Gerardo 'Tata' Martino

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Gerardo 'Tata' Martino

Post by BarrileteCosmico on Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:02 pm

I think either a summer or 2 ago there was a thread in the general section where people posted links to historic matches and then commented on them. I always liked the idea of watching past matches together and then discussing them, even if I never ended up making time for that thread. Since no one here really knows how Tata plays, at least many have not seen a team by him since the 2010 WC, I found a couple of matches we could watch and then analyze what to expect as a community. I found 2 matches, but can find more if there is interest:

Copa Libertadores Semi-Final: Newell's Old Boys vs Atletico Mineiro (first leg)

Spoiler:

Torneo Final: Newell's vs River

Spoiler:

Also I'll repost RG's link because it's pretty good: http://ilikefootballme.wordpress.com/2012/11/27/like-a-lepra-messiah/


Last edited by BarrileteCosmico on Sun May 18, 2014 10:15 pm; edited 4 times in total

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Re: Gerardo 'Tata' Martino

Post by CBarca on Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:06 pm

Fantastic idea for a thread BC, I'll try and watch this today. Might as well get started now! Very Happy

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Re: Gerardo 'Tata' Martino

Post by Ganso on Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:16 pm

link is down brah
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Re: Gerardo 'Tata' Martino

Post by BarrileteCosmico on Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:19 pm

@Ganso wrote:link is down brah
Which one? Both links have many download links available.

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Re: Gerardo 'Tata' Martino

Post by Ganso on Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:48 pm

the vs river game is down, first one is fine now
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Re: Gerardo 'Tata' Martino

Post by The Franchise on Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:26 am

Watched the first game.

My impressions were as I read about. Its a possession based idea, but when they build play its really direct, especially early. They play from the back, goalie always going short and the centerbacks spreading wide as you just expect these days from nearly all teams. Difference to us were the forward passes from the centerbacks constantly. The early part I looked to see how many times they passed to each other and I could count on one hand easily, in the first 15 minutes I think once. As the game worn on a bit more as you would expect. Vergini played some great direct passes, be it along the floor into Perez in midfield or even one of the forwards. Also played a raking ball for the rightback Caceres who took the 1 v 1 and used the space to proceed and Heinze did a similar, but shorter ball himself to the leftback. Very vertical with a purpose...however, the encourging part was it never felt rushed and if there was no forward pass on (mostly final third situations) they brought it lateral or back to build again.

I would say, they look to play directly but they dont force it and look to keep the ball if it isnt on. To compare to us, we would not go for many of the passes they did and play with that directness.

Also was encouraged by the intense pressing. Most of their directness early was fueled by the pressing which created turnovers. Especially in midfield. They often didnt do the full pitch press, they allowed the CB with the lesser ball skills (not Gilberto Silva, his partner who I forget) to have the ball and the midfield is real tight and overload that side of the pitch when possible. Once it gets in midfield, thats real pressure there. That may suit this version of Barca better, because we all know Messi isnt going to be tearing around out there...but perhaps he can at least cut off the pass angle from centerback to centerback while closing the ball. Of course the downside is, better teams than Atletic Minero will hold onto the ball better if you dont press high and work a clean opening from time to time. Also, many defenders are capable of fine passes into midfield or attack and giving even the weaker of the two that time could create an opportunity. I also think this style of press puts alot of responsibility on the defenders and defensive midfielders to come out from the back with aggression and never allow someone more than 1 touch. No doubt though its much superior though to our ragged press with Xavi trying to do 2 more defensive jobs than he is capable of.

Defensively, I felt the most time they really looked in danger were when Perez got caught on the ball in midfield taking far too long, the long passes worked (great direct pass, winning the second ball etc) or one of the defenders making a bad first pass (not even under that much pressure). I guess the latter comes from the way you think in a direct side. The defenders made those passes because they have bought into thinking that the first pass they make is a forward one because there will be options on. There was options on, it was just a bad pass but thats the thought process I would imagine.

