FAQ / Contact

You can follow ZM on Twitter: @Zonal_Marking

Or if you prefer Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ZonalMarking – no pointless updates, just a link every time a new article goes up.

You can subscribe to the site’s RSS feed by inserting this address – http://www.zonalmarking.net/feed/ – into your feed subscription box. The link doesn’t work as a standalone webpage but the feed should fine in your RSS reader.

You can email: editor(at)zonalmarking(dot)net (it’s written like this to prevent spam, but obviously substitute in the “@” and “.”)


Q. Why didn’t you cover a certain match?

A. Probably because I didn’t have time! I try to pick a good range of matches from across various leagues, trying to find a balance between covering games that will be popular, and games that are of tactical interest. If there’s a long gap without posts, it probably means I have a lot of ‘proper’ work to do.

Q. Can I write for ZM?

A. No! It’s a one-man job and I don’t want to be an editor.

Q. Can I advertise on ZM?

A. Sure, just send an email on the above address.

Q. Can I buy/download the program to make your diagrams?

A. They’re made personally, but http://sharemytactics.com/ is handy.

55 Responses to “ FAQ / Contact ”

  1. Anon on March 4, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Best football site out there, KUTGW

  2. Graham Ramsay on March 7, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    An excellent magazine. I hope you can improve on the graphics, even though they are better than most. To see a ststic graphic is OK but to make it live where you see the before and the after of the movement.
    Graham Ramsay

  3. Pete on March 8, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Wow, this is the website I always dreamed about. I recently got into football and always wanted to learn more about formations and tactics. Please keep it up.

  4. Siddharth on March 11, 2010 at 4:13 am

    Fantastic website ! Insightful, comprehensive, and very educational. Keep up the good work !

  5. Aravind on March 11, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    Congratulations for creating this wonderful website. It is a must read for football fantatics like me who have a deep interest in football strategy and tactics.

    I really hope that you will soon publish an insightful analysis of the Real Madrid-Lyon champions league game (with diagrams of course). From a tactical point of view, I found it fascinating. It was amazing to see how Claude Puel’s substitutions in the second half turned the game on its head and how Real Madrid were decisively outplayed in the 2nd half.

  6. Lubo on March 13, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    This is a great website. Congratulations. I love the intelligent in-depth analysis of tactics and formations.

    I do have one request though. I’m a Celtic fan and would really like to see an article on mowbray’s team, especially a comparison against strachan’s team. We all expected a much more expansive and entertaining style under mowbray but it hasn’t worked out that way (so far). I understand there is far more interest in analysing the top leagues and international games but I’d appreciate your expert and unbiased opinion on Celtic.

    Other than that, keep up the good work and I’ll be visiting regularly.

  7. Jit on March 15, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Best football website bar none!

  8. Rocco on March 16, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    Love your site, I have tried to do similar reports a few times at my blog.

    I was wondering what you use for your Graphics? I noticed a comment above about non-static graphics, I don’t think this works very well for images generally. The best example of transitional images for sports tactics etc. is the flash widget BBC Sport use for ‘Lee Dixon’s Tactical Analysis’ not sure how available that is though.

    Keep up the good work!

  9. Koba on March 17, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    Firstly I would like to I am glad to have found a site such as this. I have started paying more attention to tactics from watching Barca, and I think its their slow build-up play which makes it easier follow.
    I would like to know how is it you can pick-up these insights just by watching the game. Do you watch games more than once? Or is it that you have experience with coaching before. I would like to learn to appreciate tactics more but I often cannot spot what coaches are doing as the action is so fast. Furthermore, many stadiums have the camera so zoomed in I cant barely see who is the target of a pass until they receive it. Sky has a camera an elevated camera view (etc)… Do you find this useful?

    I will definitely spread the word about this site. I wish football journalism in general would elaborate more on the specifics of tactics rather than just spoutting general cliches about managers.

  10. Rayne Rooney on March 17, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    ZonalMarking..who are you?!? This website is fantastic!

  11. Mr Eugenides on March 18, 2010 at 2:28 am

    Just to add to the general approbation of this site. Fascinating reading, and a welcome tonic to someone brought up on match reports in the Glasgow Herald.

