ZM joins Football Collective

February 10, 2015
ZM joins Football Collective

Zonal Marking is pleased to be the latest blog added to the Football Collective network.

Football Collective is a place that brings bloggers together to provide a 360-degree view of the game’s biggest stories.

Established in Berlin, Germany, but with its partner blogs located around the world, Football Collective is a blog aggregator cut from a different trikot.

FC is committed to preserving the identity its partner blogs have long established, while also empowering them to concentrate on what they love most – covering their respective clubs.

Valuing quality over quantity, Football Collective’s focus is not breaking news but breaking through the barriers that bloggers may face, bringing the fierce devotion to their clubs to one network.

This week’s analysis of Atletico 4-0 Real is an example of how the partnership will work – with a widget displaying links to high-quality articles about the same game.

Wolfsburg 4-1 Bayern: Wolfsburg nullify Alonso and switch play effectively on the break

February 4, 2015
Wolfsburg 4-1 Bayern: Wolfsburg nullify Alonso and switch play effectively on the break

Bayern conceded four goals – as many as they’d let in during the entire first half of the Bundesliga season – and were completely outplayed throughout.

Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking brought Daniel Caliguiri into the side on the right, which meant Vieirinha was pushed back to a relatively unfamiliar full-back role. In the centre, Max Arnold got the nod over Joshua Guilavogui.

Pep Guardiola started with a 4-1-4-1 system. Mario Gotze was only on the bench, while Bayern continue to suffer from injury problems, particularly in midfield positions.

Wolfsburg’s performance here was outstanding, and this was one of the best counter-attacking performances of the season. Read more »

Man City 0-2 Arsenal: impressive defensive performance from Arsenal earns fine victory

January 19, 2015
Man City 0-2 Arsenal: impressive defensive performance from Arsenal earns fine victory

Arsenal produced a tactically mature performance, largely nullifying Manchester City’s attacking threats.

Manchester City selection

Manuel Pellegrini welcomed back Sergio Aguero, who played as the lone striker with David Silva just behind, and captain Vincent Kompany. City still have some key players unavailable: Samir Nasri is injured, while Yaya Toure is at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Arsenal selection

Arsene Wenger decided against using fit-again Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott, although Aaron Ramsey returned to take the place of Tomas Rosicky. There were a couple of inexperienced players in the side: Hector Bellerin and Francis Coquelin were notable starters. Meanwhile, Nacho Monreal got the nod over Kieran Gibbs, and David Ospina continued in goal with Wojciech Szczesny on the bench.

Match summary

This was a distinctly unArsenal performance – they defended deep and with great compactness, although their attacking in open play was unusually poor, and they should probably have created more genuine goalscoring opportunities on the break.

Nevertheless, it adds to the idea that Arsenal have become a more tactically flexible and reactive side when needed, which could prove crucial in the second half of the campaign as they compete on three fronts.

Read more »