Coaching the Tiki Taka Style of Play Interview - Plus - Ajax and FC Barcelona Practices

Coaching The Tiki Taka Style of Play
Interview with the Author and Coach;
Jed Davies + Ajax & FC Barcelona Practices

Dear Fellow Coach,

Jed Davies is the author of "Coaching The Tiki Taka Style of Play".

The Tiki Taka style of play has been extremely successful in recent times with Barcelona and Spain as the best examples. Jed shows you exactly how to implement Tikii-Taka football into your training sessions.

In our interview with Jed, he explains what Tiki-Taka is, the philosophy behind it and, how you the coach, can benefit from reading this book.

I interviewed him and I think you will find it very interesting:

Complimentary practices + Coach Author Interview

Coaching The Tiki Taka Style of Play  
1. What type of coaches is the ‘Coaching the Tiki Taka Style of Play’ book for and how will coaches benefit from reading the book?

All coaches. Part 1 focuses on youth development from the earliest of age groups and introduces the reader to the current models of Barcelona, Liverpool and others. Part 2 consists of 50 different training drills/practices. You will notice that very few have too many specifics, so that coaches can adapt these ideas to all ages and ability levels.

This book also includes a breakdown of how football has got to where it is today within this philosophy which all coaches will find very interesting.

2. How important is it as a coach, to adapt practices and create your own ideas?

All in all I wanted coaches (and myself) to walk away from this book with ideas of how to adapt the current model, with a comprehensive understanding of what each of the many adaptations and considerations are within it. So if you’re a coach who wants to understand, review and adapt your own mindset and to better the best, then this will be for you.

3. How important were Johan Cruyff’s ideas and Total Football in forming the current model?

Above all coaches who contributed to Tiki Taka, stands Rinus Michels and the collaborative changes he made as the manager of Ajax and Johan Cruyff in the 1970s and 1980s. It was the Dutch who first brought pressing, fluency of positional interchanges and the short passing game together.

Michels referred to his own tactical approach as the ‘pressing approach’ – a rather defensive term for such attacking artistry, but this shows you how the Dutch began to understand that all of football is intertwined. Michels considered the defensive tactical elements to be in a sort of cyclical relationship with the attacking tactical elements of football (attacking, defending and the two transitions) – everything was now considered, the whole of football.

From Brazil’s Tabelinha to River Plate’s La Maquina, through to the Mighty Magyars of Hungary, Totaal Voetbal, more scientific football approaches found in the east right through to Tiki-Taka, I have covered a lot in the book and I truly believe that without each and every daring game-changing ‘inventor’, we wouldn’t have had many of the great footballing sides in the last few decades. Football is a game that will never stop evolving.

4. Can Tiki Taka be applied to various different formations?

I argue strongly in this book that there is no such thing as a ‘correct’ formation conducive to this style of play and philosophy, there are instead a set of governing rules that ask you to attack, defend and deal with the transitions in particular ways. The formation and/or positional slots used within the formation will differ from one ability group to another and could differ from opponent to opponent.

5. How much relies on the technical level of the players and how much relies on the coach’s tactics when trying to produce an effective Tiki Taka style of play?

I’d like to finish this interview with a short argument put forward that suggests that you only need to be as technical as your opponents to achieve many of the components considered in Tiki-Taka You’d also perhaps expect these players to be highly creative right? Well many coaches in Spain would suggest not, we instead need great decision makers who can recognise patterns. This is a debate we could put up to the greatest thinkers of today’s game and we’d have a variety of answers, but it is also an eye opener that there is no right answer and there is no right way of playing or developing players. Instead, there are a set of purposeful and deliberate models that often lead to the same outcome.

So the coaching methods and technical levels of the players are up for questioning but what is imperative is that the coach has a comprehensive understanding of the components within the style of play and a very deliberate thinking process behind each of the four stages in the implementation model: a playing philosophy, training methodology, match day implementation and post-match reviews and adaptations. You are the one that needs to be invested to achieve your desired outcome and it’s up to you to bring about an adaptable model that is unique to your own strengths as well as the players, the culture and other aspects that make up the implementation model.