    Please keep up the great work as you’re providing an invaluable service, as well as entertaining us all!

  12. Des on March 19, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Great website, with proper tactical analysis of games, with none of the silly hyperbole or partisanship that you get from TV Pundits or newspaper journalists.

    Well done, and I’ll be sending all my friends here.

  13. Pedro on March 20, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    The day I stumbled about your excellent website a couple of weeks ago, I coulnd’t stop reading its ‘back catalogue’ for hours. The depth of fact-based analysis is fascinating and second to none in the world as far as I’m concerned – up there with Marca’s Axel Torres, The Guardian’s Jonanthan Wilson, BBC’s Tim Vickery and Espn Brasil’s Paulo Vinicus Coelho.

    It’s also pleasing to see you reply rather personally to the comments, and incorporate readers comments to the articles when revising it. Please, please keep it up, and keep it independent so you have the freedom to avoid writing about wags and that kind of stuff.

    If I am to ask you one improvement – are you able to cover some Copa Libertadores matches. Tactics are rather different than Europe and may bring you some additional insights. I found it odd to find Bologna and France 2004 in your list of teams of the decade, and not teams like Boca Juniors 2000-2003, Santos 2002, São Paulo 2005-7, Once Caldas 2004 – all of which brought innovations, in my point of view, and also won titles.

    Looking forward to your World Cup coverage. Cheers.

  14. Matthias on March 22, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    WOOOW! You are awesome! Now this is a website that takes football seriously. I’m impressed.

  15. Josef on March 23, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Dear Mr. Marking

    Best website ever. And to think I had been settling for goal.com all this time – it makes me shudder.



  16. Bharat on March 23, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    This is the website we have all been waiting for.

    For years going through football articles, same old dribble has been spewed out at us. But this website is a very welcome change. Great work and keep it up Zonal Marking!

  17. Eugene on March 24, 2010 at 2:18 am

    “This is the website we have all been waiting for.”

    My thoughts exactly. Well done, excited to see how this site grows.

  18. Allen on March 24, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Yes, agree with the positive comments. As a former soccer writer (gave it up because of the slide towards mediocrity among sports editors who are now all obsessed with sensationalism and employing people who make no attempt to understand all the different facets of the game, not least the emphasis the successful managers and coaches have on fitness and athleticism when it is displayed as energy and enthusiasm – or as a friend put it “relish” for the game – and combined with tactics and skill, concentration and work) I hope this publication gets the support it deserves.

  19. Firsttouch on March 31, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    Great analysis as usual. You are doing a sterling job with this site. I would like to graphically understand how the teams change when in defence i.e. 4-3-3 becomes 4-5-1 without the ball. As transitions are such a huge part of the game at the top level I’d love some insight on how it works in practice.

    Thanks for the great education so far.

  20. Capocannoniere on April 1, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    ZM, I’m a Romanian sports journalist covering English football, and this website never ceases to broaden my understanding of the game. I’ve used countless snippets of tactical wisdom found here in my quarrels with fellow Romanian anglophiles, and I reckon I might even have passed as a bloke who knows a thing or two about the game.

    Kudos for your insightful, opininated and proper-researched work. You, Sir, are doing a wonderful job. Please keep on doing what it is that you do!

    All the best mate!

    • ZonalMarking on April 1, 2010 at 6:33 pm

      Thanks for the kind words, very nice to hear :)

      • barca aficionado on April 14, 2010 at 8:38 pm

        i have a question to ask but as i just found the site, i’m not sure where to post it, so i’ll do it here. I’ve often heard manchester united described as a counter attacking team, but as they are always the team pressing in a match, i have always thought of them as an attacking team.

  21. Farshid Poursartip on April 1, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    I’ve found this website with pure luck! it is like a dream come true. great job, I’m a young coach eager to learn..Unfortunately if you live in US the chance that you get proper coaching education is as same as winning a lottery!!

    Keep up the good work!

  22. Ahmad on April 4, 2010 at 1:49 am

    I can’t tell you how thankful I am for the existence of this website. I have searched endlessly for websites that take into account the tactical approach to football. Keep up the great work!

