Managers warn of dangers trying to replicate Barcelona style

Neil Lennon, former England boss Fabio Capello, David Moyes and Brendan Rodgers among those in agreement

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has joined a number of leading managers in warning against attempting to replicate Barcelona's much-lauded style of play.

Barca have been labelled as one of the best teams of all time with the likes of four-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi at the heart of their dominance.

The Catalans have dropped just two points in the Primera Division this season, despite Tito Vilanova taking over from Pep Guardiola in the summer, and are favourites to lift the Champions League for a third time in five years.

Lennon, who aside from Jose Mourinho is the only manager to beat Barca this season, believes, however, that copying the Catalans is fraught with danger.

Instead the Northern Irishman believes clubs should try and cultivate their own style, because Barca's is beyond the capabilities of most teams.

"I think Barcelona set the template. It's a dangerous template because I think a lot of managers strive to play like that," Lennon, who was speaking during for the inaugural European Managers and Coaches Forum at St George's Park, told the League Managers Association's website.

"I think you have to understand the culture that you're playing in.

"I think what we're seeing now in terms of the current Barcelona team and the current Spanish team, are probably the best footballing teams I've seen, ever, with Messi arguably the greatest player ever.

"So, that's what we all strive to be now. We can't all be that way, we have to cultivate our own styles."

While the likes of Guardiola and Mourinho have been at the forefront of tactical progress over the past decade Lennon believes a British manager can take over the mantle.

The 41-year-old memorably led Celtic to a 2-1 Champions League win over Barca at Parkhead in November, which helped seal the Hoops' place in the knockout stage, and believes the cyclical nature of football means the Catalans will eventually be replaced as the blueprint model.

"Jose Mourinho brought a new revolutionary style to the game roundabout the middle of the decade," he said.

"Guardiola's kicked on from that with his style of football. France had their cycle late 90s.

"Then maybe an English team or an English manager or an English club may set the template for the game over the next 10 years."

Lennon's comments were echoed by the likes of former England boss Fabio Capello, David Moyes and Brendan Rodgers.

"I do see a different style which has been coming in for quite a while, the style that Barcelona have introduced," Everton boss Moyes said.

"But I am sure there will be another style, there will be something else, the next future. A new type of players will develop."

Capello offered similar caution, although the Italian thinks Barca's defensive strategy can at least be replicated.

"Tactically the new style is Barcelona, but if you try to copy the style it is a big mistake because the style you can only play with the players of Barcelona," he said.

"But some (aspects) you can copy, the defensive style. When you lose the ball you go forward together to win back the ball quickly, never go back, never return to midfield.

"They lose the ball, they go forward. For me this is something new."

Rodgers revealed he has been listening to CDs by legendary Liverpool boss Bill Shankly since his arrival at Anfield, and said he had drawn parallels between his style and that of the current Barca team.

"I've listened to Bill Shankly since I've been in at Liverpool and you'd think he was the current Barcelona manager, because of how he played the game with Liverpool," he said.

"I just think the game is based on the top players at the leading age of the game. As a coach you're teaching your players and you're trying to win games, but the game is normally coached and based around the best player and best teams and you'll go through cycles of that.

"So you had the French team at that time and everyone went for big, powerful, pacey players that were strong.

"You know, you look at the Liverpool team back in the 70s and 80s set the standard, 'the Liverpool way', that was the leading light."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleBenjamin Netanyahu trolled by group promoting two-state solution
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
Life and Style
fashionEveryone, apparently
Voices
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
A new Banksy entitled 'Art Buff' has appeared in Folkestone, Kent
art
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Arts and Entertainment
The White Sails Hospital and Spa is to be built in the new Tunisia Economic City.
architectureRussian billionaire designs boat-shaped hospital for new Dubai-style Tunisia Economic City
Sport
Husain Abdullah returns an interception off Tom Brady for a touchdown
nflLeague has rules against 'sliding to ground on knees'
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Life and Style
tech
Extras
indybest
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style