Matteo played a very intresting role. He was often quite deeper than you might find other holding midfielders out of possession. He looked at times like an advanced centerback. He tore into some tackles and played with some fierce aggression. Didnt remind me of Busquets much at all. He dropped to form a back 3 some of the time. But defensively thats an intresting situation because Matteo to me looked to be playing a really important role in the way the team defends and he played with a very different style to Busquets.

Figueroa had a intresting role, one with a ton of freedom. He on the team sheet played on the right wing and he often got the ball to his feet there in that pocket of space between leftback, centerback and midfield. However, what was interesting was when the ball was with one of the left sided players, be it Maxi Rodriquez, Bernandi in midfield or even Casco (leftback) or Heinze he didnt just drifted inside, he made full on sprints from his side to the left. In a couple of moves he linked up with Maxi on the left side, created a numerical overload on the left, overwhelming the opponent and creating many options. This movement slowed and eventually stopped once Maxi and he swapped sides. I think though this is a role very much suited to a Neymar who would require something like this level of freedom to not feel shackled to that left side.

I got little idea how they deal with pressing. Atletico applied very little with Jo and Ronaldinho and they were free to play from the back. Its not relevant to me how well they would of dealt with the pressing, rather when positional movements were made in the face of it. My guess would be not very many, I would imagine a team like this (which also featured someone like Heinze, a decent enough passer but hardly the most composed) would simply continue playing the direct balls, of course accuracy would be lost with it.

I do think a false 9 would cause some questions to the system, perhaps even confuse the idea of verticality. Its actually a bigger question which makes a good topic on its own. The 9, Scocco, stayed up against the defence, providing as much depth to the field as possible. He rarely looked to come into midfield and his movement was either as a pivot, running in behind or into channels for the direct passes. Deep, it was most often Maxi who came from the left into a withdrawn position to receive passes to his feet. I am not sure the point of a false 9 with all this direct passes...the midfield doesnt always have the ball and play passes left and right, come back again and these sorts of stretch the pitch horizontal passes while forcing the defence to defend (thus making it hard to counter). Which then you introduce the false 9 idea where the striker totally overloaded the midfield area. It would be pointless because the ball has travelled into and past this area long before that movement. To put it into terms for us.

Imagine Pique with the ball and him knocking a ground pass past midfield and straight into say Pedro who had come deep. The midfield are the guys he passes back to if the obvious dribble, turn or pass forward isnt on. Then that midfield doesnt come sideways or back to keep the ball, starting the cycle of possession and providing all the pro's of high possession.

Even in this Newell team which dominated and had much superior effective possession (possession in dangerous areas), the midfielders are much less involved and important to that possession than it is with us. Something say Cesc might enjoy, something Xavi might not.

Though dont confuse what I am saying to mean Cesc can continue to float around lost when the defence or holding midfield have the ball and fail to present a safe passing option. Its very obvious that Martino wants the centerbacks to have as many options as possible. It only makes sense, they are responsible for playing the first pass and a bad one ruins the entire attack. You want them to have as many easy options as possible to pass to. What I say Cesc might enjoy would be if the ball is played from the defensive third to the attacking third directly, once the ball is then given back to him, he is facing goal, in a system which insists directness, to play a final pass or shoot. His options are easier, he can do what he always has done to a bigger degree. And an added bonus, the defence and holding midfielder dont HAVE to have you as an option, it wont ruin the entire system like it would for us, because the tendency to play the direct ball to multiple areas of the pitch.

I can also see why some may have confused them with a counter attacking side or thought they play counter attack stuff. My guess would be, if playing a team who keep the ball well and are more patient in building up, by comparison they would look counter attacking.

It was also clear that its a fatiguing style which requires energy. They tired as the first half wore on and likewise the second.

Something I also noticed was, despite them playing so directly, they didnt create a ton of chances. I think though thats not in any way a knock on the way in which they played and their philosophy.

