Harms/Sjor vs. Moby/TRV Vs. Tactics Harms/Sjor The inspiration behind this side is Pep's City of last season — mainly the proactive approach, directness and an unorthodox use of fullbacks. We thought that this concept will allow us to highlight some of the lesser-known players as well as using others in the unusual roles that we think they'll excel at. Tactics. The basic formation City employ does not provide anything spectacular. It is instead a rather customary shape which you can find across all professional leagues in Europe. The details, however, carry Guardiola’s thumbprint. The key battle would be in midfield, where we would have an advantage in numbers (thanks to false fullbacks), workrate and even head-to-head records (Litmanen being a proven nuisance to Redondo is the obvious example). We'll expand on the tactics and personal roles in the write up and later in the thread, so here's a few basics High defensive line — our defence is well-suited to it (especially Koeman, who was the master of it) Guardiola has instilled into his players a playing style that values “possession with a meaning”, or how each pass has an underlying intention of opening up spaces or moving around opponents. This is not Tiki-Taka, or possession for the sake of having the ball, but rather moving the ball to move the opponent Intense pressing. This is potentially Moby/TRV's weakest point — his back 3 and a keeper are far from great on the ball in the all-time context, and our pressing will definitely cause some issues. It also gives us an advantage — both teams are built to take control of the game and I believe that ours is more likely to do so Our fullbacks are comfortable in a narrow defensive formation, which will help with a more central threat from 3-5-2 False fullbacks. It is something that Pep experimented with at Bayern as well, but the use of false fullbacks at City was a little bit more nuanced. From the very beginning we wanted Zanetti (with his experience as a RB/RWB/RM/CM — and that's not even counting the left wing) and Netto for those roles. I'll make a more detailed post about Netto, but he's really the perfect man with his unique skillset (played all over the wing before settling as a left-sided center mid) and a Guardiola-esque view of football. Like with Delph and Walker, Netto and Zanetti won't be playing mirrored roles — and while both are well-capable of playing as false as well as traditional fullbacks, Netto will more often join the midfield while Zanetti will mostly provide overlaps for the attacking runs of Eto'o. Both of them possessed incredible intelligence and understanding of the game, which will help them decide on what to do at any given moment. Spoiler: a bit more on false fullbacks Key roles. Ronald Koeman is the ultimate playmaking defender who excelled in high line and played with much needed directness (not that tiki-taka crap) — he was really a must for our team despite his reputation as a defensive liability. After all, the man won 2 European Cups with 2 different clubs and the Euros as well, playing in some of the most gung-ho defensive set ups in history Andrés Iniesta and Jari Litmanen. They are the fulcrum of our team (Iniesta and Pep are a fantastic and proven combo and Litmanen was the star of LVG's Ajax — one of the teams that inspired Guardiola the most). Everything in Pep's system is set up to provide his 8's with the most freedom — it's not surprising that De Bruyne and Silva were the best players of that star-studded side. Fullbacks are joining the midfield to free them from defensive responsibility, as well as providing quality transition from the defense (with the help of Koeman, Basti and Yashin). The wingers and the center forward are stretching the pitch horizontally and vertically to create pockets of space for Iniesta and Litmanen to go to Bastian Schweinsteiger. The most complete midfielder of his generation, Basti excelled in multiple philosophies, but his unique blend of physicality, mentality, tactical and spatial awareness and top-notch passing game makes him a perfect fit. His MotM performance in the 2014 WC final is the golden standard for this role. Samuel Eto'o. The man had won 2 trebles in a row performing in completely different roles, so we had to secure him early. Here we are replicating his role from Mourinho's Inter, where he moved outwide to support for Milito centrally — providing graft, positional intelligence and pressing ability as well as his devastating pace, goalscoring and creativity. Zanetti is ready to cover for him when he cuts in Bonus. Jari Litmanen's monstrous performance against a midfield featuring Fernando Redondo and Michael Laudrup. Litmanen, nominally playing as a number 10, was marking Redondo out of the game, significantly limiting the speed of Madrid's transitions. While doing all that he managed to score 2 goals (1 was wrongly disallowed). Then Real Madrid coach Jorge Valdano after the game commented: “Ajax aren’t just the team of the 90’s, they’re approaching football utopia.” Tactics Moby/TRV Formation: 5-3-2 Goal is marshalled by Albertosi, one of Italy's greatest ever Keepers. Solid defence with Picchi sweeping flanked by 2 solid stoppers in Stam and Walter Samuel. Nilton and Kaltz will provide the width. Redondo/Zito will orchester the game from the deep. A complementary pairing to get the best out of both of them. Laudrup will be the main playmaker. Rivaldo will have a free roaming role with Shevchenko leading the line. Laudrup's ability to play deeper will ensure there is no overlaps with Rivaldo.