Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola has explained his desire to use defender Joao Cancelo in the middle line as an insider or inverted defender.
“It came from Germany. When you lose the ball there, you get killed on the counter-attack if the flank defenders play wide,” the coach told BT Sport.
He continued: “I learned that back at Barcelona. We controlled the game more with those incredible players in the squad. It took three guns and 100 bullets for those players to lose the ball. They just didn’t lose the ball.
“It was different in Germany. You needed more players in the middle of the pitch to control the ball – four, five, six players to play short pass, then you had better control. That’s the only reason.”
So, he concluded: “We did it with Delph, the 100-point season was incredible. With Zinchenko too, now with Cancelo. Not all flank defenders can do that.”