My final thoughts on this game though was, I really cant imagine us playing like this. Its so high speed and direct. If some players put up resistance to it, I wouldnt be surprised...even if it might be what they really need.
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Re: Gerardo 'Tata' Martino

Post by BarrileteCosmico on Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:04 pm

Dani :bow:

I'll give this a shot when I find an open 3 hours or so... might be a while considering I'm working full time during the summer.

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Re: Gerardo 'Tata' Martino

Post by jibers on Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:44 pm

@The Franchise wrote:Watched the first game.

My impressions were as I read about. Its a possession based idea, but when they build play its really direct, especially early. They play from the back, goalie always going short and the centerbacks spreading wide as you just expect these days from nearly all teams. Difference to us were the forward passes from the centerbacks constantly. The early part I looked to see how many times they passed to each other and I could count on one hand easily, in the first 15 minutes I think once. As the game worn on a bit more as you would expect. Vergini played some great direct passes, be it along the floor into Perez in midfield or even one of the forwards. Also played a raking ball for the rightback Caceres who took the 1 v 1 and used the space to proceed and Heinze did a similar, but shorter ball himself to the leftback. Very vertical with a purpose...however, the encourging part was it never felt rushed and if there was no forward pass on (mostly final third situations) they brought it lateral or back to build again.

I would say, they look to play directly but they dont force it and look to keep the ball if it isnt on. To compare to us, we would not go for many of the passes they did and play with that directness.

Also was encouraged by the intense pressing. Most of their directness early was fueled by the pressing which created turnovers. Especially in midfield. They often didnt do the full pitch press, they allowed the CB with the lesser ball skills (not Gilberto Silva, his partner who I forget) to have the ball and the midfield is real tight and overload that side of the pitch when possible. Once it gets in midfield, thats real pressure there. That may suit this version of Barca better, because we all know Messi isnt going to be tearing around out there...but perhaps he can at least cut off the pass angle from centerback to centerback while closing the ball. Of course the downside is, better teams than Atletic Minero will hold onto the ball better if you dont press high and work a clean opening from time to time. Also, many defenders are capable of fine passes into midfield or attack and giving even the weaker of the two that time could create an opportunity. I also think this style of press puts alot of responsibility on the defenders and defensive midfielders to come out from the back with aggression and never allow someone more than 1 touch. No doubt though its much superior though to our ragged press with Xavi trying to do 2 more defensive jobs than he is capable of.

Defensively, I felt the most time they really looked in danger were when Perez got caught on the ball in midfield taking far too long, the long passes worked (great direct pass, winning the second ball etc) or one of the defenders making a bad first pass (not even under that much pressure). I guess the latter comes from the way you think in a direct side. The defenders made those passes because they have bought into thinking that the first pass they make is a forward one because there will be options on. There was options on, it was just a bad pass but thats the thought process I would imagine.

Matteo played a very intresting role. He was often quite deeper than you might find other holding midfielders out of possession. He looked at times like an advanced centerback. He tore into some tackles and played with some fierce aggression. Didnt remind me of Busquets much at all. He dropped to form a back 3 some of the time. But defensively thats an intresting situation because Matteo to me looked to be playing a really important role in the way the team defends and he played with a very different style to Busquets.

Figueroa had a intresting role, one with a ton of freedom. He on the team sheet played on the right wing and he often got the ball to his feet there in that pocket of space between leftback, centerback and midfield. However, what was interesting was when the ball was with one of the left sided players, be it Maxi Rodriquez, Bernandi in midfield or even Casco (leftback) or Heinze he didnt just drifted inside, he made full on sprints from his side to the left. In a couple of moves he linked up with Maxi on the left side, created a numerical overload on the left, overwhelming the opponent and creating many options. This movement slowed and eventually stopped once Maxi and he swapped sides. I think though this is a role very much suited to a Neymar who would require something like this level of freedom to not feel shackled to that left side.

