Manchester City is now playing the Pep Guardiola tiki taka style of soccer that he started at Barcelona. Watch how Mancehster City keep possession of the ball and pass and pass and pass before scoring against West Bromwich Albion in the Carabao Cup.
52 passes in all before a cross comes in and Gundogan takes a good first time strike and the keeper makes a save only to see Sane there to smash the ball home. 52 passes without West Brom touching the ball at the start of the game, that has to be some kind of record.
It must be very frustrating to play against a team who keeps possession of the soccer ball for so long. And to do this at the very beginning of a game, hard to come back from that. To it's credit, West Brom did score and right on in the game, but ended up losing 2-1.
What’s interesting though is Guadiola said he didn’t like how the tiki taka style of play was characterized at Barcelona. He said you have to pass with intention, not just to pass for passing sake.
"Barca didn't do tiki-taka. It's completely made up. Don't believe a word of it. In all team sports, the secret is to overload one side of the pitch so that the opponent must tilt its own defence to cope. You overload on one side and draw them in so that they leave the other side weak.
And when we've done all that, we attack and score from the other side. That's why you have to pass the ball, but only if you're doing it with a clear intention.
It's only to overload the opponent, to draw them in and then to hit them with the sucker punch. That's what our game needs to be. Nothing to do with tiki-taka."
So the key really is to move the ball from side to side and pass with purpose. Still though, it is about keeping possession and not booting the ball down the field. And it's also about pressing right away when you lose the ball.
But if you can keep the ball the other team can't score and they also get tired from chasing after the ball, so I think Guardiola was maybe just tired of having to hear about tikit taka football and how it was labled as only about possession of the ball.
Again though, if you watch the above video you see defenders keeping the ball and not sending it down field if they're under pressure. That seems like a big difference in the game today, and part of the tiki taka style, every player on the team can't keep the ball and has great touch and skill on the ball.
TIKI-TAKA | MANCHESTER CITY TRAINING
Pep Guardiola puts the team through their paces as they take on TIKI-TAKA drills and small sided matches in training on Friday!