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Blast from the Past

English Football and its “Get Stuck-In” Mentality

It was a glum group of players and supporters who filed out of Matlock Town’s Causeway Lane ground in 1982. Hyde United had lost 5-2 in the FA Trophy and it was going to be a long journey home through the Peak District night. The damage had been done by the quicksilver Bob Mountain. The former Huddersfield Town striker was …

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Dimples, Kangaroos and Bohemians

Utskrift

One of the main tram routes in Prague is the 22. This goes all the way from Bíla Hora, the site of one of central Europe’s most famous battles, to Hostivař. For a long time, this wasn’t a route I had any great familiarity with but since moving to Vršovice in Prague 10,it’s one that I take daily. Going from …

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European Stories- UEFA Cup 2005-06- Romania’s assault

1916690_w2

There was a time when Romanian clubs were a permanent fixture in the latter stages of European club competitions. Right now, little to no investments are made and a lot of clubs are struggling with insolvency and bankruptcy problems. I doubt that the Romanian clubs will ever return to the glory days. Back then, there was no Europa League. The …

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The Football match which started a war

qNdwfvG

Plenty of football stadiums have statues standing outside of them. There’s strange one here and there (Michael Jackson formerly outside Craven Cottage springs to mind, looking like a cheap toy from a Happy Meal) but most are what you would expect: legendary managers, team captains, record goalscorers. One statue that may strike you as unexpected can be found outside the …

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Recent Posts

Antonio Conte’s 3-5-2 Formation – Will it work at Chelsea?

antonio conte chelsea tactics formation

When people hear the name ‘Antonio Conte’, two things immediately pop into their minds: his glorious, shining hair, and the 3-5-2 formation. After three consecutive Serie A titles with Juventus, and two years at the helm of the Italian national side, Conte has arrived in England, hoping to whip Chelsea back into title challengers after an absolute shocker of a …

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How Can Football Fans Make Money From Their Passion?

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Football is absolutely huge all over the country, and the amounts of money that get passed around is mind-blowing. For most people, the best way to make money from the sport is to be skilled, healthy and lucky enough to build a career around playing football. As a fan, you may not really be geared up for this. Still, there …

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Evolution Of The Right Footed Leftback

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When Tassotti joined A.c Milan in 1980, Arrigo Sacchi was presented with a major headache. He was torn between playing the more experienced right fullback ahead of the blossoming talent that was Paolo Maldini. Maldini had risen through the ranks at the Rossoneri and was already touted as the next big thing to hit the club. He showed great experience …

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France Vs Portugal Preview using xG: Closer than you think

euro2016

In the build-up to the Euro 2016 Final, the hype has primarily been around France. This is obviously understandable; they’ve had a nearly flawless record, winning 5 out of their 6 games, drawing the other. They’ve scored the most goals (13) and created the most chances (88, equal with Germany) throughout the competition. They have arguably the two top performers …

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Jordan Henderson – the forgotten man of Anfield?

Henderson

The transfer window is not called ‘silly season’ for no reason. It is a time of year when even the normally level-headed find themselves sifting through the maelstrom of idiocy that is Twitter, checking every online forum and scanning the pages of the few trusted newspaper reporters, desperate for a nugget of truth in the torrent of unsubstantiated rumour. In …

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Why Henrikh Mkhitaryan is a perfect Jose Mourinho player

henrikh mkhitaryan man united

Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been confirmed as the third transfer under Jose Mourinho after the signings of Eric Bailly and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Mkhitaryan has had an excellent season for Dortmund under Thomas Tuchel and is a kind of a player who will thrive under a coach like Mourinho. Mkhitaryan is very flexible, and has been played in many, many positions throughout …

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Romania’s Euro journey comes to an end

anghel iordanescu tactics

Sunday night in Lyon, Albania defeated Romania and a national hysteria began in Gheorghe Hagi’s country. Everybody started to blame everybody. The last time Tricolorii lost to the Albanians was 70 years ago and the final whistle from the match played on Parc Olympique Lyonnais on Sunday can be one of the lowest points in the history of Romanian football. …

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Arsenal and Transfer Black Magic

wenger

There’s been a bit of transfer movement/speculation on the Arsenal front (which I believe I called to some degree in my last article, no big deal). The efforts to bring Vardy to the Emirates, along with the saga that will surely drag on, is just an Arsenal being Arsenal kind of thing. Though Vardy hasn’t been quite as popular as …

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Powerless Romania fail to impress against Switzerland

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After the opener with France, everyone was talking about Romania’s football team, praising the players for their spirit, hard-work and organisation. Against France, Romania sat deep and tried to press each time the occasion arose, attempting to close down France’s midfielders. Against the Les Bleus, in possession, Tricolorii had no intention to play the ball through the middle, wanting to …

