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2013/2014 Tactics & formations thread

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Re: 2013/2014 Tactics & formations thread

Postby Badger » Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:31 pm

Thanks very much for the responses.

My discussion here, by the way, may spread over a couple more posts and few days. Up front, I’d like to acknowledge that I’m trying to assess whether 4-1-4-1 is a “calculated risk” – ie a controlled risk that is partly predictable and can be minimised without need to eliminate it completely. Even if the theory is wrong, I think that it is worth examining, and I’ll appreciate all the counterpoints others make.

Back to the original question. I take 4-1-4-1, and formations in general, to be irrelevant to a goal if:
- there are sufficient defenders in place to prevent the goal
- the goal is scored from a long shot beyond the defenders
- there is a clear case of individual error leading to the goal

Here are the 8 goals in detail:
Dortmund v Bayern
1-0 Reus.
A moderately dangerous ball into the box, which Starke fumbled badly. Verdict: Individual error.
2-1 van Buyten (og).
This was a totally unnecessary own-goal by Dante. Verdict: Individual error.
3-1 Gundogan.
Scored from a distance past several Bayern players. Gundogan was not closed down well at all by the midfielders/defenders. Verdict: Sufficient defenders to prevent the goal.
4-2 Reus.
Surprise attack develops quickly from Alcantara losing the ball in midfield, with the other defenders poorly positioned. Most formations will be caught out by such unexpected gifts to the opponents’ attackers. Verdict: Individual error.

Bayern v Gladbach
2-1 Dante (og).
This was a totally unnecessary own-goal by Dante. Verdict: Individual error.

Freiburg v Bayern
1-1 Hoefler.
A good cross comes into the box past several Bayern defenders to land at an unmarked Hoefler, whom Rafinha has lost sight of. Verdict: Individual error.

Chelsea v Bayern
1-0 Torres.
Splendid counterattack, at speed with precise shooting from Torres from a distance. Verdict: Debatable. Sufficient defenders to prevent the goal/Another 4-2-3-1 defensive midfielder may have closed the space.
2-1 Hazard.
Plays around two Bayern players, before scoring with a shot close to Neuer. Verdict: (Multiple) Individual error.

In 660 min of football, only one goal is scored against Bayern which could (debatably) be attributed to the 4-1-4-1 formation: Torres’ goal in the Supercup. So the concern about 4-1-4-1 is not founded on results. Some have pointed to the chances other teams had that didn’t quite lead to a goal. That is a point worth considering, but are those near misses any more the fault of 4-1-4-1 than the goals were – currently calculated as 1 out of 8?

To be continued…
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Re: 2013/2014 Tactics & formations thread

Postby AdepT » Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:37 pm

About the Chelsea 2nd goal : It is pretty much a goal scored on break when Lahm is the only player any where near Hazard and all others still running into the box.
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Re: 2013/2014 Tactics & formations thread

Postby Firefox1234 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:42 pm

AdepT wrote:About the Chelsea 2nd goal : It is pretty much a goal scored on break when Lahm is the only player any where near Hazard and all others still running into the box.

I agree that Boateng and Martinez at the time were still tracking back when Hazard gained possession but as a defender they shouldnt have allowed him to cut inside. If you look closely Boateng was sitting way to far back and instead of making sure Hazard didnt come back inside he stood in "no mans land" which didnt give him enough time to close down Hazard and same goes to Martinez. Lastly a world class keeper like Neuer cant allow shots like that to sneak under him...
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Re: 2013/2014 Tactics & formations thread

Postby Chalant » Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:09 pm

Its not just the second defensive mid, the fact that the defense is higher up the field also might contribute the errors by the defense.
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Re: 2013/2014 Tactics & formations thread

Postby FCBayernMunchen » Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:24 pm

Chalant wrote:Its not just the second defensive mid, the fact that the defense is higher up the field also might contribute the errors by the defense.

Yeah. Even with one less defensive midfielder our midfield is more crowded because there is less space between the midfielders and the defenders. But this makes us very vulnerable to long balls and quick counters and I think this is the reason our opponents have had more chances.

