Thiago Motta’s 2-7-2 formation could be the next advancement in tactics and could be the future of football formations. The former PSG midfielder retired from the game last season and became Paris Saint-Germain Under-19’s coach in the summer. He has already made waves in the footballing world introducing the 2-7-2.
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In a recent interview with Gazzette Dello Sport, Thiago Motta spoke about his footballing philosophy and his ideas on using a goalkeeper as a midfielder: “My idea of the game is offensive. A compact team that commands at start, high pressure and lots of mobility with and without a ball. I want the player with the ball to have three or four solutions and two close associates to help him. For me, counting from right to left, it could be a 2-7-2. You can play in a 4-3-3 and be defensive or 3-5-2 and be offensive. These numbers are very deceptive. I count the goalkeeper in the midfield seven. For me the attacker is the first defender and the goalkeeper is the first striker. The goalkeeper is the one who starts the play, with the foot, and the first attackers who have to make the pressure to recover the ball.”
Thiago Motta played for Barcelona, Inter and PSG under a number of the biggest managers in European football including Louis van Gaal, Frank Rijkaard, Jose Mourinho, Rafa Benítez, Carlo Ancelotti, Laurent Blanc and Claudio Ranieri. This has helped shape his ideas on soccer. Motta is a big admirer of Pep Guardiola’s style off- and on-the-ball. The 2-7-2 would be an evolution of Guardiola’s style who uses goalkeepers to build up his attacks; Ederson at Manchester City, Manuel Neuer at Bayern Munich and Victor Valdes at Barcelona. Like the Spanish tactician Motta’s teams line-up on paper as a 4-3-3, but in possession the goalkeeper is heavily involved.
Thomas Tuchel is currently Paris Saint-Germain F.C. manager, but Thiago Motta has set his sights on one day become PSG manager. If he were to implement his style of playing offensively having a short team that controls the game, with high pressure and a lot of movement with and without the ball, he could turn PSG into the dominant force in European football. Paris St. Germain’s Qatar owners have lusted for their first Champions League title and Thiago Motta could be the man to take them to the promised land.