• Analysis

Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola: Changing the game

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 03: Josep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City and Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool give their team instructions during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool FC at the Etihad Stadium on January 3, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
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Style of Play

With both Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp being known for their unique styles of play, it is no wonder that both managers have seen success. Not only is it hard to counter-act a style of play that you may only see a couple of times a season, but you are doing it against world-class players.


With a rather unique pressing style, that aims to trap the opposition in their own half. With a high intensity, high numbers press. Jurgen has managed to pen opponents into their own halves with much success.

This was not always the case however, it took Klopp and players quite a few months at the beginning of Klopp’s reign. In-order to get to the fitness levels required to run this style of play.

SHANGHAI, CHINA – JULY 18: Manager of Manchester City FC Pep Guardiola in action with his player during a training session at Nanjing Olympic sports center on July 18, 2019 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images for Premier League)


Pep Guardiola on the other-hand, has a rather detailed style of play that opposing managers still don’t seem to have the answer to. To begin with, on possession he inverts the full-backs and drops the wingers, in-order to bring width. This allows a center-midfielder to drop between the central-defenders, whilst also allowing the higher midfielders to try and find gaps between lines.

With these sort of options for every player on the ball, the only way to really defend is to press in numbers. Although, as many have found, if the press is broken (as it so often is) then Manchester City will push forward with blistering pace and punish you.

It also allows for Manchester City to slow the game down on demand and control the tempo of the game, only going forward when the percentages are right.


And if we’re being realistic, check the latest football scores today to see if these styles of play are working…