Can an attacking team also defend well?

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Can an attacking team also defend well?

Post by BarcaLearning on Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:35 pm

I was just posting about Pep on another thread, and one of his weaknesses has always been unable to get his team to defend that well. I wasnt sure if its even realistic to expect Pep's team to defend well, since its just the nature of his style that necessitates less focus of defending perhaps? The same can be said for many managers and teams that play very attacking football, specially, such as Klopp, Real, Barca before this season, they arent strong defensively, but also generally speaking of course. I'm not talking about teams that defend mostly and than counter effectively, since I wouldnt consider that an attacking team.

I might be wrong in some cases and dont wanna argue too much about that, but generally and historically, do you think there was a team known for playing good attacking football but also defended well? Man U at their peak under Fergie and Arsenal at their peak under Wenger probably were able to, do you agree?

What about the present?

Back to the topic though, can one expect a team to do both well? I think Germany if we are talk about NTs have probably been best able to combine the two, as well as being both technical and physically strong, the latter is defending a key factor in defending, and thats part of why coaches likes Pep who loves smaller technical players struggle to get his teams to defend well.

Please post your opinion, just open to see what everyone thinks about this.
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Re: Can an attacking team also defend well?

Post by Jay29 on Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:45 pm

It's a fact that Manchester City defend well.

Whatever metric you use to measure it, be it goals conceded, expected goals against, chances conceded, etc. Pep's City have one of the best defences this season.

Saying there's less focus on defence in his teams is also not true. His idea of defending is not standing off, setting up banks and keep an opponent at arm's length. It's to press and funnel the opposition into spaces from where they can't hurt you. Same for Tottenham and Liverpool.

Any team can sit back and defend. Not every team can press well. Nor can every team keep the ball so well for so long, which is another defensive tactic Pep uses.

Another factor here: teams just have bad days. If you have a bad day against quality forwards, you stand the chance of getting smashed. City let in six in two games not because they can't defend, but because they underperformed against quality players. It happens to every team out there, including the most dominant ones.
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Re: Can an attacking team also defend well?

Post by CBarca on Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:18 pm

Jay already ended the thread tbh

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Re: Can an attacking team also defend well?

Post by BarcaLearning on Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:31 pm

Ok thats all true, as forms of defending nowadays. Then perhaps the question should be, can that be combined together with more traditional defending? Since some teams would work to counter these and there are bound to be situations that require more traditional defending, as shown in the recent matches.

I just feel when it doesnt work, it's better if the team can know to switch to a more defensive minded setup or if the situation requires it more, thus making it even harder to teams to counter.

Barca for example this season has reverted back to being more defensive due to whatever reason, and its proved to have worked for the better so far, results wise anyway, and I guess its debatable, but the focus is clear.
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Re: Can an attacking team also defend well?

Post by Vlad the Impaler on Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:32 pm

@Jay29 wrote:It's a fact that Manchester City defend well.

Whatever metric you use to measure it, be it goals conceded, expected goals against, chances conceded, etc. Pep's City have one of the best defences this season.

Saying there's less focus on defence in his teams is also not true. His idea of defending is not standing off, setting up banks and keep an opponent at arm's length. It's to press and funnel the opposition into spaces from where they can't hurt you. Same for Tottenham and Liverpool.

Any team can sit back and defend. Not every team can press well. Nor can every team keep the ball so well for so long, which is another defensive tactic Pep uses.

Another factor here: teams just have bad days. If you have a bad day against quality forwards, you stand the chance of getting smashed. City let in six in two games not because they can't defend, but because they underperformed against quality players. It happens to every team out there, including the most dominant ones.


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Re: Can an attacking team also defend well?

Post by rincon on Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:15 pm

Almost every successful team can attack and defend well. Its hard to be successful otherwise.
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Re: Can an attacking team also defend well?

Post by CBarca on Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:21 pm

But can they also defend well tho?

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Re: Can an attacking team also defend well?

Post by Tomwin Lannister on Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:30 pm

Attacking teams tend to do better at attacking whereas more defensively inclined teams often are better at defending

However, teams that do both can actually do both well, unless they aren't very good at either, in which case they aren't very good at doing either.


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Re: Can an attacking team also defend well?

Post by Hapless_Hans on Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:33 pm

@Tomwin Lannister wrote:Attacking teams tend to do better at attacking whereas more defensively inclined teams often are better at defending

However, teams that do both can actually do both well, unless they aren't very good at either, in which case they aren't very good at doing either.



Yeah ok.

But can they defend well, too?

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Re: Can an attacking team also defend well?

Post by Tomwin Lannister on Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:30 am

An exemplary question hans.

See, it depends on the team. Because in theory... Attacking teams tend to do better at attacking whereas more defensively inclined teams often are better at defending

However, teams that do both can actually do both well, unless they aren't very good at either, in which case they aren't very good at doing either.

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Re: Can an attacking team also defend well?

Post by M99 on Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:33 am

These reminds me of prime Yohan Modric posts.

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Re: Can an attacking team also defend well?

