As Chelsea and Manchester City prepare to do battle in the Community Shield on Sunday, we analyse the playing styles of Guardiola and Sarri.
It’s no secret that the two managers have admirations for each other. It was nothing but glowing praise of the style that took Napoli to the brink of the Serie A title and led Sarri to replace Antonio Conte at Chelsea this summer.
Sarri has since paid Guardiola a compliment of his own. ‘He for me is a friend, but he is the best coach in the world now, or one of the best,’ the 59-year-old said on Friday.
Guardiola, in turn, has praised Sarri for his brand of football. It has been praises and mutual respect so far. For 90 minutes on Sunday, both managers will go toe-to-toe on the technical area in the curtain-raiser community shield.
Let’s look at the style of play of two of football’s most highly-regarded managers.
Guardiola demands a possession-based system that is focused on attack. He dislikes the term ‘tiki-taka’ but it sums up the philosophy. His signature 4-3-3 worked wonders at Barcelona and Bayern Munich and Manchester City.
Although it took a season to work in England, it helped City win the Premier League title last season in emphatic fashion. Every player must be comfortable on the ball while pace and flair in the final third of the pitch ensure plenty of cutting edge.
And Sarri’s Napoli team played a unique brand of attacking football that was known as ‘Sarri-ball’ or ‘Sarrismo’, which earned widespread praise across the continent. He also uses a 4-3-3 formation, Sarri’s teams play with short, incisive passing pattern which moves defenders out of position.
When a scoring chance can’t be created, the ball is recycled and possession is kept, but more often than not, they eventually found a way through with every player capable of contributing to their attacking play.
Tomorrow’s match will be exciting in terms of attacking play, with lots of created chances and goals. With these two managers in the Premier League, fans will be treated to beautiful games of football, and Sunday’s Community Shield match will be a taste of what’s to come.