One of the founding tenets of Blueprint for Football was that of shying away from the coaching side of things and for one simple but fundamental reason: I am not a coach. My interest in the development of players arises from a fascination with the process rather than an interest to replicate the coaching drills that led to it. I’ve always been more attracted by in the ideas behind a certain style of play and the philosophy that went into developing that way of playing.
As a result the attention devoted to that area has largely been a passing one. It is for this reason that there are no coaching tips on the site; there are much better qualified people who do a great job of sharing their ideas (if that is your area, I strongly recommend that you follow The Coaching Family on twitter). And that is why coaching books haven’t been featured. So far.
Because with “Coaching the Tiki-Taka Style of Play” I’m making an exception and there’s a reason for that: this is much more than a coaching manual.
In fact, I’d go so far as saying that the real juice of the book lies away from the coaching pages. That should not be seen as a slight on that part of the book because the coaching drills are well explained and brilliantly illustrated. With fifty drills, there is more than enough to satisfy those for whom that is the prime focus.
For me, however, the really interesting aspect of the book was the work that Jed Davies has done to thread the evolution of tiki-taka. His is not a knee-jerk reaction to Barcelona and Spain’s domination of world football but has used that as the catalyst in order to identify what led to this philosophy evolving in the way that it did.
He has achieved this by studying both the work and the background of the people who helped build this system. More than that, he has spoken to a number of established coaches in order to get their views on the different systems and ideas that he talks about, helping form a picture of how a style evolves according to the environment in which it is being implemented.
There are far too many people who talk about the need for a ‘philosophy’ without knowing just what needs to be done in order to get to a point where a club (or a country) has a clearly identifiable style of play. That is the process that this book highlights and that is why, for me, it is such an important book.
Jed Davies can be found on Twitter and is always a great source for coaching tips.
Full disclosure: A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher