Klopp, Guardiola, Pochettino. These managers are the 3 most high profile proponents of “Gegenpressing” in world football. They have also combined Gegenpressing with the best quick, one-touch passing elements of “Tiki Taka”. The games between these 3 managers this season will be very interesting. All 3 managers have their clubs at the top of the Premier League table. Also not likely to be a coincidence that their teams are the top 3 clubs in the Premier League in terms of “Distance run” and “Number of high intensity sprints”. The Gegenpressing-Tiki Taka hybrid is the philosophy created by the Argentinian maverick/genius coach Marcelo Bielsa, the coach that taught this philosophy to Guardiola and Pochettino. Argentinian Pochettino regards Bielsa like a father. The first time Guardiola met Bielsa, they apparently talked for nearly 10 hours about football tactics and philosophy. Both Pochettino and Guardiola have known Bielsa for many years. Both have become successful using his philosophy and adding their own innovations to it. Guardiola was the first coach brave enough to use the Bielsa philosphy at a big club. His Barcelona team dominated. People said it was because of the players he had, but Rikjaard had the same players and the team played with nowhere near the intensity on and off the ball. It was the Bielsa philosophy that made Barca so successful. At the time no other managers other than Guardiola were playing the Bielsa philosophy and the only way a team could think of getting a result was to sit deep and hope their counterattacks worked. Trying to outplay them at attacking football was futile. But now, 7 years on, there are 2 other high profile managers playing the Bielsa philosphy, Klopp and Pochettino. The younger, more energetic players in the Liverpool and Tottenham squads vs the more experienced, slightly more talented players in the Man City squad could result in incredible matches between these 3 teams and managers as they try to “out-intense” each other in a match. THE KGP, resistance is futile.


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