Tiki -taka is a control style of soccer that Pep Guardiola is given credit for bringing to the world. Different people define it differently, but the way we will define it is a style of attack that is based on safe, high percentage passing and positional movement (players staying in their generally assigned position) that advances the ball into the attacking third of the field where players seek out and create scoring opportunities in a creative (non-positional) manner. Tiki-taka is a style of play that requires every player from the back to the front (including the goalie) to have the technical skill and tactical understanding to safely move the ball around the field and seek out the safest path down the field into the attacking third. The must strive to give our player with the ball two to three options to pass to. Except for the goalie, there must always be an option to safely drop it back. Midfielders and forwards should move toward the player with the ball to provide her with the option to play a give-and-go, a back-and-forth or safely pass the ball to another point of attack. The idea behind this is to maintain possession of the ball and safely pass the ball around until we create a scoring opportunity. This style is truly a full team style of play as every player may touch the ball in an attack prior to us scoring a goal.
Decision Criteria to Execute
There are many reasons why we will decide to execute this method of attack. This is our default setting and will likely be what we play through the majority of the game. Here are some criteria why we will employ this method:
- Long counter attack not available
- Center counter attack not available
- We want to create a deliberate game tempo
- We want to fatigue the opposing team by making the chase us around the field
- We may want to regain our composure
Detailed Method (Step by Step)
- Any Grizzly player on the field gains possession of the ball
- Staying in their general zone each surrounding player moves to a supporting position that is free of opposing players and has line of site to the player with the ball
- Player with the ball makes a safe pass to one of these players (moderate to fast ball speed along the ground)
- Repeat this process with an occasional long safe pass to a new area on the field
- Pass or dribble to create a scoring opportunity in the attacking third of the field
Key Game Awareness
- Where is the open space (no defenders in the space) that has a clear line of site to the player with the ball
- Where on the field to do we have open players or player with the ability to shoot on net
Key Game Understanding
- Where is a good scoring opportunity?
- How do we get the ball there?
- All: trapping
- All: supporting runs to space with line of site to the ball
- All: accurate short (2-20 yard) passing with the right speed
- All: shielding the ball
- All: game awareness of passing options (keep head up and looking around)
This is our primary method of attack and will be what we practice most. Having the confidence to trap the ball and seamlessly transition to safe passes to fellow players in good supporting positions will provide us the ability to control the tempo of the game and create scoring opportunities.