Pep Guardiola and coaching, an Interview with Athanasios Terzis


eBook – Pep Guardiola Case Study

How to penetrate the opponent´s lines following positional play principles. Learn why this specific style is more effective than the others. Over 75 pages, includes detailed explanations, specific drills and game situations!


Athanasios Terzis – as a Speaker during the
Soccer Coaches Convention

We sat down with soccer coach and bestselling author Athanasios Terzis and talked to him about his new book, future projects and how he is spending his time during the Covid-19 pandemic!

How did you spend your time during the Covid-19 pandemic until now, was it possible to do anything soccer/football related?

Well, I am a person who doesn’t want to let the time passing by without using it effectively. One of my motos is: ‘’If a day has passed without learning something new, it was a lost day’’. So, I want to learn new things every day and that’s why I study a lot. It is a matter of fact that during lockdown there was plenty of free time for most of us.

So, during this period I had my opportunity to do more research on specific topics about football tactics, analyse football matches and watch tv documentaries which are sports or football related such as ‘’Take us home’’ for Leeds United, ‘’All or nothing’’ for Manchester City, ‘’The last dance’’ about Michael Jordan’s life etc.   

Terzis receiving the Italian FA Award
for “Best Coaching Book

You have had great success with your previous books for example “FC Barcelona Training Sessions”, how do you get ideas for new books and projects?

Except for being an author of coaching books, I am also a pro coach. So, I want to get better and better in this. When I analyse a match and I find the tactics used by a coach interesting and beneficial for me as a coach, I want to go deeper. So, I select several matches to watch in order to understand thoroughly the coach’s philosophy and style and then adapt it to my own needs and requirements.

Sometimes, an idea for more research can come from a specific tactical situation. I remember that a seminar available by the Institute for Youth-Soccer (Creating and exploiting space with the 4-2-3-1 formation) was produced when during analysing a match, I noticed similar situations in which players created space for their team mates. Some others are produced after analysing teams that are really exceptional in specific phases of play.

Like Pep’s Barcelona during transition from attacking to defending or Simeone’s Atletico during the defensive phase as well as during the transition from defending to attacking (counterattacking). Some of these projects are already available with the Insititute for Youth-Soccer on ifj69.de and many more will follow.

Pep Guardiola Case Study
The latest book by Athanasios Terzis

Your latest work “Pep Guardiola Case Study – How to penetrate the opponent´s lines following positional play principles” has just been released, tell us a little bit more about this book and the concept behind it.

The idea for this project came during the lockdown period, while I was watching the documentary ‘’All or nothing’’ for Pep’s Manchester City, which is about City’s success during the previous seasons. Specifically, in a part of this documentary Guardiola talks to his players about space and how it is created due to opponents’ defensive shifting. After that I focused on this specific element of his tactics when analysing City’s matches, in order to understand how this is applied.

This book is the result of this research and presents how City players exploit the space created to penetrate the lines of the defending team. It also provides information about how to create a free player between the lines and move the ball to him under good conditions, so that he can play the ball further forward. In short, by applying the tactics analysed in this book, a coach will be able to teach his players how the ball can be moved gradually from line to line, with short and accurate passes.  

This is not the first time that you have covered the coaching methods of Pep Guardiola, why him?

First of all, Guardiola applies a playing style that I admire. Secondly, he is a coach who always wants to evolve. Year by year, he brings new ideas and adds new elements in his tactics to get better and more effective. So, you can never say that you have studied everything about him.  

Who would you recommend your new book too?

The book would be an excellent guide for coaches from U15 up to senior teams and especially for those who aim to build up purposefully and apply positional style of play. For coaches who prefer the direct style play, this book won’t be helpful. 

Terzis is also a high in demand speaker at coaching conferences worldwide

You have also done a lot of seminars, webinars and videos in the past, are there any future projects coming up?

It is for sure that more projects will come. These might be books, seminars or webinars. For example, a book set about Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid is going to be released soon and it will be available by ifj96.de. In the very near future a seminar about ‘’How to counterattack like Atletico Madrid’’ is also going to be released by ifj96.de.

In my schedule is also to create a project about City’s defensive phase and transitioning. This may be a book as well as a seminar. Finally, in my plans is to create a book and a seminar about Bielsa’s Leeds United during attacking in the final third.   

Closing remarks and further reading

We would like to thank Athanasios Terzis for taking the time to talk to us and wish him all the best for the future. His new book “Pep Guardiola Case Study – How to penetrate the opponent´s lines following positional play principles” is available as an eBook/Download in the english Shop of the Institute for Youth-Soccer!

Further reading:

Selection of books published (all available as eBook/Download):


eBook – Pep Guardiola Case Study

How to penetrate the opponent´s lines following positional play principles. Learn why this specific style is more effective than the others. Over 75 pages, includes detailed explanations, specific drills and game situations!


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