    PS – I was wondering if you might be able to do a case study on one of Fulham’s matches. I’ve been following them closely in the Europa League and I feel that the brilliance of Roy Hodgson is often overlooked.

  23. AbbeyC on April 5, 2010 at 8:27 am

    A great site! Thanks a lot :)

  24. Heff on April 9, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    thanks for this site!

    Where do you get the passing statistics from? you link to Uefa.com but i couldn’t find any data on passing there.


    • dremz on April 11, 2010 at 9:06 am

      Passing stats were in the press kits I believe have to do a lil searching for them heh

  25. Teri on April 10, 2010 at 5:52 am

    Excellent website! I always want to learn more about football tactics which would make football watching more enjoyable, and this is the site that suit my need

    Please please please keep it up, truly appreciating your effort

  26. dremz on April 11, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Hope u have a field day with the el clasico review haha alves playing higher up than usual maxwell playing as a left back at first but adopting more of a centre forward role then being taken off for iniesta whos a right footed left sided player lol fun stuff…
    Xavi was impeccable as usual.

  27. Anonymous on April 11, 2010 at 10:10 am

    I hope you do a tactical review of el classico. I don’t see any Real Madrid reviews done, even though i think it would be of great teaching service. They have the talent, and their record speaks for itself, with the exception of the big games. I’d like to understand what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong. Do you believe that they will improve next year due to an increase in chemistry? I certainly do. They do need a new coach, however. From what i’ve seen, Pellegrini’s tactical game plans have been garbage, especially today. Too defensive, and they played too far back. Such a big gap between the midfield and the attackers that the forwards got no service whatsoever. They played a very narrow setup which congested the middle and was a great for the defense, but on attack they struggled mightly.

    thanks for your input

  28. MUFC on April 14, 2010 at 1:34 am

    Quality website. Good to be able to read about tactics and formations rather than the usual basic stuff you get on Sky and ESPN which tell you nothing you didn’t already know or notice.

    Hopefully you grow and are able to write about more and more matches. I reckon one day you could cover every game in the main leagues every weekend if you get enough attention.

  29. Alex on April 14, 2010 at 10:33 am

    In the main banner, the chalk-board by Steve Mclaren shows a 4-4-2 and a 5-3-1, did someone get sent off?

  30. sneerpeer on April 16, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    this website is just too good….theres so much to read, and I just found it…so lots to catch up on. I would like to see more articles about teams entering the WC 2010 and how they play so that when we see them play, we understand their game a lot better.

    Good job guys..!!

  31. Newtown on April 17, 2010 at 9:59 am

    I was only made aware of this site’s existence a week ago but it is truly one of a kind when it comes to quality tactical articles and discussion. From now on this will surely be the first site I visit for analysis after a match.

    May I suggest possibly the addition of a forum? You could maintain the article commenting system by simply creating a thread in the forum and continuing discussion there. I understand there are bandwidth issues to consider but I’m just throwing the idea out there.

    Cheers and thanks for a great site.

  32. Joe on April 17, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    I was directed here from the Arseblog and this has become my other daily must-read. Fantastic work on this site and I hope you continue.

  33. Ugo on April 19, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Great, great site. Keep up the good work!!!

  34. Danni on April 25, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    An excellent website … you’re doing a wonderful job … but I would love to see more tactical reviews from Italian Serie a !!!

  35. Bier on April 28, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Fabulous site! Others said this already, but this is exactly what I’m looking for. I want to learn and understand football mechanics better, and your site provides just that. So relieve seeing a site free of football ‘trash’ (players’ personal life, their cars, etc etc) and stupid, rubbish comments from fan-boys.
    Love it!

  36. Peter C on April 28, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    I stumbled across the site from the Guardian and think it’s one of the best football sites around. You do a great job! I do have a favor to request though: could you do something on corners? It seems some teams convert a lot of corners whereas others are terrible at them and I simply don’t believe it’s all down to having a tall striker get above everyone else. I was just wondering if you had some insight into why some teams are great at it and others aren’t. Thanks and I’ll keep coming back to check out the great site!

