Mourinho’s tactics from Porto 2004

By Stevie Grieve

Since I was young, I have always had an interest in tactics, specifically successful coaches, or coaches who have seemingly come from nowhere. When Jose Mourinho’s FC Porto won the UEFA Cup in 2003 against Celtic, I enjoyed the direct style of play much more than I enjoyed watching Celtic’s direct style of play, mainly because it had some unpredictability, fluidity of movement and the talents of Deco as a number 10 in a midfield diamond.

Costinha’s role was an interesting one; a common thing in all of Mourinho’s teams has been the utilisation of a defensive midfielder who sticks to his position and protects the defence – Costinha, Claude Makelele, Esteban Cambiasso, Thiago Motta, Xabi Alonso, Nemanja Matic – but for me it was interesting because it was a ‘new’ position as I had grown up in Scotland with a 4-4-2 and no set defensive or attacking midfielder, and certainly not within a diamond midfield which is common in Switzerland and Italy.

Mourinho’s Porto were a strong defensive team with pace and efficiency in attack, with a good supporting cast in midfield in the form of Thiago, Nuno Maniche and super-sub Dmitri Alenichev.

Porto’s defensive solidity – Establish a block width, depth and compensation system

Wide area turnover; Porto drop off and form a flat back 4

Mourinho Porto - Solid back 4 - 2.5

As the ball is lost on the side instantly the back 4 drop off and get

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Improve Your Flank Play

By Keith Scarlett

This activity is a 4 v 4 game plus 2 flank players plus 2 neutral players to regulation goals. Two goals should be set up about 25 metres apart. The field is 30 metres wide. A channel is made along the sidelines 5 metres wide.

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Each group puts on the field, one player in their offensive half in the channel and

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Tactical Analysis – Real Madrid Defending v Barcelona

By Stevie Grieve

In the Copa Del Rey final, Real Madrid went into the game against Barcelona confident of a win, even without Cristiano Ronaldo who mass missing due to injury, but with Bale and Benzema both capable of defending from the front and causing problems on the counter attack, Ancelotti set his team up to defend against Barcelona’s main attacking areas, and exploit Madrid’s pace on the counter attack.

Madrid counter-pressing in the opening minutes

Art 5 MadridDefvBarca

Here, we can see that Madrid, having just lost possession, are reluctant to simply drop deep and defend, instead they

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Teach Your Players to Compete

By Keith Scarlett

These activities help to begin bringing out the competitiveness of all the players and their drive to win.

Four 5 X 5 boxes are set up with balls piled up in between the 4 boxes.

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The team is split into 2 groups. In each box there are 3 on offense and 1 who will be on defense. Each group has 2

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How Germany Broke Through Algeria’s Defence

By Stevie Grieve

In the last analysis I made which was on Algeria’s solid defensive system, I looked at how they made Germany predictable, and how they almost defended in a 6-3-1 formation, playing on the counter attack behind Germany’s high line.

In this, I will look at the slight tactical alteration Jogi Loew made in regards to the runs that Germany looked for, and how it won them the game in Extra Time.

Highlighted areas and runs to exploit the spaces

Germany v Algeria runs
Germany v Algeria runs 2

When Germany had the ball in deep or wide positions, there were 2 main areas that were available on both sides (due to the symmetrical nature of the Algeria defensive block shape) which were;

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OP Technical Diamond

By Keith Scarlett

This activity works on technique of playing and receiving long balls both in the air and on the ground, first-touch, passing, receiving and striking a driven ball approximately 30 metres.

Set-up: 4 cones are set up in a diamond. The top and bottom cones are 40 metres apart and the two side cones are 25 metres apart; per the diagram. Players should be broken up and evenly placed at each cone. All balls should begin at one of the cones that are 40 metres apart.

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How it Works: The player starting at the top cone starts with a ball plays

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