In the Best Seller “Tac-Tac: O Futebol de Pep Guardiola Periodizado Taticamente” we can learn the basis of Guardiola’s poitional play (a method to develop the game that must be well aware by player and coaches)
To Pep the main principle of Position Play is to always look for a superiority (numerical, positional or qualitative). This way the team can control the game.
Numerical: get numerical advantage on a determined space/line.
In the image below you can see how Bayern finds a superiority of 5×3 in the area around the ball, this way making easier to build the game from the back.
Positional Superiority: player positioned in the free space between lines, through the dynamics of ‘Free-Man’ where the ball carrier, with no opposition, conducts it to bring an opponent and free a team mate (that was marked before). Other dynamic is to use the ‘3rd man’;
In the following image you can see Lahm in a positional superiority (free in the back of his marker), but the pass line of the carrier wasn’t good. From this moment, they used the 3rd man, where the carrier used Robben (2nd man) to connect to Lahm (3rd man):
Qualitative Superiority: search for situations in 1×1 or 2×2 in spaces where our best players can face inferior quality players.
In the following image FC Bayern Munich took advantage moving the Borussia players to one side and then doing a long pass to the opposite side to Douglas Costa, putting him in a situation of 1vs1. Then the player can apply his amazing technical skill to create a difficult situation to the opponent.
It is also mandatory to create numerical superiority behind the pressure lines of the opponent, in such a way to have free players between the lines:
It is important to give preference to achieve superiority in the vertical axis (with vertical passes) than horizontal:
The carrier shall always have 2-3 options of passing (creating triangles and diamond) to keep the possession in the atack: