In the sea of widely recognizable and highly popular footballing philosophies, standing out as a football manager is quite a big achievement. A lot of coaches are popular for leading the best teams in the world, but whose work is the easiest to recognize? The most eye-catching way to split managerial styles is whether it is referred to as attacking or defensive. This article, made following a survey carried out by bettingTips4You, will explain the main difference between these two philosophies through adequate examples.
The former Barcelona captain is probably the synonym for the modern-day attacking football. Some would argue that he has always led the best teams in the world. This is correct, but nobody can deny his footprints. Barcelona won 14 of 19 possible titles during his reign. He moved to Bayern Munich where he won four of possible six trophies in the first year. He won back-to-back Premier League titles with Manchester City and is chasing record-breaking third successive silverware there. If you take a look at how Barcelona and Bayern Munich have played in the post-Guardiola period, you may well recognize the massive difference in the beauty of the game.
Pep’s main principle is positioning. It is the key for supremacy on the pitch and it is the main weapon Guardiola’s teams use to break down their opponents and have the ball possession. Guardiola learned from Dutch masters of such game and he brought it to an entirely new level. Yohan Cruyff once said: Do you know why Barcelona regains the possession so quick after losing it? Because they do not have to run more than 10 feet as they do not send passes longer than 10 feet.
Guardiola is a master-mind in analyzing the positioning of his opponents. According to him, the moves made by the rival’s defensive line are much more important than the moving of the ball. You must wonder what is it that Guardiola does to be so successful while constantly attacking. The answer is the positioning of both his and opposition’s players. Pep’s lads can then save the strength for the key play instead of losing it for runs and actions without an adequate plan. Truly, Manchester City’s matches usually bring true poetry on the pitch. It was the same case with Barcelona and Bayern Munich with him in charge. You can argue whether Pep would be so successful in a smaller team, but nobody can dispute his superiority at the highest level.
Several managers use an opposite philosophy to the one of Guardiola’s, but we decided to take Antonio Conte as the perfect model for the defensive-minded approach to the game.
Conte is a maestro of his kind without doubts. He has won three consecutive Serie A titles with Juventus before claiming the “Premier League manager of the season” award when he led Chelsea to the silverware in the 2016/17 campaign. Conte returned to Italy in the meantime where he made a promising start to the new season with Inter Milan.
Conte spent years and year testing different formations before he came up to his signature 3-5-2 wheel. Three men at the back, two wing-backs, three men at the centre of the park, and two forwards – this was the strategy which led Bianconeri to three successive Serie A trophies.
The very same formation did miracles with Chelsea as Conte managed to set club’s record by winning 11 consecutive Premier League games.
Most ordinary fans will dislike Conte’s style of play as he parks the bus most of the time when having the lead, regardless of the strength of the opposition. He, however, has results to speak for him and nobody can deny his master class.