  37. Kuxxa on April 28, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Will you guys do a preview on the World Cup? Would love to see if an analysis of Maradona’s tactics are possible.

  38. Tomek on May 1, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    One suggestion about the site: put some ads here, that page is so awesome; you deserve to make some money out of it, seriously!

  39. HrToll on May 2, 2010 at 4:33 am

    Like everyone else, I just have to take my hat off for this wonderful site. Pretty much exactly what I’ve been looking for for the past ten years. Never quit, please!

  40. PC on May 4, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Without doubt the best tactics site on the web, which pretty much makes it the best football site on the web imho.

    Now that McLaren has won the Dutch league, is it fair to keep him in the top banner? Do you need a new patsy – Wenger perhaps? ;-)

  41. just a fan on May 4, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Zonalmarking 1 man or a team??

    Hello there.

    Question zonalmarking when those the death of football formations/players style become dated & nor longer useable??

    International tournaments?? or is it during champions league??? Those it all change when someone just trys a different formation that does very well??

  42. laserbluemini on May 6, 2010 at 8:51 pm


    best soccer website ever, lots of great insights about tactics and interesting articles with player roles. In an era where kids only care about the color of their nike shoes(boots forums usually has most users in many soccer forums), this is a great little place of oasis.



  43. OB on May 31, 2010 at 12:37 am

    Will you be posting an insight into the French Team Tactics under Domenech for the forthcoming World Cup similar to the articles done on Argentina, Greece, England etc?

    • ZonalMarking on May 31, 2010 at 10:26 am


      • OB on May 31, 2010 at 2:24 pm

        Can’t wait. :)

  44. BerkeleyBernie on May 31, 2010 at 3:09 am

    Hey ZM,

    I’d like to see discussion of Turkey’s national team. They play such attractive football and I’ll miss them in the World Cup. What did they do wrong in the qualification rounds?

    They played a lovely game against the USA this weekend. They should have won easily, if not for a few mistakes and lack of finishing. Maybe under Gus Hiddink they will hit their stride.


    • ZonalMarking on May 31, 2010 at 10:27 am

      Maybe after the WC when Hiddink really gets them moving, but can’t really afford to spend time focussing on non-WC countries for now.

      • BerkeleyBernie on May 31, 2010 at 6:37 pm

        Gotcha. Maybe in passing, when discussing the USA squad. ;) Thanks.

  45. Anthony on June 2, 2010 at 1:42 am


    Henry Winter’s article
    suggests, had Mourinho brought Gerrard to the Bridge, he would have played both Gerrard and Lampard as attacking midfielders in a midfield three, with Makelele as the anchor. As it looks like Capello is to play the two together in a 4-4-2 type formation, is it conceivable that England could succeed playing Mourinho’s system with Barry as the anchor?

  46. ftojsohtpm on June 3, 2010 at 12:10 pm

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  47. Tito Kohout on June 3, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    I’ve been reading Inverting the Pyramid, by Jonathan Wilson, which is wonderful. It describes the formations that have come and gone since the beginning of football. There is a large section on Brazil , and in it I think I may have found something of interest. Your write up on Dunga’s system (which was fantastic) bears a number of similarities to some of the Brazilian teams in the middle of the twentieth century. Most noticeable was Dunga’s mystifying 4-4-2/4-2-3-1/4-3-1-2 which looks almost exactly like Brazil’s formation in the 1962 World Cup: four defenders with license to attack, Gilberto Silva as Zito, Felipe Melo as Didi, Ramires as Zagallo, Kaka as Amarildo, Robinho as Garrincha in the lone winger role, and Vava up front as a traditional number nine. It’s impossible to know without asking the man himself, but did Dunga draw up this formation, or did he find it while reading fifty-year-old World Cup plans? I’d love to see your take on it.

  48. jonathan on June 5, 2010 at 3:19 am

    Not sure how often you get on this page, but thought I’d mention that embedding gifs into your articles really slows down my page load. Possibly it’s just my computer but it’s a pain to read articles with them. So I thought I’d mention it in case anyone else is having similar issues. Keep up the good work.