I got little idea how they deal with pressing. Atletico applied very little with Jo and Ronaldinho and they were free to play from the back. Its not relevant to me how well they would of dealt with the pressing, rather when positional movements were made in the face of it. My guess would be not very many, I would imagine a team like this (which also featured someone like Heinze, a decent enough passer but hardly the most composed) would simply continue playing the direct balls, of course accuracy would be lost with it.

I do think a false 9 would cause some questions to the system, perhaps even confuse the idea of verticality. Its actually a bigger question which makes a good topic on its own. The 9, Scocco, stayed up against the defence, providing as much depth to the field as possible. He rarely looked to come into midfield and his movement was either as a pivot, running in behind or into channels for the direct passes. Deep, it was most often Maxi who came from the left into a withdrawn position to receive passes to his feet. I am not sure the point of a false 9 with all this direct passes...the midfield doesnt always have the ball and play passes left and right, come back again and these sorts of stretch the pitch horizontal passes while forcing the defence to defend (thus making it hard to counter). Which then you introduce the false 9 idea where the striker totally overloaded the midfield area. It would be pointless because the ball has travelled into and past this area long before that movement. To put it into terms for us.

Imagine Pique with the ball and him knocking a ground pass past midfield and straight into say Pedro who had come deep. The midfield are the guys he passes back to if the obvious dribble, turn or pass forward isnt on. Then that midfield doesnt come sideways or back to keep the ball, starting the cycle of possession and providing all the pro's of high possession.

Even in this Newell team which dominated and had much superior effective possession (possession in dangerous areas), the midfielders are much less involved and important to that possession than it is with us. Something say Cesc might enjoy, something Xavi might not.

Though dont confuse what I am saying to mean Cesc can continue to float around lost when the defence or holding midfield have the ball and fail to present a safe passing option. Its very obvious that Martino wants the centerbacks to have as many options as possible. It only makes sense, they are responsible for playing the first pass and a bad one ruins the entire attack. You want them to have as many easy options as possible to pass to. What I say Cesc might enjoy would be if the ball is played from the defensive third to the attacking third directly, once the ball is then given back to him, he is facing goal, in a system which insists directness, to play a final pass or shoot. His options are easier, he can do what he always has done to a bigger degree. And an added bonus, the defence and holding midfielder dont HAVE to have you as an option, it wont ruin the entire system like it would for us, because the tendency to play the direct ball to multiple areas of the pitch.

I can also see why some may have confused them with a counter attacking side or thought they play counter attack stuff. My guess would be, if playing a team who keep the ball well and are more patient in building up, by comparison they would look counter attacking.

It was also clear that its a fatiguing style which requires energy. They tired as the first half wore on and likewise the second.

Something I also noticed was, despite them playing so directly, they didnt create a ton of chances. I think though thats not in any way a knock on the way in which they played and their philosophy.

My final thoughts on this game though was, I really cant imagine us playing like this. Its so high speed and direct. If some players put up resistance to it, I wouldnt be surprised...even if it might be what they really need.

My *bleep* disciple Proud

DAT DANI

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Re: Gerardo 'Tata' Martino

Post by BarcaLearning on Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:19 pm

Nice thread, although too bad I dont think I can watch the videos....and couldnt read ALL that from Dani Very Happy But it soudns so similar to what Pep/Bielsa/us did? I dont know but I just feel if we dont change much or just "press harder" we are getting no where... wait for more feedback and discussions and hope to be enlightened Razz
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Gerardo 'Tata' Martino: The Gamble

Post by BarrileteCosmico on Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:28 pm

FC Barcelona has reached an agreement to sign Gerardo Martino as the new first team manager for the next two seasons. The agreement is still pending the drafting and signing of his contract.

