Stephen Kenny on watching a Pep Guardiola training session

The successful Dundalk manager saw Pep in action in Bayern Munich last year.

BY Sinéad Farrell 15:41 Sunday 19 March 2017, 15:41 19 Mar 2017

Steven Paston/EMPICS Sport

Stephen Kenny spoke about his experience of watching Pep Guardiola conduct a training session, on today's edition of Off The Ball's Sunday Paper Review.

Presenter Joe Molloy teed up the topic by referencing a piece written by Jonathan Wilson in today's Sunday Independent about Pep Guardiola's training methods.

Molloy outlines how, in accordance with Guardiola's strategy, the pitch is divided into 20 sections in which players adjust their position on the pitch depending on which zone the ball is in. 

It appears as though there's a lot of intricate detail behind Guardiola's tactical approach, but Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny argues otherwise.

Kenny applied to observe a training session at Bayern Munich last year before Guardiola made the move to Manchester City. And commenting on Wilson's piece, he said:

"It's not as scientific as suggested. I think the difference is for example, in some of the English teachings, or even the French, it's not as scientific - freedom of expression is promoted and encouraged."

"I think the point is to use maximum width of the pitch. Whether it be 4-3-3 or 3-4-3, they use maximum width of the pitch."

"You talk about Thierry Henry saying that he had to play high on the left for Barcelona and when he veered to the right and scored a goal, Guardiola took him off at half-time."

"I was over at Bayern Munich last year. Ironically, I was there the day he(Guardiola) was announced as the new Man City manager because that happened in a hurry. 

"He's very visual, he moves his hands. He's enjoyable to watch in that regard. Obviously quite a passionate guy. I picked up one or two different drills.

"The whole concept of zones in football is about creating angles for passing, they'd be big on the symmetry of the game. That's why the concept of the zone is there. You watch Barcelona at their best playing, they've always got options, they've always got players available to take a pass.

"The session I was at wasn't tactical, it was based on a lot of finishing drills and 8 v 8 games."


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