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France 2:1 Romania- Romania almost ruins France’s party

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The last time when France hosted the European Championships was in 1984. Les Bleus won all five games and eventually lifted the trophy. There is a lot of expectation of a repeat performance that currently rests on the shoulders of Paul Pogba and his teammates. Expectations however can do strange things to people. The opener of a tournament is always …

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Euro 2016- 6 Underdogs to watch out for

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There’s always at least one so-called surprise package in every international tournament. Whether it’s a World Cup or European Championships, a previously unheralded team will upset the apple cart and at the very bloody the noses of some bigger names. Think Cameroon in World Cup ’90, Croatia in ’98 or South Korea in 2002. In the Euros, the underdogs have …

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Euro 2016 Tactical Preview- Romania

anghel iordanescu tactics

Romania is joining Europe’s elite at Euro 2016 after comfortably qualifying for the final tournament. Having missed on all the major tournaments since 2008 – when Adrian Mutu scored our only goal – , “Tricolorii” are planning to get out of Group A, although they have been drawn alongside France, Switzerland and Albania. Friday’s tournament opener with France has already …

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The Problem with Toni Kroos

toni kroos germany

Toni Kroos is good at many things, but defending is not one of them. He can tackle, but he is not a ball winner. He reads the game well, but is no Sergio Busquets or Claude Makelele. He has good stamina, but he cannot harass opponents. Yet a number of the world’s top coaches, Guardiola, Ancelotti, Benitez and Loew, continue …

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Granit Xhaka – A rock that Arsenal can rely on

granit xhaka arsenal

The Granit Xhaka deal, the three day snapchat stake out, is done! I know this is a little belated, but how great is it to get business done early? So refreshing, as an Arsenal fan at least. Anyways, if you didn’t guess, this is just a vignette on Xhaka and what his signing means to the club and the starting …

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Euro 2016 Tactical Preview- Albania

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With an exciting Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, seeing The Eagles finish second in their group, the Albanian national team led by former Udinese and Torino coach Gianni De Biasi will together see out the country’s first major tournament in France this summer. In a group with the likes of Switzerland, Romania, and host nation France, many see Albania as team …

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Rough Diamonds #31- Kasey Palmer(Chelsea)

kasey palmer chelsea

As Chelsea’s 2015/2016 petered off into a 10th place finish, there was a clear opportunity for Guus Hiddink to include some of the clubs more talented youngsters in the match day squads. He did just that. When the club faced Liverpool on 11 May, there were a host of youngsters from the academy named on the bench. Amongst them was …

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Euro 2016 Stadiums

euro2016

The stadium that plays host to the opening Euro 2016 fixture between France and Romania, and the Euro 2016 final, which will not be France against Romania, is the Stade de France in Saint-Denis. With a capacity of 81,338, the Stade de France, home of the French national team, is by far the largest stadium chosen to host Euro 2016 …

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Euro 2016 Tactical Preview- Turkey

fatih terim turkey tactics

Euro 2016 will be Turkey’s first major tournament after 8 years. They reached the quarter finals in Euro 2000, came 3rd in the World Cup 2002 and reached the  semi-finals in Euro 2008 however missed the rest of the tournaments in between. This will be Fatih Terim’s 3rd major national tournament with Turkey. Looking back:                 After the semi final success at …

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The Importance of Tactical Analysis on TV

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Despite failure in management during his spell at Spanish side Valencia, the lasting impact of Gary Neville’s punditry and analysis must be appreciated and continued. A superb player for Manchester United, Gary Neville took up a role with Sky Sports at the beginning of the 2011-12 season and set about revolutionising the way media pundits present and digest football for …

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Euro 2016 Tactical Preview- Belgium

Marc Wilmots tactics

Bandied about as the dark horses and rank outsiders for the competition, Belgium’s squad has an embarrassing wealth of riches. As a ‘golden generation’ of talent breaks through and gains experience, expectations of the Belgium side should be raised. Manager, Marc Wilmots, has however chosen to reiterate that the Red Devils still remain outsiders. He said, “Just because people are …

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Euro 2016 Tactical Preview- Portugal

Fernando Santos tactics

Portugal head into the EURO 2016 competition with a team containing both experience, and relatively unknown quantities that have begun to break through. Names such as Renato Sanches, Rafa Silva, and João Mário are beginning to introduce themselves in some of Europe’s top leagues, however Fernando Santos’ side will understandably be marked as a potential threat due to the presence …

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Euro 2016 Tactical Preview-France

