Vi diskuterer back-rollen og vurderer Milner og Clyne. Vi snakker om å utfordre og komme rundt mot lag som ligger lavt. Vi ser etter bevegelser hos backene som vi savner og av og til ønsker vi oss nye backer.
Jeg fant tilbake til dette intervjuet med Klopp, som er det eneste jeg finner om hans syn på hva som er backrollen.
Dette er jo ikke detaljert og analytisk, men det ligger konkrete ting i teksten:
“This kind of full-back now is more like a midfield player,” he explained. “They play in half-spaces, they play really high. They are wingers sometimes, sometimes centre midfielders.
Når jeg leser dette tenker jeg hvor ideell rollen er for en som Milner, og jeg forstår bedre hvorfor vi ikke alltid ser ham der vi venter (ønsker) å se ham. Fordi han dekker opp på sentral midtbane når en midtbanespiller står høyt eller bredt, eller når en spiss dropper ned og ut.
Han snakker også om "half spaces", et begrep som jeg oppdager at blir mye brukt. Jeg oppdaget den her:
Der står det: "When Klopp spoke recently about the full-backs getting into the half-space, he meant that they don’t always have to overlap, and can sometimes move closer to the centre of the pitch to get involved in the buildup play".
Først: "They don't always have to overlap". Akkurat! Gir litt mening når vi diskuterer backenes manglende "vilje" til å gjøre dette. Kanskje de ikke skal det like ofte som vi tror. Og igjen dette med "half spaces".
Begrepet analyseres her:
...og ekstremt grundig på denne tyske (!) nettsiden:
For å sette det inn i kontekst - les denne analysen av den første tiden til Klopp i Liverpool, der Klopp ender med å møte Aston Villa i 4-6-0-formasjon, og der den spissløse/false 9-formasjonen og halfspaces kobles:
Having utilised a 4-3-2-1/4-3-3 system against Sunderland and in recent matches, it was suggested the same would be used. Against Aston Villa, though, Liverpool were able to utilise Roberto Firmino & Daniel Sturridge at the same time for the very first time that season (25 league games in). The natural movements of both players are to drift from a traditional centre forward position.
One such situation is both players drifting towards the ball-side halfspace. This allows for improved combination play in those wide areas that Liverpool began to focus on more, and an even more aggressive counterpress if the ball is lost. It can cause chaos against man- or zonal-focused systems, and produced Liverpool’s best performance of the season as they thrashed Villa 6-0. Against a man-oriented system, the fluidity of movement creates a natural difficult challenge for defenders to constantly react to. Against systems with stricter zonal marking, it presents an opportunity to overload the zone and utilise combination play in a tight area.
But this wide movement of the strikers must be compensated with movement from other players. This is something assistant manager Peter Krawietz had talked about previously when asked about the use of a ‘false nine’ (quote translated from his interview with SPOX in 2012):
“It is possible that in case you break through on the wing, the centre is under-manned. This was observable in the Champions League semi-final between Barcelona and Chelsea. The Blues blocked the centre with eight or nine guys, and Barca could only break through the wings. But then in the middle, not enough happened. The advantage: you can turn it around.
It is possible to occupy the centre flexibly and run into it with different players with high tempo movement, which deprives the oppositional centre backs of access. When the ball arrives, you can occupy the relevant spaces with many players, creating an ‘ambush’. That is clearly the positive aspect of this arrangement.”
In the match against Aston Villa, James Milner was often the player tasked with occupying the opposition central defenders when Sturridge & Firmino both shifted away from that area. Lallana has been used in a similar way on occasions throughout the year, but it may also present some of the key reasoning for the signing of Sadio Mane, who operated in a similar way during his time at Southampton.