Is attacking the best form of defense?

Stocar

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In general, football rewards opportunism. Teams that defend deep and prey on opponent mistakes probably have some significant psychological advantage: they seem to need fewer chances to score, and they don't concede easily, even if their opponent creates many chances.

On the other hand, only the teams that are always seeking the ball, basing their game on skill and taking control, are able to achieve true excellence.
 

harms

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Ideally — yes. If you have a flawlessly working attacking possession-based system, the opposition will find it incredibly hard to attack you, drastically limiting the times when you actually need to defence. It's impossible to have a flawless system in our world full of personal mistakes though, but Pep's Barcelona showed that this approach prevails most of the time if you're good enough.

Mourinho's idea is to allow the opposition a free-reign in attack, not limiting the amount of chances, but rather their quality — the opponents have a lot of the ball, but they find it hard to create good goalscoring chances (why in Pep's system, you'll get significantly less chances, but they will be more dangerous). This system is more prone to the individual mistakes, though, as there are much more chances for the defensive mistake to occur (and it will eventually, because we're people and not machines).

So yeah, attacking approach works a tad better, as we can see by the results of Pep's teams — at least for now, and you would expect "Pep's" team to win more games from 10 against a "Mourinho's" team. But there will always be exceptions like Inter's win over Barcelona or Chelsea against Barca and Bayern in the CL.
 

Sunspear17

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Wouldn't be much point having defenders if this was the case. Wouldn't be any point in a boxer learning defence if he just went out and threw punches at his opponent without any defence. Wouldn't be any point in an MMA fighter learning how to defend himself on the ground or against leg kicks, or even from takedowns if he only went out to attack. You can apply that to pretty much all sports where you need to defend. Of course in football the goal is to score more than the opposition, but conceding a goal can also lower confidence, cause mistakes, and lead to momentum swing in the oppo's favour. It's important for a team to remain calm in defence when under pressure from the opposition's offence.
 

whatwha

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I would always prefer my club to outscore the opposition instead of eking out a 1-0. Football is supposed to entertain the fans, and high scoring games are nearly always more entertaining.
 

Paul_Scholes18

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Attacking is certainly not good for the defense. Keeping the ball with possesion football can be, but that is a sort of defending with the ball. If you say when we have the ball we attack and when we don't have the ball we defend then having the ball is always better although it can be difficult to keep it.

When you go full on attack against other teams it will increase the chances for other teams to score against you. Although it should also improve your chances of scoring as well.
There is always a mental side of things though. If you attack teams they might be scared to play deeper and so they attack less. So indirectly it helps you.


In the end it comes down to semantics. There are many different ways to attack and also how to defend. In games all teams do both.
 

Paul_Scholes18

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Ideally — yes. If you have a flawlessly working attacking possession-based system, the opposition will find it incredibly hard to attack you, drastically limiting the times when you actually need to defence. It's impossible to have a flawless system in our world full of personal mistakes though, but Pep's Barcelona showed that this approach prevails most of the time if you're good enough.

Mourinho's idea is to allow the opposition a free-reign in attack, not limiting the amount of chances, but rather their quality — the opponents have a lot of the ball, but they find it hard to create good goalscoring chances (why in Pep's system, you'll get significantly less chances, but they will be more dangerous). This system is more prone to the individual mistakes, though, as there are much more chances for the defensive mistake to occur (and it will eventually, because we're people and not machines).

So yeah, attacking approach works a tad better, as we can see by the results of Pep's teams — at least for now, and you would expect "Pep's" team to win more games from 10 against a "Mourinho's" team. But there will always be exceptions like Inter's win over Barcelona or Chelsea against Barca and Bayern in the CL.
I don't think it is attacking to keep the ball without wanting to attack with it. That is defensive football in my view. LVG was a defensive coach even if he wanted to keep the ball as a way to not let in goals.
 

adexkola

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Ideally — yes. If you have a flawlessly working attacking possession-based system, the opposition will find it incredibly hard to attack you, drastically limiting the times when you actually need to defence. It's impossible to have a flawless system in our world full of personal mistakes though, but Pep's Barcelona showed that this approach prevails most of the time if you're good enough.

Mourinho's idea is to allow the opposition a free-reign in attack, not limiting the amount of chances, but rather their quality — the opponents have a lot of the ball, but they find it hard to create good goalscoring chances (why in Pep's system, you'll get significantly less chances, but they will be more dangerous). This system is more prone to the individual mistakes, though, as there are much more chances for the defensive mistake to occur (and it will eventually, because we're people and not machines).

So yeah, attacking approach works a tad better, as we can see by the results of Pep's teams — at least for now, and you would expect "Pep's" team to win more games from 10 against a "Mourinho's" team. But there will always be exceptions like Inter's win over Barcelona or Chelsea against Barca and Bayern in the CL.
 

Cristiano Lell

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'Ball possession' is not necessarily synonymous with 'attacking'. It's obvious that for Pep, possession is equally important as a defensive function as it it for attacking. Possession, and winning the ball back as quickly as possible after losing it. The excellent defensive record of Pep's teams shows that this is by all means a successful defensive strategy.
 

DannyCAFC

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Completely unanswerable, the best approach to take depends entirely on the players the manager has available.

Systems work around having the right personnel, not the other way round.