The schedule for his trip to FC Barcelona, signature of his contract and official presentation will be announced in the next few hours

The man known as ‘Tata’, and the new first team boss at Barça, was born in Rosario (Argentina) on November 20, 1962. He has extensive experience of South American football, first as a player and after as a coach, most recently on the bench at Newell's Old Boys, with whom he won the 2013 Final Tournament.

This would make Gerardo Martino the fourth Argentine manager in FC Barcelona history after Roque Olsen, Helenio Herrera and César Luis Menotti.

__________

What do you guys want as his nickname?


Last edited by BarrileteCosmico on Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:52 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Gerardo 'Tata' Martino

Post by jibers on Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:31 pm

@BarrileteCosmico wrote:FC Barcelona has reached an agreement to sign Gerardo Martino as the new first team manager for the next two seasons. The agreement is still pending the drafting and signing of his contract.

The schedule for his trip to FC Barcelona, signature of his contract and official presentation will be announced in the next few hours

The man known as ‘Tata’, and the new first team boss at Barça, was born in Rosario (Argentina) on November 20, 1962. He has extensive experience of South American football, first as a player and after as a coach, most recently on the bench at Newell's Old Boys, with whom he won the 2013 Final Tournament.

This would make Gerardo Martino the fourth Argentine manager in FC Barcelona history after Roque Olsen, Helenio Herrera and César Luis Menotti.

What do you guys want as his nickname?

'The Bielsasista' or the vice bielsa please

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Re: Gerardo 'Tata' Martino

Post by free_cat on Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:17 pm

@jibers wrote:

'The Bielsasista' or the vice bielsa please

It would be "The Bielsista".

Welcome Tata at our club, now that you are one of us I'm fully behind him and I hope him all the best.
I've read interesting things about him and think he can do a good job.

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Re: Gerardo 'Tata' Martino

Post by jibers on Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:52 pm

@free_cat wrote:
@jibers wrote:

'The Bielsasista' or the vice bielsa please

It would be "The Bielsista".

Welcome Tata at our club, now that you are one of us I'm fully behind him and I hope him all the best.
I've read interesting things about him and think he can do a good job.

It's whatever I want it to be, u mad?

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Re: Gerardo 'Tata' Martino

Post by free_cat on Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:02 pm

@jibers wrote:
@free_cat wrote:
@jibers wrote:

'The Bielsasista' or the vice bielsa please

It would be "The Bielsista".

Welcome Tata at our club, now that you are one of us I'm fully behind him and I hope him all the best.
I've read interesting things about him and think he can do a good job.

It's whatever I want it to be, u mad?

No, no. You can go around speaking spanish as badly as you want, not my problem. Wink

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Re: Gerardo 'Tata' Martino

Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce on Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:25 pm

I actually think this is a good for Barca tbh.

At least from what i read he favours intense pressing, vertical passing, high line and 4-3-3.....

Barca needed a kick up the backside and someone who can whip them into shape tactically and physically.

From what i read this guy will probably do that.

Although i do question whether some of Barca players are physically capable of the intense pressing that will come so rotation will be key ( Xavi especially)

I also hear he adapts well so that is a good thing too as i don't believe Barca can keep playing the same way as Xavi is the way they play and no one can replace him so a tactical change will be key.

Will see how it goes i for one am actually looking forward to La Liga next season, lots of change will breed a fresh on look for neutrals.

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Re: Gerardo 'Tata' Martino

Post by free_cat on Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:43 pm

He says he doesn't really train the physical, so I don't see how he can push the team physically.

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Re: Gerardo 'Tata' Martino

Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce on Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:46 pm

@free_cat wrote:He says he doesn't really train the physical, so I don't see how he can push the team physically.

What i meant by that is more intense pressing and if he's anything like Bielsa he will be doing that.

As i said i question if the likes of Xavi can still do that but long term there will have to be change anyway as no one can replace Xavi probably a tweak in tactics.

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Re: Gerardo 'Tata' Martino

Post by The Franchise on Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:17 pm

To be honest, I didnt realise I wrote that much lol

It was late when I finished and I wasnt about to take more time cutting out some parts.

