The football tactics of Fluminense and Fernando Diniz

I’m sure not everyone – not even a majority, in fact – of the people reading Roblog are into football, let alone in-depth tactical analysis of it. But this is a fascinating video even if you’re not that way inclined.

Fernando Diniz, the coach of Brazilian team Fluminense, has developed a radically new approach to tactics. Rejecting the systematic, shape-obsessed style of successful managers such as Pep Guardiola, Diniz’s approach appears to be chaotic. But it’s actually incredibly well-drilled – and successful.

It’s a footballing application of so many things I talk about on Roblog. Like Cynefin (the players are constantly trying to get the game out of the merely “complicated” domain and into something more complex and unpredictable for their opponents). Or the difference between competence and literacy (the players aren’t concerned with playing a role; they’re genuinely improvising). Or systems thinking vs. sensemaking (the players aren’t interested in the system and its boundaries, they’re interested in the relationships between themselves).

The deeper-dive article that the video mentions, Jamie Hamilton’s What is Relationism?, is also great if this stuff piques your interest.