The Pandev’s Pivot

December 20, 2013

So, a few days ago, I saw this football analysis program on BeinSports channel. I forgot what it called, but it is a program about the Serie A. In one of the segment, the program talked about a technical aspect called the Pandev’s Pivot. It is a pretty intriguing technique. It is beautiful, yet effective. It is the signature technique of the Macedonian Goran Pandev. Pandev scored most of his Napoli goals this season with this technique. Without further ado, let’s talk it in a tactical and technical aspect.

Technically, the technique can be broken down like this:


  1. The number 4 attacker hold his back against the number 4 defender. While the number 3 works on his pass to the number 4.
  2. The number 2 and 1 are moving to create a distraction to defender number 1 and 2, while number 5 stay still for a decoy.
  3. When the number 3 succeeded his pass to number 4, number 4 quickly turn around and shoots directly into the target. Ideally, if the distraction worked, the number 4 should be able to shoot freely, since the number 2 defender is being pulled over by the number 2 attacker.
  4. This technique can be done if the number 3 player have a great passing ability in a quite short range, while the number 4 have an excellent control, since he have to shoot the ball by rotating the hips to produce power.
  5. It is important to pull the number to create an open space, so the shoot won’t be wasted.


How does the technique works ?

This technique is rather unconventional. Since it is hardly done. In a more conventional way, the number 4 player would control the ball, pass it to the number 3 while the number 3 would run into space in front of the penalty box for either taking a shoot or pass to number 1 or 2, depending of the movement. Since it is so conventional, I’m pretty sure most of the world defenders can work on it. Oh, in a further note, it also have something to do with blindside. The goalkeeper won’t be able to see the shooter, since he stand in front of the defender, which block his view, so, most likely, he’ll be too late to react. The Pandev’s Pivot will give something like a surprise effect in the attack, remember that a confused enemy is the easiest to be strike down.

Why should we urge our striker to master this technique ?

Tactically, it will simply adds option on the team’s attacking sequence. Of course it would make it better if a team have more attacking option.

What kind of formation should this technique be applied to ?

This technique can be done in many kind of formation, especially a more fluid one. A fluid formation tend to have the players to move around as distraction or decoy. As I’ve said earlier, this kind of movement might confuse the enemy, and confused defense works best with the Pivot, since it makes the Pivotal shoot unblockable. In Napoli’s scheme, Pandev play the Attacking midfielder role, behind Higuain. Let’s say the number 2 is Higuain, number 1 is Lorenzo Insigne, number 3 is Gokhan Inler, number 5 is Callejon. Pandev moves up, so he would be around the same line with Higuain, while Inler is penetrating through the defense, preparing for the final pass, Callejon makes up space on the right, while Insigne taking Higuain’s space when Higuain moves deeper into the penalty box. The rest, is just like the theory I’ve mentioned earlier.

In a more rigid formation, I think the technique can be done with a 2 striker formation. Maybe it’s harder since the rigid formation doesn’t provide the distraction to pull the number 2 Defender. But the pivot might be changed into a fake, and a short through pass to the number 2 striker. It’ll be a candy to the eyes.

Well, I guess that’s so much for the Pandev’s Pivot. In the end, it’d never hurt you if you master more technique. Adding more option in football is like adding another plan after the plan B. When you failed the first one, you’ll always have the next !



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