Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What is Tiki-Taka?

From http://bleacherreport.com/:

December 30th marked the utter humiliation and destruction of Florentino Pérez’s New Galacticos at the Camp Nou. It was the greatest defeat ever suffered by José Mourihno as a manager and marks the largest margin that Madrid have been defeated by their Catalan rivals in this decade.

There are some questions that still remain: Were Pep Guardiola’s men actually five goals better than their Madrid adversaries or was it that the “tiki-taka” that La Blagurana are so proficient in was too much for the Master Tactician and his team to cope with?

What is tiki-taka? Tiki-taka is a style of play coined and popularized by Spanish commentator Andrés Montes. According to Wikipedia, tiki-taka is a style of play "characterized by short passing and movement, working the ball through various channels, and maintaining possession."

This style originated under Dutch and Barcelona Johan Cruyff's tenure as manager of Barcelona and continued with Guardiola’s predecessors, Dutch coaches Louis Van Gaal and Frank Rijkaard.

As demonstrated in the recently played El Clàsico, the continuous passing and holding of the ball is such a devastating tactic because it does not require you to switch from offense to defense because you are always in possession of the ball.

The match statistics speak for themselves a staggering 67 percent for Barca while Madrid held the ball for a measly 33 percent. Suffocating the opposition's hopes of scoring by having such high possession was the aim of the home team. From the blow of the first whistle, you could have seen the how much of a disarray the Madrid team was in.

Any structured plan implemented by Mourihno came crumbling down as five white uniforms came running after the ball at any given time. This opened up space in the midfield for  the wizardry of Messi, Xavi and Iniesta to work their magic.  Possession, domination and clinical finishing ripped apart the defensive quartet of Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Ricardo Carvlho and Marcelo. Deficiencies in Madrid’s defense were uncovered, especially in the full back positions, as they weren’t able to stop the flood of goals by Xavi, Pedro, David Villa and Jeffrén Suárez...

This “blow out” suffered by the hands of Real Madrid was due in part by three of the world's best players and Fifa Ballon d'or finalists Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Lionel Messi.  Their vision and extraordinary technical skill on the field has made them one of the most formidable midfield combination in world football today.

Beating the other team down with impossible telepathic passes and mind-boggling plays was pure poetry in motion and there was no tactic that José Mourinho could have implemented that could of prevented this impending defeat.

Tiki-taka is not supposed to out-muscle opponents, it is a tactical art form associated with flair, creativity and is used to monopolize the ball and move it in intricate patterns and baffle opponents as it did in this latest edition of El Clàsico.