Getafe Tactics: Much More Than Luck & Fouls


Getafe have often been portrayed as an unglamorous
side with a rough approach to the game. Since their return to the Spanish top
flight in 2017/18 season under Jose Bordalás, the Madrid-based club have placed eighth and,
most recently, fifth, missing out on Champions League qualification on the final day of the
2018/19 campaign. Courtesy of these impressive league finishes,
they have returned to the Europa League for the first time since 2010/11. ‘Pepe’
Bordalás may have only been in charge since 2016, but the impact that he has had at Coliseum
Alfonso Pérez has been profound. Giving away nearly league-high fouls and receiving
similarly high numbers of bookings, it would be easy to discredit Getafe as a plucky band
of rogues. Yet, given their incredible consistency, their success is down to precise methods rather
than orchestrated madness. They set up in a 4-4-2 system and that doesn’t
change under Bordalás, irrespective of the formation they’re facing. His tactical plans
depend upon the partnerships between his players to negate the impact of opposition numbers
and rebalance them in his side’s favour. It is a system of close understanding through
the spine of the team. Bordalás wants his players to always have the advantage of a
2v1 situation anywhere on the field when the opposition have the ball. This arrives courtesy
of intelligent movement, interchanging of positions, pressing at the right time and
occupying the spaces seen as most dangerous to force opponents to play their football
elsewhere. Once Getafe win possession, transitioning
upfield at pace is the priority. Defence can be turned into attack very quickly indeed. Getafe are also set up to encourage numerical
advantages in the areas of the field that theoretically would be capable of doing them
the most damage. Bordalás wants opposition players to be forced to feed the ball wide,
avoiding the spaces in between the lines where creatively players might be able to pick apart
his organised defence. His side may press with a lot of intensity,
but they normally wait until a particular trigger is met. Once an opposing team feed
the ball out to their left back or right back – a safe pass, given that Geta have their
team set up in two banks of four and a front two – then the press will begin. The opposing
full back will be forced to go backwards, kick long, make a risky lofted switch (during
which Getafe will be able to shuffle across to provide another united front while the
ball is in the air), or play a low-percentage pass into a congested midfield, where Getafe
have manufactured numerical superiority due to wide players tucking in or a more advanced
player dropping deeper. Getafe’s striking partnership of Mata and
Molina ensure that they stay in close proximity to one another, meaning that opponents can’t
simply play through them to break Getafe’s first line of pressure. Bordalás likes to
stay compact, leaving limited space in between each of the lines of his 4-4-2, so opponents
feel as though they must keep the ball wide to avoid turning the ball over. Bordalás
is confident in his defence’s aerial ability to win headers should opponents swing crosses
into the penalty area and, at times, his back four has consisted of four natural central
defenders. There is a strong understanding between many
pairs all over the pitch for Getafe. Both central defenders work in tandem, as does
the double pivot in midfield, the two wide players on either flank and the two strikers.
By staying compact and in close proximity, it asphyxiates opposition teams, forcing them
to bypass central zones and cut out vertical passing lanes. Out wide, Bordalás has even been known to
use four full backs, enjoying the balance afforded by players who can exchanges roles
and responsibilities and who understand when to drop in and cover for one another. If a
player steps out to press, another will fill-in behind, a shuffle that will only free up an
opposing player on the opposite wing rather than close to the man in possession. Should opponents try and play through the
lines, the lack of space between Getafe’s balanced departments should make life difficult.
When facing a long ball over the top, they can retreat and rely on their central defenders
to diffuse what is usually a 2v1 situation. There is nothing new in Getafe’s offensive
approach. Always retaining two strikers to ensure that pressure can be well asserted,
this duo are very useful when possession changes hands. One striker can drop into space
or come to the ball, before immediately popping possession backwards into a teammate who has
a broader perspective of the opposition half. Or he can interact with his strike partner,
who will often make a more direct run in behind the defence, in the hope
of receiving a through ball from a midfielder who can see the full picture. This ‘up-back-through’ style move helps
Getafe go from defending to attacking the opposition box within just a few passes. The
mobile and combative Mata, Jorge Molina and Ángel have great spatial awareness when attacking
the box, as well as the requisite physicality to occupy opposition central defenders and,
in so doing, create more space for their strike partner. In wide areas, Marc Cucurella and Francisco
Portillo can carry the ball at real pace, while the likes of Mata and Molina are more
than confident battling aerially whether early crosses are whipped in or overlapping full
backs have time to join the attack and deliver from further upfield. Incisive, yet combative,
Getafe are a multi-faceted threat. Their fairytale return to Europe has not been
authored by ill-discipline or luck. Instead, it has been the work of a well-balanced side
whose recruitment department have worked tirelessly to get the right personnel for Bordalás’
specific team roles and who, now, are reaping the rewards.