Most of the time we have 3 defenders in position. This means that even if they do manage to track back in time there will only be 1-2 players helping Neuer out in most cases. Last season we usually had only 3 as well (with one fullback usually further up the field after an attack), but opponents first had to get past Schweinsteiger-Martinez, a hard task in itself, and these two would buy time for the fullbacks and wingers, and even Mandzukic, to track back. Thus most of the time we'd have 3-4 players in front of the opposing player even after they beat our midfield.
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Re: 2013/2014 Tactics & formations thread

Postby quaazi » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:26 pm

Completely agreed, Badger. When we conceded that goal v Chelski, my first thought was "that's the 4-1-4-1 at work". One goal so far isn't a bad result at that, to be honest.
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Re: 2013/2014 Tactics & formations thread

Postby Firefox1234 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:47 pm

To help cement Badger's opinions as facts is Toni Kroos =D> :
Was sind Peps Ideen?

What are Pep's ideas?

Kroos: Jeder Trainer hat ja seine eigene Idee, wie er spielen lassen will. In Ballbesitz und auch gegen den Ball. Eine seiner Ideen ist eben der eine Sechser, der jetzt zum Achter wurde. Um vorne noch einen Mann mehr zu haben, auch um zu attackieren und sich den Ball frühestmöglich zu holen. Das ist keine Riesenveränderung, nur eine kleine Umstellung.

Kroos: Every coach has their own ideas on how to play (football). Both with and without the ball. One of his ideas is using one 6, and moving one player further forward to have two 8's. This is a huge change, but rather a small one.

Aber woher kommen dann die vielen Gegentore?

But why are so many goals being conceded?

Kroos: Das hat nichts mit dem System zu tun. Gegen Gladbach haben wir zu viel zugelassen, aber wenn man die anderen Spiele ansieht: Frankfurt, Nürnberg, Freiburg und auch Chelsea, dann kann man die gegnerischen Chancen an einer Hand abzählen. Da sieht man eine klare Verbesserung unseres Spielverhaltens, was das Verhindern von Kontern angeht. Und um nichts anderes geht es. Wir werden immer das Spiel bestimmen und Konter verhindern müssen. Und man darf nicht übersehen: Die Tore, die wir bekommen haben, waren meist individuelle Fehler und keine Frage des Systems.

Kroos: This has nothing to do with the system. Against Gladbach we gave away too many chances but in subsequent matches, against Frankfurt, Nuremberg, Freiburg and also Chelsea, then you can count the opponent's chances with one hand. You're able to see clear improvements when it comes to switching from defense to attack and also when it comes to preventing counters. Also we shouldn't forget: the goals that we've conceded were mostly invidivual mistakes and not related to our system.

Aber musste Pep gleich so viel verändern?

Why does Pep have to change so much?

Kroos: Ich finde erstens, dass er nicht so viel verändert hat. Zweitens ist es normal, dass ein Trainer seine eigene Idee von Fußball mit einbringen will. Und ich glaube, dass seine Idee eine sehr gute ist. Es ist doch so: Stillstand ist Rückschritt, und ich denke, dass man an unserem Spiel trotz des Triples immer noch etwas verbessern konnte.

Kroos: Firstly I don't think that he is changing that much. Secondly it's normal that a coach bring along his own ideas regarding football. And I'm sure that his ideas about football are really good. It is as follows: stagnation is regression and I think that we can still improve elements our football.
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Re: 2013/2014 Tactics & formations thread

Postby Chalant » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:12 am

I agree with Kroos's last answer, Pep is grnuinely trying to blend his style and bayern's. if he was gonna be an exact replica of jupp, then jupp wouldnt havenleft had he.
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Re: 2013/2014 Tactics & formations thread

Postby tflags » Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:00 pm

I have seen a lot of posts regarding which defender screwed where and when. You cannot ask four guys who just won everything while defending against front facing attackers to accomplish the same while running back from a very high defensive line. It doesn't work that way. They either learn how to close down the ball while outnumbered or they retract the 'offside line' leaving even bigger empty spaces which is never a good idea.

Either way that Hazard goal could have been saved by Neuer. Just say'n.
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Re: 2013/2014 Tactics & formations thread

Postby Badger » Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:43 pm

Thanks for the responses to my last post. I’d like to mention once again that this batch of posts is a case of my thinking aloud, so to speak. I don’t know the answers and haven’t reached any conclusions, so I’m particularly appreciative when others add valid points.

The details of the interview with Kroos were very relevant and timely. Indeed, he gave a lot of answers from a slightly different perspective. The points that I latched onto were (in my words):
- Kroos feels that changes were necessary for on-going improvement,
- Kroos doesn’t regard Guardiola’s changes as big changes,
- Kroos doesn’t think that the system is at fault for the current defensive disorder; it is a player problem,
- Kroos gives the impression that the team is very optimistic about Guardiola’s management, and, although not related to the current discussion,
- Kroos gives the impression that Guardiola will play him at CM (CAM), and his place on the team is reasonably safe.

