The founding idea of my football is based on the will of proactive football, possession and attack. I would like to play total football, with 11 active players in the offensive & defensive phase. We have the ambition to command the play in both phases.
The "playing style" must be the common thread of my team. Meaning for "playing style” that common thread composed of principles, positions and emotions between the players themselves. A game based on the collective but that is able to enhance the strongest individualities.
The two key principles of my idea of football are related to the ball:
- We want and must keep it as long as possible until we attack and we must have a strong competitive ferocity to go recover immediately once the ball is lost.
The definition and creation of the ideal “CONTEXT” (tactical, technical,physical-athletic and emotional) to make our players express their best, it will be our most important challenge. I would also like to mention the teams that inspired me in the formation of my idea of football. Teams and coaches I have admired as a fan and others with whom I was lucky enough to play together or against: Cruijff's Barcelona and then Guardiola's, Van Gaal's Ajax, Ancelotti's Milan up to Conte's Juventus.
As we will see later, in modern football the meaning of “the role” is changing. It is no longer a fixed position that identifies the characteristics of a player, but more and more are the different functions and therefore the tasks that a player performs during the game. Therefore the characteristics of the players are enhanced through the tasks he is called upon to perform.
However we quickly see the main qualities of top players level in modern football through classic roles.
In addition to the classic characteristics of the goalkeeper in defending the goal, a modern goalkeeper cannot fail to have quality in the defense and in the game in possession of the ball. The defense of space forward becomes essential to cover the spaces with a high defensive line and aggressive. In ball possession, the goalkeeper is also in all effects a construction player able to choose the most effective solution, to lead the ball and find a pass.
Together with the goalkeeper, the role of the central defender is what has changed the most in the last 30 years, both in defensive and in offensive phase. Now the defender must be able to mix skills as well to cover large spaces if we want to have an offensive team that attacks with many players. In the possession phase the defenders became the first directors of the team. Now the "key passes"of the central defenders are close to those of the central midfielders.
It is a very flexible role, with characteristics very different from each other but modern football systems allow to be able to exploit them by assigning them various functions. The push back very good at pushing will be deputed to ensure amplitude inattack, the one who is best at defending can often become a third central defender, the technically and tactically good one we canuse him as an added midfielder in possession. Surely their importance has increased dramatically start of the maneuver, in fact in some cases we can talk about full backs.
The football of the last 20 years, with Ancelotti's Milan, Barcelona's Guardiola up to Zidane's Real showed that it can't work withour midfielders regardless of the technique of their midfielders. After a period historical dominated by physical midfielders (90's), it has rediscovered to technical players with a great vision of the game bviously, a good dose must be added to these qualities in order to perform multiple functions (construction and finishing for example).
As with the outside defenders, the outside midfielders have also roles with greater flexibility. Based on characteristics, you can decide to isolate the player in 1vs1 (fundamental characteristic in high level football). Here too winning back the lost ball represents a fundamental characteristic as for all footballers acting in the offensive half.
The forwards are often among the most talented players with their own particular characteristics. Talent and characteristics within a collective, capable of bringing out the best individuality. In my game model, the attack of depth is a very important element and often it’s the attacker who deals with them continuously (even if they can beattacks in space by midfielders or wielders are lethal). In a attacking football system with many offensive players (including attacking midfielders and wingers) it is also necessary for the attacker to be able to communicate with technique and intelligence with their teammates to favor the insertions of themselves.
Quotes from Pirlo's thesis - Original source: https://www.figc.it/media/124922/andrea-pirlo_tesi.pdf