The last decade witnessed two predominant strategies in European football, tiki-taka and counter-pressing. First, Pep Guardiola and Barcelona crushed the traditional approaches and offered a new way of interpreting the connections between players. Then, this new philosophy was tackled with counter-pressing, which originated in Dortmund. Since these two strategies became prevalent in European football, the game has been ruled by them. Either you adopt one of them or you are bound to become a short-term figure.
The reason why these two strategies are dominating world football is that they are fundamentally different but based on the same ground: Collective action. Both tiki-taka and counter-pressing rely on the time and space created through organized teamwork. You might argue other teams that utilize teamwork are not as good as the ones with tiki-taka or counter-pressing. Here the crucial point is the context of the teamwork, in other words, whether it merely occurs in the field or happens because it was planned before the game by a superior mind?
Organized collective action differs from any type of on-field cooperation with the timing of teamwork. If two players cooperate because of a momentary situation, their work cannot be considered as organized collective action. But if two or more players cooperate knowing that their actions are part of a pre-planned strategy their actions can be considered as organized collective action.
It doesn't matter whether it is a way to circulate the ball or to press the opponent to make them lose possession if players are able to cooperate under the same game plan they can predict a move beforehand and act accordingly.
This gives the team with collective action a huge advantage since players who need to stop, think and then act will lose considerable time and space in the process, unlike a player who knows that he is in the plan and has actually trained to not lose time or space.
European football has thus been taken to the next level with this new philosophy. For Turkish football to catch up, we need to start investing in organized collective action. The first step should be creating teams that can circulate the ball very well or can press the opponent very well, whichever suits the best interests.
However, the key point should always be kept in mind - individual effort cannot compete with collective action. Hence, the future of football lies in collective strategies, and Turkish teams should move in that direction or risk falling behind in the long run.
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