Category: Tactics

Brendan Rodgers, the beauty of 3-4-2-1 and its potency as a tactical weapon | Jonathan Wilson | Football | The Guardian

Brendan Rodgers, the beauty of 3-4-2-1 and its potency as a tactical weapon | Jonathan Wilson | Football | The Guardian

Some tactical talk from two of my favorite tactical writers. I don’t think 3 at the back will ever become a regular thing in the Premier League but it is interesting that mostly big teams have used it in recent times. That will likely be the tactical trend of the year, in the Premier League at least, especially if Chelsea continue to have such success.

Chelsea’s three-man defence the most intriguing tactical decision of the year

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What is the most important position on a football pitch? – ESPN FC

What is the most important position on a football pitch? – ESPN FC

There’s no right answer here. Well, maybe not. I can understand the author’s arguments at the end about goalkeepers but a very strong argument could be made for any one of those positions considered.  If I had to pick one it would be central midfield. They are at the heart of everything and, from my personal view, if you lose the midfield battle you generally lose the game.

Back to the future: how football’s tactical evolution has begun to invoke the past | Jonathan Wilson | Football | The Guardian

Back to the future: how football’s tactical evolution has begun to invoke the past | Jonathan Wilson | Football | The Guardian

Always some great stuff tactical stuff from Jonathan Wilson. Football tactics are definitely cyclical and we can see that with Atletico, Leicester City and others.

 

Wingers like Jesus Navas might be phased out in modern football – ESPN FC

Wingers like Jesus Navas might be phased out in modern football – ESPN FC

I think that has been the case for the last few seasons. Especially when you can simply ask players to play on their “right” wing for a game here or their as Costa and Coman did for Bayern. Old-school wingers will still find a place but Navas is especially strange as he just doesn’t seem concerned with scoring at all. Other wingers put in similar situations in and around the box won’t just look for a cutback like Navas. He is one of the very few who just go to the byline and that’s it.

Atletico Madrid defence able to stop Barca and top teams – ESPN FC

Atletico Madrid defence able to stop Barca and top teams – ESPN FC

Nobody can do what Atletico does at such a high-level. The organization, intensity and intelligence in their defending is fantastic. Have to give credit where its due. Sometimes it’s annoying to see 10 men all bottled in and around the box but it’s up to the opposition to beat it and Atletico’s is tough to beat. I still think that they won’t go up a level without a consistent and elite attacking threat/more expansive play, as the PSV tie showed how much they can struggle. Still takes nothing away from the defense.

Soccermatics: Barcelona have found perfect footballing symmetry | FourFourTwo

Soccermatics: Barcelona have found perfect footballing symmetry | FourFourTwo

Interesting to see Barcelona’s tactics in this context. Sums things up pretty well and falls in line with the assertion that it’s not all about Messi, Neymar and Suarez. Things would be very different without that support.

And just to lump the article below in as well. Yeah, Barcelona weren’t really switched on for the Arsenal game but there was an element of, “Oh if Arsenal score we’ll just bang in a few and end the tie.” Which they did. This Barcelona team man. On the verge of history.

Barca can play badly and still win – and that’s what separates them from the rest

Leicester City and Tottenham thrive without the ball – ESPN FC

Leicester City and Tottenham thrive without the ball – ESPN FC

Intriguing analysis on both these teams. Tottenham is definitely better in possession and could become more comfortable with that as a primary approach if necessary.

The psychology of the penalty shootout: why movement is key and hesitation can be fatal | Paul Wilson | Football | The Guardian

The psychology of the penalty shootout: why movement is key and hesitation can be fatal | Paul Wilson | Football | The Guardian

I have no problem with penalties as a way to decide games. It is a big psychological battle and I find them especially fun at the end of games. Just to toot my horn, I’ve never missed a penalty in a competitive game(most of the those came when we went to penalty kicks at the end of knockout games).