The Football Philosophy In Shadows of Marcelo Bielsa

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The Football Philosophy
In Shadows of

MARCELO BIELSA

Tactical Theory - Case Studies - Training Sessions

The Philosophy of Football: In Shadows of Marcelo Bielsa by Jed C. Davies is a product of three and a half years of research, interviews over coffee tables, bus journeys through foreign countries and the development of an idea.

The idea has been a simple one:

To theorise and understand the philosophy of one of the most influential football coaches in the history of the game: Marcelo Bielsa.

From training sessions, rotations and movement to the languages of the game and the #1-3-3-1-3 formation, Davies has explored many of the themes that merge into one to form the Argentine’s football thinking.


The Philosophy of Football: In Shadows of Marcelo Bielsa delivers:

Football played between lines: between the opposition midfield and defensive lines. Between enemy lines.

In the eighteen chapters of Davies’ book, no page is without the theme of placing value upon a pass and tackling the war in that exists football philosophy, among those who prioritise possession and those who prioritise positioning. The infamous seven lines of play are given context within a specific playing style of ‘vertical football’.


This book has been written for football coaches and those wishing to:

  • Develop a greater understanding of the game on a tactical level
  • providing a framework to analyse the game through
  • but most of all this book has been written to act as a reference of the game

For this reason, examples given in the book are diverse, from The Chile National Team and Athletic Bilbao to Juanma Lillo’s Millonarios and Gary Speed’s Wales coming together to form The Philosophy of Football.

Chapters Includes:

  • Advanced Area Actions
  • Changing Angles
  • Retain and Work It Out
  • Rotations
  • Bielsa’s #1-4-2-3-1
  • Bielsa’s #1-3-3-1-3
  • Adaptation: #1-3-4-2-1 or #1-3-5-2
  • #1-4-3-3: The Team’s Hat

Training Methodology

    1. Up-Back-Through (UBT)
    2. Out-In-Out (OIO)
    3. Weak-side Fullback (WSFB)
    4. Overload-to-Isolate (O-I)
    5. Rotations
    6. Overloads
    7. One vs One
    8. Finishing
    9. Match Day Targets & Final Thoughts of the book
Marcelo Bielsa's Influence on Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola

"My admiration for Marcelo Bielsa is huge because he makes the players much, much better.

"Still, I didn't meet one guy, a former player from Marcelo Bielsa who speaks badly about him. They are grateful for his influence on their careers in football.

"He helped me a lot with his advice. Whenever I speak with him, I always feel like he wants to help me.

"It is important for me to say this about Marcelo because it doesn't matter how many titles he had in his career. We are judged by that – how much success we have, how many titles we have won. But that is much less influential than how he has influenced football and his football players.

"That is why, for me, he is the best coach in the world. I am looking forward to seeing him in Lille next season. I am pretty sure his influence on their team, their club and their players will be huge – amazing.

"For English Football, it will be incredible for him to be in the Premier League next season and learn about him.

Meet the Author
Jed C. Davies

Jed C. Davies

Jed Davies is a coach with professional, international and youth academy experiences.

Speaker at several football events, including the World Football Academy (Raymond Verheijen) Expert Meeting South Africa 2014, Feyenoord Academy 2016 and a number of Inspire Football Coaching Conferences, UK

Previous: First Team Asisstant Coach (Ottawa Fury FC), Tactical Consultant to Magnus Pehrsson (National Team Head Coach of Estonia), University of Oxford Football Coach and Youth Academy Coach in the UK and Canada.

Analysis for the Iran National Team (Carlos Queiroz) in preparation for the Asian Cup 2015

Jed C. Davies is also author of Coaching the Tiki-Taka Style of Play (2013) published by SoccerTutor.com. Coaching the Tiki-Taka Style of Play went on to be a bestselling publication at SoccerTutor.com owned by many reputable coaches in the professional game such as Eddie Howe, Manager of AFC Bournemouth and Richard Bate, formerly the Elite Coaching Manager of the English Football Association among other high profile roles

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