Girona’s return to the topflight of Spanish football is proving to be an outstanding campaign. Under the guidance of Michel as coach, the ‘Gironins’ remain in the middle of the league table with an upward dynamic.
Therefore, at the MBP School of Coaches, we are going to explain which tactical concepts are enabling the Catalan team to enjoy their comeback to La Liga.
The Variability Structure
One of the key parts of Girona successful return to the top division has been their adaptability in terms of the system of play to be used. From the beginning of the season to date, Michel’s men have used six different structures.
However, the most used so far is the GK-4-4-2 in 31% of the matches. Nevertheless, this is not a classic structure like the ones of yesteryear, quite the contrary. The Madrid coach seeks to use asymmetrical positions regardless of the phase of the game with the aim of strengthening his team’s strong profile (left).
For example, in attack, we can see how the ‘Gironí’ look to have double width on the left with a full back and a winger, while on the opposite flank they only guarantee width with the right back.
Therefore, the occupation of the pitch by the players is irregular, with a greater density of players in certain sectors. Despite this, the structural anomaly is subject to a tactical intention for the appearance of the different principles and sub-principles that the coach wants to implement.
The wing play as an attacking weapon
Another factor behind Girona’s good performance is their attacking play. Michel’s men are very clear about how they should attack opposing teams. This way of damaging the opponent is through the wide channels, with both sectors being equally important.
Despite the left side being Michel’s strong side, the Catalan team use it to attract the opposition, and then switch the play to the right and charge the area through wide crosses.
Likewise, another of Girona’s great tactical qualities is ‘how’ they are using/occupying the wide sectors. In this case, we can see that the width is used through different sub lanes.
Thanks to this, Michel’s side manage to have different passing lines and not overlap spaces for intervention. Another of the main elements is the figure of the full back to open up the space between the centre back and the opposing full back, and the winger who is responsible for attacking this space.
The defensive solidity
Finally, the defensive growth is another of Girona FC’s strong points. Despite achieving their first clean sheet in the last game against Valencia, Michel’s men are doing a magnificent job in defence compared to previous periods in La Liga.
Through a dynamic GK-4-4-2 defensive structure, the ‘Gironins’ position themselves in a low block, looking to minimise the space behind them, and accumulate a large number of players close to their goal. Oriol Romeu stands out in midfield as the team’s defensive leader.
However, in certain match scenarios, Michel’s team have also shown the versatility to execute high pressing, causing great havoc for the opposition, as was the case against FC Barcelona.
In addition, another of the cornerstones of the strong defensive performance has been the figure of Gazzaniga. Despite starting as a substitute, the Argentinian has managed to turn the situation around and become the first-choice keeper.
Miguel Ángel ‘Michel’ is enjoying an excellent season with his Girona side. The Catalans have been growing during the first half of the season through the three key tactics described in the article and have managed to position themselves safely in the table.