I watched the game, it took my like 3 hours because I was pausing it every 10 minutes to note something else.

Sorry, take your time, I know its a novel.
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Re: Gerardo 'Tata' Martino

Post by Great Leader Sprucenuce on Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:50 pm

Cheers for the right up Dani.

Couldn't be arsed watching the game Laughing

I think what you described would be good for Barca in the long run and besides Xavi is irreplaceable and a tweak in tactics will be required.

I think you can get away with Messi but the two wide men and midfield need to be better drilled from a defensive point of view.

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Re: Gerardo 'Tata' Martino

Post by neuro11 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:11 pm

@free_cat wrote:He says he doesn't really train the physical, so I don't see how he can push the team physically.
I think he does......Also look what Puyol said today
"I know Tata is a good coach and I really like his style of play. He is very complex and tough on his players. He does not let them train easily."

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Re: Gerardo 'Tata' Martino

Post by free_cat on Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:38 pm

Maybe, who knows. No one really knows the guy in Europe. However, in MD they said physical training is not a center of his work.

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Re: Gerardo 'Tata' Martino

Post by BarrileteCosmico on Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:48 pm

Sport interviewed one of hos former physios who claimed that he only did enough fitness preparation so as to meet the challenges ahead. Doesnt sound like its a cornerstone of his methods.

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Re: Gerardo 'Tata' Martino

Post by Rebaño Sagrado on Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:01 pm

Link them the second leg of that semi bc :coffee:

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Re: Gerardo 'Tata' Martino

Post by RealGunner on Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:58 am

The same website i linked, also wrote this interesting piece.

-Talks about how Tata will implement his style to the current Barcelona style
-How will Xavi be used



For today’s post, I would like to briefly digress from South American football and instead talk about the appointment of Gerardo “Tata” Martino as the new head coach of Barcelona. Since the Argentinian was first linked with the vacancy, I have been inundated with questions about his character, his style and his philosophy. It seems that he is something of an unknown quantity outside of South America.

Before reading today’s post, I suggest reading this article that I wrote in November of last year, which explains Martino’s footballing ideology in great detail, and Jonathan Wilson’s piece for The Guardian yesterday, which goes deeper into Tata’s history and career.

The main question mark over Gerardo Martino surrounds his approach to the game and how that will translate to the tiki-taka style of Barcelona. Many will remember his time in charge of the Paraguayan national team, or more recently his Newell’s Old Boys side that was crowned Argentinian champions this year. Anyone who saw both of these teams would tell you they played a very distinct style of football.

Martino’s best attribute is his ability to build a strong team out of the players at his disposal. When in charge of Paraguay, he was stuck with an ageing generation without much young talent coming through, so he did what he could and formed a solid, no-nonsense side, geared towards getting results.

At Barcelona, he will have some of the greatest players in the world available to him, so his true footballing philosophy should shine through, as it did at Newell’s.

Martino’s approach to the game has its roots in bielsismo (he was the playmaker in Marcelo Bielsa’s famous 1991 Newell’s team), but with a pragmatic twist and some differences. For example, Tata’s teams mark zonally, which goes against Bielsa’s preference for man marking.

With Martino at the helm, Barcelona should not act any differently without the ball as they have done under Guardiola and Villanova. When he took charge in 2008, Pep Guardiola (himself a bielsista coach) implemented a very similar pressing system to Martino’s.

Where we may see a change however, is when Barcelona have possession. While Guardiola’s approach was to keep the ball, slow down the tempo and toy with the opposition before unleashing lightning-fast breaks into space, Martino follows the three pillars, if you will, of bielsismo: pressing, verticalidad y intensidad.

Barcelona’s “death by possession” style which we have become used to may be a thing of the past. Expect Barça to be more intense and direct under Martino.

