Marcelo Gallardo is one of the most talked-about managers, he currently manages  River plate, he plays counter-attacking football which is very exciting.

Gallardo has been linked to Barcelona and is the current winning manager of Copa Libertadores. 

Marcelo Gallardo’s River plate journey began on June 6th 2014 after a 2-year sabbatical taken after winning 2011-2012 championship with Nacional. He pledged one day to manage River Plate and the stars aligned on this day. This day would signal a new level of glory for the club.

Gallardo while his playing days

Gallardo, often he sets his teams up to play 4-3-1-2. He emphasizes winning the numbers game in midfield and spacing his players a small distance from one another forming triangles in different areas of the pitch.  This is to facilitate quick relentless attacks from the team

He aims to give his players in attack multiple short passing options to destabilize and destroy opposition backlines. Generally, he goes through the middle and utilizes the half-spaces superbly, as often its a vulnerable area for teams to defend.

Marcelo plays with at least 6-8 players committed to each attack in a free-flowing attacking move that consists of short passes and killer balls through the middle often. 

His players of choice tend to be technically gifted dribblers, surgical passers and lethal finishers leading.

Quintero (a marquee in his side) often occupies half spaces looking to play killer balls through defences breaking lines to supply the attacking players.

Typical attack by the river under Gallardo.

Marcelo aims to have his team defend cohesively as a unit with focus mainly on the middle. He defends using a medium height backline and blocking passing lanes. The issue defensively lies in he focuses mainly centrally as its the location of the goal. the wings aren’t primary.

In transitions, they aren’t patient.

The aim is to get the ball to the offensive players. This is mainly done via a long ball from the keeper. 

They play short unsettle the defensive line and exploit the half-spaces and the width the wing-backs provided to create chances/

His greatest quality as a manager, however, is his exceptional discipline with his team defensively and offensively and his unmatched reading of the game.

He’s been known to switch tactics on a go when duty calls, often going to a 4222 at times even!

He instils awareness and understanding of the game and is quite big on using sports scientist and psychologist to give his team the mental edge to dominate the opposition. This was seen in their 2015 and 2018 Libertadores run.

These tactics allowed Gallardo to become River Plates greatest manager in recent history as the manager he has won:

Copa Sudamericana: 2014 (unbeaten, SA Europa League)

Copa Libertadores: 2015 (lowest-ranked team), 2018

Copa Argentina: 15-16,16-17

Supercopa: 2017

Recopa: 15,16,19

Gallardo after winning copa libertadores

Also to mention he rotates his squad adequately and introduces the youth players to first-team football early to prepare them for integration into the first team. some notable youth players that started under him are:

Palacios (21)

Alvarez (19)

Beltran (18)

Ferreira (20)