Style of Play – Defensive
Atletico Madrid is very well organized defensively and this has been a strength under Simeone. The video above is a breakdown of their 4-4-2 defensive shape.
Most of the time Atleti will use a high block with aggressive tactical pressing, but in some away matches against possession-based teams, they have resorted to a medium block.
The pressing is initiated by the strikers and the rest of the team will follow them. They will either try to force the long pass from the opposition or force them wide where Atleti will press in packs to win the ball.
The midfield will narrow and become compact in an attempt to force the opposition into wide areas to press them as mentioned above
Needs to be able to organize and give instruction to an unorganized defense that is still in transition. Be good at coming for crosses and shot-stopping.
Confident in 2v2, and 3v2 situations, very good at dealing with crosses and blocking shots. Able to slow opposition attack to allow outside backs to recover into position. Organize defensive unit and communicate with the midfield. Own their zone.
Confidence in 1v1 situations, understand when to press when the opposition is on their side, and press as a ‘gang’. Fast in recovery to get back into position after the attacking phase.
Get back into position and organize the midfield unit. Help the central defenders by picking up 2nd ball if the opposition plays a longer pass. Know their defensive zone and defend within it. Understand when to press after taking cues from strikers.
Know role and zone when organized in a defensive position, but also understand how to recover and get back into position after attacking. Know how/when to press as a team and also when the opposition is on his side.
Strikers identify and initiate pressing when they see one of the triggers and know how to press to force the opposition wide or into a long pass. Also, get organized if pressing isn’t an option and stay compact as a team unit.
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