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Tactical series: Revolving Defenders, the new phenomenon in football system

Flash back , 16 years along the line, defensive roles were well defined with more rigid tackles, powerful in the air, and rootless tackles, thus what made defending a different act on the pitch. On the other hand , midfielders were regarded the ball playing types with Xavi, Inesta, Xavi Alonso, Fabregass, Lampard, Carrick,making football look so simple.
Then Pep and co entered the picture and started giving different meanings to defensive roles.

It all started showing up in the 2010 World cup , but before then Pep had made all to understand the tik Tak stuff. Pique and Ramos were second best defensive passers, averaging 96 passes per match , a record that was only bettered by Xavi.

Fast forward , In 2018 World cup Ramos hit the unthinkable being the best passer in just four matches he played. 508 passes with 481 completed passes with John Stones and Toby Alderweired the other defenders in the top five making 478,446 passes respectively.

Last season a strange act continued in the EPL with the top ten passers. 8 of them were defenders and all with strange figures
Below is the list

  1. Jorginho 3118
  2. Virgil van Dijk 3037
  3. Laporte 2998
  4. David Luiz 2,620
  5. Rudiger 2537
  6. Azpilicueta 2537
  7. Andre Robertson 2,396
  8. Kyle Walker 2389
  9. Toby Alderweired 2358
  10. Xhaka 2245

  1. Comparing these figures to their defensive figures is strange
    Virgil van Dijk managed 38 tackles and ranked 176 in the Epl 40 interceptions, 199 clearances , 193 recoveries , all these figures didn’t even come close to the top ten in each department. Robertson made 80 tackles , 47 clearances, 222 recoveries, 11 assist and 135 crosses
    Laporte 42 tackles , 39 interceptions, 95 clearances, 182 recoveries .
    The question therefore is , what is happening to the defenders now.
    Tactically is very simple , these stats prove to us that , the best way to defend is to have the ball all the time. Pep’s City made 26,581 passes and an average of 699.5 passes per match , averaging not less than 56.34% possession rate. Uefa champions Liverpool made 23,638 passes an average of 89.45% of those passes occurring 45 yards away from their own goal, thus deep half way on the pitch . these give good evidence also to the fact that both Ederson and Allison making 58 and 76 saves the entire seasons but yet the best in the world but only 21st and 17th respectively in terms of saves in the EPL

……… On our next series we will find out how tactical play and formation has played a role in this revolving defensive play ………

Thanks for your time

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Chief Seidu Adamu

Chief Seidu Adamu is a Sports Journalist with a desire for Change, change in attitude, and change in how things are done. I am a Father, Philanthropist. Humanitarian and loves life You can contact me for relevant issues on Sports development via Whats App +12405912247. or FaceBook - Seidu Adamu |||Twitter - @Chiefseiduadamu

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