Barca didn't do tiki-taka

Barca didn't do tiki-taka

Tiki-taka is rubbish.

These are not the words of Jose Mourinho, or an old school English manager, tired of being told of the supremacy of the European game.

They're the words of Pep Guardiola, the man most clearly associated with developing the concept.

And that's just one line from a new book that is likely to be on the reading list of everyone in the game.

The English edition of Pep Confidential, written by Marti Perarnau and published by Backpage Press, looks an extraordinary book, one that gets as close to the inner workings of a football club as any book since Hunter Davies' legendary The Glory Game, first published in 1972.

Even the best journalists in the UK find that their access to teams, managbroers and players is heavily restricted.

That's definitely not the case here.

Author Perarnau was given complete access to Guardiola during his first season at Bayern Munich, with the only condition being that he didn't breathe a word about it to anyone during the campaign.

The result will certainly bust some of the more frequently repeated myths about the Spanish coach.

"I loathe all that passing for the sake of it, all that tiki-taka," Guardiola was quoted as saying in the book.

SHOCK

"It's so much rubbish and has no purpose. You have to pass the ball with clear intention and aim to make it into the opposition's goal.

"It's not about passing for the sake of it. Don't believe what people say. Barca didn't do tiki-taka! It's completely made up! Don't believe a word of it!

"In all team sports, the secret is to overload one side of the pitch so the opponent must tilt its defence to cope.

"You overload on one side to leave the other side weak.

"When we've done all that, we attack and score from the other side.

"That's why you need to pass the ball, but only if you are doing it with a clear intention."

Unlike the Roy Keane book, Pep Confidential is less about controversy, dark humour and score-settling.

It's far more about the mechanics of managing a football club, the day-to-day business, the way that key people operate.

For the football purist, that makes it one of the most fascinating reads of the season.

Finally, a book about football, and not about personalities.

And there are clues too as to why Guardiola turned his nose up at the resources of Manchester City and Chelsea, and chose to restart his career in Germany with Bayern Munich.

But one thing strikes you as you read these extracts.

Would Mourinho ever allow anyone to have so much access to his inner sanctum?

Would he allow his methods to be so exposed to scrutiny?

The book itself is compelling enough.

The reaction to its publication, particularly in a certain part of west London, will be even more interesting.

Don't believe what people say. Barca didn't do tiki-taka! It's completely made up! Don't believe a word of it! In all team sports, the secret is to overload one side of the pitch so that the opponent must tilt its own defence to cope. You overload on one side to leave the other side weak. When we've done all that, we attack and score from the other side. - Pep Guardiola

Tiki-taka is a style of play characterised by short passing and movement, working the ball through various channels, and maintaining possession. The style is primarily associated with Barcelona from Johan Cruyff's time as coach till now, and the Spanish national team under coaches Luis Aragones and Vicente del Bosque. - Wikipedia


This article was first published on Oct 17, 2014.
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