mercoledì 1 gennaio 2014

Martinez's universality a key of this season

We have seen that. Pep Guardiola put emphasis upon the importance of the concept of universality. He made it switching players role, utilizing defenders in the attacking phase, wide forwards drifting, forwards contributing in the defensive phase…the Spaniard fielded Philipp Lahm in the holding spot; Mario Gotze and Thomas Muller up front; Toni Kroos as one of the three central midfielder…but the player who mostly represented the hybrid player Guardiola like to line up were Javi Martinez. He became the paradigm of the modern version of the total player that Holland introduced in the football in the early ‘70s. Guardiola demonstrated Martinez’s tactical flexibility lining up him as attacking midfielder, ahead Lahm and Kroos in a recent game against Dortmund. It wasn’t a surprise with Martinez playing everywhere latest seasons. Martinez is one of the best all-rounders available. Martinez already showed it in last Champions League against Barcelona, when he Martinez pressured Andres Iniesta but when he also was a costant presence  attacking. Vicente Del Bosque too wasn’t unsensible to Martinez’s versatility. During the Confederations Cup semifinal against Italy, Del Bosque withdrew his lone forward, Fernando Torres, introducing Martinez up front as centre-forward.  Under  Jupp Heynckes, Martinez became a great holding midfielder playing alongside Bastian Schweinsteiger in a 4-2-3-1 formation. With Guardiola switching to a single pivot shape Martinez role didn’t’ decrease as Guardiola integrated him as an attacking midfielder, a holding midfielder and a centre-back. His abilities of making runs into the box, his good linkup play and his aerial strength made Martinez a perfect fit for every need. He perfectly summarize Bayern’s approach that turned Barcelona’s tiki-taka into a more muscular and physical version.

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