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  • ‘Boszball’ and what Julian Brandt and Kai Havertz’s rise means for Joachim Löw and Germany

    There are intriguing parallels which can be drawn between Bayer Leverkusen and Manchester United’s breathtaking renaissance post the turn of the year. Handcuffed by their managers’ mundane approaches, hackneyed responses to pointed concerns and an overwhelmingly apparent underutilization of electrifying attacking talent at their disposal – here we had two clubs who found themselves in…

  • How Tuchel Out-Coached Solskjaer at Old Trafford

    Line-ups With Paris Saint-Germain missing their star playmaker Neymar, and with Edinson Cavani withdrawing to injury after the Bordeaux match last weekend, Thomas Tuchel put out a makeshift side at Old Trafford for the first leg of their Round of 16 tie with Manchester United. The team alternated between a back three and a back…

  • Analyzing Sergio Ramos’ Heroic Performance Against Ajax

    With Marcelo and Raphaël Varane both out, and with Ajax putting Madrid’s resolve to the test early on in their quest to retake the Champions League, Sergio Ramos stepped up with a captain’s performance to put Real Madrid within touching distance of the quarterfinals. Alessandro Costacurta, one of the greatest defenders in history, praised Ramos’…

  • Analyzing Pablo Machín’s 3-5-2

    Barcelona may be on top of the La Liga table as usual, but this has been quite the bizarre season as far as the Spanish top flight is concerned, with teams like Abelardo Fernández’s Deportivo Alavés and Quique Setién’s Real Betis catching the eye with some impressive performances. The pick of the lot however has…

  • Analyzing Roberto Firmino’s Importance In Liverpool’s 4-2-3-1

    Individual talent can make a big difference in any sport, especially in football. Big talents can make the unexpected happen, pull something out of nowhere, and carry the team on their back. However, it is always teamwork that wins trophies. The great Michael Jordan once said: “talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”…

  • Analyzing Lucien Favre’s 4-2-3-1

    After barely squeezing into the top four in the final weeks of the season, Borussia Dortmund had arrived at a crossroads last summer. The glory days of Jürgen Klopp and the relatively short-lived tenure of Thomas Tuchel had brought trophies and beautiful football to the Westfalenstadion, with both young coaches establishing themselves as amongst the…

  • Analyzing Unai Emery’s 3-4-3

    They haven’t lost a match in nearly four months, and today, they sit fourth in the Premier League and first in their Europa group. Nonetheless, while Unai Emery has had a successful start to life in England, tactical issues continue to pervade the Gunners. From an inability to start games off on the front foot,…

  • Klopp’s Stubbornness Is Holding Liverpool Back From Its True Potential

    It’s been three years since Jürgen Klopp was appointed Liverpool manager. October 8, 2015 was the start of a revolution that has led the club back to where it’s supposed to be, fighting for titles both domestically and internationally. But while Klopp has turned the club into challengers, is he holding them back from becoming…

  • Explaining Valencia’s Attacking Woes This Season

    Valencia CF began last season viewing a Europa League qualification as a good season. After finishing 12th in consecutive seasons and going through five coaches in that same time frame, Els Taronges fans could be forgiven for expecting little of their team. That changed within a few months, as they went on a run that saw them suddenly…

  • El Clásico Tactical Analysis: Valverde’s Gaugamela

    Oct. 1, 331 BC. Alexander The Great finalizes his conquest of Darius III’s Persian Archaemenid Empire in the decisive Battle of Gaugamela. Darius’ infantry was more than twice as large as Alexander’s Macedonian cavalry, and Darius had the terrain of the battlefield smoothed so that his chariots could be as effective as possible against the Macedonians.…