What is ‘La Pausa’? It is the Spanish terminology that describes players who put their foot on the ball to wait for the right moment.
‘La Pausa’ literally means ‘The Pause’ and the technique is used by playmakers to make effective decisions during moves.
The player on the ball, in control of the ball, waits for a free man, the next run, etc.
As previously reported by The Athletic, former Argentine coach Ángel Cappa, who was one of Pep Guardiola’s early influences, says: “Pausa in football is speed. Football without Pausa is slow, because it’s chaos.”
David Silva, who recently retired from football after a serious injury, is the walking embodiment of Pausa.
How does the ability to hold onto the ball briefly before releasing it help you control a game?
Matias Manna explained that Pausa is just a small part of a player’s ability to control a game. Manna wrote about Guardiola’s approach back in a blog in 2006, which led to him exchanging ideas with the Catalan tactician, before going on to work as an analyst for Marcelo Bielsa with the Chile national team.
“Passes organise everything,” he explains. “The ‘centrocampistas de control’ are those that never lose the ball in the middle, they are there to destabilise the opposition’s organisation. They make passes to give order to their own team and to unbalance the opposition. Everything is about the passes.
“If we defend with passes then we limit the opposition’s counter-attacks because if the passing move is fast, with one-touch passing, then when the opponents get the ball back their players will have been chasing their tails and won’t be in their preferred positions, they are disorganised and cannot counter.
“Other teams separate attack and defence into different areas, so they think more about defence and prioritise players without this level of understanding, but at City they’re crucial.”
Kieran Quaile | GSFN