The yr was 2009, and it was a watershed second for the sports activities of soccer. A staff had simply conquered soccer. Pep Guardiola, a Barcelona legend who was promoted to first staff coach after main Barcelona B, did the unimaginable as his staff received six trophies in his first season. The all conquering Barcelona staff received the La Liga, Copa del Rey, UEFA Champions League, Supercopa de Espana, UEFA Tremendous Cup, and FIFA Membership World Cup utilizing the tiki-taka system. Nonetheless, whereas the staff was being lavished with reward throughout the footballing world, a sure German checked out Guardiola’s staff otherwise.
Jurgen Klopp, like Guardiola, had simply completed his first season as the pinnacle coach of Borussia Dortmund. And inside two to 3 years, he would excellent a system of his personal that may rival the tiki-taka for the subsequent decade. Gegenpressing or’ counter press’ is a system that stresses the necessity to win the ball excessive up the pitch by pressurising the opponent.It has not solely turn into a significant of German soccer philosophy however trendy soccer ways altogether.
Rangnick: “Gegenpressing is a really proactive type of soccer, just like the way in which wherein Dortmund and Liverpool have been taking part in below Klopp. We wish to press excessive, with a really intense counter-pressure. When now we have the ball, we don’t like several sq. or again passes. [@espn]
— United Zone (@ManUnitedZone_) November 25, 2021
Gegenpressing is the German phrase for counter urgent. Jurgen Klopp’s base thought behind the philosophy was to win the ball again within the quickest time potential after his staff had misplaced possession. “The very best second to win the ball is straight away after your staff simply misplaced it”. The opponent continues to be in search of orientation on the place to move the ball. He could have taken his eyes off the sport to make his sort out or interception, and he could have expended vitality. Each make him weak,” Klopp mentioned, as reported by The Guardian.
After watching Barcelona’s sextuple successful staff, Klopp was impressed. Nonetheless, the half that left him in awe was Blaugrana’s skill to win the ball again as quickly as they misplaced possession.
Klopp deduced that if a staff wins again the management of the ball instantly, it is going to rattle the opposition’s gamers.
— Richard Clark (@richardtheclark) November 4, 2015
How does the Gegenpress system work in a recreation?
Suppose Liverpool (Klopp’s present staff) loses the ball within the attacking third of the pitch. The entrance three gamers’ job is to press them. The centre ahead is to press the centre again and overshadow the defensive midfielder. The 2 wingers’ job is to chop the road between the centre again and full backs. The entrance three attempt to minimise the variety of passing lanes, forcing the defenders to (!) go lengthy, (2) move the ball again to the goalkeeper, or (3) attempt to go for top threat passes, main them to lose possession.
In the identical manner, the midfield exerts stress on the opposition’s midfield and crowds them out as quickly as they obtain the ball. One other side is making certain that the ball doesn’t cross the midway line and is within the opposition’s half. If the ball is received excessive up the pitch, even move may produce a superb alternative to attain a purpose. The system is why Liverpool has the best Buildup Disruption Proportion (BDP) in Europe. The staff from Merseyside additionally data one of many lowest Passes Allowed per Defensive Actions throughout the continent.
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Varieties of Gegenpressing
Klopp knew that solely a selected kind of stress wouldn’t achieve success in the long term, and thus he created two variants of it. These two variants are regular gegenpressing and arduous urgent.
Any such stress is in play for the higher a part of a recreation. On this press, there’s an emphasis on each the necessity for urgent and never dropping the tactical form of the staff. For example, the job of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, who’re each wingers, have the primary job of chopping the passing lanes between the centre again and full again. This job is to be completed by them and never some other participant, as it is going to change the tactical form of the staff.
And as quickly because the ball goes out of their space, it’s the different gamers’ job to win the ball again.
So, in brief, this urgent system has particular people doing a specific job to make sure Liverpool win the possession again.
Throughout his time at Dortmund, Klopp had figured the necessity to undertake various levels of urgent through the match. It’s right here that arduous urgent comes into play. The target of this method is straightforward, win the ball again it doesn’t matter what. Liverpool attempt to win the ball again on this system with out caring a lot about place and tactical form.
If the ball is with any opposition participant, no less than two gamers will attempt to press him to win the ball again. Liverpool full backs Andy Robertson and Trent-Alexander Arnold are two of the gamers most concerned when arduous urgent is in motion.
7 – Liverpool are the primary ever English top-flight aspect to attain 3+ objectives in seven consecutive away video games in all competitions. Swarm.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 16, 2021
Nonetheless, as a result of depth of this urgent, no staff can play it for the complete 90 minutes, and thus this method is applied in particular phases throughout a match.
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What gamers does a superb Gegenpressing staff require?
Like tiki taka, the system can solely work with gamers of a selected talent set. The wingers should be pacey and good at counter attacking like Marco Reus, Jakub Błaszczykowski (at Dortmund), Sadio Mane, and Mohamed Salah (at Liverpool). A striker good at holding the ball and link-up play (Robert Lewandowski and Roberto Firmino), tireless operating midfielders (Ilkay Gundogan. Sven Bender, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, and good ball taking part in defenders (Matt Hummels, Neven Subotic, Virgil Van Dijk).
Jürgen Klopp appears to be like again on his time in Dortmund and displays on the feelings of the 2010/11 season 🎙 pic.twitter.com/v613gGmPQc
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) April 30, 2020
Nonetheless, his system has delicate adjustments from his days at Dortmund. On the Sign Iduna Park, he primarily performed a 4-2-3-1 and had the extremely gifted Mario Gotze, which means Gundogan and Gotze shouldered the first inventive burden.
Whereas at Liverpool, he altered the system to deliver the fullbacks extra concerned within the attacking aspect of the sport. It’s as a result of purpose that Trent Alexander Arnold and Andy Robertson have such excessive assists and xOVA numbers.
As well as, groups taking part in with this method additionally want good ball holding gamers which will increase the Discipline Tilt of their favour thus serving to them dominate a match.
Legacy of Gegenpressing
Gegenpressing has been essentially the most revolutionary tactic in Twenty first-century soccer. The tactic was so profitable that it received Borussia Dortmund two league titles towards an excellent Bayern Munich aspect. Furthermore, it has introduced an extra league title and Champions League for Liverpool.
The time period is now extra well-known than counter press and has been ingrained within the soccer vocabulary.
It has additionally left its imprint on the world soccer stage. It impressed a number of different groups to take the system and tweak it. Actually, the one staff to match Barcelona’s sextuple was Hansi Flick’s Bayern Munich within the 2019-20 season. Any guess which system they used… Es struggle Gegenpressing.