Introduction to the 3-5-2 Formation

The Back-3 defense was created as a way to counter teams built around an orthodox 4-4-2. Using three Center Backs created four distinct advantages...

Latest Posts

Remembering Arthur Wharton: The First Black Professional Footballer

In an interview from 1888, Arthur Wharton recalled overhearing a conversation between two fellow track competitors some years before. “Who’s he,” one rhetorically asked,...

Analysis of Man City’s 9 league losses or The Importance of Kevin De Bruyne

With debates regarding the PFA Player of the Year vote for the Premier League, I decided to dig deeper and research the Kevin de...

The Jürgen Klopp Pressing system

If a single tactical feature were to be used to define a manager, for Jurgen Klopp, it would certainly be the pressing or the...

  The different methods to Marcelo Bielsa’s madness

The current Leeds United manager and arguably the most influential coach in modern football, Marcelo Bielsa is the subject of this analysis because I’m...

The Tactical Feud of our Times: Klopp vs Guardiola

The end of a 30-year old wait in conquering the first English tier for Liverpool coincided with a visit from their main rivals the...

Tottenham 2: 1 Arsenal- Tactical Analysis

In this analysis, we will be observing the tactics of Mikel Arteta and José Mourinho in their recent Premier League clash. Spurs eventually won...

Man City 3:0 Arsenal Tactical Analysis- The Master vs The Apprentice

When Mikel Arteta was an assistant of Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, they not only dominated England but were one of the best teams...

Football Books

Best Football Analytics Books

We have compiled a list of the best football analytics books for the casual football fan. Football analytics and data science/machine learning in general...

The Best Football Books of 2019

It's been another eventful year in the world of football. As we look forward to 2020, we have compiled a list of the best...

The Best Football Books of 2018

It's been another eventful year in the world of football. As we look forward to 2019, we have compiled a list of the best...

5 Books every Soccer fan needs to read before the FIFA World Cup 2018

The FIFA World Cup is just around the corner and it's the perfect time to brush up your history and facts about the World...

Best Soccer Coaching Books

We have compiled a list of the best soccer coaching books which every soccer coach must have in his/her bookshelf. No matter whether you...

The Jürgen Klopp Pressing system

If a single tactical feature were to be used to define a manager, for Jurgen Klopp, it would certainly be the pressing or the counter-pressing tactics his teams are famous for. In this tactical analysis, we will be covering Klopp’s pressing evolution from his time at Dortmund until his current reign at Liverpool.

Gegenpressing is the best playmaker

To understand how Klopp’s teams press, we have to understand the concept of Gegenpressing or counter-pressing. Gegenpressing is a tactic in which a team, after losing possession of the ball, immediately attempts to win back possession, rather than falling back to regroup. The idea lying behind Gegenpressing or the counter-pressing is that the opposition is disorganised after the opposition lose the ball and this disorganisation can be exploited with a well-executed Gegenpressing.

During his time at Dortmund, he used 4-4-2/4-4-1-1 system, Dortmund would often build their play through one side of the pitch and defended in a very compact manner, their goal was to regain the possession almost immediately after losing the ball and shutting down the passing options for the oppositions.

In the image below, we see a Gegenpressing situation, Here yellow markers are used for Dortmund players and the blue markers are used for opposition players, we see that Dortmund have shut down all the passing options for the opposition and can intercept the next pass. This was a common play pattern in Klopp’s Dortmund.

klopp pressing tactics

At Dortmund, the goal was to quickly counter-attack after winning the ball as the opponent’s defence is disorganised, Dortmund would try to exploit this disorganisation. In the image below, we see an example of this, here Bayern’s center-back can only pass the ball to his goalkeeper.

Jurgen Klopp Pressing System

As mentioned above Dortmund would often lined up in a narrow 4-4-2/4-4-1-1 system, they would often set up in a low to mid-block forcing the opponents to make mistakes and then exploit their disorganized shape. Below image highlights this situation, Here Dortmund lined up 4-4-1-1 system and the two strikers are used as the cover shadows to block the passes into the midfield.

Jurgen Klopp Pressing System

In addition to this, Dortmund would start their press with certain triggers, A closed body shape of the receiving player could act as a trigger, Dortmund players would try to close him down and would try to shut down all the passing options. The below image highlights one more counter-pressing situation, Here Dortmund are pressing with 4 men, they won the ball back by shutting down the opponent’s passing options and immediately shifted from the defensive phase to the offensive phase.

Jurgen Klopp Pressing System

Klopp Pressing Tactics at Liverpool

At Liverpool, Klopp has shifted his attention to increasing ball retention and possession. As Liverpool usually line up in a 4-3-3 formation, they often secure possession with horizontal passes. Liverpool press higher than Dortmund(During Klopp’s time at Dortmund), the center-forward mostly Roberto Firmino would act as a cover shadow, therefore blocking the passing option to the opponent’s holding midfielder, the two wingers(Mo.Salah and Sadio Mane) start the press by acting as the positional diagonals and forcing the center-back to play ball inside, the two midfielders mark the opponents two midfielders, thereby forcing the opponents to either go long or pass it on the flanks. The below images highlight this pressing concept.

Jurgen Klopp Pressing System

Jurgen Klopp Pressing System

In addition to this, Liverpool would sometimes, allow the opposition midfielder to receive the first pass and then start their press from different directions.