I feel that Kroos is probably representing many other players very well too, in what he says. There have been almost no negative vibes from the players about Guardiola’s system, no matter how the media have tried to find such. This is a very significant point. The players have been asked to make changes, move out of their comfort zone, and do a lot in a short space of time, but they seem persuaded about Guardiola and his system. The concern and negativity comes from the fans.

Having said all that about the many answers Kroos gives, I’d still like to look at a few more things that may indicate that people’s concerns about 4-1-4-1, in particular, are out of proportion and, interestingly, that Guardiola may be happy to mitigate the defensive risk inherent in 4-1-4-1 and live with it, rather than try to eliminate it.

The next thing I’d like to do, then, is have a look at the near misses Bayern have had, and ask what the cause was. The only games I think this worth doing for are the Chelsea game and the forthcoming Hannover game. (The Dortmund game was too long ago to be representative, the Frankfurt game displayed little danger and the Freiburg game was played by the Bayern B team.) This involves watching the Chelsea game again – something I may not achieve until the weekend. For the record, though, here are the Chelsea v Bayern stats once again (as recorded on transfermarkt.de):
Chelsea (Bayern in brackets)
10 (25) Total Shots
7 (10) Shots on Target
3 (15) Shots off Target
8 (4) Shots Saved
5 (15) Corners
20 (25) Free Kicks
4 (1) Offsides

The questions are: what really led to the 5 on-target shots that didn’t go in, what led to the more dangerous of the off-target shots, what led to the corners, etc. I expect that, as with the goals, most of the causes will turn out to be irrelevant to 4-1-4-1, and show that people’s concerns are unfounded, but I’ll not be sure until I watch the game again. Then, having done that, I’m very keen to watch the Hannover game for much the same thing. Indeed, we have two Hannover games in close succession, and it would be very interesting to see whether Hannover can exploit Bayern’s system in the second game.

Thanks for reading my posts. After I’ve finished with this topic, I will be joining in a bit more in topics others are raising.
Last edited by Badger on Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2013/2014 Tactics & formations thread

Postby Firefox1234 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:53 pm

Off topic:Im still trying to figure out how this forum was so fortunate to have a member like Badger for a year and not know about it? The fact that you are going out of your way to enlighten our thirsty minds about a team we all know and love is very heart warming. I feel like i have a professional coach or maybe even Pep himself here to explain the ins and outs of what is going on. Take your time as we all eagerly await your next post, well at least i do. :mrgreen: Thanks you Badger, i may not be able to speak for everyone hear but you are a true blessing :cry: =D> :mrgreen: \:D/
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Re: 2013/2014 Tactics & formations thread

Postby runaway » Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:59 pm

Yep, I first read Badger's blog post on his analysis of the 4-1-4-1 via a link shared here. Truly insightful stuff! May I ask how did you amass this wealth of knowledge, Badger? Are you a player or works in a profession connected to football? :)
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Re: 2013/2014 Tactics & formations thread

Postby Badger » Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:08 pm

Off topic:
@ Firefox and Runaway

Thanks very much for your generous comments but, quite honestly, it makes me feel rather uncomfortable - almost a bit of a fraud - when I get praise like this.

I am not partularly knowledgeable, and I'm in no position to lecture to or enlighten others. My posts are just a dump of the things I've observed and thought about, and I post my incomplete picture hoping discussion with others will complete it.

That's about it, really.
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Re: 2013/2014 Tactics & formations thread

Postby FCBayernMunchen » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:00 pm

Well you've certainly started a very interesting discussion. :)
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Re: 2013/2014 Tactics & formations thread

Postby SchwanMunich » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:40 pm

Despite what has been said I still feel like the system is the problem. We got cut to pieces against Chelsea, and they could have scored more. Our defense seems unsure of themselves and we are making mistakes left and right. Systems can cause players to make mistakes. When you are protected by 2 dm's as a defender it's always gonna be much easier. I will give it time because I do believe we can master this system and make it work. I don't think it will be as strong defensively but I hope I'm wrong.

However, I firmly feel the 4-2-3-1 is better defensively. We may have less possession with the 4-2-3-1 but who cares? We played strong, fast, and had the best partnership of holding mid's in the world last year. Our system made DvB look like a stud. We slapped around barca 7-0 over 2 legs. Why are we making these changes again #-o
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