What’s so special about the half-spaces? (With help from Rene Maric)

November 25, 2021


“Back in 2014, Rene Maric was a football tactics blogger training a team of amateurs when he got curious about a geometry he’d come across in coaching circles. Managers like Jurgen Klopp and Ralf Rangnick didn’t just divide the pitch into vertical halves or thirds. They talked about five horizontal zones running the length of the field, like the ones Pep Guardiola chalked on his training pitch at Bayern Munich to help guide players’ spacing and movement. The outside zones were easy to name; those were the wings. The middle was the middle. Germans had a specific term for the two bands in between: halbraum, or ‘half-spaces’. Maric admitted it was ‘not a good word’ in English, but for lack of any better ideas, the name stuck. He wrote a long post for Spielverlagerung on what made these two extra zones worth paying attention to. …”
The Athletic
Guardian – From chatroom to the bootroom: Rene Maric’s very modern coaching journey (Sep. 2018)
W – René Marić


Analyzing Xavi’s First Game as Barcelona Manager

November 25, 2021


“Xavi finally made his debut as a coach in the Barcelona dugout. Since the departure of Lionel Messi at the beginning of the season, it has been evident that this season is going to be very difficult for Barcelona. As Antoine Griezmann was released on the transfer window deadline day, Barcelona’s star-studded forward line suddenly began to cross the line into agony. It appeared that Ronald’s Koeman’s dismissal was only a matter of time. Xavi finally made his debut in the Barcelona dugout after a short spell of 3 matches by Sergi Barjuan. However, the path in front of Xavi is not smooth at all. Barcelona has been out of the top four in the league table for a long time, and the threat of being eliminated from the Champions League group stage is quite real. In this team, Xavi does not have a specific target man except Luke de Jong, but his performance should not persuade Xavi to include him in the lineup. …”
Breaking The Lines