Jurgen Klopp Pressing System

Fullbacks play a very important role in Klopp’s teams, At Liverpool one of the fullbacks(Trent Alex Arnold and Andy Robertson) joins the press together with the striker and the wingers. Thus Liverpool would often create a back-three line, Moreover if both the fullbacks are up during the pressing, then the defensive midfielder would drop in the defence so as to maintain a back three line.

Jurgen Klopp Pressing System

In the image above, we see that Trent has joined the press with Salah and Firmino, forcing Dani Ceballos to make a mistake. At the same Robertson stayed back so that the counter-attack can be prevented. A principal that remained is, the wingers constantly track back and play a vital role during the defensive phase.

Conclusion

Gegenpressing still plays a vital role in Klopp’s tactics, although at Liverpool the pressing approach has become more proactive. At Dortmund, he was more focused on creating chances through counter-attacks.

- Advertisement -

Related

Remembering Arthur Wharton: The First Black Professional Footballer

In an interview from 1888, Arthur Wharton recalled overhearing a conversation between two fellow track competitors some years before. “Who’s he,” one rhetorically asked,...

Analysis of Man City’s 9 league losses or The Importance of Kevin De Bruyne

With debates regarding the PFA Player of the Year vote for the Premier League, I decided to dig deeper and research the Kevin de...

  The different methods to Marcelo Bielsa’s madness

The current Leeds United manager and arguably the most influential coach in modern football, Marcelo Bielsa is the subject of this analysis because I’m...

The Tactical Feud of our Times: Klopp vs Guardiola

The end of a 30-year old wait in conquering the first English tier for Liverpool coincided with a visit from their main rivals the...

Tottenham 2: 1 Arsenal- Tactical Analysis

In this analysis, we will be observing the tactics of Mikel Arteta and José Mourinho in their recent Premier League clash. Spurs eventually won...

Man City 3:0 Arsenal Tactical Analysis- The Master vs The Apprentice

When Mikel Arteta was an assistant of Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, they not only dominated England but were one of the best teams...

A look at Nigel Pearson’s tactics at Watford

4/12/2019, Leicester City Stadium. Watford suffers yet another defeat, and the ominous bells of relegation are echoing louder at Vicarage Road. The board had...

Great Squads From History – Bayer Leverkusen 2001-2002

The 2001-02 great Bayer Leverkusen side is infamous for their incredible choke job in the last stretch of the season, losing out on three...

Latest Posts

Real Madrid and Barcelona remain the most valuable football clubs

Football is the most popular sport in the world, and so it is understandable that the biggest football clubs will also be some of...

Remembering Arthur Wharton: The First Black Professional Footballer

In an interview from 1888, Arthur Wharton recalled overhearing a conversation between two fellow track competitors some years before. “Who’s he,” one rhetorically asked,...

How will Coutinho fit in at Arsenal: Arteta’s new look 4-2-3-1 formation

English outlet, Express are reporting that Arsenal are considering a loan deal for Barcelona's record signing, Philippe Coutinho. The report indicates that Coutinho might have...

Analysis of Man City’s 9 league losses or The Importance of Kevin De Bruyne

With debates regarding the PFA Player of the Year vote for the Premier League, I decided to dig deeper and research the Kevin de...

Don't Miss

The Football match which started a war

Plenty of football stadiums have statues standing outside of them. There's strange one here and there (Michael Jackson formerly outside Craven Cottage springs to...

Lifted Over The Turnstiles: Scotland’s Football Grounds In The Black & White Era

This most comprehensive book about old Scottish football grounds ever published, Lifted Over the Turnstiles contains almost 200 photos of 42 football stadiums here...

Cruyffism through Spain

Spain has developed a unique commitment to technical football which has put them in good stead to make the past decade a period of Spanish dominance. The story to this dominance begin decades before hand when Cruyff decided that Barcelona would be the club he would next manage after his time at Ajax was over. He would create a cohesive identity for the club which kept the vision while finding success. This vision began with a number of manager who came before Cruyff but after Cruyff left, there would be many managers in Spain who would use his methods to discovery their own success.

How Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona Reinvented Total Football

Arrigo Sachi, the mastermind of the Milan side of the 80′s, had once staked a claim that the next tactical revolution in the game,...

When Sir Alex Ferguson Lost by 9 Goals in back to back matches

I'm shattered, I can't believe it. It was our worst ever day. It's the worst in my history, ever. Even as a player I...

Transfers

How will Coutinho fit in at Arsenal: Arteta’s new look 4-2-3-1 formation

English outlet, Express are reporting that Arsenal are considering a loan deal for Barcelona's record signing, Philippe Coutinho. The report indicates that Coutinho might have...

How will Pjanic fit in at Barcelona? A look at Barcelona’s 4-3-3 formation for next season

As the deal between Barcelona and Juventus regarding the transfers of Arthur Melo and Miralem Pjanic has almost been finalised, let's take a look...

Three best Premier League transfers of all time

The Premier League is famous for its lavish spending on player’s transfers. Top clubs like Liverpool, Manchester City, and Manchester United have been spending...

Where will Kai Havertz play for Chelsea? A look at Lampard’s exciting 4-2-3-1 formation for next season

There have been several rumours surrounding Kai Havertz's transfer to Chelsea and Havertz's current boss, Peter Bosz has indicated that the winger might not...

Man United expected lineup against Sheffield United: Pogba & Bruno to start together for first time

Manchester United salvaged a draw against Tottenham in their first game post the lockdown. Their performance improved after the substitutions of Paul Pogba and...