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France, the host country have one of the strongest squads on paper going into the tournament. More importantly all of their key players have had good seasons with their respective clubs. Coach Didier Deschamps has a few difficult decisions to make, especially in midfield and in attack with a host of talented and in-form players available for selection.   OFFICIAL …

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Rough Diamonds #30- João Mário (Sporting)

Joao Mario Man united

A graduate from the famous Sporting academy, João Mário is the latest talent to roll of off the production line. After breaking into the first team in 2014, Mário has grown and impressed in Sporting team that has fallen short of Benfica and Porto in the previous two years. An adaptable and multi-functional player, João Mário is able to player …

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10 Best Football Books every fan must read

football books

We have compiled a list of 10 best football books every fan must read. We have tried as much as possible to cover a wide range of topics like History,Satire,Economics,etc in this list. Of course this list is neither perfect nor exhaustive,so feel free to leave your opinions in the comments. Fever Pitch- Nick Hornby As a young boy, growing …

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Manchester United- Are they the new Arsenal?

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Business magazine Forbes released this year’s list of the richest football clubs in the world with Manchester United sitting comfortably in third place. United valued at £2.3bn are behind only Barcelona and Real Madrid. The complete list 1 Real Madrid £2.52bn 2 Barcelona £2.46bn 3 Manchester United £2.3bn 4 Bayern Munich £1.85bn 5 Arsenal £1.4bn 6 Manchester City £1.33bn 7 …

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Euro 2016 Tactical Preview- Wales

Coleman

Wales, led by the superstar Gareth Bale, made history in October 2015 by qualifying for the upcoming European Championships. It was the first time a Welsh side had qualified for a major tournament since the 1958 World Cup; the side led by John Charles lost in the Quarter Final to eventual winners Brazil. When you consider some of the great …

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Best Soccer/Football Training Equipment

best football training equipment

Every coach needs the best football training equipment to bring out the best in his players. In this article, we have made a list detailing the essential football training equipment every football coach/trainer should have. Football Training Cones The first training equipment any Soccer/Football coach needs to have. Can be used to practice various training drills, especially useful in coaching …

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European Stories- UEFA Cup 2005-06- Romania’s assault

1916690_w2

There was a time when Romanian clubs were a permanent fixture in the latter stages of European club competitions. Right now, little to no investments are made and a lot of clubs are struggling with insolvency and bankruptcy problems. I doubt that the Romanian clubs will ever return to the glory days. Back then, there was no Europa League. The …

Read More »

Guardiola’s tactical journey from Barca to Bayern and why he is destined to fail at Manchester City

man city pep guardiola

There was a moment after Bayern Munich’s 1-1 draw with Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga at the Allianz Arena, when Pep Guardiola trudged off with his head down towards the exit and his name was called out. He looked up surprised, and realised the caller was Andre Schubert (Monchengladbach’s manager). Guardiola looked genuinely abashed as he rectified his mistake and …

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Football Tactics for Beginners: Multi-Functional Players

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Introduction: In times gone by, multi-functional players may have been viewed less glamorously. No-one would wax lyrical about the right back who was able to play right-wing and centre-back. They were the utility squad members who were adept at slotting into a number of positions – be it fullback, centre back, or even centre midfield. They were far from indispensable …

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Tactical Analysis: Atletico Madrid 1-0 Bayern Munich

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Atletico Madrid, thanks to a wonderful solo goal by Saul, take a slender but vital 1-0 lead against Bayern Munich into the second leg of the UEFA Champions League Semifinals. The game was played at a crazily high tempo with a boisterous home support at the Vicente Calderon cheering their team on. Pep Guardiola needs to come up with something …

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Football Tactics for Beginners: Inverted Fullbacks

Philipp-Lahm

A relatively unknown quantity, the inverted fullback position is typically used to combat wingers that like to cut inside to get involved in the game. Bucking the trend of staying wide when on the ball, inverted fullbacks will carry the ball into central areas when going forward. One example of this niche position is Bayern Munich’s use of their German …

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The Football match which started a war

qNdwfvG

Plenty of football stadiums have statues standing outside of them. There’s strange one here and there (Michael Jackson formerly outside Craven Cottage springs to mind, looking like a cheap toy from a Happy Meal) but most are what you would expect: legendary managers, team captains, record goalscorers. One statue that may strike you as unexpected can be found outside the …

Read More »

Jurgen Klopp Vs Thomas Tuchel- Who is the better Manager?

