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Rodgers - Playstyle - Current/Future LFC Squad


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There's people on here who know far more about Barca/Tiki Taka/Continental/Dutch football than me, but reading up I've found a few articles that are worth posting for the basis of discussion and debate.



For at hand reference, the RAWK thread - http://www.redandwhitekop.com/forum/index.php?topic=293927.0


Brendan Rodgers and The Tiki Taka system : http://thepathismadebywalking.wordpress.com/tiki-taka-football-handbook/0-complete-handbook/


“I like to control games. I like to be responsible for our own destiny. If you are better than your opponent with the ball you have a 79 per cent chance of winning the game…for me it is quite logical. It doesn’t matter how big or small you are, if you don’t have the ball you can’t score. My template for everything is organisation. With the ball you have to know the movement patterns, the rotation, the fluidity and positioning of the team. Then there’s our defensive organisation…so if it is not going well we have a default mechanism which makes us hard to beat and we can pass our way into the game again. Rest with the ball. Then we’ll build again.”


Rodgers own diagram of his system :





When we have the football everybody’s a player. The difference with us is that when we have the ball we play with 11 men, other teams play with 10 and a goalkeeper.” (Rodgers 2012)





The formation is nothing new, however, it’s the way in which each player is used within the formation that allows the approach to work. Therefore an adjustment must be made in the traditional view of this formation from a 4-5-1/ 4-3-3/ 3-4-3 to a 1-4-5-1, 1-4-3-3, 1-3-4-3 or even a 1-2-6-1. The point here is that the formation has lost its simplicity of which it can be viewed. The formation is now one not viewed as defence, midfield and attack but instead, over 7 zones of the pitch. Barcelona use a similar system: many noted their recent change in formation from a 4-3-3 to a 3-4-3 with the introduction of Cesc Fabregas, but the truth is they have not really changed formation as much as many have been led to believe.


The centre forward, creative inside wingers and attacking wing backs have been consistent features of many formations through out generations and their roles do not change with much significance. It is the role of zones 1, 2, 3 and 5 that act as the core to the build up play and the success in retaining possession over the entire duration of the game.


The goalkeeper is seen as the sweeper and has a set of similar roles (in possession) to zones 2 and 3. The keeper is expected to act as a pressure relief for under pressure team mates.


Zone 2 consists of two centre backs who, unlike in other formations, are expected to play a huge role in keeping possession. They also act as pressure relief to the midfield and an obvious option for the goal keeper to play the ball out to. Instead of passing the ball 30, 40 or even 50 yards the majority of their passes will be kept under 10 yards.


Zone 3 has arguably the most important role to play in keeping possession. This player must be particularly good at keeping possession under pressure from opponents and will often see their passes also being played short for the duration of the game.


Leon Britton, Pirlo and Xavi are examples of players who act as the deep lying play makers, the water carriers, the short playing quarterback or the ‘volante de salida’ which simply translates in football terms as the outlet for under-pressure team mates.


“I get the ball, I pass, I get the ball, I pass, I get the ball, I pass.” (Xavier Hernandez 2011) Xavi’s hypnotic approach to the game in a simplified view. Key abilities are not to play the ball out of pressure but to play the ball within high pressure.


Zone 5 have the role of consistently finding space acting as the final piece in the triangular connection between team mates. These two centre midfielders, like the player in zone 3 must have high standards of passing ability and awareness to keep possession but must also have high levels of stamina to work as box-to-box midfielders. They do not necessarily look to create the spectacular, but are the catalyst in the change of speed in which the possession play is being played at, the moments of which they choose to change speed and direction of the ball are key to the succession in creating opportunities to create an assist or goal. Both zones 3 and 5 will be expected to boast 90% pass completion rates in order for the system to work successfully.


Zone 4 are expected to act as support to players in possession are too expected to look to work themselves into the triangular connections made with team mates. They are expected to get forward as play moves up the pitch and follow the ball back when play dictates so. Zone 4 will opt to cross the ball from the opponents byeline rather than from deep, in keeping with the 1950’s optimum assist zone in zone G.


Zone 6 will consist of arguably the most creative players on the ball either in the sense of dribbling ability of passing ability to create. Messi, Scott Sinclair, Nathan Dyer, Pedro, Afellay, Cuenca et al are examples of players who play in this system and portray the qualities expected. This zone will also be responsible for much of the goal scoring as well as the assisting of goals.


Zone 7 needs a player who is good technically and can hold the ball very well as well as link up the play. The difference here to what a traditional long ball target man will be that the lay off to a team mate will usually follow up with this player spinning away to find space and having full awareness of where space is around him in all areas of the field, the 360 degrees of vision with and without the ball.


Zone G is the zone to which optimum chance creation occurs. However, the difference in this system is not that of desperation to play the ball as you get into this zone, but to see if the opportunity is indeed available. If not, then the only viable option is to turn and play the ball back which then may well get played all the way across to the other side of zone G, or even back to the same side if the opponents defensive positioning has changed. Patience is the key here and the general rule that one goal is scored to every nine shots will alter due to the quality of opportunity created being significantly better.

Lastly, it is important to remember that the ‘whole is greater than the sum of it’s components’ and the entire team, despite set into separate divisions of the field is expected to work together: to move up together and backwards together, much like the waves of the ocean crashing onto the surface of the beaches.






Rodgers and how our current squad individually fit into his system : http://kopphilosopher.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/rodgers-liverpool-the-british-barcelona/




The system in play (Barca) :



Edited by Flight
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