For years, teams all over the world have been trying to replicate what Pep Guardiola did with his legendary Barcelona, dominating the possession and trying to involve all players in the game by a slow, yet smart way of keeping care of the ball.
However, the ‘Tiki-Taka’ possession soccer is slowly fading away, as teams are thriving thanks to high-pressure and taking the ball up court fast from the flanks rather than making 15 lateral passes in the center of the pitch.
And, if you ask former Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri, that’s exactly how football should be played, as he believes Guardiola’s style of playing isn’t for everybody and was only successful because of the personnel he had:
“I’m seeing a great return for the counter-attack. We mistakenly followed Guardiola for 20 years. Guardiola’s football was not for everyone. You have to have Iniesta, Xavi, and Messi. We took a subject that related only to them as a lesson for everyone. When I hear (Arrigo) Sacchi talking bout keeping the ball and having pro-active attitudes, I don’t understand what he’s saying and it annoys me.
Why should playing vertically not be pro-active football? I saw the games of Sacchi 20 times. I remember the one at San Siro in which Milan scored five goals against Real. They played direct. It was a vertical Milan, counter-attacking, which is not easy to do but when you manage it, it’s a great spectacle,” Allegri told Corriere della Sera.
Moreover, the Italian admitted his worries about modern football, as he believes coaches shouldn’t just try to copy what they have seen on TV and Guardiola’s tactics:
“Today I travel around, I see boy’s football, amateur football, I speak with the coaches and I hear things that scare me. They speak like printed books, like televisions. If the philosophies are good, why not use them? The problem is the result, which is reality. Do they obtain results or not? Roberto Mancini (Italy’s coach ) is now another person. He’s become severe, serious… Now he speaks about football with everyone. He plays simply. He’s a maestro. While ours is a word of professors,” he concluded.