Football Fluidity

The system and formation aren’t important. What’s more important is the idea.
— Julen Lopetegui

If you’re unfamiliar with the Twitter account @rondosfutbol or the corresponding website, you’re missing out. Seriously, go follow it now. The man behind the brilliant work is Julian Genoud, and although never having met him, from the messages we have exchanged over the past year or so seems to be a wonderful coach. The type of coach who is dedicated to further advancing our profession through critical thinking and an openness to share and discuss ideas.

We recently discussed the idea of positional fluidity and how we both believe it to be the next trend in football tactics. I absolutely love the concept of playing without positions, formations, or systems. To leave behind our need to categorise and pigeonhole players into playing in specific areas of the field by naming their role. ‘Wing backs play here, centre backs stay in the middle, and the striker stays high.’ 

In this way, we see football in the most fluid form possible, completely void of rigidness and lacking creativity. That isn’t to say there is no structure but that the players deliver the structure the game demands. As a result, the game is given back to the players. They must perpetually perceive the game as it changes second to second. 

As soon as the referee blows the whistle, the coach would almost be insignificant. However, his duty during training sessions would be immeasurably more important, especially coaches at the youth level. In the scenario I’m describing the players would need to develop their cognitive process to be able to act within this kind of impromptu strategy flawlessly, and ideally, you would need players who would be able to adequately play in multiple ‘positions’. 

During our conversation, Julian delivered what he believes is the reason we are seeing this type of play in modern football, “Well, I think a good starting point for us to explore has to do with how we can complement the constant search for numerical superiority with other types of superiorities. It demands something else of the players.” 

Read: Positional Play in Motion

I believe this is such an innovative point of view. Yes, there is numerical, positional, and qualitative superiority but perhaps we can actively look to develop certain aspects of these advantages. For example, perceiving space better than the opponent. 

Perhaps this type of tactical revolution is the kind needed for all coaches to see the importance of cognitive development in training. With a game which will demand intuitively smart players, coaches who don’t develop this aspect will become obsolete. 

Julian's post inspired me to reach out to him with inspiration. I hope this post creates inspiration of your own. I wonder how many more crazy, ludicrous, nonsensical, absurd ideas you and I can come up with. Only one of them needs to be innovative enough to revolutionise. 

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