Guardiola-Klopp tactical hybrid now dominates European football | Jonathan Wilson

The era of attrition ended in 2008 but the Manchester City and Liverpool managers have adjusted their approaches sincePerhaps what has been most striking about this season from a tactical point of view has been the degree of consensus. Money can skew games and there always remains the possibility of a brilliant player upsetting theory by doing something brilliant, but for those clubs who have a notion of an underlying philosophy of play it’s fairly clear what that looks like: a high offside line, a coordinated press and a capacity to retain possession when required.There has been a tendency to portray Pep Guardiola and Jürgen Klopp as opposite poles, one focused on retaining the ball and one on regaining it. That is not unreasonable, although each has edged towards the other over the past couple of seasons. Perhaps what is most significant is that nobody really questions the axis by which they are judged. The age of attrition, of Greece winning the Euros, of José Mourinho, Rafa Benítez and Alex Ferguson in the Carlos Queiroz years, feels a long time ago.