This Greek side achieved perhaps the most astonishing thing in the history of international football. There have been one-off shocks, games that went against the favourites because of a particular set of circumstances. USA 1-0 England in 1950. Senegal 1-0 France in 2002. But those things can happen; shocks in football happen because it’s such a low-scoring game, and dominance doesn’t always equal goals. Read more »
On paper, United should be set up perfectly to deal with this one. No side in Europe rely on their wide players as much as Bayern do, no side in Europe defend from the wings as effectively as United do. Read more »
The contest that many neutrals might have hoped to see in the final. Two similar sides in many ways – they play a similar brand of football and have both favoured 4-3-3 systems this season. Read more »
After twenty trips down memory lane, this series has finally come to an end. Below are the twenty sides chosen, in descending order, to represent the 2000s in tactical terms.
Choosing the sides was a difficult task. The intention was not to choose the twenty ‘best’ sides, but to choose twenty sides who were somehow interesting tactically, or those who made a significant impact upon the game. Read more »
There’s a case for saying that was the first huge game of the season. Title favourites Inter against the side who look most likely to topple them, and Jose Mourinho up against Claudio Ranieri – the man he replaced at Chelsea almost six years ago. Read more »
It’s not yet a case of ‘Cristiano who?’ but Nani has finally started to justify his hefty price tag, in his third season at Manchester United. Today he got two assists, and had a hand in another goal. As the Chalkboard shows, Nani’s crossing from wide positions on the left-hand side is not the best, but he is very effective at beating his full-back, coming inside and providing more accurate passes.
The decade started with the most attacking, open tournament in modern football, at Euro 2000. The four semi-finalists all played ‘classic’ Number 10s in the hole between the opposition defence and midfield. France, Italy, Portugal and Holland had Zinedine Zidane, Francesco Totti, Manuel Rui Costa and Dennis Bergkamp respectively – it almost seemed essential to have a player in this mould to be successful – helped by trequartista-less England and Germany’s early exits. Read more »
A brief break from the in-depth tactical analysis here, to round-up the major European leagues, highlight this weekend’s crucial table-topping fixtures, and celebrate how wonderful European football has been this season. Read more »
What more can you say about this Barcelona side? European champions, La Liga champions and Copa Del Rey winners, all in the first season under the charge of Pep Guardiola. And they didn’t do it by merely winning games, they did it by winning in style, making them perhaps the most universally respected side of the decade. Read more »
It’s a shame that the three-man defence has become so unfashionable in recent years, because tactically it’s a lot more interesting and varied than a four-man defence. It essentially did the same job – with one fewer player, allowing the side to dominate the midfield with an extra man. Read more »