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Variations of Guardiola's 4v4+3

Updated: Sep 3, 2022

This week's video breakdown was centered around an exercise made famous by Pep Guardiola when he became Bayern Munich coach in 2013. It's easy to see why the exercise has become so popular amongst coaches from around the world. You can coach a multitude of different aspects of the game and, at the same time, create challenging pictures for your players in all four moments of the game. Below are some examples of these, but the objective of the video itself is to look at some ways in which coaches can progress the exercise and put their own spin on it with their particular system and their group of players.

In the video we look at seven specific variations of the 4v4+3 exercise. Below is a personal favorite from the Netherlands where they use the goalkeepers as the outside neutrals and add two mannequins in front of each one. The mannequins remove the lateral pass and therefore challenge the goalkeepers to play at angles, while at the same time working on angles of support from the players on the inside. By changing the conditions of the game, suddenly the difficulty levels are raised and the coach can communicate certain details in their game model, or even in opposition analysis.

You can watch the full session with the breakdown of each exercise on the video below. If you enjoy it, please subscribe to our YouTube page so you do not miss the next one.

To download a FREE PDF of all the exercises detailed in the video breakdown, please click here.

This video was part of the launch of our new MSC eBook:Twenty Attacking Training Sessions, designed to help coaches connect the dots between philosophy, tactical flexibility and session design. The book contains twenty full session plans that are broken down into three phases: build-up, midfield progression, and goal-scoring. Each session will contain three exercises so there are 60 exercises overall! With his experience in the professional game as a coach and an analyst, Gary Curneen has designed these sessions to help bring out intensity, tactical understanding and game-like situations, that are enjoyable for both players and staff. Click here to get your copy.

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