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Pep's five-second rule, the key to City's success

New York City coach and Pep Guardiola's number 2 during his first season in Manchester, Dominc Torrent divulges the tactic that has been key to Manchester City conceding considerably fewer goals.

El entrenador del Manchester City, Pep Guardiola, durante un partido.
Adam HungerReuters

New York City coach, Domenec Torrent, is a close friend of Pep Guardiola and was his number two during his first season at Manchester City. He has known Guardiola for a long time and knows how he works. Now, in New York, he tries to apply some of the same methods, but there is one in particular which has been key to the transformation of Manchester City under the ex-Barcelona coach.

In an interview with Britain’s The Daily Mail, Torrent reveals one of training drills adopted by Guardiola’s team, which practices how to react when possession is lost.

“It’s a simple drill. You play like a game and when you lose the ball, react. If not, fall back. In the first two months of last season every single training session was like that,” he says.

“Remember, Pep conceded more goals than ever before in the first year. We spoke about it a lot.”

Five-second rule

In England they call it “the five-second rule”: after losing the ball, the team has five seconds to retrieve the ball, or, if unsuccessful, tactially foul their opponent and fall back. And it seems that the tactic has paid off, as Manchester City conceded considerably fewer goals in their second season under Guardiola than they did in the first.

“People say Pep just wants to pass the ball. No. The motivation for Pep is to create something special. Now is the right time,” concludes Torrent.


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