88 thoughts on “Getafe Tactics: Much More Than Luck & Fouls

  1. Football is so evoluted these days that when big and "creative" teams line against a old fashioned team, they just choke and can't understand the tactics, even though it's as simply as a balanced press

  2. It's been a while since you last tried on a brief history of series. I would like to see about Graeme Souness. Top class player at his time, and coaching career was also not bad at all. But people today only see him as a pundit from Sky. Since there' video about Mo Johnston, I would like to see more of the man who signed him. Would be great if there's podcast about his controversial moments as a coach too in Rangers, Liverpool, Galatasaray and Newcastle. Sorry if this request has been too much.

  3. Tifo You can explain the success of River Plate or Marcelo Gallardo Tactics across the years, River plate is the best team in America Latina like 4-5 years ago

  4. They just defend with 9 player , and using counter attacks also screwing the opposite team’s tactics by fouling them too much. Trabzonspor will screw them in Akyazi these lucky bastards

  5. Tifo football is doing a wonderful job on YouTube and I really appreciate your work, I have a similar content, feel free to check my out my channel and leave a Follow I follow back🙏

  6. Informative video, but the loud background music overpowers the narrator. In future videos tone the music down or remove the music.

  7. Amazing video Tifo Football. Please do more of this type of video on not so famous teams. Especially on the famous derbies in world(South America, Italy, Asia )

  8. Yet if Getafe had a centre half called "Bite Yer Legs" and their captain was sent off for punching Kevin Keegan they'd be told to throw all their medals in the bin….

  9. I love the content, very informative. I’d like to request some vids on Africa and biggest leagues. There some amazing stories hidden in African football.

    Keep up the good work.

  10. There is something very ‘burnley’ about getafe. Its good to see that managers are willing to go against the tradition of spainsh football, i’ve got a lot of time for that.

  11. can someone please tell me what they genuinely enjoy about watching 22 guys pass the ball back and forth for a game that doesn't always include many shots on target let alone goals.

  12. great video as always tifo, thank you, have always been curious about getafe and how they manage to stay in the top league

  13. I'm sure the content was good, but I couldn't hear anything Joe was saying. Background music drowned him out.

  14. Getafe are a marvelous club in Spain. All other teams in the league regard them as one of the toughest and tidius teams to play against. And all coming from a tiny football club in the suburban areas of Madrid.

  15. The getafe manager would do wonders with United. He already works on a strict budget, imagine what he could do for united with money.

  16. It's sad that you become open-minded only when possession-based teams have a bad week; case in point Man city. ORDER BEATS LOGIC. You call Passing technical ability but it's always a case of technical organization

  17. Loved the video! I'm obviously saying this through an incredibility biased perspective but I think a video on BHAFC's tactics recently would be really interesting, considering some strange positions they use (Dan Burns seemingly CB/LW Hybrid role for example) and after the 3-0 at spurs especially. In general a video on how traditionally lower placed or promoted teams in the premier league, have drastically improved playstyle, and management wise, would be great; I do feel like lot of teams have been getting upsets or good performances against top 6 teams so far this season.

  18. Love your videos but I couldn’t help but cringe every time you said Getafe. You really butchered the club’s name. L MA O.

  19. Spanish league like the Scottish premier only 2 teams can win the league , would be great to see a team outside the top 2 in spain and Scotland win the league
    Good video really enjoy these , we need more videos on bielsa 😁

  20. It's always great when a big youtube channel like this one talks about smaller squads and clubs and their history and/or success compared to the biggest clubs out there that dominate every piece of media. Knowing more about Getafe's growth was great despite the music volume. Hopefully there is some insight on early 2000s Valencia, Real Sociedad, mid 2000s Sevilla and Bielsa's Athletic Bilbao. Those would be awesome to know more about. Great video Tifo, cheers.

  21. very good tactical aproach to the games but it has flaws. It requires good understanding between getafe players (which means small rotation as it's difficult for new players or players who play once in a while to adapt) and a lot of running when getafe doesn't have the ball. Can they play two games per week like that?

  22. Getafe would have been relegated, if Bordalas were as "modern" and "progressive" as Quique Setien, Maurizio Sarri, Pep Fraudiola et al.

  23. Love the tactical analysis. Can we please get an episode on Granada's surprisingly impressive start to the current La Liga season?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *