Burnley boss - Pressing is the new passing

Pressing matter: Ben Mee and Scott Arfield deny Reading any space to attack in Saturday's 2-1 win at Turf Moor
Pressing matter: Ben Mee and Scott Arfield deny Reading any space to attack in Saturday's 2-1 win at Turf Moor

Pressing is the new passing according to Sean Dyche.

And he is delighted at the way his players have taken that mantra on board so far this season.

Burnley’s organisation, work rate and desire to win the ball back has played a big part in their climb to the top of the Championship - as much as the volume of goals they have scored, and their miserly defence.

Dyche is a student of European and World football, and he admits he has tried to take some of the best facets of sides like Bayern Munich to fit his and his team’s needs.

He said: “Barcelona started it in a way, subliminally, because everybody thinks about the passing, but the Germans have taken it to a new level - pressing is the new passing.

“The way the Germans press at the minute, tactically, individually is fantastic.

“If you look at some of the pass maps, they’ve changed - Barcelona dominate with beautiful football, Spain as well, heavily linked with the Barcelona connection, so then everyone decides that’s the way forward.

“I’m not saying it’s not, I’m saying ‘is it?’ Because the Germans have come along and said you can have as much possession as you want, as many passes, but we’re going to press, get it off you and score.”

Cardiff, under Dyche’s good friend Malky Mackay, earned much admiration for their ability to find several ways to win games on their way to the Championship title, whether at their best or not.

And Dyche added: “The best exponents of mixed, clever football for a long time have been Manchester United.

“It’s nirvana for every manager - a team that can operate and hurt teams as many ways as you can.

“Defending and counter attacking, muck and nettles, fantastic football, set pieces..I think United have done that for a long time, and it’s no surprise Mourinho does that.

“I saw his Real Madrid take on Barcelona and they didn’t try to outpass them, they stifled them and found a way to win.

“I can only imagine he thought the only way they were going to win was by being tactically sound, organised, pressing, breaking the game up and picking their pocket.

“We’ve shown good signs of different ways of winning, but it’s still a work in progress and there are loads of challenges to come.

“But that’s a look at what I feel is happening in football, and what we can learn from it as a group and add into it.

“Because it’s always about that, information, tactics, movement patterns, things like that.

“Your eyes zoom in on that, and you try and keep up to date with modern trends.

“A lot of it is perception. What is the right way of playing? It’s got to be to win, surely?

“That’s never changed. There is a better way of winning, but it doesn’t make it THE way.

“There are learnings from everywhere, and I try and pick up whatever I can to try and help myself and my staff.”

Transition is a word that regularly crops up into modern football terminology - to describe how teams adapt from having the ball, to being without it.

Dyche admitted: “Transition is one of the most important things in football now, it’s key, having the ball, not having the ball and regaining it.

“I look for it in my players, I work with them daily on it, and there’s great signs from them.”

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