On Sunday we saw Champions Manchester City take apart Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium winning 2-0. On quite a few occasions the Gunners were found wanting when trying to play out from the back. What got me thinking about this philisophy and way of playing was Sam Allardyce’s response as shown below for talkSPORT.
'We are OBSESSED with this STUPID way of playing!' 😠
Sam Allardyce isn't a fan of teams playing it out from the back…
What do you make of Sam's comments? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/iKSjNZUnt5
— The Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast (@SportsBreakfast) August 13, 2018
While we know Allardyce is a dinosaur in terms of developmental football he does equally get results, likewise does Guardioula who I believe has really installed an obsession with this way of playing. However the Spanish coach has some of the worlds best talent at his disposal so with a few factors to consider, are we too obsessed with playing from the back?
First of all I agree with Allardyce’s opinion regarding playing from the back for the sake of it and it being Emery’s fault for Arsenal’s self imploding play at the weekend. Arsenal may well want to play expansive football under their new boss but it was tactical suicide to go head to head with Manchester City in this fashion as they couldn’t escape that Citizens press. Each game should be taken in isolation in my opinion, and while footballing philosophies should always be followed to an extent if that’s what a coach believes in, their must be adaptations and a willingness to adopt variations of a style if it means avoiding an oppositions strength or exposing a weakness. Again Manchester City are the best example for this. Yes they look to build from the back but at times throughout Ederson has distributed pinpoint long balls to escape the overturn of any opposition hassling.
Allardyce is spot on when saying Emery should’ve recognised his teams limitations when it came to retaining and distributing the ball from the back. It may not be as attractive but the likes of Allardyce and Sean Dyche have allowed their group to play to their strengths, while it is nowhere near as progressive which has to be a big consideration, at least it allows players to fulfil their role as they will feel more comfortable out on the pitch. You can’t argue more often that not Allardyce gets results for his respective clubs and there is no right or wrong way of playing football.
Ultimately I believe it is about striking a balance. I feel the likes of Allardyce are footballing dinosaurs and his reasons for not playing out from the back correlate to why he’s never won a trophy or developed his own elite level career. I believe for example sides can be too insistent on playing out from goal kicks even if there is a high press. When a team is already set they will find it much easier to defend and it can put a defence under all kinds of problems. This is an unnessary situation where players should instead have the freedom to make their own choices as oppossed to following instructions out of principle.
Manchester City have led the way for style and while it is amazing to watch, no one else has their quality to play like this all the time. Everyone likes to watch attractive football but not being a Manchester City fan myself I would want my club to play out when there is opportunity to do so. Good football isn’t always overcomplicating matters at the back.
I think to suggest we are becoming too obssesed with playing from the back is an awful statement to make. Ultimately this football is far more progressive than anything Allardyce has done, he did a fantastic job recovering Everton in terms of results but is now out of a job because of his footballing philisophies. Guardiola has shown the way in terms of what we want from football in England and if that means we adopt his obsession then that can only be a good thing for improving standards in this country.
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image credit talkSPORT