Guardiola made an important reservation before the game against Real Madrid. seems to understand something
Grigory Telingater May 17, 2023, 16:00 Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
Yes, yes, again the story of bald quackery.
“I have an idea of doing something different for mobility in attack,” said the City manager just before the second leg against Real Madrid. If it wasn’t Josep Guardiola who said it, but someone else, then no one would have paid attention to him. And then immediately memories pop up in my head, how the coach was too smart, and more than once.
The most notorious case was, perhaps, in 2020. Then, his team in the 1/4 final entered the game with a new scheme and flew out of modest Lyon. Thanks to people close to the City players, we can guess that the manager’s decision surprised even the players. Since then, the expression “bald quack” has become the most popular meme (although it existed before).
Given the background, the journalists immediately asked Guardiola about the idea of doing something different. And the Spaniard immediately made a reservation that he had not been understood. He raised his hand and assured: “There is nothing special. I won’t be too smart, don’t worry guys.” It’s paradoxical: one of the best coaches in the world (or even the best, if we take tournaments long distance) is almost forced to make excuses and reassure journalists for his ideas .
But if you dig a bit, you can see that Guardiola is constantly experimenting. His City changes every season to make it harder for opponents to adapt. Now the team enters the field with a pronounced striker, who is good precisely at pirouetting in the penalty area and closing, and not retreating into the depths and following the game (this also happens, but rarely).
Photo: Angel Martinez/Getty Images
One of Guardiola’s last tricks is to play with four power stations. Although this is taking into account the basic positions of the players, and not their situational roles. Right on the flanks of the defense are the former central defenders. In turn, one of them are the Stones, who fulfill different functions depending on the game scenario. If with the “City” ball, he becomes a defensive player, allowing Gundogan to rise higher. If an opponent has the ball, Stones falls on the defensive line.
In this sense, was Guardiola also too intelligent? No, they don’t say that. City have looked very good in recent months and have crushed their opponents in all competitions. Four central defenders are not a problem. It turns out quite funny. If the coach’s ideas do not work, everyone will joke, they say, Guardiola is a bald charlatan. If everything goes well, it’s like they don’t realize it.
Everything you need to know about the second leg between Manchester City and Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the Champions League
A week ago in Madrid, City released Walker on the right flank of the defence. Obviously, to counteract Vinicius, through whom Real Madrid’s fast counterattacks are built. And in general, the idea worked. The Brazilian scored, but he did it in an uncharacteristic way: a shot from distance. As for Vinicius’ runs on the flanks, no one has surrounded Walker throughout the match.
The story with the fact that Guardiola will surely pass at the decisive moment is a bit of an outdated myth. And the coach is obviously aware that such concerns exist. It is unlikely that he will throw something unexpected again at the key moment of the tournament. Even so, in terms of the level of the rivals, this second leg is more linked to the final than to any other stage.
That’s why Pep is so admired
Guardiola has already changed football. It doesn’t matter if Man City have a treble or not