.
Defensive midfielder shaped as a distributor
The early and mid-2000’s saw the rise of the defensive midfielder whose role was to do the dirty job on the field, breaking up the play in the middle, thus allowing attacking midfielders to play with freedom. The likes of Makelele, Gattuso, and Essien emerged from this system which was suffocating free-flowing football.
Pep unleashed Sergio Busquets who was an able stand tackler, remarkable reader and a potent passer with athleticism that powered the press into a risk-free slide tackle. His inception brought stability with creativity on the field. Something which allowed the pace and movement to flow without hindrance thus improving the overall product. Fernandinho is furnishing the midfield at Manchester City with now Pep being the architect.
Transforming the goalkeeper into a sweeper at the back
This is a polarizing topic as I was also skeptical of its implication which can make an average goalkeeper look stupid on the field but the fact of the matter is that Pep chose the right personnel in the form of Valdes who taught a lesson on covering, reading, distributing, and shot stopping with Pep’s coaching style that hasn’t been given much credit by the casual fans.
In a contest, strength is often overpowered by the strategy that all the more lays stress on the scientific study to gain sovereignty which Pep has mastered with his coaching methods increasing the ability of an individual. He replicated the process at Bayern unleashing a Beast that was both gritty and graceful in the shape of Neuer. He was harsh on Joe Hart no doubt, but with Ederson’s inclusion, he has finally got what he wanted.
Barca’s Ter Stegen is a perfect example of a sweeping goalkeeper who is quick on his feet. Another proof stating that Pep’s methodology still prevails.
Creating Wizardry through pacy wing forwards
Player’s position and team formation keeps evolving with times. In 2000’s wingers were more or less used as a wide man intent on executing crosses an assisting one or two forwards, 4-3-3 wasn’t used in its purest form until the likes of Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto’o, David Villa and Pedro ran riot unlocking a false 9 formation which powered movement with runners running rampage to provide pace and incisiveness to the side.
The pure excitement that the adventures of a wing forward created, brought eloquence and excellence on the field that was followed and replicated by top teams all over the World. City, Of course, is benefiting a lot from this new setting. Even after Pep’s departure, Barca hasn’t changed their attacking engine with emphasis on windy wing forwards. Ousmane Dembele signing raised eyebrows, but the fact is it signifies a system that emerged from Pep’s penetration.
The camp of Nostalgia can never forget a master
Who accumulated the present in the presence of the past to fix the future
The constant is change but instant shall remain in the shape
We salute a system that empowered and embraced our game.