Borussia-Dortmund-v-Liverpool

This wasn’t supposed to happen. The accepted narrative was that Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool were far inferior to the tactically flexible, magnificent Dortmund side. Thomas Tuchel, Klopp’s successor at Dortmund and clearly the superior coach, is a cerebral genius who’s tactically flexible in a way Klopp can never hope to be. There could only be one result when their teams …

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The Perfect Player

ronaldo-vs-messi

The Perfect Football player Ever since football became the most popular sport on the planet, everyone have been asking themselves: “Who is the best player?”. Over the years, there have been many answers to that question, whether it was Pele, Maradona, Eusebio, Cruyff, Zidane, Ronaldo or, in recent years, Cristiano Ronaldo or Messi. But have you ever asked yourself, who …

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FC Start and The Death Match

fc start death match

“Without belittling the courage with which men have died, we must not forget those acts of courage with which men have lived.” – John F. Kennedy. This story is not the same as other stories about the world’s greatest teams. This team was only in existence for a few years. They did not play for, or win, any trophies. Their …

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Football Tactics for Beginners- The False Winger

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A relatively new one to the lexicon of the footballing world, the false winger is often associated with players that drift inside to make their mark on the game instead of staying wide and attacking the fullback. False wingers are often attacking midfielders, or number tens, that the manager looks to shoehorn into the team for their creative ability. One …

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Who’s going to win the Euro?

euro2016

With almost two months to go until the tournament begins, there’s only one question in everyone’s mind: who’s going to win it this year? Naturally, the favorite will always be the team who won the World Cup two years ago, in our case Germany, but things can change a lot in that time span. For example, Netherlands, who made it …

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Tactical Analysis: Tottenham 3-0 Manchester United

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Tottenham Hotspur continued its impressive Premier League campaign with an efficient 3-0 win again Manchester United which saw the visitors conjure up only one shot on target. While beating United is not a big deal at the moment, the way Spurs grew into the game as United tired and then raised the tempo and scored three goals in a flash …

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Man United’s Top Ten Youth players in 2016

Man United best youth players 2016

Reddit users /u/monsieurryan and/u/rdzzl have rated the ten best players playing for Manchester United’s youth teams. Man United’s academy and it’s youth team have come under a lot of criticism recently especially after City have unveiled their world class academy. Even the likes of former player Robin Van Persie and Philip Neville have chosen to send their kids to Manchester …

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Bayern Munich’s switch of play against Benfica

man city pep guardiola

Bayern Munich came away with a 1-0 win against Benfica in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinal. Bayern’s struggles away from home mean that this tie is anything but over. In the first leg, Bayern dominated the initial 20 minutes and with Vidal scoring so early, they threatened to book their place in the semifinals in those 20 …

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Football Tactics for Beginners: Pressing and Counter-Pressing

Arrigo-Sacchi

Introduction: The idea of pressing is to put pressure on the ball with the intention of winning it back off of the opposition. By forcing the opposition to complete an action in a pressured atmosphere, every aspect of that action is made more difficult. An action consists of both a decision and the execution of that decision – if these …

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Football Tactics for Beginners:The High Defensive Line

man city pep guardiola

Introduction: The high defensive line is a high risk style of play that see’s a team push up in order to shut down the amount of time an opposition has to play, however it requires high levels of skill and cohesion as the team stepping up leaves spaces to run into. The high line has been by deployed by some …

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Manchester United Youth Rankings 2016 #1- Timothy Fosu-Mensah

man united best youth players

This is the tenth and last post in this series,where reddit users /u/monsieurryan and/u/rdzzl have rated the ten best players playing for Manchester United’s youth teams. The Previous posts are as below. #10, Joe Riley  #9, Demetri Mitchell   #8, Tosin Kehinde  #7 Sean Goss  #6 Marcus Rashford  #5 RoShaun Williams #4 Joshua Harrop   #3 Axel Tuanzebe #2 Callum Gribbin Coming in …

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Manchester United Youth Rankings 2016 #2- Callum Gribbin

Callum Gribbin

This is the ninth post in a series of 10, where reddit users /u/monsieurryan and/u/rdzzl have rated the ten best players playing for Manchester United’s youth teams. This post is on Callum Gribbin and the previous posts include #10, Joe Riley, #9, Demetri Mitchell , #8, Tosin Kehinde, #7 Sean Goss ,#6 Marcus Rashford , #5 RoShaun Williams, #4 Joshua Harrop and #3 Axel Tuanzebe. Callum Gribbin has the best attacking talent I have …

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Excellent in-depth analysis of how Thomas Müller plays- Der Raumdeuter [VIDEO]

thomas muller raumdeuter

Thomas Müller Analysis! Der Raumdeuter (2016) from Tristan T on Vimeo. Thomas Muller is called the Raumdeuter(German for Space investigator) because of his ability to find and create invisible space on the football pitch. Muller’s this extraordinary ability is invisible even to the common football fan and so he is often unappreciated and many fans just don’t understand why he is …

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