Andre's been a busy boy this weekend, with lots of exclusive press interviews, not least amongst them this one by Duncan White. It's a very technical interview which gives a great insight into the concepts that AVB uses to think about the game. Some parts are especially relevant to yesterday's game, for example how to deal with a 'low block' team:
You have to provoke them with the ball, which is something most teams can’t do... It’s the ball they want, so you have to defy them using the ball as a carrot.
Louis Van Gaal’s idea is one of continuous circulation, one side to the other, until the moment that, when you change direction, an space opens up inside and you go through it.
So, he provokes the opponent with horizontal circulation of the ball, until the moment that the opponent will start to pressure out of despair. What I believe in is to challenge the rival by driving the ball into him.
That’s something Pep Guardiola believes is decisive. And that’s something that Henk ten Cate also took to Avram Grant’s Chelsea. He took it with him form Frank Rijkaard’s Barcelona. We did it differently at Chelsea under Mourinho.
Our attacking construction was different, with the ball going directly to the full-backs or midfielders. With Ten Cate, play was started with John Terry or Ricardo Carvalho, to invite the opponent’s pressure. Then you had one less opponent in the next step of construction.