"Do you know how much average time, in 90 minutes, each and any one of you has the ball on your feet? a minute and a half. I'm going to teach you what to do in the other 88 minutes" - Jorge Jesus
By all means this going to be a total recreation of someone else's tactics, but more to follow the same philosophy and apply on my own. The first destination I chose was a club that fits the philosphy and values the aesthetics of the game. That club is Rio Ave, a club that in recent years has been an example in management, coherence when choosing their next manager, fitting the game model they defend.
YEAR 1 - RIO AVE FC
By definition, Jorge Jesus prefers the 4-4-2 system, or 4-1-3-2, but by studying Rio Ave's squad I noticed the lack of strikers, making it not viable to implement a hard solid 4-4-2, instead the team does have plenty of quality offensive midfielders, which could fit the mold.
The system I chose was a hybrid between a 4-2-3-1 and 4-4-2. The model is all about a balance between being a fast paced team in attack, striking with deadly quick attacks, and being balanced while defending, with a solid classic 4-4-2 shape.
The team in the first pressing moment shapes in a clear 4-4-2 with the Shadow Striker joining the forward up front.
Here, the first press doesn't work, and enters the importance of my central midfielder, Jambor, who can quickly press the opponent's receiving midfielder, whilst my wingers cover the tival full backs. Fransergio could've sent the ball to the wingers but Jambor's quickness to press led him to force a direct pass where my team recyclces possession.
It's all about getting the ball from point A to B. Point A starts from building from the back.
In order to secure a clean build from the back the shadow striker drops deep alongside with the central midfielder to offer passing lanes to either the center backs or the defensive midfielder.
During this phase, it is important the team has deployed central defenders who can carry and pass a ball. In the image above Nélson Monte has a free space to send a pass to Piazón, creating a great chance to burn stages on the buildup, quickly getting the team into a dangerous and quick attacking position. This moment did indeed result in a goal.
Point B is all about creating space and create conditions for the offensive midfielders to freely create havoc. In the image above we see Jambor inviting the opponent's offensive midfielder to press him, create a load of space in the middle, so the ball gets sent to the defensive midfielder who then has space to launch either the left winger or shadow striker.
In the image abose the same principle applies. This time the left winger and shadow striker drop deep to receive the ball, inviting the opponents press to their side, freeing space for Jambor on the rigght side of the midfield, with a pocket of space to explore.
Again, the same principle, attract to create space. This time we explore the opponents 4-4-2 formation to create a gap between the midfield and defensive lines, with Nuno Santos, the left winger, droping deep to the opponent's central midfielder area of action, triggering his press, leaving a space behind, being explored by the shadow striker, the pass goes to the full back who quickly then sends the ball to that very same space.
Our shadow striker Piazón, now has the space to explore with pace.
When the ball is on the wing the team makes sure it is in numerical superiority
In an advanced stage of the buildup, the team infiltrates the opponent's block, giving out passing options in dangerous positions as well as fixating the opponent making it diificult for them to stay in shape, with always someone of my team dragging the press and the defender out of position so can others explore the space left.
Up front it is also about to create diamonds. Diamonds to creat superiority and always leave a player free to get into a favourable attacking position.
In the image above you can see a diamond shaped mini game created by my shadow striker, defensive midfielder, central midfielder and left winger, with the left winger being the one who creates space for the left full back to explore by dragging the rival winger out of position. Such diamond can also drag opponents in the central area out of position specially when the opponent team is defending in a very exagerated narrow shape.
The Anatomy of a Goal
To sum up the attacking phase, here is a step-by-step look at a very good team goal, showing perfectly our philosophy.
The season was a success in terms of applying the desired game model, despite having to switch from the preferred 4-4-2/4-1-3-2 to a hybrid 4-2-3-1 system. The season ended however, in a heart break.
(and i'm bringing someone with me)