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  • 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.…

  • Italy Have Found Its Identity Under Roberto Mancini

    After some early struggles under new coach Roberto Mancini, Italy seems to have developed a new football identity during the latest international break. The Azzurri drew 1-1 against Ukraine in Genoa in a friendly last Wednesday, and on Sunday, defeated Poland 1-0 away in Chorzow in their UEFA Nations League A Group C encounter. 11…

  • Sampdoria’s High-Flying Start to the Season

    Sampdoria has had a great start to the 2018/19 Serie A campaign and the performances from the Doriani suggest that they will be in contention for a spot in one of Europe’s competitions next season. Marco Giampaolo is in his third season as coach of the Blucerchiati and he has persisted with his attacking philosophy…

  • Float like a Butterfly, Sting like a Hornet

    Every football fan knows how the 2015-16 Premier League season ended. With 5000/1 odds in August to be champions, Leicester City shocked the football world when they clinched the Premier League title. Based on their 2014-15 showing, relegation from the top flight following the 2015-16 season looked more likely than winning it. Nigel Pearson’s men…

  • The Importance of Guardiola’s fullbacks

    If there was one contrast that marked the difference between Pep Guardiola’s underwhelming debut season at Manchester City, and the rip-roaring, 100-point, title-winning sophomore season, it was the difference in fullbacks. In 2016/17, he had four aging full-backs who neither understood the new system nor had the energy to keep up with the technical nature…

  • The Significance of Raphaël Varane and Samuel Umtiti’s Roles in France’s World Cup Wins

    In the 94th minute, deep into added time of France’s encounter with Belgium in the World Cup semi-final, poised 1-0 to France, Kevin de Bruyne launched yet another high ball towards Romelu Lukaku, and the heart of the French defence. Raphaël Varane leaped high into the air and headed the ball clear…for one second. Toby…