How the 2000s changed tactics #9: Versatile attacking players

January 21, 2010
How the 2000s changed tactics #9: Versatile attacking players

The great attacking players of the late 1990s were easy to pin down to specific positions. Gabriel Batistuta, George Weah and Ronaldo were central forwards; Zinedine Zidane and Manuel Rui Costa were central playmakers; Luis Figo, Ryan Giggs and Marc Overmars were wingers. Read more »

Teams of the Decade #15: Brazil, 2009

January 20, 2010
Teams of the Decade #15: Brazil, 2009

This Brazil side (with slight replacements in certain positions) has already been covered on this site, so it’s probably better for me to just link to the original article I wrote, although this focussed upon Brazil’s friendly against England, rather than the Confederations Cup side the Confederations Cup-winning players on the left.

Read more »

Teams of the Decade #16: Senegal, World Cup 02

January 19, 2010
Teams of the Decade #16: Senegal, World Cup 02

In terms of one-off results, Senegal beating France in the opening game of the 2002 World Cup was the biggest shock of the decade. It’s one of those results that has gone down in history, so it’s difficult to set the scene to describe what an upset it was. Here goes… Read more »

How the 2000s changed tactics #10: The advent of attacking full-backs

January 19, 2010
How the 2000s changed tactics #10: The advent of attacking full-backs

England’s first competitive fixture of the 2000s saw them start with the Neville brothers in the full-back positions. England’s first competitive fixture of the 2010s will see Ashley Cole and Glen Johnson there – the shift in that position from solid, reliable players to pacey, positive players could not be more marked. Read more »

Teams of the Decade, #17: Bologna, 2001/02

January 19, 2010
Teams of the Decade, #17: Bologna, 2001/02

To include a side on this list whose greatest achievement was to finish 7th one season may seem odd, but the final league table of the 2001/02 season doesn’t do justice to Bologna’s achievements that season – mixing it with the big boys, and only a final day defeat denying them the 4th place which cost them a place in the Champions League, at the expense of Milan – who went on to win the next season’s European Cup. Read more »

Teams of the Decade, #18: Australia, 2006

January 19, 2010
Teams of the Decade, #18: Australia, 2006

It’s fair to say that Guus Hiddink could have had three sides in this list – his 2002 venture to the World Cup semi-finals with South Korea was probably his best achievement of the decade; his 2008 Russia side was probably his best team of the decade. Read more »

Marouane Fellaini – superb in a deep-lying role for Everton

January 18, 2010
Marouane Fellaini – superb in a deep-lying role for Everton

Marouane Fellaini’s ability has never been in question – he’s not short of being the all-round footballer. Tall, strong, a fierce tackler, a good passer and the ability to find the net – he’s exactly what you want from a modern football player, and demonstrates why David Moyes paid £15m – yes, £15m – for him, despite the fact he was completely unproven outside the relatively poor Belgian top flight. Read more »

Eduardo’s excellent link-up play against Bolton key to Arsenal victory

January 17, 2010
Eduardo’s excellent link-up play against Bolton key to Arsenal victory


It’s often been said that Eduardo da Silva is purely a goalscorer – the insinuation being that he’s lacking technically in other areas. In recent weeks, Arsene Wenger has deployed Andrei Arshavin as the lone striker, with Eduardo on the left-hand side, but against Bolton Eduardo played through the middle as a lone central striker, and he took to the role brilliantly. Read more »

Teams of the Decade, #19: France, Euro 2004

January 15, 2010
Teams of the Decade, #19: France, Euro 2004

This side gets in here because of the idea behind it, rather than the actual outcome. France were poor at Euro 2004 – they were outplayed by England in the first game, and were utterly toothless when being dumped out by Greece. Read more »

Teams of the Decade, #20: Sevilla 2005-07

January 13, 2010
Teams of the Decade, #20: Sevilla 2005-07

It’s hard to believe that, just two and a half years ago, Juande Ramos had a reputation as one of the most promising managers in Europe. In guiding Sevilla to consecutive UEFA Cups, a Copa del Rey and the Spanish and European Super Cups within two seasons, he oversaw by far the most successful period in the club’s history. Read more »