As far as individual roles are concerned, Tata is a firm believer in attacking full-backs, but only when they are also able to track back and provide defensive cover. He also likes to have a deep, central player who can initiate attacking moves from the back. For Paraguay, he had the barrel-chested Nestor Ortigoza, while at Newell’s he had Raúl Villalba and when he left, the responsibility was passed to Santiago Vergini, a centre-back.

With Sergio Busquets un-droppable in defensive midfield, it is likely that Martino will again look to a centre-back to fill this deep playmaker role, and there are few technical defenders better than Gerard Piqué.

http://ilikefootballme.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/tata-barcelona.jpg

The question remains of what to do with Xavi Hernández. Tata Martino’s 4-3-3 system requires the central midfielders to make darting forward runs and offer a penalty box threat (Andrés Iniesta) and Xavi – a living, breathing monument to tiki-taka – may struggle to find his place in such a role. At 33 years old, his fitness is questionable, but even when at his physical peak Xavi’s style was never about making forward bursts or scoring goals, instead it is about rhythmic, flawless passing and setting the tempo for the whole team.

It is difficult to tell while watching from afar, but Barcelona appear to have made a solid decision in appointing Tata Martino. He may never have managed in Europe before, but he arrives with a winning pedigree and more managerial experience than Frank Rijkaard, Pep Guardiola or Tito Villanova had when taking the same job.

However outstanding they may be, Barcelona looks like a team in need of a dash of fresh perspective and thinking, so bringing in Martino, someone outside of the Barça “sphere”, strikes me as a good move.

http://ilikefootballme.wordpress.com/2013/07/23/outside-of-the-sphere/

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Re: Gerardo 'Tata' Martino

Post by CBarca on Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:21 am

Good article, I thought he was too dismissive of Busquets in this part here:

He also likes to have a deep, central player who can initiate attacking moves from the back. For Paraguay, he had the barrel-chested Nestor Ortigoza, while at Newell’s he had Raúl Villalba and when he left, the responsibility was passed to Santiago Vergini, a centre-back.

With Sergio Busquets un-droppable in defensive midfield, it is likely that Martino will again look to a centre-back to fill this deep playmaker role, and there are few technical defenders better than Gerard Piqué.

Busquets, while anchoring the midfield and usually limiting himself to short passes to Xavi and Iniesta, is more than capable of such a role I think. Take a look below for some videos of his ability to play the forward pass and pass between the lines. Busquets tactical understanding and awareness is outstanding - like Xavi, and I believe this allows for a player that, given the freedom to do so without the restrictions his role previously put on him, could play a player who is making quick vertical passes to Iniesta, Neymar, and perhaps Alves from a deeper position.

That's not to say I disagree with the author that Pique is a good choice. Pique is technically excellent and enjoys bringing the ball out of the back. His passing is quite good as well. I just disagreed with how dismissive he was of Busquets here, as I think he's more than capable. It's a different role than he's used to certainly and one that would be an interesting thought.

Busquets forward passing ability:



Also thought this part was interesting:

The question remains of what to do with Xavi Hernández. Tata Martino’s 4-3-3 system requires the central midfielders to make darting forward runs and offer a penalty box threat (Andrés Iniesta) and Xavi – a living, breathing monument to tiki-taka – may struggle to find his place in such a role. At 33 years old, his fitness is questionable, but even when at his physical peak Xavi’s style was never about making forward bursts or scoring goals, instead it is about rhythmic, flawless passing and setting the tempo for the whole team.

I'm sorry, could someone else please point out who we just let go that would have been perfect for this role? By this description Tata Martino would have absolutely loved Thiago. I always thought Thiago is a bit better in a role that mirrors Iniesta's more than Xavi's, although I think Thiago would have excelled amazingly in both roles. It makes me even more depressed really...losing such a great talent for such a low price over ridiculous reasons is bad enough but if Tata comes in and implements his system which seems to favor the kind of midfielder we just let go for basically peanuts is....Barcelona :facepalm:
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