The centre-back has added a new weapon to Pep Guardiola’s armoury this season by launching quick, direct passes out of defence as an alternative to their normal possession game
Jerome Boateng is happy to take up the role of Bayern Munich’s quarterback as Pep Guardiola continues to tinker with the club’s attacking philosophy.
Although well known for wanting his teams to keep possession through short, sharp passing, former Barcelona boss Guardiola has added a more direct ploy to Bayern’s game plan this season.
The centre-backs are being encouraged to play long balls quickly from deep to catch their opponents out, something akin to how a quarterback uses a deep pass to pick out a wide receiver in American football.
And Boateng explained: “This is the philosophy of Pep Guardiola. We act as a kind of central defender quarterback. The long pass is an element in our game that we have now enhanced.”
Boateng demonstrated his range of passing in Bayern’s 5-1 home victory over Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund in October, setting up goals for Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski with balls played in behind the visiting defence.
The Germany international believes Guardiola’s methods are now bearing fruit after two seasons in which they defended their Bundesliga title but failed to return to the Champions League final.
“That [Dortmund game] shows that the team has really internalised the philosophy of Guardiola in the third year,” he added.