It’s hard to place this Spain team on a list which attempts to focus upon tactical innovations as much as success and pretty football – on one hand, the side was so wonderfully fluid and dynamic it was difficult to categorise them into a set formation, on the other it became increasingly clear that their first-choice system, with two strikers, wasn’t working for them.
It may have been brief, but it was beautiful. The Czech Republic side of Euro 2004 was brilliant, because they had everything in an attacking sense. They had an aerial threat from 6′7 Jan Koller. They had pace upfront from Milan Baros. They had the finest footballer in Europe at the time in Pavel Nedved, and Poborsky and Rosicky who could play either centrally or wide. They had a deep playmaker in Tomas Galasek, and two rampaging full-backs who got up and down the line all day. Read more »
If you could travel back to the mid 90s and ask 100 football fans who the best finisher in the Premiership was, you’d find a majority telling you the answer was Robbie Fowler. He wasn’t tall, he wasn’t fast, he wasn’t strong and he wasn’t mobile, but if you gave him the ball, he would put it into the net with alarming regularity. Read more »
Many football supporters were complaining this weekend when the Manchester City v Liverpool game was on neither Sky Sports nor ESPN, despite being a fairly crucial 4th v 5th clash, and the season’s opening meeting between the two serving up an exciting 2-2 draw. Read more »
An interesting match-up today at the Emirates. Arsenal continue to deploy Cesc Fabregas in a very advanced role behind the frontman, with the wingers slightly deeper than they played in the clear 4-3-3 shape at the start of the campaign. Sunderland came with an extremely adventurous 4-3-3 shape, with three genuine strikers, and with a centre-half, Anton Ferdinand, in front of the back four. Read more »
Amongst the universal praise for Arsenal’s incredible unbeaten 2003/04 season, their achievements of two seasons before are often overlooked. In that season they became the first team in modern times to go the whole season unbeaten away from home (equalled, obviously, by themselves two years later), and they also became the only side in history to score in every league game that season. In addition, they won the FA Cup to achieve the double. Read more »
The problem in the first half here was to do with mentality. Both sides were happy with keeping it tight, and in their respective situations it’s not hard to see why. Arsenal, having been thrashed by both Chelsea and Manchester United in their past two games, were content to prevent a whitewash. Liverpool, on their first decent unbeaten run of the season, were content to keep it going. Read more »
21 attempts on goal for Chelsea against Everton, but just three actually found the target.
Didier Drogba was particularly responsible – he had six shots, but didn’t force Tim Howard into a save once.
Neither of Chelsea’s forwards had a shot on target. Read more »
A couple of weeks ago we detailed how Jose Mourinho’s Inter side played brilliantly after going down to ten men against Milan’s 4-3-3 system, keeping two players upfront but asking them to work the channels, thereby occupying the whole of a four-man defence, matching a three-man midfield, and having a spare man at the back. That would have only worked against a three-man midfield, however. Had Mourinho tried it against a four-man midfield, his three central midfielders would have been passed around fairly easily. Read more »