FC BARCELONA: 5 v 2 / 5 v 8 Quick Transition Game with Central Square
FC BARCELONA: 5 v 2 / 5 v 8 Quick Transition Game
Coaching The Tiki Taka Style of Play

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Learn to Coach the 'Tiki-Taka' Style of Play
Coaching the Tiki Taka Style of Play
  • 224 Pages
  • 30 Analysis
  • 50 Practices
  • U11-Pro Level

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AFC AJAX: 4 v 4 (+1) Corner To Corner Possession Exercise
(38 Reviews)
"What an amazing book going into depth about what Tiki taka really is about and how you can use some fantastic drills to incorporate into your coaching drills."
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AFC AJAX: 4 v 4 (+1) Possession Drill

Jed Davies outlines in detail the Tiki-Taka football philosophy popularised by Barcelona and Spain and shows you, the coach, how to implement this style of play. Davies has studied the methods used at FC Barcelona, Liverpool FC, Swansea City FC, Villarreal CF and AFC Ajax who have all developed possession based philosophies as a way of controlling and winning games.

Part 1 explores the development theory that requires an understanding before you are able to produce the Tiki-Taka style of football, this includes: Establishing a Football Philosophy, Identifying Local Talent and Purposeful Training.

Part 2 looks at the Tiki-Taka philosophy and how it can be developed through purpose designed training sessions. 50 practices are provided from professional clubs including FC Barcelona, AFC Ajax, Athletic Bilbao and Liverpool FC.

Part 3 looks at the influential figures in the evolution of Tiki-Taka with chapters on Rinus Michels (‘The Father of Football’), Johan Cruyff and Pep Guardiola among others.

Part 4 looks at the Tactical Theory and provides a blueprint of how to play with the Tiki-Taka brand of football. It analyses positional systems, game realistic situations and solves tactical problems such as when the opposition are sitting in a deep low block (‘Parking the Bus’), all using the advice provided from professional coaches who have been involved in the implementation of the Tiki-Taka philosophy.

Practice Topic Samples:

  • AFC AJAX: 4 v 4 (+2) End to End Possession Game
  • FC BARCELONA: 5 v 4 Breaking Out of the Middle Third
  • VILLARREAL CF: The Gridded 4 Goal Game
  • ATHLETIC BILBAO: Finding Space within the Block (Pattern Play)
  • LIVERPOOL FC: The Defensive Block Scoring Zone Game
  • FC BARCELONA: Switching Play through a Central Zone Transition Game
  • AFC AJAX: 3 v 3 / 6 v 3 Quick Phases Transition Game
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eBook also Available:
Meet the Author
Jed Davies

Jed Davies

He has studied the methods used at FC Barcelona, Liverpool FC, Swansea FC, Villarreal CF, AFC Ajax and a number of teams developing a particular fascination with the possession based philosophies in football as a way of controlling and winning games.

Tiki-Taka football is a style of football popularised by Spain and Barcelona during the decade ending 2010 and is part of a philosophy in football that has existed right from the game’s very beginnings: a way of controlling the game through possession and positional systems. Read more

  • UEFA 'A' coaching licence
  • Bachelor Degree in Physical Education
  • Bachelor Degree in Sports Science, specialising in Soccer Conditioning
  • Coaching The Tiki Taka Style of Play

    This exceptional book contains a complete coaching resource on the Tiki Taka philosophy, development, training methods, tactical insight and of course practices from FC Barcelona, Ajax, Liverpool and more.

    50 Practices       30 Tactical       U11-Pro Age/Level       224 Pages

  • Paperback COLOUR
  • eBook: PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android Phone / Tablet, Kindle Fire
  • Paperback + eBook: Best Value
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    Best Wishes,

    Coach George
    Director of Coaching
    In case of any inquiry, email

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