Recently reactive football has triumphed over the more proactive style as seen under both Madrid sides. Confusing really when you consider the Spanish game less physical, more technically sound and similar to the national team style.
Whether it is stubborn to stick to a philosophy such as tiki taka varies amongst us in opinion. Nonetheless I believe Pep Guardiola is admirable for sticking to something he so strongly believes in, yet almost suicidal in today’s world. On the other hand, Real Madrid simply emulated what Bayern they themselves did against Barca last year.
That is perhaps why Bayern fans are fuming because Jupp Heynckes did what coaches are supposed to do – get the best out of their disposal. Bayern Munichs team has great depth and their campaign in Europe last season showed adaptability to different situations. It was a change to Louis van Gaals stale possession game. No surprise then that they won the treble that season.
Tiki taka is apparently outdated, yet I believe the pure form is still just as effective as any other style of football as long as it is employed in a method it works. The question though is whether teams have the fitness to press so heavily and close spaces with intensity all season. So adaptability is hugely important to success in all forms.
Barca defense looked so bad against Bayern because of the amount of space given to Bayern to attack in when the initial press was bypassed. This space afforded was also obvious in Bayerns encounter against Real Madrid who was forced to push for a goal after lacking an away goal. The addition of Bale also meant Pep’s men were playing right into Ancelotti’s hand. Nonetheless Bayerns performance resembled what Barca are now, a team that lacked penetration and had excessive possession which at full time counted for absolutely nothing.
That is why Diego Simeone is being sought after having Atletico Madrid overachieved way above anyone’s expectations. He has taken the physicality and counter attacking ability of his team and made them a force to be reckoned with. The ability to unite a team and get the best out of them is something all fans want.
Ancelotti and del Bosque though underrated are also highly respected by the elite clubs for being able to do exactly this, getting the best out of a team and unifying them.
In a world where everything is short sighted and fickle, football fans want instant results. Nowadays in football a win is a win. Mourinho was heavily criticised for his ‘anti football’ in the 1st leg against Atletico, yet had he won the 2nd leg no doubt the media would have praised him for nullifying Atletico Madrid and called it a tactical masterclass.
Though Pep may seem as if he’s trying too hard to put an imprint into what is basically a Jupp Heynckes team, I still believe that we need managers of his kind to bring a refreshing breeze in the world of football. By this, I mean managers who have a vision and stick to it.
I applaud the Brendan Rodgers and Arsene Wengers and their respective boards for giving them time and patience. In a football world where fans simply demand wins you need teams that take the initiative and play the way they deem fit. Because if we didn’t have these types of managers – football would lack the villains that are those reactive managers that do what Mourinho does.