Post by sportsczy on Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:15 am

Sure they can.  But it depends how you define "attacking team".  The footix definition seems to be possession and a high line.  To me, it's about chances created.  Some of the best attacking sides were at their best on the counter, not with possession.  BUT, the were good with possession too if need be.

My favorite attacking sides were the Juve teams of Platini and Zidane/Del Piero...  the Ajax teams of Gullit and Van Basten... and the Milan teams under Sacchi.  All those teams could defend like champs too.


Last edited by sportsczy on Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:39 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Can an attacking team also defend well?

Post by titosantill on Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:05 am

i think i know the kind of question the moderator is asking. and if i'm wrong in my "translation" please correct me. i think his question isn't necessarily about stats regarding how many goals they concede, cos for the most part they'll meet less challenging opponents in the league and win those games...and 2 or 3 goals in the first half can be enough to knock out the effort from opponents

i think he means, can attacking teams defend well when they come up against teams equally as good as them (or better) on offense or equipped with better attacking talent; can such a team be pragmatic and not risk everything by going blow for blow. i think his topic is looking more at latter stages of ucl with two fantastic attacking teams, rather than season averages, where on average such attacking side would meet a bunch of 'what's up' type teams

and if that's the question, yes, such a team can defend well depending on the players they have and their understanding of the situation. its just sometimes teams get naive, but its why you have those rival games that end up being a bore to neutrals cos everyone is trying to avoid defensive mishaps....and even then sometimes no matter how hard you defend the football gods may not smile on you that day. germany can be considered a team that defends quite well, and they can run the score up on you too
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Re: Can an attacking team also defend well?

Post by sportsczy on Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:41 am

Boateng and Hummels can't defend tito... in fact, Bundi sucks in general defensively. Neuer saves them; but he's not going to be there for the WC.

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Re: Can an attacking team also defend well?

Post by BarcaLearning on Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:06 am

Razz I knew this was a difficult topic to ask and my wording makes it sound weird, bad English No

titosantill understands where Im coming from, and rightly put that and I think perhaps at times Pep/Man C are a bit naive to go blow for blow when a game clearly isnt working out, I just think he should be able to get his team to change to a more defensive mode, or vs Liverpool who he knows have countered him well before, should have setup his team differently with more emphasis on defending. This is most definitely required during the CL latter stages when u come up against the absolute best teams and managers. But I guess knowing Pep he will continue to stick to his method no matter what, and like Jay and sport mentioned as well, luck and fatigue or other factors so often plays apart. It will be interesting to see how he develops in the next season and onwards with Man C in this.

I didnt watch football so much back before the mid 90s, would have loved to watch the likes of Milan or Holland back then. Juve I do remember was both with top defending as were as attacking geniuses. For Man U also they had some really top defenders, like Ronny Johnson who I remember clearly but is strangely never ever mentioned when ppl talk about best CBs, he won so much and was so good for them. When u list the top defenders today, a lot of them have some major weaknesses, and the FBs have turned to a lot more focused on attacking than defending, which is probably a big factor in making teams less able to defend that good as well in the traditional sense.
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Re: Can an attacking team also defend well?

Post by titosantill on Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:16 pm

you can have defenders that don't suck and still fall liable to mishaps and school boy errors; ask ancelotti, his milan side (a good attacking side), with personnel like maldini nesta had their share of mess ups. i mentioned germany cos i don't think we've seen a full blown defensive meltdown by them.....yet (not talking friendlies). they'll lose here and there, but we don't always have these "why can't germany defend" topics. its normal for mess ups to happen on the defensive end, defending isn't fun, running for like 30 mins without kicking a football, you're bound to have a brain fart at some point but that imo is where the coaching really steps in, as well as defensive leaders on the team

its that defensive leadership that can keep wing backs in general less reckless. its recklessness more than anything, brazil 82 is the perfect example, they felt if u score 5 we can score 6, and they'd usually concede first....but that's what comes with the territory when building attacking sides and getting fantastic results you begin to feel like your s*** don't stink
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Re: Can an attacking team also defend well?

Post by Unique on Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:03 pm

i think klopp answers this question tbh. Very Happy

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Re: Can an attacking team also defend well?

Post by danyjr on Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:42 pm

@Jay29 wrote:Any team can sit back and defend. Not every team can press well.

Incorrect.

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Re: Can an attacking team also defend well?

Post by Jay29 on Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:40 pm

@danyjr wrote:
@Jay29 wrote:Any team can sit back and defend. Not every team can press well.

Incorrect.


Thanks mate.
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Re: Can an attacking team also defend well?

Post by BarcaLearning on Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:48 pm

Germany definitely has always been the more well rounded and solid and consistent, so it must have gotta be something about their football that results in that. Many many teams are either side and not as balanced imo.

Anyway, just saw this by Michael Cox, he touches a little bit on this, and importantly says the next game will really show us how far Pep has come and what he can manage in this situation vs Liverpool - http://global.espn.com/football/uefa-champions-league/2/blog/post/3450294/guardiolaklopps-ability-to-address-weaknesses-will-determine-ucl-tie

Ffs missed the first goal posting Razz
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