It’s called Pep Confidential, which is a terrible title: a.) Stuff is no longer confidential if you put it in a book; b.) The title makes me think of L.A. Confidential, so maybe I’ll go read me some James Ellroy instead; and c.) How is it not called Pep Talk? Open goal, missed.
In extracts serialized in several newspapers, including The Times of London, Pep expresses his regret about corruption in the LAPD in the 1950 … um, about dithering over formations ahead of the second leg of April’s Champions League semifinal against Real Madrid, telling his players to abandon their usual calm possession strategy and attack like over-caffeinated ninjas, and getting spanked 4-0.
Also: Pep hates tiki-taka! No! Yes.
“I hate it. Tiki-taka means passing the ball for the sake of it, with no clear intention. It’s pointless. Don’t believe what people say. Barça didn’t do tiki-taka! It’s completely made up! Don’t believe a word of it! In all team sports, the secret is to overload one side of the pitch so that the opponent must tilt its own defense to cope. You overload on one side and draw them in so that they leave the other side weak.
“And when we’ve done all that, we attack and score from the other side. That’s why you have to pass the ball, but only if you’re doing it with a clear intention. It’s only to overload the opponent, to draw them in and then to hit them with the sucker punch. That’s what our game needs to be. Nothing to do with tiki-taka.”
A brief bit about expressing admiration for Manchester United provides for an easy “Pep to Old Trafford” headline. Watching a game in Manchester, he told an assistant: “I like this atmosphere. I could see myself coaching here one day.”
By that logic, the clubs with the loudest stadiums in the Premier League, Swansea and Stoke, ought to be getting in touch with his agent.
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