It’s hard to believe you’ll see two such similar goals in such quick succession all this season. First, an Ashley Cole cross from the left was turned into the opposite corner by Didier Drogba. Three minutes later, an Ashley Cole cross from the left was turned into the opposite top corner by Thomas Vermaelen, who unfortunately got there ahead of Drogba. If such basic goals are conceded twice in one game – never mind four minutes apart – it’s fair to say there’s something quite obviously wrong with how the conceding side set out defensively.
Benfica made the strange decision of switching Pablo Aimar and Ramires from their usual starting positions, meaning Aimar was stranded out on the right, and Ramires’ surging runs from midfield were restricted against a Sporting side clearly looking to pack the midfield to stifle creativity. Read more »
A later, more detailed piece on Brazil is here
The outstanding football article of this year was written by Jonathan Wilson of the Guardian, on Brazil’s formation in the Confederations Cup. Trying to expand on Mr Wilson’s excellent prose would be suicidal, but since the piece came without diagrams – sacrilege – here is a brief summary with visual aids. Read more »
Football is not chess. Formations and tactics don’t always win games. Today was one of those days – the only goal of the game came from a refereeing decision that was, frankly, incorrect. However, since this is a blog focussing upon tactics, we shall try to ignore that error of judgement, and instead look at the game as a whole.
Strange one this. Cracking first half, very mediocre second – the exact opposite of the game at the Bernabeu 13 days ago. Few lessons for tactical battles as a whole, but certainly some interesting things to note from both sides. Read more »
Manchester City won their first four Premiership games of the season, playing a 4-3-3 system. Now, they have now failed to win any of their last four games, playing a 4-4-2 system. No-one is mentioning the shift in shape – one that appears to have weakened the side, and doesn’t bring the best out of any of their players. Why? Read more »
Tottenham had the dilemma faced by most 4-4-2 sides visting top four opposition this season – stay with their regular shape, or shift to a 4-5-1 more effective at winning and keeping position in the centre of midfield? Read more »